Over My Head

Questions for Further Reflection and Conversation…

  • How did the Parkland tragedy affect your relationship with God?

  • What questions did you ask about God, faith, life, justice after the tragedy?

  • Have you ever felt like you were emotionally/spiritually/psychologically over your head? What was it like?

  • Have you ever tried to walk on water, only to sink? If so, what happened?

  • Has the Lord ever kept you from drowning? If so, when?

  • Where are you, on the road to healing and deeper faith, one year after the tragedy?


Magnetic Kindness

Questions for Further Reflection and Conversation…

  • How would you define the word, “kindness?”

  • Is “kindness” a word you use to describe God?

  • How have you experienced the Lord’s kindness?

  • Who do you know that embodies godly “kindness?”

  • How, specifically, have you received the Lord’s kindness through people?

  • When was the last time you said, or did, something kind for someone?


Magnetic Community

Questions for Further Reflection and Conversation…

  • How important is belonging to a community to you? Do you crave it?

  • Do you believe we are “hard-wired” for connection?

  • When have you experienced authentic Christian community?

  • What do you think are the characteristics of a healthy community? 

  • What causes communities to become unhealthy?

  • Can you think of someone who needs to be part of our community?

Magnetic Hospitality

Questions for Further Reflection and Conversation…

  • When have you felt welcome and wanted? What, specifically, made you feel that way?

  • Have you ever felt unwanted? How did that feel?

  • How often do you speak to someone you don’t know at First Church, to help them feel welcome?

  • What made you feel welcome when you first came to First Church? Did you feel welcome? 

  • How would you explain hospitality biblically?

  • What is one thing First Church could do to improve its culture of hospitality? Would you help?

Repellent Magnetism

Questions for Further Reflection and Conversation…

  • Do you find Christ “attractive?” Why or why not?

  • Who are some of the most spiritually “attractive” people you can 

think of? What makes them “attractive?”

  • Who are some of the most spiritually repellent people you can 

think of? What makes them “repellent?”

  • How do you react to the list of reasons many are leaving 

Christianity? Do you agree with any of their reasons?

  • Who is being “attracted” to Christ, through you?

Embrace

Questions for Further Reflection and Conversation…

• What/who do you embrace most easily?

• What/who is difficult for you to embrace?

• Can you imagine being as receptive and obedient to God as Mary?

• Does Christ live in you?

Prepare

Questions for Further Reflection and Conversation…

  • How are you preparing for Christ?

  • Who prepared the way for you to know Jesus?

  • How are you, like John the Baptist, preparing the way for others to know Jesus?

  • Who are you preparing the way for?

  • In what ways does your life point to Jesus?

  • Who are five people you could invite to church for Christmas Eve? Will you?

  • Reflect on the quotes. Which words or phrases touch you the most?

Habits of Gratitude

Questions for Further Reflection and Conversation…

  • What are your gratitude habits?

  • How do you express gratitude?

  • What are you grateful for?

  • What do you feel entitled to?

  • Are you more of an “abundance” mindset person or a “scarcity” mindset person?

  • Are you a “glass half full” or glass half empty” kind of person?

  • Do you agree that the most grateful people tend to be the most generous? Why or why not?


All Will Be Well

Questions for Further Reflection and Conversation…

  • Whose death are you still grieving?

  • How would you describe “grief” to someone who hasn’t experienced it?

  • Are you afraid of death? Why or why not?

  • How are you preparing to die?

  • What do you think heaven will be like?


Look Around

Questions for Further Reflection and Conversation...

  • What’s your favorite Christmas memory?

  • When did the light of Christ first shine in your darkness?

  • Reflect on MLK’s quote, “This Christmas season finds us a rather

    bewildered human race. We have neither peace within nor peace

    without.” Do you think that is still true, today? Why, or why not?

  • How does the story of Christ’s birth affect your understanding of God?

  • Howard Thurman said, “The true meaning of Christmas is expressed

    in sharing of one’s graces in a world in which it is so easy to become callous, insensitive, and hard.” What graces will you be sharing with the world, this Christmas?

  • What if “Bethlehem Revisited” is our opportunity to invite the people walking in darkness to come home?

My Financial Health

Are you going to serve almighty God, or the almighty dollar? Pastor Vance brings us a message on financial health.

Questions for Further Reflection and Conversation…

  • How do you define stewardship?

  • What do your monthly expenses and debts say about your priorities?

  • How much do you save and give, compared to how much you earn?

  • Do you tithe? If not, why? 

  • What keeps you from earning, saving and giving more than you do?

  • Do you believe, “In Christ there will always be enough?”


My Relational Health

On World Communion Sunday, we celebrate the diversity of our congregation. Pastors Vance, Josias, and Sheryl shared with us about how important cross cultural relationships are.

Questions for Further Reflection and Conversation…

What non-work relationships do you have outside of your own cultural/ethnic identity?

What hinders you from developing relationships with people of other cultures, nationalities, ethnic backgrounds?

What do you value most about your own particular cultural experience?

Who do you know, from a different culture/ethnicity, that you could pursue a deeper relationship with?

How do you feel about First Church being a church of 30+ nationalities? How would you feel if First Church became increasingly multi-ethnic/multi-cultural? How would God feel about that?


My Emotional Health

Pastor Liedmar Lopes, from the Brazilian Alliance Church, brings us a message on Emotional Transformation.

Questions for Further Reflection and Conversation…

What are you feeling, right now?

When and how do you “feel” God?

Why did God makes us “emotional?”

When do you “feel” closest to God?

When does God “feel” far from you?

When have your emotions/feelings been unreliable?

When have your emotions/feelings blessed you?

When have your emotions/feelings led you to sin?