SERMON DISCUSSION FORMAT
RECAP & CATCH UP (10 Minutes)
Each discussion leader should begin with a brief recap of the content and conversation from the previous week. This is a good time to check back in and follow up if needed.
INTRODUCE (5 Minutes)
After catching up, the discussion leader will want to take a few minutes to introduce the discussion topic, pray for the time together and read the passage of scripture for the week.
DISCUSS THE SCRIPTURE & QUESTIONS (20 Minutes)
Questions will be provided for the group to discuss. Don’t feel pressured to cover everything. If you are having trouble getting the conversation going, consider asking one or more of the following:
● What was new or significant for you? Helpful?
● What did you find helpful?
● Were you surprised by anything?
● Was anything confusing?
● What questions were raised for you?
● Anything that specifically connected with your life?
ENGAGE & PRAYER (25 min)
Engage: We want to make sure we make space for and prioritize connecting through meaningful personal conversation and prayer. The discussion questions will be set up to move groups from conceptual discussion to more application discussion. As this comes to a natural close, let the group know you want to open up the conversation beyond the discussion to check in and hear how people are doing and what’s going on in their lives.
Pray: Don’t skimp here. We want this to be as valued by each group as the discussion time. Pray for one another, celebrate together, thank God, ask of God, etc…
CLOSE (3 min)
Let people know what’s coming up next week in your MC and the life of the church and then close the meeting.
OTHER HELPFUL INFO: TIPS FOR LEADING DISCUSSION
It is important for the discussion leader to spend some time preparing for the discussion.
- Pray: Pray for your group and your time together.
- Prepare: Get ready for each discussion by listening to the sermon, taking notes, thinking through the questions, etc…
- Modify: Every group is different. Feel free to tailor some of the questions to fit your group,
- Focus: Try to keep the session and discussion tightly focused. Use the recap and intro to focus the group but don’t get stuck here, try to get to the discussion and relational component within the time suggested.
- Conversation: As a leader, facilitating conversation is a big part of your role. You do not have to have all the answers, but rather help people engage and wrestle with their questions. Life is complex and so is living out God’s story, so avoid easy answers.
- Questions: You do not have to cover all the questions for each session. Feel free to follow people’s curiosity and the questions that naturally emerge.
- Listen: Every good conversation involves listening. Guide the discussion and help participants listen well to one another. Remind the participants that they are all encouraged to contribute each week.
- Hospitality: Make sure you are making space for people to comfortably gather, connect, discuss, reflect, and take breaks. We really encourage groups to share a meal together and to find times to connect outside of the group meeting time.