We read this statement together before every group discussion. It helps transition the group to discussion time, it reaffirms our highest values, and sets a tone of trust, consistency, and safety for everyone in the group.
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.
- What was the highlight of the short break we just enjoyed?
- If the Spark group is new or there are new members to the group, go around and tell a little bit about yourselves: how long you've been at Mission, how you found Mission, family, vocation, anything you want to share!
This session of Spark groups will be studying Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist. The book is a collection of essays about living a life of meaning and connection instead of pushing for perfection. It’s an invitation to leave behind busyness and frantic living and embracing an entirely new way to live: soaked in grace, rest, silence, simplicity, prayer, and connection with the people that matter most to us. Check out the book trailer:
Present Over Perfect is a available on Amazon or bookstores.
- Shauna notes that a few years ago she found herself exhausted and isolated, her soul and body sick. She was tired of being tired, burned out on busy and, it seemed almost everyone she talked to was in the same boat: longing for connection, meaning, depth, but settling for busy. Can you relate? Why or why not?
- Present Over Perfect focuses on the most important transformation in Shauna’s life, leaving behind busyness and frantic living and rediscovering the person she was made to be. Have you ever gone through a similar transition in your own life? Could you use a similar transition in your life? Why or why not?
- Consider the landscape of your own life. What might it look like to leave behind the pressure to be perfect and begin the life-changing practice of simply being present in the middle of the mess and the ordinariness of life?