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).
Begin by asking questions like:
- What is the first thing that would come to mind if someone was to ask you to share your testimony and why?
- To what degree should testimonies, when given, discuss someone’s first experiences with faith versus the rest of someone’s life and why?
- In what ways are testimonies different from or similar to other accounts of your life that you might share with someone?
Read 1 Timothy 1:12-17, then watch the Bible Background Video.
And then ask:
- Why do you think that the writer was surprised that God would use Paul and be merciful?
- The writer seems to make a distinction between acting in ignorance, and willfully doing something wrong. Without “chasing rabbits,” what do you think is the difference?
- What power and encouragement does the writer give to Timothy – and to us – by telling about Paul’s experience with Christ?
- When we think of what it means to be “saved,” we can speak both of what we’re saved from and what we are saved for. Based on your knowledge of the early Church, from what was the writer suggesting that Paul was saved?
- For what was the Paul saved?
Continue by asking:
- Why do we often think that God cannot or will not work through us if we commit some sin or make a mistake?
- In what ways can God use our experiences – even our failures and the unfortunate things that happen to us – to speak into others’ lives?
- When you think about the stories of others that have given you encouragement and insight, why did their stories speak to you?
- Who might benefit from hearing your story and why?
- Given the way people live and interact in our times, what might be the best way to share your story with someone who needs to hear it, and what can we all do in order to give people an opportunity to do so?
As time permits, invite a couple of volunteers to share testimonies – not only of how they met Christ, but of what Christ has done in their lives since then. (Note: you may want to warn your volunteers in advance of the session that you are going to do this.)
Encourage the group to spend time writing and praying through their life stories, reflecting on what God has done through the different stages of their lives, in the days and/or weeks ahead, then close with prayer
Writer: Jon Parks