SESSIONS (4)

1.) PROPHET 

If we are a part of the Church,

we are expected to act prophetically.

-Joel 2:28-2

-Acts 2:16-21

So, how do we live as prophets?

My Job Description for a prophet, based on scripture, is someone who Warns, Encourages and Directs, Intercedes, Brings truth, and Invites response.

Warns:  2 Kings 12-14, Amos 9

 

Encourages/Directs: Acts 15:32, Amos 9

 

Intercedes: Exodus 32:30-33, Genesis 18:16-33,  John 8:1-11

Bring the Truth: 2 Samuel 12,  Ezekiel 4


Invite people to respond: Isaiah 1:18, Joshua 24:14-15,

                                              Amos 5:10-end

And if we are going to live the life of a prophet, then these are only a means to an end... 

So what are the ends we are aiming for? 

What is the goal of our warning, encouraging, directing, intercession, truth-bringing, and provoking response?

God has shown you "O Mortal" what is required of you...

Seek Justice, 

Love Mercy,

Walk Humbly.

2.) HUMILITY  

We start this session by participating in the "StarPower Simulation," framed as a game.  "StarPower" is a game about the abuse of power in stratified societies.  This simulation is often a powerful and provocative experience for the participants.  (It is important to focus on the theme of power and class rather than economics in the discussion that follows the simulation.)   

Everyone will have a different experience of the game. When asked to explain it from each of their perspectives, the group will provide the facilitator with an opportunity to show how individuals' "social location" and "privilege" play into the way that they see the world.  

 

It is important to learn to listen to others' perspectives and stories, and to humble ourselves so as to see others' experiences as genuine and valid. 

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References for the following Bible study and discussion...

  • Romans 14:15,2

  • Romans 14:3-4

  • Amos 9:7

  • Galatians 2

  • Romans 3:29

  • Matthew 28:19

  • Romans 2:24

  • Romans 3:1-2

  • Romans 3:9

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Small Group Questions:

-How does your social location affect the way you read the Bible?

-How does your gender affect the way you read the Bible?

-How does your social location affect the way you see the world?

-How does your social location affect the way you think about Jesus?

-How might your social location be getting in the way of seeing Jesus?

-How might you social location be enabling you to make the world a better place?

  • Philippians 3:7-8

  • Romans 9:1-5

  • Luke 4:25-29

  • Acts 22:21-22

  • Acts 23:11

  • Amos 10:34

  • Luke 10

  • Matthew 15

3.) MERCY  

To start session three on 

Mercy, show this three 

minute animated clip on 

Empathy from one of 

Dr. Brene Brown's TED TALKS.

The video will start to help participants to make the connection between empathy and mercy, and how you can't show mercy to someone with whom you have not connected.

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References for the following Bible study and discussion...

 

  • Luke 18 - Blind man yelling

  • Luke 8 - Bleeding woman

  • Matthew 8 - Leper

  • Matthew 15 - Canaanite woman

 

Discus how Jesus shows mercy to these people...

- He stops

- He listens

- He affirms

- He engages

- He restores

Why does Jesus behave like this?

Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.

-1 John 4:8

Jesus does these things,

because his very nature and identity is love...

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Using a "madlibs" style rendering of 1 Corinthians 13 invite the participants to gauge how well they line up with the Bible's description of Love.  (This exercise is not meant to shame, but to start encouraging and constructive conversations about cultivating love and spiritual maturity in the participant's lives)

 

ex:

_____________________(Name) is patient; _____________________(Name) is kind; _____________________(Name) is not envious or boastful or arrogant  or rude.

________(pronoun) does not insist on _______(possessive pronoun) own way;

________(pronoun) is not irritable or resentful;  ________(pronoun) does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. _____________________(Name) bears all things, believes all things,

hopes all things, endures all things.  ______________(Name) never fails to do what is right.

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Small Group Questions:

-Where in the world do you see a lack of mercy?

-Where in your community do you see a lack of mercy?

-How have you been shown mercy?

-How can you show mercy to those in your community (encourage creativity)?
-How might the discussions around social issues change if we took the time to listen to each           other, discover empathy, and show mercy?

4.) JUSTICE 

Open session four by showing 

Micah Bournes's World Relief 

on seeking justice.  The video

encourages Christians to never

give up on the cause of justice,

inviting them to identify with

those who are suffering.   

In this session we trace the dream of Justice from the prophet Ezekiel's visions of the river flowing out of the temple (Ez 47), to John 7 where Jesus says that the ame river flows through him, and those who follow him; concluding with Revelation 22 where

the river shows up again in the new creation...

- the dream of God fully realized and the Kingdom fully manifested.

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Read: Luke 4:16-30... What is Jesus's ministry about?

  • Widow

  • Naman (the enemy)

  • Poor

  • Captive

  • Blind (spiritual & physical)

  • Victim

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Small Group Questions:

-Where do you see injustice in the world?

-Where do you see injustice in your community?

-Who do you know of who is fighting for justice? How are they doing it?  

-What do you think of Jesus’s proclamation in Luke 4? Is the church doing that?

   If so - tell us how

   If not - tell us how , how could it do better?

-What does it mean to you that Jesus expects his church to be doing these things?

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