ANNOUNCEMENTS — These are announcements specific to the Moscow Campus.
- Foster Family Christmas
We have been invited to help make Christmas special for 100 foster families from the Palouse. Real Life is providing the facilities for the annual Christmas party. We also have the opportunity to provide individual gifts for the children and up to 20 family gift baskets (movie night, family game night, sports, etc.). We will be collecting gifts and gift baskets over the next couple of Sundays. Please pray as a group about how you can get involved.
- Winter Jam 2016
November 20, 2:00—11:59 pm
All CRUX (high school) students are invited to join us for a road trip to Spokane to experience ten awesome artists, including Crowder, Red, Tedashii, and more. $25 includes ticket, transportation, and dinner.
- Night to Shine
February 10, 6:00—9:00 pm at Real Life, Moscow Campus
Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs, ages 14 and older. The event will take place at more than 350 churches around the world.
Visit liferotp.com/nts for more information.
- LIFER Kids Recruiting for Seasonal Volunteers
Giving our dedicated volunteers a break this Christmas season is easy. Use one or two hours of your time and serve in LIFER Kids for one or two Sundays.
WELCOME — Don’t read through the list; this is something that you model.
- Help new believers, visitors, and members feel valued and welcomed.
- Start at the moment someone arrives and don’t end until everyone is gone.
- Establish a foundation for relationships.
OPENING PRAYER — Don’t read through the list; this is something that you model.
- Invite God’s Holy Spirit into our presence.
- Prepare our hearts for what God has for us.
- Shift our attention from individual fellowship to the group.
PURPOSE/VISION CASTING — Don’t read through the list; say them in your own words.
“The purpose of this group is…”
- to mature in our relationship with God.
- to have the people we need around us to disciple and encourage us.
- to be here for others in the group; to encourage and disciple others.
- to live life together; we are here for each other in the joyful and difficult moments of our lives.
- to invite other people into a relational environment, which means our group will branch at some point; when that point comes, if you would like to lead or host a group, please let me know.
GROUND RULES — Cover all the ground rules.
- Confidentiality: What’s said in the group stays in the group.
- Listen: Let’s value one another during the discussions by really listening to what is being shared. Try to avoid thinking about how you are going to respond or what you are going to say next.
- Pause: Allow a pause in conversation after someone shares to give the person sharing a chance to finish and give the group an opportunity to consider what was shared before responding.
- Silence: It is important to allow silence in the group as it provides an opportunity for someone to share and for members in the group to process the topic or question being considered.
- No Cross Talk: Be considerate of others as they are sharing. No side conversations.
- No Fixing: We are not here to fix each other. Jesus does that. Give encouragement, speak truth, and point to Jesus. Don’t try to fix each other.
- No Rescuing: When people are sharing something deeply personal, there can be a tendency to make them feel better about themselves or the situation by providing immediate condolences. This will often cause them to stop sharing. Resist the temptation to rescue people.
- Sharing: Be sensitive about the amount of time you share.
- Use “I” statements: It’s easy to talk about the issues of others, but for our purposes, we want you to put yourself on the table. Try to use “I” statements rather than “they,” “the church,” “us,” “we,” etc.
- Household Rules: We appreciate those who open their home up to CARE Groups and out of respect to them we need to… (e.g., take shoes off, clean up toys afterward, put chairs back, leave by 8:00 pm, etc.)
OPENING CONNECTION — Use the following icebreaker.
- What has CARE Group meant to you so far this fall? Leaders, please email Rob at email@example.com with some stories or include them in your group report.
STORY PREPARATION — Introduce today’s story.
- “Last Sunday Paule continued our Leviticus series with a look the annual festivals set forth in Leviticus. Paule explored what it means to remember the ‘least of these’ in our celebrations and how that should impact our own celebrations. Today we will be looking at Luke 14:1–11 and consider how Jesus treated this important topic.”
1) They help the people navigate their atonement. You come to the temple and the priest shows you how to complete the sacrifice God requires. They also explain to you what you are supposed to see in the ritual. We have the same call to the world. How do we help them see who they are before God?
2) They put God on display. To be frank, they look funny. They dress differently, they eat differently, they marry differently. They are a physical reminder of your God. When you look at them, you think, “Boy, he’s kind of different.” Yes, because our God is different. Why is our God different? Because our God loves — no other God does that. As Israelites/Christians, we are called to “look different” so the world says, “You’re kind of different.” Yes, because our God…
3) They distribute resources to the marginalized and oppressed (the alien, the orphan, and the widow). People bring their tithes to the temple. Some of it goes to the Levites, but the rest goes to those in need. People bring sacrifices to the temple. Part of it goes on the altar, part can be eaten by the priests, and the rest goes to those in need. The priests distribute the resources to those in need. Our call is the same.
4) They intercede on behalf of others. The priest stands in the gap between God and the people and tells them what God requires; when the people fall short, the priest pleads the case of the people and asks for God’s grace. We should be people pleading for God’s grace and mercy on those who don’t believe — not asking for them to burn in hell!
TELL THE STORY — Story the passage from memory.
- Luke 14:1–11
- Tell the story as accurately and convincingly (passionately) as you can from memory.
- Relax and have fun—you do not have to do this perfectly.
- Make eye contact with the group and use positive body language.
- Avoid making personal comments during the story.
REBUILD THE STORY — Have someone read the passage.
- Luke 14:1–11
SERMON IMPLICATIONS — Summarize these for the group.
- The party is a microcosm of how things should be.
- We party to remember, not to forget; to look forward, not to distract; to welcome, not to reject.
- God’s parties make room for everyone, and everyone sits at the same table.
- To remember is to focus; the festival is a discipline.
DEBRIEF THE PASSAGE — Ask the questions.
- Which sermon implication meant the most to you? Why?
- What does this story tell us about God? (Possible answers: He cares about us inviting others in, He looks at all of us the same (without rank), He values humility, etc.)
- What does this story tell us about man? (Possible answers: We get our priorities out of order, we like recognition, we value religious convictions over people, etc.)
- Have you ever felt alienated by a church? How did this impact your view of God at the time?
- The Apostle Paul reminds us in Ephesians “that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” How does remembering that we were once alienated from God impact the way we invite and interact with others to our celebrations?
- What can you do this Thanksgiving to remember the ‘least of these’?
CLOSE IN PRAYER — Don’t read through the list; choose a way to close in prayer.
- Take prayer requests.
- Pray about the conversation that you just had.
- Break up in smaller groups to pray as an option.
NEXT WEEK’S STORY — Jeremiah 29:1–7