July 6, 2009
For your group's sake, consider this seldom-considered practice.
This is a new experience for me when it comes to Dot Com(unity). As I've written posts for other weeks of study, I've been at least fairly confident in my grasp of and experience with the material.
But not this week. I have a grand total of one experience with confession/repentance in a small-group setting. That experience went well, but it was several years ago, and I have yet to build up enough courage to try again with a new group. This is one of those things where intellectually I know the practice of confession is beneficial to all Christians, and would be of help in my group. But practically I just can't think of a good way to bring it up!
Do I say, "Hey, tonight feels like a good night to confess some sins. Steve, would you like to start?" Or maybe, "I've been struggling with pride in the last week. Steve, what about you?"
So, if you've got a good idea on how to initiate the practice of confession in a small group, please do me a favor and let us know about. Please!
All that being said, here are a few observations that I do feel confident about concerning this week's study material:
Whining Spiritual Babies
That was one of the headlines from Frederica Matthewes-Greene's article, and it really caught my attention. So did this quote:
Weâ€™re confirmed in this expectation by a ceaseless stream of advertising messages. These messages tell us who we are: special, precious people with no faults, who deserve to feel better than we do. Ads tell us, "Your wife (boss, teenager, classmate) doesnâ€™t understand you, but we do. Here, buy this, and youâ€™ll feel better." Advertising invites us to be big babies—an invitation that fallen human nature has always found hard to resist.
Do you agree? Disagree? I think this would be a great discussion to have with your group, either as an icebreaker or in the middle of your teaching.
If you have a small group of committed Christians, chances are they really enjoy learning something new and deep about the Bible. Especially when they are given the chance to see a familiar Scripture passage and in a new way.
You have that opportunity in Teaching Point 2 of this week's study material. It focuses on Psalm 51, which David wrote after his sin with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah. The author of the study identifies this psalm as a "chiasm," and takes great pains to dissect the structure and motives behind David's words.
This is deep stuff, and I am betting your group will love it. Whether you teach this yourself or allow your group to work through the written material, be sure to camp out on this section for a good period of time.
And don't forget to let us know how it goes...
posted by Sam O'Neal on July 6, 2009 6:43 AM