For this first meeting, spend some time getting to know each other for about the first 30 minutes. You could have a meal or have everyone bring a snack and go over the expectations for the next few weeks.
Some things to cover:
- Mechanics: The material will be available on the website each week (www.centralpc.org/renovate). The only “preparation” is to listen or watch the optional supplemental material if you have time and inclination. Otherwise just show up with an openness to God and each other!
- Structure: Talk about what you’ll do each week:
- Expectations: Agree to work together to ensure that everyone is included and that prayer requests will remain confidential.
Go around the room and hear from everyone on these questions:
What would you like to renovate in your house? Which room would you start with? If money were no object, what would you change in you house? Most importantly, why would you make this renovation? What would be better? How would you use the room differently?
12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
- In verse 2, Paul says “don’t conform, but be transformed.” What do you think the difference is between conforming and being transformed? What does each one look like when lived out?
- How does the rest of the chapter spell out the change—or renovation—God is calling us to? Share about something in the passage surprises you or stands out to you.