Session 2 – Small Group Study Guide
Lesson 2 – Move Toward Others
PART I: The Bible is a story of how God moves toward us (Hosea, John 4, Luke 15:4-6). “He pursued us not because we called out so well and took the first step of self-reformation. We were simply sick and needed him. Or worse, we were enemies who were not inclined to surrender” (18). He pursued us even at the risk of indifference, rejection, and humiliation to Himself.
- From your own life, how have you experienced Jesus moving towards you, whether it’s a specific passage that has impacted you or a life story? How does knowing that Jesus moves towards you free you to move toward others?
- What are some of the things that make it hard for you to move towards others (e.g. certain risks that you are afraid of taking, certain excuses that you make, past painful experiences, etc.)
- During this season of COVID-19, who has moved toward you and took a genuine interest in your life? What did they do and how was it encouraging to you?
- On pg. 19, Welch talks about the need to actively respond and move towards others when we know of their troubles. Think about a time recently when someone shared their troubles with you (e.g. the loss of a loved one, losing a job, challenging relationships at home), and you didn’t know what to say. How could you have responded differently?
PART II: On pg. 20, Welch gives three practical ways we can move toward others: (1) greet warmly, (2) learn someone’s name, and (3) take an interest in the details. Unfortunately, we don’t get to just bump into one another at church on Sundays anymore which means that we have to be more intentional in going out of our way to move towards others, whether with a phone call, text, email, or even dropping by someone’s house.
- During this season, much of our communication is limited to Zoom or phone calls, and we can get easily distracted and disengaged. Even though we’re talking with someone else, we can be browsing the web or multitasking. But listening means that “we are undistracted, engaged, and affected by what they say. We share, in some small way, the delights of the good things and the burdens of the bad things” (pg. 20). What are some ways that you can be growing in listening well and being personally engaged with others?
- Identify 1-2 people that you want to focus on caring for and moving toward during the rest of this small group season. It can be a good friend, someone in your small group, or even someone new. This week, reach out to them and try to apply some of Welch’s encouragements.
- What did you learn about them? We grow in having more intentional relationships when we are able to pray more specifically for others. How did what you learned about them help you pray for more specifically for them?
Sharing and Prayer
- Looking back, in what ways were you able to apply what you learned in the previous session this past week?
- Think of the 1-2 people you want to focus on caring for and moving toward during the rest of this small group season. Looking ahead, what are some ways that you would like to continue to apply what you just learned in this session to your own life as you seek to grow in caring for one another during this season of COVID-19?