What’s a story from your life that you retell often (especially when you’re getting to know new people)? Keep it light!
This Sunday, Pastor Mike continued our series The Art Of by exploring storytelling as a spiritual discipline.
Begin by reflecting on storytelling broadly.
In your mind, what qualities define a good story? What must a story have or do for it to stick with you?
Next, read Matthew 8:1-4. As Pastor Mike explored on Sunday, this is a quintessential healing story. Recall that:
- Leprosy was considered ceremonially unclean, meaning that lepers were prohibited from coming into God’s Presence at the Temple.
- Due to their infectious condition, lepers were separated from others & made to live in isolation. They were also prohibited from touching others.
- Leviticus provided strict rules for lepers to follow when approaching others (wear torn clothes, cover their mouths, & yell “unclean” at if anyone approached).
With this in mind, what stands out to you the most about this scene?
Why does Jesus choose to heal this man with a touch, even though he doesn’t have to? How does this encounter give this leper an entirely new perspective about who he & God are?
Using this story, Pastor Mike offered up 5 key components for understanding & practicing storytelling as a spiritual discipline. In particular, he stated that:
- Kingdom stories require transformation & always include three components: Who was I? What happened? Who am I now?
- We tell our stories because doing so practices self-honesty, openness, authenticity, & trust; which are critical ingredients for continued growth.
- We tell our stories to let others know that they aren’t alone & potentially help them if they’re currently struggling with similar issues.
- We tell our stories in a way that humbly points others towards something bigger than ourselves (i.e., God) rather than just glorifying ourselves.
- We always seek first to show, not tell, others about our transformation.
Which of these ideas resonates with you the most? As a whole, does this encapsulate the meaning or purpose of sharing our stories that you’ve heard taught in church?
To close, invite your group to share their own Jesus stories. Who were you? What happened? Who are you now? NOTE: please remind them that they don’t have to share anything that they aren’t ready to share publicly yet.
Coming Out of the Hole
Take time to reflect on the Sunday sermon & how this week’s teaching might speak into your daily life.
- First, consider your own story of Jesus & transformation. Who were you before you met Jesus? What happened when you did start following Jesus? Who have you become after meeting Jesus?
- Next, consider where you might be in the middle of a transformation story right now. Is there any area of your life where you’re experiencing new growth or change? What caused it? Where might God be at work in that area?
- Finally, consider where you might be ready for a new transformation story. Is there anything in your life that you know, deep down, needs to change? What’s holding you back from sharing that with others or surrendering it to Jesus? Pray for growth in this area of your life over this next season.
Journal, reflect, & pray on how God might be speaking to you through each week’s teaching. Share your experience with your growth group next week!
The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard
Matthew by Stanley Hauerwas
Christ & Culture by Stanley Hauerwas
The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Peculiar People by Henry Clapp
Coming Up This Week:*
Sunday, November 26th: Join us next Sunday for week 4 of our new series The Art Of!
* Please see mye3.org for details.