Faith Pictures

Session 2 - The Power of the Ordinary

The Power of the Ordinary

In the last session we saw that some subjects can be difficult to talk about. In this session we’ll think about how it can be easier to talk about something we know and love, and how our own experience of faith gives us clues for talking about our faith.

Discover

Video: The Power of the Ordinary

Question after video: How easy did you find it to listen to the people in the video speaking about their hobby? Were you interested? Were you uncomfortable?

Dive In

We all have things we do that seem normal to us and others will find interesting or unusual. It might be a hobby, or an area of expertise that you have in your job, or a habit you have that others would be intrigued by.

  • Ask your group to spend a couple of minutes thinking about their week and the things they do. Have them make a list of three or four things that you do that others might not. As an extra challenge, can they find one thing they each do that no other person in the group does? These may be things like going to the gym, painting, playing music, or board games. Next to each of them, have them write:
    • Why they do them
    • How they make them feel
    • What the activity add to their week
  • Once you have done this, have the group speak to one other person in the group explaining one of the things on their list.
  • Come back together as a group. If you have a large group, you will need to be selective in how many people contribute to this next activity. Try and encourage those who may not normally contribute to give a response if they are comfortable. Ask them to explain what the person they were speaking to does, and why they do it.
  • As a follow-up for everyone, ask them how they felt explaining what they did to someone else. You may get a range of answers, from people feeling comfortable and natural, to people feeling incredibly uncomfortable sharing anything about themselves. Acknowledge that there isn’t one of these that is right or wrong; we all have our preferences.

In the last session we saw that some subjects can be difficult to talk about. In this session we’ll think about how it can be easier to talk about something we know and love, and how our own experience of faith gives us clues for talking about our faith. For each of us, we need to reflect on and think about our own journey of faith before we can share it with others. We will do this in-depth next week, but before that it would be good to start reflecting on what it is about God that has been important to you at different stages of your life. Have the list of words below either printed out, or written on pieces of paper, preferably more than one copy. Read out the words below, and ask everyone to pick one or two words that have been particularly meaningful to them in their journey with God:

  • Mercy
  • Justice
  • Forgiveness
  • Strength
  • Love
  • Power
  • Compassion
  • Majesty
  • Creativity
  • Humanity

How we think of God may shape how we think about sharing our faith; if we primarily think of God as powerful, we may approach it in a different way to if we think of God primarily as forgiving.

Looking at the words you have chosen, what is the impression of God that emerges?

Going Deeper

As a way of grounding your idea of your own faith journey, it would be good to connect your ideas about what God is like to a person of the Trinity. All persons of the Trinity are important and significant, but we might relate to a particular person at particular times in our life.

  • The Father bring order out of chaos through creativity.
  • The Son brings love and forgiveness through pain and struggle.
  • The Spirit brings passion for change through opening our eyes to God’s tomorrow.

Can you think of ways that relating to the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit might be more helpful in thinking about sharing your faith than just talking about God?

  • God can feel like an impersonal force or abstract concept. When we speak about the Trinity it can ground us in thinking about certain characteristics.

In the same way that you might feel more connected to the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit than another at different times, can you think of reasons others might connect more to one person of the Trinity than another? This could be a good thing for the group to take away and reflect on over the next few days.

Draw Near

It is important that we take the things we have been talking and thinking about to God in prayer. For this course, the prayers at the end of the session will be split into three parts; feel free to use as many or as few of them as you want.

Head – Thought

Are there any ideas that have been challenging, comforting, or completely new to you? Bring these thoughts to mind and spend a moment talking to God about them.

Heart – Feelings

What has been the strongest emotion you have felt over the course of the session? What caused it? Is it positive, negative, or are you not sure?

Hands – Actions

Is there a thing that you feel you want to do as a result of what has been chatted about during the session? Is God telling you something through that? If it feels appropriate, you could ask people to put on a communal piece of paper what they feel this is, but make sure it’s clear that they don’t have to. If you do this, take a picture of it or save it some other way, and if it feels appropriate, ask next week how this went.

Drawing It Together

If you are comfortable doing so, say the Lord’s Prayer together:

Our Father in Heaven
Hallowed be Your Name
Your Kingdom come
Your will be done
On Earth as in Heaven
Give us today our daily bread
And forgive us our sins

As we forgive those who sin
against us.
Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
For the Kingdom, the power
and the glory are yours
Now and for ever.
Amen

Session 2 Materials

Session Sheet

Session 1
Opening the Conversation
Why are some subjects harder to talk about than others?
Session 3
Traveller’s Tales
Beginning to think about our own stories.

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Session 6
Hidden Opportunities
Finding out what God is doing and joining in.
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Session 5
Companions on the Journey
Discovering a Bible character who shares something of our story.
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Session 4
Talking Pictures
Using picture-language to describe our faith.
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