18 Oct Discussion Guide: The Art of Neighboring Week 6
What “Next Steps” did you take over the past week in attempting to connect with your neighbors? How did that go?
Take some time to pray for your neighborhoods/neighbors as we begin this series. Ask God to open doors and give you a heart and a desire to love your neighbors as you love yourself.
To begin the discussion, watch The Art of Neighboring video for week 6.
What was your big take away from this week’s reading and/or video? What stuck out to you? What did you like? What was difficult or confusing?
“Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
What does it mean to be a peacemaker?
How is our being peacemakers connected to our being called children of God?
How does the Gospel model the peacemaking heart of God?
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”
What role does forgiveness play in the ability to be a peacemaker?
How have you seen forgiveness towards someone restore your friendship with that person?
”I find that when I think I am asking God to forgive me I am often asking Him to do something quite different. I am asking Him not to forgive me but to excuse me. But there is all the difference in the world between forgiving and excusing. Forgiveness says, “Yes, you have done this thing, but I accept your apology; I will never hold it against you and everything between us will be exactly as it was before.” But excusing says, “I see that you couldn’t help it or didn’t mean it; you weren’t really to blame.” If one was not really to blame then there is nothing to forgive…What we call “asking God’s forgiveness: very often really consists in asking God to accept our excuses.”
Have you ever had a conflict with a neighbor, or ever seen conflict between two neighbors? How could that situation have been handled differently?
Are you aware of any conflicts in your neighborhood that currently exist? What might you be able to do to bring peace into that situation?
At the conclusion of each gathering we will do 3 things. Often groups lose track of time and end up rushing through the second half of the content. We strongly believe that these 3 exercises are the most important part of this study. If you only have time to do one section each week…do this one!
Do the Block Map – Take out the block map and fill it in right now… just start with the names of your neighbors. Download Block Map here.
Go around the room and share how many of the names you knew? Did you have any epiphanies as you did this exercise? What did you learn or feel as a result of doing this exercise? Most people naturally feel a little guilty when they realize how little they know about their neighbors. Allow people to feel what they feel, but this is definitely NOT the time to try to make people feel guilty or that they are not doing enough. Allow God to work on people in HIS timing. As a host you might feel like you should know more of your neighbors since you are a host. Avoid that temptation. We are all on this journey together and we all have room to grow. Let people see you are real and honest and that you don’t have it all figured out either. Your group will trust you more for your honesty! Write the names of your neighbors by listing out the names of the adults and children of the 8 closest houses or apartment units next to you. Pay attention to the blank spaces Take a second and identify each of the neighbors and decide if they are a stranger, acquaintance, or relationship.
Identify one neighbor that you are going to pray for during the next week. Take time to pray in the group for the neighbors that were mentioned.
Share one small “next step” that you feel God is calling you to take in the next 7 days.