As I stated last week, I’m getting back in the habit of posting the small group discussion questions here at the blog. I was moved by last Sunday’s sermon. Click here for a video replay of the whole service from last Sunday, or for an audio file of the sermon. Or click here for Marty’s blog. It’s a good read. This week, he blogged on a topic he adresses in the sermon. That topic is the practice of being a genocrit. It’s an ugly word that Marty made up, but there’s a real truth behind the ugliness of this word.
At any rate, here’s the questions:
1. As you may know, the current sermon series is called “30 Days to Live.” It’s based on the premise that if we found out that we only have 30 days to live, we might begin to live very differently. In week 1 of this series, Marty discussed the idea of living in the moment. In week 2 of this series, he discussed the idea that we might experience God’s peace. At the beginning of the sermon, Marty mentioned the idea that today’s topic is not as easy or “fun” as these first two topics. The question, though, is this:
Can we fully live in the moment if we aren’t looking at the topic of giving correctly? Can we fully experience God’s peace if we aren’t looking at the topic of giving correctly?
2. On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you feel that you’re doing in the area of giving? There are many aspects to giving that are worth considering: giving financially, giving of our time, treasure, talents, affection; giving to the church, giving to other nonprofit organizations, giving to friends and family in need. What beliefs were you raised with, about giving? Do you still hold onto these beliefs?
3. Consider the principle “When you see things as God sees them, you will act in the ways that God acts.” Can you think of anytimes in your life when you didn’t act in a Godly way because you weren’t looking at things in a Godly way? Is there anybody in your life right now who fits this description? Is there any aspects of your own life right now, that you’re challenged to act in a Godly manner? Is it possible that this challenge results from a failure to see things in a Godly manner?
4. As individuals, in the world, and even in the church, we sometimes act like we believe that the more money someone has, the more valuable they are. Why is this belief so widespread? What can we do as individuals and as a group to combat this belief?
5. Had you noticed the problem that Marty mentioned: the idea that sometimes the church teaches the wrong thing about money? What examples have you seen that we often look at money is a value issue, not an ownership issue? How would your spending habbits change if you really internalized the truth that God owns all of “our” stuff?
6. What do you think of the idea that confession can be more than just admitting our faults? What do you think of the idea that confession can be a promise to God of the ways we will act?
7. Consider the confession “I will guard against materialism” How are you doing in this area? What specific steps can you take– as individuals or as a group– to get better in this area?
8. Consider the confession “I will be genorous” How are you doing in this area? What specific steps can you take– as individuals or as a group– to get better in this area?
9. Consider the confession “I will focus on what matters” How are you doing in this area? What specific steps can you take– as individuals or as a group– to get better in this area?