Emotionally Healthy Relationships: Taking Your Community Temperature Reading (05.06.19)
Opening Scripture (30 minutes)
Commence your time together by reading the simple words below, and then taking three minutes of silence in the presence of the Lord.
Each week we gather to praise our God,
to give ourselves over to our God
and to ask our God for help
We believe when we gather, He is with us
We believe when openly confess our hearts, we become more like Him
We believe in Christ we are our truest selves,
created to love and serve others for the sake of the world
At the end of the silence, read the following scripture from 1 Corinthians 13:1–3:
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
Now reflect and share responses to the following questions:
- How do you understand the words, “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing”?
- Does this passage align with or clash with your understanding of spiritual maturity? How so?
- As you think back over the past week, can you give one or two examples of how you separated your love for God from your love for people?
Emotional / Spiritual Health Community Temperature Reading (15 minutes)
This week, Dave introduced the “Emotionally Healthy Relationships” series with an emphasis on how the essence of true Christian spirituality is to love well.
As a group, do the exercise in this Emotionally Healthy Spirituality PDF. It is designed to take a quick temperature reading of your community’s emotional and spiritual health. Take 10-15 minutes to read through the pre-session reading below, take the survey individually, and tally up your responses. We’ll come together again after.
It is easy to grow physically into a chronological adult. It is quite another to grow into an emotional adult. Many people may be, chronologically, a young adult, middle age, or older, but remain an emotional infant, child, or adolescent. The following diagnostic is a simple tool to help you determine your level of spiritual/emotional maturity.
Take a few minutes to reflect on this simple assessment to get a sense of where you are as a disciple of Jesus Christ. It will help you get a sense of whether your discipleship has touched the emotional components of your life and, if so, how much. It will challenge you to consider whether you are an emotional infant, child, adolescent or adult. We encourage you to take the assessment now as you begin “The EH Relationships Course,” and then to take it again the completion of the course. This way you will be able to measure any progress you have made.
It’s natural to feel uneasy or uncomfortable about some of the questions. Try to be as vulnerable and open as possible. Remember that the inventory will reveal nothing about you that is news to God. Take a moment to pray that God will guide your responses and to remember that you can afford to be honest because he loves you dearly without condition.
Confession & Prayer (45 minutes)
Once that you have taken an inventory of your own personal emotional spiritual maturity through the lens of this tool, split up into groups of four. Remember, it is natural to feel uneasy or uncomfortable in any moment of self-examination, but try to be as open and vulnerable as possible. We can afford to be honest because God already loves us dearly without condition. Take a few minutes to reflect on the following prompts in silence.
- In which areas did you score emotionally/spiritually mature? Where has God been greatly at work in your growth and development?
- In which areas did you score lowest in your maturity? Notice if there were any trends across your lower scores.
- With this information, which areas of immaturity might you wish to confess before God? Where do you feel you need Christ’s example and help the most?
- What is one practical situation over the next week where God may be inviting you into growth in this area?
Now going person by person, spend a few minutes where each individual shares about their identified areas of immaturity, along with their practical invitation into growth. After each person courageously shares their weakness and need for God’s help, place hands on your brother and sister and pray over him/her with short prayers of mercy, grace, hope, and love. Continue until everyone in your group of four has had the opportunity for confession and prayer.
Note: for extra support and accountability we recommend your group of four to create a text thread, with the invitation for each person to send a real-life prayer request over the next week with relation to today’s discussion.
Closing (10 minutes)
Return to your larger group and have each smaller group share one moment that stuck out in the confession exercise and prayer. Close your time together with thanksgiving and prayer over your CG, the church, and the city of San Francisco.