This week, as you talk about embracing people who are different than us, your conversation may cause some tension. If it does, remember that the way you handle relational tension in your group sets the tone of acceptance. You can consistently protect your few from the risk of rejection by celebrating everyone equally, by shutting down unhealthy conversation, and by privately addressing individual issues as they arise. And while it may not be realistic for everyone to fully accept each other at all times, the consistent attempt on your part will prove to your few they are in a safe place that values acceptance.
Share a high and a low from the week.
If you could go on a road trip with your best friends, where would you go?
Think about your best friends. What are three things you have in common with them? What’s one thing you don’t have in common?
What are some different groups of people that you’ve noticed, maybe in your school or your neighborhood?
Acts 20:1-4 (NIV)
20 When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said goodbye and set out for Macedonia. 2 He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece, 3 where he stayed three months. Because some Jews had plotted against him just as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia. 4 He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy also, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia.
Colossians 3:11-12 (NIV)
11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised,barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Do you have any friends from . . .
o a different culture?
o a different faith?
o a different kind of family?
Why is it sometimes difficult to relate to people who are different than you?
What’s one benefit of spending time with people who aren’t like you?
How do you think God wants us to treat people who aren’t like us? (compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience.)
What is one thing you can do this week to treat someone different than you like they matter?