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Weird Participant's Guide
By Craig Groeschel
ZONDERVANCopyright © 2011Craig Groeschel
All rights reserved.
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.
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.
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.
Jesus didn't do anything like normal people did.
"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).
Normal may not be good when it comes to God.
"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).
Normal is broken. Normal doesn't work.
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.
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.
If we are normal like everybody else, then we are not following Jesus.
When you follow Jesus, you will be called weird.
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?
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.
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
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.
5. How do you respond to the idea that if we are normal—like everyone else—we aren't following Jesus?
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?
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.
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"?
Jesus challenges his followers to be different from "sinners." Based on these verses, how would you describe what it means to be different?
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?
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?
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 ...
Close your time together with pr
Excerpted from Weird Participant's Guide by Craig Groeschel. Copyright © 2011 by Craig Groeschel. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
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