We are so excited to provide weekly guides for your family and community group that extend beyond our Sunday service. We encourage you to take part in these questions over a meal; whether it be at your dinner table with the family or digitally with your community group and friends. Check out our videos below on pro tips for how you navigate this as a family or a community group. We will update this page each Sunday.

tips – for the family

tips – for a community group

Week 6 – Kindness

week six – open it up

Talk with your family or group about how you understand the difference between being nice and being kind. What are some examples of times when you’ve maybe been nice (or polite), but haven’t been kind?

week six – take it further

Preschool & Elementary:

  1. What does it feel like when someone is kind to you?
  2. What is a way you can practice kindness and not just be nice, but actually show an act of kindness to someone else?

Students:

  1. Kindness, which is different than niceness, is an active expression of love toward others. Who can you think of that is kind to you?
  2. Kindness is usefulness and is a fruit of the spirit that is evidenced regardless of someone else’s behavior toward us. Who can you choose kindness toward this week?

Groups:

  1. What are the things that make it difficult for you to receive God’s kindness? Shame? Guilt? Feelings of unworthiness?
  2. During this season, how have you seen the kindness of God chasing you down?
  3. If Psalm 23:6 is true and God’s kindness is literally chasing you, pursuing you…how do you want to live in response to that?

week six – look it up

Proverbs 21:21 | Psalm 141:5 | Romans 2:4 | Titus 3:3-4

week six – try it out

everyone:

Using the following sentences as a guide, come up with ways as a group or family that you can live out active kindness in the life of others this week:

  1. Kindness anticipates the needs and meets them before they’re asked for.
  2. Kindness blesses people in fun, creative, and unexpected ways.
  3. Kindness responds to difficult situations in a manner that’s loving and helpful.

Write down your kindness plan for this week and have fun living it out together!

week six – close it out

family:

Heavenly Father, thank you that you were kind to us, and not just nice. You were kind in sending your son to die for us and rise again, even though we didn’t deserve it because of our sin. I pray that (child’s name) would learn the importance of fruit of the spirit kindness and that you would help me to be a great example to him/her. Thank you for helping us learn more about you as we study the fruit of the spirit. In your name. Amen.

groups:

Talk about Romans 2:4 and the fact that it’s God’s kindness toward us that leads us to repentence. Is there any area in your life where you’ve experienced the overwhelming kindness of God and repentence was your response? Pray for one another, recognizing God’s lovingkindness out loud.

Week 5

week 5

week five – open it up

Talk with your family or group about when it’s most difficult for you to exercise patience. For kids, ask them when it’s hard for them to wait until later for something they want right now!

week five – take it further

Preschool & Elementary:

  1. Why is it so hard to wait when you want something really badly?
  2. What does it feel like when you need to wait for something you wish was already here?
  3. What’s a way you can remind yourself to practice patience this week?

Students:

  1. Our culture is one of instant gratification. Where are you used to instant gratification in your life?
  2. What is your response when something you expected to be immediate is slowed or delayed?
  3. What’s one way you could develop the practice of patience and learn to be okay with waiting?

Groups:

  1. In what ways have you watched our culture of instant gratification erode your capacity for patience?
  2. The spiritual discipline of slowing is defined by John Ortberg as: cultivating patience by deliberately choosing to place ourselves in positions where we simply have to wait. How could you practice the spiritual discipline of slowing this week?

week five – look it up

James 5:7-11 | Proverbs 14:29 | 1 Corinthians 13:4 | Ephesians 4:2

week five – try it out

everyone:

Choose one area of your life this week where you will practice the spiritual discipline of slowing. Perhaps you intentionally drive in the slow lane. Refuse to honk your horn. Wait several hours before viewing social media in the morning. Choose the slowest check- out line. Eat your food at a slower pace and without multitasking. Take email off your phone. Order something online and choose the slowest shipping speed. Commit to being fully present in the one thing you’re doing at the moment.

for kids:

Teach them to count to twenty slowly and take deep breaths when they start feeling impatient. (this one might be good for adults too!) Teach kids a scripture verse about patience from the look it up section and refer to it as a family when impatience starts to take over.

week five – close it out

family:

God, thank you for our family and that you are so patient with us even when it’s difficult for us to be patient with each other. Please help (child’s name) to develop the fruit of patience and to remember that it’s okay to go slow and it’s okay to wait. Thank you for giving him/her to us and help us to show (child’s name) what patience looks like by the choices we make and the example we set. Amen.

groups:

Be honest with each other about ways you struggle with the fruit of patience. Perhaps it’s not waiting at a red light or in a check-out line that’s hard, perhaps it’s waiting for a spouse, or waiting to start a family, or waiting to find a job that most challenges you. Join in prayer with each other and enter into the waiting together. Practice cultivating patience in small ways this week.

Week 4

week 4

week four – open it up

As a family or group, describe something that feels peaceful. Maybe it’s a favorite place to go or a favorite activity. For preschoolers and kids, ask when they feel most calm, safe and why.

week four – take it further

Preschool & Elementary:

  1. When you’re afraid or sad, what helps you to feel better? (ex: favorite toy or blanket, leaving a light on, playing music.)
  2. What is a way you remind yourself to pray and ask God for peace when you feel afraid or sad or disappointed?

Students:

  1. Jesus said that the peace he gives is not like the peace the world gives. What are some things the world offers that you’ve used to feel peaceful?
  2. Whenever Jesus is present, peace is possible. Because we know that he is present in us and with us wherever we are, what are some ways you could remind yourself of the presence and peace of Jesus next time you feel anxious?

Groups:

  1. Worry and anxiety are so prevalent in our culture that we’re more familiar with them than we are with peace, but the new testament tells us that the mind controlled by the spirit is life and peace. Would you describe your mind most often as a place of life and peace? Why or why not?
  2. What are some tangible ways you could work to cultivate the peace Jesus has made available to you? How can you renew your mind and fill your soul?

week four – look it up

Matthew 11:28-30 | John 14:27 | John 16:33 | Isaiah 26:3 | Philippians 4:6-7

week four – try it out

everyone:

Consider committing one of the look it up scriptures to memory. Write it out and put it on the car dashboard, the refrigerator, or the bathroom mirror. Let those words of truth be your go-to when fear or anxiety begin to creep in. Help kids memorize their verse by using hand motions. Perhaps choose a verse as a family or community group and have everyone memorize the same one together and then continuing memorizing scriptures together until you have a stockpile of verses to use in cultivating peace.

week four – close it out

family:

God, thank you for giving us peace that we can count on when things are scary or we feel sad. Please help (child’s name) to know that you love him/her and will never ever leave, so that’s why he/she can have peace. This week, help us remember to stop and pray when we feel anxious, because you already have peace waiting for us. We love you, amen.

groups:

As each of you identify sources of anxiety or fear in your life, be willing to let the members of your group know and cover those areas in prayer for the peace of Jesus to prevail. Commit to pray for each other and encourage one another with words and texts of truth throughout the week.

Week 3

week 3

week three – open it up

As a family or group, talk about a time you’d describe as joyful. Why do you describe it that way? For kids, ask them about a time they felt most excited or happy and why.

week three – take it further

Preschool & Elementary:

  1. Who are some people you are really thankful to God for? When you think of them, why do they make you happy?
  2. What has God given you that you can be thankful for? (ex. A house to live in, clothes to wear, food to eat)

Students:

  1. When the ten lepers were healed (luke 17:11-19), only one came back and expressed thankfulness, even though all of them were excited. Can you think of something or someone god has blessed you with that you can express thankfulness to him for?
  2. How do you tend to respond when things don’t go your way? Is your first response joy or something else? Why is that?

Groups:

  1. We know fruit of the spirit joy proceeds from an abiding sense of how good and faithful god has been. Do you struggle to remember God’s faithfulness when circumstances or relationships feel anything but joyful?
  2. James 1:2 reminds us that we can even consider trials to be joy because they test our faith and produce perseverance and refine our character. Is there a trial in your life that you could bring to God and ask for the grace to consider it joy?

week three – look it up

James 1:1-12 | 1 Peter 1:3-9 | Hebrews 12:1-3 | Psalm 30

week three – try it out

everyone:

Be intentional about compiling a joy list of the blessings and gifts of God. For kids: write it down and put it on the refrigerator or bathroom mirror.

students & groups:

Store it as a note on your phone or computer. Add to it as often as you can. Read over it when circumstances are difficult or relationships are challenging. Let it be a reminder that joy cultivates gratitude and encourages deep, abiding joy which doesn’t depend on feelings or circumstances.

week three – close it out

family:

God, thank you for (child’s name)! He/she brings our family so much joy! When i think about your blessings and what i have to be thankful for in my life, he/she is at the top of the list! I pray that you would remind us of all your blessings and how good you’ve been to us so that we can remember to be thankful and joyful. We love you, amen.

groups:

Spend some time praying over the challenges any members of your group are struggling to find joy in. Ask that God would empower them and encourage them with his nearness this week and that it would result in unexplainable joy.

Week 2

week 2

week two – open it up

As a family or group, invite everyone to talk about a time they felt most loved and why. For preschoolers, it may be helpful to ask about something mommy or daddy does that makes them feel loved. For elementary kids and students, invite them to talk about a time they felt loved by another person or by God.

week two – take it further

Preschool:

  1. Counting on one hand, name 5 things you love (like pizza, or a game, or the beach).
  2. who are some of the people you love a lot? why do you love them?

Elementary:

  1. the bible says “god is love.” what are some ways you know god loves you?
  2. since love isn’t just a feeling, but a way we live, what are some ways you show others you love them?

Students:

  1. When have you demonstrated love to someone in the last week? can you think of a time you missed an opportunity to show love?
  2. What do you assume god feels about you when he thinks about you?

Groups:

  1. how does the truth that god considers you a friend and not a servant impact you?
  2. John 15:7 encourages us to remain in god’s love. what would it look like for you to center your identity around being loved by Jesus?
  3. how can remaining connected to the vine, and your true identity, enable you to produce the fruit of love this week?

week two – look it up

john 15:1-17 | psalm 139 | 1 John 4:7-21 | 1 corinthians 13

week two – try it out

preschool and elementary families:

find a way to use a lime (or lime flavoring) this week. talk about different and intentional ways you can show love to the people in your family and to others around you. make a plan to do so.

students:

ask god to bring to mind a friend who really needs to be shown love this week. be brave enough to text them, serve them, encourage them, or remind them of how god sees them. set a reminder so you won’t forget.

groups:

study psalm 139 together. which parts of david’s prayer are encouraging? which are challenging? why? additionally, find a way to show love to someone as a group this week through meeting a particular need.

week two – close it out

family:

GOD, THANK YOU FOR LOVING US FIRST AND FOR SHOWING US WHAT TRUE LOVE LOOKS LIKE. HELP (CHILD’S NAME) TO UNDERSTAND YOUR LOVE FOR HIM/HER AND HELP ME SET THE EXAMPLE BY LOVING LIKE YOU DO. PLEASE GIVE (CHILD’S NAME) A HEART OF LOVE THAT LOOKS LIKE YOURS. AMEN.

groups:

PRAY FOR AN INCREASED UNDERSTANDING AND AWARENESS OF GOD’S LOVE AS WELL AS WHAT IT MEANS TO REMAIN IN THAT LOVE AND LET IT IMPACT YOUR CORE IDENTITY.

Week 1

week 1

week one – open it up

As a family or group, go around the table and share what your favorite meal is and why. Try to have each person’s favorite meal once during this series.

week one – take it further

Preschool:

  1. When do you need to hold mom or dad’s hands so you will be safe?
  2. What are the ways you stay safe in the car?

Elementary:

  1. What are some things you can do by yourself without help?
  2. What are some things you still need help with? Why?

Students:

  1. In what ways do you sometimes choose life in the flesh instead of life in the Spirit?
  2. Do the friends in your life help you want to produce more of the Fruit of the Spirit? Why or why not?

Groups:

  1. How do you see the battle between flesh and Spirit play out in your life?
  2. What are ways you’ve learned to identify flesh vs. Spirit fruit?
  3. What are you hoping to get out of this series and these “Around the Table” experiences?

week one – look it up

galatians 5:13-26 | romans 7:4-6 | romans 7:14-20 | romans 8:1-11

week one – try it out

preschool:

This week, notice all the ways your child is kept safe and point them out to them saying, “this keeps you safe.” At bedtime, remind them that being connected to Jesus keeps us safe just like holding hands with Mom or Dad. Remind them that we ALWAYS need to stay connected to Jesus, no matter how old or big we get.

elementary:

Have your child pick their favorite fruit and together, do some research on how it is grown and what is necessary for it to ripen.

How long does it need to stay connected before it can thrive?

Remind them that being connected to Jesus is how the Fruit of the Spirit is grown in our lives.

students:

Choose a word, phrase, scripture, or photo and update your phone lock screen or computer background to remind you about the importance of life in the Spirit.

groups:

Stock up on your favorite fruits at the grocery store and put them in a bowl where they’re visible. Ask the Holy Spirit to nudge you this week when you’re choosing acts of the flesh over fruit of the Spirit.

week one – close it out

family:

God, thank you for (child’s name) and for making him/her my child. I pray that you will help (name) to grow each day to understand more about you and how they can be connected to you, and most importantly, how much you love him/her. Amen.

groups:

Pray and dedicate these weeks to God and ask that He’d bring much spiritual fruit out of your time together.