Welcome to week four of our new series, Making Sense Out of Life. This week’s conversation revolves around the highs and lows of life and how we can only see one piece of the puzzle.
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
What did you do during the Polar Vortex?
Is someone in your group going through a low period of life? How can your group care for them through that season?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Have someone read Ecclesiastes 3:1–13 aloud. What’s familiar in the passage? What’s new to you?
The author of Ecclesiastes gives 14 contrasts in Ecclesiastes 3:1–8. What contrasts stand out to you the most? When do you feel like you experienced some of these contrasts in your own life?
We can’t control the ups and downs of life. What’s the difference between trying to control life and trying to influence it? What are some smart things we can do to influence life?
Trying to control life can be debilitating. What are some emotions people might experience when trying to control life? What emotions do you experience when you try to control life?
The highs and lows of life show us change is inevitable. How can this give us perspective on life? What type of perspective can this provide when we are in a low season of life? What about in a high season of life?
Do you feel like you are in a high or low season of life right now? What is a healthy perspective for you to have in the season you are currently experiencing?
Those around us can help us keep a proper perspective. What are some of the wrong ways to do this? How can your small group be an encouraging place that helps you keep a proper perspective?
What do you think the author of Ecclesiastes means by “the burden God has laid on the human race?” How is it a burden?
Pastor Jeff Manion used a puzzle as an illustration. What was the point of the illustration? Did it resonate with you? Why or why not?
Often we can’t see where our puzzle piece fits the bigger picture. Sometimes, we have the good fortune to see how two or three pieces fit together. When have you been able to look back at something and see a few pieces that fit together? Is there a time when you went through something difficult only to see God use that as a puzzle piece later on?
The author of Ecclesiastes realizes that despite not being able to see the whole puzzle, there is something we can do. What’s his instruction in Ecclesiastes 3:12-13? What do you think about it?
What are some of the gifts in your life you wish you could find a way to enjoy more? What keeps you from enjoying them? Is there anything you need to stop doing or start doing?
This week our conversations focused on the highs and lows of life and how they can almost seem pointless. What connected the most with you from the conversation? What’s a simple step you can take to remember what you talked about and grow in your trust of God?
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. At its core, this is asking the question “Who needs what our group has?” Think through the relationships in your life to see if anyone you know could benefit from being in your group. As a group, discuss whether the time is right to add a member or two.
Download a printable PDF here.