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Must Change Leader’s Guide

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© 2008 by Brian D. McLaren The publishers are grateful to Kate Etue for her collaboration and writing skills in developing the content for this book. All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a trademark of Thomas Nelson, Inc. Thomas Nelson, Inc. titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fund-raising, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-mail ISBN: 978-1-4185-3421-9

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Welcome��������������������������������������������������������������������������� v How This Study Works��������������������������������������������������� ix Week 1 Two Preoccupying Questions������������������������11 Week 2 Suicidal System���������������������������������������������15 Week 3 Reframing Jesus �������������������������������������������19 Week 4 Reintroducing Jesus�������������������������������������23 Week 5 The Security System ������������������������������������27 Week 6 The Prosperity System ���������������������������������31 Week 7 The Equity System ���������������������������������������35 Week 8 A Revolution of Hope������������������������������������41

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Welcome We live in a time of many crises, but we don’t have to be without hope. You are about to lead your group into a deeper understanding of global crises—and you will guide them into a hope-filled response to our world. Your group members trust you to take them carefully and ethically through this eightweek study. You may be a bit nervous about your role. If so, that’s perfectly normal. If not, you might take a closer look at the significance of your position in this group! This leader’s guide will provide you with direction and focus for your discussions. There is a lot of material to cover in the Everything Must Change book, and the DVD will add even more to the lessons. The goal of this study is for each of us to begin to foment a revolution of hope within, a hope that can lead to change. The goal is not to have all the “right” answers. The goal is not to have everyone agree on every detail. So do your best to create an environment in which people feel comfortable sharing, saying what’s on their hearts, respecting the perspectives of others, and exploring ways to join in God’s work around the world without fear of embarrassment or criticism. Here are some tips:

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Everything Must Change

Leader’s Guide

• Create a physical environment that’s conducive to good conversation—sit in a circle, use warm lighting, limit distractions (i.e., no music, TV, etc.—although you should have a TV/ DVD player available for watching the video segments). • Be willing to answer questions yourself, as this will set the pace for length of responses and also make others feel comfortable sharing. • Keep the goal in mind—hope for a changed world. Don’t get distracted by arguing over these controversial topics. Instead, focus on emphasizing and establishing the truths that bring us closer to an appropriate response. • Stick to the schedule—the people in your group are busy, and if they can trust you to be a good steward of their time they will be more willing to come back week after week. • Don’t be afraid of silence or emotion—welcome awkward moments.

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• Don’t be a tyrant—even though you are the leader, you are also a member of this small group, so don’t steamroll over others in an attempt to lead. If you feel that taking a tangent is important, then by all means, take it. • Don’t let a group member be a tyrant either. It’s your job to keep anyone from dominating or making other group members feel unsafe or intimidated. • Be creative and make this time unique, worshipful, and honoring to all who attend. This is a special time together, and you should be building intimacy as a group in addition to exploring these topics. • Prepare for your meetings—spend time in prayer and study this leader’s guide before each meeting so that you will be effective in guiding your group through this experience.

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How This Study Works In order to get the most out of this study, maximize the use of your resources. Each week as you meet, you’ll engage in deep, intense discussion on the topics that are affecting our world today. You will become more informed and interested in these issues, and you might even move toward advocating significant changes in the way our society works. Change can start with a group like yours, so don’t discount the importance of these discussions. Your time together can be so much more than simply watching and analyzing from the sidelines—you can make a real, tangible impact in our world. Once your group picks a time and place to meet, you’ll need to establish a length of time for your gatherings. The video sessions are each about ten minutes long, and you’ll want to allow at least fortyfive minutes to an hour for discussion. Each DVD segment covers, in broad strokes, one part in the Everything­ Must Change book. Prior to the meeting, group members should read the chapters from the book that correspond with the video discussion. So for the first meeting they will read Part 1 from the book, for the second meeting they will read Part 2, and so on. Watch the video segment ­together at the

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Everything Must Change

Leader’s Guide

beginning of your meeting, and then discuss the questions addressed in the video. There are additional questions at the end of each chapter of the book. For discussion, pick and choose from those questions, depending on which interest you most and how much time you have. Encourage your group members to reflect on the questions at the end of each chapter so that they can think about the issues throughout the week and come prepared to discuss.

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Week 1

Two Preoccupying Questions You may criticize my two questions for their lack of modesty, or you may feel I have no business asking questions of this magnitude. But then again, you may find yourself as intrigued by them as I have been. For people who share a commitment to ethics or faith or both, not asking these questions seems unthinkable—once you think of them. —from Chapter 2, “The Amahoro Flowing Between Us”

This week you will begin your discussion on global crises by asking two critical questions every Christian needs to consider: 1) What are the biggest problems in the world? and 2) What does Jesus have to say about these global problems? The answers may seem obvious at first glance, but consider them carefully. The answers to these questions will be complex, challenging, at times overwhelming, and in some ways inspiring. As your group gets started on this journey, don’t gloss over

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Everything Must Change

Leader’s Guide

the foundation of the discussion. Dig deep this week, and honestly examine the issues at hand. Starting Point

Use a conversation starter to get the group talking. If this is your first week meeting together, you may want to start with some get-to-know-you activities, such as a game or making simple introductions around the group. If you already know each other, start by having members respond to one or more of the questions below. 1. Have you ever visited a foreign country? If so, share a vivid memory or two. If not, where would you like to visit and why? 2. Name a movie you’ve seen that best illustrates the plight of the poor or those living in harsh conditions. 3. What aspect of global crises is most interesting or compelling to you?

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Week 1: Two Preoccupying Questions


Watch segment 1, “Two Preoccupying Questions.” Discussion

Explore the questions addressed in the video. If any questions from the reading stand out to you, discuss those as well. We suggest: • In your current understanding, what are the causes of poverty around the world? • How do you think most Christians today respond to the issue of poverty? • Define or describe the “kingdom of God” in your own terms. See if the group can come up with a good definition. • What might the healthcare worker [in Chapter 4] say about churches in your city, state, or nation?

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Everything Must Change

Leader’s Guide

• Have you noticed a decline in church attendance among younger generations? If so, why do you think this is? • Discuss this statement: The Christian religion appears to be a failed religion. • Give an example of a framing story that might cause one group of people to harm another group of people. • What questions have the readings raised for you at this point? Closing Prayer

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord turn his countenance upon you and give you peace. Amen.

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Everything Must Change Leader's Guide