Introduction What does it look like to rise above the heated exchanges while also talking about issues that matter? This series of conversations will help us “go there,” using the Bible, God’s revelation, as our guide for both how we think about some of the bigger issues we are facing and how we can engage others with what we think. This week we’ll discuss race, racial injustice, and racial tension in our culture. In order to create a safe, welcoming, and authentic space, please share these ground rules before you start and follow them during the conversation: As you discuss, believe the best about one another. Participate by seeking to understand rather than change someone’s mind. Look for common ground. If things become too heated, call a time-out and take a breather. Share and affirm personal experiences. Discuss Together How much do you know about your ancestry? Have you ever done a DNA ancestry tests? What have you discovered? Talking about race is tricky today. What have you learned about what it takes to discuss it in a courageous, compassionate, and constructive way? What emotions have you felt as you’ve seen or witnessed recent examples of racial injustice in our nation, state, and city? Do those emotions feel healthy or unhealthy? For you personally, what is the difference between healthy and unhealthy emotions? Read Philippians 2:3 and Galatians 5:13-15. How does what the Apostle Paul wrote in these letters sit with you right now? Is there a right way for us to respond as followers of Jesus to racial tension and injustice? What have you learned? Ryan mentioned three field trip lessons Jesus taught His first followers. -Field Trip Lesson #1: The goal isn’t to be comfortable. It’s to be effective. -Field Trip Lesson #2: Biases about whole groups deteriorate by experiencing the stories of one. -Field Trip Lesson #3: We know we are becoming like Jesus when we can value another life enough to serve it. Which of those lessons do you feel like you have learned lately? Is there an instance that comes to mind where God reinforced one of these ideas? Share with the group. Which of those lessons do you feel like you have the most room to grow or learn more? Is it to be more courageous, be a better listener of personal stories, or have a servant’s heart? Share with the group. NEXT STEPS Think about your friend circle or even this group. What percentage of those in your circles of influence look and think like you? What can you do to intentionally interact with someone from a different race and perspective this week? Take a moment to pray for our nation, asking for God to bring healing and reconciliation. And ask Him to give you His empowerment as you have courageous conversations.