WEIRD Participant's Guide: Because Normal Isn't Working

WEIRD Participant's Guide: Because Normal Isn't Working

by Craig Groeschel
     
 

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Normal people are stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted. Many of their relationships are, at best, strained and, in most cases, just surviving. Even though we live in one of the most prosperous places on earth, normal is still living paycheck to paycheck and never getting ahead. Lust and frequent “casual” sex are far more common than purity and a healthy

Overview

Normal people are stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted. Many of their relationships are, at best, strained and, in most cases, just surviving. Even though we live in one of the most prosperous places on earth, normal is still living paycheck to paycheck and never getting ahead. Lust and frequent “casual” sex are far more common than purity and a healthy married sex life. And when it comes to God, the majority believe in him, but the teachings of Scripture rarely make it into their everyday lives. Simply put, normal isn’t working. In this six-session, video-based study, Groeschel’s WEIRD views will help you break free from the norm to lead a radically abnormal (and endlessly more fulfilling) life. Designed for use with the Weird DVD.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780310692096
Publisher:
Zondervan
Publication date:
04/17/2013
Sold by:
Zondervan Publishing
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
96
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Weird Participant's Guide


By Craig Groeschel

ZONDERVAN

Copyright © 2011Craig Groeschel
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-310-69209-6


Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

SESSEION 1

THE GOD KIND OF WEIRD


The most spiritually dangerous things in me are the habits of thought, feeling, and action that I regard as "normal," because "everyone is like that" and "it's only human."

Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy


Video: The God Kind of Weird (17 Minutes)

Play the video segment for session 1. As you watch, use the outline below to follow along or to take notes on anything that stands out to you.


Notes

The problem with being normal today is that normal will get you sucked into all sorts of things that can be really hurtful to you.


[Your Notes]

Examples of how weird Jesus was (Luke 6:27–30):

• Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.

• Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

• If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also.

• If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.

• Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.


[Your Notes]

Jesus didn't do anything like normal people did.


[Your Notes]

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it" (Matthew 7:13–14).


[Your Notes]

Normal may not be good when it comes to God.


[Your Notes]

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8–9).


[Your Notes]

Normal is broken. Normal doesn't work.


[Your Notes]

There is a God kind of weird. It's about:

• Being different from the values of this world.

• Living for the things that will outlast this temporary world.

• Laying down your life to glorify the God of the universe.


[Your Notes]

Think about what is considered normal today:

Time: overwhelmed, burdened, stressed out

Money: broke, worry, debt

Sex: sexual sin, promiscuity, affairs

Marriage: bitterness, lack of intimacy, divorce

Spirituality: lukewarm Christianity

• Normal is living for ourselves and not living for something greater.


[Your Notes]

If we are normal like everybody else, then we are not following Jesus.


[Your Notes]

When you follow Jesus, you will be called weird.


[Your Notes]


Group Discussion: The God Kind of Weird (41 Minutes)

Take a few minutes to talk about what you just watched.

1. What part of the teaching had the most impact on you?


[Your Response]

2. Generally speaking, how do you determine what makes something normal and what makes something weird? If you can think of an example from your own experience, briefly share it.


[Your Response]


Normal Is Broken

3. To be normal is to conform to common standards and customs. It usually means that something is ordinary, average, typical, or routine. Among people you know—family and friends—how would you describe normal attitudes and behaviors in these areas:

• Pace of life


[Your Response]

• Personal finances


[Your Response]

• Relationships


[Your Response]

• Marriage/dating/sexuality


[Your Response]

• Spiritual life


[Your Response]

4. In what ways, if any, does your faith community reinforce or challenge these normal attitudes and behaviors? Note any specific examples you can think of.


[Your Response]

5. How do you respond to the idea that if we are normal—like everyone else—we aren't following Jesus?


[Your Response]


Jesus Was Weird

6. Among the weirdest things Jesus taught are countercultural ideas about how we are to treat others—both our enemies and our friends—and what our behavior toward others reveals about us. Here is what he had to say about enemies:

But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you (Luke 6:27–31).

• In this passage, enemies are those who hate, curse, mistreat, slap, and steal from us. How would you describe a normal response to this kind of behavior?


[Your Response]

• Have you, or has someone you know, responded to mistreatment in the way Jesus describes—with love, blessings, prayer, generosity, forgiveness? Briefly describe the situation and what happened as a result.


[Your Response]

7. After addressing enemies, Jesus also challenges any notions about virtue based on how we treat our friends:

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full (Luke 6:32–34).

• What do you think Jesus means by "credit"?


[Your Response]

• Jesus challenges his followers to be different from "sinners." Based on these verses, how would you describe what it means to be different?


[Your Response]


Weird God's Way

8. Jesus makes it clear that the standard we are to follow is based not on the normal behavior of others—enemies or friends—but on the weird way God treats us.

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful (Luke 6:35–36).

• When you think of those who might be enemies in your life right now, what makes it difficult for you to be weird God's way—to treat your enemies with love, goodness, generosity, kindness, and mercy?


[Your Response]

• Even if your efforts to love those who are hard to love seem to have no impact on them, how do you imagine those efforts might impact you?


[Your Response]


Individual Activity: What I Want to Remember (2 Minutes)

Complete this activity on your own.

1. Briefly review the video outline and any notes you took.

2. In the space below, write down the most significant thing you gained in this session—from the teaching, activities, or discussions.

What I want to remember from this session ...


[Your Response]


Closing Prayer

Close your time together with pr
(Continues...)


Excerpted from Weird Participant's Guide by Craig Groeschel. Copyright © 2011 by Craig Groeschel. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Craig Groeschel is the founding and senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv, a pacesetting multicampus church and creators of the popular and free YouVersion Bible App. He is the author of several books, including Fight, Altar Ego, Soul Detox, Weird, The Christian Atheist, and It. Craig, his wife, Amy, and their six children live in Edmond, Oklahoma.

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