LEADER GUIDE. Respond to God s Grace Book 4, Steps 7-9

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1 LEADER GUIDE Respond to God s Grace Book 4, Steps 7-9

2 Index Timeline... 1 Step Seven, Week One... 2 Step Seven, Week Two... 4 Step Eight, Week One... 6 Step Eight, Week Two... 8 Step Nine, Week One Step Nine, Week Two Step Nine, Week Three... 14

3 Timeline RE:GENERATION STEPS 7, 8, 9 LEADER GUIDE DRAFT VERSION 1.0 PAGE 1

4 Step Seven, Week One General Principle: FOLLOW We humbly ask God s Spirit to change our hearts and minds in order to follow Christ fully. Foundation Verse: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25) Key Theme: Respond to God as a new creation God chose you for a purpose his purpose. The Holy Spirit regenerates believers from the inside out to fulfill God s purpose. God s plan is for you to become his image bearer once again to restore you to be his son or daughter like Christ. Striving to please God won t free you, but delighting and relying upon God will. Watch or Listen to this Week s Training Video/Audio You can access the training video/audio from the Watermark Mobile App or via the Watermark website media page at Go to the Channel menu and select Recovery. Then select: re:generation Leader Training. Things to Remember The focus in Steps 7-12 shifts from ourselves to loving God and loving others. We have a new identity as a child loved, resourced and cared for by the living God! We are no longer slaves to sin or enemies of God. The Spirit changes us from the inside out. He empowers us to fulfill God s purpose. Striving to please God doesn t bring freedom but delighting in God and relying upon him to do his will does (see Galatians 3:3). Key Questions As you review the lesson, ask God which questions to focus on for the lesson. Some possibilities are: Day2, Q6: How did God s Spirit change you immediately when you trusted Christ? How is he changing you now? Day 3, Q5: In what ways do you see yourself differently than God sees you through Christ? Day4, Q4: How is God s purpose for you (Isaiah 61) different than your purposes for you? RE:GENERATION STEPS 7, 8, 9 LEADER GUIDE DRAFT VERSION 1.0 PAGE 2

5 Encouragement for Participants Celebrate the changes God is making in participants by his Spirit, both observable changes and those ongoing changes that he is working in their inner heart. Encourage participants to accept God s word about who they are in Christ (See Day 3 list). Check if participants have reviewed their repentance plans with mentors. This is an important step to working out a doable plan and getting prayer, encouragement and accountability to turn from sin to Christ. Have participants write down questions about the Trinity so you can follow-up with them. Encourage serving as a group periodically. Serving helps shift the focus from self to loving God as the curriculum also shifts. Encouragement for Leaders No true recovery exists apart from Christ. We need the Holy Spirit to follow Christ. God will give us all we need to follow him and be satisfied in him if we rely upon him. If you haven t yet updated the mentors that the group is progressing to steps 7-9, send the mentors an that the group has finished step 6 Repentance and is beginning steps 7-9, Follow, Forgive and Amends. In this , ask the mentors to let you know and follow-up with their participant if they have not yet reviewed the Repentance plan developed in Step 6. Ask the mentors if they have any questions. This is a good time for group to start serving regularly (parking, greeting, etc.). It is important to shift focus from self to God and others. YOU are a new creation also! God is making you an Oak of Righteousness. He is using you to repair ruined cities and desolations of generations. Are you experiencing everlasting joy and peace? What are you managing on your own? RE:GENERATION STEPS 7, 8, 9 LEADER GUIDE DRAFT VERSION 1.0 PAGE 3

6 Step Seven, Week Two General Principle: FOLLOW We humbly ask God s Spirit to change our hearts and minds in order to follow Christ fully. Foundation Verse: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25) Key Theme: Respond to God s grace by following Christ. Focus on Christ and walk with him by faith. Trust and obey God even when he leads you through hardship. God s power is not limited by your lack of ability. We will only know eternal satisfaction by living in God s eternal design for us. We love others because God first loved us. Watch or Listen to this Week s Training Video/Audio Things to Remember Fix your eyes on Christ. Set your heart to follow him fully. Distrust or unwillingness to obey God in certain areas of life indicates that you are struggling with previous steps. When you set limitations and boundaries around God, there is a trust issue. The fullness of God s blessings comes by trusting and obeying his perfect will. He looks for a willing heart to display his power. As you follow Christ, the Spirit changes you to become like Christ. Because God loved us through Christ before we loved him, we can respond to his love by loving others like Christ. Key Questions As you review the lesson, ask God which questions to focus on for the lesson. Some possibilities are: Day1, Q1: In what ways can you already see that you are a new creation? Day 3, Q3: In what areas of life are you not experiencing the fruit of the Spirit daily? Day5, Q3: How has your love for others relied upon how others love you, rather than upon how Christ loved you? Encouragement for Participants If God is trustworthy for eternity, he is trustworthy for today. His goodness is able to carry you through any circumstance. God s power is greater than your inability. He will give you everything you need to follow his will. Go all in. Participants need a solid foundation of previous steps to fully follow Christ through the remaining steps. Encourage them to review the precious steps and to be honest with mentor and leaders about areas of doubt or steps that haven t yet been completed. God is not shortchanging us. The path to his blessings is not always easy but it is worth it. RE:GENERATION STEPS 7, 8, 9 LEADER GUIDE DRAFT VERSION 1.0 PAGE 4

7 Encouragement for Leaders This is a good time to communicate with mentors if you have not yet. Let them know you are heading into Steps 8, Forgiveness and Step 9, Amends. Encourage them to help participants complete any previous steps. Recall ways that God has blessed your life when you ve trusted and obeyed him and be ready to share some of these experiences with your group. Are there areas of life where you are putting limitations on God s will for you or setting up boundaries with God? RE:GENERATION STEPS 7, 8, 9 LEADER GUIDE DRAFT VERSION 1.0 PAGE 5

8 Step Eight, Week One General Principle: FORGIVE We forgive those who have harmed us and become willing to make amends to those we have harmed. Foundation Verse: Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. (Ephesians 4:32-5:1) Key Theme: Respond to God s grace by forgiving others. Forgiveness is a command of God. Forgiveness is a transaction between you and God to trust him for justice for sins against you. Forgiveness is not amends or reconciliation. God doesn t need to be forgiven and you can t forgive yourself. Watch or Listen to this Week s Training Video/Audio Things to Remember Unforgiveness can keep us weighed down by our own demands for justice. Forgiveness gives God the power to demand justice for the sins against us. Forgiveness can leave us feeling vulnerable (if we ve trusted sin s power more than God). God doesn t need forgiveness. He is perfect and holy. You cannot forgive yourself. Feeling unforgiveable creates shame in our lives. Shame is a symptom of pride or misplaced identity we can t forgive ourselves. But God declares us forgiven in Christ. Key Questions As you review the lesson, ask God which questions to focus on for the lesson. Some possibilities are: Day2, Q5: If you ve trusted Christ s suffering as justice for your sins, do you think you can also trust Christ s suffering as sufficient justice for the sins against you? Day 3, Q5: What justice do you wish to not transfer to God? Why? Day4, Q2: What new understanding do you have about biblical forgiveness? What misunderstandings have been made clear? Encouragement for Participants Remember, through Christ s sacrifice you are forgiven for all of your sins! In God s eyes you are clean, righteous, adopted, loved, reconciled, and made new. Accept his view of the truth about you! Don t hold yourself in prison for what Christ has already died for. Accept His forgiveness! Christ s suffering is enough for ALL sin even for sins against you. For those without Christ, God s vengeance for sin is a holy wrath; his justice is perfect. Forgiving others is a transaction between you and God alone. It doesn t involve the other person. You can be free of the burden of others sins no matter how they respond to you or to God. You can forgive someone who is dead. Forgiveness frees you to love others despite their sin. RE:GENERATION STEPS 7, 8, 9 LEADER GUIDE DRAFT VERSION 1.0 PAGE 6

9 Encouragement for Leaders Understand the difference between o Forgiveness - transferring justice to God for another s harm against you, between you and God releasing another from your debt. o Amends repairing my sin s damage to another, one way toward another. o Reconciliation - agreeing with each other that debts are settled between both parties. Forgiveness is not excusing sin, freeing the guilty, denying your hurt, a feeling, conditional, forgetting, trust or reconciliation. We can t forgive ourselves; we need to embrace God s forgiveness of us. We are sinful and capable of great harm to him and others. You are free in Christ. How are you doing with shame? Have you accepted who you are in Christ? Through Christ, we have been forgiven much! Praise God for his lavish grace through Christ! Be ready to share a story of how forgiveness freed you to love someone who hurt you. RE:GENERATION STEPS 7, 8, 9 LEADER GUIDE DRAFT VERSION 1.0 PAGE 7

10 Step Eight, Week Two General Principle: FORGIVE We forgive those who have harmed us and become willing to make amends to those we have harmed. Foundation Verse: Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. (Ephesians 4:32-5:1) Key Theme: Respond to God s grace by imitating Christ. Ask God for a heart to love and forgive others as Christ loved and forgave you. Identify people you need to forgive. Understand how to forgive. Begin to forgive. Watch or Listen to this Week s Training Video/Audio Things to Remember God offers your offender forgiveness through Christ. Can you offer forgiveness? How does one forgive? o Face the truth o Release the hurt o Entrust justice to God o Exalt Christ. Lingering hurts, bitterness, resentments or avoidance may indicate that we need to forgive someone. Forgiving someone frees you from the burden of sin to love them despite their sin against you. Key Questions As you review the lesson, ask God which questions to focus on for the lesson. Some possibilities are: Day2, Q2: Who have you mistakenly held indebted to you? Day 3, Q1: What did you learn about forgiveness from the environments in which you were raised? Day4, Q2: Has your view of God s love changed now that you ve forgiven others? Encouragement for Participants It is for freedom that Christ set you free. Don t be a slave to sin your sin or anyone s! God wants relieve you of it all. God will change your heart towards others if you ask. Forgiveness is an act of the will. Don t let insecurities or untruths overrule your new identity in Christ. God is good even when life doesn t make sense. You can trust his heart even when you can t trace his hand. RE:GENERATION STEPS 7, 8, 9 LEADER GUIDE DRAFT VERSION 1.0 PAGE 8

11 Encouragement for Leaders Transferring the debt of sin against you to Christ is a surrender of your own power for God s power. Pray that they would trust God. Be willing to share some of the debts of sin that you were able to place on the cross this week. Some participants may be struggling to forgive someone who has harmed them deeply. Pray for them. Pray we would be imitators of God, and trust our heavenly Father with burdens and love one another with Christ s love. Take some time at the end of the group this week for participants to encourage each other. RE:GENERATION STEPS 7, 8, 9 LEADER GUIDE DRAFT VERSION 1.0 PAGE 9

12 Step Nine, Week One General Principle: AMENDS We make direct amends whenever possible; submitting to God, his word and biblical counsel. Foundation Verse: Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Romans 12:17-18 Key Theme: Respond to God s grace by initiating peace. Making amends is doing our part to repair the damage of our sin. We make amends because we trust and obey God, to love others and initiate peace. When in doubt, pray and seek biblical counsel. Watch or Listen to this Week s Training Video/Audio Things to Remember This step is three weeks. This is a breakthrough step for healing, peace and freedom. Amends is a recognition and payment for loss, damage or injury. This step is one-way. Making amends means owning your part without excuse or expectation of a response from the other party. This can be scary and difficult. Participants need encouragement to trust God with outcomes. Participants also need godly counsel as they consider what to make amends for and when it would not be loving to not initiate amends. Key Questions The questions on the review day are great. Other key questions you may wish to address: Day1, Q1 and 2: What good changes have you seen since starting re:generation? In which areas of your life do you still struggle to see God s peace, healing and freedom through Christ? Day 3, Q4: What difficulties/obstacles do you fear if you make amends with those you ve hurt? Day 5, Q3: Who has God placed in your life to help you know and follow his will? Encouragement for Participants God is for you. His commands are loving and for your benefit. You can trust God s heart even when you can t see how everything will work out. Don t settle for less than God s best. This step may be most freeing of all. If you ve left anything off inventory, now is the time to revisit it with your mentor and community. Making amends is an act of love towards God and others. It is okay to delay amends if it endangers someone or has potential to cause greater harm, but not without godly counsel. Now is a time to choose to trust Christ with your life over your fears or your sinful. RE:GENERATION STEPS 7, 8, 9 LEADER GUIDE DRAFT VERSION 1.0 PAGE 10

13 Encouragement for Leaders Pray for participants courage to trust God. Pray for others to receive the amends of your participants. Pray for God s peace! Be on guard. This is a time where participants may drop out. This is truly dying to self and putting your life in God s hands. If they are struggling, revisit previous steps. Inform mentors that you are on step 9. Question 5 on Day 4 directs participants to share concerns about amends with mentors. Be ready to share a story of how an amends provided peace, freedom and healing for you. RE:GENERATION STEPS 7, 8, 9 LEADER GUIDE DRAFT VERSION 1.0 PAGE 11

14 Step Nine, Week Two General Principle: AMENDS Foundation 9, Romans 12:17-18, Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Key Theme: Respond to God s grace by making amends. Prepare your heart, words and responses for amends. Understand with whom and for what you need to make amends. Examples of how to make amends. Plan to make amends. Watch or Listen to this Week s Training Video/Audio Things to Remember Goals for this week are: o Identifying what to make amends for (see Amends Summary). o Understanding how to make amends (see Examples). o Planning for amends (see Amends Plan). o Blank Summaries and Plans are included in the Appendix. Through this step, we are teaching participants a process and tools for planning amends, rather than completing all amends, which will happen through time. This week begin to plan 3 amends (2 easy, 1 difficult) using the Amends Summary and Amends Plan tools. Ask the participants to discuss these with their mentor next week. Seek godly counsel in the amends process: For by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory. - Proverbs 24:6 Key Questions The questions on the review day are great. Other key questions you may wish to address: Start with Day 6, Q1: Have you already made an amends? If so, the results of your meeting. Day 3, Amends Summaries: What questions do they have about what to make amends for? Day 5, Amends Plan: Did the make a plan for the 3 amends listed? Do they have a time set with mentor next week? Encouragement for Participants Encourage participants to pray for God to reveal their sin, to prepare hearts for amends, to sustain them through difficulty, to show his goodness in new ways. Allow them to share any stories of amends that have already happened this week. Encourage them to share their plans with recovery partners and mentors next week. If stuck, start with some easy amends. RE:GENERATION STEPS 7, 8, 9 LEADER GUIDE DRAFT VERSION 1.0 PAGE 12

15 Encouragement for Leaders Remember, God s power is best revealed when circumstances are greater than we can handle. Follow-up next week to see if amends plans are being shared with mentors. Pray. Pray. Pray. Ask God glorify himself through this group. Pray his protection over all. Make amends for sin in your own life. Share an example of a recent amends. Thank God for the peace, healing and freedom he has given you in your own life as you have faithfully followed his will to make amends! RE:GENERATION STEPS 7, 8, 9 LEADER GUIDE DRAFT VERSION 1.0 PAGE 13

16 Step Nine, Week Three General Principle: AMENDS We make direct amends whenever possible; submitting to God, his word and biblical counsel. Key Theme: Respond to God s grace by making amends. Continue to plan, prepare your heart, words and responses for amends. Seek biblical counsel for making amends. Begin making amends. Watch or Listen to this Week s Training Video/Audio Things to Remember Making some amends could have life-altering results (confessing crime, adultery, etc.). Goals for the Week: o Work on amends plans daily. o Continue to plan 3 amends (2 easy, 1 difficult). o Discuss amends plans with mentor for biblical counsel. o Gain understanding into how to make difficult amends, with tip included on each day. Key Questions The questions on the review day are great. Other key questions you may wish to address: Day 5 questions: What encouragements, struggles, and questions do you have from this week? Encouragement for Participants Don t let fear of possible outcomes keep you from embracing all God has for you. When in doubt pray for wisdom and seek godly counsel. Share any stories of amends that have already happened this week. Remind them that their job is to be faithful, not achieve a specific result. Encouragement to continue to work on making amends until they have done as much as depends upon them to initiate peace. Encouragement for Leaders This is the hardest step, but also the most life changing and freeing. Celebrate progress made with participants. Knowing and living Steps 1-9 will guard people from sin, heal people from sin and restore relationships damaged by sin. Steps will focus on how to maintain spiritual health, walk in a freedom in an intimate relationship with God and fulfill our purpose. You are ¾ of the way through! Celebrate! Encourage your group. Thank God for the changes he is making to the lives of those in your group. Pray that your group would finish strong through the next three steps. mentors that you are finishing step 9 and getting ready for steps RE:GENERATION STEPS 7, 8, 9 LEADER GUIDE DRAFT VERSION 1.0 PAGE 14

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