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 award would you love to win and for what achievement?
Which portions of Chapter 23, How To Find God and Leaving Behind & Moving Forward, stuck out to you the most and why?
Did anyone make a decision to follow Christ for the first time, re-dedicate their life to Christ or choose to follow God in a new way after reading the chapter How To Find God? If you’re willing to share a decision you made with your group, they’d love to celebrate with you!
On page 211, Jennie notes, “Sometimes it’s helpful to see where we’ve been and where we’re going, just to get perspective.” She asks, what are you leaving behind and what are you moving toward? See the list of examples on page 212 for inspiration.
Let’s wrap up Joseph’s story: Once Joseph’s father was in Egypt Pharaoh took great care of Joseph’s family, providing them with everything they needed even though the famine got really bad. Pharaoh and Egypt bought up all the land around them and the people became their slaves. They took good care of the land and people and helped them prosper even during this lean time. Jacob’s father gave all twelve of his sons (the future 12 tribes of Israel) a blessing before he died. Joseph’s brothers came to him apologizing for what they had done and Joseph forgave them with a widely quoted Bible verse today, Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.” Joseph forgave his brothers for all the wrong they committed against him and all the pain and suffering it lead to in his life before he died, knowing that God had used it all for His glory.
What sticks out to you the most about the final portions of Joseph’s story and how can you relate to his story?
Thinking about the negative things that have happened to you in life, what good has God brought out of them? Is it hard for you to see the good in those situations?
Take a spiritual gifts test
Visit https://spiritual gifts test.com, click on “Take the Test,” select the first option on the drop down menu, “Spiritual Gifts Test- Adult Version,” click “continue as guest.”
Take the 100 question test and get your results of your top three spiritual gifts. Read the descriptions of each gift and reflect on how you could use your gifts to serve others. We’ll be talking about that in our final gathering next week.