Become The Bridge | A Conversation With Pastor Steven Furtick & Pastor John Gray

Discussion Guide

“We have to speak. We aren’t going to say everything perfectly, but in a season like this, silence is agreement.” Pastor Steven Furtick and Pastor John Gray sat down to have a conversation about race, privilege, apathy, and what it will take to become the bridge to a better future. 
Transparency and empathy will be key in this discussion. As the leader, lead the way by being transparent with your emotions and thoughts. Acknowledge and encourage the real feelings and emotions of your group members and encourage them to approach the discussion with these two things in mind. 
Let your group know this is a time for us to learn from one another and support our fellow brothers and sisters.
Start your group time with prayer. Pray with and for each other before you start the conversation.
Below are some conversation topics you can discuss with your group.

Have A Conversation

  • Start off with some background. Tell the group a bit about where you grew up. (e.g., family, school, region, state, etc.) Share about the cultures you were exposed to and how they shaped your perspective.
  • Acknowledge the people of color in your group. Ask them their thoughts about the message and if they’ve had any experiences that reflect the need for these honest conversations. Is there anything the group can do to support them?
  • Pastor Gray referenced John 17:11, when Jesus prayed for God to protect us so we could be one. Racism is one thing keeping us from “being one.” Let the group talk about how they experienced racism or the topic of it growing up. Encourage sharing about how it impacted their view or their treatment of other cultures.
  • The first step toward healthy dialogue is recognizing our own biases. Talk about experiences you’ve had with someone from a different background that revealed your bias or challenged an assumption.
  • Exposure and understanding are keys to “building bridges.” Talk about why and how we should actively seek them out and help the group think through specific and practical ways they can do this.
  • There are real things and emotions that stop us or make us hesitate to expose ourselves. Ask the group to share about them and what we can do to overcome them. (Are there ways the group can support each other?)

Act On It

How can you continue the conversation? (e.g., in your heart, your home, your community, etc.) What can you do to “take a seat” and seek to listen? Take a seat this week:
  • with your family
  • or with someone who doesn’t look like you
and continue the conversation. For example, you could make a goal to find someone with a different background from you and talk to them (you could invite them to coffee or lunch, if possible in your area).

Prayer Requests And Prayer

Ask eGroup members to share any prayer requests they have. Record any notes or prayer requests to pray for members during the week.
Have a time of prayer with your eGroup. Pray for eyes to be opened, beliefs to be challenged, and hearts to be changed. Pray for us to see ways we can take active steps that will help us be one. Encourage your group to pray for each other throughout the week or to reach out with prayer requests.