Community Groups

Monthly Leader Guide

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Monthly Practice:

Sabbath

Jun 2
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June 30, 2024

Overview

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.’”
Mark 2:27‬

Trust and rest in God produce peace and strength in us.

Jesus places a clear emphasis on finding rest and peace in Him. The practice of Sabbath teaches us to release control and to leave behind the idols of productivity and busyness. We rest weekly to remember that our identity is about more than just what we do for God. Taking time each week to stop working and to rest and connect with God teaches us that God is in control and we were made for a relationship with Him, not just productivity for Him.

Weekly Guides

Week 1

PRE-MEETING PREPARATION

  • Make sure you have access to the weekly video and can play that for the group.
  • Review the weekly Big Idea for your reference. This is intended to give you context for the week. You can choose whether or not to read this in group as a summary/refresher after watching the video.
  • Read through the Group and Individual Practices ahead of time.

BIG IDEA: Sabbath leads to a surrendered life.

  • Sabbath trains us to let go of the idol of productivity.
  • Our value is not derived from what we do but from being a child of God.
  • Sabbath trains us to trust that God is in control.

Connection Time - 20 Minutes

Sermon Review - 20 Minutes
(Guides are updated weekly on the Community webpage.)

Group Application - 40 Minutes
Group practice - do this together in Group

  • WATCH the overview video together, then engage in discussion.
  • REVIEW the video and Discussion Highlights for this week.
  • ASK: Which areas of life feel easiest to trust God with? Which feels most difficult?
  • READ through this Litany of Surrender (including the “Preparation” section so everyone understands its purpose and how to engage). After taking a minute or two at the end for quiet reflection, discuss your experiences: Did you enjoy it? How do you feel after praying? What stood out to you as you prayed, and what did you hear the Holy Spirit say as you reflected?
  • REVIEW the memory verse and other resources for the month.

Individual practice - to do on your own throughout the week

Write down the 1-3 things that make practicing Sabbath most difficult in your current season of life. Practice surrendering these things to God by praying this short prayer each day:

God, I want to experience your rest and peace. I surrender _______ to you. Help me understand how to trust you with this, and give me the courage to take a step.

Pray - 10 Minutes

Week 2

PRE-MEETING PREPARATION

  • Make sure you have access to the weekly video and can play that for the group.
  • Review the weekly Big Idea for your reference. This is intended to give you context for the week. You can choose whether or not to read this in group as a summary/refresher after watching the video.
  • Read through the Group and Individual Practices ahead of time.

BIG IDEA: Sabbath leads to true rest.

  • Relaxation is not the same as true rest.
  • Busyness makes us feel productive, but it doesn’t make us feel peaceful.
  • Sabbath allows us to not only rest from our work, but to work from our rest.

Connection Time - 20 Minutes

Sermon Review - 20 Minutes
(Guides are updated weekly on the Community webpage.)

Group Application - 40 Minutes
Group practice - do this together in Group

  • DISCUSS the previous week's individual practice of writing down one to three things that make practicing Sabbath difficult in this season of life. How have your prayers affected your thoughts and perspectives on Sabbath?
  • WATCH the overview video together.
  • REVIEW the video and Discussion Highlights for this week.
  • ASK: What are some things that you find relaxing or entertaining, but not truly restful? In contrast, what makes your soul feel more at peace?
  • ASK: What is your experience with practicing Sabbath?some text
    • If you have never taken a Sabbath, what about it seems appealing? What seems challenging?
    • If you have taken a Sabbath a few times, what was your experience like?
    • If you practice Sabbath regularly, how has it affected your relationship with Jesus over time?
  • REVIEW the memory verse and other resources for the month.

Individual practice - to do on your own throughout the week

Begin a list of things that would be truly restful for you on your Sabbath, and a list of things that would be draining. Use this list to plan some specific activities to engage in, and some to avoid, for your upcoming Sabbath day. Consider how spending a portion of your Sabbath in community may be beneficial. Is there anyone in your life who does Sabbath well that you may ask to “follow around” for the day to learn what it might look like for you?

Pray - 10 Minutes

Week 3

PRE-MEETING PREPARATION

  • Make sure you have access to the weekly video and can play that for the group.
  • Review the weekly Big Idea for your reference. This is intended to give you context for the week. You can choose whether or not to read this in group as a summary/refresher after watching the video.
  • Read through the Group and Individual Practices ahead of time.

BIG IDEA: Sabbath leads to a holy relationship.

  • Rest isn’t found in relaxation or entertainment, but in a relationship with Jesus.
  • Sabbath should involve activities that refresh your soul and connect you to God and to others.
  • Sabbath is not an act we master, but a practice that forms us.

Connection Time - 20 Minutes

Sermon Review - 20 Minutes
(Guides are updated weekly on the Community webpage.)

Group Application - 40 Minutes
Group practice - do this together in Group

  • DISCUSS the previous week's individual practice of creating a list of Sabbath practices that are truly restful versus the list of things that are draining. What did you put on your lists? Were you able to practice Sabbath over the past week?
  • WATCH the overview video together.
  • REVIEW the video Discussion Highlights for this week.
  • ASK: What sorts of activities or routines have historically been helpful for you to experience deep connection with Jesus?
  • ASK: Do you think you have enough margin in your life to connect deeply with God and others? If so, what do you do to protect that margin? If not, what is one step you can take toward having more margin?
  • DISCUSS when your group can practice Sabbath together. This doesn’t have to be the entire day but try to find a day on which you can all practice Sabbath simultaneously and include time to spend together.
  • REVIEW the memory verse and other resources for the month.

Individual practice - to do on your own throughout the week

Watch this Core resource on Sacred Pathways, and spend some time thinking about which pathway you resonate with most. (Group leaders - send the Sacred Pathways resource link to those in your group before the end of your meeting time to help set them up for doing this individual practice well.)

Pray - 10 Minutes

Week 4

This month has five weeks. Both weeks four and five are included below.

WEEK 4

  • There is no video or individual practice for this week.
  • Read through the Group and Individual Practices ahead of time.

Connection Time - 30 Minutes

Sermon Review - 20 Minutes
(Guides are updated weekly on the Community webpage.)

Group Time - 40 Minutes

  • REVIEW the previous week’s individual practice and share about with Sacred Pathway you resonate most with. Afterward, try to share your memorized verse with the group!
  • In addition to the usual connection time and sermon review, this week’s meeting should be used to foster community and deepen relationships.
  • REVIEW the memory verse and other resources for the month.

Pray - 10 Minutes

WEEK 5

PRE-MEETING PREPARATION

  • Decide in advance what you will do this week for the Group Practice. This can be anything that builds community and relationships. If your group missed a week, you can also use this week to make up for previous content.

Connection Time - 20 Minutes

Sermon Review - 20 Minutes
(Guides are updated weekly on the Community webpage.)

Group Time - 40 Minutes

  • REVIEW the previous week’s individual practice. Try to share your memorized verse with the group!
  • In addition to the usual connection time and sermon review, use this week’s meeting to foster community and deepen relationships.
  • REVIEW the memory verse and other resources for the month.

Pray - 10 Minutes

Memory Verse

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

Definition Sermons

Books

Other Resources

Tips for Sabbath with Kids

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