Seven Men – Study Guide for...
Focus for the Week
Why are trials and corrections an essential experience for any leader?
How did you take action in “everyday” ways during the last week based on the challenges of our study? Remember to be specific!
Did anyone specifically set aside time to dream about how we can be used by God to be catalysts for cultural transformation? Remember: what you thought about on the way to our time together doesn’t count. Did you set aside time?
What is the next step you need to take in being “a catalyst for culture change?”
Jackie Robinson endured tremendous trials and difficulties as a child and young man. Which trials that Metaxas described do you think would be the most difficult?
How did the trials that Robinson endured prepare him to accept Branch Rickey’s offer?
Do you think Robinson could have succeeded apart from the difficulties he faced?
Matthew 5:2-16 is an excerpt of from the Lord Jesus’s “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5-7). How did Jackie Robinson’s life illustrate these verses?
Would you agree that Robinson was blessed when he was persecuted?
2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Salt and Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:2-16.
Engage and Execute
What have been some of the most difficult trials you have faced?
Without minimizing the pain, can you see ways your suffering has better equipped you to lead?
Thinking about the qualities that God has developed in your life through suffering, are you content with how you are leveraging them to be an agent for change in culture? Are you making the most of your opportunities like Jackie Robinson did when his opportunity came with Branch Rickey?
For Further Reading and Study
Chris Brauns (@chrisbrauns) is the pastor of the Red Brick Church in Stillman Valley, IL. He is the author of Unpacking Forgiveness: Biblical Answers for Complex Questions and Deep Wounds, and Bound Together: How We are Tied to Others in Good and Bad Choices. He blogs at A Brick in the Valley.
Tim Johnson is a Regional Vice President for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Leader of Pinnacle Forum for Central Illinois.