Before the Session

Facilitator: In advance of 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)



Share the story of Miranda Lambert, who wrote “The House that Built Me,” becoming overcome by emotion while she sang it at a concert and ask:

  • Miranda seems to be overcome by the story she sees in the audience. Why do you think the audience member felt the need to display that part of his story on a poster for the artist?
  • Why do you think it mattered that he let her know about their connection?
  • Since telling our stories is part of a Christian practice of witness. What does “witness” mean to you?
  • In what ways has it mattered in your faith journey?



Read 1 Timothy 1:12-17, then watch the Bible Background Video.




Ask questions like these:

  • From what the writer says here, what do you know about Paul’s story?
  • What in this text would clearly identify Paul, as opposed to some other early Christian figure?
  • What descriptive parts of Paul’s story from other places in the New Testament are missing from this account, and why do you think the writer chose not to use them?
  • In what ways do you think Paul is used as an “example?”
  • How, when you hear about someone’s experiences, do you recognize God in their stories?



Share this Video Clip and ask:

  • In this video, the identifiers are poles. By what means do we usually see identifiers in our community?
  • What are the “poles” that we use as identifiers in churches and why?
  • What do you think would have been missing in this story without the identifier poles?
  • In what ways does this image remind us of the importance of telling our story and naming the things that identify us?
  • The video spoke of how you “could barely see the sky when you look up through the center pole” What does this tell us about sharing our stories?
  • What are some other things that we could do in order to show the world that we share so much in common?
  • In what ways might that be helpful?

Invite the group to a time of prayer, asking them to pray silently about the “poles” in their lives that identify their experiences and how God might have a story to tell through their experience. Pray together to end the session.

Writer: Erin Hall

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