Tonight, we start our split discussions. We’ll start class with a nice little game, have a few announcements, and then the ladies will dismiss to the Merry Hearts room for our first split session.
Here are a few things to keep in mind tonight:
Be involved. Don’t leave the talking to the talkative people—you know… those loud-mouths that dominate every group conversation like Skye, Kaite, or Matthew (just kidding!). YOU speak up. We’ll try to get answers from everyone.
It’s okay if you missed some. I get it… last week was Christmas, and you might have slacked a little on a couple days here and there. Am I right? That’s okay. I did a little “pencil pushing” myself (when you go back to previous days and fill in the blanks just so it doesn’t look empty.) I do my BIBS at church, when I’m here, but I do the devotional part at home. I just had to fill in the blanks once I got to work, and because we had time off for Christmas, I filled in a few days at a time.
Be honest. You don’t have to lie. That makes things worse! No one (including you) is better off if you lie about doing your BIBS, so just be honest. Who knows… maybe someone will be encouraged to know they aren’t the only ones who struggled with this last week. I’m thinking, since this was our first week, we ALL struggled with this, and no one wants to admit it first! That’s OKAY! That’s GOOD, actually! Just be honest.
Think along with the group. Even if you weren’t able to do each day’s study, at least keep your mind open tonight. Think along. As we read each passage, stay engaged. Listen. If a thought comes to you, speak up. You might think, “I shouldn’t speak up. I didn’t even DO the work at home!” That’s okay. If you have something to say, say it.
All answers are valid. I might have written down something completely different from you. Or… we might have basically the same thing. So what? It’s not about what I wrote down… it’s about what YOU wrote! So remember… this is ALL about you spending time with God. Who am I to tell you what’s “right” or “wrong” about that? Everything God spoke to you about is valid. Share it tonight without fear.
Suspend judgment. Meaning… don’t judge others’ answers. If someone who’s younger than you says something you think is dumb, don’t show it. In fact… change how you think about it. Encourage them.
Come with a “that was good” attitude. Turn your thoughts from negative to positive. Instead of thinking everyone else’s answers are dumb, or everyone else is trying to kiss up to the teacher… forget those mean or selfish thoughts and instead think kind thoughts of others. No matter who it is, decide NOW to get something from tonight. “Wow. That was a good answer… I never thought of that… I didn’t even see that… Oo, that was cool that he said that… Nice insight…” It all starts with your attitude. So work on your attitude now, before we begin.
Learn as you go. You might be showing up tonight thinking, “I had NO idea what I was doing!” That’s okay. That’s the same with a lot of us. We are learning as we go. That’s why we’re here at church, right? To learn? To grow? To become better? Otherwise (like, if you had this all down already), what’s the point? You’ve already “arrived” (uh oh… now we’re talking about the pride aspect from last week’s SS sermon). Come to learn. If you have completely different answers, share them, too!
I promise I will do my best to not make you feel dumb for anything you say. Can you promise that, too?