Before the Session

Facilitator: In advance of the session

  • Have the Bible Background Video ready to view.
  • Review today’s scripture text and the session activities to help better facilitate the discussion.
  • Encourage your group to listen to the Faithelement podcast ahead of the next session (Share the link via email or social media)
  • Have butcher paper and markers or a whiteboard and markers handy.

Context

Using a piece of butcher paper or white board and markers, invite the group to compile a list of as many different types of people as they can. You may want to “seed the conversation” by listing such examples as:
a young female Christian dancer addicted to heroin;
a rich middle aged liberal male;
a needy divorced male with anger issues;
a famous female pop singer;
a homeless man

Give each person a piece of paper and a pen, then invite group members to pretend that they are having a dinner party, where they have to invite ten people from the compiled list and list up to three who they will not invite. Next to each, they should honestly list their reason for placing them on the list. Once everyone has listed their guests and rationales, have some volunteers share with the group, then ask:

  • Who were the most difficult people to exclude or exclude and why?
  • Which of these people do you think would be least likely to put you on their dinner invitation list and why?
  • In what ways is this activity like or unlike the way we practice our religion?
  • What does this activity reveal about us and our immediate community?

Content

Read together Ephesians 2:11-22 and watch the Bible Background Video for this passage.

Then ask:

  • What were the likely problems taking place in this church?
  • Why do you think that unity was so important for Paul?
  • Why do you think the Jews wanted to separate themselves from the Gentiles?
  • How do you think the Gentiles and Jews each responded to this message from Paul? Why?
  • In what ways does this passage challenge you personally in regards to fellow Christians who may be different from you?

Closure

Share the “Present Perfect” video


Then ask:

  • What do you think the very young and the very old can offer each other?
  • What has to happen to intentionally bring people together in this way?
  • In what ways do you see this model of working with people similar and different from the way people do “church?”
  • What do you think this model teaches us about finding unity in the body of Christ?
  • With what groups of people do you believe you most need to connect in order to promote Christian unity and why?
  • How might we do that?

Close with a prayer asking God to make us vulnerable and willing to find points of connection with people who are different.

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