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Faithfulness with the Next Generation 3 – Discussion Guide

Opening challenge: (Optional, for fun and to get you thinking “generationally”)

Match these names for the generations with their birth dates.

*Extra Credit—Give a cultural distinction or key historical event for the generations.

**Extra, Extra Credit—Name a song from each generation

Greatest Generation                        Early-2010s-Mid-2020s

Silent Generation                 1981-1996

Baby Boomers                                  1901-1927

Millennials/Generation Y   1965-1980

Generation    X                     1928-1945

Zoomers/Generation Z       1946-1964

Generation Alpha                1997-2012

If you are interested: Listen to “The Living Years” by Mike and the Mechanics

-What do you hear in this song?  (Regret, generational brokenness, etc.)

Q1: Why has it been so common for each generation to blame the one before it?

  • What are some factors that come into play that help describe this historical phenomenon?
  • What are some ways you blamed or judged your parents?
  • How or why has that changed?

Read: “Listen (hear), Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one., Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead., Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates. Deut. 6:4-9

Context: Deuteronomy, which means “second law,” is a retelling by Moses of the teachings and events of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. It includes an extended review of the Ten Commandments (4:44–5:33) and Moses’ farewell address to a new generation of Israelites as they stand ready to take possession of the Promised Land. Moses reminds them of God’s faithfulness and love, but also of God’s wrath on the previous generation of Israelites because of their rebellion. Repeatedly, he charges Israel to keep the Law. Deuteronomy is a solemn call to love and obey the one true God. There are blessings for faithfulness and curses for unfaithfulness. The book closes with the selection of Joshua as Israel’s new leader and the death of Moses. This famous passage is known as the “Shema,” which is Hebrew for “hear” or “listen.”  It has been used as a daily prayer for Jewish people for thousands of years. When a parent says to their child, “Listen to me!” They are asking for more compliance, not just merely hearing the words.  When Scripture says, “Hear” or “Listen” it is a call for obedience, for the adjustment of your life.

Q2: “The Lord our God, the Lord is one” Is a declaration of absolute monotheism (one God) in a world that was largely polytheistic (many gods).  This one God is revealed in Genesis as the eternal maker of heaven and earth and of men and women.

  • What competes with God for supreme loyalty in your heart?

Q3: What are the ways you struggle right now to see aspects of your life through the lens of God’s revealed word?

Note: Be specific. (Loneliness, physical pain, problems with family, work)

Q4: How is God’s word shaping in positive ways how you see and respond to the events of your life?  Be specific.

Q5: Is there a hint of “deciding” versus living “decided” in your heart?  Why is this so?

 —Stop and pray for this if appropriate—

Q6: The church is unique in all the world in its capacity and opportunity for multi-generational impact and influence.  Where do you see that in your own group and in your life overall?  Maybe speak to specific people in your group and say how they have helped you.

Q7: Do you need to forgive someone in your family heritage who has failed you?

  • Do you need to receive God’s forgiveness for failing your own family?

  —Pray for this now if appropriate—