Conversatio Divina

Part 2 of 7

Who Are the Experts on Life Transformation?

John Ortberg

01.  Before You Lead

For the best experience in leading your small group, it’s very important to preview session two of the video and, if possible, follow along in chapter two of the book, Living in the Presence of Christ. Familiarize yourself with the session outline and gather the necessary materials.

02.  Session Outline

  1. Introduction (4 minutes)
    1. Welcome and Opening Prayer (1 minute)
    2. Talk About It (3 minutes)
  2. Video Teaching (77 minutes or if you choose to divide this session into two parts, 55 minutes for lecture and 22 minutes for audience Q & A with John)
    [Note: You can fast forward through several minutes of the lecture that contains audience interaction with each other.]
  3. Video Discussion (12 to 15 minutes)
  4. Closing (3 minutes)
    [Note: You should be able to compete this session in either one 2-hour block or two 1-hour blocks.]

03.  Introduction

Welcome participants to the study and briefly pray if you would like. Ask if anyone has a question from last week’s lesson and reflections, then introduce the theme for this week, “Who Are the Experts on Life Transformation?”

Ask participants the question, “Did you have any experiences with ‘easy-yoke’ living in the past few days? If yes, please say more.”

04.  Video Teaching

Show the video segment for this session. Students may wish to have a notepad and pen or pencil for taking notes.

05.  Video Discussion

Following the video presentation, explore the topic further by allowing the group to consider the following questions.

  1. Who do you know that is an expert in life transformation? How does one become such a person?
  2. What are some of the difference between accepting Jesus as your teacher versus accepting him as your Savior?
  3. What would you most want to be said at your funeral? If all of these things are already true about you, wonderful. If some of the statements are not fully true, what have your learned about how to become a genuinely good person?
  4. How would you describe the difference between the gospel of Jesus and the “gospel of minimum entrance requirements?” (Hint: Feel free to quote Monty Python.)
    NOTE: If your group has decided to take two sessions to complete the first topic, ask the following questions after viewing the conversation between Dallas and John.
  5. “What is the real test of what a person actually believes?
  6. “What is the value of true belief?”
  7. If you were to develop a measure of spiritual maturity so that a Pharisee would not win, what would be an item you would have on your test?


06.  Closing

Before wrapping up, encourage the students to read and reflect the following passage before next weeks group meeting.

  • Psalm 1 — The Two Ways
  • Mark 1:14–15 — The Gospel of Jesus
  • 1 Cor. 1:17–31 — The Shortcomings of Human Wisdom
  • 1 Cor. 13 — What Transformed (Good) People Looks Like
    2 Peter 1:1–11;
    Col. 3:1–17

Then close with prayer. Pray that each participant would be willing to personally experience God’s invitation to live in a conversational and transforming relationship.

07.  Additional Reading

Willard, Dallas. Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge. New York,
NY: HarperCollins. 2009. See chapter eight: “Pastors as Teachers of the Nations.”