Session 5: Energize Your Light– Community
Supplies: Camper Book, Bible, Pens, Drawing Paper, Crayons
“Awe came upon everyone, because of the many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.” Acts 2:43-47
Open with Prayer
Ask for someone to pray for the group who has not had a chance to yet. If it is someone who is uncomfortable praying out loud, everyone bow their heads and close their eyes as this person prays silently to God for the group. When they say “Amen” out loud the prayer has finished.
Flip the Light Switch
“Groups that exclude others because they are poor or doubters or divorced or sinners or of some different race or nationality are not communities; they are cliques – actually defensive bastions against community.” M. Scott Peck
“Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate and evil. The greatest way to do that is through love. I believe firmly that love is a transforming power that can lift a whole community to new horizons of fair play, good will and justice.” Martin Luther King Jr.
“If we are going to use the word [community] meaningfully we must restrict it to a group of individuals who have learned how to communicate honestly with each other, whose relationships go deeper than their masks of composure, and who have developed some significant commitment to ‘rejoice together, mourn together,’ and to ‘delight in each other, make others’ conditions our own.’” M. Scott Peck
The Main Idea of this session is that the best way to live out the Christian life, in fact the only way, is in community, the community of believers in the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Now that everyone in the Family Group should know each other pretty well, take turns going around the circle and playing “We Need (name) Because…..”
- Decide who is “it” first
- Starting on that person’s right, each person in the group will say “We need (name) because he/she is _____________.”
- The word that you use MUST start with the same letter of that person’s name.
“We need Charles because he has yummy chips!” (Charles and chips both start with the letter “c”)
“We need Georgia because she is graceful!” (Georgia and graceful both start with the letter “g”)
- These should ALWAYS be POSITIVE affirmations.
“Hey! What’s that?”
Read the Key Scripture.
Biblical faith forms a “community” out of people who worship the God disclosed by Jesus Christ. This “community” shares with each person their common experience of salvation in the work and person of Jesus Christ. They are also called to bear witness to God’s creating and saving power.
A community shares in a common understanding, a common identity, and a common mission. A community functions at a higher level than a group of friends who hold a common interest.
A community may even share in their material possessions.
Does your Family Group agree with these statements? Why or why not?
What common ways do you hear the idea of “community” talked about?
Journal about your family group. Has this group helped you to experience “community” in a new way? Describe your feelings and experience. How could you develop a group back home like this Family Group? List your actions steps.
Have everybody draw a face on a piece of paper making it into a “mask” that they can hold up over their own face. The mask should include all the things they want the world to see and believe about them….but should purposely cover up anything they do want others to see.
Example: The mask might show that someone is a courageous athlete but exclude any fear of being hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend. It might show that they want people to believe that they have a “perfect” body but exclude how they really see themselves in the mirror.
After everyone has finished, allow each person to share their own mask if they are willing. Discuss why it is hard to not wear masks in the following situations- with family, friends at school, friends at church, member of this small group. What would make it easier to throw away our masks in each of these situations?
Have a discussion about what “true” community would look like:
q Could a community like the one in the Key Scripture exist today? Why or why not?
q Can somebody follow Jesus and not live in community with other believers? Why or why not?
q How did Jesus go about forming a community?
q Is that a model for us today? Should it be?
q How does taking off our “masks” help to build community?
q Can people who are dishonest about themselves participate in community?
Extra Bible Stuff
Much of the Bible recounts stories of divine revelation and leading through and within the community of God’s people.
v Proverbs 27:17 graphically pictures the growth that takes place in community.
v Matthew 18:19-20 proclaims the assurance of divine presence and the power of divine guidance for believers gathered in Jesus’ name.
v Acts 2:1-4 recounts the commissioning of gathered believers at Pentecost.
v 1 Corinthians 10:23-11:1 provides guidelines for Christian freedom based on what will benefit others both inside and outside the community of faith.
v Galatians 6:1-10 teaches individual responsibility within the context of the shared life of Christian community.
The SC should close thanking God for the developing community of the Family Group.