Week eight: endurance
PRE-RUN INSPIRATION (3-5 MINUTES)
Group Leader Speaking to Entire Group
Thanks for joining us for our run today. We’re eight weeks into this group, and I’m impressed by how many of you have run with us each and every week. That’s a great display of endurance, which is what we’re going to focus on today as we think like a runner to win life’s race.
Endurance is important when we run, in a couple of ways. It’s important to show endurance at each run, so that we finish the course we set out to complete. If you plan to run three miles, endurance means finishing all three miles instead of quitting after two.
It’s also important to grow in endurance as we run. After running with our group for eight weeks, you can probably run farther than you could at first, especially if you were a beginner. The endurance you’ve shown is now endurance you’ve grown.
Endurance is like a muscle. It grows as you exercise it. In this way, endurance is not just a discipline, but a gift. Endurance is a gift that grows as you use it.
The Bible uses a great picture of what endurance looks like when it talks about people who soar on wings like eagles, who run without growing weary, and who walk without fainting. Isn’t that a great picture?
As you run today, you may want to talk about some of the other areas in your life where you’re showing endurance. And as you come to the end of your run, make sure to encourage your fellow runners for the endurance they’re showing. Remind them about how endurance is a gift by cheering them on.
(Say a brief prayer. After you pray, share any administrative details. Then start the run.
ASSESSMENT TOOL GOAL: CREATE A LIST
At the Run
As mentioned above, runners will be invited to share places in their lives where they’re showing endurance. This will likely unveil some areas of pain or struggle in their lives.
Use this opportunity to encourage runners in your group. Try to do sincerely in the moment. Say a quick prayer aloud as you run, or offer to help in some concrete way.
After the Run
Add the areas of struggle you discover to runner profiles in your group’s Google doc. If you offered specific help, note that as well.
As you’ve done before, look for ways to connect runners who are struggling in a specific way to ministries or people in your church who can help. Ask the runner’s permission before making this connection.
CONNECTION STRATEGY TIPS
Here’s one way to ask a runner’s permission to connect him or her to a ministry or person in the church who can help:
Tell the runner that you were thinking about (or praying about) the endurance they discussed. Tell them that this reminded them of a person (or group) at your church who helps people facing that situation.
Ask the runner if they’d like to talk to that person (or a person from that group), to see if some help or encouragement might be available.
Be sincere as you make this offer. If the runner says no or isn’t comfortable making the connection, tell the runner that’s OK, and that your offer is open if he or she ever changes his or her mind.
If the runner does want to make this kind of connection, try to facilitate it within 24 hours. This can be as simple as including both the runner and the person from church in a single email.