Welcome to week four 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 three obstacles to a life of financial generosity.
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.
An important part of caring for each other is creating a safe environment. What are some ways your group can make sure it is a safe place for important conversations especially when talking about financial generosity?
Share part of your story
Which team are you rooting for in the Super Bowl? Are you more interested in the game, the commercials or the half time show?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Look back to 1 Corinthians 16:1-4. Identify the main themes, big ideas and key words in these verses.
Who are the Corinthians and why is Paul writing to them?
How does Paul encourage the Corinthians to make giving a priority and get organized?
Lack of organization can negatively affect the way we give and impact other areas of our life. What are some ways you succeed in staying organized? Where can you grow?
Things that we don’t prioritize and organize tend to slip through the cracks. What are some of your priorities? How can you know if financial giving is a priority? Do you have a system in place to help you organize and prioritize?
Not only do we need to be intentional about prioritizing and deciding to give, but it’s also important that we aren’t merely giving God our leftovers. Read Leviticus 23:10 aloud. What does “first grain” mean? Do you think people usually give God their first grain or what’s left over?
How is getting organized an antidote to disorganization when it comes to giving? What are some tangible steps you could take to make generosity a priority and to get more organized this week?
Fear is an obstacle to action. What are some common financial fears?
When have you felt financial anxiety? How do you think that feeling could stop someone from being generous?
Read Malachi 3:10 aloud. What is God saying here?
How did Senior Pastor Jeff Manion say this verse applies today? How can this verse help us overcome some of the common financial fears? In what ways does this verse challenge us to trust God to meet our needs when we decide to give generously?
We aren’t guaranteed financial blessings because of our generosity. What other kinds of blessings might we receive?
How is trust an antidote to fear?
One of the biggest obstacles to being generous is envy that develops when we use comparison. How does our culture encourage us to compare our lives to others and “look out for ourselves”?
How did Pastor Manion describe envy and comparison? What is so dangerous about it?
Why is comparison such a big obstacle to being generous? How can envy lead to resentment?
Comparison leads us to run from one thing to another to fill the voids in our life. Where do you struggle the most with envy and comparison? What are some practical steps you can use to avoid the comparison trap?
How can cheerfulness, and seeing yourself as full and blessed by God, be an antidote to comparison and envy? How does God’s example of generosity and faithfulness toward us compel us to be generous?
Our discussion centered around three huge obstacles to financial generosity. What’s one next step you can take this week to eliminate the competition and move toward financial generosity?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
In our conversation about hospitality, we discussed the people who wash up on the shore of our life. Share with your group how those relationships are going and how they can be praying for those people.
Download a printable PDF here.
Balanced. Last weekend, Senior Pastor Jeff Manion encouraged us to know and grow in our finances and generosity. One way you can do that is through Balanced. Balanced is a small group discussion to help you understand biblical principles about money and learn practical tools to do more than give God your leftovers. We are asking all small groups, new and old, to work through Balanced beginning in February. Workbooks can be ordered here. Consider going through Balanced as a small group, a couple or with a group of friends. Talk to your small group leader about additional resources available or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.