Welcome to week six of our winter series The Grace Effect. This series helps us understand how grace should inspire whole life generosity and that gift receivers become gift givers. This week we discuss what it looks like to serve audaciously—understanding that we hold the image of God and should use our freedom in a way that serves to bring others dignity.
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.
With all of the sickness going around—how can your group care for each other?
Share part of your story
What is one of your favorite childhood winter memories?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Look back to Galatians 5:1-14. Identify the main themes, big ideas and key words in these verses.
Image of God
We believe that every individual is made in God’s image and has inherent value. What are some of the ways our culture decides who is important or valuable? Do you feel like you find yourself valuing people this same way? Why or why not?
Guest Speaker Pastor Jim Liske talked about the definition of shalom peace—not as the absence of conflict but rather a verb that indicates wholeness and working to put the pieces back together. How have you experienced a peace like that? Can you think of a situation in your life that currently needs this type of peace that brings deep healing?
We also learned a deeper understand of the Greek word agape. How do we foster relationships with a depth that we “hear each other’s breath” and can end up “breathing in rhythm”?
Paul tells the Galatians they are free from religious ritual (circumcision) to earn their standing with God, but this freedom is not just for them. Instead, it is for everyone they come in contact with. What do you think it means for us to be free from a list of religious rituals and how can you use a little bit of this freedom with the people around you?
It is easy to go through life avoiding the reality around us, and without being in proximity to those who truly need service. What does it look like to go through life with your antenna up, looking for ways to use your freedom unselfishly?
This final idea of bringing dignity was to care for others in a way that they always see the image of God in themselves. What are a couple ways that you can intentionally serve in this manner?
Pastor Liske ended with these challenging questions: who is it that you need to serve generously and with dignity? What’s their name? How can you serve them in a way that shows them that their story is a story of restoration?
This week’s conversation centered on service that brings freedom and dignity to people who are made in the image of God. Service should come out of the freedom we have in Christ and intentionally place a high value on the other person. What is one next step you can take this week to begin to shift your perspective from self to others, see others as highly valued or serve in a way that leads to restoration?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
A community, like a small group, can bring much freedom and redemption when it serves together. It changes the group and can build a relationship with those being served. What are some things your small group can do together? What would it take to make serving regular enough to build relationships with those you serve?
Download a printable PDF here.