Welcome to the first week of Dream Big, Think Small. Over the next six weeks, we will explore the tremendous value of being faithful and persistent over the long haul. This week, we are discussing the power of an ant.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
Updates. What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20-30 minutes checking in with each other.
Reflections. At the end of each chapter of Dream Big, Think Small, Jeff Manion gives an assignment to consider. Spend some time discussing what activities you attempted to tackle. Since this is the first week, you have not started yet.
Share part of your story. In Day 1, Jeff asks us to write down three names of people in our life who are examples of steady, consistent faithfulness. Describe one of those people and how you have experienced their faithfulness.
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Throughout this series, you will be encouraged to embrace and celebrate faithfulness because faithfulness matters! However, faithfulness seems to be overrated in our culture today. Why do you think that is? What do we pursue instead of faithfulness?
Twice in the book of Proverbs, the author uses the ant as an example of persistence and faithfulness:
Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer (Proverbs 30.25).
Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise (Proverbs 6.6)!
Why Ant Power Matters.
How would you describe the power of an ant? How would you describe the wisdom of an ant?
Through this series, we will dial in on the power of slow, steady movement—attaching ourselves to something small and life-giving and performing it with consistency and redundancy. What happens inside you when you think about this principle,? Does it excite you, worry you, or bore you? Tell why. Why does “ant power” matter?
The Challenge of Ant Power.
Jeff said that being faithful in the small things can be easy to do. Also, it can be easier not to do. When have you bailed on something you hoped to do faithfully?
The opposite of ant power is believing your life will change overnight. Jeff calls it “the illusion of overnight success.” Where do you see the pursuit of overnight success in our culture? Why are people drawn to this? Have you ever been pulled into an overnight success scheme? Tell more.
One of the challenges of ant power is that the results often seem slow and boring. The outcome is only seen after a long period of steady movement. Jeff gives a list of ant-like activities on page 28 of the book. How do you see the challenges of the slow and boring embedded in each of these examples? What would you add to the list? Which of these do you need to begin pursuing?
Don’t break the chain.
What singular activity could change your life if you latched on to on a daily basis? What routine (time and place) will you use to keep you on track (not breaking the chain).
Invest in Others
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
In light of your conversation about ant power, spend some time talking about how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.
Invest. We all have people in our lives who are outside the faith. When you live a life of faithfulness—slow, steady consistency in the right direction—what impact could this have on people who haven’t give their lives to God? What will they see in you that is different and distinct from our world and culture?
Invite. A good time to invite someone new to church is the beginning of a new sermon series. Who could you invite to next weekend’s service? Also ask this question, “Who needs what we (our group) have?” Is there someone you could invite and include in your small group?