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.
In the fourth session, we’ll explore how different ways of dealing with pain can deeply impact our lives – either transferring it to others, or taking it to God and allowing him to transform it.
Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases…
who satisfies your desires with good things.
Psalm 103:1–3, 5
Begin the session by opening in prayer
Psalm 103:1-3, 5; John 21
This discussion will demonstrate the importance of vulnerability – it would be good to explore ‘general’ pain experienced by most people such as grief, loss, unforgiveness as well as ‘specific’ pain such as addiction, abuse, etc – making the topic applicable to everyone.
In discussions of potentially difficult and heavy topics like these, it’s good to focus on personal examples rather than the examples of others.
“Your deepest pain can become your greatest victory when you bring that pain to God. When you – instead of transferring it onto other people or distracting yourself from it – let God transform it.”
Finish your time together by closing in prayer or splitting into small groups to pray for one another’s specific needs.
Instead of the coping mechanisms that have gotten you through your pain to this point, how could you respond differently? Create a conscious plan for bringing your pain to God – this could look like an afternoon spent journal
ling, an appointment to speak with a pastor or a therapist, or simply commitment to sit with your discomfort the next time it arrives, instead of (for example) immediately picking up your phone to scroll.