Week Five - There is an Enemy
Be sure to consider how you will break up your group by gender and who will lead each group.
Your facilitator’s guide offers substantial help when it comes to that week on pages 98-105. They come from a slightly different theological background than us (charismatic), that is more conscious about the spiritual dimension. Some of this might be strange, but I’d encourage you to do your best to let their theology stretch yours.
Defining Strongholds. This is not a word we use regularly in our theological circles. It comes from passages like 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.
We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.
They’re using “stronghold” as a specialized term for that primary sin-infection that most of our destructive perspectives and behaviors come from. Day 5 is very helpful in identifying this. Encourage your group to consider all they relate to, but identify one or two particular listed Strongholds that might be the root-cause or reoccurring problem in their life. It may not always be what you think at first. For example, someone might admit to compulsively viewing pornography. While “sexual immorality” is listed as a possibility, the real problem might be “despair” as that’s just one euphoric way of distracting themselves.
Get Practical. The key to this week is not only growing in awareness of a stronghold, but establishing practices in your life that help you break the power of that stronghold in your life. The primary tactic of sin (and satan) is to get us to believe lies. The Day 5 exercise helps us define the particular lie that’s lodged in our psyche and use scripture to embrace truth.
Encourage your group to craft their own truth statements and then utilize these regularly, even daily. Encourage them to post them in a place they regularly look, like on a post-it note on the mirror or the background of their phone. It could be one or two lines directly related to their strongholds or a much more extensive approach.
There are a lot of truth statements that are regularly helpful in recalibrating our view of reality. My favorite resource for constructing your own was created by the Life.Church team led by Craig Groeschel. Share this site and encourage your group to pick a few of these lines for this practice.
Always champion counseling! Everyone should get counseling at some point. Do your best to discern when something can be worked through in your group, and when someone (or a couple) needs to consider counseling. If you specifically need to refer someone to a counselor, be very sensitive with how you approach that. Consider doing it one-on-one. Our favorite resource for Christian Counseling is a local network called the Christian Counselors Collaborative. Encourage them call the number listed below and then follow up with them later about their experience. The woman on the other end, Carol, will help them find the right counselor, location, and time for them.
Make sure to get something on the books for your experience between or around weeks 6 & 7 (3/3-3/23).
Try to prioritize something that’s relational with those you’re serving. It’s not a must, but it’s highly preferred.
You can find a list of serving opportunities that we’ve begun to connect the dots with at the button below. Be sure to review some of the basic information provided there to see if it’s something that would fit your group.