January 22–28: Jesus Calls the Twelve (Matthew 13:1–23)

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ANNOUNCEMENTS — These are announcements specific to the Moscow Campus.

·      Curriculum Note: January’s curriculum will not follow the sermon series. We are moving to storying as a method for engaging in God’s word together in our CARE Groups. Attempting to follow the sermon and provide a storying format can many times be problematic. Instead, we will cover many stories this year that cover the life of Jesus

·      201: “Discipleship”
February 4, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
201 gives us an opportunity to move forward together to be better at what we are called to do — make disciples. We want to ensure you are equipped for the task God has given you. Register at liferotp.com/201.

·      Women’s Discipleship
New studies for women (contact Kerri Gray for more information):
Fire on the Mountain with Christi
Mondays, 6:45 pm
Genesis Process
Groups starting soon

·      Men’s Discipleship
New studies for men (contact Michael Reyes for more information):
Experiencing God
Tuesdays, 6:30–7:30 am
Real Life Discipleship
Wednesdays, 6:30–7:30 am

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 been your most successful New Year’s resolution to date (this year or past years)? Why?

STORY PREPARATION — Introduce today’s story.

  • “Jesus was always teaching the difference between God’s view of things and the people’s view. He didn’t teach them anything without telling them a story. He loved to use parables that spoke to people on different levels. In Matthew 13, He tells seven parables that gave light to the believers and confused those who rejected His teaching.”

TELL THE STORY — Story the passage from memory.

  • Matthew 13:1–23
    • 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.

  • Matthew 13:1–23

DEBRIEF THE PASSAGE — Ask the questions.

  • If Jesus is the Sower, what do we learn about Him in this story?
  • What is Jesus teaching His disciples?
  • Which soil type do you feel best represents where you are now in your walk with God (the path, rocky ground, amongst thorns, or good soil)? Why?
  • What are some practical steps you can take this week to hear and understand God’s Word in better ways?

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 — Luke 12:16–20