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Published by Relationship Press, 2021-10-07 15:12:29

Hope-Filled Living Facilitator's Manual _Faith Based

Hope-Filled Living Facilitator's Manual_ Faith Based

HOPE-FILLED LIVING

IN TURBULENT TIMES

FACILITATOR’S MANUAL
Faith-based

A six-session course designed to provide practical tools to
cultivate hope, peace, and well-being. Hope is a choice.
We can increase it. This course shows you how!

Visit Relational Values Alliance online at www.relationalvalues.com.
Hope-filled Living in Turbulent Times
Copyright © 2020 by Relational Values Alliance. All rights reserved.
Cover photograph of lighthouse by Chris Meads @cjmeadsused used by permission via www.unsplash.com . All rights reserved.
Cover designed by Jon Morris
Edited by Terri Snead
Printed in the United States of America

Table of Contents

SESSION 1
Me Managing Me! Beginning with My Hope-filled Thinking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
SESSION 2
Relate Don’t React . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
SESSION 3
Cultivating Gratitude Reduces Stress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
SESSION 4
Don’t Ride the Roller Coaster of Life Alone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
SESSION 5
Caring Connections Brings the Hope of Improved Relationships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
SESSION 6
Practicing Kindness Reduces Stress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Associated Resources

Facilitator’s Guide for Small Groups
Responding to 22 Common Challenges
https://l.ead.me/22sgchallenges

Session 1­—FACILITATOR NOTES
Me Managing Me! Beginning with My Hope-filled Thinking

Reminder: Facilitators should share first during these
discussion times!

1. Share an example of personal stress you are experiencing “And so, Lord, where do I put my
during these turbulent times.
hope? My only hope is in You”

(Psalm 39:7).
2. What might be some things you might have a tendency to
try to “control” during times of high stress? (It may not be
controlling your children’s music, but it’s likely something!)

3. As a parent, what might be some of the stress points you
are having with your children during these turbulent times?

4. Plan to download and complete the Parent Check-in to Parent Check-In
further explore how these times might be influencing
your family. Click here to download. Relational Values Alliance

5. What might be important for you to “limit” during stress-filled Click here to watch the Box Breathing video.
times? (Consider things like news reports, social media, and/or
conversations about things you can’t change, etc.)

6. What might be some fun“diversions”you could add to your
family times (realizing that fun and laughter help reduce stress)?

7. Show the Box Breathing video and practice it together for “And this hope will not lead to
2–3 minutes. disappointment. For we know how
dearly God loves us, because He has
8. Practice more hope-filled conversations by completing this given us the Holy Spirit to fill our
prompt: “I am looking forward to… How about you?” hearts with His love” (Romans 5:5).

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Summary and Wrap Up
To cultivate more hope and reduce my stress—it begins with me. The things I can do include:
1. Mitigate any stressors I can control like sleep, exercise, diet, caffeine, etc.
2. Try Box Breathing in order to gain the benefits of lowered blood pressure and heart rate.
3. Focus on myself and the things I can control, choosing not to get stressed over things I can’t

control or change.
4. Limit the time spent on TV, social media, or watching the news, and limit the time I talk about

the stressful times we are in.
5. Parents can take the Parent Check-in and do a quick assessment of themselves and how well

they’re navigating the stresses of parenting in this season.

USING THE HOPE-FILLED LIVING COURSE AS COMMUNITY OUTREACH:
“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a
believer, always be ready to explain it” (1 Peter 3:15).

Listen to Other’s Story
Practice reflective listening as others share times of personal or parental stress. After you have
listened, be sure to give responses like these:
1. “Anxieties about your family’s health can be stressful. It is completely understandable that you

would be feeling so overwhelmed. I am sorry you are going through this.”
2. “I can’t imagine how worried you must be because you cannot be with your teenager every part of

the day. Teens can certainly keep us up all night and make us stressed during the day. I feel a lot of
compassion for what you’re going through.”

Share Your Story
1. Be real and vulnerable about your own personal and parental stress.
2. As appropriate, look for opportunities to interject your faith in what you share.

y …but God seems to calm me down just before I get frantic!
y …and my time in prayer really helps me.

Bridge to the Jesus Story
“When I remember this, it really helps. Jesus calmed and reassured the people who followed him. When
they were stressed out over the storms of life, or sickness or religious irrelevance” (See Mark 4:35–41;
Mark 5:21–43; Matthew 17:24–27).

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Session 2­—FACILITATOR NOTES
Relate and Don’t React

Reminder: Facilitators should share first during these “For I know the plans I have
discussion times! for you,” says the Lord. ”They
1. What is one of the personal goals you would like to are plans for good and not for
disaster, to give you a future and
accomplish during this season of life? (You are motivated a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
intrinsically or internally to accomplish this goal.) Share with
your partner or group: One of my personal goals is to… “...And this is the secret: Christ
2. When we’re facing external stressors, we need external lives in you. This gives you
sources of motivation. One of the best sources of external assurance of sharing His glory”
motivation is meaningful connections with people. We need (Colossians 1:27).
someone outside of ourselves to help us navigate through “And endurance develops
stress-filled times. Therefore… strength of character, and
Plan to complete the Motivation Keys Check-In yourself character strengthens our
and then invite your friends and family to do the same. confident hope of salvation”
Share responses with your partner or small group and (Romans 5:4).
then look for opportunities to give to others according
to the motivation keys they share. Click here to take the
Motivation Keys Check-In. Share your response to this: I’m
motivated when someone…
3. We can increase our relational connectedness by taking
the initiative to send text messages of encouragement
or appreciation. Send one of these text messages now
and then discuss with your partner or group. Who did
you send your messages to? Why did you choose to send
them, and what response did you receive? How did it
benefit you to take this initiative?

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4. In order to live with more hope, we need to practice more hope-filled conversations. How
would you finish this prompt? On the other side of these turbulent times, I can’t wait to…
Be sure to celebrate with one another, find a common interest or “me-too-moment,” or share
words of compassion. Parents, be sure to do this exercise at home with your children.

Summary and Wrap Up
To cultivate more hope and reduce stress, we often need an external source of hope. Hope comes
through meaningful, relational connections. We need to relate! To increase our connection with
people, we can:
1. Discover our own motivations and how we prefer to connect with people. Take the

Motivation Keys Check-In to gain insight about yourself.
2. Share the Motivation Keys Check-In with others to understand how people around you are

motivated. Take initiative to give to people in the ways they are motivated.
3. Don’t wait to relate. Take initiative to connect with people. Your initiative to give will

reduce your stress and cultivate more hope.
4. Take initiative to have more hope-filled conversations. Start a conversation with this sentence:

“On the other side of these turbulent times, I can’t wait to…How about you?” When you hear
others’ responses, be sure to celebrate, find common interests, or give words of compassion.
Model the hope-filled conversations we all need. Do the work to make them contagious.
5. Parents, be sure to have this hope-filled conversation with your children. It will infuse more
hope into your children and your home.

USING THE HOPE-FILLED LIVING COURSE AS COMMUNITY OUTREACH:
“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a
believer, always be ready to explain it” (1 Peter 3:15).

Listen to Other’s Story
1. Consider making note of the personal goals that have been shared by the people in your

life. (You might want to think through the list of your phone contacts.) Make a plan to follow
up with two or three of these people. Check on progress toward their goals and offer
encouragement. This helps build TRUST in your relationship.
2. Consider making note of other’s Motivation Keys. You might ask your two or three friends to
complete the sentence, “I’m motivated to accomplish my goals when someone…” Next, plan
to “give first” to this person and meet their motivational need without any expectation of
return. Does this person need respect or appreciation, security or attention?
Develop a plan that includes an occasional text or verbal comment that meets this
person’s motivational/relational need. (This helps develop CURIOSITY and will leave this
person wondering, “Why do you care?”)

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Share Your Story
1. Part of your story is sharing your celebration, “me-too-moment,” or your sincere

compassion with other people. Make sure these responses are commonplace.

2. In sharing your Motivation Key or hope-filled conversation, look for connections to your faith.
n I’m motivated when someone takes time just for me. God has blessed me with a wife who is
really good at that!
n On the other side of these turbulent times, I can’t wait to get back in-person with my small
group Bible Study. They have been great supports to me during this season.

Bridge to the Jesus Story
With so much external stress that I can’t change by my self, purposeful times of fun with my
family are providing needed encouragement and my morning devotional times with the Lord
keep me reminded that my hope is ultimately in Him (See Jeremiah 29:11).

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Session 3—FACILITATOR NOTES
Cultivating Gratitude Reduces Stress

Reminder: Facilitators should share first during these
discussion times!

1. Gratitude has the power to change our perspective during
turbulent times. Our personal photos can be an important
catalyst for gratitude. Share your response: One of the
photos I’ve found on my phone is _______, and it reminds
me of my gratitude for…
2. Gratitude helps us stay immune from entitlement, self-focus, “The hopes of the godly result in
and half-empty thinking. Think about these risks in your happiness, but the expectations
own life. When have you been at risk for entitlement, of the wicked come to nothing”

self-focus or half-empty thinking, but it was your experience (Proverbs 10:28).
of gratitude that saved the day?

3. During stress-filled times, it often seems counterintuitive to “No wonder my heart is glad,
focus on or cultivate gratitude. The opposite is true. Gratitude and my tongue shouts His
motivates and inspires resilience. Be intentional about praises! My body rests in hope”
cultivating gratitude by starting your own gratitude journal (Acts 2:26).
or blessing jar. What other expression of gratitude would you
add to your gratitude journal or blessing jar today?

4. The Thanks/Wish List exercise helps cultivate gratitude
for a specific person or relationship. Think of one person
who is especially meaningful to you—one of your closest
relationships. What are you thankful for about this person?
What are you grateful for about your relationship?

n Couples will want to share about their spouse.

n Parents will want to share about their children.

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“I’m thankful for my _______________ because…” “I pray that your hearts will be
“I am grateful for our relationship because…”
flooded with light so that you
Text your message of gratitude to a specific person. can understand the confident

5. Plan to complete the What We Need for Great Relationships hope He has given to those He
Growth Plan (Click here to download and complete it). called—His holy people who are

His rich and glorious inheritance”

(Ephesians 1:18).

Summary and Wrap Up

Cultivating gratitude means more experiences of hope and reduced stress. To increase
hope-filled living, you can:

1. Cultivate more gratitude in your own life by celebrating some of the memories you have
on your phone. Spend several minutes a day looking over your photos and reflect on your
gratitude for the people, experiences, and memories. Invite a friend, family member, or
your small group to do the same. Let your gratitude become contagious as you text or
message specific people.

2. Be intentional about cultivating gratitude by starting your own gratitude journal or
blessing jar.

3. Have a Thanks/Wish List conversation with your friend, family member, or Thanks/Wish List
co-worker. Use this exercise as a way to cultivate gratitude for one of the Begin by listing six to ten areas of genuine thankfulness you have about relationships in your
most meaningful people in your life and prompt important, truth-filled life. Be specific. Look particularly for things you make take for granted. (For example: “I’m
conversations. Remember: you will want to share at least 10 reasons you grateful for your hard work as a provider for our family.” or, “I’m thankful that you are helping Mom
are thankful and one wish for each relationship. Be sure to invite this person with her retirement plans.” or, “I’m grateful that you think of me and bring me my favorite coffee.”)
to share the same responses with you. Click on the image on the right to Thanks List
download the Thanks/Wish List Worksheet.
1.
2.
3.
4.

5.

6.

7.
8.
9.
10.
Now, list up to six wishes you’d like to see concerning improvements and changes in relationships
in your life. Remember to communicate in a loving manner. Be specific.
(For example: “I’m hoping you can be more comfortable initiating calling or checking in on me.”
“I’d like to spend some Saturday just being together and sharing a meal.” “I’d love it if we could go
and visit Dad sometime together.”)
Wish List

1.
2.
3.
4.

5.

6.
©Relational Values: A global alliance empowering people to experience and reproduce great relationships
relationalvalues.com

4. Download and complete the Growth Plan entitled, What We Need for Great Relationships

USING THE HOPE-FILLED LIVING COURSE AS COMMUNITY OUTREACH:
“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your
hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it” (1 Peter 3:15).

Listen to Other’s Story
1. After listening to someone’s grateful memories, be intentional to initiate “tell-me-more“

conversations.
“I‘ve been thinking about how excited you were about taking your kids sledding
in Colorado. Tell me more about that trip. I’d love to hear the details!” (This kind of
conversation deepens TRUST and prompts CURIOSITY. People begin to ask themselves:
“Where does this thoughtful care come from?”)
2. From time to time, ask this question: “What are you feeling grateful for these days?” (The
conversation that follows can call attention to the truth that CHANGE is possible when
we grow less entitled and more grateful. This discussion will also prompt hope that other
changes are possible!)

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Share Your Story
1. As you share pictures and stories with others, try to focus on gratitude for PEOPLE in your

life, calling attention to how blessed you are to be enriched by close relationships.
“Look at this huge fish my buddy caught on Saturday! We had so much fun. It made me
grateful to have friends who can laugh, and hang out with no special agenda.”
2. Consider sharing one of your current “WISHES.” Connect your wish to the important
relationships in your life and the importance you place on prayer.
“I wish I could show a lot more patience, especially with my kids. I pray every morning for God
to give me the patience I need for the day!”

Bridge to the Jesus Story
“I often find myself challenged by how much I take my wife for granted. She and I used to talk
about every detail of our day together, but now I realize how few times I actually celebrate with
her. My devotional reading challenged me because it included the story of how excited Jesus
was when his followers returned with great stories of their travels. The Bible talked about how
Jesus rejoiced greatly with them (Luke 10:21). I want to do more of that in my marriage.”

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Session 4—FACILITATOR NOTES
Don’t Ride the Roller Coaster of Life Alone

Reminder: Facilitators should share first during these “We are confident that as you
discussion times! share in our sufferings, you will
1. Relationships are one of the keys to hope. Loneliness dispels also share in the comfort God
gives us” (2 Corinthians 1:7).
hope. Loneliness is sensing that no one truly knows or
cares for you. Loneliness can be experienced in the midst of “…But always continue to fear the
social interaction, in marriages, families, and when others Lord. You will be rewarded for this;
are physically near you. Tell briefly about a time when you your hope will not be disappointed”
experienced loneliness in unexpected ways or places. (Proverbs 23:17–18).
2. Text a person who might need comfort. Who is struggling
or going through a difficult time? Comfort is giving caring “Even when there was no
words or appropriate touch, weeping with another person, reason for hope, Abraham
or just being with them when they are hurting. Who is the kept hoping—believing that
person you would like to text and why? Here’s what your he would become the father
comfort might sound like: “I was just thinking about how of many nations. For God had
you’re going through…and I wanted you to know that I care. said to him, ‘That’s how many
I’m sad you’re…I’m here for you.” descendants you will have!’”
3. Text another person who might need appreciation. Who (Romans 4:18).
needs to hear your gratitude because of their effort or
accomplishment? Who has pitched in or helped out, or who
makes the effort but goes unnoticed? Here’s what you might
say: “I want to thank you for…” “I really appreciate how you…”
Meeting these needs will cultivate hope in you and in others.

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4. Finally, text a person who might need your encouragement. Who is weary in a struggle?
Who is facing a big challenge and may be overwhelmed? Who is discouraged by results?
Encouragement means cheering for another person and urging them forward. Here’s what
encouragement might sound like: “I believe in you and want you to know…” “I know you can…
You’ve got this!”

5. Tell who you sent texts to and why (for one of the exercises above). Celebrate any responses you
received in return.

6. When our relational needs are not met, we often feel anger. The acronym A.N.G.E.R. serves as an
effective reminder of the process. Think of a time when you were really angry. Talk through the
ANGER process as you express your anger and experience care.

7. Parents, utilize the Table Talk menu to meet the need for attention. Use this resource as a
conversation guide for you and your family. What was one of your favorite birthdays, and
why was it so special?

Summary and Wrap Up

Loneliness can keep us on the roller coaster of life. To increase hope-filled living, you can:

1. Continue to practice hope-filled conversations and take initiative to relate. Don’t wait for others!

2. Listen and look for opportunities to give comfort, encouragement, and appreciation to
those at home, work, and in your community.

3. Schedule a date night with your spouse if you’re married. Focus on the three needs above,
as well as the need for acceptance. Use the Love Gives Acceptance date night discussion
4. guide. Download the Growth Plan entitled, “What We Need for a Great Marriage.”
5. Use the Table Talk on attention to remove loneliness and enter your child’s world. Relational Needs Assessment Tool
Download the Relational Needs Assessment. Use it to identify your top three needs This exercise will enable you to better identify the priority of your relational needs.
and how you prefer to relate. Give the assessment to others. After their top three
needs have been identified, begin giving to them in these ways. Meaningful relational Instructions:
Take time to individually respond to the following statements by placing the appropriate number
beside each sentence. Respond honestly and without over thinking your answers. When you have

completed all fifty statements, the scoring worksheet at the end will help you identify the priority
of your relational needs. Use the scale below of 1—5 and have fun!

STRONGLY DISAGREE DISAGREE NEUTRAL AGREE STRONGLY AGREE
1 2 3 4 5

Name: _______________________________________________________ Date: ____________________

___ 1. It is important that people receive me for who I am – even if I’m a little “different.”
___ 2. It is important to me that my world is in order.
___ 3. I sometimes grow tired of trying to do my best.
___ 4. It is significant to me when others ask my opinion.
___ 5. It is important that I receive frequent physical hugs, warm embraces, etc.
___ 6. I feel good when someone takes a special interest in the things that are important to me.
___ 7. It is important for me to know “where I stand” with those who are in authority over me.
___ 8. It is meaningful when someone notices that I need help and then offers to get involved.
___ 9. When I feel overwhelmed, I especially need someone to come alongside me and help.
___10. I feel pleased when someone recognizes and shows concern for how I’m feeling emotionally.
___11. I like to know that I am significant and valued by others.
___12. Generally speaking, I don’t like a lot of solitude.
___13. I like it when my loved ones say to me, “I love you.”
___14. I don’t like being seen only as a part of a large group – my individuality is important.
___15. I am pleased when a friend calls to listen to me and encourage me.
___16. It is important to me that people acknowledge me not just for what I do but for who I am.
___17. I feel best when my world is orderly and somewhat predictable.
___18. When I’ve worked hard on a project, I am pleased to have people acknowledge my work and

express gratitude.
___19. When I “blow it” it is important to me to be reassured that I am still loved.
___20. It is encouraging to me when I realize that others notice my skills and strengths.
___21. I sometimes feel overwhelmed and discouraged.

2511 South Lakeline Blvd., Cedar Park, TX 78613 © Relational Values Alliance

connections mean more hope!

USING THE HOPE-FILLED LIVING COURSE AS COMMUNITY OUTREACH:
“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a
believer, always be ready to explain it” (1 Peter 3:15).
Listen to Other’s Story
1. Listen attentively as others share their experiences of “aloneness.” Be sure to offer compassionate

care when you respond (Matthew 5:4; Romans 12:15b).
2. Listen for important relationships that are significant to each person as they share who

might need comfort, appreciation, or encouragement. Deepen TRUST by asking
follow-up questions about these significant relationships.
3. Consider the comments others make related to handling of their ANGER. Listen for various
aspects of HURT that might be “underneath” the anger. Verbalize care for both the anger
and the hurt.

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Share Your Story
1. Be vulnerable. Tell about a personal time of “aloneness.” After everyone has shared, consider

mentioning the Bible’s first reference to something that is “not good“ (see Genesis 2:18).
2. “This was one of those times when I realized God sure knew what He was talking about.

The Bible says that God looked down on Adam and said, ‘It’s not good to be alone.’ He was
so right. It was definitely NOT good for me to be alone.”
3. Talk about the text message you sent where you met a specific relational need. Reference
how taking initiative to meet the needs of others helps reduce stress because we take the
focus off ourselves.
“Sending that text, thinking about what my friend was going through and what she needed,
definitely helped me take the focus off myself.”

Bridge to the Jesus Story
1. Comfort: Consider mentioning Jesus’s compassion toward Mary and notice how His care was

identified as love (see John 11:33–37).
2. Appreciation: Consider sharing how Jesus celebrated with His followers when they had faithfully

followed His direction (see Luke 10:21).
3. Encouragement: Consider how encouraging it would have been for Mary, Jesus’ mother to be

cared for by John after her Son’s death (see John 19:26–27).

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Session 5—FACILITATOR NOTES
Caring Connections Bring the Hope of Improved Relationships

Reminder: Facilitators should share first during these “Love each other with genuine
discussion times! affection, and take delight in
1. Relationships bring hope. If we want to have meaningful honoring each other. Never be
lazy, but work hard and serve the
connections that weather the storms of turbulent Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in
times, we have to look beneath people’s deeds to their our confident hope. Be patient
needs. Remember a time when your deeds were less in trouble, and keep on praying.
than productive. What needs were beneath your deeds? When God’s people are in need,
What caring-connections did you need that could have be ready to help them. Always
prevented your unproductive behavior? be eager to practice hospitality”
2. How might you meet the need for approval with your (Romans 12:10–13).
partner or someone in this group? Take a few moments and
share these words with one another now.

I’m really grateful for the _____ (name the character quality)
I see in _____ (name the person). I see this quality when…

For example:“I’m really grateful for the diligence I see in my husband “After all, what gives us hope and
Wayne. I see this quality when he works hard all week and then helps joy, and what will be our proud
me with projects around the house on weekends.” reward and crown as we stand
3. In marriage, working relationships, and friendships, it’s before our Lord Jesus when He
important to increase vulnerability for more relational returns? It is you”
connection and to prevent disconnection. One of the ways (1 Thessalonians 2:19).
to increase vulnerability is to meet the need for affection.
During the video, we were invited to send a text that said,
“I’m so glad I get to be your _______ (name the relationship)
because…” Who did you send your text to and why? Share
any response you received in return.

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4. Another way to stay at the top of the Pain and Potential “And so, Lord, where do I put my
chart is to meet the need for support. In the video, we
were encouraged to think about an offer of support hope? My only hope is in You”

for a family member or friend. What’s one practical way (Psalm 39:7).

you could help out or pitch in? Describe this caring-
connection and what your support will look like. Watch as
caring-connection grows!

Summary and Wrap Up
Increase your giving to the important relationships in your life. To increase hope-filled living, you can:
1. Continue to practice hope-filled conversations and take initiative to relate. Don’t wait for others!
2. Listen and look for opportunities to give approval and attention to those at home, work, and

in your community.
3. Schedule a date night with your spouse if you’re married. Focus on emotional closeness and

physical intimacy. Meet the need for approval as well.
4. Parents, look for opportunities to meet your child’s relational needs. Watch how this

actually prevents certain misbehavior.
5. Have a Table Talk with your family or group of friends on the need for approval.
6. Download and complete the What We Need For a Great Family Growth Plan!

USING THE HOPE-FILLED LIVING COURSE AS COMMUNITY OUTREACH:
“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a
believer, always be ready to explain it” (1 Peter 3:15).
Listen to Other’s Story
1. Make mental note of the “deeds” and “needs” that are identified as people share in your

group or as you have conversations with people in your life. Look for opportunities to care
for their unmet needs.
“It sounds like you were feeling frustrated and just needed a little support. I’m so sorry you felt
alone in the struggle.”
2. Make note of both the person and the character qualities mentioned as group members
share words of approval. Listen for the need for support. Who might need someone
to come alongside and help with a struggle or project? Outside of your group: Surprise
others with your words of approval and offer of support.

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Share Your Story
1. Vulnerably share about a time when you lost your temper after being disrespected or tell

when you were withdrawn and resistant after being put down or publicly ridiculed.
2. Give acceptance and compassion when other people talk about their unproductive deeds

and share about needs that went unmet.
3. Send follow-up texts or make a personal inquiry to gain additional insight into the

significant relationships in group member’s/other’s lives.

Bridge to the Jesus Story
Reflect on the approval Jesus gave the widow when he noticed her sacrificial giving (Mark 12:43–44).
1. Consider the affectionate care of Jesus and how he did not react to his follower’s

selfishness but served them as friends (Luke 22: 22–27).
2. Recount the supportive role Jesus played in calming the winds and waves on the Sea of

Galilee. Jesus prompted His friends to see Him as God in human form. (Matthew 8: 23–27).

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Session 6—FACILITATOR NOTES
Practicing Kindness Reduces Stress

Reminder: Facilitators should share first during these “All praise to God, the Father of our
discussion times! Lord Jesus Christ. It is by His great
mercy that we have been born
1. Giving can really be better than receiving. Give and it will again, because God raised Jesus
be given back to you! When have you experienced this Christ from the dead. Now we live
boomerang of blessing? with great expectation, and we
have a priceless inheritance—an
2. Practice vulnerability and what it might sound like to let inheritance that is kept in heaven
others know how to demonstrate kindness to you. How for you, pure and undefiled,
would you finish this sentence? “During these turbulent beyond the reach of change and
times, I need more _________________ because…” decay. And through your faith, God
is protecting you by His power until
3. Our challenge now is to look for opportunities to give to you receive this salvation, which
others what we’re hoping to receive. Who might have the is ready to be revealed on the last
same need as you do? How could you give to them? Finish day for all to see” (1 Peter 1:3–5).
this sentence: “I may be needing more __________ at this time,
but I’m going to concentrate on giving to _________ by…“ “Teach those who are rich in this
Remember, our focus on giving does not disqualify us from world not to be proud and not to
receiving. Instead, it positions us to gratefully receive from trust in their money, which is so
other meaningful relationships. unreliable. Their trust should be
in God, who richly gives us all we
4. What’s one way you could demonstrate more kindness need for our enjoyment”
within your community? Consider some of the ideas (1 Timothy 6:17).
that were shared on the video. How might you put more
kindness into circulation? Ask a few participants to share
their ideas.

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5. As a fun way to take interest in another person’s life, ask one “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ
or two participants to answer these prompts: Himself and God our Father,
y If you were in charge of changing the traditional who loved us and by His grace
Thanksgiving food from turkey to something else, what gave us eternal comfort and a
would you choose? wonderful hope, comfort you
and strengthen you in every
y What’s the Christmas song you can’t wait to hear each good thing you do and say”
year and why? (2 Thessalonians 2:16–17).

6. As you continue to model kindness and take interest in people even in a deeper way, ask
participants to share this response in pairs.
“A current challenge or struggle I’m going through right now is…”
If you’re doing this course online, invite participants to leave their camera on but do this
exercise privately on their own (without their microphone on).
Remind each person to give comfort after their partner shares. This might sound like:
“I’m so sorry you’re going through that. I love you.”
“I’m sad this is happening. I really care about what you’re going through.”
“I felt a lot of compassion when I heard you say…Thank you for letting me know.”

7. In order to live with more hope, certain things will need to be changed or left behind.
Other things will need to be kept or continue. How would you finish these sentences?
“After these turbulent times, I want to leave behind…”
“After these turbulent times are over, I want to keep…”

Summary and Wrap Up
To increase hope-filled living, you can:
1. Continue to practice hope-filled conversations and take initiative to relate. Don’t wait for others!
2. Schedule a marriage staff meeting with your spouse, if you’re married. Use the article

entitled, “Making the Most of Your Marriage Staff Meetings.” Enjoy these meaningful
conversations with your partner.
3. Have a conversation with your spouse, family, or closest friends about the opportunities in
your community to demonstrate kindness. Plan your next course of action and when your
kindness will take place.
4. Who might be experiencing some of life’s challenges at this moment. Is there a neighbor,
co-worker, family member, or friend who could benefit from a little kindness? In what
practical ways could you express your care for them and give support? What can you
do to show kindness and give words of comfort? Make those plans and take initiative to
implement them.
5. Implement the changes you identified for more hope-filled living.

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USING THE HOPE-FILLED LIVING COURSE AS COMMUNITY OUTREACH:
“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope
as a believer, always be ready to explain it” (1 Peter 3:15).

Listen to Other’s Story
1. Listen for examples of group members/people giving to others and celebrate their selfless

demonstrations of care. Celebrate with them how giving really can be better than receiving.
2. Make note of key needs that others might need “more of” as well as any struggles they are

experiencing. Look for opportunities to meet these needs during the small group or at a
later time (either virtually or in-person).

Share Your Story
1. Be vulnerable. Be sure to share how you also have relational needs during challenging times.
2. Affirm the needs of people and share compassion for their struggles.
3. Reflect aloud about your own growth journey and how you’re learning to demonstrate

kindness with more and more people.

Bridge to the Jesus Story
1. Talk and affirm the truth of Jesus’ encouragement that it is better to give than receive

(Acts 20:35).
2. Share about Jesus’ reputation as One who went about “doing good” (Acts 10: 38).
3. Look for opportunities to reflect on our need for freedom from sin and our hope of abundant

life. Highlight the ultimate gift of God in Jesus (see Romans 3:23; 6:23; Romans 8:32).

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