HABITS | Connection Group Discussion Guide | Week 1 When Jesus turned and saw them following, he asked, “What are you looking for?” — John 1:38
Connect (5 to 10 minutes) Build relationships through fellowship and sharing about this week’s worship. •
Take a few minutes to share your thoughts about worship this week. – What aspects of worship did you most enjoy and why? – What story or illustration from the sermon made an impact on you?
What did you want to be when you were younger? Why was this your dream?
Context (30 to 40 minutes) Dig deeper into the videos and scripture for this week through questions and discussion. •
Allow each member of the group to describe what they think the “good life” is, the life they are hoping to achieve some day. – Why do you think this is “the good life”? – What do you hear in these answers that are similar? What do you hear that is different? – What are you doing to help reach this goal?
Watch the video for this session on your DVD or online.
Our desires shape what we do. This fact is simple, but most of the time we don’t think deeply about what it means. The things we do every day, habits we practice, are shaped by what we truly want out of life. The question is, What do you want?
If you had to describe what Josh’s version of the “good life” would be based on this video, what would you say it is?
What habits does he describe that he continues to do every day to achieve this life? – Think back to how you described the “good life.” What habits have you formed to try to achieve your goals? – Are these habits good or bad? Why? – What habits do you think you should start to help achieve the “good life”?
Josh shared about the difference in his experience with music and other’s in the video: he was selfmotivated, while others around him were coached. – What difference do you think it made in Josh’s experience to be self-motivated instead of forced into music? – Have you ever felt entirely self-motivated to do or learn something? What was that experience like? – Do you feel more self-motivated or coached in how you live out your faith? Why?
How do you hear Josh finding new ways to practice good habits for the season of life he is in? – When have you had to “adjust” because of changes in your life? – How is your faith typically impacted when things in your life change like this?
Read John 1:29-38: John and Jesus If there are different Bible translations available, share any differences you noticed while reading together. • If we asked John the Baptist what his idea of the “good life” would be, what do you think he would say and why? – How does this line up with your definition of the “good life”?
As we read this story, we realize something very quickly: John the Baptist was actively looking for Jesus. We see in his life that he had spiritual practices that helped him to look for the Messiah and to live out his ministry.
Read through John 1:6-34 on your own. – List different habits or spiritual disciplines you see John the Baptist practicing in this chapter. – What other habits do you think John practiced (reflect on other scripture about him)? – How do all of these habits reflect what John wanted out of life? – Do you practice any habits or spiritual disciplines similar to what you see John doing? – What spiritual disciplines or habits, if any, do you practice on a regular basis? Why are these important to you?
If Jesus were to ask you the question, “What are you looking for?” would you be comfortable giving him the answer you shared about the “good life” you want? – Why or why not? – What answer do you think the perfect answer would be if Jesus asked you this question?
Read Colossians 3:12-14: Clothing Ourselves in Christ •
This scripture speaks about gentleness and patience as things we actively choose to “put on,” almost like clothing. – How do you respond to this idea of “putting on” love? – Sometimes we assume that once we accept Jesus, we will naturally become more faithful, loving, caring, etc. Do you sometimes feel like this? Why or why not? – When have you witnessed someone living out their faith in this way? As you read this scripture, how does it connect with the ideas about desire and habits that were shared in the video? – How does it connect with the question Jesus asks in the scripture from John 1?
Many times we hear the phrase “I’m only human” to describe mistakes we have made. We realize as we read scripture, though, that sinfulness is not part of being human; in fact, it makes us less human, less like the people God made us to be. Jesus gives us the perfect example of a human life and teaches us what practices can help us to become more like him.
Call (10 minutes) We believe that God not only shows us who God is but invites us to participate in God’s ministry by answering unique calls in our own lives. Join together in discovering how we can actively respond to scripture and God’s presence. •
Throughout this series, we will take on a habit or spiritual discipline that will help to shape our desires and our daily lives. Look over the Habits handout and determine which spiritual discipline you will practice during this series. – Share with the group why you chose that spiritual habit or discipline.
Closing (5 minutes) God calls us into community by sharing our joys and concerns together in prayer and supporting one another in our walks with Christ. As we share testimony and stories of our lives, let us listen to where God is working within our community and how we can build each other up in Christian love. • •
Share joys and concerns with one another. Close in prayer, either by inviting a group member to pray or by using the prayer provided below.
Closing Prayer Gracious God, sometimes it is hard to admit that we don’t always truly desire to be the people you have called us to be. We are sorry in the times when we want worldly things more than we want the life you offer in Jesus. Help us throughout this series to be shaped from the outside in through these spiritual practices. Help us to desire the healing and fulfillment you offer through your grace. Amen.