Week Nine: Easier to Fight to the Finish Together
PRE-RUN INSPIRATION (3-5 MINUTES)
Group Leader Speaking to Entire Group
Thanks for coming today. Before we run, let’s focus on another benefit that we receive when we #runconnected and when we live connected. It’s the ability to fight to the finish. When we’re running, we often find ourselves losing steam as we approach the finish. This is so common that all runners know about hitting “The Wall,” and that the last hill of the Boston Marathon is called Heartbreak Hill—because so many runners lose heart there. But when we run together, it’s easier to fight to the finish. We can encourage each other to keep going, or set a new pace that another runner can follow. Together, we have more perseverance and more discipline, which helps us overcome the wall and the heartbreak and make it to the end.
The same thing happens in our lives. All of us face fights in our lives. They may be fights against medical illness, or fights to overcome bad family situations, or fights to find a job after a long unemployment. These kinds of fights can be long and exhausting. Eventually, all of us facing a fight will hit the wall. But when we invite other people into the fight with us, they can help us fight to the finish. They can encourage us, lift us up when we fall or struggle, and provide resources and help that keep us going. We can go farther in our fights when we’re together. We can finish the fight we originally took on with such energy.
The apostle Paul knew the power of this. In Colossians 1:29, he talked about strenuously contending (aka fighting) to finish his goal of sharing the good news about Jesus. He says this at the end of a chapter when he talked about the encouragement the Colossian Christians had given him, and about how the Colossian Christians could help each other endure and keep fighting (verse 11).
Today, as you run, look for ways to help each other fight to the finish. Ask for help if you need help fighting to the end of your run. And as you look for these opportunities and ask for help, think about other areas of your life where you need help fighting for finish. I’d like to invite you to ask for help with those areas too.
[say a brief prayer. after you pray, share any administrative details like the signup sheet. Then start the run.]
ASSESSMENT TOOL GOAL: GOAL CHECKUP
At the Run
Ask runners to share what their goals were when they started running with your group, and where they are with those goals at this point.
Encourage progress and ask runners who are frustrated or disappointed what you can do to help them move forward.
Invite runners to share broader life goals as well, and see how you can encourage or help with those goals.
After the Run
- Add the following columns to your group’s Google doc:
- Week 9 notes - Use this column to add any other details you remember. Make sure to note each person’s attendance this week.
- Goals – Record each runner’s running goals, and any life goals they expressed as well.
- If a runner needs help to reach a goal, consider what person or resource you can help that runner connect with.
- If two runners from your group have similar goals, help them touch base during the week. That shared goal can become the heart of a strong connection.
CONNECTION STRATEGY TIPS
Note where runners in your group need help fighting in their life, either in your Google doc or in another way.
If any runner asks for help, find a way to offer the help they need—either through yourself, through other runners in your group, or through other resources your church offers.