Before 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).
Context (From the Mind Session Page)
Begin by asking:
- Think of a recent time you borrowed something from someone else. How do you usually care for things that are not your own compared to your own things and why?
- How do you expect things to be returned to you when you’ve loaned something?
- What things has God “loaned” to us, and what do you think God expects us to do with them?
Content (From the Media Session Page)
Read Matthew 21:33-46, then watch the Bible Background Video.
Ask questions like:
- How hard is it normally for owners to trust workers with prize possessions or prize land or farm and why?
- Why do you think the story portrays the tenants as being brutal and violent?
- Why was the owner so patient in this story?
- Who is ultimately responsible for the violence necessary to deal with the tenants and why?
- What do you think the religious leaders of that day thought about Jesus’ parable and how might they compare to today’s religious leaders?
- What does the image of Jesus as a “rejected stone” convey for us today?
Closure (From the Current Session Page)
If possible, bring a small plant with you into the room, and place it in the center of your group. Say something like: “while we may not all be gardeners, we have some idea of the ways plants grow and change over time and seasons.”
Then lead the group in a discussion using the following prompts:
- In today’s passage a vineyard is part of the story. How easy is it to control a garden? Do gardens always meet our expectations or plans?
- For those who know what it is like to tend a garden, is it really your garden, or a garden you tend and nurture? Explain.
- In today’s text, Jesus’ parable seems to accuse those who were in control of the temple as acting like the workers in the story who thought the vineyard was theirs. How might we sometimes see our churches as ours rather than God’s?
- If our church belongs to God and not us… what does that mean about how the church might change or grow over time and seasons?
Close with a prayer.