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Small Group Material


Week 10: Reflection on Our Year of Biblical Literacy Journey so Far

1. Week 10: Reflection on Our Year of Biblical Literacy Journey so Far

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2. Recap & Preparing for CG

Daily Reading for Week

  • Deuteronomy 28-29, Psalm 62  
  • Deuteronomy 30-31, Psalm 63 
  • Deuteronomy 32-34, Psalm 64  
  • Joshua 1-4, Psalm 65 
  • Joshua 5-8, Psalm 66 
  • Joshua 9-12, Psalm 67  
  • Joshua 13-21 (skim), Psalm 68 

Resources for Week

  • Read Scripture Video: Joshua
  • Take 10 minutes and ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind any major themes, ideas, emotions or experiences you remember from the past 10 weeks while reading the Torah.
  • Write down these themes, ideas, emotions, or experiences.

3. Focus of time together

To reflect on our first two months of the year as we journeyed together through the Year of Biblical Literacy and to take an honest examination of how the community has been relating, interacting, and loving one another. 

4. Ground rule / goal / value for the week

Our goal for the week is to learn and practice the skill of community examen, where we corporately reflect on our health as a group and consider any communal repentance or reform that may be necessary. 

5. Connection and Unity Exercise (Mutual Invitation)

The Connection and Unity Exercise will take place in our Questions for Large Group Discussion section this week.

6. Opening Prayer

Have someone read the following prayer slowly:

Holy Spirit, would you fill our hearts that we may perceive, our minds that we may remember, and our souls that we may meditate. 
Inspire us to speak with honesty, holiness, vulnerability, tenderness, and mercy. 
Teach, guide, and direct our thoughts, reflections, and senses from beginning to end. 
May your grace ever help and correct us, and may we be strengthened now with wisdom from on high, for the sake of your infinite mercy. 
Amen. 

7. Intro to Discussion

We are ten weeks into our Year of Biblical Literacy and are wrapping up the Torah (the first five books of the Bible). At this point, we want to pause to take a step back from the Scriptures, focusing not on the Torah itself but on how we’ve experienced our journey through the Torah together. All our time together will be devoted to the kind of reflections usually relegated to questions for practicing community together. 

In participating in this group, we all have a hand in creating something together. As individuals, we make up a community that is more than the sum of its parts, and over the past 10 weeks, our time together has shaped our group’s culture, for better or worse. Therefore, it is important that we pause every so often to reflect on what kind of community culture we’re developing, and to make any necessary corrections. Remember, community group is meant to be a kind of relational gymnasium where we gather together to practice being the kind of Christ-like people and community that we strive to be all the time. How we practice being together determines how we will exist with one another in the future, as well as how we’ll treat everyone else around us who isn’t apart of the CG. 

Specifically, each member of the CG has a certain way of relating to God, the Scriptures, one another, and themselves. These ways of being are often based on unspoken assumptions and attitudes and typically go unaddressed. This means that the success of the community depends on overtly and directly addressing our behaviors together, vocalizing honestly and tenderly how we are experiencing one another. Tonight we will take time to discuss both the positives and negatives, celebrating the ways we are relating well while listening for any need for communal reform. 

8. Large Group Discussion

 There will only be large group discussion tonight.

Silent Reflection Exercise:

Have someone read aloud the following recap of our ground rules, goals, and values from the last 9 weeks.

Over the past 9 weeks, we have tried to live by the following ground rules, goals, and values during our times together.

Weeks 1-3 Ground Rules: 
  1. CGs are meant to be a safe space where everyone is met with unity, sympathy, love, empathy, and compassion. 
  2. Discussion should be open and without judgement. We never want to belittle or degrade another person’s experience.
  3. None of us know it all, but God does. So seek to understand before being understood. Don’t assume you have everything about God or Scripture figured out. Have faith that the Holy Spirit is and will always be at work in your community.

Week 4 Value: Humility (Approach CG with intellectual humility, resisting the notion that you have a better or purer perspective than others.)

Week 5 Value: Hospitality (Creating safe space for others to share honestly and listening attentively.)

Week 6 Value: Faith (Recognizing our own infallibility and that we cannot know all the answers to life’s questions.)

Week 7 Value: Blessing one another and allowing ourselves to be blessed by one another.

Week 8 Goal: To notice and appreciate the ways God is and has been at work in each other’s stories. 

Week 9 Goal: To practice the spiritual discipline of memorizing Scripture.Questions for Reflection:

Take 10 minutes to silently reflect and journal on the following questions. Please write down your answers and be prepared to offer them to the group.

1. As you look at this list of ground rules, goals and values ask yourself:
  • How have I seen or experienced one or more of these ground rules, goals, or values lived out by this community? 
  • How did I personally do in obeying and living into these ground rules, goals, or values within this community? 
  • Which has your community done well living into and embodying?
  • Which does your community need to improve upon?

2. Choose 3 words to describe what your experience has been in CG during the Year of Biblical Literacy.

Share:

Using Mutual Invitation, have people share their answers to the following two questions. 

  1. Which ground rules, goals, and values has our community done well living into and embodying?
  2. Which does our community need to improve upon?

Family Discussion:

Based on what has been shared and remembering our foundational values of faith, humility, and hospitality, have an honest 20-minute family discussion on how the community can better relate to one another. This time is intended for you to clear the air and address any conflict or concern that may have come up during our time together as a CG. Note: This is not a time to tear one another down or to share anything that is inappropriate for the group setting. Rather, think of it like a family discussion, hashing through differences and difficulties in love and respect in order to continue to journey together in harmony. 

Structural Examen:

These questions are to help us examine how well we are honoring the intended structure of our time together as well as our commitment to one another.

  1. Do we begin and end group when we say we will?
  2. Are we keeping to the commitments of attendance we have made together?
  3. Are there any changes that need to be made to our structure to better support our community?

9. Small Group Discussion

There will be no small group discussion this week.

10. Closing

Close your time together by praying the Unity Prayer.