- Prepare a teaching on John 15 and John 1, or bring a recording of Malcolm Webber’s podcast series What Does It Mean to Abide in Christ?
- Ask your leaders to bring a small day-pack containing water, a simple lunch, something to sit on like a towel, a Bible, a notebook, and a pen.
- Initiate an invitation one or two weeks ahead. Invite several leaders out for half a day to experience Abiding in Christ and the Lord’s restoring of our soul. Let them know this will be outdoor, half a day and they may not use their cell phone during the entire time.
- Think of a park, a hiking area, or a monastery to take your leaders to, somewhere away from your normal meeting spots.
- Pray for each participant by name every day during the upcoming week. If you are bringing only a few people (which is recommended), this should be doable. Ask God to refresh them and restore their soul and speak to them personally. Pray for the Holy Spirit to help each person know what it means to abide in Christ practically.
After everyone arrives, begin by enjoying a walk together with the intent of noticing God’s goodness in creation. At some point, gather everyone and direct them to think of things for which they are grateful; then, speak them out for everyone to hear and for God to hear. Emphasize that this is part of abiding in Christ, and continue the walk with participants speaking out in gratitude. Don’t be afraid of silence on the walk. Let people walk and think and speak. After 10-30 minutes (depending on your context), gather as a group to talk about your purpose for the day.
Lay Down Cares and Worries
As a group, quiet your hearts and take time to turn your worries over to Him one by one.
Listen to Teaching from God’s Word
Together or alone, listen to the podcast teaching on abiding in Christ, or give a direct teaching on its content yourself from John 15 and John 1.
Solitude with Jesus
Direct your team to take a short walk to find a solitary place, and do what the teaching said. Look at God. Meditate on John 15. Ask God to speak to you through His creation. What do you see and what does it teach you about abiding in Him? Do this for 30 to 60 minutes (exact time does not matter, of course – base it on your needs as a team). In a journal, write down what the Lord is revealing to you, or go for a walk and respond to the Lord in your own creative way.
Share about the Abiding Experience
After 30-60 minutes, come back together for a time of sharing and prayer. Ask what they did, what they experienced, and what they learned.
Next Steps Encourage your team to continue to abide in Christ throughout the next two weeks. Discuss how to make this a conscious focus in their daily lives and at special times. Decide to meet again somewhere in two weeks to talk about what God is teaching them through this, or to go through this design again.