A Fishy Sort of Justice

Jonah 3:1-4:5 (10.15.17 sermon)

Ice Breaker

·      If you could live anywhere on the planet and take everything you love with you, where would you choose to live?

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      Explore the paradigm-shift Meghan described in moving from a punitive notion of justice to a restorative notion.  What’s the strongest case you could make for a restorative approach?  What kinds of fears or questions do you have as you think about what this would look like in practice?

Bringing It Home

·      In what situation in your life or the world are you currently longing for justice to be done?  Who in this situation do you regard as the “guilty” party?

·      What would it like look for you to engage that situation in pursuit of a restorative rather than punitive solution?  How would that change your attitude or behavior?

The One That Got Away

Luke 15:1-7 (10.8.17 sermon)

Ice Breaker 

·      What was your first job and what do you remember most about it?

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      Do you identify yourself more with the one lost sheep or the ninety-nine in the flock?  Why?

Bringing It Home

·      What hill, what piece of territory, has God given you to search for the lost and broken?

·      What do you think it would look like for our church to operate less like a “holy huddle” and more as a collective of shepherds?  What would we do differently if we understood that one of our primary assignments was to bring the lost ones home?

One Snowy Day

2 Samuel 23:20 (10.01.17 sermon)

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      Where have you witnessed people in your life who were motivated to inaction because of fear?

·      Do you have any examples of how you have overcome fear in an area of your life?

·      How have you witnessed Christians supporting each other to overcome their fears?

Bringing It Home

·      It is often easier to identify the fear than to identify the manner in which it needs to be confronted.  If you feel comfortable, please describe one of your fears to your group and brainstorm together how you might start to confront it.    

Ocean-Deniers and Build-a-Bear Believers

Hebrews 10:35-11:1 (9.24.17 sermon)

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      In what ways have you seen churches lean too far into the “Encounter” corner?

·      In what ways have you seen churches lean too far into the “Wrestle” corner?

·      Where have you see these two areas interact in a positive, life-giving tension?

Bringing It Home

·      Do you personally resonate more with the “Encounter” or “Wrestle” end of the spectrum?  Why?  How might you increase your capacity to hold the other side closer?

·      What would it mean for you personally to seek to hold this tension in your daily life and spiritual journey?

Of Insurrection & Instagram

John 16:7 (9.17.17 Sermon)

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      In what ways have you witnessed churches leaning too far into the "Rebel" corner?

·      In what ways have you witnessed churches leaning too far into the "Create" corner?

·     Where have you witnessed these areas in life-giving tension?

Bringing It Home

·      Which side resonates most deeply for you?  Why do you think that is?

·      How might you increase your capacity to hold the other side closer?

·      What would it mean for you to personally seek to hold this tension in your daily life and spiritual journey?

The Trinity Experience

(9.10.17 sermon)

·      Did you see/hear anything in the congregational responses to the Listening Tour questions that surprised you?  If so, what, and why?

·      How have you seen each these 4 key qualities of Trinity manifested in the life of our community—(a) Rebel, (b) Create, (c) Encounter, (d) Wrestle?

·      In what ways have you experienced healthy tensions as life-giving?  Under what circumstances can tensions turn destructive?

 

For the Love of Kombucha

Psalm 42 (9.3.17 sermon)

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      What place does desire have in the Christian life?

·      Do you believe that desire can be changed?  Have you ever had an experience where you did something that altered the shape of a desire?

Bringing It Home

·      Do a spiritual status check—What is your current level of hunger/thirst for God?

·      Which of the tips Meghan offered for increasing spiritual hunger do you think you personally might benefit most from practicing?  Why?

Accidentally Married

Romans 6:1-11 (8.27.17 sermon)

 Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      If you have been baptized, when and why did you make this choice?  What did it mean to you at the time?

·      How has what it means to you to belong to Jesus deepened or changed over time?

Bringing It Home

·      What do you need to hand over to Christ that currently belongs to you?

·      What that belongs to Christ is he inviting you to more fully share?

Always Eat the Pie

John 2:1-12 (8.20.17 sermon)

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      Read Hebrews 12:1-2.  (a) What do you see as the link between sacrifice and joy? (b) What sacrifices do you need to make in order to take hold of the joy before you?

Bringing It Home

·      Have you lived in such a way that others would describe your life as being grounded in joy?

·      What practices of celebration are common in your life right now?

How to Tell Jesus from a Ghost

Mathew 14:22-36 (8.13.17 sermon)

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      Read Matthew 17:14-20.  (a) Why do you think Jesus is so frustrated in this story?  (b) Why do you think the disciples failed?

Bringing It Home

·      Where are you being called to die today?

·      What would it look like for you to walk today in the power that raised Jesus from the dead?

Loving the Hard Ones, part 2

Romans 12:1-2, 9-20 (8.6.17 sermon)

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      Discuss Romans 12:19-21 as a strategy for dealing with difficult people.  Where have you seen this work?  What, if any, are its limits?

Bringing It Home

·      What stories have you been telling yourself about the difficult people in their life and the reasons for their behavior? Are there any other ways the dots could possibly be connected?  Is there any information you might gain that would alter your judgment about them?

·      Where is love currently requiring you to set a limit with someone?

·      Where do you need help in carrying someone’s mat?

Loving the Hard Ones, part 1

Matthew 5:43-48 (7.30.17 sermon)

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      How have you seen love go wrong when someone uses it to fill to their own internal need or acts from a sense of spiritual obligation?

·      What does it mean to practice humility in the context of loving difficult people?

Bringing It Home

·      Where, in well-intentioned efforts to love other people, have you contributed to false stories about them or yourself?

·      How do you work at keeping your emotional reality from becoming entangled in someone else’s?

Facebook, Dinner Parties, & Dark Secrets

Philemon (7.23.17 sermon)

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      What is your longest lasting friendship?

  1. How/when did it start?
  2. How has it lasted so long?

Bringing It Home

·      What areas of your life are you keeping closed off in order to avoid the pain of vulnerability?

·      What would "seeking first the kingdom of God" look like in your life right now?

·      Do you feel like you have enough "dark secret" friends?

  1. If not, what can you do today to seek those relationships?

The Good Fight

Ephesians 4:1-3, 25-32 (7.16.17 sermon)

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      How have you see conflict operate as an engine of growth in your life? 

·      What are some strategies for engaging conflict well that you’ve learned from your own experience?

Bringing It Home

·      Explore a current or recent conflict in your own life:

(a) What is the positive opportunity in this conflict? 

(b) What are the core needs—both your own and the other person’s—that lie beneath the surface of the conflict?

(c) How can you engage this conflict in ways that build up (you, the other person, and the relationship) rather than tear down?

Treasures in Heaven, or: How I Learned to Stop Worry and Trust the Jesus

Matthew 6:19-34 (7.9.17 sermon)

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      What are your thoughts on Jon’s idea of the “Karma gospel”?  Does this seem in your experience like an idea people are tempted to believe? 

Bringing It Home

·      Do you struggle with worry?  If so, how do these words from Jesus speak into this?

·      Has there been a time in your life when a teaching of Jesus felt more real than before?  If so, why?  What happened?

Revolutionary

John 18:28-40 (7.2.17 sermon)

 Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      What does Jesus mean when he says to Pilate “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36)?  How does this relate to Jesus’ instructions to his disciples to pray “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth…” (Matt. 6:10)? 

·      How does Jesus’ revolution challenge our normal ways of thinking about how revolutions work?

Bringing It Home

·      How does Jesus’ way of relating to the powers and authorities of his day shape the way you think about how we as Christians are called to relate to the authorities of our own time and context?

·      How are you participating in Jesus’ “army of healers”?

Let's Make a Deal

Genesis 15:1-21 (6.25.17 sermon) 

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      Read Romans 4:1-8, 17-25.  What does it mean to be “credited with righteousness” apart from your actions?  How does this possibility push against our normal ideas about religion?   

Bringing It Home

·      How easy or difficult is it for you to receive the message of grace at the heart of the Bible’s story?  Why?

·      What would you tell someone else who was struggling with not feeling God enough for God or for the Christian community?

The Goodness Valve

John 15:1-9 (6.11.17 sermon) 

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      What fills you up spiritually, makes you feel most full awake to God and connected to God’s presence? 

·      Read Ezekiel 37:1-14.  What does it take to stay open to God’s fresh breath?

Bringing It Home

·      How well are you doing right now at staying attached to the vine and open to the flow of life running through it?

·      What stressors in your life tend to shut you down or pull your plug?  What will be your strategy for staying open to God in the midst of those?

Like a Child

Mark 10:13-16 (6.4.17 sermon) 

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      What do you think Jesus means when he says “Listen to me! Unless you welcome the Kingdom of God like one of these kids, you will never, ever be a part of it!”?

·      Read Luke 18:15-30.  This is Luke’s version of the same story. In all three gospels, the story of the rich young ruler follows the story of Jesus and the little children.  How might they be connected?

Bringing It Home

·      Are there “cares of this world” right now that are complicating your life?  What would it mean to let go of them?

·      What is one thing you could do this week to be more “like a child”?

The Paper Tigers' Pit

Daniel 6:1-22 (5.28.17 sermon) 

Responses and Reactions

·      What disturbed you, challenged you, or intrigued you in this week’s message?

Digging Deeper

·      What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever seen? 

·      Read Daniel 6:1-17 again.  What would you have done in Daniel’s shoes, hearing of this decree?  Why?

Bringing It Home

·      What have you been avoiding doing, or what conversation have you been putting off?  Where is your life currently “bottlenecked”?

·      How do the 5 steps that Meghan suggested for cultivating everyday courage apply to your specific situation?