Entourage Discussion Guide - Week 5

CoreGroup Guide | Entourage - Week Five | Holy Week

Written by Jenny Huffman, Dan Hutti, Parker Patton

This is the fifth and final week of the Entourage series. How has God spoken to you through this series so far? Which of these well known (and not so well known!) members of Jesus’ crew have been the most compelling to you in your own journey of following Jesus? In this final week of the series we focus our attention on Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus’ most beloved disciples.

This is also Holy Week, the special week in the church calendar when we remember the last days of Jesus’ life here on Earth. CoreGroups are not meeting this week, but we invite you to use this CoreGroup guide as a tool for personal reflection, learning, and prayer. We also hope to see you at one of The Gathering’s Holy Week opportunities! More information is included below.

But for now, let’s begin in prayer.

Opening Prayer
God, life often feels like we are running from one thing to the next – a to-do list a mile long, emails to deal with, chores to tackle, relationships to nurture. Remind us that we are enough. That we are your beloved. That you cherish us, and that you will provide for us.

Thank you, Lord, for the example we have in Mary Magdalene, for her grace and devotion. Thank you also for this opportunity to pause, to breath, and to reflect on the meaning of Holy Week. Open our hearts and minds as we contemplate what it means to be a disciple of Jesus throughout his life, death, and resurrection. It’s in his holy name we pray, amen.

Mary Magdalene was a follower of Jesus, a confidant, present at Jesus’ death, and the first disciple to witness and share the resurrection. Mary was a close friend of Jesus, but often misunderstood and/or forgotten in the church history books. Through the example of Mary Magdalene, we have a model of deep discipleship and commitment to Jesus.

Read the following accounts of Mary Magdalene in scripture:

  • Luke 8:1-3
  • Mathew 27:55-61
  • John 20:11-18 

Then check out these additional resources about Mary Magdalene and her role in the church:

Sabra Engelbrecht's video testimony from this week's sermon.
Halfway Through Lent: Mary Magdalene is Us 

Diana Butler Bass - Mary the Tower at Wild Goose 

Research by Elizabeth Schrader 

Reflection Questions:
  • How would you describe Mary Magdalene? 
  • How would you characterize her relationship with Jesus?
  • What new understanding did you glean from these additional resources?
  • What preconceived notions did you have about Mary Magdalene and how do those compare to what you learned in these resources or heard in the sermon?
  • In John 20:13 the angels ask Mary, “Woman, why are you crying?” She replies, “They have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve put him.” Why does Mary refer to Jesus as her Lord? What does that title mean to you?
  • In what ways can you practice a steadfast commitment to Jesus like Mary did?


Maundy Thursday is the day we remember the final evening Jesus shared with his disciples. As part of their time together, Jesus shared a simple meal with his closest followers and washed their feet as an example of his love, service, and humility.

Read the following accounts of the Last Supper in scripture:

  • Luke 22:7-20
  • John 13:1-17

Reflection Questions:
  • Imagine you were there that night with Jesus. What emotions would you have experienced? What would your conversation with Jesus be like?
  • What is the value of “breaking bread” (sharing a meal) with other people? How do you incorporate this spiritual practice in your life?
  • Have you ever washed another person’s body, or had your body washed by someone? Why was that experience significant for you? What did that act demonstrate?

John 13:34 says, “I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other.”

  • How is this new commandment similar or different from previous commandments?
  • Why does it matter that Jesus gave this commandment to his disciples the night before his death and eventual resurrection?
  • What does this new commandment mean to you? How does it influence the way you practice your faith and your life?

Join others from The Gathering for an immersive Maundy Thursday event:
Date: Thursday, March 28
Time: 5:00 – 7:00pm (drop in whenever)
Location: The Gathering – Clayton Site (101 N. Bemiston)
More information: Maundy Thursday: A Self-Guided Meditative Experience

Good Friday is the day we remember the crucifixion of Jesus. This is often a time of sorrow, silence, and solemn contemplation. All four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) share similar accounts. Choose one of these accounts and read through the whole story slowly, purposefully, with an openness to feeling the heaviness and cruelty of these events.

  • Matthew 27:11-54
  • Mark 15:1-39
  • Luke 23:13-49
  • John 19:1-37

Reflection Questions:
  • Think about all of the various people who were involved in Jesus’s crucifixion, from Pilate and Caiaphas, to Jesus’ disciples and friends, to the soldiers, the crowd, and the innocent bystanders. Where do you see yourself in this story?
  • We know how this story ends. In three days Jesus will be risen from the dead. Hallelujah! So why is the story of Jesus’ crucifixion still so difficult to read? 
  • Why is it important to sit with the reality of Good Friday before basking in the glow of the Resurrection? How does this practice impact your relationship with Jesus?
  • What is the role of death and dying when it comes to our faith and following Jesus?

Join others from The Gathering for a powerful, contemplative Good Friday Service:
Date: Friday, March 29
Time: 7:00pm
Location: The Gathering – McCausland Site (2360 McCausland Ave.)
More information: Good Friday Service

From Pastor Charity
  • Groups are encouraged to attend Holy Week services together in lieu of CoreGroup. Groups are also encouraged to connect with each other at one of The Gathering’s two Easter services at The Factory! Check out gatheringnow.org/easter for more information.

  • One CoreGroup One Day with the theme of Made for More Belonging happens Tuesday April 16. All CoreGroup members, leaders, and coaches are invited to attend. Sign up HERE

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