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Session 6:

True Belonging

Next Level | Message Series

“Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

Mark 3:35

Introduction

God doesn’t only define family by blood or marriage relationships—he defines family by unity. Jesus himself lived life as a single man, with no wife or children to care for, but he consistently invited people into his family—God’s family. The only prerequisite for entry into God’s family was a decision to follow Jesus by doing God’s will. If we also make that decision, it binds us together with millions of Jesus-followers around the world and throughout history. You are part of the biggest, most diverse family in the world!

FACILITATOR'S NOTES

Share Your Story

Start the conversation by using these suggested questions:

Who are your closest family members (people related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption)? Why are those people particularly dear to you?

Are there people in your life who feel like family, even without needing to actually be related? What got those people to that relational level?

Do your closest friends and family share your faith? How does sharing a similar or dissimilar faith affect your connection?

What are some ways that you’ve experienced God’s family in the past?

Watch the Video

Hear God’s Story

There is an incredible picture of true belonging in Mark chapter 3. We’re going to read a story in which Jesus is meeting with a crowd of people who are interested in his teaching and trying to pursue God. But his actual family stands at a distance. See if you can recognize how spiritual distance and closeness to Jesus is contrasted with physical distance in this story.

Read Mark 3:31–35.

  • When Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, they stood outside and asked him to come out to them. Why do you think they didn’t come inside to talk to him? What could this tell us about their belief in Jesus at this point?

  • The crowd listening to Jesus was interested in his teaching and wanting to follow him. What do you think they thought of Jesus’ description of his true family?

  • We aren’t told, but do you think Jesus eventually went outside to meet with his family? Why or why not?

  • What is Jesus trying to teach us about what real connection means?

Create a New Story

In this section, let’s talk about how we’ll apply what we’ve learned from God through the Bible passage. We’ll decide on a few practical steps we can take this week to live out God’s truth.

  • Jesus’ definition of family seems to be an invitational one—not closed off. What could we do to invite people into God’s family between now and the end of the year?

  • How can we continue to strengthen our feeling of connection with other followers of Jesus? What helps us feel connected, and how can we do that more?

  • Are there any ways that our narrow definition of family can actually get in the way of us experiencing the fullness of God’s family? How do we align our regular experience of family with what God is inviting us to experience in his family?

  • What are some ways that this group can continue to be a family?

Make sure to close your meeting in prayer, thanking God for community and the unity he desires us all to participate in as a spiritual family. Ask him to show us ways we can remain connected in a group and pursue a life-long habit of serving and applying God’s word out with others.

— For Parents —

It’s easy to compartmentalize our own faith from that of our children. Oftentimes the only crossover is when we ask, “What did you learn today?” when picking them up from school.

Instead of keeping your faith separate from your children, one of the best opportunities you have to model faith is to intentionally share about what God is teaching you. In this section, you will find a simple activity to create space to talk about the Sunday messages with your children. Your kids can understand more about what a relationship with God looks like and more about who God is to you.

WEEK 6: ACTIVITY & DISCUSSION

Group Housekeeping Questions

  • Do any members of our Next Level group want to continue meeting as a Life Group?

  • If not all of our group members are able to continue, should those who are interested join another group or add other group members to our gathering?

  • Most regular Life Groups meet weekly or every other week. What day/time would work best for us going forward?

  • Would anyone in this group like to start facilitating a new Life Group, either instead of or in addition to participating in this group?

  • How can we support each other going forward, even if we aren’t all able to continue in this group?

Congratulations! You’ve completed the Next Level study.

We hope your group continues to meet with, encourage, care for, grow with, and love one another as you learn and experience more of what it means to follow Jesus. Why not continue with your group discussing the Sunday messages? Click the links below for weekly discussion guides as well as other great resources for your group!
GROUP DISCUSSION GUIDES
OTHER RESOURCES