In biology, DNA is the essential “template” which can grow in many different forms but all have the same basic ingredients. Following the structure in this leaflet makes this “do-able” for people who think they can’t. However, it’s not meant to be restrictive. Each group will find its own character but every time should include the essential ingredients of fellowship, Bible reading, prayer, and outward focus.
THE DNA PATTERN Proposed length: 45 minutes
1. Coffee and catch up with news (Nurture): about 15 mins
2. Bible Reading (Discipleship): about 15 mins
For this 6-week period in church we’ll be reading the letter of James. The readings are for the Sunday sermon at the beginning of each week. Groups will use the same passage when they meet that week. Being at church helps but isn’t essential!
One person might read the verses – ideally a different person each time. Then the group explores what the passage is saying. You might ask these questions, which apply to most passages:
* What first strikes you here?
* Is anything a surprise? A problem? A challenge? A comfort?
* How does it apply to us today?
OR, your group could use the structure head - hand - heart:
What do I think about this? What should I do? How do I feel?
Week beg Sunday 15th May: James 1:1-18
Week Beg Sunday 22nd May: James 1:19-27
Week beg Sunday 29th May : James 2:1-13
Week beg Sunday 5th June: James 3:1-12
Week beg Sunday 12th June: James 4:1-12
Week beg Sunday 19th June: James 5:7-20
3. Prayer and Missional Focus (Action): about 15 mins
In your first meeting, find out which projects people in your group are passionate about that advance God’s kingdom. It may be a church organization, Christian outreach, or a social action project. It might be local, national or international. Choose one or more and commit to be updated and pray about it over the 6 weeks. If possible, look for opportunities to be practically involved.
From your personal news, Bible reading and outward focus, there should be things it is natural to pray about. Being able to say a short prayer for someone else can be very helpful to them, but it should not be compulsory, and nobody should be embarrassed. Some people may wish to write their prayers, or to read a written prayer aloud (you can use one overleaf), or to pray silently. The important thing is to pray – whatever way you do it is fine.
Father God, we know you care for everything you have made and everyone in your world. We ask you to bless our community of Auchterarder, our church and other churches, our surgery, school, and community organisations. Please use the work of (name a group) to be a blessing in Jesus’ name to the people of this place and show your church how to make you known. Amen
Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for the Bible we have read which reveals you more clearly to us. As we go, may it continue to fire our hearts, challenge our thinking, change our habits and guide our actions. Show us how you want us to live it out in the week to come, for your praise and glory. Amen.
God, we thank you that in Jesus we see you in human form. As we see him feed people, heal them, teach them and free them from evil, we see the things you still want to do through your church today. We pray for those known to us who are in particular need (you might add names here) and ask that you would help them in Jesus’ name. Amen
Lord Jesus, we pray for our world where conflict is rife and peace so hard to find – in family life, church, work, and the world. We pray for peace in (name a place) where conflict tears apart people’s lives and ask that we might work with you for peace and wholeness wherever we find ourselves.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.