Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal)
Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In groups of two or three, respond to the following, “How do you discern God’s voice?”
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes). Read: Acts 16:9-15
- When can we be confident we have heard from God?
- What are some spiritual practices or habits that help us hear from God? [Personal and corporate prayer, personal and communal Bible study, fasting, journaling, worship, and so on.]
- By the wording of verse 13, it appears the group’s intent was to find a place to pray and instead found a group of women gathered. Instead of moving to a different place, they engaged the women. One of the women, Lydia, who was a dealer in royal (purple was the color of royalty) cloth is said to have had her heart opened. What might that mean? What might it mean for you to have an open heart?
- What is Lydia’s response to what she heard from Paul? [She was baptized; her household was baptized, and she opened her home.]
- (R) How is being a faithful witness often about opening our heart in the seemingly random situations and conversations we find ourselves?
- (R) How is Lydia a prime example of a Christian witness?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
God who continues to open hearts and minds, we confess that too often we have crowded out your voice, being too attentive to the many noises that bombard us. Break our hearts to hear your voice and to hear the hurts and cries of those around us. Empower us to be your faithful witnesses in our homes and in all the encounters we face. Amen.