Designed For Relationships

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Session 1: Designed for Relationships 

“Community requires commitment. Only the Holy Spirit can create real fellowship between believers, but he cultivates it with the choices and commitments we make. Paul points out this dual responsibility when he says, ‘You are joined together with peace through the Spirit, so make every effort to continue together in this way’ (Ephesians 4:3 NCV). It takes both God’s power and our effort to produce a loving Christian community.” 

The Purpose Driven Life, Pastor Rick Warren p. 146 

This study explores five insights we can learn from David’s life on God’s Design for Your Lives. 

After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. . . . And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt. 1 Samuel 18:1, 3, 4 (NIV) 

In building deep relationships, we must leave our weapons, protection strategies, our masks, and quit faking “everything is okay.” 

We practice , , and to build deep relationships. 

The second step is letting people our lives. 

[David] learned that Saul had come out to take his life. And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David . . . and helped him find strength in God. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.” The two of them made a covenant before the Lord. Then Jonathan went home, but David remained at Horesh.”
1 Samuel 23:15–18 (NIV) 

When giving counsel to a friend, we need to help them
 and for their lives. 


Discuss the Small Group Guidelines (available in the Small Group Resources download) after watching the video session. Add anything that you feel needs to be added for your group. 


Ice Breaker 

Have each person share for one minute about who was his or her childhood best friend and what made them friends. 

Building Relationships 

Now it’s time to share a bit more about your life story. 
Share your life story in 5 minutes with your group. Focus on your whole life picture, not just a testimony. Talk about growing up, going to school, careers, meeting a significant other, your family, your hobbies, how you got 

connected to your church, and when you gave your life to Jesus. If your group is larger than eight people you should break into two or more groups of four to six people to make sure everybody has time to share. 

If your group has been meeting for a while, share something your group doesn’t know about you. It could be an embarrassing moment, a weird job, or memorable trip, or a dream that you have for your life. 


Each week we’re going to break into smaller, three to five person groups for some deeper sharing. Try to divide along gender lines if you’re a mixed gender group. This is a great way to make sure every person has time to share and provides an opportunity for more openness. 

In your subgroup share one or two areas that God is working on in your life. Have the person most comfortable with sharing go first. 

Don’t try to offer a quick fix or snap judgment as people share. Let people be real about what’s going on in their lives. If there’s something that needs prayer, don’t wait until the end of the meeting, pray right then and there for them. 

Prayer Requests 

In your subgroup, share any prayer requests you have. Don’t worry whether the requests are big or little. God cares about all areas of our lives. Nothing is too big for him, and nothing is too small for him. Write your requests in a notebook or on the back of this sheet to keep track of what God does in the lives of your group members. Then go around your circle of people and pray for the person to your right. If you’ve never prayed out loud in front of people just use a simple one-sentence prayer like the one below. 

“Father, Please provide a great job for Megan so her family doesn’t lose their home. Amen.” 


Having people you can count on is the first step towards living God’s design for your life. Life certainly is not always easy, but just like David had Jonathan to encourage him when life was tough, we need people who will walk with us. 

One of the best practices your small group can use is subgrouping. Breaking into smaller groups helps us share deeper and builds stronger community. Remember to subgroup for prayer and discussion, especially as your group grows. 

The Group Guidelines are your safety net. When someone joins, make sure to review the guidelines as a group so the new members know what the group is about. 

Look in the Small Group Resources packet for the Small Group Calendar. Divide responsibilities for the next four weeks of this study. Have group members bring snacks or a meal, host the group meeting at their home, reserve space for the group at your workplace, coffee shop or restaurant or facilitate the group time. The more people involved, the more the group becomes everyone’s group, not just the host’s. 

Next Week 

Next week we’ll discuss two ways David grew in his relationship with God. *Be sure to print copies of the Spiritual Health Assessment for next week! 

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