Sunday, May 16th – 30th
Even before a global pandemic, there was a sharp uptick in angst and hopelessness in our culture. Feelings of exhaustion, anxiety, and anger seem to be ever-lurking just below the surface of the socially-acceptable-facade we present to others. While this level of societal stress is a current reality, it’s also an ancient problem. Jesus modeled and taught a different way of living and engaging with the world. While the way of Jesus doesn’t preclude our suffering, it does ground us in a tradition and a reality that show us how to grow through it.
Step 1: Break the Ice
Begin discussion each week with an icebreaker question. Here are a few helpful examples.
Week 1: I Feel Tired
Over this past year, how have you experienced your gratitude diminished as a result of feeling exhausted or fatigued?
Week 2: I Feel Anxious
How have you experienced anxiety to be a hindrance in your life?
Week 3: I Feel Angry
Share an instance where you channeled anger in a way that ended up being unhelpful or hurtful for someone else?
Step 2: Reflect
Use this time to discuss reflections based on the previous Sunday’s message. Here are a few questions your group can revisit throughout the Can’t Even series:
1. What did you hear?
What point in this message was most impactful for you?
2. What have you experienced?
How did this message resonate with your own life experience?
3. What do you think?
How did this message challenge, change, or affirm your thinking?
4. What will you do?
How will you put into practice what we explored this week?
Step 3: Dig In
Use this time to explore the Scriptures surrounding the topics covered in the Can’t Even series.
Week 1: I Feel Tired (Gratitude > Weariness)
According to Isaiah 40:28-31, God is the sustainer and giver of strength. How does learning to hope in God renew one’s strength? How have you experienced this in your own life? Describe some areas of distraction that often promise a false sense of hope.
What often prevents you from experiencing the relief and ease of life in Jesus promised in Matthew 11:28-30? How do you best experience rest through encountering Jesus?
Week 2: I Feel Anxious (Prayer > Anxiety)
With 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 in mind, how can one find relief through continual focus on God? What are some practical ways that your group can encourage you in this regard?
Matthew 6:5-13 offers a model for prayer. What attitude or heart position is Jesus asking people into when they pray? How have you found this example of prayer be helpful in how you connect with God? As a group share some of how prayer can be a relief to some anxiety.
Week 3: I Feel Angry (Empathy > Anger)
According to Ephesians 4:31-32, how does a better understanding of Christ’s sacrifice influence the way we view and interact with others? What challenges do you often face in this process? What practical ways do you seek to trade your anger for empathy?
In Matthew 5:21-25, Jesus strongly chastises those who use anger in a way that brings increasing harm to people. What instances do you think anger can be positive if channeled appropriately? How can one best redirect anger in a way that honors God?
Step 4: Pray Together
Spend some time praying together. Specifically acknowledge the challenges that each person has undergone this past year and are currently experiencing. Take a moment to address the desire to trade our feelings for godly substitutes. Allow your group to pray for one another as they seek to find comfort in Christ.