Week 4: Love All the People
Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal).
Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In pairs or groups of three, name a time that you experienced exceptional welcome or hospitality.
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes)
Read Matthew 10:40-42
- How does being welcomed or received well by another (person or group) set the tone for a positive encounter? [Receiving hospitality sets the mood of invitation and relationship building. It can be disarming and sets the table for trust and possibly vulnerability.]
- What does the image of giving a cup of cold water in verse 42 invite us to consider about our actions and disposition? [Seemingly small and insignificant acts can have a large impact on others and on us. We are more able to love others the more we are present to the needs of those around us. Such needs may not always be physical; sometimes listening to people or offering words of encouragement can also be life giving.]
- How might we embody hospitality in such a way that others see Christ in us? How is living in such a way that embodies hospitality another way we preach the gospel?
- How does your church typically talk about measures of success? Is it in terms of money (Is there enough to pay the bills?) Is it in terms of attendance? (Was the sanctuary full or uncomfortably empty? Where there a certain number of views on our online worship platform?) What might it look like if our main measurement for faithfulness to Christ as a church was about how we welcomed people, extended hospitality, and connected to others with the community and with God? How might we measure that? What would it look like if we knew it was happening well?
- How can your church “love all the people” in your community?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). Ask for a volunteer to lead the group or read the following prayer in unison:
Loving God, you invite us to “see all the people,” “hear all the people,” and “love all the people” that we are in relationship with. Guide our hands in mercy, our eyes for compassion, our feet toward welcoming, and our mouths for offering peace to those far and near. Amen.
Discipleship Ministries, www.umcdiscipleship.org
Making the Most of Online Small Groups, https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/articles/making-the-most-of-online-small-groups
Teachable Course – How to Start Small Groups, https://discipleship-ministries.teachable.com/courses/