Read 1 John 16-19
This passage is an amazing description of what it means to love each other. This passage tells us that we know what true love is, only because Christ laid down his life for us. This is followed by the command that we ought to lay down our lives for each other. Many times the greatest illustrations of love is when one person gives up their life for another, but is this the only way that Christ laid down his life for us?
Jesus did not only lay down his life when he died on the cross. He laid down his life when he was healing the broken, when he was eating with the outcasts, and when he was teaching the disciples. We may not need to lay down our lives in a physical sacrifice for those we love, but we are called to lay down our lives in the way that Christ did.
Read 1 John 16-19 with a few different translations if you have them.
- Do you think that relationships can survive without some level of sacrifice? Take the time to explain why you think the way you do.
- Have you ever sacrificed something for someone you loved? This can be from any relationship. Can you share that experience? Did it turn out well or not?
- What kind of effect do you think it can have on us when we make sacrifices for other people?
For some reason it seems different, or out of place, to talk about being sacrificial to our church families. Perhaps you have felt this way. But the truth is that you cannot have loving relationships when some people are not willing to make sacrifices. Accepting the fact that things won’t always be the way we prefer will need to happen no matter where we go.
- Have you ever made a sacrifice for someone in your church family? Did it feel different in any way then other relationships?
- Does it seem odd or different to talk about your church family in this way? Why do you think that is? What is different about our perceptions of sacrificing for our church family?
- How do you feel our church family is doing when it comes to making sacrifices for each other?
- What is it about church that makes it seem like it’s there to give to us, and not the other way around?
- Have you ever felt as if people in the church were making sacrifices for you?
- What would you consider to be a reasonable sacrifice for someone to make for their church family? You or anyone else.
- Do you think it’s harder to make sacrifices for the church family then other relationships?
- What kind of sacrifices have you seen, or do you feel as if you’ve made for your church family?
- What does the church gain from the sacrifice of it’s members?
- What can we gain when we sacrifice for others?
- What can we do to help each other become more sacrificial, both mentally and practically?
This is the end of CONNECT. Take some time to talk about the different things which have happened over the last forty days. Consider what you have all learned. Have you been changed in any way? Have you grown? Have you been helped in forming relationships in your church? Take some time to reflect on this experience as a whole.
1. First, decide on someone to open and close the prayer time. The opener can start by giving praise to God for everything he provides for us. The closer can ensure that everything is covered
2. Take some time to take prayer requests from the group.
3. Make sure to pray for everyone who is participating in CONNECT. Also, pray for…
– An encouraging spirit to enter the lives of the church.
– A conviction for the need of each other to grow.
– Genuine feelings of connection and support.