29 March 2007

new focus for message handouts

On most weeks, there is a handout that corresponds to the message in The Weekly. When I started doing these, my intent was to walk you through a process of getting into the text for yourself. Thus, the handout usually includes observation, interpretation, and application sections. My experience, and your feedback, was that this was marginally valuable to going deeper because much of it was a repeat of what we'd covered in the message.

As of last week, I've got a new focus for these. First, I'm thinking of our Cell Groups and individuals in the church. While we'd said that you could use the old format in a small group, it really didn't work for that. My goal is that this format, while still effective for an individual, is good for a group. Second, the emphasis will be on issues raised in the text and applying it to your life rather than going through the text all over again.

I really do hope that some of you Cell Group leaders use this sometime. The Scriptures are meant to be read, studied, wrestled-with, and lived in the context of community. Taking a Sunday morning message and "growling" over it further in the realities of individual's lives is a faithful expression of what God intends. If you do use it, I'd love your feedback on how it works.

NOTE: There will not be handouts on 04.01 or 04.08 during the Easter series.

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