Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal)
Gathering and Opening (10 minutes). In groups of two or three, respond to the following, “Who is the person(s) you most allow to shape who you are and/or what you do?”
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes). Read: Acts 5:27-32.
- How do you respond to authority? Willingly submit? Rebel? Disgustingly obey? Other?
- What is the difference between the proper exercise of authority and authoritarianism? [Often confused, these are far from the same thing. Authority can be likened to an author of a book – one who speaks life into. Authoritarianism is a misuse of power that squeezes out life and freedom.] Who or what do you allow to have authority in your life?
- How are Peter and the other apostles allowing God to speak more authoritatively than the Sanhedrin (and high priest)? (Verse 29)
- How are Peter and the other apostles witnesses with more than just the words they say? How does being a witness define their life?
- How might the Holy Spirit also being a witness enable the courage and witness of Peter and the other apostles?
- (R) How might you explain to someone who is unfamiliar with Christianity that you are a witness?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
God of Empowerment, we give you thanks that you do not leave us alone but are constantly at work in the hearts and minds of all people, drawing them closer in relationship to you. We are witnesses of your grace and truth. More than that, we are not alone. You go before us. Guide us to where you are leading. Amen.