Guide for weekly discussion
Just Do It groups, Life Season, January 1 - February 21, 2023
Anybody can lead a Just Do It group with this discussion guide if they read the six "Before the meeting" items ahead of time. Note that item 2 has a link so you can find the Bible passage for the week you are leading.
It's important to take turns as the group leader so we all can convince ourselves that we can do this. My 10-year-old granddaughter did fine when it was her turn. So can you.
Caution: all the steps are important, but it is easy to miss a step while you are leading. A quick skim through the steps ahead of time can help you avoid that.
Discussion guide for our Just-Do-It Group during Life Season
NOTE TO LEADER: Read the black print to the group. The red print is instructions for you only.
Before the meeting
If this is your first time to lead, read through all the red print on this page so you have the idea.
Find the next Bible reading from our Just Do It list or from whatever other list your group may have chosen. Don't read the passage yourself to prepare for the session because nobody else will, and you don’t want to seem like a teacher.
Find the list of “Just Do Its” that your group made last week so you can remind anyone who forgot theirs.
During the meeting you will lead three prayers. Read through the suggested wording of the prayers now (see below). Note how they reinforce the purpose and focus of your Just Do It Group. Then decide whether it works better for you to use the suggested words or your own words.
Decide now (or during the meeting if you prefer) which people to assign in questions 7 and 8. In most groups it is less awkward to assign someone than ask for a volunteer, but use your judgment about how your group works best.
Get ready to note the new Just Do Its that people describe during this week's meeting so you can send them to other participants afterward. All you need is one line for each, just enough to jog people's memories.
Prayer to begin
Let's pray to get started. Optional wording (or use your own) -- Thank you God that we can get together today. Thank you that you masterminded a campaign to connect, heal, and bless the world and that you included us in it through Jesus and his Spirit. Help us listen well for our next assignments, and help us cheer each other on every week. In the name of Jesus and for the sake of his campaign we ask these things, Amen.
If the campaign idea is not familiar yet, click the "God's campaign". WARNING: don't try to "teach" the campaign idea during a group meeting or the meeting may get off track. Just use it when it is included in what you read to the group, and let people get used to it gradually. They can always look it up for themselves on the site.
Let's review the group rules we agree on (good to read these every week till everyone automatically does them; the group will fizzle out if these get overlooked)
We want a better world, and it will get better if more people listen to God together and cheer each other on.
Nobody is teaching anything or preparing anything for this group. We take turns leading the group by using the questions below.
We stick to the Bible verses we read; we don’t bring in other verses.
Our goal is to hear what God wants us to do this week, not to satisfy idle curiosity or to push our own opinion.
Quick review version: (use this when the group needs only a quick reminder)
Aim to make the world better
No teaching; take turns leading
Stick to the verses we read
Stay practical--find your "Just Do It" for the week
Catch up with each other and cheer each other on (10-15 minutes)
During this first section your job as leader is to make sure this doesn't go on for 30 or 40 minutes, which can happen easily if the leader does nothing or if the reports of last week's Just Do Its are too interesting. If these take too long, the rest of the meeting gets rushed or goes way over an hour.
1. In one minute or so, what is one thing you are thankful for this week? (Gently interrupt anyone who gets long-winded.)
2. In one minute or so, what is one challenge you are facing?
3. In two or three minutes, tell us how it went with your “Just Do It” from last week? (Listen for what God did while they did their Just Do It. Cheer people on even if they forgot to do it or had a bad experience when they did it. You have to skip this question the first week, of course.)
Listen to the Bible and to God (20-30 minutes)
During this section your job as leader is to encourage all the others to talk but no one to talk too much. You also decide when to move on to the next question.
4. Now let's pray. (Use your own words or something like this) -- Lord, we are coming to you to listen for your voice in the Bible and through your Spirit. Give us whatever assignments you have for us this week as members of your campaign team, and make them clear enough that we don't miss them. Make your thoughts our thoughts and your will our will so we can just do it. In Jesus' name, amen.
5. (First reading) This week’s reading is _____________. (Click here to find this week's reading) This is what it says. (Read it to the group. Use your own Bible or the free site, biblegateway.com).
6. What stands out to you in what we just read? It could be a main point or just something that jumped out at you.
7. (Second reading) Now I’ll ask _________ to read the same verses in a different translation than I read. (If you need another translation, go to biblegateway.com and use the pick list. The two easiest translations are “The Message” and the “Good News Translation”.) After we read this time, we will see how well we can summarize it together without looking back at it. OK, go ahead and read it please.
8. OK, I’ll ask ___________ to start us out with a basic summary, like you were helping someone who just arrived late and didn't hear the reading. Then the rest of us will add any other bits we remember. No peeking!
9. What do these verses tell us about God's campaign to bring the world back to authentic life? (You may look back at the Bible now.)
Just Do It (10-15 minutes)
During this section your job as leader is to pray silently that people will hear from God about their Just Do It. You want each person to leave the meeting with a Just Do It, but you can't force that to happen. God has to speak and each person has to listen. So pray for that and cheer when you see it happen.
10. These Bible verses help us see ourselves as life-bringers, members of the team God has put together to reconnect, heal, and bless the world. God is pouring his life into us so we can overflow with it, like water flowing on the parched ground around us. What specific thing is the Spirit putting into your mind to do this week? It might be something from the Scripture we just discussed. It might be getting rid of something that is dragging the life out of you. It might be blessing someone else so they feel more alive. What is your "Just-Do-It"? (Allow some time for silence if it seems right to you.)
11. Let’s pray now about doing our “Just-Do-Its”. (Use your own words or something like this) -- Thank you, Lord, for giving us our assignments for the week. Now through your Spirit in us please give us whatever courage, skill, and spiritual power it will take to get them done. Please prepare situations for us so that people get connected, healed, or blessed as we do our "Just-Do-Its". Let them be our small contributions to a better world because we listened to you together in this group. In the name of Jesus, the Creator of life, we ask these things. Please let them happen.
12. Prep for next week
Whose turn is it to lead? If nobody knows, assign someone.
I'll send you the Just Do Its from this week. We can use them as reminders to pray for each other.
Does anybody know they have to miss next week? Rescheduling gets really complicated and is not recommended. When people know they will have to miss, cheer them on. Make sure they know they won't get behind on anything. They just come back and fit right in again. If they want to, they can look up the Bible reading for the week they missed and use it on their own to get their Just Do It, but that's a lot harder than doing it in the group.