June 29, 2009
Give your group a chance to experience God in a new way.
A good Monday morning to everyone!
Just a reminder, these weekly blog posts correspond to a 10-session Bible study called Essentials in Knowing God. You can download this study for free by using the coupon code DC0609—but that coupon will only last until June 30.
While I'm mentioning links, be sure to sign up for our Dot Com(unity) newsletter if you haven't done so already. You'll get helpful icebreakers and other tools delivered to your inbox each week—all of which apply directly to the study material we're looking at. Click here for more information.
Okay, let's dive into the content for this week's study. There are two options in the study material for opening excersises, and I'm intrigued by the red/blue/green church idea. I'm curious to know your opinion about it: would it be useful and informative for your group, or is it too simplistic?
In either case, the Teaching Points for this week are fairly straightforward. The first explains the language about "God's face" that is used often in the Bible. The second emphasizes that God cannot be pinned down to a single character trait. And the third reminds us that Jesus is a perfect image of God, and we can follow his example in regularly approaching our heavenly Father.
Of those three, the second point has the most potential to serve as a stumbling block to your group members. They may have questions about God's actions in the Old Testament:
--Why does God act in wrath?
--Why did he order the destruction of entire civilizations? Even women and children?
--Why did he demand the death of animals from his servants?
These kinds of questions may very well come up when you discuss the diverse and multi-faceted character of God. How would you answer them?
For most group members, the subject of "father" is going to be a point of emotion. For some it will include pride and love; for others it will include shame and sadness—maybe even hate. These emotions are something you need to embrace in your group, not run away from.
For that reason, I think just about everyone should use this question as the introduction to Teaching Point Three: "Our view of God the Father is often connected to our experiences with our earthly fathers. For you, is that a positive or negative connection?"
As I say, be ready for emotion when you ask this question. But remember that emotional expressions in your group are not a bad thing at all, even if people are sad or disturbed for a time. We benefit when we express both pride and shame to a community of caring friends.
What other moments from this study do you believe have the potential to become a strong learning experience? Are there any other activities or questions we could use to emphasize these moments? If you think of any, please let the rest of us know!
posted by Sam O'Neal on June 29, 2009 6:06 AM