Welcome to the second week 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 the gift of hospitality and how we can go out of our way to meet a real need for someone we barely know.
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.
When was the last time you were new somewhere?
Share part of your story
What are your favorite ways to stay warm and cozy on a freezing winter day?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Look back to Acts 16:13-15, Acts 28:1-10 and Romans 12:13. Identify the main themes, big ideas and key words in these verses.
The Who and What of Hospitality
Senior Pastor Jeff Manion challenged the common understanding of hospitality. How would most people describe hospitality?
In what ways is the modern idea of hospitality different from the following descriptor: I go out of my way to meet a real need for someone I barely know.
Have you ever had an experience of a stranger asking for help or assistance and you went out of your way to provide that help? What about a time when you chose not to help?
In Acts 28, Paul and his friends wash up on the shore of Malta. How are they greeted by the people there?
Pastor Manion asked us to think about who has washed up on our shore. Who came to mind?
With true hospitality, we have the opportunity to step into someone’s story and demonstrate God’s grace. This is the grace effect. How have you been able to do that with the person who washed up on your shore? Does this idea move your heart to seek out these opportunities? Why or why not?
The Grace of Hospitality
Lydia is the first one to believe the Jesus message in Philippi. Before her hair even dries, how does Lydia meet a need of Paul and his companions?
A conversation about God’s grace is a conversation about God’s generosity. How does this expand the way you typically think about God’s grace?
If you are a follower of Jesus, at one point you were a stranger until His gift of hospitality turned into a lifelong relationship with you. Why do you think hospitality should sometimes have the end goal of turning someone into a friend? Does that change the way you feel about hospitality?
Lydia’s hospitality was disruptive to her life and probably inconvenient. Why is hospitality often disruptive? When has your life been disrupted by extending hospitality?
The Challenge of Hospitality
Have someone read Luke 10:33-35.
Pastor Manion said that some of the greatest kindnesses are to people who are not on the same page as us. Who do you have very little in common with that you can intentionally show hospitality to?
Discuss the story of Larry Taunton & Christopher Hitchens. What makes the story so compelling?
There is a difference between trying to argue someone into a relationship with Jesus and loving them into it. Which do you think is more effective? Why?
This week’s conversation is about how the grace effect should produce hospitality in our lives. To take a next step, consider the prayer Pastor Manion challenged us to take to God: Help me figure out what kind of fire I’m supposed to build. What does it look like for you to build a fire for someone who washes up on the shore of your life this week?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
This week’s focus is precisely why the value of “Invest in Others” is so important. Discuss how some of your previous group activities have supported this. What is one way your group can practically show kindness to people you barely know?
There are several opportunities that Ada Bible provides to show hospitality within its walls. Discuss the possibility of serving on the weekend hospitality team at your campus or signing up to help prepare and serve meals during the week for our funeral ministry. For more opportunities, visit adabible.org/serving.
Download a printable PDF here.