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Small Groups Mark@2X

HOW TO USE THIS BOOK

Welcome to your Real Jesus small group experience. Over the course of the next several weeks we’re going to walk through 10 sessions together, discovering what happens when a person meets the real Jesus.

Each of these sessions is centered around encounters with Jesus. We also engage with words of Jesus and their implications for our lives here and now. We have arranged each session into three major headings:

  • Pre-Group
  • Group Time
  • Next Steps

Of these three, the only essential content for a great group experience is Group Time— you will grow if you engage with your group each week. That said, your personal investment in Pre-Group (about 45 minutes) will make each session come alive, not only for you, but for everyone else in your group. Lastly, consider Next Steps as a resource to help you find practical ways to put your faith into action.

PRE-GROUP

(Do this on your own throughout the week leading up to Group Time.)

We estimate 45 minutes needed for your Pre-Group work, depending on the individual. With each session we provide a Reading Assignment — a chosen passage of scripture to meditate on in preparation for that week’s Group Time. With each Reading Assignment will be an opportunity for you to journal your Personal Reflections. And the last portion of Pre-Group will be a couple of Questions to Consider.

  • Reading Assignment
  • Meditation Moments
  • Personal Reflections
  • The Big Idea
  • Personal Prayer Time

Pray honest prayers and expect God to speak to you through your Pre-Group reflections and He will!

GROUP TIME

(Do this together as a group.)
Group Time is the heart of this real Jesus experience—you will grow as you engage!

Here’s Group Time how group time breaks down:

  • Opening Thoughts
  • Growing Connected
  • Video Teaching
  • Group Discussion
  • Group Prayer Time

Your group leader (or someone assigned from your group) will read the Opening Thoughts section aloud and introduce the topic for that session. After that everyone will have an opportunity to briefly share their own perspectives on the topic at hand, lead by the questions given in the Growing Together section.

You’ll watch a 10-12 minute video teaching from Pastor Whit George. Finally, the Group Discussion that follows may be the most meaningful part of your time together.

What’s most personal is what’s most universal. Your willingness to share may be a catalyst to someone else’s freedom as well as your own.

NEXT STEPS


(Do this individually after you’ve met with your group.)

James 1:22 challenges us to “Be doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving yourself.” That’s the heart of this last section. After prayerful consideration and healthy, candid discussion, we want to help you take your next step. This section is intended to help lead you to what those steps might be.

Here are the resources available in each Next Steps section:

  • Personal Challenge
  • Helpful Questions
  • Further Reading

When we take a step to do what only we can do, God does do what only He can do in us.

RECOMMENDED GUIDELINES

Here are some ideas to consider in order to make the most of your Group Time.

Personal Preparation Helps Everyone

Come prepared to each group session. It not only makes the content come alive for you, but it sharpens everyone around you. At best, preparation means working through the Pre-Group section before you arrive and coming ready to engage. At a minimum, preparation means praying for your group and bringing your Real Jesus book with you.

Speak for Yourself

During Group Discussion everyone benefits from your honesty and vulnerability. Make it personal with “I” statements. You’re an expert on yourself more than anyone (including your spouse). E.g. “I know I struggle with _____” is better than “Everyone has an issue with ______” or “You seem to have an issue with _________”.

Be Comfortable with Silence

Some people are uncomfortable with silence. “This is Group Discussion time, shouldn’t we be discussing?” It’s okay to allow for silence between responses or to give someone time express what they’re feeling without interruption. Also remember — there is no pressure to share.

Punctuality is the Best!

One of the best ways to honor your group is simply by showing up on time. Make every effort to be punctual and your group will appreciate it!

Strictly Confidential

What someone shares in this group inside the privacy of your group is not to be shared outside the group. Group Time is a “brave space”. Protect that by staying committed to not repeat what you hear.