Ice Breaker (optional – choose one below)

  • When you give a gift, do you prefer to give gift cards or something you pick out? Why?
  • What is the best gift you can remember receiving as a child? What made it so special?
  • Share a family tradition you have at Christmas. Is there a story on how this became a tradition?

Main Idea

This Christmas we will give gifts to family and friends. Paul encourages us to give gifts that will last long after decorations have been packed away – gifts that last, that encourage the recipient and are costly!

Discuss

What stood out to you from this weekend’s message?

What makes a group of people a family? Make a list of things that make for a healthy family.

How can we be “family” to people in our lives, whether or not we are biologically related?

What does the Bible say?

(As you read the verses this week, try to see them as actual instructions for our relationships. Paul didn’t write this letter so it could become a slogan! A key part to living the Christian life is how we love each other. If these verses aren’t challenging, we probably aren’t taking them seriously.)

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:12-18

  • What are the characteristics Paul describes in this passage? Create a list together as a group. What would it be like to be in a relationship with someone who was completely missing even one of these?
  • Name one thing that challenges you most from these verses. Why is it a challenge?
  • How would our church / small group / community / families change if we all committed to living this way?

Read Romans 12:9-21

  • What do these verses add to what Paul said in the earlier passage?
  • How do these verses guide us to “overcome evil with good” in our relationships?

Apply the Message

There are people in our church family who need the gifts you have to offer. Think through people in your life – who do you know who could benefit from one of the gifts below? Write their name in the space and commit to taking a step this week towards giving that gift to them. (Do not feel you need a name for every line.)

  • _____________________ needs the gift of respect and appreciation.
  • _____________________ needs the gift of peace.
  • _____________________ needs the gift of admonishment. (i.e. loving confrontation with the goal of restoration.)
  • _____________________ needs the gift of encouragement.
  • _____________________ needs the gift of support.
  • _____________________ needs the gift of patience.
  • _____________________ needs the gift of forgiveness. (For some of you, the person who most needs your forgiveness is YOU!)

Tweet this: You will never encourage anyone to grow in their relationship with Jesus who doesn’t feel accepted by you. #ChristmasAtTheMovies @get_hope

Tweet this: The Church is a place where Christ demonstrates His life through us. Give gifts that reflect His love this seaon. #ChristmasAtTheMovies @get_hope

Tweet this: This year, you can give a gift that will last all year long. #ChristmasAtTheMovies @get_hope

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