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Eastertide: Week 6
This week we take a look at the story of Thomas in John 20 with Pastor Tim!
It’s hard to stay connected during this time. Community Groups meet all through the week to discuss the teaching from Sunday, pray together + to stay connected. If you haven’t had a chance yet, we want to encourage you to join a Community Group ->Here
Community Group Discussion Guide:
STEP 1- Ice Breaker
Help people to loosen up and share. It will be helpful if someone is new to go around and do names and have each person share about a question and share a bit about themselves. CLICK HERE for ice breaker questions ideas.
(Group Leader Note: Use the Learning/Living Circle to guide your discussion and application of the content. Try your best to keep the “learning” and “living” focus balanced. You use this model moving clockwise around the circle. The goal is working towards practical and personal life application.)
Step 2- Learning- Observe, Reflect, Discuss
(Group Leader Note: Don’t feel the need to go through every scripture, point or question. Pick and choose what you feel will make the most impact for your group. If you are not sure where to start, just ask your group what stuck out to them about the message most and start with that.)
Read this scripture together:
John 20:24-30 (NIV)
24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Observation & Reflection Questions to Discuss:
- Anything that jumps out to you as important, helpful or interesting in these scriptures?
- Are there any questions or curiosities you have about these scriptures that you would like to look into more?
- What stuck out to you as important and meaningful from the message on Sunday?
- Are there any specific doubts you have been dealing with lately?
STEP 3- Living- Planning, Accountability, Action
- Tim talked about some different steps in dealing with doubt (1. Admit it to God and others, 2. Talk through it with God and others, 3. Find answers, stop doubting and believe). Which tends to be the hardest step for you?
- What does it mean to you that God chose to live through and experience human suffering, humiliation, injustice and death?
- What might it mean for you to be present with a God who suffers and is present in our sufferings? (Hebrews 12:1-4)
- How have you experienced “life in his name” or the “abundant & fulfilling” life Jesus said we would have in him? (John 10:10)
STEP 4- Prayer And/Or Meditation
Please don’t skip prayer!! Cut the discussion short if needed to pray for one another 🙂 Try one of these options, don’t be afraid to mix it up.
- Have people split into groups of 2-3 to share prayer needs and pray for each other.
- Share requests as a group and pray for one another. Assign requests to people that are comfortable with praying and go around the circle praying for each others needs.
- Help your group develop a vocabulary of prayer. Pray a wrote prayer together. Prayerfully read a Psalm or something from the Book of Common Prayer .
- Meditation with silence and stillness- A word or phrase to focus your group. A time of silence and stillness, set a timer for 5 minutes if you want. Close the time with a prayer for your group.
- Develop someone in your group as the Prayer Coordinator. Have them write down prayer needs, ask them to pray for those needs during the week, have them send a list to the group to keep in prayer, go through the list regularly to celebrate answered prayers and check off or add on prayers.