The Artisan Soul
Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art
Sermon Discussion Guide
September 14, 2014
“How we choose to interpret the events
in our lives determines how we see the world.”
- Erwin McManus
- Draw a picture of yourself 10 years from now including in the picture what you’ll be doing and with whom. Don’t put your name on it. Shuffle the whole group’s pictures together. One by one, have each group member pull out a random picture and see if you can tell (or make up) their story as drawn and eventually guess the artist!
- LEADERS - Take an interesting image of people/family/scene. Crop it if you wish. Give the group 3 minutes to look at the image and write a story that explains the image. Allow a few people to share and see how differently the same image can be interpreted.
- If there are children or youth in your group ask them to share their interpretation of heaven. What do they imagine it to be.
Read John 9:8-41 Our own prejudices can keep us from seeing what God is doing in the world.
- Describe a time when your emotions or reliance on past experiences kept you from seeing the truth of a situation or relationship.
- Have you ever experienced a miracle? Share it with the group.
Jeremiah 29:11 God’s plans are to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
- How would this change the way you interpret life if you embraced this truth about God?
- Did you ever experience a time when you were certain God was bringing about his plan for your life?
Read Hebrews 11:1-6—Faith is the evidence of things unseen.
- What are the unseen things in life that you have faith in? What unseen things in your future do you have faith in?
- Do you find yourself wishing more that things could be different in the past than in the future? How can you let God take his rightful place as your hope?
- “We see life through a filter. That filter either blinds us to all the beauty, wonder and possibility that surrounds us, or it brings them to light.” Can you think of a time when you and someone you know experienced a situation together but had completely different interpretations? What caused those differences?
- “Our struggles and suffering give us the context to tell the greatest story of our lives.” Erwin McManus describes two kinds of “uninteresting” people: the “watchers” who have never suffered, and the “wallowers” whose pain is their universe. Do you feel like you lean towards either side of this spectrum? Why is it so important to suffer well?
- We are shaped by the relationships that choose us or we choose our relationships on the basis of the person we intend to become. What people in your life could you choose to pursue to help you grow toward your intended future?
- Begin a practice this week of recording every good and beautiful act or experience that comes your way. Write them down on post-it notes and stick them to a window reminding yourself to let beauty be the filter through which you see the world.
- Make a chart for yourself on a folded sheet of paper. On the left side write some memories that have shaped how you see yourself. Realize these memories may not be the whole story of who you’ve been created to be. Spend some time quietly asking “What other memories do you want me to spend time interpreting in a new way? How do you want me to see my story differently?” Record those things on the right side of the page. Spend some time returning to your list each day this week to allow a new story to emerge.
- What relationships in your life can help you become who you were intended to be? RIGHT NOW text them to set up a time for coffee, drop them an email, or write them a note to mail.
- Last week we discussed creating something good, beautiful, and true together as a group. On October 18th from 9am - 12pm Gateway is organizing an all-church serve day! This will be a great opportunity to serve together as a church. Also, look for upcoming Missional Community dates coming soon!
O God our heavenly Father, you have blessed us and given us dominion over all the earth: Increase our reverence before the mystery of life; and give us new insight into your purposes for the human race, and new wisdom and determination in making provision for its future in accordance with your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. - Book of Common Prayer