by John Mark Comer
Begin with prayer (5 minutes)
Gather together as a Community in a comfortable setting (around a table, on the couch, the floor of a living room, etc.). Have somebody lead a prayer asking the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time together.
Debrief last week’s practice in small groups (15-20 minutes)
If you are in a Community of seven or more, divide into small groups of 3–4 people each (ideally same gender).
Spend a few minutes catching up on life…
Then talk through the following debrief questions:
- Did you listen to the teaching? What did you think?
- Doing this practice, what narrative scrips were reveled to you?
- Did your time in listening prayer and/or community replace any lies you’ve been believing with truth?
Transition back to one large group (5 minutes)
Ask a few questions about the last week’s practice:
- Did you have any revelations or breakthrough moments from the last week’s practice that you would like to encourage the whole Community with?
- Would somebody be willing to share a narrative script that was revealed to you through this practice? Maybe a lie you’ve been believing?
- What are ways we can help speak truth into your life to counter the lie?
Read this overview
It’s been a long, hard four weeks, but now we’re finally ready for the pay off. The focus of this week’s practice will be on generational blessing.
In the teaching, we looked at the story of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and his twelve sons - four generations that formed the nucleus of Israel. But this time, we didn’t look at generational sins, but generational blessings. The reality is, that family was a mix bag of good and and bad. Most families are like that.
A key task in our apprenticeship to Jesus is to identify the patterns that we inherited from our family of origin, but then to decide which patterns we need to stop, start, and/or continue. But especially, the goal this week is to identity the “blessing” or “heritage” that you carry from your family line, if there is one. To celebrate it. Thank God for it. And then make sure it lives on in the next generation.
To that practice we now turn. This week should be a lot of fun.
Open to the Bible together (10 minutes)
Have somebody read Genesis 12v1-3
Talk about the following questions:
- Abraham’s blessing was passed down from generation to generation. What are some blessings that you’ve inherited from your family or origin?
- God’s promise was to bless every nation on earth through Abraham’s family. Why do think families play such a key role in God’s plan for the world? In a society where the family is rapidly breaking down, what does this say about how we do family in the church? And in this little community?
Talk about the coming week’s practice as a Community (10–30 minutes)
Here’s the practice for the coming week:
- This week is the roadmap for how to move forward. After four emotionally grueling weeks, we’re finally ready to put it all together with three simple exercises.
- If you’re single, now is a great time to clarify what you want to break and what you want to carry forward into the generations that come after you.
- This is an espeicaly helpful practice to do if you’re a newly married or just starting a family. You now carry two very different family of origins into a new family unit. The result will be a whole new combination. What will you keep? What will you discard? What will you contribute? Spend time together going over your list of stop, start, and/or continue.
Exercise 1: Stop
- Write out any patterns, scripts, traditions, and values from your family of origin that you want to break.
- Think over the last three weeks of exercises and glean the hightlights.
Exercise 2: Start
- Write out any patterns, scripts, traditions, and values that you want to start with your generation.
- It might be a simle script like, “The family that plays together, stays together.” Or a fun tradition like always cutting down a Christmas tree the day after Thansgiving. Or it might be a value for community or generosity or the practice of Sabbath. Anything goes here. Dream a little. Then see those dreams become reality.
Exercise 3: Continue
- Write out any patterns, scripts, traditions, and values from your family of origin that you want to carry forward to the next generation - your children, or just children your are in relationship with through family, community, church, etc.
- If you can’t identify a blessing from your family line due to the emotional pain of your story, don’t let it ruin you. The future is wide open before you. Let the Father start a new family line through your story. Take this time to pray in that direction.
- This is a key part of the practice. It’s essential that we identify the blessing of our family line, thank God for it, and carry it forward.
Work through these discussion questions (10-15 minutes)
- Any thoughts, creative ideas, or feedback on this coming week’s practice?
- If you had to summarize your family’s “blessing” in one sentence, what would you say?
- If you have children, or hope to have them in the future, what is the main blessing you hope to pass on to your own kids?
- If you’re not sure about kids, how can you pass on your blessing to the next generation? Is it through a niece or nephew, a child in your community, a student you mentor, a kid from church, or some other way?