Talkback: Sermon Discussion & Study Guide
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deut. 6:4-9).
The goal of our weekly discussion questions and study guide, Talkback, is that we as a community would “continue the conversation” that God initiates with us as a Body each week in worship. These study guides are intended for use and a variety of contexts: small groups, family meals, one-on-one conversations, and personal reflection.
God speaks not only through his Word but through the people who gather around his Word. God’s vision to transform people through his Word consists of much more than their listening to a 30-minute sermon once a week (not that our pastor ever finishes his sermon in 30 minutes), but getting the Word they’ve heard to sink down into their hearts, to move around in their minds, and eventually work its way out of their hands and their feet. And this happens best when everyone is involved in the conversation and when the conversation continues from the church to the parking lot to the lunch table into the homes and back out into the streets (Deut. 6:4-9). So we want our people to think of the Sunday sermon as a conversation starter, that God initiates with us each week through his Word. Toward that end, we will provide this weekly guide to help facilitate “Talkback Sessions” that can be used in various contexts, so that we can continually respond to the God who continually speaks!
Framework: Growing Deep, Branching Out
The framework for Talkback is the same each week. It begins with content and questions to help dig deeper into the text from that week’s sermon and moves into considering ways of applying what God is teaching each individually and as a church, from Growing Deep to Branching Out.