Back to Basics: Love God (John 21:15–22)

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ANNOUNCEMENTS — These are announcements specific to the Moscow Campus.

  • STILL: 12 Hours of Prayer and Worship
    October 29, 6:00 am — 7:30 pm
    Sign up for one-hour slots of prayer throughout the day. The event will culminate in a time of music and celebration at 6:00 pm.
    Sign up at
    Contact Kelli Couch for more information.
  • Join Our Prayer Team
    We invite those who have a heart for prayer to partner with us and come together as a Prayer Team. The team will be scheduled for services on Sunday and for special events. If interested, please contact Michael Reyes.
  • 101: “Partnership”
    October 30 & November 6, 1:00—3:00 pm at Real Life, Moscow Campus
    This class is designed to present you with a detailed explanation of the structure of the church, what we believe, and the vision and mission of our church. Questions and open dialogue are encouraged. Taught by Aaron Couch, our Lead Coach, this class is two parts and offered on consecutive Sundays. Lunch and childcare are provided.

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 is the hardest transition you have faced (a move, career change, parenthood, etc.)? What did you learn about yourself in the process?”

STORY PREPARATION — Introduce today’s story.

“Last Sunday Aaron initiated our two-week Back to Basics series. This series will take a look at what it means to love God and love people. Today we will look at the story of Jesus restoring Peter to ministry after Peter’s three-time denial of knowing Jesus on the night of Jesus’s arrest.”

TELL THE STORY — Story the passage from memory

  • John 21:15–22
  • 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.

  • John 21:15–22

SERMON IMPLICATIONS — Review these with the group.

  • The evidence of how well we love God is how well we love others.
  • If, in our learning, we don’t walk as Jesus walked, we haven’t truly learned.
  • A place to start deepening our love for God is in being thankful.

DEBRIEF THE PASSAGE — Ask the questions.

  • Which of the implications from Sunday’s sermon meant the most to you? Why?
  • Aaron challenged us to thank five people per day this week. Who are five people you can thank today?
  • How have you seen God restore you from a previous poor choice?
  • What does this story reveal to you about what Jesus values?
  • How do you wrestle with comparing yourself to others like Peter did with John?
  • How do you see God challenging you to take action this week?

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.