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  • How to be Unsuccessful
    How to be Unsuccessful: Episode 2

    Session 2: Success Is… Pursuing Relationship over Relevance

    How to Be (Un)Successful book chapter for this session: 

    Chapter 2 

    A note for leaders 

    Each session of the series is designed to take one hour but can easily be adapted for your group’s needs. We recommend allowing time at the beginning to chat and get to know one another, especially if your group is new.  

    Each session will include questions to allow groups to talk about what impacted them most – feel free to spend time on the questions that are most helpful for your group, and don’t worry about getting through all the questions! However, if your group prefers to have multiple questions to work through, these are provided too.  

    We also recommend allowing time at the end for reflection and to pray for one another, especially as each session requires a little vulnerability.  

    Welcome and introduction

    5 mins

    In the second session, we’ll be exploring how our desire to feel truly seen can’t be met by achieving relevance, but only in deep friendship. 

    Key verse 

    She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”  

    Genesis 16:13 

    Begin the session by opening in prayer  

    Watch the video

    15 mins

    Bible passages 

    Genesis 16:13 

    Summary points 

    • The greatest desire we can have is to feel truly seen by our creator. 
    • But we often settle for the lesser version – for relevance, being recognized and admired by others. 
    • God asks us to resist the allure of relevance, and instead to humbly seek to see and be seen in the context of deep friendship with him and with others. 

    Discussion questions

    25 mins

    • What was your highlight from the session? 
    • What comes more naturally to you – a desire for obscurity or visibility? 
    • Thinking back over your life, who are the people who have made you feel truly seen? What impact did they have on your life? 
    • Do you think that friendship is valued in today’s culture? 

    “First, I draw near to Jesus in friendship.  

    Being truly seen by Jesus helps me see others.  

    Seeing others leads to friendship with them.” 

    • Do you recognise this pattern? How does being truly seen by Jesus help us to see others? 
    • Nathi said, “In order to show up to the world, we need to have shown up to ourselves.” Do you agree? What does this look like? 
    • How do we give others the incredible gift that God gives us – the gift that Hagar celebrated – the gift of being truly seen? Is there someone you can help to feel seen in your life? 

    Prayer and practical challenge

    15 mins


    Finish your time together by closing in prayer or splitting into small groups to pray for one another’s specific needs. 

    Practical challenge 

    Choose one person to encourage this week. Spend some time praying for them and asking God how he sees them – then send them a text or have a conversation sharing your encouragement.

    Inspired by this podcast?

    More episodes in this series

    View series
    Session 3: Success Is… Growing in Depth rather than Volume
    Episode 3
    Session 4: Success is… Transforming Over Transferring
    Episode 4
    Session 5: Success Is… Being a Faithful Presence in the Culture Wars
    Episode 5
    Session 6: Success is… Power and Participation
    Episode 6