Welcome to the online home of our Life Together Small Group experience. We are excited to invite you a journey through one of the great classics about Christian community. Below you'll find links to a host of resources that will help you get the most out of this life changing book. Included in this study are:
- Reading Guides - This is a tool designed to be used while reading through Life Together on your own or in preparation to discuss it with your group. Each guide includes important background information that will help you engage with the material, as well as questions for personal reflection.
- Discussion Guides - A book about Christian community is best digested with other people! Discussion Guides provide group discussion questions to help engage and apply the wisdom of this book in a Small Group context.
- Sermon Podcasts - BridgeWay will be preaching on themes found in Life Together from October 29 - November 27, 2016. The recording of each of these messages will be available here, and will hopefully enrich your grasp of these concepts based on the wisdom of scripture. A few questions in each discussion guide are based on material from these sermons.
If you have any questions about this material, or would like help connecting with a discussion group, please email Pastor Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Reading Guides
- Discussion Guides
- Sermon Podcasts
You can either download the full reading guide and print it out, or complete each chapter of the guide online.
You can either download the full discussion guide and print it out, or view each chapter of the guide online.
- If this is a new Small Group that is kicking off by using this study, take some time to get to know each other before diving in.
- What are some of the major differences between the way that Bonhoeffer experienced community as he was writing this book, and the way that we experience community today?
- A major theme of this chapter is how Christians perceive their community. For each of the following statements, invite members of the group to share whether they agree or disagree, and if the book challenged them to change their thinking about that area.
o I take Christian community for granted.
o I have been disappointed by Christian community in the past.
o I am thankful for Christian community.
- In the section “Through and In Jesus Christ”, Bonhoeffer argues that Christian community can’t exist without Jesus at its center.
o What do you think he meant in this section?
o How have you seen this to be true?
- In the section “A Spiritual not a Human Reality” Bonhoeffer argues that true Christian community must be driven by God’s priorities, not those of man.
o What are some characteristics of a community driven by God’s priorities?
o In what ways do you see our Small Group pursuing God’s priorities?
o Are there ways that we could do this better as a Small Group?
- In the first sermon in this series, Pastor Ron asked if we were devoted or dabbling in our commitment to Christian community.
o As a group, how can we take steps towards deeper devotion?
o Ask each member: What steps towards deeper devotion can the group encourage you to take?
- As you begin your time together, invite one or two people to share the Psalm they selected in the Reading Guide to have the group pray through together. Have someone read the passage aloud while the rest of the group follows along, praying the words back to God. After the Psalm is read, allow a few minutes for people in the group to offer prayers in their own words based on the Psalm. Finally, take a few minutes to discuss what this experience was like, and how it feels different from other times you pray as a group.
- How can our group encourage one another to grow in our knowledge and love for God’s word?
- Are there ways that our group might incorporate other elements mentioned in this chapter, such as worship or sharing meals, into our times together?
- In this chapter, Bonhoeffer advocates being in constant community with our brothers and sisters in Christ. What steps might our group consider taking to be more connected throughout the week?
- When conflict arises in our group, how can we commit to handling it in a biblical way?
- In his second message, Pastor Ron identified several aspects of emotional IQ based on Colossian 3:12-13. Which of the following elements would you like to see yourself grow in?
- How are your days alone with God going right now?
- What challenges do you encounter when you attempt to practice silence, scripture reading/meditation and prayer?
- As a group, how can we work together to overcome these challenges?
- Do we have a plan as a group for sharing prayer needs and then praying for those during the week? If not, how could we start doing that?
- How do you feel that you’re doing on the test of meditation that Bonhoeffer mentions in this chapter?
- Pastor Ron talked about areas where we persevere in faith to throw ourselves into the arms of God. How might God be testing you in those ways right now?
- Humility is one of the most significant themes in this chapter. As a group, how can we guard against pride and create an atmosphere of serving?
- Criticism by individuals can be hurtful to community, but when a community engages in critical group think, it can be a recipe for devastating division. How can we defend our fellowship against a critical spirit, while also seeking to encourage growth?
- How is this group doing at the ministry of listening? Is this a place where each member can share safely and know he or she will be heard?
- How does our community practice ministries like Helpfulness and Bearing? Do we have enough access into each other’s lives to engage in these ways?
- As we support each other through various life circumstances, how do we bring God’s word to bear for encouragement, discernment or correction?
- In the 4th sermon, Pastor Ron encouraged us to have face-to-face, high stakes crucial conversations when needed. How are we doing at this as individuals and as a group?
- Some of the ideas in this chapter involve challenging concepts. What were your initial reactions as you read it?
- Which of the “break throughs” listed in this chapter resonate most strongly with you?
- Is confession within our small group something we feel ready to practice?
o If yes, what steps could we take to begin making this a more intentional part of our fellowship?
o If no, what might be holding us back from engaging together this way?
- Do you think it would be most helpful to practice confession as a whole group? With men and women separating? In one-on-one situations involving people within the group?
- How can we create space when our group meets to accommodate our answer to the previous question?
Click the links below to hear each of the sermon podcasts from this series.