For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. 2 Timothy 1:7
Leader Tip: Closing a Group Meeting in Prayer
by Mark Howell via Church Leaders
Q: “What is the best way to close a group meeting in prayer?”
A: Great question! There are several parts to my answer. First, the entire meeting structure ought to vary according to the needs of the group’s members. After all, new groups will be much less willing to share genuine needs. Long-term groups may spend a much longer portion of their group time praying.
Second, if the intensity of a meeting ought to change over time, it makes sense that the way your group prays together ought to change over time. The closing prayer at the very first meeting might be more of a blessing than anything else. As the group begins to get to know each other, you may find that what used to take five minutes now takes 30. You may also find that, without some intentionality, the authenticity of your members’ prayer requests are stuck at a fairly superficial level. This is the point when it will benefit everyone to take advantage of the idea of a spiritual partner.
Third, if the only person who can close is the official leader, you’re missing a great opportunity. As early as possible, you’ll want to begin to help your members learn how to pray together. If the greatest fear that people have is public speaking, it only makes sense that many people will be hesitant to pray out loud. Here are some ideas that I’ve found very helpful:
- Distribute index cards and pens and ask each person to write out a simple one sentence prayer request. Swap cards and read them aloud.
- Ask each person to fill in the blank and say one thing they’re thankful for: “God, I’m thankful for my ______________.”
- Pull a chair into the middle of the room and suggest that since Jesus said, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them (Matthew 18:20),” in tonight’s meeting let’s speak to him as if he was right in that chair.
- Sentence prayers with no conjunctions (and). One idea only. For example, “God help me with __________.” “God I’m thankful for _______________.” “God be with Dean tonight in a way he can sense.”
- Try a ground rule: You can only pray for a personal concern tonight. Nothing for your sister’s husband’s co-worker’s daughter.
- Ask your members to pair up or get in groups of three to pray together.
April 20-21 – Sacred Marriage Conference
April 22 – Baptism Sunday
Remember to take attendance through the email you receive weekly, and before the end of the night. Thank you!
Please make it a priority to be at the wherehouse by 6:30pm to go over the details of the evening and to pray together. Send a message through GroupMe or text AJ at 906-7157 if you’ll be late or won’t be there.
Opening Game: ipod shuffle
Students get in groups of 10, they will initially have a few minutes to come up with their first song. When time is up, hosts will come around and press “play” (tell the group to go) they need to sing/yell a few seconds of the song. Catch is, once a song is performed it can’t be done again. Groups are eliminated if they don’t have a song when it is their turn, repeat a song, or if not all the members are participating. Last group standing wins.
Lesson 4: Love from Love
Josh Manning will be teaching this message! WooHoo!
The following is what will be on the outline that students will be given for service. The part labeled “Front” is what will be taught during the message/teaching time. The part labeled “Back” is for your group to work through in order to dig deeper into the highlighted scripture.
Love from Love
1 John 4:7-12
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 God’s love was revealed among us in this way:[c] God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the[d] propitiation for our sins. 11 Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God.[e] If we love one another, God remains in[f] us and His love is perfected in us.
Main Idea: We love because God loved us first
1. Love is from God
“Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7
2. God is Love
“The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8
WHAT DOES THIS LOOK LIKE?
1. We find JOY in others
“11 For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another, 12 unlike Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered[j] his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers.” 1 John 3:11-14
2. Our love shows in our DEEDS
“16 This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but closes his eyes to his need—how can God’s love reside in him? 18 Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action.” 1 John 3:16-18
3. Our love for OTHERS trumps our love for STUFF
“17 If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but closes his eyes to his need—how can God’s love reside in him?” 1 John 3:17
Scripture of Focus
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and His love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:7-12
What is one thing that stood out to you in this passage?
Why do you think it stood out to you?
What was one takeaway from this message?
Close in prayer at 8:25ish