WEEK 1:

Ex-Squeeze Yourself

GROUP LEADER PREP (30 minutes):

  • Review all content for week one in your participation guide
  • Watch week one’s video
  • Select two to three discussion questions

 

INTRODUCTION (30 minutes for the first week of the study):

If you’re leading a new group or have new group members, take time to go around the group for introductions.

  • Give everyone an opportunity to tell a little bit about themselves.  As the leader set the pace and then share expectations by telling the group about yourself
  • Provide everyone a copy of the Group Participant Covenant. Ask everyone to read it on their own or feel free to discuss within the “Introduction” time.

Remind everyone that: Our lives are busy and fast-paced. The lack of margin increases our stress and shortens our tempers. It can distract us from the most important things in our lives, and our relationships suffer. It can even affect our relationship with God because there’s a connection between our willingness to create margin and our faith.  Essentially: Life is better with breathing room.

Begin the group meeting by reading to your group participants the “Discussion Starter” on page 10 of your group participant guide. Allow the group at least 5 minutes to respond.

 

VIDEO OVERVIEW (5 minutes):

Read or ask someone in the group to read the “Video Overview” on pages 10 through 12 of the group participant guide.

Remind everyone that there is a “Video Notes” section on page 13.

 

PLAY VIDEO (18 minutes):

Play Week One video titled: Ex-Squeeze Me from your DVD or through RightNow Media. Video length approximately 18 minutes.

Be prepared to open “Discussion Time” with your own thought or a take-a-way from the video.

 

DISCUSSION TIME (45 minutes):

Facilitate your group participants in a discussion centered around the discussion questions on pages 14 and 15 of your group participation guide.

Below are some supplemental questions if needed:

  1. During the message, Andy said, “Your happiness can be measured by the quality of your relationships, not your prosperity or your progress.” Do you agree? Why or why not?
  2. Where do you need some breathing room in your life? What is one thing you can do this week to begin to create it?

 

WHAT DID WE LEARN THIS WEEK? (5 to 7 minutes):

Read the following from pages 16 through 18 of the participation guide

  • Mileposts
  • Moving Forward
  • Changing Your Mind
  • Prep for Session 2

 

CLOSE IN PRAYER


Week 2:

Time

GROUP LEADER PREP (30 minutes):

  • Review all content for week two in your participation guide
  • Watch week two’s video
  • Select two to three discussion questions

 

INTRODUCTION (15 minutes):

Spend some time in review of last week’s lesson. Ask your group if there was anything significant that they learned and didn’t share the last time you all were together. Or re-read on page 16 of your group participant guide “Moving Forward”. Ask your group if they’ve put any thought behind the last sentence of that section “What’s at stake isn’t your progress; it’s your peace”.

Remind everyone that: We’re all busy. Our schedules are packed with career, family, friends, church, and other responsibilities. Sometimes our days are so full that we don’t enjoy anything because we’re trying to do everything. Our relationships benefit when we create breathing room in our schedules. But where do we start?

Begin the group meeting by reading to your group participants the “Discussion Starter” on page 22 of your group participant guide. Allow the group at least 5 minutes to respond.

 

VIDEO OVERVIEW (5 minutes):

Read or ask someone in the group to read the “Video Overview” on pages 22 through 24 of the group participant guide.

Remind everyone that there is a “Video Notes” section on page 25.

 

PLAY VIDEO (17 minutes):

Video length approximately 17 minutes.

Be prepared to open “Discussion Time” with your own thought or a take-a-way from the video.

 

DISCUSSION TIME (45 minutes):

Facilitate your group participants in a discussion centered around the discussion questions on pages 26 and 27 of your group participation guide.

Below are some supplemental questions if needed:

  1. What is one thing you need to add to your schedule? What is one thing you need to subtract?
  2. What is one thing you can do this week to begin to create breathing room in your schedule?

 

WHAT DID WE LEARN THIS WEEK? (5 to 7 minutes):

Read the following from pages 28 through 31 of the participation guide

  • Mileposts
  • Moving Forward
  • Changing Your Mind
  • Prep for Session 3

 

CLOSE IN PRAYER


Week 3:

Dollars and Sense

GROUP LEADER PREP (30 minutes):

  • ·      Review all content for week three in your participation guide
  • ·      Watch week three’s video
  • ·      Select two to three discussion questions
  •  

 

INTRODUCTION (15 minutes):

Spend some time in review of last week’s lesson. Ask your group if there was anything significant that they learned and didn’t share the last time you all were together. Or re-read on page 28 of your group participant guide “Moving Forward”. Emphasize and encourage a response to the thought of: “Why not give control to the One who gifted you with your time?”

Remind everyone that: We live in a culture that continually tells us to pursue a higher standard of living in order to improve our quality of life. But “standard of living” and “quality of life” aren’t the same. One has to do with the stuff we accumulate. The other is about the peace we experience regardless of our circumstances.

Begin the group meeting by reading to your group participants the “Discussion Starter” on page 34 of your group participant guide. Allow the group at least 5 minutes to respond.

 

VIDEO OVERVIEW (5 minutes):

Read or ask someone in the group to read the “Video Overview” on pages 34 through 36 of the group participant guide.

Remind everyone that there is a “Video Notes” section on page 37.

 

PLAY VIDEO (17 minutes):

Play Week Three video titled: Dollars and Sense from your DVD or through RightNow Media. Video length approximately 17 minutes.

Be prepared to open “Discussion Time” with your own thought or a take-a-way from the video.

 

DISCUSSION TIME (45 minutes):

Facilitate your group participants in a discussion centered around the discussion questions on pages 38 and 39 of your group participation guide.

Below are some supplemental questions if needed:

  1. 1.     What if your pursuit of a standard of living is undermining your quality of life?
  2. What is one challenge you would face in developing a lifestyle reduction plan?

 

WHAT DID WE LEARN THIS WEEK? (5 to 7 minutes):

Read the following from pages 40 through 42 of the participation guide

  • Mileposts
  • Moving Forward
  • Changing Your Mind
  • Prep for Session 4

 

CLOSE IN PRAYER


GROUP LEADER PREP (30 minutes):

  • Review all content for week four in your participation guide
  • Watch week four’s video
  • Select two to three discussion questions

 

INTRODUCTION (15 minutes):

Spend some time in review of last week’s lesson. Ask your group if there was anything significant that they learned and didn’t share the last time you all were together. Or re-read on page 40 of your group participant guide “Moving Forward”. Emphasize and encourage a response to the thought of: “You may need to lower your standard of living in order to improve your quality of life.”

Remind everyone that: At some point in our attempts to get the most out of life, we lose control of our lives. We try to forceone more thing into our already busy lives and we reach the breaking point. Too much pressure causes an emotional breakdown. Too much debt causes a financial breakdown. Or maybe you’re on the verge of a breakdown in your relationships.

Begin the group meeting by reading to your group participants the “Discussion Starter” on page 46 of your group participant guide. Allow the group at least 5 minutes to respond.

 

VIDEO OVERVIEW (5 minutes):

Read or ask someone in the group to read the “Video Overview” on pages 46 through 48 of the group participant guide.

Remind everyone that there is a “Video Notes” section on page 49.

 

PLAY VIDEO (17 minutes):

Play Week Four video titled: Choosing to Cheat from your DVD or through RightNow Media. Video length approximately 17 minutes.

Be prepared to open “Discussion Time” with your own thought or a take-a-way from the video.

 

DISCUSSION TIME (45 minutes):

Facilitate your group participants in a discussion centered around the discussion questions on pages 50 and 51 of your group participation guide.

Below are some supplemental questions if needed:

  1. What do you do when your work life is so full you don’t have time for the people who matter most?
  2. What are some of the challenges you would face if you chose to cheat at work?

 

WHAT DID WE LEARN THIS WEEK? (5 to 7 minutes):

Read the following from pages 52 and 53 of the participation guide

  • Mileposts
  • Moving Forward
  • Changing Your Mind

 

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • Provide group participants a next step opportunity
  • If the group is staying together for the next season
    • Provide them with direction on the next meeting date, time and curriculum choice
  • If the group is not continuing on for the next season
    • Give them your campus Connections Pastor’s email and they will assist them connecting to another group if they so desire
  • Provide them direction on other resources which will help them to continue to create margin/breathing room in their lives (Refer to Next Steps handout)
  • Provide them direction on Cross Timbers resources for creating financial margin/breathing room (Refer to Next Steps handout)
  • Provide them direction on how to stay connected at the church (Refer to Next Steps handout)

 

CLOSE IN PRAYER

Week 4:

Choosing to Cheat