September 17, 2015
Purpose: To address a specific sequence of questions in a structured format with small groups, using active listening skills. It asks that participants equalize communication and withhold judgment. It affirms people’s ideas and builds community.
· Form groups of 3 to 6 people.
· Allow 6 to 9 minutes per round, depending on the size of the group.
· Each person has equal time to talk.
· The listeners should not interrupt, interpret, paraphrase, analyze, give advice or break in with a personal story while the speaker is talking.
1. Read the following questions one at a time out loud.
· Choose one part/verse of Matthew 5 that was uppermost in your thoughts this past two weeks. (When it is your turn, read it to the group.)
· How did you use/practice this part/verse of Matthew 5 in your life recently?
· Was there a change in your thought or situation (a demonstration) because of your focus on this part/verse of Matthew 5? If so, will you share what that was?
· Did you gain any new spiritual insights from thinking about this part/verse of Matthew 5? If so, please share them with the group.
· Write/think about any other thoughts you would like to share about your deeper study of Matthew 5.
2. Each individual should write/think about a response to the question, with the understanding that everyone will share with their group. (2 minutes per question) If time is of the essence, skip the writing step, but allow time to think about a response.
3. For each question, in Round Robin fashion, each member of the group will read what he/she wrote or tell what he/she is thinking. There is no interaction among the group.
4. Repeat the sequence for each question.
5. Discuss these reflection questions following the activity.
· What did you hear that was significant?
· What successes did you hear about how people were practicing Jesus’s counsel?
· What are some new ideas you gathered from listening to each other?