Catch up on how things have been over the past week, taking time to let any new group members introduce themselves. Then discuss the following questions: Growing up, what were your ambitions? Did you achieve them?
This term, we’re working through Paul’s letter to the Philippians. We’ve already been seeing that this ancient letter has much to say to us as today, not least in the strange times we find ourselves in.
Ask for a volunteer to read Philippians 1:18b-26 to the group, praying that you can help each other to be deeply impacted by God’s word, and then impact others in Jesus’ name.
If you’re not gathered in person, the leader should project the video for the group through sharing their screen. If you’re using Zoom, make sure you have optimised your screen share for video.
Here are some suggested questions to help your discussion:
In Basics for Believers, one of the books made specially available to CU Impact Group members, D. A. Carson writes of today’s passage:
Paul’s deepest hopes for his own immediate future turn neither on the bliss of immediately gaining heaven’s portals, nor on returning to a fulfilling ministry and escaping the pangs of death, but on what is best for his converts. So often we are tempted to evaluate alternatives by thinking through what seems best for us. How often do we raise as a first principle what is best for the church?
There is a kind of asceticism that is frankly idolatrous. Some people gain a spiritual ‘high’ out of self-denial. But the self-denial that is motivated by the spiritual good of others is unqualifiedly godly. That is what Paul displays.
Why not encourage Impact Group members to back up what you’ve been seeing together in your group time by reading Chapter 1 of Basics for Believers, entitled Put the Gospel First, in the week ahead.
Many in your CU Impact Group will be undergoing lots of change in the coming weeks. Finding and settling in a church won’t be as easy for new students as it might normally be, as they move to a new city or even a new country.
Brainstorm around practical ways that you might contend for one another’s progress and joy in the faith during this period. Returning students could share advice on finding a church amidst present restrictions. Then pray for any specific requests that group members share.
In her Introduction to Stay Salt, Becky Pippert writes of three reasons Christians struggle to share their hope in Jesus with others:
Ask group members which statements ring particularly true for them. You might like to spend another short block in prayer, asking God for help so that these fears don’t cause you to pass over opportunities to speak of Jesus with new friends in the coming weeks.
As the term goes on, these sessions will incorporate material from Don Carson’s Basics for Believers and Becky Pippert’s Stay Salt.
CU Impact Group members can get both books together in a pack for £5 including delivery if they place an order by the end of September. Encourage group members to get copies if they haven’t already.
Ask group members to read Chapter 1 of Stay Salt before your next gathering if they can. Confirm next week’s Impact session time, arranging a social catch-up in between if you like.
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