Read 1 Thessalonians 5:12-18

Paul wrote to the Thessalonians in order to encourage them in the face of persecution.  This is an important theme through both letters addressed to them.  I think that Paul understood the need of community, and the presence of other believers and the effect we can have on each other.  That is why we find this particular passage near the end of this letter.  Paul is giving them one final, solid reminder that together they are better.  He gives us several different ways we can ensure that our community is growing and effective.

We may not suffer any kinds of physical persecution in our country, but this is certain… we still need each other.


Read verses. 12-13

  • Is there anyone in our Church family like what this passage is describing?
  • Is this only describing the leadership, or can we expand that idea?
  • Is this passage talking about submitting to these individuals, or encouraging them?  How else might this passage be asking us to respond to these individuals?
  • Why do you think the statement ‘live in peace with each other,’ is included in this context?
  • What do these verses say about being a more effective community?

Read verse 14

  • What does it mean to be idle, timid, or weak?  How do you see these playing out in the church today?  What does it mean to be idle, timid, or weak today?
  • Is this verse saying that it is bad to relax, be shy, or feel unsure about something?
  • This verse seems to say that patience is needed in dealing with all of these situations.  Has anyone ever tried to ‘help’ you when they did not have a patient heart?  How did that make you feel, how did it help?
  • We are asked to warn these people.  If we are to ‘warn’ them, then what are we going to need in order to do it properly?  (leader consider: understand the situation, understand the person)
  • What does this verse say about being a more effective community?

Read verse 15

  • Can you think of any situation when people in the church repay wrong with wrong?
  • Maybe you can think of a time in your life when you have seen this happen in some way.  Did you feel as if you could intervene in any way?  If you did, how did you do it?
  • How much responsibility can we take with the actions of one person to another in our church setting?

Read verses 16-18

  • Let’s assume that we’re not suppose to fake happiness on all occasions.  What do you think it means to be joyful always?
  • What does it mean to pray continually?
  • What does it mean to give thanks in all things?
  • What do these three things have in common?
  • How would these things make us more effective in our church family, and how can we put them into practice?
  • What do these verses say about being a more effective community?


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.