The Inheritance of God Worship Series: THE INHERITANCE OF WISDOM
June 16, 2019
Small Groups: From Worship to Discipleship
This resource is meant to be used in connection with the worship resources for the Season after Pentecost. The underlying question for this series is: “With what have we inherited and how might we live in light of what we have inherited?” Each session uses the same Scriptures and themes as the previous Sunday’s worship service. The preferred pattern is for participants to experience the worship service first, followed by group study during the week that follows.
The subtitle, “From Worship to Discipleship,” is intentional. By deliberately connecting the themes and Scripture from corporate worship to the small-group experience, participants will be more fully formed into disciples of Jesus Christ. People learn best when they are in conversations with others.
The role of the group leader is not to be the “answer” person or the person with the most biblical knowledge. Instead of providing the “right answer,” a good facilitator helps the group members ask the right questions. Facilitators should familiarize themselves with the format, questions, and possible answers ahead of time.
Other group dynamics to consider:
- Group size should consist of six to eight people. If there are more than eight participants, consider adding more time for the group to meet and/or more groups. Each person added to the group will create more relationship dynamics to be managed; each person might not have enough time to share.
- If the group is larger than eight participants, it is advised to split into even smaller groups within the group as needed so that all participants get a chance to talk. This will also keep one or two voices from dominating the discussion.
- It is highly advisable to use a group covenant to provide expectations of participants’ roles and manner of speech. Specific items to include should be confidentiality and speaking only for oneself. Another idea to foster dialogue is the “three-before-me” rule. That rule states that participants must wait until at least three other participants have spoken before they can speak again. For examples, see Sample Guidelines.
- A proper learning environment can often be judged by whether all participants are willing to risk sharing their perspectives, no matter how popular or unpopular.
- If your group meets in a church building, be sure the chairs are soft and the group is set up in a circle. Use tables for food only. If participants meet in a home, make sure there are plenty of seating areas and be sure to limit distractions, such as pets. If your group is meeting in a coffee shop or restaurant, be sure the space will be comfortable and quiet enough for conversation.
Introduction to the Format
There is a pattern for each week. The times are suggestions and are loosely based on an hour timeframe. The times should be modified, as needed. Each session will consist of the following elements:
Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal).
Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). Each session will begin with an opening question to foster dialogue and help the participants settle in to the theme for the week. These questions are meant to be done in micro groups of two or three people.
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes). This guide does not include a lot of questions. The intent is for group dialogue and not merely giving the correct answer. During the dialogue sections, you will see guidance and possible answers to the given questions with brackets [ ]. These are only possible answers and are not meant to be exhaustive of other answers. It is a helpful practice to allow participants plenty of time to process these questions internally. Don’t be afraid of silence.
Prayer (10 minutes). Allow each participant who would like to do so to lift up a person or situation he or she would like the group to be in prayer over. Following each request, the leader will pray, “Lord, in your mercy . . .,” and the participants will respond, “Hear our prayers.” If the situation is warranted and if the participant is willing, surround the participant and lay hands on him/her and allow those who are willing to do so to pray for this person and/or situation.
Sending Forth (1 minute). Ask for a volunteer to send the group out with the printed blessing; or read the prayer in unison.
Week 1: Trinity Sunday – The Inheritance of Wisdom
Fellowship – Snacks (10 minutes)
Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In pairs or groups of three, have each participant finish the following statement: “The doctrine of the Trinity is a source of . . . because . . .”
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes)
- Read the Nicene Creed as a group:
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through Him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
He came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
He became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.
For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered death and was buried.
On the third day He rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and His kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father. 
With the Father and the Son He is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic (meaning “universal”) and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. AMEN.
 Roman Catholics and Protestants add ‘and the Son’ at this point. The version with “I” instead of “we” is equally valid, making it a personal confession of faith.
- What questions or curiosities arise from the Nicene Creed? If you could ask God one question about the affirmations within the Nicene Creed, what would it be?
- Read John 16:12-15
- What does it mean to you that God’s nature is relational? [God is not a solitary being. As those created in God’s image, we are created to be relational.]
- What might that mean for how we understand the nature of humanity? For the Christian community? For our growth as disciples of Jesus Christ? [We are relational beings who need community that is sacrificial and other oriented.]
- What is the connection between God’s nature and parenthood? [Parents should not be dictatorial in their relationship with their children. God displays a love that is tangible, committed, compassionate, and sacrificial towards his children.]
- How does the relational nature of God give us a model for how Christians engage in missional witness? [Not merely giving of our money, but giving of our time and in building relationships.]
- How would our society shift for the better if we took the relational dynamic of humanity seriously? How would our church community look if we were serious about embodying the relational understanding of God and each other?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (1 minute). Ask for a volunteer to lead the group or read the following prayer in unison:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we have been created in your image. Give us a deeper understanding of what that means for ourselves as individuals and as a community. Help us to embody the depths of your amazing love to whomever we come in contact this coming week. Amen.