Small Group Guide: Life’s Healing Choices Week 1

Goal of Session One: Help people to realize we all have a hurt, habit or hang up and that Jesus provides the church and other areas to get help in our time of need. I hope that through the sermon and the small group people could identify a “hang up” that they have (could be anger, depression, anxiety, alcohol, etc) and begin to admit that and look for help in Christ, the church and other areas.
At the beginning of your group allow people to gather and talk to one another. As you grab everyone’s attention have people go around and introduce themselves, how they got involved at River City and something the love to do in their free time. People can also share what they do for a living. This is just a way to get to know one another. If you are really desperate you can go to Derek’s or the church’s
Facebook Page and watch the video recap of Sunday!
1. Let the group know that at the end of the study today you are going to ask about “glory sightings.” These are places you have seen God show up lately. Places where God has revealed God’s glory. It could be something with your kids, work, friendships, etc. Have a Glory Sighting ready to share.
2. MINUTE TO WIN IT GAME—Take a stack of 50-100 pennies and spread them out on the table. Tell two people in the group that they have one minute to try and make a stack of 25 pennies using only one hand.
 Play game
 Now for those that didn’t play have them share about what they would have done to make it go easier…looking from the outside in. What were good things that were happening. What were useless things that were happening?
3. Opening question: Describe a time that you were in a meeting or on a team or involved with a group that you thought really accomplished something and used their time well. Now, is there a time that you were on a team, group, meeting etc that you thought was a total waste of time and was a drag to be a part of? What did you love/hate about those groups/teams?
4. Our scripture today talks about “toil” about “meaningless things under the sun.” As we read it specifically try to think of maybe times in your life or experience that you have had that the scripture might bring to mind. READ ECCLESIASTES 4:7-12 together. Maybe have two people read it back to back.
5. Our verse is divided into two experiences. In verse 7-8 someone is experiencing a bad situation. A tough part of life. In verses 9-12 we are encouraged to have people who support us. Who lifts us up in our times of struggle. Has their been a time in your life when you have seen someone else struggle and God has used you to lift them up? (share stories)
6. Now lets get a little deeper…has their been a time when you were struggling and God used someone else to lift you up (share stories)
 Good to know not everyone in here is perfect!
7. It is good to admit that we have all had different struggles in our life. Some of them we caused. Others might have been out of our control. In our sermon this past week we are asked to confess something we struggle with by saying, “Hi my name is __________ and I’m a child of God who struggles with ___________?” Pastor Derek modeled this by saying he struggled with anger, entitlement and self-esteem and if those are left in the darkness they can destroy relationships, lead to jealousy and make him too dependent upon what others think. Is anyone at the point where you would be willing to fill in the blanks in the sentence?
 Let there be some silence here…even if no one answers…its ok to move on. If a small group leader is ready to answer this it might be a good place to share.
8. The first healing choice is to “Admitting Need. Realizing I’m Not God. I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that in this area or every area my life is unmanageable.”
 Do you agree fully with that statement around areas that you tend to struggle with?
 Have you ever seen a hurt, habit or hang up start with something small and grow into something larger?
9. We talked about how many times our hurt, habit or hang up produces pain in our lives and we try to cope with it by one of the coping methods below. If someone close to you were asked which coping mechanism if your default….which one would they pick for you and why?
a. Avoiding…by working more or staying busy
b. Denying…by pretending it doesn’t exist or isn’t a problem
c. Escaping…through other activities such as sports, tv, traveling relationship hopping, or even church
d. Reducing…by minimizing the problem
e. Postponing…I’ll deal with down the road
10. On Sunday we talked about hitting rock bottom or a changing point. It happens when our pain or the pain we cause is greater than our fear of change. We saw it in Ecclesiastes 4:8 (reread it) and we also heard about it in the story of David and Bathsheba when David was confronted by his friend who called him on the pain he was causing.
 Have you ever had the experience of challenging someone to make an important life change?
 Has someone ever made that challenge to you?
11. Admitting our need is a hard part, but getting help is even harder. This step is summed up by “Earnestly believing God exists, that you really matter to him and the he has the power to help you recover and overcome your hurt, habit or hang up.” What part of this sentence is the hardest for you to full grasp or buy into?
12. To close out our time together…you have made the effort to come to a group during the week outside of a Sunday morning. You really want to be here (or someone else really wants you to be here). What is one way this group could support you over the next six weeks in helping you grow in your walk with Christ?
Share Glory Sightings, Prayers, Praises, etc.

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