Welcome to the third week of Dream Big, Think Small. In this series, we are exploring the tremendous value of being faithful and persistent over the long haul. Today we are discussing how to have a healthy heart.
This week, we will read Days 11-15 in the book. Some of the questions will come from days you may not have read yet, but that is ok.
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. Pastor Jeff Manion gives an assignment at the end of each chapter of Dream Big, Think Small. Quickly review your book and spend some time discussing what reflection activities you attempted to tackle in the past week and how it went.
Share Part of Your Story. In week 1, Jeff challenged us to identify a habit and not “break the chain.” Share how you are doing with this challenge. If you need a restart, what “chain” would you like to start?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Day of Action.
Read together Mark 1.21-32. Describe what it would be like to be Jesus in this setting. What activities were being packed into Jesus’ day? What pressures did he and disciples feel?
Morning of Solitude.
Taking time in the morning to get our heart right with God—before we do anything else—is a great way to begin your day. Have one or two people share with the group how they structure their morning chair time routine.
In this week’s message, Jeff shared the value of journaling in his personal life. You will read more about the three practices he mentioned (filling, gratitude and identity) in Days 12-14. Which of the three practices resonates with you the most? Why?
- Filling. A really good question to ask yourself is simply, “How’s my heart?” Why is this so important to do on a daily basis? In Galatians 5.22-23, we find the traits of a Spirit filled person. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” How do you think asking God to fill your heart with these traits would influence the outcome of your day?
- Gratitude. A great journal exercise is to thank God each day for different things he’s provided us. Why do you think it would be important to try and identify new things in this practice? What does gratitude push out of our life? Go around the group and have each person give three specific things they are thankful for.
- Identity. The health of our heart ties directly to where we get our identity, such as our work, our bank account or our neighborhood. What is one area you often find yourself pulling your identity from? In Day 14, Jeff writes that he ends every journal entry with This is Jeff, your beloved son. How do you think incorporating this simple practice would affect the state of your heart?
Season of Clarity.
The time Jesus spent alone with the Father gave him clarity about what to emphasize in his season of ministry. While on earth, Jesus couldn’t do it all. He had to choose what was most important. Read Mark 1.35-39 together. Have you ever felt pressure to be able to do everything? Tell how. Where did the pressure come from?
Day 15’s reflection exercise (page 110) asks us to take time with God to discern one crucial opportunity we believe is from God that we need to say yes to with confidence. Also to discern one opportunity we need to say no to that can liberated you in this season. Discuss what you think you’ll put in each of these columns.
As you think about the three journaling practices—filling, gratitude and identity—what are some of the challenges you see in attempting this? How do you think you can overcome them?
Invest in Others
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
A healthy heart is vital to investing in others well. Spend some time talking about how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.
Service. Luke 6.45, Jesus says, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart.” This rings true in our service. What pre-service rhythms have you established specifically to have a healthy heart when you serve? What rhythms might be helpful to start?
Respond. Starting each day with a healthy heart should become visible to those around us over time. If someone noticed some of the traits from Galatians 5.22-23 in your life, what would be a good way to respond to point them toward Christ?