There’s a lot to talk about. Your prep this week, as leaders, should include reading through the questions before starting group. This way you'll know what questions you don’t want to miss. No one knows your group like you do! You know what will be uncomfortable, versus encouraging growth.
We are a group of imperfect people pursuing a perfect God. We exist to help each other find and follow Christ. These are some things we want to be true of our group:
- 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.
In this Some Assembly Required series, we’re uncovering the steps from start to finish on how to build in our lives. We started with reading the Owner’s Manual, bringing in The Glue, and now we’re going to Refer to Figure 1. Jodi draws attention to self-reflection, and reminds us of the truth that there are no perfect people. Understanding that has to start with us. If we bring our truths to God, stop leading and start following, God will help us through those next steps into a deeper relationship with him and with people.
Who are you looking to as an example when it comes to the important relationships in your life?
- Intention vs. Behavior
Even though our intentions are often good, things don’t always come across as we plan. It’s our responsibility to make sure our behaviors match our intentions. Nobody gets to hear what we meant to say.
In what situations do you find yourself saying “That’s not what I meant!” the most often?
The Truth About Me
Even though no one is perfect and we all need to change, the only person I can fix is me. Jodi said to truly desire change in the area that a relationship is suffering, we need to fast forward our own actions all the way through and imagine what will happen if we’d continue as we are without changing.
How would you fill in these blanks?
If I’m being honest, the truth about me is ________ (in my relationship).
If that continues and nothing changes, ___________ will happen.
Example: If I’m on my phone a lot, my relationships will suffer.
The Good News Of Jesus In Our Lives
Referring to Figure 1 means envisioning our relationships as God intended them; we were created to need each other and meet each other’s needs.
What “wants” or needs do you see, or have personally, that never seem to be satisfied because of our broken relationships?
- Following Jesus Means We Do It Differently
- What’s the difference between self-help and Jesus-help?
It's not that God doesn't want us to do the work
If we try to get there on our own, we’re doing self-help. When we surrender and invite God into our lives, we are asking God to give us His way to help us instead of our own. Growing in love and surrender allows Jesus to change us from the inside out. If we seek His kingdom first, EVERYTHING ELSE will follow.
Mike Breaux often says, If God wanted us to go to the self-help section of the store, he’d give us a gift card to Barnes and Noble. But self-help can’t be as helpful as we think, because self is what got us here in the first place. This isn’t what we’re taught in the world, but God has a different way. That said, God gave us free will, which means God actually won’t offer us help until we ask, but He has a better way than the world offers us.
- Surrender leads to...
When has surrendering to God’s way, even though it was different than yours, led to contentment and a healthier relationship?
FOLLOW-UP or ALTERNATIVE QUESTION:
When has God NOT answered your prayers and you’ve been happier for it? What does that make you feel when it comes to the other prayers in your life?
Cycle of Hope
Jodi said that when we can envision something being better over the next season of our lives, then we can have hope. Hope leads to change, and then requires risk on our part - the right thing is usually the hard thing.
What would be at risk if you did the next wise thing that would lead to change?
Hope is risky
Encourage specific risks if it feels right. It’s not necessary to share specifics, but it can be a very helpful conversation if it seems like someone has something specific in mind!
- I Am The Vine
John 15:1 says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.”
Where are you disconnected from the vine? Where are you out of sync with God, or just not sure what God says about something important?
- The Fruit That Produces
Galatians 5:22-23 says “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
What fruit of the spirit do you want to pray for right now so that you can bring your best to your relationships?
READ. PRAY. DO.
Jesus came as God with skin on in order to fulfill God’s law, not to change it. We don’t have to bear the burden of the law because of His sacrifice on the cross. Read these two passages from the Old and New Testament to see how we are no longer required to please God by living up to the law.
- Pray this prayer on your own, or use it to kickstart your own personal prayer time.
Lord, I pray that you show me myself as you see me, not as I do. Show me more of my great need for you, so that I can also see just how deep your love for me is. Please help me see your hand in my life and where I need to adjust my perspective to match yours.
In this session we evaluated our wants. Identify your “want” in your relationship/s and ask God to show you honestly what you can do, personally, to help each of those relationships thrive.
BONUS: Share this with someone! Ask them to hold you accountable for making real progress toward these goals.
The truth is __________.
If that continues___________ will happen.
What I actually want is _________.
The things I need to do to get there are ____________.
Who do you need to help you?
What do you need to learn?
What do you need to stop doing?
What do you need to surrender?
How can you trust God with your want?
In what tangible way can you show God you trust him to provide?