Session 6 - Hidden Opportunities
We’ve found that talking to other people about our faith can be easier and more personal than we expected. In this final session, we think about where we are, how we can see where God is already at work and join in with Him.
Video: Hidden Opportunities
Questions after video:
- What is the group’s first impression of the idea of joining in with what God is doing in the world?
- Is this a new way to think about it for you or is this something the group have come across before?
Circles we move in: Have each member of the group draw two or three circles on a piece of paper, and label each one with a different area of their life. These areas are the spaces we already live in, that we are already known in, and that we should aim to make him known in.
- How do they feel about the idea that God is already present in these circles, and that we need to spot where He is?
Part of what we want to do in the world is be open to different ways of sharing the love of God; this is about more than telling people about His love, it’s about following a new way of living that is shaped by following Jesus. One way of thinking about these different ways of sharing this love is the 5 Marks of Mission, summarised below:
- TELL – To speak about the Good News.
- TEACH – To teach and nurture new believers.
- TEND – To respond to the need we see around us with love.
- TRANSFORM – To challenge unfair treatment and violence around us through peace and forgiveness.
- TREASURE – To look after God’s creation.
In pairs or small groups, reflect on the Marks of Mission. How do they change the way you think about living your faith everyday? Do they create more or less opportunities for sharing faith with the world around us?
Looking at each of the circles you move in, can you pick out ways you can actively follow three of the Marks of Mission across those circles?
In the same way that we have started thinking about our faith in terms of images, it may be that we can help the people around us to make sense of images in their lives and help them come to an understanding of where God has been moving in their history without them even knowing it.
- Q: How does this connect with the idea of Missio Dei?
- (A: We are joining in with the work of God in the world, and naming when and where we see Him active.)
Read the following reflection and see if your group can see similar ideas in the world around them:
When Christian Missionaries made it to Celtic lands in the 5th Century they found something intriguing. Throughout the Druidic faith, patterns of three occurred again and again. The missionaries took this as a sign of God working through the culture of the time, to allow an easy way to communicate the Christian faith and the idea of the Trinity.
As a group, have a conversation about where you see God at work in the culture around you; reflect on how you can join in with what He is doing there. Gather your ideas together and include them in your prayers at the end of the session.
Over the course of the last few weeks we have thought about:
- Why we might struggle to talk about ideas of faith
- Why we find the ordinary intriguing
- Where God has been active in our lives
- Developing an image that says something about our journey of faith
- How our story connects with stories of faith in Scripture
- How we can become aware of and join in with God’s activity in the world
We hope that this course has broken down some of the ideas round sharing faith, and giving you the tools and the confidence to be able to share the faith we have in Jesus with those around us.
Our Faith Picture can be a fantastic tool for sharing faith, and reminds each of us that our story is a key part of how God wants to show His love to the world.
It is important that we take the things that we have been talking and thinking about to God in prayer. For this course, the prayers at the end of the session will be split into three parts. Feel free to use as many or as few of them as you want, but they are designed to help us see how our faith is more than just what we think.
It may be helpful to develop a pattern for moving through the parts of the prayer, maybe lighting a candle for each part, or having people pick something to hold onto. These can be useful to give people something to focus on while they are praying, and can help develop a way of praying through this course that people will become familiar with. Spend a few minutes leading the group in prayer around each of the points below.
Head – Thought
Are there any ideas that have been challenging, comforting, or completely new to you? Bring these thoughts to mind and spend a moment talking to God about them.
Heart – Feelings
What has been the strongest emotion you have felt over the course of the session? What caused it? Is it positive, negative, or are you not sure?
Hands – Actions
Is there a thing that you feel you want to do as a result of what has been chatted about during the session? Is God telling you something through that? If it feels appropriate, you could ask people to put on a communal piece of paper what they feel this is, but make sure it’s clear that they don’t have to. If you do this, take a picture of it or save it some other way, and if it feels appropriate, ask next week how this went.
Drawing It Together
If you are comfortable doing so, say the Lord’s Prayer together:
Our Father in Heaven
Hallowed be Your Name
Your Kingdom come
Your will be done
On Earth as in Heaven
Give us today our daily bread
And forgive us our sins
As we forgive those who sin
Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
For the Kingdom, the power
and the glory are yours
Now and for ever.
Session 6 Materials
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