Welcome to last week of our winter series, Making Sense Out of Life. This week, Pastor Aaron Buer’s conversation about Ecclesiastes centers around four roles that God plays in our lives.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.
Share Part of Your Story
Did you lose power last week? What kinds of things did you do without power?!
Is there anything in your life you feel like you need your small group to rally around? What might that look like?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Have a couple of people take turns reading aloud Ecclesiastes 11:9–12:14. What do you think about these final words from the Teacher? Is there anything confusing or something that jumps out at you?
The author says to remember your Creator in the days of your youth. What do you think he means? What are the implications of the author’s urgency?
Worry and anxiety is a struggle for so many individuals and seems to be a growing problem every day. Who do you know that struggles with worry? On a scale of 1 (no worries) to 10 (worry is running my life!) where do you fall right now? Why do you think you are there?
We are created beings designed to worship our Creator and enjoy creation, but sometimes we get that backward. How have you seen people worship created things instead? What are some ways it would look like for you to truly live like God is Creator?
The author says the words of the wise are like goads given by one shepherd. What is he referring to here? When have you felt like you’ve experienced this?
The writer of Ecclesiastes curated this book carefully, but we also understand that this is God’s message. How would we read these words differently when we remember that?
Typically, most people don’t like to be told what to do. However, there can be something safe and comforting about being guided. How do you generally respond to guidance or authority? What are some of the general areas we know God is guiding us in? Do you feel there is something specific God is guiding you to right now?
God can also use us as a guide for those around us. How can we cultivate a group that not only learns together but intentionally guides each other?
Here is the conclusion of the matter: it all comes down to fearing God and keeping his commandments. Why is this so important? How are the two ideas related? Why do so many of us struggle with understanding and practicing these two concepts?
The author says God judges the good and the bad. What are some of the positive elements of God being a judge? How does that help us release anxiety?
The idea of God as a judge comes down to accountability. How often do you think most people look for accountability for their actions? Tell about a time when you chose to seek someone out to keep you accountable. How can we help each other stay accountable in our faith and our lives?
God as a judge can be scary and induce fear, guilt or more worry! But because Jesus is Savior and taken the punishment, we should be able to live without fear of judgment. How could this trust in Jesus give freedom from worry? How have you experienced this trust bringing peace rather than worry?
What have been some of your impressions of Ecclesiastes? How has your perspective on this book changed through this series?
If living like you have a Creator, Shepherd, Judge, and Savior leads to enjoying life and living without worry, which aspect of God’s leadership comes most naturally to you? Which is most difficult? What is one step you can take to focus on that this week?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
Discuss how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.
This February, our Invest in Others section is focusing on group growth. We started discussing the question, “Who needs what our group has?” Has anyone come to mind who could benefit from being in your group? Continue the conversation of whether this is the right time to add a member or two.
Download a printable PDF here.