We are a group of imperfect people pursuing a perfect God, and these are some of the ways that we ensure healthy group discussions:
We create a safe and honest environment, staying transparent and authentic.
We keep it inside the circle. Confidentiality is necessary for a healthy group.
We look together to the Bible for help and guidance, and keep out our own politics, sales, or agendas.
We do not try to fix each other, preach sermons, or give unsolicited advice. We instead encourage, listen to, and celebrate each other.
We handle conflict between us quickly and honestly by going to the person, owning our part, and practicing forgiveness.
We respect each others’ time by starting and ending when we say we will.
We trust that it is God’s role to change people, not ours.
We believe that in Jesus Christ, there is hope for everyone.
Rumble strips let you know when you’re getting a little off track. This week, we’re talking about how they wake us up and help us remember our direction. Our decisions influence what direction we will go.
Mike Breaux is teaching this week on 2 Kings: 5, which talks about physical healing, faith, and how God handles our rumbles.
The passage talks about a Commander in Syria’s army named Naaman. Though he was a leper, covered in lumps and discolored patches, he was respected as a leader and soldier. His wife had a Jewish servant girl that believed he would be healed if he would go see the prophet, Elisha. With permission from his King, Naaman went to Elisha for healing. But Naaman was angry when Elisha sent a servant to tell him to go wash seven times in the Jordan to be healed. His pride was hit! Nothing about his encounter with Elisha went as he expected.
Connect with each other
Have you ever fallen asleep while driving or gotten in an accident? What happened?
Connect with the Message
Jeremiah 6:16 (AMP) says, “Thus says the Lord, Stand by the roads and look; ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; then walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.…” God’s directions here are much like our parents teaching us to stop, look, and listen before crossing the street. In fact, you could say this philosophy was God’s idea.
Take this analogy apart as a group and discuss what God is saying:
Thus says the Lord
Stand and look
Ask for ancient paths
Walk in it
Find rest for your soul
There are no right answers here
Discussion is always key! We all think differently, so, your role as a leader is to encourage everyone in your group that their differences are each brilliant in their own way! God made us to see differently on purpose. Please use this time to let your group know that you value their thoughts and opinions.
THERE IS HEALING AND HOPE FOR A NEW LIFE
God typically required a small, and sometimes silly, physical action of faith before healing someone in the bible.
>Just a few examples:
The woman who touched Jesus’s garment - Luke 8
The man at the pool who picked up his mat and walked - John 5
The man who was blind until he washed his eyes in the Pool of Siloam - John 9
What do you think God accomplished by Naaman washing seven times in the Jordan River before healing him?
GOD’S PARENTING STYLE
God doesn’t typically do things FOR us, but if we ask, He will do things WITH us.
If you’re comfortable to share with your group, what actions do you feel like God is whispering for you to do this year? Are there any road changes you’re making this year?
Put yourself in the shoes of someone who has been an invalid their whole life. At first, they probably embraced the change, but that isn’t where their story ends. What would their road look like after healing? What new rumble strips (challenges) would surround them?
Is there anyone in your life (or small group) right now that has gone through a significant change recently? How can your small group help?
Make Read/Pray/Do a part of your discussion
``Every group should be working to move each other toward action. Learning is great, but did we really learn it if we aren’t doing it?
The Read/Pray/Do section of each discussion guide is as much a part of the discussion as the questions! Prioritize some time to talk about the challenges in it, check in with each other about they went over the last week, and make plans to support each other in making it happen during the next week.
READ. PRAY. DO.
Read… SOMETHING! This month, it’s not as much about which part of the Bible you read… it’s about just reading A part of it! The YouVersion Bible app is FILLED with hundreds of plans that will help you explore different biblical themes and topics, or read through specific sections over a certain amount of time. Pick something and go for it!
Pray this prayer on your own, or use it to kickstart your own personal prayer time.
Father, you are so good! With You, I have everything I need. Show me the journey you want me on. I want to surrender to You and Your Will for my life. Please transform me and show me the crossroads in front of me so I choose the ancient path You have prepared for me. Please show me where You have blessed me and teach me to have joy in Your course correction.
Over the month of January, pick one of these weekly challenges and focus on it for a week or more.
5-Minute Morning and Night Challenge
Dedicate the first 5 and last 5 minutes of your day to remembering your identity as a much loved child of God. Listen to a worship song, read meditate on a Psalm, journal or pray on paper, or do whatever else helps you remember who you are. Do it EVERYDAY for a week.
Go to school on what you believe
Spend a week asking questions and intentionally learning. The Bible Project has a huge collection of short animated videos that explore each book of the Bible, different biblical themes, and much much more. Take some of your questions about God, faith, or anything else and go to school to fill in the gaps in what you believe!
Join a Volunteer Team
Take a week to investigate the different volunteer teams at Mission and pray about the best place for you to jump in. Intentionally serving others is one of the best ways to jumpstart your own spiritual growth.