Before the Session

  • Review today’s scripture text and the session activities to help better facilitate the discussion.
  • Have the Bible Background Video ready to view.
  • Encourage your group to listen to the Faithelement podcast ahead of the next session (Share the link via email or social media)
  • Provide paper and pens for participants.
  • 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 controversial topic do you think makes it most difficult for you to find unity with other people and why?
  • In what ways is the metaphor of a “building” used in this passage appropriate to the issues you face in your struggle to find unity in and in what ways might it be inadequate?
  • Metaphorically speaking, if faith and community can be compared to a building, which part of that building might you be?
  • By what standards do you instinctively judge someone else to possibly be a piece that should not be placed on that building?
  • How might your faith community find unity with such pieces?

Closure

Ask the group to silently watch together the Breathe Deep video.


Then ask:

  • In what ways do the people and things you accept define your faith to others?
  • What do you end to find more difficult and why: accepting people whose belief system differs from yours or accepting people whose belief system is supposed to be the same as yours, but isn’t?
  • What do you think are some areas where your personal relationship with God might be improved by changing the way you relate to others?
  • What kinds of things do we need to change about ourselves if we are to hope to achieve the unity called for in these scriptures?

Close with group prayer that includes the need to find in yourselves the ability to be unified with others.

 


Writer: Joy Yee

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