May 4/5 Work in a Broken World

May 4/5 Work in a Broken World

Welcome to the second week of our new series, Work: It Matters. This week’s conversation touches on three realities of work in a broken world and how God provides.


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’s the grossest work you’ve ever done?


Spring is a busy time of year. What are some things going on in your life that your group needs to know about? How can your group care for you in those things?


Taking next steps toward Christ together.

Have someone read Genesis 3:17-23 aloud. What’s going on in these verses? How did the people end up here?


How does God describe the ground in Genesis 3:17? What do you think “painful toil” means? How can it be both physical and emotional?

Sometimes work can be painful. What are some ways you experience “painful toil” in your paid and/or unpaid work?


How do thorns and thistles fit into the “chaos-to-order-to-satisfaction” framework?  What’s so frustrating about them?

How does chaos (thorns and thistles) resurface in your work? What are some of the more frustrating parts of your work? What area of work are you especially frustrated in right now and how can your group be praying for you?

How is it helpful to remember that work can still be productive despite the thorns and thistles? What are some ways you feel like your work is productive? How does that help us remember that God is still at work?


What’s the point of Genesis 3:19? How does it help us see that work is going to be a lifelong experience? How does that make you feel?

Have someone read Ecclesiastes 2:17-24 aloud. How does what we read in Genesis 3:19 relate to Ecclesiastes 2:17-24? How have you ever experienced the idea that nobody knows and nobody cares in your work?

The author of Ecclesiastes learned an important lesson. Where does the author of Ecclesiastes land on finding satisfaction?

Why do you think some people, even highly successful people, find work to be empty? Has there been a time when you felt empty with the results of your work? When was it?

How would you answer the question, “My work matters if _________.”

What’s the difference between finding satisfaction from the results of your work versus finding satisfaction in the work itself? How can we find satisfaction in remembering work itself is a good thing?

Think through your different realms of paid and unpaid work. Where do you find yourself feeling the most empty? How can focusing on the work itself, and not just the results, make a difference in those realms?


What does God do for Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:21? What are some things we can learn about God from this?

In Genesis 3:23, God sends them out of the garden “to work the ground.” How does this show that the work of bringing “order out of chaos” should continue? What are some ways work is grace (an undeserved gift)?

God generously provides for Adam and Eve what they need to survive and continue working. When have you experienced God’s presence and provision in your work in the past?

How are you encouraged in the different areas of your work by God’s presence and provision? How can God’s presence and provision help us find satisfaction in our work?

This week our conversations touched on four realities of work in a broken world. What’s a straightforward idea you are taking away from the discussion? What’s something tangible you can do to remind yourself of that idea this week?


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 May, the Invest in Others section looks at serving others. This weekend, we highlighted an opportunity to serve in our children’s ministry, Discovery Village. If you and/or your group would like to help children become life-long followers of Jesus, send an email to

May is a good time to consider planning a service project for your group to do this summer. What’s a service project your group could do together? Who in your group will own making it happen?


Download a printable PDF here.