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  • How to be Unsuccessful
    How to be Unsuccessful: Episode 5

    Session 5: Success Is… Being a Faithful Presence in the Culture Wars

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

    Chapter 5 

    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 fifth session, we’ll be exploring the idea that to follow Jesus is to be concerned with the social, economic, and political conditions in this world, and that dismantling injustice is actually God’s prescription for our own flourishing. 

    Key verse 

    “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: 
    to loose the chains of injustice 
        and untie the cords of the yoke, 
    to set the oppressed free 
        and break every yoke?” 
    Isaiah 58:6 

    Begin the session by opening in prayer  

    Watch the video

    15 mins

    Bible passages 

    Isaiah 58:6-11, Matthew 10:16 

    Summary points 

    • God calls his people to be concerned with the state of the world. 
    • Imagining prophetically works hand in hand with acting justly. As you begin to imagine a more just world, you will find yourself inspired to live and act in ways that see it come about. 
    • God calls us to play our part in dismantling injustice through radical hospitality – seeing the poor as members of our own family. 

    Discussion questions

    25 mins

    • What was your highlight from the session? 
    • Pete said, “Dismantling injustice is actually God’s prescription for our own flourishing.” Does this resonate with your experience, or does it sound counterintuitive?

    “Christians have so often taught that the political is unspiritual, but this means the church misses out on our serving the world.” 

    • What is your reaction when it comes to engaging with injustice? Are you excited and encouraged, or exhausted, overwhelmed, or numb? 
    • Vincynthia talks about feeling a righteous anger about injustice, and then feeling that anger transform into deep compassion. Have you ever felt something similar? 
    • “Often it’s your anger that’s your indicator of where you should start.” With this in mind, what issues – big or small – do you feel moved with righteous anger about? 
    • What does it mean to ‘imagine prophetically’? Have you had an experience of this? 
    • Pete points out that it’s helpful to start local, so what is one thing you would love to see be transformed in your neighbourhood? 
    • Practically, what could radical hospitality look like in your own life? 

    Prayer and practical challenge

    15 mins

    Prayer 

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

    Practical challenge 

    Prayer walk around your neighbourhood, inviting God to show you his vision for your area, and how he would like to see it change. 

    Inspired by this podcast?

    More episodes in this series

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    Session 6: Success is… Power and Participation
    Episode 6