The Community Guide below is based on Sunday’s teaching for the Race & Justice series. 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.
[The brokenhearted] will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.
Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.
Emotional Health Check-in (20-30 Minutes)
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 question below:
- What are you celebrating in this season? How can we celebrate it with you?
If the need arises, spend a few minutes praying for one another, asking God to meet needs and help each person carry what feels heavy right now.
Read this Overview (5 Mins)
In our cultural moment, it can be so tempting to buy into the idea that every issue has only two sides—right or left, right or wrong. And when people are afraid, or confused, or angry, or sad, the temptation to “snap” to a pole only increases. But the life and teachings of Jesus model alternative paths for us. We are challenged over and over to remember that our enemy is not flesh and blood, our adversary is not the person on the other side of the political aisle or the people who believe differently than us—our enemies are the powers and principalities, and the ideas and ideologies, that set themselves up against God.
One of the first tasks when it comes to injustice, is to notice it—to take the time and energy to see the brokenness in the world and people around you. But we can’t stop at noticing. Followers of Jesus are called to take spiritual responsibility for the injustices in the world around us, to stand up and step into the pain, believing that the injustices we see are not just offenses against our sisters and brothers or ourselves, but against God. This week we want to spend some time thinking about spiritual responsibility.
Debrief this Sunday’s Teaching (20 Minutes)
With that in mind, work through the following discussion questions as a Community:
- What issues in our moment feel the most polarizing right now, inside or outside the church? Is there an issue the Holy Spirit has highlighted to you where you’re being invited into an alternative way?
- Is there an injustice or conflict in your life—perhaps in your neighborhood, your church, family, or community—where God is calling you to take spiritual responsibility? What might that look like?
- If you were able to attend the prayer walk to Pioneer Square, what did you come away with? In what ways do you feel called to continue in prayer?
Practice For The Week Ahead: Prayer Walk (5 minutes)
The Practice for the week ahead is to take spiritual responsibility for your city by going on a prayer walk. Far from telling God a list of things you want to happen, we believe that prayer is a form of partnership with God; prayer changes reality. Rightly understood, a prayer walk is a form of spiritual warfare.
This week, take some time to go on a walk. Whether in your neighborhood or in an area where there has been historic racial injustice, chart a course to walk the streets and pray for God’s Kingdom to come and his will to be done. This would be a great opportunity to prayer walk with someone in your Community. And, remember, like we talked about at the Prayer Walk on Sunday, you do not need to pray out loud to be heard by God—he has access to our imaginations.
- Pray specifically and pray boldly. Ask God to tear down the spiritual strongholds that allow injustice and evil to have dominion. Invite the Holy Spirit to move in new and profound ways, to bring peace and healing to people and to bring light into the darkness.
- Ask the Spirit what to pray for. Ask God what he’d have you pray for. And then pray boldly for those things, agreeing with God that they should be done.
- Ask God for prophecy. Ask God for prophetic images and visions about how he sees this neighborhood. As he reveals to you his heart, pray into those images. Perhaps even write down these images and continue to pray into them through prayer walking.
Prayer (20 Minutes)
Spend a few minutes praying for God’s grace over each other, that we would become a people who take spiritual responsibility for our city and envision and alternative future, in which God’s will is being done.