Spend the majority of your time discussing the following prompts. You may have time to only discuss 3 or 4 of them, which is ok! Also, see “General Tips for Guiding Conversations.”
1. Discuss with the group the observations/curiosities/questions that came up during the Listen and Read sections. People can share their one-sentence summaries.
Here are the questions from the LISTEN and READ sections that you can go over/share together:
What are your initial reactions to the sermon? Note any curiosities, questions, or interesting points (anything surprising? controversial? mysterious? life-giving?):
Themes (What were the main topics touched upon?):
My one-sentence summary of the sermon/text:______________
Objective: For group members to show what they have been able to identify, interpret, and summarize from both that week’s sermon and scripture passage.
2. Are there connections between this scripture and your life today? What are they?
Tip: You can use what people have already named as themes of the text (what stood out to them) as a jumping-off point to begin drawing connections.
Objective: For group members to identify and relate aspects of that week’s scripture text with aspects of their present-day life.
3. Are there connections between the themes of the sermon and your life today? What are they?
Tip: You can use what people have already named as the "main point" or what stood out to them as a jumping-off point to begin drawing connections.
Objective: For group members to identify and relate aspects of that week’s sermon with aspects of their present-day life.
4. Sermon-Specific Question
Week 1: What are the ways that your body “keeps score”? Are there ways you can learn from what your body is telling you?
Tip: Saying “Thanks for sharing” can go a long way to fostering an environment where people feel comfortable sharing/listening.
Tip: If people are having a hard time answering this question, ask them to pause, close their eyes, and be curious about what their body might be telling them at this moment. How do they feel? Where are they holding tension, where are they feeling relaxed? What kind of information might their body be giving them right now about how they are feeling?
Week 2: To a certain extent, we can never escape the fragility of our bodies. In light of that fragility, what do you think new life through Christ’s death and resurrection means for our world?
Tip: Different people might have different answers to this question – that’s ok!
Week 3: Come up with one or more definitions of family. What do these definitions tell us about how we are supposed to live as people who follow Christ?
Tip: Affirm that there can be multiple and/or differing definitions of family for different people. Even if people feel very strongly about their definition of family (which is a good thing!) there can still be space to hold grace for other definitions.
Week 4: We can bring our full selves to God, including all of our identities―all of the little aspects that make each of us unique. How then is God inviting us to meet others in our world with all of their unique identities?
Tip: The discussion from this question could be great to revisit during the RELATE section.
Week 5: What does Sabbath mean to you? Are there Sabbath patterns reflected in your day-to-day or week-to-week life? Why or why not?
Tip: Encourage group members to not just regurgitate a definition of Sabbath, but to really imagine/dream not only what Sabbath is, but what Sabbath could be.
Week 6: How might God be inviting you to transformation in how you are hospitable to your own self as a sexual person? What does it mean for you to be a sexual person? How can you practice hospitality to others as you grow in hospitality towards your own identity?
Tip: This prompt has multiple parts. If the whole prompt feels too big, just focus on one question or one aspect.
Week 7: Discuss the ways you see God meeting us in play and in fun. Where in the world do you see the intersection of that which is sacred and that which is joyful? How can you create more of those intersections?
Tip: Have fun with this question!
Objective: For group members to identify, explain, and/or interpret aspects of the themes brought out in the sermon and/or scripture text.
5. Does this week’s scripture, sermon, or discussion shift/expand/change your picture of God? of others? of yourself? If so, how?
Tip: If there is something particular that has generated a lot of discussion within your group, reference that topic/theme and then ask if that has caused people’s view of God/others/themself to shift, expand, or change.
Objective: For group members to 1) identify aspects of the scripture text, sermon, and/or discussion that relate to God, others, and/or themself; and 2) analyze and conclude if those aspects shift, expand, or change their understanding of God, others, and/or themself.
Discussions in small groups can often bring up some big questions theologically, personally, and biblically. Highrock pastors and staff are available to listen and talk through any of these with you and or your group. There may not be clear answers, but we are here with you on the journey! Don’t hesitate to reach out!