1. In verse 4, Paul tells us to rejoice in Lord always. Where else in scripture, and not just the obvious, does this instruction get stated, in one way or another. Discuss what this really means. How can we rejoice particularly in the tough times, the sad times. Share some of your own stories around this.
2. Paul suggests that as Christians we should let our gentleness be evident to all. Gentleness here resonates with the idea of being humble that Paul develops earlier in the letter. Both of these ideas, gentleness and humility are often portrayed in the 21st century as being weak characteristics. In Pauls teaching though, both of these ideals flow out of strength. Discuss how both gentleness and humility in the Christian world can actually be about being strong.
3. Paul teaches that in our prayer life we should be specific, praying and petitioning God in and for our specific situation. Discuss how you pray and then spend some time talking about your specific prayer needs. Then pray together, specifically.
4. Anxiety and worry are strong themes in the 21st century with many people suffering from mental health issues. Paul encourages us to spend time thinking about virtuous things and supplies and powerful list. Share your favourite, or go to, bible verses for when you are worried or anxious, and also share what they mean to you, and why. If there is time also share what else you spend time reading, watching, listening to that lifts your spirit in tough times.
For homework, keep a diary for a week as to what you read, look at, listen to and try to get a feel for how much is positive and virtuous in the 21st century. If you watch the news try to estimate how much in the hour say is positive and could be called virtuous 😊.