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Do Four Things 

Church Discussion Guide

Quick Path:

Use this sequence if you have only a short amount of time (say, one or two meetings).

Have group members read the all chapters of the book. 

Gauge the amount of overall time you have for discussion.

Divide your available time into five parts.

Use four of the five parts to discuss each chapter using the suggestions below. Use the remaining time segment to open and close your session.

Deliberate Path:

Use this sequence if you have a substantial amount of time (say, two or three meetings over two weeks or a month).

Have group member read the all chapters of the book, or take the book one chapter at a time.

Gauge the amount of overall time you have for your discussions.

Divide your available time into four parts.

Use  your four parts to discuss each chapter using the suggestions below. Leave time to appropriately open and close your sessions.

Discussion Instructions

For your  church group to get maximum worth out of your Do Four Things discussions, three discussion considerations need to happen:

1) discussion group members need to agree on awareness, kindness, and care in speaking and listening,


2) discussion group members need to agree on an overall time limit for the discussion, and, 


3) discussion group members need to agree that disagreements or differences are not only expected, but healthy.

Observing and honoring these ground rules for discussion will allow for a safe, productive environment for discussion designed to move forward with necessary awareness and toward cultural racial healing.

The following questions have been used, and tested, to promote awareness, thoughtful pondering, and eventual informed action. Feel free to adapt these questions for your group as needed.

". . . let the wise also hear and gain in learning,

    and the discerning acquire skill . . .".

 

Proverbs 1:5

(NRSV)

Thing One Discussion

Question A:

What was your selected mode of prayer and pondering, and how long did you devote to your prayer(s)?

As each group member responds to question A, keep track of similarities, differences, opportunities, and overlap in responses.

Question B:

As a result of your prayer, what leadings or awareness became the focal point, or central core, of your listening?

As each group member responds to question B, keep track of similarities, differences, opportunities, and overlap in responses.


Pause Moment:

After considering group member responses to discussion questions A and B, go around your group and note any surprising insights, commonalities, or unexpected awareness that came to you from the comments of others.

 
Question C:

When you finished praying and thinking, which faith values, or ideals, or central purposes really came to the surface for you concerning your current approach to life and current challenges?

As each group member responds to question C, keep track of similarities, differences, opportunities, and overlap in responses.

Question D:

 

As you see other believers living a faithful life, which values or ideals (seen in them) are worth pursuing, copying, or borrowing? Why?

Pause Moment:


After considering group member responses to discussion questions C and D, go around your group and note any surprising insights, commonalities, or unexpected awareness that came to you from the comments of others.

 

Question E:

Recognize: we each need our faith, as expressed in our core values, in these challenging, difficult times, which values or ideals (our own) or those seen in other faithful people are worth putting into practice and into actions for change? How do you see God leading those practices?

Final Pause Moment:

 

Since this is the initial discussion for Thing One, and we have quite a way to go, ponder together, responses you’ve heard to discussion question E; go around your church/faith group and note any personal realizations that came to you from the comments of others about how your values may help guide future actions.

 

(IF useful, prior to advancing to your Thing Two discussion, re-read the discussion instructions at the top.)
 

Thing Two Discussion

Question A:

What was your initial reaction to the actions required in Thing Two?

As each group member responds to this question, keep track of similarities, differences, opportunities, and overlap in responses.

Question B:

 

As you began the work associated with Thing Two, was any part of the task easy? difficult? How did you rely on God’s guidance in this process? As each group member responds to question B, keep track of similarities, differences, opportunities, and overlap in responses.

Pause Moment:

After considering group member responses to discussion questions A and B, go around your group and note any surprising insights, commonalities, or unexpected awareness that came to you from the comments of others.

Question C:

When you finished Thing Two, what thoughts or perceptions were running through your mind? What did you most pray about concerning actions related to Thing Two?

As each group member responds to question C, keep track of similarities, differences, opportunities, and overlap in responses.

Question D:

With Thing Two accomplished, what were you thinking about the possibilities of the upcoming Thing Three? Did you sense any connections between the two different responsibilities?

Pause Moment:

After considering group member responses to discussion questions C and D, go around your group and note any surprising insights, commonalities, or unexpected awareness that came to you from the comments of others.

 

Question E:

If you were on the receiving end of a Thing Two action, what do you think your reaction would be? Why? What would guide your perceptions or thinking? Did this process cause you to think of any Biblical stories? Which ones seem connected or parallel?

Final Pause Moment:

 

Since this second discussion finds us halfway through the Do Four Things process, ponder together, responses you’ve heard to discussion question E; go around your church/faith  group and note any personal realizations that came to you from the comments of others about how your values and actions may help encourage necessary change.

 

(IF useful, prior to advancing to your Thing Three discussion, re-read the discussion instructions at the top.)

Thing Three Discussion

Question A:

 

What was your initial reaction to the actions required in Thing Three? Had you ever participated in a Church outreach or activity that moved in some of the same directions?

As each group member responds to this question, keep track of similarities, differences, opportunities, and overlap in responses.

Question B:

As you began searching for ways to accomplish Thing Three, what strategies of selection did you use? Did you discard any possibilities? Why? What part did prayer play in your decisions?

As each group member responds to question B, keep track of similarities, differences, opportunities, and overlap in responses.

Pause Moment:

After considering group member responses to discussion questions A and B, go around your church/faith group and note any surprising insights, commonalities, or unexpected awareness that came to you from the comments of others.

Question C:

 

When you finished Thing Three, what thoughts, perceptions, or hopes were running through your mind? What prayers related to your actions connected to Thing Three?

As each group member responds to question C, keep track of similarities, differences, opportunities, and overlap in responses.

Question D:

 

With Thing Three accomplished, what were you thinking about initial results of Thing Two? How about results from your efforts with Thing Three? Did you sense any indirect connections between the two different responsibilities?

Pause Moment:

After considering group member responses to discussion questions C and D, go around your group and note any surprising insights, commonalities, or unexpected awareness that came to you from the comments of others.

Question E:

If more people in American participated in the actions of Thing Three, how might that help our current challenges and opportunities? Should persons of faith have the same or an extra responsibility in such matters? Why?

Final Pause Moment:

 

Since this discussion is three steps through the Do Four Things process, ponder together, responses you’ve heard to discussion question E; go around your church/faith group and note any personal realizations that came to you from the comments of others about how your actions may help encourage necessary change. What helps? What may not help? Why?

 

(IF useful, prior to advancing to your Thing Four discussion, re-read the discussion instructions at the top.)

Thing Four Discussion

Question A:

 

Tasks related to Thing Four take much more time than any of the first Three Things. How did you adjust your efforts, or schedule, to accomplish Thing Four? Did you share with anyone in your faith community about your participation in these steps?

As each group member responds to this question, keep track of similarities, differences, opportunities, and overlap in responses.

Question B:

As you began searching for ways to accomplish Thing Four, which aspect was most difficult? How did you adjust? What part did prayer play in your adjustments?

As each group member responds to Question B, keep track of similarities, differences, opportunities, and overlap in responses.

Pause Moment:

After considering group member responses to discussion questions A and B, go around your group and note any surprising insights, commonalities, or unexpected awareness that came to you from the described perceptions, decisions, or actions of others.

Question C:

 

When you finished Thing Four, did you sense accomplishment? Was your faith, or were your faithful actions, challenged in any way? If yes, how did you respond?

As each group member responds to question C, keep track of similarities, differences, opportunities, and overlap in responses.

Question D:

 

When you finished Thing Four, did you have a ready sense of  how to extend your efforts? Which possible extensions seemed most helpful? Which of your efforts seemed closest to your prayers?

Pause Moment:

After considering group member responses to discussion questions C and D, go around your group and note any surprising insights, commonalities, or unexpected awareness that came to you from the comments of others.

Question E:

During your efforts in doing Thing One, Thing Two, Thing Three, and Thing Four, what did you begin to hear, experience, or pay attention to, that may have slipped by you before you began the process? Of those things you began to notice, which ones matched or resonated with the prayer-produced point of awareness you explored in Thing One?

Final Pause Moment:

 

Since this is your last discussion in the Do Four Things process, explore together how your actions may have started the process forward in ways that seemed foggy when you began. Go around your church/faith group and note any personal realizations that came to you from the comments of others about how your actions may help encourage necessary change. What helps? What may not help? Why? Finally, share with your group how the resources page on the Do Four Things website might offer additional avenues for positive awareness and change. Pray together about future steps or actions.

 

 

 

"Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path;

for wisdom will come into your heart,

 knowledge will be pleasant to your soul."

 

Proverbs 2:9-10

(NRSV)