January 5, 2011
Here is a small-group study based on Luke 17-11:19 that you can use if you find yourself between studies, waiting on books to deliver, or … whatever. This is a sample of the transformation model and discovery Bible study that you’ll encounter in many Serendipity House or LifeWay Small Group Bible studies. I’ve both been in a group that used this text with these questions as well as led a group conversation rooted in this same material. It’s a great entree into the heart of spiritual transformation and formation:
11 While traveling to Jerusalem, He passed between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As He entered a village, 10 men with serious skin diseases met Him. They stood at a distance 13 and raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14 When He saw them, He told them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And while they were going, they were healed. 15 But one of them, seeing that he was healed, returned and, with a loud voice, gave glory to God. 16 He fell facedown at His feet, thanking Him. And he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus said, “Were not 10 cleansed? Where are the nine? 18 Didn’t any return to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And He told him, “Get up and go on your way. Your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:11-19 HCSB
1. What is our modern day leprosy? Point out the ways these groups and individuals are isolated, ostracized, and walled off by mainstream culture. Or maybe you’ll decide that some are actually embraced by the mainstream thus making the need for healing and salvation more difficult for them to acknowledge.
2. How does Luke describe the level of communication with Jesus (v.13)? There is both the acknowledgment of a need only Jesus can meet as well as the sense of desperation. Although it may appear to be more obvious with certain demographics, we’re all desperate for the sort of transformation only Jesus can offer.
3. Why do you think only one returned to thank Jesus? What’s up with the other nine? A great discussion question. Don’t let the group settle into simple “black and white” or “right and wrong” positions. This scenario is more about “good” and “greater good.”
4. What was the added benefit of the one that did return? What do you think is the difference between “well” and “healed”?
5. Read vv. 15-16. What steps to wellness and fullness emerge through an examination of this passage? I allowed a great deal of latitude here, but for the most part we landed at (1) acknowledgment (2) repentance (3) Giving glory (demonstration) (4) Worship (inner transformation)
Consider wrapping up with an application question that asks members you consider the “So what?” aspect of your conclusions. It’s not a difficult assignment to identify those most the desperate of our culture. But for others that have learned how to manage their greatest needs else medicate these needs through various methods—not as easy. For more on leading a small-group Bible study or small-group principles and practices download the free Small Group Life Ministry Manual by clicking here.
September 16, 2008
Posted by The Navigator under Community
, Redemptive Community
, Small Groups
| Tags: atheists
, Christian apologetics
, coffee house
, spiritual conversations
|  Comments
God seems to be directing a lot of Christians to coffee shops so they can make Jesus famous. The latest statistics are showing that millions of people meet in coffee shops for “spiritual conversations” on a weekly basis. Many of these people will never come to church or an in-house small group meeting. This pre-existing audience in need of Jesus is almost untouched. The groups are already there discussing various belief systems, not necessarily Christianity. Many of these groups are mixed groups made up of agnostics, atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, and people who are simply apathetic about any belief system at all. Joining or starting of group of this nature will allow an individual to insert the name of Jesus into the conversation as well as sharing the Word of God with the group.
If you decide to start of group of this type you may be wondering how to recruit people to join you… a few ideas:
- Simply ask the coffee shop if you can put up an announcement telling what day and time. They will most likely be excited about this as you are bringing consistent business to them.
- Invite friends from work, people you meet at the grocery store, neighbors of yours, etc…, anyone who you start a conversation with and you sense a chemistry with them. That sense of oneness may well be from God.
- If you are near condominiums or an apartment building go door to door and place a personal letter from you under the doors of people living in the complex. The letter should be written in very personal language inviting people into the conversation. Don’t give your address though. This could be dangerous. And, if possible, follow-up by going door to door asking people if they got your letter and seeing if they’d like to join you. It would be best if you didn’t go into the apartment or condo even if invited until you know the persons you are talking with.
- Go to the same coffee shop at least four weeks in a row at the time you plan on having your group meeting. See if there are people who tend to be there consistently on that day and time each week. God may have put a group in place for you already.
- Something to keep in mind… Since your goal is to make Jesus famous with a group of people who don’t know of His stardom yet, you may want to see what groups are already meeting in the coffee shop near you. Joining a pre-existing group without leading the group will allow you to share the facts found in the Bible and the name of Jesus just as intently. In fact, when telling how His story has changed your story you may be less intimidating as an equal member of the group.
We church planters are always looking for locations and situations where we can connect with people in an environment that is comfortable for both parties. This is it!
If you decide to make Jesus famous in your local coffee shop by being part of a small group of this kind, Serendipity by LifeWay has a resource written specifically for this setting. The series is titled “Soul Cafe.” A description of these studies reads… “Soul Cafe is a series of open-ended conversations developed to drive you deeper into the story God is revealing. Soul Cafe is not a place for being comfortable or indifferent. It’s personal, penetrating, raw. It isn’t for the religiously refined; rather it’s much better suited for spiritual barbarians.” You can find this resource by going to www.serendipityhouse.com.
If you’re a church planter and you want to delve deeply into small groups that transform a community, don’t miss Exponential, one of the best church planting events for 2009.