NOVEMBER 1: A Steward of Faith
1. Do you have any heirlooms in your family that have been passed down for several generations? If so, what are they? Why are they special? What stories are attached to these possessions?
2. Name someone who has left you a legacy of faith. What legacy did he or she leave you? In what ways can you pass this legacy on? To whom do you hope to pass it on?
3. What does it mean to you to be a good steward of your faith? How are you being a good steward of your faith for others?
4. If you could pass on to the next generation one piece of spiritual wisdom or insight that you have gleaned over the course of your life, what would it be?
5. How does your church share spiritual wisdom and traditions of faith with new members and younger generations? Why is it important for you to share such wisdom and traditions?
NOVEMBER 8: A Burden Lifted
1. Have you had an experience similar to the writer in which a person has confessed something to you? What was this experience like? Why do you think this person confided in you? Did what he or she confessed change your image of him or her? Why or why not?
2. How often do you confess your sins to another person? How often do you confess your sins to God? How often do you think God wants us to confess our sins? How important is confession to living a Christian life?
3. Are you someone who easily trusts people or must your trust be earned? Why do you think trust is easier for some than it is others?
4. When have you asked God’s forgiveness for a sin and then struggled to forgive yourself? Were you ever able to forgive yourself? If not, why?
5. Would you describe yourself as a good listener? How could you be a better listener? Why is being a good listener important?
NOVEMBER 15: The Opinion that Matters
1. Think about a time in your life when you felt left out of something. What was the situation? How did it make you feel? How did you respond?
2. Have you ever offended someone by unintentionally leaving him or her out? Describe the experience. What did you learn from it? How did you respond to this person once you learned you had offended him or her?
3. The writer of today’s meditation says, “God chooses us. God doesn’t leave us out in the field. God loves us unconditionally.” Speak about a time when you have experienced God’s unconditional love.
4. Why is it important to feel valued and included? What
responsibility do Christians have to value and include others?
5. Can you think of anyone in your church community who may feel left out? Who is it? What can you do to make him or her feel more included in the life of the community?
NOVEMBER 22: Time with God
1. How often do you read your Bible? How do you decide what parts of scripture to read? Have you ever read the Bible through from beginning to end? What was this like for you? Did you discover anything in scripture that you had not noticed before?
2. Why do you think it is important to our Christian faith that we read scripture? Has there been a time in your life when you did not spend much time reading scripture? What was going on in your life that kept you from reading scripture?
3. What translation of the Bible do you read most often? Why this translation? Do you think it is important to read and study more than one translation? Why or why not?
4. If you had to name one scripture passage that has had a tremendous influence on your spiritual formation, what would it be? What influence has it had on you?
5. In the coming year, what daily spiritual discipline could you practice that would help keep your focus on God? What role would reading scripture play in this practice?
NOVEMBER 29: The Good Samaritan
1. Which character in the Parable of the Good Samaritan do you identify with most closely? Why this character?
2. Have you had an experience similar to that recounted in the Parable of the Good Samaritan in which you have been in trouble and someone unlikely offered assistance? What did this experience teach you? How did it change the way you respond to those in need of help?
3. Recall a time when you helped someone you were not expected to help. How did you help this person? How did he or she react?
4. Were you to retell this parable in modern terms, how would the story go? To what group would the man in need of help belong? Who would pass him by? Who would stop to help?
5. Do you think that God wants us to help people even when helping them threatens our comfort or safety? Why or why not?
While several strategies for reopening the world are being discussed, I encourage you—the people of God everywhere—to allow this season to be a formative one during which you can make new discoveries about God and increase your faith. Use this time to embark on a life of prayer, a life of study, and a life of action—involvement in the community.”