READ-ALOUD SMALL GROUP TIP
A Small Group is only as good as its members. To help you and everyone in the group be great Small Group Members there will be a tip to read aloud & discuss briefly as a group.
TIP: BE ON TIME (BUT NOT TOO EARLY).
It can be really frustrating when group members are consistently late to the meetings. Especially if they are responsible for bringing food, or if the discussion flow is interrupted by their late arrival.
On the other hand, it’s also hard on the leaders and group hosts if members arrive too early. There are always last-minute preparations taking place for the meeting or a needed few moments of rest before everyone shows up.
Being on time, but not too early, helps start the meeting in the right direction.
DISCUSS: Have you ever experienced a group where punctuality was consistently/inconsistently upheld? What were the benefits/frustrations of such a group dynamic, and how can those be replicated/avoided in this group? In your opinion, what’s the ideal balance between being punctual and allowing for some flexibility in meeting start times? How can groups find that balance?
What’s a hobby or skill you’ve always wanted to learn but haven’t had the chance to yet?
SPECIAL NOTE: Read Mark 3 together as a group. This can be all at once or the group can read the relevant sections of the chapter based on the story or section being discussed.
1. Jesus healed a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath. This caused controversy among the religious leaders.
-What do you think this passage reveals about Jesus’ attitude toward religious rules and traditions?
-What do you think this passage might reveal about Jesus’ attitude toward religious rules and traditions in our day?
-How can we avoid the Lord’s scorn as we establish and define our own rules & traditions?
2. This story also highlights the theme of compassion.
-How does Jesus’ response to the man with the withered hand demonstrate his compassion, and what can we learn from this example in our own lives?
3. Jesus appointed the twelve disciples.
-What criteria do you think Jesus used in choosing these specific individuals?
-What significance do you think there is to their varied backgrounds, skills, occupations, theological commitments, etc.?
-If Jesus were choosing a group of 12 disciples again today, what kinds of people would he choose? What backgrounds, skills, occupations, theological commitments, would he look for?
4. Mark 3:14 mentions that Jesus appointed the twelve disciples “that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach.”
-How does this statement shed light on the disciples’ role and mission, and how might it apply to the modern Christian church?
5. Eric talked about how we all, like Adam & Eve create armor (coverings) to avoid our shame and the arrows & judgment of others. He said, “I have to slowly set down my arrows so the other person feels safe enough to let go of their armor. I have to slowly let go of my armor as I see them dropping their arrows, one by one.”
-Does this resonate with you? Why? Why not?
-What might your relationships look like if you chose to set your arrows down?
-What would your relationships look like if you chose to remove your armor?
-Where do you need to do this?
-Where will you do this?
6. Mark 3:21 mentions that Jesus’ family thought he was “out of his mind.”
-How do you interpret their reaction, and what does it say about the challenges of following Jesus?
-The passage contains a warning about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. What have you been taught this warning means?
7. Jesus redefines his family as those who do the will of God.
-What message is Jesus conveying here about the nature of spiritual family and community?
-How does his redefinition of a spiritual family change who you see as a part of your spiritual family?
-Who are people that you have a difficult time admitting are a part of your spiritual family?
-What does being a part of the same spiritual family mean for how we love & forgive & treat one another when we have disagreements?
8. Eric closed by saying, “The Bible is a strange and wonderful book that has stuff in it that makes us scratch our heads sometimes and ask questions like these ones.”
-What have been questions you’ve wrestled with in the Bible?
Close your small group session with prayer. Use the example prayer as a starting point for your group’s prayer time.
Dear God, we are grateful for the healing, compassion, and call to true discipleship we see in Jesus. Jesus, you are still calling disciples to follow you. And we are your disciples. As we follow you, help each of us to reach out and offer healing & compassion. Help us to regularly hear your call to follow you and to respond with willingness and humility. Amen.