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Journey 101 Serving God Leader Guide
     

Journey 101 Serving God Leader Guide

by Jeff Kirby, Carol Cartmill, Michelle Kirby
 

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Understand the biblical context for service that will enable you to share your time and spiritual gifts with others.

Journey 101 Serving God is one component of Journey 101: Knowing, Loving, Serving God.

Journey 101: Knowing, Loving, Serving God is a three-part basic faith course that helps to answer essential questions as it guides

Overview

Understand the biblical context for service that will enable you to share your time and spiritual gifts with others.

Journey 101 Serving God is one component of Journey 101: Knowing, Loving, Serving God.

Journey 101: Knowing, Loving, Serving God is a three-part basic faith course that helps to answer essential questions as it guides participants on the journey of growing as a Christian. The goal? Becoming a deeply committed follower of Jesus Christ. The three studies are grounded in 15 core traits of a deeply committed Christian--traits that paint a picture of what it looks like to follow Jesus Christ with increasing passion and dedication.

Each of the three separate, interactive 6-week studies utilizes a group teaching format with a leader and a video presenter combined with small group table breakouts. For the church and leadership, the three studies are part of a complete offering. However, the program is flexible enough that group members can take the three studies in any order.

Each Leader Guide includes complete session guides with leader helps for facilitating a six-week study.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781426765841
Publisher:
Abingdon Press
Publication date:
07/15/2013
Series:
Journey 101 Series
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

Journey 101: Serving God

Leader Guide


By Carol Cartmill, Jeff Kirby, Michelle Kirby

Abingdon Press

Copyright © 2013 Abingdon Press
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4267-6584-1



CHAPTER 1

Session 1


HOW AND WHY WE SERVE GOD

Background

Key Scripture

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. Matthew 9:35


Theme

Today you will explore with participants why and how we serve God as God's disciples. The material in this session will help participants discover that in order to find out what matters to God, we can look to Jesus. We serve God by doing the things that Jesus did: loving others by acting with justice, mercy, compassion, and care. In this session, participants will learn that every journey with God leads to other people.


Main Points

1. Every journey with God always leads to community.

2. Jesus teaches us how to serve.

3. We are called to serve the world as community—the church.


Core Trait

• Service to Others


Welcome (5 minutes)

As participants gather, invite them to get some refreshments and find a seat. If you have more than six to eight participants, set up tables so that everyone may join a table group upon arriving. When it is time to begin, speak some words of welcome and lead an opening prayer. If you choose, you may want to use the following for opening words and prayer:

Welcome to our first session of Serving God. Today we will discover some whys and hows of serving others. I trust that God will meet us here and reveal new insights in our time together. Let us pray.

God, thank you for knowing us, for loving us, and for calling us to do your work in the world. Help us to see the world through your eyes and give us the courage to act when you call. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.


After the prayer, introduce the learning objectives for the session (see the "Main Points" above).


Connect (5 minutes)

Now it's time for participants to connect. Refer participants to the "Connect" section in the participant guide and invite them to get to know one another better by sharing freely in response to the following questions and suggestions:

• Meet the people around your table. Share your name and how long you have attended this church.

• Find three things that everyone at your table has in common with one another.

• In what era—if other than your own—do you wish you had grown would you like to have grown up? Why?

• If it were possible for you to do something dangerous just once without risk, what would you do?

• If you had the means, how would you address the problem of homelessness?


Reflect (3-5 minutes)

Point out the activity in the "Reflect" section of the participant guide. Encourage participants to reflect on what they think it means to serve. Ask them to consider their willingness and availability at this moment in their lives. Invite them to mark the scale in their books and complete the sentence.

This activity is for personal reflection only and does not need to be shared or debriefed.


1 Video: Journeying With God Leads to Other People (10 minutes)

Introduce the first DVD segment by explaining that, by nature, God is community and that we are called to be in community together to do God's work in the world. (Video highlights are included in the participant guide.)


1 Group Discussion (10 minutes)

Discuss with your group the following questions and suggestions. Make sure that participants have Bibles readily available if they didn't bring them. Encourage participants to open their Bibles and have someone read aloud the Scriptures as you come to them.

1. Name some examples of how you experience community in your life (family, friends, church, the workplace, other).

2. Have someone read aloud part of Joseph's story found in Genesis 45:1-15. How did Joseph's journey lead to community?

3. What does it mean that we were created to be dependent on one another?

4. How do all journeys with God lead to community?


2 Video: Learn About Serving from Jesus (10 minutes)

Introduce the second video segment by explaining that if we want to know what it means to serve, we can find the answer by looking at Jesus. (Video highlights are included in the participant guide.)


2 Group Discussion (10 minutes)

Discuss with your group the following questions.

1. What do you think it means that Jesus is "God with skin on"?

2. What do we know from Jesus' teaching and ministry about the importance of serving?

3. Have someone read aloud Luke 7:11-17. How does Jesus show compassion in this story? What does it tell us about his heart for hurting people?

4. When have you felt led to "suffer alongside" someone?

5. What would the world look like if all Christians lived out Jesus' example of serving?

6. How could you begin to serve like Jesus? To have compassion like Jesus? To love others like Jesus did?

7. Have someone read aloud Philippians 2:5-11. What is Jesus' attitude? How can we have the same attitude?


3 Video: The Church Serves (10 minutes)

Introduce the final video segment by sharing that God calls the church to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world—to do the good works that he called us to do. (Video highlights are included in the participant guide.)


3 Group Discussion (10 minutes)

Discuss with your group the following questions.

1. How have you seen the church at work in service to your community?

2. Why is it important to serve as part of a community?

3. How do you respond to the ideas shared in the video about doing good and helping the poor? What challenges you? What appeals to you? Why?

4. Have someone read aloud James 2:14-18. In your experience, how does faith lead to works? How has your faith led you to do good?

5. Have someone read aloud Galatians 5:22–6:2. In these verses, Paul suggests that it is grace that empowers the practice of doing good, which in turn transforms the community.

How has your Christian community been shaped by grace, and how has grace shaped your community's efforts to "do good" in the larger society?

6. What are some ways you have practiced the rule to "do good"? What challenges have you identified in your efforts to practice this rule?


Review (3-5 minutes)

Help to solidify the content with participants by inviting them to name the three main points covered in this session. Ask volunteers to name them in their own words, assisting them as necessary.


In this session, the main points were:

1. Every journey with God always leads to community.

2. Jesus teaches us how to serve.

3. We are called to serve the world as community—the church.


Ask the following questions:

1. How important do you think serving is to the life of a Christian? Why?

2. What ideas do you have for doing good works this week?


Closing (5 minutes)

Remind the participants that in the last video segment participants heard about how serving others changed Terri's life. Invite them to consider times when they served someone else. Ask them to share how those experiences changed them. Then have them begin to describe their own stories using the questions in the participant guide:

1. When did serving someone change you?

2. What happened as a result of your act of service?

3. How is your life a response to that change in you?


Pray Together (5 minutes)

Express gratitude for the commitment of the group members gathered to take this journey to serve God. Encourage them by promising to pray for them and be available to answer questions.

Ask participants to share joys and concerns for the week. After a few minutes, close your time with a prayer of your own, or invite group members to pray in unison the prayer that is printed in the participant guide:

Lord Jesus, we thank you for your amazing love. We ask that you would reveal to us the great needs around us and move our hearts to "doing." Show us how to love and care for one another in the same ways you did. May our love and knowledge of you, Lord, continue to grow and change the world. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Walking It Out

Encourage participants to take what they have learned today and apply it in their daily lives by reflecting on the "Walking It Out" page in the participant guide throughout the coming week.

CHAPTER 2

Session 2


SERVING WITH TIME

Background

Key Scripture

People can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God. Ecclesiastes 2:24 TNIV


Theme

Time is something that just about every one of us would say we need more of. Today, you'll invite participants to take a good look at how they spend their time, the ways in which time is a gift, and how we can use our time to love God and love others.


Main Points

1. God created time, and we are stewards of it.

2. God gave us a healthy rhythm of life.

3. We can love God and love others with our time.


Core Trait

• Time


Welcome (5 minutes)

As participants gather, invite them to get some refreshments and find a seat. If you have more than six to eight participants, set up tables so that everyone may join a table group upon arriving. When it is time to begin, speak some words of welcome and lead an opening prayer. If you choose, you may want to use the following for opening words and prayer:

Welcome back to Serving God. Today we're going to take a good look at our time management. We'll hear that God actually created time as a gift for us. I know that God will meet us here to speak into our hearts and minds as we learn to give our time to God. Let us pray.

Gracious God, we thank you for the gift of time and rest and joy. Thank you for all the blessings in our lives. Help us to discover ways to make more room in our lives for serving you. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.


After the prayer, introduce the learning objectives for the session (see "Main Points" above).


Connect (5 minutes)

Now it's time for participants to connect. Refer participants to the "Connect" section in the participant guide and invite them to get to know one another better by sharing freely in response to the following questions:

• What is your favorite way to spend free time?

• If you had the ability to trade places with someone for a month, whom would you choose? Why?

• Which do you think is more essential to humanity, art or science? Why?

• Last week's lesson was on how and why we serve God. Have you experienced God speaking to you this week regarding ways you can serve?

• In your opinion, what do you think is the most significant problem facing our world?


Reflect (3-5 minutes)

Point out the activity in the "Reflect" section of the participant guide. Explain that busyness is something we all struggle with. Everything feels important and we sometimes get confused about when to say yes and when to say no. Invite participants to make a list of their weekly engagements and commitments. Then they should circle the things that feel life-giving and put a box around things that bring a feeling of hurry or busyness. Have them consider whether they have any free time. Then ask them to dream about what they would do with free time if they found some.

This activity is for personal reflection only and does not need to be shared or debriefed.


1 Video: Stewards of Time (10 minutes)

Introduce the first DVD segment by explaining that as God created day and night, God brought time into existence. Participants will discover that God created time and that they are called to be stewards of time, just as God called humans to steward the living things of the world. (Video highlights are included in the participant guide.)


1 Group Discussion (10 minutes)

Discuss with your group the following questions. Make sure that participants have Bibles readily available if they didn't bring them. Encourage participants to open their Bibles and have someone read aloud the Scriptures as you come to them.

1. What do you think it means to be a good "steward" of your time?

2. Have you ever thought about stewarding your time in the same way that you steward your money or household? When is it easy to steward time? When is it difficult?

3. Have someone read aloud Luke 12:16-21. How does this parable speak to you about your priorities?

4. What does it look like to make the most of our "present reality in time"?


2 Video: A Healthy Rhythm of Life (10 minutes)

Introduce the second video segment by suggesting that God also created a rhythm of work and rest as a gift to us. We have a choice about how we manage our time and live out God's rhythm of life. (Video highlights are included in the participant guide.)


2 Group Discussion (10 minutes)

Discuss with your group the following questions.

1. Have someone read aloud Genesis 2:2-3. Why do you think God set the rhythm of time to include a day of rest?

2. Have someone read aloud Matthew 14:13-27. What do you think were some of Jesus' greatest challenges in creating some margin in his time?

3. Contrast Jesus' reactions to crises and demands with those of his disciples. How do they differ?

4. Describe the level of hurry in your life.

5. What would it take to ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life?

6. Have someone read aloud all of Ecclesiastes 3. How does this passage challenge you to take hold of your time?


3 Video: Loving God and Others with Our Time (10 minutes)

Introduce the final video segment by sharing that the use of our time is an act of loving God and serving others. Participants will be challenged to examine what they might need to clear out of their lives in order to eliminate hurry and create room for worship and service to God and others. (Video highlights are included in the participant guide.)


3 Group Discussion (10 minutes)

Discuss with your group the following questions.

1. What are the barriers you face when it comes to using your time in ways that bless others?

2. Which of the "prescriptions for restoring time margin" would be most helpful to you? Why?

3. How do you relate to time in your day-to-day life—in both healthy and unhealthy ways?

4. Reflect on a time when your heart wanted to help or serve in some way but you just couldn't find the time. How might you have been able to make time by cutting other things out of your schedule?

5. How is it true that God created time for our benefit? What are some of those benefits?

6. What adjustments can you make in your schedule in order to allow time for you to be "interrupted by God"?


Review (3-5 minutes)

Help to solidify the content with participants by inviting them to name the three main points covered in this session. Ask volunteers to name them in their own words, assisting them as necessary.


In this session, the main points were:

1. God created time, and we are stewards of it.

2. God gave us a healthy rhythm of life.

3. We can love God and love others with our time.


Ask the following questions:

1. Why is it important that we learn to become stewards of our time instead of just letting life happen?

2. How can we serve God with our time?


Closing (5 minutes)

In the final DVD segment participants heard a story about Mary giving the gift of her time and making a difference in someone's life in a moment of need. Suggest that when we steward our time wisely, we are more available to make a difference in others' lives.

Ask participants to begin to consider how they might use their time to bless someone. Invite them to answer the questions in the participant guide:

1. In what ways could you give your time to bless another person?

2. Brainstorm some ideas for giving the gift of time and make notes about how you would organize your time to make it happen.


Pray Together (5 minutes)

Express gratitude for the commitment of the group members gathered to take this journey of serving God. Encourage them by promising to pray for them and be available to answer questions.

Ask participants to share joys and concerns for the week. After a few minutes, close your time with a prayer of your own, or invite group members to pray in unison the prayer that is printed in the participant guide:

God, thank you for the gift of time, and we thank you for showing us a rhythm for how we are to spend our time. We ask that your Holy Spirit will help us to use our time wisely, investing it in things that have meaning. Help us to be more available to you and to come into your presence to be refilled and refueled, just as Jesus modeled for us. Help us to take control of our calendars so that, when it really counts, we can be available to serve those that you place in our paths. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.


Walking It Out

Encourage participants to take what they have learned today and apply it in their daily lives by reflecting on the "Walking It Out" page in the participant guide throughout the coming week.

CHAPTER 3

Session 3


GENEROSITY

Background

Key Scripture

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21


Theme

Today you will explore generosity with participants. They will learn a process of resetting their financial journey and developing financial goals in order to become more generous. Point out that this session is not intended to get them to give more money to the church but to develop a lifestyle of generosity—the kind Jesus taught so much about.


Main Points

1. Jesus calls us to be generous with our money.

2. Financial freedom requires discipline and a plan.

3. We serve God by keeping our finances in order and giving freely.


Core Trait

• Financial Gifts


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Journey 101: Serving God by Carol Cartmill, Jeff Kirby, Michelle Kirby. Copyright © 2013 Abingdon Press. Excerpted by permission of Abingdon Press.
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

Jeff Kirby serves on the Adult Discipleship Team at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. Among other duties, he leads men's ministries and the Alpha program, for which he is a national trainer. With COR since 2001, Jeff is a national and international educator and speaker, as well as a consultant on leadership development. His Bible study courses at Resurrection often bring in 500+ participants, who come to hear Jeff’s rich and challenging style of teaching.

Carol Cartmill is Executive Director of Adult Discipleship at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. In this role, sheapplies her passion for equipping people for ministry, practical experience from working in the local church, and an educational background in organizational management and leadership. She launched the spiritual gifts development program at COR in 1998. She and her husband Jim have raised twodaughters andreside in Overland Park, Kansas.Carolis the co-author of Serving from the Heart, Leadership from the Heart, Leadership Essentials, and Serving from the Heart for Youth. She has led workshops relating to equipping ministries on both the local and national level.

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