Respectful Relationships

   We love the idea of respectful relationships, but it’s easy for that to go wrong. In the world of aid and development they talk about three modes. 1 ) Relief (stopping the bleeding, I’ll do stuff for you), 2 ) Rehabilitation (We’ll help you get back to normal, I’ll do stuff with you), 3) Development (we walk together). Have you experienced any of these three modes in either giver or receiver mode (remember the earthquake). How did those relationships go ? When were relationships respectful, and when not ? Why ? In John 4 Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman we see him asking questions humbly and treating her with gentleness and respect.  How do we model with with…

Whakarongo – Discussion questions

Icebreaker : Have you ever had a GPS lead you astray ? What happened ? NZBMS suggest that we need to return to listening. They asked us to read Isaiah 43. Remember they are an exiled people. For them everything has gone wrong.  Together read from Isaiah 42:18-20 (What can we be blind to ?) Read Isaiah 43 : 1- 13. There are promises to the hearer about    1 ) who they are and    2 ) what God does.  Which bits strike you ?    Notice v8.   What would it be like to be blind but asked to bring out blind and deaf people ? Why might God ask people who don’t see clearly to help others…

Mutual Humility

We’ve been encouraged to look at mutual humility by NZBMS. Why do you think that might be important when wanting to help others ? As part of this we were asked to consider which of the soils of the parable of the sower we might be like. The passage can be read in Mark 4:1-12, Mat 13, or Luke 8:4-10. Soil Type Problem What the soil needs Pathway Hard Softening Rocky Ground Shallow Depth Thorny Cluttered Space Ask people to consider which might be the soil that most resembles their lives (they may not want to disclose). Have a gentle discussion asking people to think of what someone in each of these places might be able to do (or might…

Gospel Renewal

These are really short notes and questions for discussion for small groups. This time there are only 2 questions : If you were to tell your story of coming to faith (or not) what would be the good thing in that ? What renewal did you see ? It’s always worth paying attention to that.(But don’t get stuck there. Nostalgia isn’t our friend in growing.) The 2nd question is : What do you think Gospel Renewal might look like ?    

Anzac – Following Jesus at a time of war

The goal of this is to get a loose handle on two different responses to war that Christians have chosen.  It’s a complicated subject and carries emotion. Different stances are possible, but none are easy.  We’re doing this to acknowledge Anzac day, our history, but also because it’s worth having this kind of discussion when war is not at our immediate doorstep. It might be worth starting by each person telling any stories of their links to war. Many of us have them. We have however lived at time when war has not threatened NZ.  That means we need to be careful of others, and aware that our discussion is not as earthed as it might be at other times. …

Week 7 : The Welcome /unwelcome Mat

The unwelcome mat. Ice breaker : What jobs make you unwelcome at parties? Have you experienced suddenly feeling ‘unwelcome’.  Would you use a ‘welcome/go away’ mat ?  When have you felt welcomed ?  Pick out a role : Zaacheaus (the hated, corrupt one), The crowd, Jesus Read Luke 16:1-9 – imagine what it’s like to be the welcomed, the unwelcomed, or the unwelcoming?  At the end ask people what it felt like ? When are we welcoming ? When are we unwelcoming ? What are our hidden standards ? Luke 4:18-19 can be translated as  “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to…

Week 6: The Bear, the Fox and the Tiger

The Bear, the Fox and the Tiger Can you remember a time when you decided to ‘poke the bear’ – Do something that will provoke a powerful figure ? How did it go ? Would you do anything different today? What about the times when you decided not to ? Is there a story you could share with the people present ? In Luke 16:14 -15 The Pharisees are described as loving money, and sneering at Jesus. In Luke 16:16 Luke says the good news of hte kingdom was being preached and “Everyone is forcing their way into it.”.  Why do you think the pharisees were sneering ?  If they were gatekeepers of the synagogue and temple, how would they…

Week 4 : Had Enough ? Living Generously

Moving from ‘had enough’ to I have enough What trips/adventures have you had that have gone pear shaped ? How did you get in trouble, how did you get out ? Lament : It’s been 2 years of Covid…What are you tired of ? In the Psalms it’s perfectly acceptable to complain to God about the stuff we hate. Make a list of things that grieve you.  Write them down – turn them into a prayer – acknowledging them to God. Exodus:  In Exodus : 14:11, 15:24, 16:3, 17:3 the people grumble. They don’t yet know who Yahweh is.  Why do you think God allowed them to be in need ? In each case there is a miraculous response. Did…

Loving Generousity

This weeks discussion questions are : 1. Who do you say Jesus is?  Or What do you think of C. S. Lewis statement in “Mere Christianity”? I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.  That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell.…

Discussion Questions for Sunday 13th

Baptism (remember these are prompts for discussion, some will work, and others won’t).  Today Sarah got baptised.  Do you remember when you were baptised (if you have been). Do you remember why you got baptised ? What was it like for you ? If you hadn’t got baptised and wanted to, would your reasons be the same ?  Sarah told some of her testimony. If you found yourself standing in front of some people, and were asked why you follow Jesus or why are you a christian ? What would you say ?  Take turns.  Life Death and resurrection : Baptism links us with the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  It says we die with Jesus and we rely…