The Community Guide below is based on Sunday’s teaching for our current series: Future Church. As your whole Community gathers (online or socially distanced), use the Community Guide below to give shape to your night together.
Begin by Practicing the Lord’s Supper Together (5 minutes)
Begin your night by partaking of the bread and the cup together. Have each person bring their own Communion elements. To facilitate your time, you can either ask a member of your Community to come ready with a short prayer, liturgy, or scripture reading, or assign someone to read the scripture we’ve provided below and spend a moment in silence before continuing.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
– Matthew 11v28–30
Emotional Health Check-in (10 Minutes)
As we focus on this series, we want to continue to create space for checking in on each other, but doing so in a shorter amount of time. Take a few minutes to do an emotional health check-in with your Community, creating space for each person to answer the questions below:
- What are you hopeful for as we look toward spring and summer?
If the need arises, spend a few minutes praying for one another, asking God to meet any needs within your Community.
Read this Overview (5 Mins)
We live in a culture of constant progress. We strive for more money, more success, more status, more connections, all of which is fueled by the expectation that life will only have us moving upward.
The result of our progress addiction is widespread burnout. Burnout is when your soul can no longer bear the weight of your life. Millennials are considered the “burnout generation.” Writer Helen Peterses writes that burnout isn’t a place Millennials visit and come back from; instead, it is our permanent residence!
It’s been said that burnout consists of three components:
- Exhaustion: Physical and emotional fatigue you feel when you’ve been under stress for too long.
- Cynicism: Where you switch from trying to do your very best all the time to doing the bare minimum.
- Blame: Starting to blame yourself for your inability to keep up.
Over and against our culture of progress and burnout, the scriptures and the way of Jesus invite us to what Hebrews calls “a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” For all of us who are tired, weary, exhausted, and burned-out… there is for us a rest that is built into the fabric and rhythm of creation itself. On the Sabbath we are freed from progress and from our internal pharaohs. Sabbath is a rest that we can set our watches to, that we can build our lives around, and that will bring us into the rest we really need. Let us strive to enter into that rest.
Debrief this Sunday’s Teaching (20 Minutes)
With that in mind, work through the following discussion questions as a Community:
- We said this week that burnout is when your soul can no longer bear the weight of your life. Describe a time when you experienced burnout. Are you experiencing burnout right now?
- In what areas of your life do you feel a need for constant progress or growth?
- What does your practice of Sabbath look like right now? Do you have any fears or difficulties regarding the practice of Sabbath?
Practice For The Week Ahead: Revisiting your Rule of Life for Sabbath (10 Minutes)
This week, continue revising and working on your Rule of Life Chart, keeping in mind that the goal is not to fill in every box, but to come to a good balance and rhythm in each category.
As you work through the Sabbath section, consider what your existing practices are in this area and write them down. Take some time to consider and pray through what your next step in Sabbathing might be, and what God is inviting you into in this season of your life. Remember, aim to start where you are, not where you think you “should” be.
Below are a few ideas to get you started as you brainstorm and pray through your next step in Sabbath.
- Entry-Level Practice: Take your first step into Sabbath by setting aside a first day or time period of Sabbath. Again, start where you are at. So if you are not ready for a full 24-hour period, start small with 4, 8, or 12 hours of Sabbath.
- Baseline Practice: Work towards adopting a weekly rhythm of a 24-hour Sabbath. Feel free to utilize this resource on Practicing the Way to form and organize your practice with your family, friends, or household. You can decide on your time window, adopt Sabbath rituals, and find creative ways to rest, celebrate, and worship.
- Reach Practice: Expand your practice of Sabbath by powering down your electronic devices for a full 24-hour period.
Again, the goal is not to adopt a Sabbath for the sake of checking a box, but for the purpose of being someone who week-by-week is being transformed by the Practice of Sabbath.
Prayer (10 Minutes)
Spend a few minutes praying for God’s grace over each other, that we might become a people who seek refuge with the Father in the quiet place, and that there might be a sweeping renewal of the Holy Spirit in our city. Ask that God would stir up within us a desire to be with him in prayer and to serve him, one another, and our neighbor in love.