Living Jesus in a #World

Connect Group Studies

Week 1 #CONTENTMENT

Start by reviewing what stuck out to you from the message.

Expose any discontentment:

• Material and financial

• Relational

• Circumstantial

Read Philippians 4:12-13

Through Christ’s Strength:

  1. We will kill COMPARISONS (2 Corinthians 10:1, James 3:14-16)

  2. We will cultivate GRATITUDE (Proverbs 15:15 NLT, Ecclesiastes 6:9 NLT, Philippians 4:12-13)

MEMORY VERSE:

“Godliness with contentment is great gain”

1 Timothy 6:6

Discussion Points. Choose from these suggestions for your discussion.

  • Share the most ridiculous selfie you’ve seen recently.

  • If you could switch lives with someone, real or fictional, who would it be and why?

  • Which areas of discontentment has God exposed in you?

  • On a scale of 1-10 (1=not at all, 10=completely) how satisfied are you with your life? Why did you choose that number? What would it take to move that number up?

  • What are some differences between comparing yourself to God’s standard and comparing yourself to the world’s standard?

  • In what area do you feel most content? Why is that?

  • In what area do you feel least content? Why do you think that is? What can you do to change it?

  • What are some specific sources of envy you need to block from your life?

  • Go around the circle quickly sharing things you’re grateful for. See how long you can go before getting stuck.

  • Paul shares his secret to contentment in Philippians 4:12-13. Talk about what living through Christ’s strength looks like in daily life.

  • What are some blessings of others that we can celebrate together?

  • What changes could you notice about how you feel after taking time to do this?

End with a challenge to take action! Choose a closing question to help each person identify their next steps.

  • How will you cultivate gratitude through Christ’s strength this week? Specifically what do you commit to do?

  • What steps would you need to take to make Christ all you need? How can you increase that this week?

  • Finish with prayer for contentment

 
 

Week 2 #RELATIONSHIPS

Start by reviewing what stuck out to you from the message.

 

John 13:34-35

How technology is changing

relationships:

 

  1. The term FRIEND is evolving.

  2. We’re becoming ADDICTED to immediate affirmation.

  3. We have the power to do friendships on our own TERMS.

 

Read Hebrews 10:24-25

 

Let’s get practical:

1) Be PRESENT.

    Romans 12:9-10 and 13

2) Be ENGAGED.

    1 Peter 4:8, 1 John 3:18, John 13:34-35

MEMORY VERSE:

“Love one another – by this shall all men know that you are my disciples.”

John 13:34-35

Discussion Points. Choose from these suggestions for your discussion.

  • Start your time with everyone’s phones in the middle of the room. Talk about any anxiety or compulsions you experience being untethered to your device.

  • What’s the dumbest thing you’re into online?

  • From Pinterest to Candy Crush, what’s your biggest technology distraction?

  • What does the word “friend” mean to you? What are the different ways you use that term?

  • In what ways might technology change how you connect here in your Connect Group relationships?

  • Share a time when you got a text or saw a post that was exactly what you needed at that moment. How can you do a better job of using technology to engage with others?

  • How have you used technology to connect to someone in a positive, meaningful way?

  • What are some signs that you may be addicted to immediate affirmation?

  • Would your online friends know you’re a disciple of Christ like John 13:35 describes? How can you show who Christ is to you besides just giving Jesus a shout-out in your profile?

  • How can our Connect Group be a better expression of Hebrews 10:24-25? What can we do to make that true of our relationships?

End with a challenge to take action. Choose a closing question to help each person identify their next steps.

  • What will you do this week to practice the power of presence?

  • Who do you need to “really love” this week? How will you live out what Romans 12:9-13 and John 13:34 describe?

  • How can we help each other with our #struggles this week?

  • Finish with prayer for relationships

Week 3 #AUTHENTICITY

Start by reviewing what stuck out to you from the message.

 

How is technology changing relationships?

  • People are starting to fear and avoid UNFILTERED communication.

Exodus 34:29-35

The problem of veiled living:

2 Corinthians 3:13-18

“You don’t have to show everyone everything — but you

do need someone who knows you.”

  • A veil that first covers the FACE eventually covers the HEART.

  • What veil are you wearing? “You’re living for likes, but longing for love.”

  • Only Christ can remove the veil. 2 Corinthians 3:16

MEMORY VERSE:

“Let love be genuine” Romans 12:9

Discussion Points. Choose from these suggestions for your discussion.

  • Share something silly that was a struggle for you this week that isn’t really a big deal compared to deeper #struggles.

  • Share a time when you worked to create a social media moment instead of just engaging in the situation.

  • Scroll through the things you’ve posted online. Share the real story that was going on that might not show in the carefully crafted photo or post.

  • Hold up fingers for how many close friends you have. How far off is this number from what you think would be God’s best for you?

  • Do you see any area of your life where you are starting to fear or avoid unfiltered communication?

  • What’s something about you that you’d never reveal to your wider group of “friends” on your social media page?

  • What veil are you wearing? What are some situations where you find yourself showing “the me I want you to see”?

  • Who are the people who get to see the real you?

  • What efforts do you take to pre-plan conversations? How do these filtered communications affect your ability to have authentic friendships in other settings?

  • What does Christ need to do in you to help you to live a filter-free life?

End with a challenge to take action. Choose a closing question to help each person identify their next steps.

  • What can our group do to be open, real, and authentic with each other? What would it take for us to really remove all filters between us?

  • What step can you take to challenge yourself to be authentic this week? If all of your ideas are within social media and not in real life, what will you do to challenge yourself to open up in person?

  • How can we help each other with our #struggles this week?

  • Finish with prayer for relationships

 
 

Week 4 #COMPASSION

Start by reviewing what stuck out to you from the message.

 

  • We care 40% less than people did in the 1980s.

How does technology cause us to care less?

1) We’re more obsessed with OURSELVES.

2) Overwhelming exposure to suffering DESENSITIZES us.

3) Lack of PERSONAL interaction makes it easier not to care.

True compassion demands ACTION.

splagchnizomai (splangkh-nid'- zom-ahee); to have the bowels yearn, feel deep sympathy, to be moved to action.

  • To say you care but not ACT is to not CARE at all.

“Caring is not liking a post but loving a person!”

 

Mark 1:40-41

Matthew 14:14

Matthew 20:34

1) Compassion INTERRUPTS.

2) Compassion COSTS.

3) Compassion changes LIVES.

Discussion Points. Choose from these suggestions for your discussion.

  • What’s the most awkward overshare you’ve seen on social media? Take a few minutes to LOL.

  • It’s time #TBH (to be honest). Everyone think of something you feel bad about not feeling bad about. Then, take turns finishing the sentence, “I couldn’t care less about _____.”

  • In your own life or in the lives of others, how have you noticed that people don’t care as much?

  • If someone followed you around, what evidence might they see that you’re obsessed with yourself? (Bonus for admitting you’d love it if someone watched your every move.)

  • When have you experienced compassion that really lined up with the definition of splagchnizomai (but skip over anything about your bowels being moved)?

  • Share an example of something you would say you care about that you don’t do anything about. Try to identify what’s keeping you from turning those feelings into action.

  • How has serving and caring for others impacted your life?

  • Share a time when you showed compassion and it ended up changing you more than the person you were caring for.

  • In real life, compassion interrupts our lives and has high costs. How can getting closer to Christ help you overcome those obstacles?

  • Pastor Craig said, “The closer I get to Jesus, the less I care about me, and the more I care about people.” How have you found this to be true for you?

MEMORY VERSE:

“Be kind and compassionate to one another”

Ephesians 4:32

End with a challenge to take action. Choose a closing question to help each person identify their next steps.

  • What can we do to put action to our compassion this week? How can our group love people better?

  • Who is someone you love who could really use some actual care this week? What will you do to reach out to them?

  • How and where is God calling you to care? What action will you take this week?

  • Finish with prayer for Compassion

Week 5 #REST

Start by reviewing what stuck out to you from the message.

 

“Like money, social media is a great servant but a terrible

master.” Carey Nieuwhof

1 Corinthians 6:12

  • 58% don’t go one waking hour without checking their phone.

  • 59% check email as it comes in and 89% check it daily on vacation.

  • 80% of teenagers sleep with their phones.

  • 84% believe they couldn’t go one day without their phones.

God has a special rest in Christ.

Hebrews 4:9-11

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our soul is restless until it finds rest in you.” St. Augustine

Matthew 11:28-29 | How do we find rest?

1) Be still.

    Psalm 46:10, Psalm 131:2

2) Make a plan.

    Proverbs 13:16, Jeremiah 6:16

MEMORY VERSE:

“Be still and know that I am God”

Psalm 46:10

Discussion Points. Choose from these suggestions for your discussion.

  • Put your hands up: Who sleeps with your phone? Who checks email on vacation? Who looks at social media first thing every morning? Last thing of the day? While you’re driving? Posts from the bathroom?

  • Maybe you haven’t written a song about it, but describe your love/hate relationship with technology in a few phrases.

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how addicted are you to technology and why?

  • Which app, game, or form of media is the biggest problem for you? What about it makes you admit it’s a problem?

  • What are some signs that technology is your master?

  • How has the amount of time you spend staring at your phone or computer affected your relationships with the people around you in real life?

  • How much time do you think is healthy for you to spend on your phone daily?

  • How would you feel if you skipped all online media for a day? A week? A year?

  • What are some signs that you aren’t experiencing the kind of rest God wants you to?

  • Is “stillness” even something you want? What would you give up to get it? Why might you avoid being still?

  • What is a good defensive plan for you and those you love to overcome or prevent an addiction to technology?

  • What is a good offensive plan to seek God first in your life?

End with a challenge to take action. Choose a closing question to help each person identify their next steps.

  • What actions will you take to seek true rest with Christ?

  • What change will you make this week to get rest for your soul?

  • What steps will you take to “do your best to enter into His rest”?

  • Finish with prayer for Rest