April 3: The Tiny Green Shoot
1. Describe a time when you overlooked the potential in someone or something. What later helped you to recognize that potential? What did you do?
2. Recall a time when someone gave you one more chance, and it allowed you to flourish. What did you learn from the experience? How has it changed the way you feel about giving others second chances?
3. When is it easy for you to fall into patterns of critical or judgmental behavior? How does your faith in God help you to break that pattern and see the potential in others?
4. What prayer practices or spiritual disciplines help you to look for God’s presence in people and situations?
5. How does your church help individuals to grow and flourish? How has your church helped you to flourish? Who in your community needs help to flourish? How will you help them?
April 10: Grace
1. Recall a time when you struggled with feelings of guilt. What was the situation? How did you deal with your feelings?
2. What do you do when you need forgiveness from another person? What is the most challenging part of asking for forgiveness? What is the most rewarding part?
3. When have you experienced God’s forgiveness in your life? How does prayer help you to feel and accept forgiveness from God? When have you struggled to accept God’s forgiveness?
4. How does your church talk about forgiveness? When have you seen church members or others model forgiveness? What did you admire or learn from seeing that model?
5. Name some scripture passages that help you to understand forgiveness. What example of forgiveness in scripture is the most beneficial for you? Why is it beneficial?
April 17: Church at Its Best
1. Recall a time when your faith community surrounded you with support. How did they show love and care for you during that time? What actions did you appreciate most? What actions were most surprising?
2. When people around you are suffering, how do you care for them? What acts of care and compassion come most naturally to you? What actions are more challenging? What kind of care do you think is most important for someone going through a difficult time? Why?
3. In the story of the paralyzed man in Mark 2:1-12, which character do you most identify with? Which character do you hope to be more like?
4. Do you agree or disagree that “the church is at its best when we are caring for one another”? Give examples to support your answer.
5. Fill in the blank. The church is at its best when ______________. Give as many answers as you wish.
April 24: Make a Joyful Noise
1. Do you know someone like Amee, who sings with joy regardless of his or her abilities? What do you appreciate about this person?
2. Which person in Carol’s story do you identify with most? Explain. When have you been inspired and encouraged by watching another person worship God? How did this change the way you worship?
3. Is it easy or difficult for you to praise God with no reservations? What spiritual practices, locations, or songs help you to release your insecurities as you worship God?
4. How do you use the psalms in your personal devotional or prayer time? In addition to words of praise, name some of the other forms of worship and communication with God that are modeled in the psalms. What is your favorite psalm of praise? How do you model your worship after the practices demonstrated in this psalm?
5. How do children participate in worship at your church? What have you learned from observing children during worship? What other ways might your church invite children to be present in worship?