Untethered: Week 4

Untethered Part 4
Week of September 11

Welcome! We are so happy to be together in fellowship and growing in faith this week! Core Groups are structured a little differently this year. Each week our groups will use the same scripture as the sermon to unpack and discuss. The guide is based on the scripture not the sermon.; We will use that scripture as our basis for discussion in learning (the head) , personal growth (the heart) and real world application (the hands) creating our new outline: Head, Heart, and Hands (you can also consider it this way, think, feel, act)..

We will also encourage each group to enjoy an ice breaker each week, especially early on as  your group comes together. This will give all group members the chance to think in a new way, possibly be silly, laugh, and get to know one another on a new level; we think even the longest standing Core Groups deserve the chance to grow in this way.

Opening Prayer: Dearest God, we thank you for bringing this group of individuals together to grow together in your word. We pray that you be with us as we laugh, learn, and grow together tonight and in this core group season. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

Ice Breaker: What was your dream job as a kid? Does that relate to what you do for work today?

The Head:
Scripture: Matthew 7.16-17

Verse 16-17 reads: “16 You will know them by their fruit. Do people get bunches of grapes from thorny weeds, or do they get figs from thistles? 7 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, and every rotten tree produces bad fruit.

These verses follow a direct warning about false prophets, and here Jesus is instructing his followers on how to discern who they should follow. The good fruit / bad fruit argument has been used for discernment of many things. In Matthew Vines’s book God and the Gay Christian Vines argues that “Jesus’s test is simple: If something bears bad fruit, it cannot be a good tree. And if something bears good fruit, it cannot be a bad tree.” This concept has been used not only to determine who to lean on for spiritual guidance, but also how to discern if specific actions are considered sinful.

  • Discuss a time when someone's actions (or fruits) led you to trust them deeper? Have you ever stopped following someone who was producing “bad fruit”? If yea, share about that experience. 

  • Have you ever changed your mind about whether something was good or bad based on the fruits it produced? If so, please explain.

The Heart: 
The fruits of our actions can often impact our mental and emotional state. Please consider the following questions:

  • Name a time you felt convicted to change something about your life because it was negatively impacting you? 

  • How has doing positive or good actions such as giving, serving or worshiping led to good fruits in your life?

The Hands - A Call to Action:
In order for a tree to produce good fruit, it must be taken care of appropriately. If a tree doesn’t have fertile soil and receives water and sunshine, it will wither away and never produce fruit.

  • What activities do you currently do to make sure the tree of your soul is producing abundant fruit? What was the process in developing these practices?

  • What actions, when you catch yourself doing them, produce bad fruit? How do you think these activities affect your soul?

Taking It Further: 
Read: God and The Gay Christian by Matthew Vines
Hear: “A Prayer Practice” Podcast by Kelley Weber (Available on “The Gathering Now” App)
See: The Shack - 2017 Film
Do: Volunteer! There are many ways to serve both in and outside of the church. Find an activity that both feeds your soul, and helps your community.

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