Day 16 – Challenge by Choice

CHALLENGE BY CHOICE: You have permission to skip a question at any time. For example, you can say, “I don’t have anything on question 4 this week.”

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Gal. 5:1)

The entire discipleship bands model is based on five key questions:

  1. How is it with your soul?
  2. What are your struggles and successes?
  3. How might the Spirit and Scriptures be speaking in your life?
  4. Do you have any sin that you want to confess?
  5. Are there any secrets or hidden things that you would like to share?

All questions are anchored with an “S” word to make the questions easy to remember: soul, struggles and successes, Spirit and scriptures, sin, and secrets.

When people first start out together we suggest starting with these three questions: soul, struggles and successes, and Spirit and Scriptures. This allows bands to creep deep as trust builds. This doesn’t mean that we remove the other two questions. When a person feels ready to venture into either of them, they are always available. This is at the heart of what we mean by challenge by choice. This is not about forcing people to share things they are not yet comfortable with sharing. It may help to think of it as a little equation: Time + Trust = Transformation.

Therefore, you and your bandmates have freedom to skip over questions for as long as is needed. Ultimately, it often takes someone in the group having the courage to go first, saying something like, “You know, I think I crossed a line this week over into sin and I want to confess it.” Or, “I have this thing that I struggle with that I haven’t had the courage to share with anyone.  I think it falls in the secret category and it is . . .” Being able to shine light onto sins and secrets in a trusted and safe community has profound power to transform us. I will say more on this later in the study.

The key principle here is that trust often does take time and that’s okay. It is for freedom that Christ set you free. No one should feel guilty or hindered by the process, but rather free to experience the grace and mercy that Jesus gives us.

The Prayer

Jesus, help me be discerning about when to share and when to hold back with my band. God, you see all of me and you love me still. You know all my sin and you offer forgiveness freely. Give me the courage to let others into my journey and make me a safe person for others in their journey. In Jesus’ name, amen.

For Band Interaction

Which statement do you feel would be more true of you: I tend to share a lot about myself with ease. I tend to find it challenging to share about myself with others.