Living Shoulder 2 Shoulder
What if you were The Plan for offering hope and healing to a culture in crisis? God’s Divine plan for utilizing you and me as instruments for bringing hope into our surroundings and even impossible situations sounds about as genius as leaving my twin boys home alone for the weekend and handing over my credit cards.
It just doesn’t seem smart.
Surely there is a better pathway, one that is guaranteed to succeed. Why couldn’t God use a few millionaires, pro-athletes, and movie stars with international platforms? Maybe rain down some hail to smite the bad guys and right some wrongs, or drop a few other miracles now and then to remedy the world’s catastrophic atrocities and disasters? I mean, He is God. Can’t He fix all that is wrong in the world? Can’t He comfort the lonely and bring hope to the despairing?
Yes, He can. And He will.
Until that time arrives, His plan is YOU. Oh, He doesn’t need you… But He has fitted you perfectly into His plan.
And we won’t need to look very far to find the needy. Current research tells us what we already know. Those around us feel lonely. Isolated. They feel as if no one understands. There is no telling what they are going through. And most lack real relationships. Maybe you have felt this way, too.
The solution for people within your sphere of influence finding hope and losing their sense of isolation is, of course, Jesus. But they are never going to get to Jesus, hold up in their ruts of sameness. And people who know Jesus still face challenging situations oozing with troubles galore, disappointment, loss, or any combination of the sort. We need each other.
You and I are the catalysts for connection.
My challenge to you is to pray through connecting with a handful of women (it could just be 1-2 but no more than 5-7) in 2022. Maybe they live in your area. They might possibly work in your building or department. Or they might be the women you see regularly in and about life.
Make it a goal to meet with your handful once a month. Meet for coffee. At someone’s home, or backyard. Have dinner at a restaurant where the conversation can still rule. Inside. Outside. It doesn’t matter. Just make it casual and easy.
While you are together spend some time getting to know one another. Ask questions. Answer theirs. Then, move the conversation toward the Gospel. What you do next will depend on your group, but the goal remains the same: to offer hope and help through listening, speaking Gospel truth, and living it out.
Each month, if you subscribe to my FREE News and Updates, I will provide you with a key verse or passage, a few thoughts on that verse or passage (for you, the leader), and some discussion questions you can utilize with your group. Nothing formal. The focus is connecting and building the relationships on a deeper level to invite and foster sharing what it is like to live as Believers in Christ.
And I will throw in a recipe for sharing–something easy that doesn’t need 4-5 hours and 2 different store stops.
You will identify these goodies by the following title: Living Shoulder 2 Shoulder (taken from)
“For then I will restore to the peoples pure lips, So that all of them may call on the name of the LORD, To serve Him shoulder to shoulder.” Zephaniah 3:9
Starting a Shoulder 2 Shoulder Group
As this is the beginning, let’s forgo the verse or passage and focus on getting comfortable with the situation. Here is a suggested To-Do list as you prepare.
- Pray for who might be in your Shoulder 2 Shoulder group.
- Invite each one to come together when and where you have selected (think 1.5 hours to begin).
- Use this first meeting to help people get familiar with each other and set the tone for the future.
- Ask fun get-to-know-you questions.
- Then use one or two of the Gospel conversation options provided.
- Create a way of communicating your people agree upon (GroupMe, texting, email, etc.) and get everyone connected.
- Set your next meeting date/time.
- Before you leave, ask if there is anything you can pray for them about.
- Start communicating with them at least once per week between meeting times.
Fun Get to know you Questions for Shoulder 2 Shoulder
- If you could move anywhere in the world where would you move to?
- If you could open any kind of restaurant, what would it be?
- Do you have any pets, if so what kind, and what are their names?
- What is a job you’d definitely not want to have?
- For Valentine’s Day, (or something like it), would you prefer flowers or chocolate, or something different, like a new fishing pole?
Gospel Conversation Starters for Shoulder 2 Shoulder
- What are you reading right now?
- What is something you consider to be a great personal success? Why was it so significant?
- What is your spiritual background?
- Have your views on religion changed since you finished college (or became an adult)? How?
Red Velvet Cake Mix Cookies
1 (16.5 oz.) box red velvet cake mix
1/3 cup oil
2 large eggs (at room temperature)
1 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat over to 350*F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Add cake mix, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Mix until combined. Add white chocolate and fold into batter. Drop by tablespoons onto prepared pans, 2 inches apart.
Bake at 350* for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies are done. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before transferring to wire rack.
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For His Glory,
Have you discovered Cheri on YouVersion where she has over TWENTY different reading plans for you to choose from, such as:
Be sure to check out the Stirring Faith Podcast, where you will find encouraging episodes like this one:
You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this: