We read this statement together before every group discussion! It helps transition the group to discussion time, it reaffirms our highest values, and sets a tone of trust, consistency, and safety for everyone in the group.
We are a group of imperfect people pursuing a perfect God. We exist to help each other find and follow Christ. These are some things we want to be true of our group:
- We create a safe and honest environment, staying transparent and authentic.
- We keep it inside the circle. Confidentiality is necessary for a healthy group.
- We look together to the Bible for help and guidance, and keep out our own politics, sales, or agendas.
- We do not try to fix each other, preach sermons, or give unsolicited advice. We instead encourage, listen to, and celebrate each other.
- We handle conflict between us quickly and honestly by going to the person, owning our part, and practicing forgiveness.
- We respect each others’ time by starting and ending when we say we will.
- We trust that it is God’s role to change people, not ours.
- We believe that in Jesus Christ, there is hope for everyone.
The videos for this series include a quick message recap and a someone's story about their Rooted Journey! They serve as a kickstart to your group discussion.
The videos are on YouTube; watch them by connecting your computer to your TV with a video cable, by using a simple casting device like a Chromecast, Roku Stick, Amazon Fire TV Stick, or Apple TV, or by downloading them at the link below so you can play the file elsewhere.
- How can you relate to Angie's story? Did anything stand out to you, resonate with you, or challenge you?
- Jodi said if what we choose to do with our lives won’t make a story meaningful, it won’t make a life meaningful either. When has your life felt like an adventure? What made it feel that way?
Read Matthew 16:24-26 together.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?"
- Throughout your life, what have you been told makes your life valuable or successful?
- How do Jesus' words here challenge what you've learned about a valuable or successful life?
- God asked Moses to throw down his staff so he could make it come alive, just like He would take Moses' identity, income, and influence and use those things to free millions of people. So what's in your hand? What might God ask you to throw down, like the staff, so that He could make it come alive?
- When Jesus feeds 5,000 people with just a few loaves of bread and some fish, it's because a little boy offered up the little He had so that Jesus could multiply it. How have you seen seemingly insignificant things that you have get multiplied to impact others?
- What do you have trouble surrendering to God? Is there anything you are holding on too tightly to?
- How might needing control keep you from adventure? What God might be inviting you to do with your life? What might you need to let go of?
EXPERIENCE (for the rest of the week)
- Pick a possession, or something tangible, that tends to have a grip on your heart... and give it away! Give yourself a tangible example of surrender!
- Read some of the stories and teachings about Surrender in the Bible this week and ask God what He might want to teach you through them.
- Mark 10:17-31
- Luke 20:54-62 and John 21:15-19
- John 3:22-36
- John 13:1-17
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness”
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”
What’s in Your Hand?
“Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”
Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”
“A staff,” he replied.
The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.”
Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. 4 Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand.5 “This,” said the Lord, “is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”
“When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?" He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Philip answered him, "Eight months' wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!" Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?" Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted." So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.”
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,”
Surrender: Handing over the reigns of my life
- What is in my hand? (identity, income, influence...)
- Is there anything I am holding on too tightly to?
- Why is it hard for me surrender to God?
- How does needing control keep me from adventure?
“My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.”