The purpose of this guide is to provide you with the support necessary to successfully facilitate a Rooted group. This book includes the goals of Rooted, facilitator roles and responsibilities, tips for leading a group, as well as weekly guidelines for your group time and communication. Also included are additional resources, such as suggested outlines to foster impactful experiences through this Rooted journey.


The Rooted Journey                                                                                               

Facilitator’s Role and Responsibilities                                                                 


Group Time

Ongoing Connection

Continuing As A Small Group

Qualities of a small group leader:

The 7 Rhythms of Rooted                                                                                     

Daily Devotions


Freedom From Strongholds

Serve The Community

Sacrificial Generosity

Share Your Story


Tips for Leading a Rooted Group                                                                         

Group Dynamics


Leading Different Personalities                                                                                        





WEEK 1: WHAT IS ROOTED?                                                                                        


Prayer Points

Group Time

Check-in—10 minutes

Large Group Gathering—30 minutes

Break into Rooted Groups—10 minutes

Icebreaker—15 minutes

Introductions—30 minutes

Set Expectations—25 minutes

Rooted Covenant

WEEK 2: WHO IS GOD?                                                                                                  


Prayer Points

Group Time

Workbook Review

WEEK 3: HOW DOES GOD SPEAK TO US?                                                               


Prayer Points

Group Time

Workbook Review

Leading A Successful Prayer Experience

Preparing For The Prayer Experience

Things To Consider

Fasting (Optional)


Prayer Experience

Preparing For Your Prayer Time

Notes On Fasting

Group Prayer Time (30 Minutes)

Individual Prayer Time (60 Minutes)

Debrief And Celebration (60 Minutes)

WEEK 4: WHERE IS GOD IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING?                                   


Prayer Points

Group Time

Workbook Review

WEEK 5: THERE IS AN ENEMY                                                                                     


Prayer Points

Group Time

Freedom Scriptures

Workbook In Review



Prayer Points

Group Time

Workbook Review

Tips On Leading A Serve Experience




Sample Devotion: to be used during the orientation

Flow Questions



Prayer Points

Group Time

Workbook Review

WEEK 8: HOW DOES GOD VIEW MONEY?                                                    


Prayer Points

Group Time

Workbook Review

WEEK 9: WHY AND HOW SHOULD I TELL OTHERS?                                 


Prayer Points

Group Time

Workbook Review

WEEK 10: WHY IS THE CHURCH IMPORTANT?                               


Prayer Points

Group Time

Workbook Review



Notes On The Holy Spirit

Notes On Fasting

Additional Prayer Experience Model

Notes On Strongholds

Neighbor Graphic

What People Are Really Thinking When They Invite You To Church

Notes On Prophetic Prayer & Blessing



The Rooted Journey

Congratulations on accepting the call to lead a Rooted group. It can be a life changing event for you—as well as the members of your group – if you allow it to be. This Facilitator’s Guide will provide you with practical information to successfully lead a group, but your ultimate guide will be the Holy Spirit. Much of your growth and the success of your group will be based on your ability to hear and obey God’s direction of your efforts.

You must begin with the end in mind. What does the end look like for a Rooted facilitator?

  • First, the next ten weeks should change you. No matter where you are with your relationship with God, if you pour yourself into Rooted, you will be different!
  • You will help the members of your group connect with God like never before, especially through sharing their stories, the prayer experience, and the serve experience.
  • You will help everyone in your group realize they have a story written by God especially for them, and that their story is a powerful tool for Kingdom building.
  • Your group will bond together in such a way that Rooted will not be the end, but rather the beginning of what will become a small group.
  • You will start the process of training up leaders—for Rooted groups, small groups, and any other sphere of God’s kingdom that He is asking them to step into and lead.

The greatest tool you will have to lead a successful Rooted group is prayer. Don’t skimp on this. God will get your attention regularly during Rooted with specific impressions, concerns, or directions for your group.

The telling of stories is truly significant in the growth of Rooted groups. Sharing them should be part of your weekly time together. Start by sharing your story in Week 1 then encourage these stories to be shared as part of every week’s gathering.

Facilitator’s Role and Responsibilities


Your role as a facilitator is critical to the success of your group’s experience and their future as a small group.

Your primary objective is to create an environment that promotes authentic discussions, deeper biblical understanding, and lifestyle transformation among group members that, in turn, give them a new or renewed passion for:

  • A personal relationship with Jesus
  • Knowing and hearing God’s voice
  • Living a lifestyle consistent with their faith
  • The body of Christ and fulfilling their role within the local church
  • An open and intimate prayer life
  • Intentionally sharing their faith
  • Issues of poverty and social justice in their community and around the world

This is accomplished in several ways:

  • Daily devotions
  • Weekly group time
  • Three group experiences outside of group time: prayer, serve, sharing your story
  • Ongoing communication and prayer with group members
  • Final blessing, celebration, and commissioning

A Rooted facilitator has many responsibilities that we will be highlighting in this book, but there is one responsibility you do NOT have, and that is teaching. All of the teaching is left to the written curriculum and to the Holy Spirit during the weekly group time. This is very important. It is so important, in fact, that if you feel as though you can’t facilitate a group without teaching your insights on biblical matters, there are other important ways you can serve in Rooted, but facilitating is not the right place. Your role as a Rooted facilitator is to be a shepherd. You are to guide your group, and care for them, but not preach your agenda or teach your perspective.

Though you aren’t “teaching,” remember biblical grounding is important in the facilitation of your group. If you sense a conversation is getting off biblical principles, redirect the talk to what the Bible says. If you sense someone is off-track in their interpretation of a topic, suggest the group look for the answer in Scripture. “Where do you see that in the Bible?” or “Let’s find a passage that talks about this topic,” are a couple ways to redirect the focus to God’s Word.

Don’t hold back from sharing personal experiences to model depth and intimacy for your group. You are encouraged to share your journal entries and prayer requests as this will build trust and intimacy among you and your group members. Don’t be afraid to give them application stories, or to empathize with another person’s story.

Recognize that your group will be a mix of all different people, in different places in their spiritual journeys. You may have individuals who are learning about God, and have not made a decision to follow Him. You may have young believers. You may have people who have loved Jesus for years and years. Your group is a picture of the beautiful body of Christ. In light of that, as people newer to the faith have questions, enlist the help and responses from more mature believers. No matter where we are on our path of faith, we can all learn from one another!


Be prepared for your group. Arrive early to be there to greet people by name. Consider bringing refreshments the first time you meet and then ask for volunteers to do this for the remaining weeks. Think about what would make you feel comfortable in a group setting, and then create that environment for your group.

Create a safe space for sharing, and invite people to be open and vulnerable. Before your group begins to share, remind them that everything said during the group time, in prayer requests and any other Rooted communication is confidential, and should not be discussed outside of your group. They will sign a contract of confidentiality, but remind them often. This will encourage trust and deeper sharing within your group.

Group time has been designed for two-hour sessions. If you are meeting for shorter or longer periods of time, adjust each portion of the meeting accordingly. The largest portion of the time is designated for discussion time. Give the discussion enough time for people to share deeply, leading to trust and authentic community within the group.


Each week you will want to keep a list of prayer requests for your group. Diligently pray for each person. Let the Holy Spirit guide your prayers for each person and then keep record of them for future blessings and prayers.

Follow up with group members who miss the group time. Let them know they were missed by the group. If they have had more than two absences, consider recommending that they participate in a future group, as consistent attendance leads to greater transformation and better Rooted experiences, as well as cultivates trust among group members. When you have one person who is not there regularly, your other, more consistent members may feel less secure in sharing personal and intimate pieces of their lives.


One of the goals of Rooted is to launch all Rooted groups into small groups which will continue to do life together, upholding and expanding upon the values and disciplines established in Rooted, including the 7 Rhythms. This is a natural progression, as many groups form strong bonds, and want to continue meeting beyond the journey of Rooted. It is through these groups that people’s lives will continue to be transformed, their faith will mature and strengthen, and their passions and giftedness will be lived out.

Plan for ways to communicate this goal as you lead your group each week. Rooted is just the beginning of the journey of living out a life of faith in Jesus together, and the groups should be very aware that the intention is for them to stay together, meeting consistently and serving as a group even after this initial 10 week experience has ended.

The best scenario is that you, the Rooted facilitator, would continue with your group, and take on the role of the small group leader. If you don’t plan on moving into the small group and facilitating it, raise up a leader during the Rooted experience who can lead the small group once they have graduated from Rooted. The sooner you identify this leader, the better. Pray for God to reveal to you who you can specifically disciple over the next weeks, so that they are equipped, and excited to step into leadership during and after Rooted. By Week 6, invite this leader(s) to lead the discussion time and prayers in the group. Encourage them to be praying for the members of the group. This will allow the members of the group to bond with their future small group leader. Lead with the end in mind, and set your group up to transition well into a small group.

Qualities of a small group leader:

  • Is a committed follower of Jesus who attends this church regularly, and has completed Rooted.
  • Followed God’s call into leadership, and possesses one or more of the spiritual gifts of shepherding, pastoring, serving, and leading.
  • Facilitates a discussion around God’s Word, models vulnerability and intimacy within the group, manages group dynamics, and motivates the group to engage with community.
  • Identifies spiritual gifts, and helps others use them to serve.
  • Models values consistent with Rooted: praying, serving, stewarding God’s resources, addressing and breaking strongholds, sharing his or her faith, taking part in communion.
  • Determines group schedule and curriculum.
  • Is mission-minded, with a heart to impact the community.
  • Is teachable, and attends small group trainings and meetings with coaches.
  • Embraces the mission and values of this church, and lives them out as a small group leader.

The 7 Rhythms of Rooted

Daily Devotions

As the facilitator, you should contact each person in your group during the week to encourage them. The daily devotions are intended to be completed within 30 minutes. Therefore, if they complete it each day, it shouldn’t be overwhelming. A little encouragement during the week can make the difference in having a group prepared to participate during your weekly group time.

Also, each week there is a memory verse to support the teaching of that week. Encourage your group to memorize, and share it in the group. It’s not meant to be like Sunday School where they say it and get a prize, but we all know there is great value in having God’s truth tucked away in our hearts. Be creative in ways to memorize the verse. Make up a game or a song, or take a few minutes in your group to write it on note cards your members can place around their homes, offices, or cars. Use it as an ice breaker for the week, and allow your group to share what the verse means to them, or how it impacted them throughout the week.

It is extremely important that you, too, do your homework each week to be prepared for your group time. You will want the information to be fresh in your mind to lead discussions and participate. Don’t rely on memory from past Rooted experiences. Reread each week to ensure timely recall, which also helps with addressing follow-up questions, and making the group time flow well.

Note: If you have any questions regarding curriculum, please notify the Rooted trainer for clarification prior to your group time.


One of the first experiences your group will engage in, outside of group time, is fasting and prayer during Week 3. While fasting is optional, it does increase the intensity of the prayer experience, and should be encouraged. If your group participates in the fasting portion, they will be asked to fast from sundown the day before your planned prayer time. Your group will meet in a specific place to pray for two hours. Guidelines for suggested prayers will be provided, however you can customize your time to fit the needs of your group.

You can lead your group through corporate prayer where everyone prays out loud, or invite those who would like to pray out loud to do so, while those who prefer not to can remain silent. We suggest you spend some time praying out loud, and then have a specified amount of time where each person goes out to pray silently and listen to God speak to them. After two hours of praying, if time permits, break your fast together, and talk about the prayer experience.

Debriefing the prayer experience is critical, and questions to prompt conversation will be provided. Many Rooted facilitators, consider this particular experience a real turning point for their groups as they tend to bond greatly during this time.

Freedom From Strongholds

Breaking strongholds in Week 5 is a significant moment for your group. As people open up and share their struggles, personal connections are strengthened and relationships grow. After standing toe to toe with suffering in Week 4, it is now time to break those strongholds that keep us in a place of pain. Once the freedom that Christ gives has been claimed, we can move into seeking for, and living out our purpose in Christ! As you can see, this week has drastic implications on the remainder of the Rooted experience, and the freedom an individual can feel like living their life with purpose. This week’s material provides you with resources and scriptural truths that will help facilitate healthy conversation around habitual sin. Speak these truths over your participants, and rely on God’s Spirit to lead you boldly into this week.

Serve The Community

Your group will serve the community together between Weeks 6 and 7. If you are going through Rooted as a church, you may be provided with a list of organizations with whom your church partners. If not, you can research serve opportunities within your community. You may want to visit a homeless shelter, serve the military, work with pregnant/parenting teens or battered women. You may know of tutoring needs for underprivileged youth in neighboring communities. You can visit the elderly or provide handyman services in depressed neighborhoods. There are so many places to serve the needs of others. The main priority in this experience is that it should be highly relational, so choose an experience where you are with people, not putting boxes of food/supplies together or simply donating money, but actually interacting with those you are serving. During the daily devotions of Weeks 6 and 7 participants will learn about the attitude of service, and the blessings experienced by those served and those who serve. It is during these weeks that you will oftentimes see people engage their passion, and clearly hear their calling and purpose from God. Allow the strengths of others to guide your affirmations for them in the later weeks.

Sacrificial Generosity

In Week 8, groups are gathered together for the “money talk.” As Jesus tells us, we cannot serve two masters, but must choose between God and money. So how does God view money, and what role does it have in our life? The way we manage our finances can be a reflection of our relationship with God. As facilitators, we must help people see this isn’t simply a week about giving more money to the church, but rather living in recognition that all we have has been given as a gift from God. Freely we have received, freely we are called to give. For many, dependence on money and greed is a stronghold. Begin to pray for each member of your group to experience the freedom that comes from being sacrificial and generous givers.

Share Your Story

During the Week 9 daily devotions, your group will be guided with tips on how to put the pieces of their story together, and how to share it with others. They can use their story to invite someone to church, or to the next session of Rooted, or simply into a further conversation about their faith. They are not being asked to stand on a street corner with a sign, or knock on doors in their neighborhood. We are called to share our faith story, and as we respond in obedience, we can be assured that the Holy Spirit will work in the hearts of the people to whom we are telling it.

It will be helpful to bring up the idea of telling our stories in the early weeks of Rooted. Encourage people to think about and pray for the people in their lives with whom they might share their story. Give your group the freedom to listen to the Holy Spirit, and engage in spiritual conversations with others— not necessarily during a set week of Rooted. God’s timing isn’t always ours, and it’s important to grasp the opportunities He gives us.

Additionally, take time each week to have people share their stories of faith in two to five minutes. Though there will be time in Week 9 to write and hone the stories of their lives before Jesus and after Jesus, encourage one or two people each week to simply tell their story as rough or raw as it is presently. As they do, pay attention, and take notes. This will help you as you pray for your group members each week, and as you offer the final blessing in Week 10.


Lead with the end in mind. Your group will experience a celebration together at the end of the 10 weeks of Rooted, where stories will be shared, and people will give their life to Jesus! During the final group time you will have an intimate group celebration of sorts, where you will speak a blessing over each person in your group. This will consist of the passion/purpose God has for them—that which they have expressed, and that you have witnessed during your time together. This is why taking notes during your group time and your personal prayer time is so critical. Pay close attention to what God said to them during the prayer experience. Observe them during the serve experience to gain insight into their servants’ hearts. Notice the affirmations that the participants give throughout the time together.

This blessing should be personal and pertain to each person’s passion for serving and advancing the Kingdom of God. It should encourage their vision for ongoing service in the Church body, their community, and the world. For instance, you may have someone who has a passion for orphans. You could bless him or her with, “You have a heart for orphans, and God will use that.” Of course, this doesn’t mean he or she needs to adopt orphans, it just means he or she can provide a relationship that is missing in the children’s lives. Or, you may have someone who has the gift of administration. The blessing may be something like, “Your gift of administration will bless many people, and will be used by God to help advance His Kingdom.” You may have someone identify his or her gift to be part of the worship team or a Children’s Ministry leader. You could bless him or her with, “God has gifted you with special talents to serve in the church, helping to bring others closer in relationship to Him.”

Depending on your Rooted structure, during the celebration, you may also be commissioning your group for ongoing ministry in your church. This is to assign responsibility for praying for hurting people in the church, sharing their faith and answering questions as they arise, modeling a lifestyle consistent with a Christ-follower.

Each believer is a minister with a ministry.

Tips for Leading a Rooted Group


Tips for Leading a Rooted Group

Listen intently to the person who is sharing, and respond with another question to have them go deeper. For instance, if someone has shared they are struggling with the idea that God speaks to people, ask the group “Has anyone else ever struggled with this?” or “What have some of you experienced in this area that might help with this idea?” These types of questions will often spur on a discussion that goes much deeper than the responses your group may have started giving. Always try to go beyond the easy answer, and find what is underneath. This can take the entire ten weeks with some members, while others are able to open up each and every group time. The key is listening to what they share, and asking follow up questions, “Why do you think that is?” “How is that affecting…?” “When did you notice that beginning in your life?” “Where in your life is that true?”

Group Dynamics

You will need to speak loud enough for all of your group members to hear. If you are soft-spoken, request a smaller room where your voice will carry better, and you will be able to be heard by your group. Sit in a position in your group where you are able to face the majority of the people when you speak, so that you are the person in authority to facilitate, and are able to maintain eye contact, and hear each person as they share.

Since all groups consist of people with different personalities and different communication styles, a personality/communication guide is included at the end of this section to assist you with leading each style. Because of these different styles, as well as the fact that people will not feel comfortable sharing at first, it may take some energy on your part to get the group talking.

Ensure you have balanced dialogue. It is important that each person is able to contribute to the discussion. Part of your responsibility is to guide the discussion, so that each group member feels included and supported, and to avoid allowing a more dominating personality to take over the discussion. This can be challenging, but it is important to the success of the group. If you notice one person is sharing more than is appropriate, you can interrupt and say, “I can tell this is a topic that interests you, so let’s continue the conversation later, but right now we need to move on,” or “I love how passionate you are about this topic, does anyone else have anything to add? Otherwise let’s move on for now.” Follow up with that person later to let them know that you redirected the conversation to allow for everyone to be able to share, but that you are interested in their input. Hopefully they will become more aware in the future.

There are several tactics for drawing out those who are more quiet or reluctant to share. Perhaps the best way is simply, ask them a question. A good way to do this is to say their name first, then ask the question. This accomplishes a couple of things. First, the person you call on will have a second to get an answer ready if you say their name first. Second, it will set the tone for the rest of the group, letting them know that they may be called on to share. It will usually help them be ready and more willing to share.

Along these same lines, you may have someone who is going through a very difficult time. Perhaps he or she lost his or her job, is having marital problems, or is dealing with illness or addiction. There is a fine line between your group supporting this individual through this, and turning it into a support group. As the facilitator, balance the time for all group members. Be sensitive to their needs, and then move the group along in their dialogue. Lead the group through a prayer of support/comfort/peace/healing, and offer ongoing prayer support through the week as well, ensuring they understand it is not a lack of care for them. To the contrary, let them know that you are deeply concerned, and will follow up with them, and reassure them that the group will come alongside him or her in tangible and supportive ways.

Avoid tangents. You may have someone in your group who goes off-track and wants to discuss something they heard previously, or learned somewhere else. While you can let them comment, don’t get distracted, or let your group wander off-topic to the point they feel they didn’t have an opportunity to discuss the week’s topic. This can be frustrating for the group, as they will have come to the group time wanting to share or gain perspective on the intended topic. Value the time of all of the group members and the efforts they have put into their weekly studies. Gently bring the group back to the discussion at-hand, and refocus the conversation.

Don’t feel as though you need to lead everyone into agreement. Be okay with messy conversations. Affirm each person for sharing and then ask, “Does anyone have similar or different thoughts?” Remember, do not answer their questions or teach. The Holy Spirit is working and will reveal the truth. Be patient. Let people struggle. This will encourage them to look further, to study more, and to find the truth they are seeking. Again, you may need to redirect the conversation to the Bible. If you’re asked a Bible-related question and you’re unsure of the answer, say, “That’s a great question,” or “I’d like to answer that but I want to make sure I’m giving you the best answer,” and tell them that you’ll take note of the question, seek an answer from one of our pastors or leaders, and get back to them the following week.

Be careful not to judge people by the answers they give. Be respectful and open-minded to other ways of thinking. Sometimes this will bring about the liveliest discussions.

Be considerate of different viewpoints, as your demeanor will oftentimes dictate how the rest of the group responds. Be sensitive to the fact that members of your group might come from many different religious backgrounds and have different political viewpoints. By being open to differing opinions, you will promote a safe environment for people to share.

If people know they won’t be judged or ridiculed by presenting conflicting opinions, or an answer they are unsure about, they will be more willing to open up. Again, people with viewpoints that aren’t in line with the truth will discover the truth. They are in the right place.

Remember, it might be difficult to get people talking during the first few weeks. Help people make connections within the group. People will stay and contribute to the group because of how you make them feel.

Take notes on what your members are sharing. You will be praying to break strongholds in Week 5, as well as speaking a prophetic blessing over them in Week 10, and this will be much easier if you have notes on what they have revealed during group time. You can also take note of stories that may be shared at future celebrations.


Leading your group each week is a lot of work. If you don’t have an assigned co-leader, you can ask one of your members to assist you. You can take turns leading on alternate weeks, or have one person do the icebreaker, and the other lead the discussion. Or, one person can take care of follow-up and weekly emails, and the other can lead the group discussion. Look at your different gifts and strengths, and decide what works best for you both. This is a great way to get an idea of future small group leaders in your group, and to get more people involved for greater group participation.

Leading Different Personalities

Although people are different, most fall into one of four personality styles: Analytical, Driver, Amiable, and Expressive. Below are basic characteristics of each of these personality styles as well as tips on engaging each person. Many people fall primarily into one category, but may have traits in another category as well.

Highlighting these personality types is intended to give insight into how you might best guide conversation, affirm group members when they share, and redirect your group when tangents arise. They are in no means a hard and fast guideline for discussions or dealing with your group personally. They are given only to heighten awareness that what you say can be interpreted, ignored, or misunderstood based on not only your words, but on their personalities as well.


Analytical people are known for being systematic, well-organized and deliberate. These individuals appreciate facts and information presented in a logical manner as documentation of truth. They enjoy organization and completion of detailed tasks. Others may see them at times as being overly cautious and structured people who do things too much “by the book.”

Leading the Analytical: This personality is strongly independent. Don’t rush things. Plan to give the person plenty of breathing space and thinking time. They may be the people who listen, gather information, and comment late in the group time, or they may think about it during the week and share the next time you are together.


Drivers thrive on the thrill of the challenge, and the internal motivation to succeed. They are practical folks who focus on getting results. They can do a lot in a very short time. They usually talk quickly, directly, and to the point. They are often viewed as decisive and pragmatic.

Leading the Driver: Be to the point with Drivers. Speak specifically and understand that their responses will seem more matter-of-fact, less like opinions.



Amiable people are dependable, loyal, and easygoing. They like things that are nonthreatening and friendly. They dislike impersonal details and cold hard facts. They are usually quick to reach a decision, but tend to be wishy-washy on the follow-through. They are often described as a warm people who are sensitive to the feelings of others, They are guided by feelings more than facts, and will have a tendency to be compassionate to others in the group.

Leading the Amiable: Nurture the relationship, and work hard to gain their trust. Amiables love security and safety, and will thrive in that type of environment.



Expressive people are very outgoing and enthusiastic, with a high energy level. They enjoy helping others, and are particularly fond of socializing. They are usually slow to reach a decision. They are often thought of as talkers, overly dramatic, impulsive, and manipulative. They are oftentimes “idea” people. They like recognition and compliments. They may come across as sarcastic at times.

Leading the Expressive: Expressives like to be liked and appreciated. They need people around them, and are anxious to develop and maintain relationships. They may dominate the conversation, so be prepared to steer and guide the discussion.



Cast vision for the next ten weeks. Create a warm and inviting atmosphere, encourage vulnerable and honest sharing, and establish guidelines and expectations.



2. Rooted Covenant – Pass around for all to Sign
            GO TO:
            PASSWORD: q1moupw0   (note last character is a zero)
            Access is only good for the term you are in Rooted group.


Everyone would attend the introductory session with no logistical issues, their hearts would be prepared to hear His truth, and no matter where they are on their spiritual journeys, they would make the most of this experience.

The opening speaker would set the tone and expectations for the group.

God would stretch and grow you throughout this experience—ask Him to meet you as you seek His guidance and direction while you lead people on this journey.




Check-in—10 minutes

Large Group Gathering—30 minutes

  • Speaker casts vision for Rooted, and encourages individuals to invest and stick with it.

Break into Rooted Groups—10 minutes

  • Allow time for people to find your group. Wear a nametag, and ask each person to use one as well.

TIP: Everyone will be arriving from different places and experiences that day, so be sure to create a welcoming environment for them. Be gracious if people are late. Welcome each one as they arrive, especially this first meeting, as they may have check-in issues, or get lost on their way to group.

Icebreaker—15 minutes

  • Use an icebreaker to help the group connect. See examples in the appendix.

TIP: Because people might not know each other on this first night, understand that they might not feel comfortable opening up and talking. Be prepared with discussion questions and/or additional icebreakers to help engage everyone.

Introductions—30 minutes

  • What did they hear from the intro speaker? How does it impact the reason they are here?
  • Ask each person to introduce themselves and answer the same two questions, “How did you end up in Rooted?” and “What are you hoping to get out of Rooted?”

TIP: Understand that some people might not want to be there. Some may have been brought there by a parent, spouse, or friend, and might be resistant to the whole experience. Be okay with that. You can create a welcoming environment, but it’s the Holy Spirit who will change their hearts

  • Share your story of how you came to Christ, modeling for your group how to tell their stories. Explain the 2-5 minute time limit, the purpose of sharing in preparation for Week 9, and the structure of this story. Ask someone else to share the next week by answering the question, “How has Jesus changed you?” If they do not know Jesus yet, the question can be “How did you get in this seat right now—in this Rooted group?”

TIP: Even in this first session, it is important to take notes. You will use the notes in Week 10 when you pray a blessing for them. Listen to how your group members introduce themselves, as it will give you insight into each person. This may play a major role in a later session. You can use the pages provided in this guide each week to ensure your notes are organized for you to use in future prayers, blessings, and commissioning.

Set Expectations—25 minutes

  • Confirm everyone understands the schedule commitment, including ten group sessions, three outside experiences, and a final celebration.
  • Set the dates for the experiences planned, or remind everyone to bring his or her calendars to the next session so you can agree on a time then.Ask for volunteers to provide refreshments for meetings.

TIP: Pass around a paper with the dates on it, and have two (or more) people sign up for each week.

  • Ask group members to silence their phones, and refrain from texting during the group time.
  • Determine communication preferences for your group – Facebook, email, phone calls, group app, etc.
  • Explain the Rooted Covenant, the values behind confidentiality, and the importance of creating a safe space. Have each person sign the form you will pass around as well as in their own books, and keep it to reference throughout the 10 weeks if needed.
  • Close your time with a simple prayer for God to bless your group and your time together. Keep in mind that some people may have never prayed before, let alone prayed out loud. Be sensitive to that as you pray, or as you ask others to pray.
  • Remind everyone of your meeting location for the next session, especially if it will change. Remind group members to do the five daily devotions of Week 2 for discussion next week.



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It is our desire to promote a safe environment for sharing the most important things in life. We want to provide a place where people can reveal openly and confidently the broken areas of their lives without judgment or condemnation. We are not here to “fix” one another. We encourage openness, vulnerability and intimacy during discussion and prayer times. In order to ensure a safe haven for personal sharing, we ask that each Rooted participant enter into an agreement of confidentiality.

Additionally, to get the most out of this experience, our hope is that you make a commitment to attend all sessions and participate in the group discussions. If you cannot be there, group dynamics will be impacted. If you know you will miss more than two group meetings, we ask that you attend a different session of Rooted.


I agree to attend all group meetings and keep all things shared by my group members confidential at all times.





Help your group identify and articulate false beliefs they’ve held, and new truths they’ve learned about the character of God. Process the story of Creation, the Fall, and God’s plan for redemption while encouraging vulnerable and honest sharing.


You Are God Alone – Philips, Craig & Dean


People will be excited to come back and connect. As you lead in vulnerability, and share from your own life, they will want to share openly and authentically as well.

God will give you wisdom, insights, and a non-judgmental heart for each person in your group.

God will help you uproot false or incomplete images of Him.




Welcome – 10 minutes

  • Greet each person by name, and let them know you are glad they’re here.

Icebreaker—15 minutes

  • Use an icebreaker to help the group connect. See examples in the appendix.

Story—10 minutes

  • Have two people share their 2-5 minute story of how they came to Christ, or how they ended up in this group.

TIP: Take notes when each person shares their story, writing down things they question or may not believe, or breakthroughs in their spiritual journey. You will use all of these notes when you pray for them to break free of strongholds, and during the celebration.

Introduction Questions—15 minutes

  • What was a lie you told as a kid? What happened?
  • What lie do you or did you believe about God?

Discussion—40 Minutes

TIP: Be sure to bring your Bible, and encourage your group to bring their Bibles to guide your discussions around what God’s Word says, rather than what they think it says.

  • To transition into discussion, ask: What challenged you, or impacted you from your reading and journaling this week?
  • You can ask a question about the homework: “Which day did you like the best? Which day challenged you the most?”
  • You can pick one or two questions they answered in homework, and use it as basis for discussion.

TIP: Pay attention to what is said—as well as what is not said—as your group shares, so you can ask good questions.

TIP: Watch for “overtalkers,” create space for honesty, and redirect questions to encourage more conversation: “Has anyone else experienced anything like that?”

TIP: Not everyone will get a chance to answer every question. Direct the discussion to include those who have not shared, and to keep others from overtalking.

Prayer Requests—20 minutes

  • Prayer requests can be presented as a group, or you can break into prayer partners.
  • Remind everyone of the importance of confidentiality—ensure each person has signed the Rooted Covenant.

Closing—10 minutes

  • Set a time for the prayer and serve experiences, and remind everyone of the dates.
  • If you have decided as a group to set up a social network to keep in touch, follow up on the status of that. Designate someone to do this for the group.
  • Make sure that you have two more people prepared to tell their story the following week.




Who Is God?

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:1-2


What have been your false or incomplete images of God?

What new thoughts do you have about God?


What do you learn about God from the creation story?

What questions does this account raise for you?

How does creation declare the glory of God to you?


How do you see God’s love and care for you?

How does it make you feel to know God has given us the job to care for the Earth?

How do you respond to the idea that God wants a relationship with you?

How have you seen this played out?


Where do you see the consequences of human rebellion in our world? In your own life?

What kind of death have you experienced because of your sin?


-Is the way of salvation, as is explained in this chapter, what you had previously thought? If not, how is it different?
-Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord? If yes, how has that changed you? If you haven’t, what is keeping you from doing it now?




Set the stage for an intimate, relational, and transformational prayer experience by creating space for honest discussion about each individual’s journey with prayer. Receive each group members experiences of hearing, or not hearing God’s voice with grace and truth.


Word of God Speak – Mercy Me




– There would be openness in your group to share, and be honest about what stumbling blocks they have experienced with prayer in the past.
-They would understand God’s great desire to have a personal and intimate relationship with them through His Word and prayer.
-People in your group will make time for the prayer experience, and would hear from God in an intimate and personal way.
-God would show you who He wants to be future small group leaders and Rooted leaders. Begin giving them responsibilities for the group to develop them as leaders.


Welcome—5 minutes

  • Continue to use name tags to help everyone learn names.
  • Appoint a future leader to help you welcome the group as they arrive.

Icebreaker—15 minutes

  • Use an icebreaker to help the group connect. See examples in the appendix.

Story—10 minutes

  • Have two people share their 2-5 minute story of how they came to Christ, or how they ended up in this group.

TIP: Take notes when each person shares their story, writing down things they question or may not believe, or breakthroughs in their spiritual journey. You will use all of these notes when you pray for them to break free of strongholds and during the celebration.

Introductory Questions – 20 minutes

  • Whom do you recognize on the phone before they say their name? What makes them so recognizable for you?
  • What do you love/hate about caller I.D.? Do you use it to screen your calls?

Discussion—40 minutes





TIP: See the appendix for notes on the Holy Spirit to help prepare you for these conversations.

  • What challenged you or impacted you from your reading and journaling this week?
  • You can ask a question about the daily devotions such as, “Which day did you like the best?,” “Which day challenged you the most?,” or pick one
    or two questions they answered in homework, and use it as a basis for discussion.

TIP: Remember that throughout this discussion and those that follow, not everyone will agree. In fact, create room for people to disagree. Everyone is on his or her own journey. Bring in truth by redirecting questions to others in the group. Don’t teach—lead.

Prayer Requests—20 minutes

  • Prayer requests can be done as a group, or you can break into prayer partners.
  • Remind everyone of the importance of confidentiality.
  • Pray about the future of the group, and why God brought you all together. Pray that people in the group would continue to hear God’s voice in their daily life.

Closing—10 minutes

  • Ensure you have a set time and location for your prayer experience, and everyone has the details on their calendars, and has arranged for child care, if needed. 100% participation is the goal.
  • If your group has decided to fast as part of your experience, review your goals for fasting, and your plan for breaking your fast. TIP: See appendix for additional notes on fasting.
  • Remind the group of the ways you are staying in touch during the week via emails or social media.



How Does God Speak To Us?

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and request. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Ephesians 6:17-18


What is the biggest challenge you have to reading or studying God’s Word?

How about believing or following God’s Word?


Does any of what you’ve read today surprise you? Why?

Do you feel like God speaks to people as clearly today as He did in biblical times?

How has God spoken to you?

What might keep you from really wanting to hear what God wants to say to you?


What was your understanding and your relationship with the Holy Spirit up to this point?

What is it now?

How can you keep in step with the Holy Spirit?

In light of today’s reading, where do you want to invite the Holy Spirit to be present in your life?


What thoughts or new ideas do you have about prayer?

What is more challenging for you: speaking to God, or listening to God? Why?


What excites you, and what seems daunting as you think about establishing a regular time to read the Bible and pray?

What book of the Bible do you want to read/study first?





Preparing For The Prayer Experience

Pray for your group as a whole, and for each individual, for what God plans to do as they meet with Him in the Rooted prayer experience.

Sample prayer: “Lord, I pray that those who have never heard your voice would recognize it in this experience. That through Your Spirit, you will reveal Yourself to the non-believers in a powerful way, so they would see and know that You are the One True Living God who knows them and loves them. For those in the group who know your voice, my prayer is that You will meet them, and give them what they need from Your abundance and grace.”

Choose a location for your prayer experience. Some places to consider are a group member’s home, at church, in a chapel, at the beach, or a quiet park. Feel free to create a welcoming and inviting environment for this experience. Use music, candles, or whatever you feel would enhance a peaceful atmosphere.

Review the prayer experience guideline here in this book.

TIP: The appendix has an additional Prayer Experience model, if you want another option of structure for your group.


Things To Consider

There will be many people in your group who have never prayed for 45 minutes, so help them understand how it will work, and encourage them that the time will go by very quickly. You may be asked why the prayer experience is so long. The reason is that it usually takes a while to quiet our hearts, and focus on the Lord and what He wants to say to us. In fact, some groups have wanted it to be longer, and have taken a half day to pray. Use your judgment to determine the length of time your group should engage in this experience for.

There may be people in your group who have never prayed before, or who have never prayed out loud before. Be understanding of this as you lead them. Some people may not want to “lean in” to this experience. The thought of praying for an extended period of time may be intimidating to them. As their leader, be encouraging. Help them to understand that though this may be a challenge for them, God is working in and through their prayers.

You may have people in your group who don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus. Invite them to explore who God is, and how He talks with us. Encourage them to participate in this experience by asking Him to reveal Himself to them.

The prayer experience is a great time to pray and listen for God to reveal people in our lives who we can serve, love, and share our stories with. You can encourage group members to pray for an opportunity to share their faith. God may open doors to spiritual conversations before Week 9.

Explain to your group that they will each be seeking an opportunity to share their faith story with someone during the Week 9 readings. Discuss how group members will be sharing their stories with someone in their life. Explore the idea of loving and knowing our neighbors. If they don’t know their neighbors, encourage them to simply take a step of introducing themselves. In His timing, God will provide opportunities for them to tell their stories of faith.

Fasting (Optional)

Depending on your group, you may want to challenge them to fast as a group before your prayer experience, and then celebrate the completion of your experience by breaking your fast with a meal together. If you are meeting in the afternoon, you could begin your fast after your evening meal the night before, and through breakfast and lunch the next day. Should your group not be ready for this, you as a leader could fast, and/or ask a few of your more spiritually mature group members to join you.

TIP: See appendix for additional notes on fasting.


Be sure to make time for debriefing. Listen for how God moved in this prayer experience. Take notes as your group discusses what they experienced as they took the extended time to pray and listen for God’s voice. What did they hear? How did they feel? Did the time go quickly? What was unique about this time when they prayed versus other times they’ve prayed?





Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.

Isaiah 65:24

The Church of Scotland defines prayer this way: “Prayer is an offering of our desires unto God for things agreeable to His will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins and thankful acknowledgment of His mercies.” This summarizes well the components of prayer. Our hearts should engage prayer as a way of aligning our desires with God’s will.

Preparing For Your Prayer Time

  • Review your notes from group time about how people have experienced hearing from God. This can help guide you, especially if you are new to prayer and hearing God speak directly to you.
  • Review your journal for areas in your own life that you will want to incorporate into your prayer time.
  • Come to the prayer time unencumbered, without your to-do lists or thoughts of what you have scheduled next. Don’t bring a mobile device or other distractions.
  • Consider fasting prior to your prayer time.


Notes On Fasting

In order to make the most of your prayer experience with your Rooted group, we recommend that you spend time preparing to hear from God. One of the disciplines that helps with this is fasting. Fasting is a way we eliminate the noise and distractions of the world around us, and focus more completely on hearing God’s voice. While we fast, we are reminded and become more aware of our dependence on God. By fasting, we intensify our prayers, place ourselves in a position of submission, and become more sensitive to hearing God’s voice.

Group Prayer Time (20 minutes)

  • Begin with a devotional or read Scripture – have others read these…(Psalms 8, 19, 34, 121, and/or 138 are great options) to prepare your heart and mind for time in prayer.
  • Talk about what prayer is, why it’s an important discipline, and what your hopes are for this experience.



Individual Prayer Time (60 minutes)



Make Room – Meredith Andrews OR ANOTHER VERSION Make Room – TWI


  • Move into a space where you will not be interrupted.
  • Begin praying. Take time to listen to what God wants to say to you. You can use the following example of prayer structure and content. Remember prayer is a personal discipline. This is only an example of one way to pray. Write down any thoughts that come to mind, so you can refer back and see how God answered your prayers.







  • Family, friends, specific needs from your journal
  • For your Rooted group requests
  • For your church and the Church in the world, to accomplish His will on Earth as it is in Heaven
  • For your purpose
  • For those with whom God wants you to tell your story
  • Our community
  • Our nation and leaders
  • The world and world leaders
  • What God wants your group to do, where you should serve
  • People in whom God wants you to invest
  • In all things, pray that you are within His will


Debrief and Celebration (60 minutes)

After your prayer time, take time to share a meal together to break your fast. Share how you heard God’s voice, what this focused prayer time meant to you, and how it affected you. Share how the fasting time prepared you, and whether your prayer time felt more intense from this discipline. Share any other relevant feelings or revelations from God during this time in fasting and prayer, and if you want to continue to add this to your life on a more regular basis.



Create space for people to share vulnerably about the pain in their stories, and discuss the trust that it takes to surrender to God and His perfect plans. Being present and listening with compassion—not trying to fix—is key. Help individuals recognize personal suffering, since this may help them better engage with the topic of strongholds next week.


Blessing by Laura Story


For deeper connections within your group as a result of the prayer experience. Pray that the people in your group experience God and their relationships with Him in a new way.

For openness in sharing as you move into the next two weeks of suffering, strongholds, and finding freedom, and that God would draw people to a place of surrender to Him.

God would show you whom He wants to be future small group and Rooted leaders.




Welcome—20 minutes

TIP: Use this time to further debrief how the prayer experience has impacted their week.

  • What happened this week that surprised you? Why was it unexpected?
  • Share anything that’s come to mind about the prayer experience. How has it impacted your week?

Story—10 minutes

  • Have two people share their 2-5 minute story of how they came to Christ, or how they ended up in this group.

TIP: Take notes when each person shares their story, writing down things they question or may not believe, or breakthroughs in their spiritual journey. You will use all of these notes when you pray for them to break free of strongholds and during the celebration.

Introduction Questions—10 minutes

  • When you were a kid, did your parents ever make you give up something that was yours, and you knew it was not fair, but had to do it anyway?

Discussion—40 minutes

TIP: Keep in mind, you may have nonbelievers in your group. Help them to answer as is appropriate, or give them permission not to answer, and encourage them to ask questions.

  • What challenged you or impacted you from your devotions this week? Where have you seen God at work around you recently? How have you seen God use you to accomplish His will? How do you wrestle with surrendering to God’s will today?
  • You can also pick one or two questions they answered in homework, and use it as basis for discussion.

TIP: Recognize that more mature Christians sometimes share challenging experiences from many years ago. Encourage them to tell of times God has moved in their lives recently.

TIP: Be okay with disagreement. We are all on our own journeys and may not see eye to eye on everything. Encourage people to bring their Bibles and share their views based on what the Bible says, not just what they think the Bible says. Ask, “Where did you see that? Let’s find the context for it.”

Prayer Requests—25 minutes

  • Increase the focus on prayer, giving everyone the opportunity to develop the spiritual discipline of quieting their hearts to listen to God.
  • Close with a group prayer.

Closing – 15 minutes

Prepare your group for next week. The strongholds week is powerful and moving. Let them know they will be sharing their stronghold struggles in the group in a way that is sensitive, confidential, and honoring to God. Let your group know you will be praying for them throughout the week.

  • The daily devotions will take more time for Week 5.
  • If you prefer, you can set additional time to pray over strongholds outside of the group time.
  • Ensure you have a set time and location for your Serve Experience, and everyone has the specifics on their calendars and has arranged for childcare if needed. 100% participation is the goal.
  • Remind everyone of the importance of confidentiality.




Where Is God In The Midst Of Suffering?

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7


All of us have gone through times of despair or feeling completely alone. In that time, what were your feelings about your situation and about God?

What lessons learned from David’s life can help you through these challenging times?


Describe a time when you have felt hopeless.

Describe a time when, despite your circumstances, you have had hope from the Lord.


Describe your feelings of “double- fisted faith.” Is this idea a struggle for you? Or do you embrace it?

When have you had to clench your fists and cling tightly onto God’s promises, not knowing the outcome of the situation?


What would it take to completely surrender your life to God?

What is a care in your life you need to give over to God right now?


What challenges are you facing now that are helping transform your character to be more like Christ’s?

Where do you see God’s hand working in your circumstances?




Lead your group into a posture of openness to the Holy Spirit and invite him to search your hearts and reveal strongholds. Create a safe space where people can admit and break strongholds in Jesus’ power, and find freedom in the presence of witnesses.



WORSHIP OPTION OPENING… In the Name of Jesus – Katy Nichole



-For the people in your group to respond to the Holy Spirit as He reveals areas of strongholds that need to be broken in their lives.

-For truth to be heard and received, so that each person may understand that we live in a spirit-filled world where Satan is a real adversary. Pray group members will move toward freedom in Christ, and live in victory over spiritual warfare.

-For those who are new in their faith or not yet Christians, to be open to these truths that are being read and spoken about regarding spiritual warfare.


Welcome and Introductory Questions—15 minutes

  • Open the group in prayer, inviting God into your meeting before you begin your discussion.
  • Since our prayer experience, where have you seen or heard God?
  • What has God revealed to you this week as you spent time with Him?

TIP: As you lead this week, be sensitive to the different perspectives you will hear from people in your group. You will start your time with a general discussion on spiritual warfare from the homework, and then divide your group between men and women to discuss strongholds and pray for them. If you prefer, you can divide your group before the discussion.

Discussion—15 minutes

TIP: Remember, not every bad thing or every struggle is spiritual warfare. Much of what we struggle with is our own sin and the consequences of it. Some people tend to overemphasize spiritual warfare while others tend to underemphasize it.

  • Have you ever contemplated the fact that we live in a spirit-filled world and have an enemy?
  • How did this week’s homework impact your thoughts about the fact that we live in a spirit-filled world?
  • How have repeated patterns of sin in your life caused problems or challenged your relationships?
  • What questions do you still have about the spiritual realm or spiritual warfare?

Breaking of Strongholds—75 minutes

TIP: Be sure to have men and women separated at this time to provide for a safe space to share strongholds.

  • What types of strongholds do you struggle with that you circled on Day 5? (It’s common to have more than one.)

TIP: Some people will think they don’t have any strongholds. Once others begin sharing, they will recognize places of concern in their own lives. Allow for discussion here. Don’t limit sharing to one person at a time, but encourage back and forth dialogue.

  • Help your group embrace the truth that contradicts the lies they have believed by encouraging them to read the Scripture provided or read the Scripture over that individual if you feel led.
  • Would you be willing to read the prayer out loud, and replace the lie with your true identity in Christ?

Prayer Time

Before you break strongholds, consider if there are people in your group who might not be Christians. Remind group members we all have imperfections in our lives that are harmful to ourselves and others. As Christians, we have the ability to break these strongholds through the power of the Holy Spirit. When a Christian prays to break a stronghold, they confess the pattern of sin in their life, and choose to replace it with a new character quality they want to adopt. The Holy Spirit works in this process.

For those who have not chosen to follow Christ, they have the ability to stop destructive patterns in their lives, and you can pray that for them. Each person in the group should be prayed over either way. We all need prayer to overcome the difficult places in our lives, but it is different without the Holy Spirit living in us. If there are non-believers in the group, you can give them the opportunity to accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord before praying for them. Let the Holy Spirit do the work of moving their heart, and do not pressure them in any way.

Move your group into a time of prayer where you, as the leader, are praying with each person, or the individual is praying and you are praying with him/her in agreement to break these areas of strongholds in his/her life. You will want to model your prayer after the prayer in your Rooted workbook. Make sure you pray out loud with each person in your group. Be careful to not let other people step in and try to rescue someone as he/she is sharing a stronghold, or minimize it and its damage in his/her life.

As you end your prayer time, remind everyone this is just the first step. They must continue to do all they can to not repeat the patterns of sin that have led to these areas of strongholds.

This exercise can be painful and may reopen wounds that your Rooted group may not be qualified to address. In these situations, you may want to suggest seeking counseling or therapy from a qualified professional.

TIP: Hand out the Rooted bookmark with the “identity” verses listed. Read the verses aloud as a group. Have group members insert their own names or personal pronouns “I” and “me.” Also, utilize the Stronghold vs. Freedom Chart on the next page to reference the truth-filled scriptures that are listed in the workbook.


Prayer Requests—10 minutes

  • Close by praying over the whole group according to who we are in Christ listed on the bookmark.


Closing—5 minutes

  • Remind everyone of the importance of confidentiality.
  • Ensure you have set the time and location for your Serve Experience. 100% participation is the goal.










There Is An Enemy

For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son

Colossians 1:13


What new thoughts do you have about Satan and his kingdom of this world?

What comforts do you find in knowing Jesus is victorious now and in the end?


Where do you recognize spiritual battles in your life?

Where do you feel dressed in God’s armor to fight them? Where don’t you?


Where is the love of the world creeping into your life?

How does this open a door to Satan/evil?

Where is it creating weaknesses?


Where in your life do you experience being a slave to sin and to God’s law as Paul does in Romans 7?

What are examples of where “the flesh” is winning in your life?

What are examples of where the Holy Spirit is winning?


Prayerfully review the list of strongholds and corresponding behaviors. Circle or list any areas of your life where Satan has a foothold, or you have allowed patterns of sin to develop.




Prepare your group both practically and spiritually for the serve experience. Celebrate the freedom from strongholds your group is experiencing, and nurture a heart of service by helping everyone connect and live into their greater purpose.



1. Rooted – GIFTS SUMMARY PAGE (BodyFit)


-People would begin to see they have a purpose bigger than living for themselves both individually and collectively. Pray they would see how Jesus lived and modeled this purpose for us.

-God would instill in their hearts the humility and compassion of Jesus to serve others in our broken and hurting world.

-Group members would continue to experience freedom from strongholds and grow in the Truth that sets them free.


Welcome and Follow Up—25 minutes

TIP: If your group members continue to sit in the same seats, change dynamics by having them switch seats. It will stimulate different discussions.

  • Revisit what you covered last week on warfare and strongholds to see how everyone is doing since the last meeting.
  • Since we last met, what has been a highlight of your week? How did last week’s discussion impact you this week? How do you see strongholds in a different way? Did you find freedom from strongholds, or did you find yourself more able to lessen their grip in your life?

Story—10 minutes

  • Have two people share their 2-5 minute story of how they came to Christ, or how they ended up in this group.

TIP: Take notes when each person shares their story, writing down things they question or may not believe, or breakthroughs in their spiritual journey. You will use all of these notes when you pray for them to break free of strongholds, and during the celebration.

Introductory Question—15 minutes

  • Who do you know that reflects the heart of Jesus in the way they live their life?
  • What would Jesus do in your community today? Where would He spend His time?

Discussion—45 minutes

    • Ask people to bring this one page summary back next week completed
  • Ask them to find time this week (90min) to take the NCC Body Fit Assessment – they can find it on the NCC website under the SERVE TAB of give them the address…
  • Group Discussion Questions…
  • What does it look like to have the heart of Jesus today in our lives? Do you think people see Jesus in you? How have you seen God use people to make a difference in the world? What do you feel your purpose is?
  • You can pick one or two questions they answered in homework and use it as basis for discussion.

Small Group Conversation—5 minutes

  • Discuss the idea of moving forward as a small group, and see what the response is. If you have someone in the group who has already agreed to lead, share that news with the group. Talk about what a small group is, and how it will help them continue the spiritual journey they have begun in Rooted.

Prayer Requests—15 minutes

  • Before you close in prayer, review your church’s mission statement, and talk about how your purpose collectively as a group and as individuals can help fulfill that.



Closing—5 minutes

  • Confirm the time and location for your serve experience. 100% participation is the goal.
  • Assign someone in the group to follow up with anyone who was absent from this session.




How Can I Make The Most Of My Life? Part 1

We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10


Where have you seen the redemption of Jesus in your life? Where has He made something new?

Where do you feel God calling you to do good works?


What surprises you about Jesus’ heart?

Who are people you know who have hearts like Jesus? What attracts you to them?

What does it look like to serve out of your purpose rather than agenda?


What are ways you can become involved in the Great Commission?

What are your thoughts about being “blessed to be a blessing,” when it comes to sharing the Good News?


Where in your life do you need the Holy Spirit’s power?

What would you like to accomplish through the power of the Holy Spirit?


What are some spiritual gifts you have been given? How can you use these gifts in this season of your life?

As you look at your life and the gifts God has given you, what sense do you have of the purpose He has for you and how He wants to use you?

How do you see yourself contributing to the needs of the six sectors of society through your gifts?



Serving is less about fulfilling an obligation, or even about helping other people. Serving is more about who God is shaping you to be. This comes from the biblical definition of poverty, and the expression of fullness of the Gospel.

The Bible defines poverty in terms of Shalom shattered. There is brokenness between us, each other, Creation and God. God’s mission, or the Gospel, is the restoration of Shalom on the planet. In other words, we were not saved to stand around with other saved people talking about our saved experience, but instead we were restored to be restorers. We play a role in the restoration of the planet.

In order to do that, people need to wrestle with their stories. Most of us don’t have a conscious awareness of the story that God has been writing in our own lives. He wants to use all the parts of our stories to help restore his Kingdom.

This is the serve experience. The desired outcome is not to “do”. Although important, it’s not our main goal of the experience. We are after long-term impact and change in the individual who is serving. If that happens, he or she will serve more over his or her lifetime, rather than just hitting a one-time experience.

What is success for a serve experience?

  • An understanding of biblical poverty. We are just as poor as the people we are going to serve.
  • A connection with our own stories. The events in our lives—good and bad—are all part of who we are. God blesses, redeems, and restores Shalom in us.
  • A next step. Through hearing God, understanding our gifts and our brokenness, and being in relationship with others, we can define the next right step in fulfilling the purpose God has for us.


What is an orientation? Why do we do one?

Your role as a Rooted facilitator is to help center the group as they will often arrive at the serve site, while still being distracted by their day or life in general. An orientation allows you, the leader, to help your group:

  • Focus on what they are about to do
  • Understand and be reminded of true biblical poverty
  • Be prepared to see and hear from God
  • Remind your group to enter this time with the expectation that they will experience God in unique ways as they serve



How To

  • Bring Scripture:nothing too long, just something to focus on what they are about to do (see sample devotional)
  • Talk about being vs. doing
  • Questions to ask:What are you expecting God to do? What are you frustrated about right now? What are you distracted by?
  • PRAY: pray that your group would leave all frustrations and distractions behind, and be open to how God speaks to them


Why are we serving here? How will we engage?

  • We are called to serve the poor, the marginalized, and the forgotten
  • We want to serve in relationship
  • We want our group to break the “holy huddle,” and actually be with those we are serving

TIP: Shepherd your group through the day. Be sure to look for who is connecting, and who isn’t. How can you help them engage in the experience? Your focus is on your group rather than on the Serve Experience. We recommend facilitators are not assigned a role so they can focus on caring for their group.



What is a debrief? Why do we do one? The debrief is your group’s time to process their experience and solidify all that God did. It goes from an experience to language; saying it out loud is much different from just thinking it. A debrief is important because it helps accomplish the following:

  • Gives an opportunity for members of your group to share how they saw and heard God
  • Allows them to engage their emotions in the safety and freedom of community
  • Connection with and discovery of their purpose through knowing their own story
  • Gives opportunity for individuals to commit to practical next steps

Questions To Ask

  • What did you see? What did you hear? Who did you meet?
  • Time of Affirmation: have members of your group affirm each other, to help call out how they saw God move during this experience. This will help individuals process what they saw and heard from God.
  • Where do you see the presence of God? Where did you hear His voice?
  • What are you learning?
  • How have your expectations/perceptions changed?
  • How is your life going to be different?

Next Steps

  • Help your group find out how they can get more involved, and serve again.

TIPS: Make sure your group still has energy to debrief after the serve event.

The debrief is often viewed in hindsight as a “marker moment” where group members verbalize what God was speaking to them, and commit to some practical action or change of course.

If someone is not moved by the experience or did not see the presence of God, don’t ignore it. Acknowledge it as a leader. God speaks to everyone differently at different times. Assure them that even if they were not moved, they can be confident that those whom they served were comforted and affirmed by their service and presence.



Sample Devotion: to be used during the Serve orientation

The following is a suggested devotion to help set the stage before serving. You can use it to help focus group members’ hearts and minds on what it means to serve others.

Speak Lord

The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.

One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called Samuel.

Samuel answered, “Here I am.” And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.

Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

“My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”

Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.

A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle.

Flow Questions

  1. Where have you experienced great customer service?
  2. Read 1 Sam 3:1-11 As you read, remember that the Word of God coming to someone was a rare experience to have in that day and age. The author is thus trying to express how significant it was that Samuel heard Him and that Eli was able to discern this. This began the very intimate relationship that Samuel had had with the Lord, and shows how he was able to guide Israel’s kings and subsequently, the Israelites.
  3. How did Samuel respond to the voice calling him? How did Eli respond to Samuel’s questions?
  4. Where have you seen people respond to God’s voice? Who has been there for you when you were trying to discern God’s voice?
  5. How will you approach today, knowing that God is able to speak to you through this Serve event?




Affirm individuals and empower your group to explore their spiritual gifts, discover how they fit into God’s plan of expanding His Kingdom, and take action in their community and throughout the world.




Pray specifically for each person in your group. Pray that they would see they have a purpose bigger than living for themselves, and that this newfound passion moves them from service projects to a lifestyle of service, using their gifts for the Kingdom of God.

Each person would recognize their passions, move forward using their spiritual gifts, and join God in His work, bringing help and hope to a hurting world.

Each Rooted participant would not be afraid to dream BIG! God has unlimited capacity and resources for us to accomplish His will for our lives.


Welcome—10 minutes

TIP: Let future leaders you have identified lead the opening discussion and closing prayer.

  • Where did you see God show up in your life this week?
  • We studied the story of the Good Samaritan. Did you have a chance to selflessly serve someone in need this week?

Story—10 minutes

  • Have two people share their 2-5 minute story of how they came to Christ, or how they ended up in this group.

TIP: Take notes when each person shares their story, writing down things they question or may not believe, or breakthroughs in their spiritual journey. You will use all of these notes when you pray for them to break free of strongholds, and during the celebration.

Introductory Question—10 minutes

  • Who is your neighbor? What does poverty look like in your own life? What is your “go-to” gift or talent God has blessed you with? What comes easily for you?

Discussion—40 minutes

TIP: See appendix for spiritual gifts resources.

  • Have group members share what they discovered taking the BODY FIT ASSESSMENT and how they will use this information to serve on mission based upon their gifts.
  • Once they share ask them to give you their BODY FIT ASSESMENT – you’ll make a copy and give them back the originals next week. You then give the copy to Rooted Pastor.
  • Do you see your spiritual gifts relating to your talents and passions? How do you see them working together? If you took the spiritual gifts test for the first time, do you agree with the gifts it says you have? Do you see these gifts in your life? What do you think God is calling you to do with your gifts?
  • Discuss serving opportunities in the church and local community. Challenge group members to jump in.
  • Where in the church or community have you served before? What did you like most about it? What did you not like about that experience? How is it different for you to serve believers at church versus serving at-risk children, parenting/pregnant teens, or people living in a homeless shelter?

Prayer of Purpose—30 minutes

  • Explain that just as we prayed for strongholds, we are now going to pray for God’s calling and purpose for us and the gifts that He has given us. As the leader, you will want to pray for each person individually while the group prays for that person silently with you.
  • First, reaffirm they are free of their stronghold(s). Speak their new identity in Christ over them. Confirm their unique and special role in the Kingdom of God using their passions and gifts. Pray that God would remind them of their purpose. Pray bold prayers that release them to God-sized dreams.

TIP: Keep the prayers to 2 minutes per person.

Small Group Conversation—10 minutes

  • Continue the dialogue from last week about becoming a small group. Answer any additional questions.
  • Remind everyone about the large group gathering next week before the group meeting time.

Prayer Requests—7 minutes

  • Try something new. Have everyone pray simultaneously, thanking God for what He did during group time. Then close the whole session after a few minutes.

Closing—3 minutes

  • Remind group members to pray for opportunities to share their story of faith. Encourage them to look for where God is working around them.




How Can I Make The Most Of My Life? Part 2

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Matthew 25:40


Who are the marginalized people and outcasts of society today?

Who is your neighbor?


Where have you seen Jesus “disguised” as someone in need? What was your response?

Were you ever on the receiving end of another person’s help? What did the person’s actions tell you about him or her?

Where are you more comfortable serving, in the church or in the community? Why?


How does this definition of poverty change your view of those in need?

What is your reaction when you encounter situations of injustice?

Where have you experienced the compassion of God in your life?

Where have you experienced the compassion of others?

Where have you experienced a lack of it?


What are obstacles to a lifestyle of service that you have experienced?

What are things you can do this week in service to someone in your life and/or those living in poverty?


What are your thoughts about our call to help bring peace—shalom—to our world? Is it overwhelming for you or does it excite you?




Gain insight into God’s provision, managing His resources, and living a God- honoring lifestyle with the things He’s given us. Ask questions that help your group determine what sacrificial generosity and stewardship look like for them.




Everyone will be open-minded to the truth that all we have belongs and has been entrusted to us by God, and that the shortened discussion time is used wisely for God to capture hearts.

People will be honest in their assessment of how they manage their money, and those who have never tithed would consider what that could look like in their life and for the church.

Anyone needing help with their finances/budgeting will take the next step to find a financial coach or ministry to help them become godly money managers.




Large Group Gathering—40 minutes

Break into Rooted Groups—5 minutes

  • Allow time for people to get to your group.

Story – 10 minutes

  • Have two people share their 2-5 minute story of how they came to Christ, or how they ended up in this group.

TIP: Take notes when each person shares their story, writing down things they question or may not believe, or breakthroughs in their spiritual journey. You will use all of these notes when you pray for them to break free of strongholds, and during the celebration.

Introductory Question—10 minutes

TIP: Your group time will be shortened tonight due to the large group speaker, so plan your time accordingly.

  • What was the most valuable thing you owned as a kid?
  • Are you a saver or a spender?

Discussion—40 minutes

  • Share your own story of stewardship with the group. Where is it easy for you to live as God instructs, and where is it difficult?
  • What challenged you or impacted you from your reading this week? What questions or emotions did tonight’s discussion of money bring? How can you remember that God is the owner, and we are the managers?

Prayer Requests—10 minutes

Closing—5 minutes

  • Confirm everyone knows the time and date for the Rooted celebration and gather RSVPs.
  • Encourage your group to tell their faith story to someone in the community during the Week 9 readings. Ask members to pray for opportunities to share their faith. Remind them that our responsibility is to go where God leads us. The results of the conversation and the condition of the heart of the receiver are God’s responsibility.

TIP: Be sensitive to those in the group who may not be believers. They have a story, and it matters. Make sure to communicate that so they don’t feel isolated during this coming week. Encourage them to share about a time they felt there was something bigger than themselves, or experienced true community, love, and acceptance, or how they ended up in Rooted and what they are learning.




How Does God View Money?

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:19-21


Look at the Bible verses above and on the previous page. Circle those that challenge or encourage you.

How do these verses align with your current view of money?


In your mind, what is the difference between an owner and a manager?

Where have you been acting like an owner?

Where have you been acting like a manager?

What has been your experience with budgets?


What is your experience with giving?

How are you “blessed to be a blessing?”

What gets in the way of you being a regular, faithful giver?


What debt do you have? What is it doing to the condition of your heart?

Why is it important to reduce/ eliminate debt completely?

What step are you going to take to begin getting out of debt?


When it comes to providing for your needs, where are all the places you trust God (job, health, bank accounts, etc.)?

What are the results?

What would it look like for you to courageously trust Him with your finances?



Help your group understand greater story God is writing and how to communicate the restorative power of Jesus Christ in their own stories by sharing the key events that have shaped who they are today.



2. WEEK 9 – ZUME LIST OF 100


God will give everyone opportunities to tell their stories of faith, and that they will be ignited with a passion to share their faith as a way of sharing the Good News.

Those who have not committed to Christ would be willing to share more about their journey, and what brought them to Rooted.

You would be a bold leader, challenging people to set aside their fears when it comes to sharing their stories, and holding them accountable.


Welcome—15 minutes

  • Explain that the future life group leader will be leading this week’s session.
  • Where did God meet you or surprise you this week?

Story—10 minutes

  • Have two people share their 2-5 minute story of how they came to Christ, or how they ended up in this group.

TIP: Take notes when each person shares their story, writing down things they question or may not believe, or breakthroughs in their spiritual journey. You will use all of these notes when you pray for them to break free of strongholds, and during the celebration.

Introductory Question—15 minutes

TIP: Review your notes from the past eight sessions and see if there are any conversations you need to circle back to, in order to have a great discussion this week.

  • What is a great adventure you have taken? Did you have any fear on the journey? What is a dangerous thing you have done?

Discussion—30 minutes



  • Did you share your faith? How was that experience for you?
  • Talk about fears that may be, or were associated with sharing their stories.
  • If members did not share their story, present the challenge again and encourage them to lean into it. The goal is not that every person who shares leads someone to Christ, but that everyone follows His leading, and shares his or her faith with someone.

TIP: Use the “neighbor map” found in the appendix to write down the names of their neighbors.

  • Talk through the importance of prayer and the Holy Spirit when we share our story.

TIP: Be sensitive to those in the group who may not be believers. They have a story, and it matters. Make sure to communicate that so they don’t feel isolated during this coming week. Encourage them to share about a time they felt there was something bigger than themselves, or experienced true community, love, and acceptance, or how they ended up in Rooted and what they are learning.

Cardboard Testimonies—30 minutes

  • Give everyone a piece of cardboard/paper, and ask them to write two or three words about where they were when they began the Rooted journey 10 weeks ago, then on the other side, where God has them today. “Ten weeks ago, I was…” then “Today, I am…”
  • Have each person share their cardboard testimony. Start by modeling for your group where you were 10 weeks ago and where you are today. The goal is that through these few simple words, a story is shared from then to now.

Prayer Requests—15 minutes

  • Help people define where they are, and where they need to go spiritually. If any group members have not been baptized, find out if they would like to do this at the Rooted celebration.
  • You can pray as a whole group or break into prayer partners.


Closing—5 minutes

  • Remind everyone of the importance of confidentiality.
  • Remember to thank the small group leader who led the group tonight.
  • Cover any details necessary for the Rooted Celebration and the upcoming opportunity to be baptized.




Why & How Should I Tell Others?

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

1 Peter 3:15


What’s the biggest challenge you face in telling your story with someone?

If you are a Christ follower, have you ever shared your faith story with someone else?

If you’ve done so, how did it go? If you haven’t, why not?

Who are three people in your life that don’t know Jesus?


What do you think of God’s story?

Are there any parts you disagree with, or are there any parts that confuse you? Explain.

Do you think you could write down from memory the major point of each of the four parts?

If you have heard the story of God before, either as a child or
in a different context, how was it explained to you? How does it relate to what you read today?


How do you feel about telling your story to others?

How does this affect how you think about evangelism?


Do you have opportunities in your life to meet the needs of others? Have there been opportunities
to tell your story of faith in these situations? If not, how can you challenge yourself in this?

Remember the three people you have been praying for. Share your story of faith with them in a way that is relevant and succinct.

Pray about someone you can invite to the next session of Rooted. How can you tell him/her how Rooted has impacted or changed you?





Help your group understand the symbolism of baptism and communion. Lead your group to pray boldly and specifically over each person in your group, and encourage them to courageously live out their purpose. Solidify the value of belonging to the Church body and the importance of remaining in community—by establishing or joining a small group—to continue living and growing in the transformation that started in Rooted.





As you celebrate communion tonight, you would have a special time as a group to celebrate what God has done in your lives the past 10 weeks. As you remember His death and resurrection through the taking of the Lord’s Supper, remember the amazing gift He provided for each of us.

Every person would leave having been prayed over, and able to embrace the truths shared about them. They would fully embrace what God has done in their 10 weeks through Rooted, and have a greater understanding of their purpose from God.

Anyone who has not been baptized would want to be baptized at the Rooted celebration.


Welcome and Introductory Questions—10 minutes

  • What makes you feel connected to the church, like you belong? What does it feel like to worship in community with other believers?

TIP: There is a lot of experiences to cover this week, so be sure to keep the group on track and moving forward.

Affirmations—35 minutes

  • Take turns affirming each person in the group for what you have seen God do in their lives during this 10-week journey. If you have everyone say an affirmation, keep it to one word. Or you can have two or three people affirm each person.
  • Consider limiting the number of people who are affirming (maybe 3-4 affirmations for each person). Keep the affirmation to a word or short sentence.

TIP: Have someone write down these affirmations on a card to give to the person at the Celebration.

Prophetic Prayers—50 minutes

  • Pray over each person in the group, affirming the journey God has brought them through the past 10 weeks. Affirm the gifts God has blessed them with, and their purpose in furthering His Kingdom. Affirm the freedom from strongholds they are experiencing. If it is a co-ed group, be sure not to reveal the stronghold specifically.

TIP: See the appendix for notes on prophetic prayer and blessings, including example prayers.

Communion and Group Prayer—15 minutes

  • Take the bread and cup, and give each person a blessing as they receive it. This is another good opportunity to have your selected future Rooted leaders or small group leaders give blessings as well. An example of a blessing you can give is, “This is Christ’s body and blood shed for you. He died that you may live.”
  • Notes about baptism: for those being baptized, remind them to wear dark clothing and bring a towel. When they are being baptized, have them bend their knees, cross their arms in front of their chest. Ask the person, “Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that He died for you?” Let them answer. Then say, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” You will lay them down in the water, and then lift them up out of the water.

Closing—10 minutes

  • If members have not shared their faith, challenge them to continue to look for those opportunities as God leads. Talk about the difference it makes when we are intentional in wanting to be used by God, and how He reveals opportunities we would not otherwise see.




Why Is The Church Important?

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:24-25


What makes you feel like an attendee at church?

What makes you feel like someone who belongs to your church?


Where in your life do you worship in spirit and truth?

What sometimes keeps you from authentic worship?


What are your thoughts about the Lord’s Supper?

If you have been baptized, describe your experience and the events leading up to it.

If you haven’t been baptized, what are your thoughts about it?

What do these ceremonies symbolize to you?


Have you decided to continue with your Rooted group as a small group? If not, where is your need for community being met?

How can your small group join in with God’s mission of restoration in your surrounding community and beyond?

In what ways will your relationship with God be strengthened by committing to a small group that cares for each other and the world around them?


Think about your Rooted experience. What are some highlights? What are one or two truths you want to take away from this time?

How have you heard God’s voice?

What’s the next step you will take toward fulfilling the purpose God has planned for you?




General Questions

  • What have you always wanted to do, but were too afraid to try?
  • What phrase do you most want to hear?
  • What was a defining moment in your life?
  • Of what are you most proud?
  • When was the last time you had a great conversation?
  • What is one thing you would like to see changed in the world?
  • What are qualities of a true friend?
  • How do you bring joy to others?

Two Truths And A Lie

Have each person go around and share two truths and one made-up lie about themselves. Then the group will guess which one is the lie. This should be very light-hearted and fun!

Peaks And Pits

Have each person go around and share their peak (high point) and pit (low point) of their week. This will help you gauge the pulse of the group in the moment.




And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.

John 14:16-17

He is God

  • He was present at Creation (Genesis 1:2, Job 26:13, Ps 104:30)
  • Omniscient, He understands all things, (Isaiah 40:13, 1 Cor 2:10-12)
  • Omnipresent, ever-present (Ps 139:7-10)
  • Omnipotent, all-powerful (Job 33:4, Ps 104:30, Romans 8:11)
  • Distributes and works through spiritual gifts (1 Cor 12:4-6)
  • Works alongside the Father and Son (2 Cor 13:14)
  • He is one with the Father (Ephesians 4:4-6)
  • He is eternal (Hebrews 9:14)

He Is A Person

  • He can be lied to, resisted, grieved, and insulted (Isa 63:10, Acts 5:3-4, Acts 7: 51, Heb 10:29, Eph 4:30,)
  • Intelligence (Romans 8:27, I Cor 2:13)
  • Emotion (Ephesians 4:30, Hebrews 10:29)
  • Will (1 Cor 12:11, Acts 16:6-11)
  • Capacity for relationship (2 Cor 13:14)

He Has Specific Roles

  • He comforts (John 14:16)
  • He teaches and instructs (Neh 9:20, Luke 12:12, John 14:25-26, John 15:26, 1 Cor 2:13, Eph 1:17)
  • He convicts (John 16:8-11)
  • He guides (John 16:13, Acts 11:12, 15:28, 21:4)
  • He commissions and empowers believers for ministry (Isa 48:16, Acts 1:8, 4:31, Acts 13:2, Acts 20:28, 1 Cor. 2:4-5, Eph. 3:16; 1 Tim. 1:6-7)
  • He gives us strength to stand against sin (Rom. 8:4; Gal. 5:16, 25)
  • He inspires prophecy (Num. 9:30, 11:25, 29; 2 Sam. 23:2-3; Acts 21:4, 28:25; 2 Peter 1:21)
  • He distributes spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12- 14; Rom. 12)
  • He is capable of performing miracles (Acts 8:39)
  • He intercedes/aides our prayers (Romans 8:26, Jude 1:20)
  • He pours out God’s love (Romans 5:5, 15:30)
  • He sanctifies the believers

How is one “filled with the Spirit?

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Ephesians 5:15–21

A person receives the Holy Spirit at the moment of Salvation. It’s a packaged 3-for-1 deal: Father, Spirit, and Son (Eph 1:13-14, 2:22, 4:30). At the same time Paul instructs us in this passage to be “filled with the Spirit” implying that while one does not receive salvation more than once it is possible to be empowered by the Spirit many times. What he is actually saying is to be full of what you are already filled of, or to go on being filled as in a present and continued reality. Being filled or walking in the Spirit is something every believer is capable of, but must engage in order to more fully express what has already been given.

Being filled with Spirit is ultimately about the development of a deeper relationship with Father and Son. The result of this relationship is a lifestyle of worship that points to God and His Kingdom.




And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: And I prayed unto the Lord God, and made my confession…

Daniel 9:3

I. Is there a place for fasting in the New Testament?

  1. Fasting was not required of the disciples of Jesus.

Matthew 9:14 “Then John’s disciples came and asked him, ‘How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?’”

Mark 2:18 “How is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?”

Luke 5:33 “John’s disciples often fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours go on eating and drinking.”

  1. But Jesus spoke of a day when there would be a place for fasting.

Matthew 6:16-18 (Not “if,” but “When you fast…”) “When you fast… But when you fast,…”

Matthew 9:14-15 “Jesus answered, ‘How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.’”

II. What guidelines are set forth in Scripture concerning fasting?

  1. It is to be done in a manner of humility and secrecy.
  • Matthew 6:16-18 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
  • Luke 18:9-14 “To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers— or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
  1. Fasting is closely related to prayer and reading the Word.
  • I Samuel 1:6-18 “Her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. Her husband Elkanah would say to her, ‘Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted?’…Eli answered, ‘Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him…’”
  • Nehemiah 1:4 “…When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.” Nehemiah 9:1-3 “…the Israelites gathered together, fasting… They stood in their places and confessed their sins…and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the Lord their God.”
  • Daniel 9:3, 20 “So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting…While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord…”
  • Joel 2:12 “…return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
  • Jonah 3:7-9 “When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh… This is the proclamation he issued…Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”
  • Luke 2:37 “And then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.”
  • Acts 9:9-11 “For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.”
  • Acts 10:30 “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me”
  • Acts 13:2 “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said…”
  • Acts 14:23 “Paul and Barnabas appointed elders[a] for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord…”
  • I Corinthians 7:5 “…that you may devote yourselves to prayer…”
  1. A fast may be either absolute or partial.

Examples of absolute (complete) fasts:

  • Deuteronomy 9:9 “…I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water.”
  • Ezra 10:6 “Ezra…he ate no food and drank no water, because he continued to mourn…”
  • Esther 4:16 “Go, gather together all the Jews…and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. …”
  • Acts 9:9 “For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.”
  • Acts 27:33 “‘…For the last fourteen days,’ he said, ‘you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food—you haven’t eaten anything.’”

Examples of partial fasts (abstinence from certain foods only):

  • I Kings 17 “So he did what the Lord had told him. …The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.”
  • Daniel 10:3 “I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.”
  1. There is a place for both the corporate (group) and the individual (personal) fast.

Examples of corporate fasts:

  • I Samuel 7:5-6 “Then Samuel said, ‘Assemble all Israel’…When they had assembled…they fasted and there they confessed…”
  • II Chronicles 20:3-4 “Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord…”
  • Ezra 8:21-23 “ I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God…So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.”
  • Nehemiah 9:1-3 “…the Israelites gathered together, fasting…”
  • Joel 2:15-16 “…declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. …”
  • Jonah 3:5-10 “A fast was proclaimed…from the greatest to the least”
  • Acts 27:33-37 “‘For the last fourteen days…you haven’t eaten anything.’ Altogether there were 276 of us on board.”

Examples of the individual fast:

  • II Samuel 12:15-23 “…He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground.”
  • I Kings 21:27-29 “When Ahab heard these words, he…fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly.”
  • Psalms 35:13 “Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting….”
  • Daniel 9:3 “So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting…”
  • Luke 2:36-37 “ There was also a prophet, Anna…a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.”
  • Acts 9:9 “…and did not eat or drink anything.”


III. Fasting in itself is of no spiritual value

Isaiah 58 “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists.”

Jeremiah 14:12 “Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry…Instead, I will destroy them with the sword, famine and plague.”

I Corinthians 8:8 “But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.”

John 3:6 “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”

Joel 2:12-13 “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

Romans 14:6, 17 “Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. …For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit…”

I Corinthians 15:50 “I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.”

  1. Only fasting that is done with the right motive, that of glorifying God, can be pleasing in His sight.
  • Isaiah chapter 58 “Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it?’…Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please… Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife…You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high…Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice…to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them…”
  • Zechariah 7:5-6 “…When you fasted and mourned…for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted?”
  • Matthew 6:16-18 “The hypocrites…disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting.”
  • Luke 18:9-14 “The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers— or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’”
  1. The same Bible that teaches abstaining from foods (as God leads) also warns us against testing the Lord (Matthew 4:7).
  • Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 6:9), and we are to care for them as such (v. 20).
  • It may indeed be profitable for a season for us to exercise severe discipline, to “keep under my body, and bring it into subjection” (I Corinthians 9 :27), to be “temperate in all things” (I Corinthians 9:25), but we must also realize “that which is flesh is flesh,” and we cannot produce spiritual results—however sincere our intentions—from that which is purely flesh.
  • To deny the flesh of its natural desires may cause us to be more “in tune” to hear the voice of the Lord (Deuteronomy 9:18, 25, etc.), but it also places us in a realm more easily prone to the attack of the enemy. It was when Jesus had been fasting for 40 days that He was faced with the greatest Satanic attack (Matthew 4:1-3; Luke 4:1-2).
  1. Scripture warns that in the last days there will be many “forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats,” etc. (I Timothy 4:1-3). We are to test the spirits, to see whether they be of God (I John 4:1).


IV. How long should I fast?

  1. Bible personalities fasted and sought God diligently until they obtained from God what they desired (see the examples of Hannah, I Samuel 1:6-8, 17-18; and Paul, Acts 9:9,17-19)—or until the Lord made it evident that what they requested simply would not be obtained (as in the case of David, II Samuel 12:15-23).
  2. The length of a fast may vary:
  3. One night (Daniel 6:18)
  4. One day (I Samuel 7:6; II Samuel 1:12, 3:35; Judges 20:26)
  5. Three days and three nights (Esther 4:16; Acts 9:9, 17-19)
  6. Seven days (I Samuel 31:13, I Samuel 12:16-23)
  7. Fourteen days (Acts 27:33-34)
  8. Twenty-one days (Daniel 10:3-13)
  9. Forty days.
    • Moses at two different times (Exodus 24:18, 34:28; Deuteronomy 9:9, 18, 25-29; 10:10)
    • Elijah (I Kings 19:8)
    • Jesus (Matthew 4:2; Mark 1:13; Luke 4:2)


V. When should I fast?

Many occasions for fasting are recorded in Scripture.

  1. The ordination of elders and commissioning of apostles to ministry
  • Acts 13:3 “So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.”
  • Acts 14:23 “Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord…”
  1. Intercession for the people of God
  • Exodus 24:18 Deuteronomy 9:8-9, 12-20, 23-27
  • Ezra 10:6
  • Daniel 9:3-4 Joel 2:12-14, 17-18 Jonah 3:5-10
  1. Humbling and chastening of oneself.
  • I Kings 21:27-29 “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me?”
  • Psalms 35:13 “…and humbled myself with fasting…”
  • Psalms 69:10 “When I weep and fast, I must endure scorn…”
  1. Seeking the Lord and His way
  • Judges 20:26-28, etc. “Then all the Israelites, the whole army, went up to Bethel, and there they sat weeping before the Lord. They fasted that day until evening and…inquired of the Lord…Shall we go up again to fight…The Lord responded, ‘Go, for tomorrow I will give them into your hands.’” II
  • Chronicles 20:3 “Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.”
  • Ezra 8:21-23 “I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. I was ashamed to ask the king…to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king…The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him…So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.”
  1. Repentance and confession of sin
  • I Samuel 7:6 “When they had assembled…they fasted…they confessed”
  • I Kings 21:27-29 Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me?”
  • Ezra 10:6 “Ezra…he ate no food and drank no water, because he continued to mourn…”
  • Nehemiah 1:4-7 “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.”
  • Nehemiah 9:1-3 “…the children of Israel were assembled with fasting… and stood and confessed their sins…one fourth part of the day…they confessed…”
  • Jeremiah 36:6-10
  • Daniel 9:3-5, 20 “…confessing my sin and the sin of my people…”
  • Jonah 3:5-10
  1. Receiving healing
  • I Samuel 1:5-11, 18-20
  • II Samuel 12:15-16, 22-23
  • Isaiah 58:8
  • Acts 9:9, 17-19
  1. Petitioning God to withhold His hand in judgment
  • Deuteronomy 9:18-25 “Then once again I fell prostrate before the Lord…I ate no bread and drank no water, because of all the sin you had committed…because the Lord had said he would destroy you.”
  • Isaiah 58:9
  1. Preparation to receive word from God
  • Deuteronomy 9:18-25
  • Isaiah 58:9
  1. Spiritual deliverance
  • Isaiah 58:6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?”
  • Mark 9:29 “He replied, ‘This kind can come out only by prayer.’”
  • Matthew 17:21
  1. Seeking assistance in time of fear
  • II Chronicles 20:3 “Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.”
  1. Mourning another’s death, out of concern for another’s safety, or when faced with threats on one’s own life
  • II Samuel 1:12; 3:35
  • Daniel 6:18
  • Esther 4:3; 9:1-3
  1. Seeking protection
  • Ezra 8:21-23
  1. Lacking material provision; in need
  • II Corinthians 11:27 “…I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food…”


VI. Fasting is an extremely valuable and important facet of the Christian life; but it is not an infallible means of “getting what we want” from God.

Jeremiah 14:12 “Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry…”

Example: II Samuel 12:15-23 (David’s son died anyway.)

Obedience is better than sacrifice (I Samuel 15:22).

© Copyright 1976, 1977, 1998 Diane S. Dew

Complete, printed and bound copies of studies (100 topics, 850+ pages, 8 vols.) may be obtained from: Diane S. Dew, PO Box 340945, Milwaukee, WI 53234

© Copyright 1976, 1977, 1998 Diane S. Dew
Complete, printed and bound copies of studies (100 topics, 850+ pages, 8 vols.) may be obtained from:
Diane S. Dew, PO Box 340945, Milwaukee, WI 53234




This experience follows an Up, In, and Out movement of prayer designed to help guide your time together. During this prayer experience you will be lead to…


By focusing first on the greatness and goodness of God.


Into God’s truth and what it reveals about who He is, and who He is calling us to become.


That His Kingdom would come to transform our hearts and the world around us.

Group Prayer Time—30 minutes

All things begin first with God: His glory, majesty, and power. We want to begin our time by simply looking to Him and acknowledging His worth above all things. In looking up, we set out to focus our hearts together on Him.

  • Scripture Reading 1: Psalm 8
  • Silent Reflection
  • Responsive Group Prayer
  • Scripture Reading 2: Philippians 2:1-11
  • Silent Reflection
  • Responsive Group Prayer
  • Scripture Reading 3: Psalm 148
  • Silent Reflection
  • Responsive Group Prayer

Individual Prayer Time—60 minutes

In prayer we are led by the Holy Spirit to look deeper in. Deeper into the truth of His Word, and deeper into our own hearts, as He reveals to us those areas that we have attempted to hide away from His view and the view of others. Take time to allow Him to speak by His Word and by His spirit as you journey deeper in.

Divine Reading (Lectio Divina)

  1. Read: Don’t give in to the temptation to simply glance over these passages, some of which may be very familiar to you. Take time to read them, and, in turn, allow them to read you. You may find it helpful to read each passage a few times, pausing each time before reading, and asking God to speak the truth of each word to your heart.
  2. Reflect: After reading, allow time and space to reflect or ponder in your heart what you have just read. Allow God’s Word to become His word to you and illuminate the deep truth of the text by the Holy Spirit.
  3. Pray: After you’ve read and reflected on the passage, move on to prayer. Through your spoken and written word, dedicate the truth of His Word to Him in your heart.
  4. Contemplate: Contemplate on the truth of what has been revealed through His Word. God speaks: take time, listen, wait, and rest in the reality of His presence and the fullness of His love.
  • Scripture Reading 1: Psalm 139
  • Silent Reflection
  • Responsive Prayer/Journaling
  • Scripture Reading 2: Romans 6:1-14
  • Silent Reflection
  • Responsive Prayer/Journaling
  • Scripture Reading 3: Eph 1:3-11, Gal 5:16-26
  • Silent Reflection
  • Responsive Prayer/Journaling

Group Debrief & Celebration—45 minutes

Take time to debrief the experience, over a meal if possible, and discuss how each person was able to meet with God, and engage His voice through prayer and Scripture.




Strongholds might be a very emotional time in your Rooted group. As we feel safer in our groups and some begin to hear God’s voice, old scars, wounds, fears, and secrets may surface.

  • Make sure you have tissue boxes where everyone can reach them. Allow group members to be responsible for getting their own tissues, so that no one goes running for the box. This can stop the flow or give the person a reason to stop talking. It can be very difficult for people to share, and any distraction might stop them from moving forward and telling their story.
  • Discourage anyone from jumping in or giving advice. Let the person completely finish. Others in the group may feel compelled to piggyback on his or her story with comments like, “I know how you feel,” “That happened to me,” etc. Be a strong leader and gently ask the group to let the person finish. In some cases, these stories are of graphic nature, and this may cause certain group members to be uncomfortable. They may try to curtail the conversation by saying something like “It’s not so bad,” or “Just give it to the Lord,” or “You’ll be okay.” This will stop the person from telling his or her story.

In past Rooted groups, brave people have shared about abuse they experienced growing up. Here are some of the things to watch out for when people share about strongholds and abuse:

  • As people share their stories, be aware of the audible cues or noises coming from other group members. People are very sensitive to rejection, and have antennas up for any sort of disgust or negativity. One leader shared that in her group, a woman was so saddened by what a victim dealt with, she was saying “Oh no,” and “Oh my.” The victim interpreted that to mean she was bad or disgusting, continuing the lies she already believed about herself.
  • Make sure the victim knows none of this was his or her fault. He/she is not disgusting, but brave, courageous, and beautiful!
  • As much as possible, ask before reaching out to touch a group member, whether it be holding their hand during prayer, hugging them, or putting your hand on their shoulder. Be sensitive to their reactions. In certain cases, touching may be confusing to them.
  • Remember that the reason that victims don’t want to talk about this is that they may feel (incorrectly):
    • It was their fault.
    • No one will believe them.
    • The abuser still has power over them, and they will get into trouble if they talk about it (no matter how much time has passed).
    • Men especially may feel they should not be victims, and this abuse shows they are weak.
    • This is private, and such a personal secret has to be kept inside and stuffed down deep.

When the secret or wound is brought to the light, God can begin to heal.

Hindrances To Spiritual Leadership

Warnings given to followers of Jesus because we are susceptible to demonic attack:

  • “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:11
  • “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12
  • “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
  • “He (Satan) was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them.” Revelation 13:7
  • “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” 1 Timothy 4:1
  • “Those who oppose him (the Lord’s servant) he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” 2 Timothy 2:25-26
  • “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3

We can clearly see by these verses that Christians today are indeed engaged in the same manner of spiritual warfare that Jesus and His disciples confronted. Both the Old and New Testaments are full of references to evil and unclean spirits.

The overwhelming evidence in the Bible shows that our Father desires all his children to grow in character and power, to conform to the image of Jesus Christ. Because of their potential to grow more like Jesus and to extend the Kingdom of God, those who follow Jesus are under greater demonic scrutiny than unbelievers.

What can you know about Satan from the following verses?

As for you, you were dead in your transgression and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.

Ephesians 2:1,2

He is the ruler of the kingdom of the air, now at work in those who disobey God.

And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.

2 Corinthians 11:14, 15

He masquerades as an angel of light.

That they will come to their senses and escape the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

2 Timothy 2:26

He takes people captive to do his will.

What can you know from the following verses about the battle going on over your mind, will, and emotions?

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 6:12

We are not fighting a habit, a character weakness, or even other people.

Then the dragon [earlier described as Satan in Rev 12:9] was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring— those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

Revelation 12:17

Satan is committed to our destruction.

He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

1 John 3:8

Jesus came to destroy the work of Satan in every believer’s life.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8

Satan is always at work sowing destruction.

Satan’s influence in your life is often hidden, controlled through strongholds in your mind, will, and emotions. The spirits of darkness have been given permission by your sinful decisions and those of your forefathers to take up residence within those areas of your mind, will, and emotions that are not yielded fully to Christ. The freedom available to you in Christ is thwarted, and you are kept imprisoned by the influence of those demonic strongholds.

The key to the operation and destruction of strongholds is 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.”

The Definition of Strongholds

A stronghold is a demonic fortress of thoughts, housing evil spirits that

  • control, dictate, and influence your attitudes and behavior
  • oppress and discourage you
  • filter and color how you view or react to situations, circumstances or people

As you entertain thoughts and participate in activities that are contrary to the will of God, you open yourself up to demonic inhabitation in those areas. When these thoughts and activities become habitual, you allow a spiritual fortification to be built around that demonic spirit and its influence. You become so accustomed to responding to the influence and control of the “voice” of that spirit, that you believe it’s the voice of your own mind.

A demonic stronghold is anything compelling enough to hold you in its power to keep you from receiving God’s love and truth. Within a stronghold that’s been erected in your mind, will and emotions, that spirit arouses a defensive posture that causes you to “rationalize” your current situation. The existence of a stronghold can be recognized because it will be that area of your life in which you consistently have problems and cannot live in victory.

ou can tell a spiritual stronghold is established because a habitual pattern of failure or hopelessness exists. This isn’t a one-time event or response, but a consistent ungodly thought pattern or action that is your first inclination. And those areas of your mind, will and emotions that you have willingly yielded to sin are fair game to become footholds for satanic involvement. Heed the warning in Luke 11:35, 36 “See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely light, as when the light of a lamp shines on you.”

A chief demonic goal is to destroy your intimate relationships: your relationship with your Father and His Son, with those in your household, and with those with whom you share close fellowship are targets the demonic forces seek to destroy. Why? Because emotionally isolated people are easier for them to influence, control, and oppress than people who have loving, supportive relationships.

Therefore, do not let sin rule in your mortal bodies, so that it makes
you obey its desires; and do not offer any part of yourselves to sin as an instrument for wickedness. On the contrary, offer yourselves to God as people alive from the dead, and your various parts to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will not have authority over you; because you are not under legalism but under grace. Therefore, what conclusion should we reach? ‘Let’s go on sinning, because we’re not under legalism but under grace’? Heaven forbid! Don’t you know that if you present yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, then, of the one whom you are obeying, you are slaves—whether of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to being made righteous?

Romans 6:12-16

When fortresses of demonic influence—strongholds—have been built in your mind, will, and emotions, your:

  • hearing from God is altered
  • belief in God is shaken
  • desires are distorted
  • actions are disobedient
  • relationships are debased


Identify and Demolish Strongholds

Spiritual strongholds are:

  • at times, inherited from past generations
  • established when you try to meet any of the seven basic needs (Dignity, Authority, Blessing & Provision, Security, Purpose & Meaning, Freedom & Boundary, Intimate Love & Companionship) that God created in you through ways that are contrary to His will.
  • maintained when you live in a state of unrepentance. The end result is demonic influence in areas of your mind, will and emotions.

Remember, once a stronghold is established, you provide a “foothold” for the devil (see Ephesians 4:27), a base of operations for the “strongman” (see Matt 12:29). You then become vulnerable to demonic control, direction, influence, and/or oppression in that area of your life. Not dealing with this stronghold can engender further demonic activity, and lead to the establishment of other strongholds with additional demonic harassment in other areas of your mind, will, and emotions.

Demolishing the Strongholds in Jesus’ Name

Freedom is available to you. All demonic forces submit to the authority of the name of Jesus. Your eviction of their control, influences, arguments, and pretensions is totally dependent on their submission to our Lord Jesus. The name and authority of our Lord Jesus Christ delivers you, not your own strength or some prayer technique.


  • You are dealing with demonic spirits and fortresses that occupy your mind, will and emotions.
  • Don’t delay in praying for your own deliverance—keep going!
  • Demonic forces will do all they can to delay or stop their eviction. Your earnest follow-through is critical at this time.

Your Repentance Is Essential in Renouncing Spiritual Strongholds

You may have identified several demonic strongholds in your mind, will, and emotions. No matter how many you’re about to demolish, remember this: You are responsible for the sins you committed while being influenced by the strongholds. Take ownership of your responsibility.

Repentance is a critical part of our pilgrimage to salvation. Biblical repentance is far more than acknowledging that you’ve sinned by violating God’s commands. True repentance flows from you taking full responsibility for the hurt and harm you have brought about in your fellowship with God. True repentance always demands a heart conviction that you both turn away from that sin (your violation of God’s Word), and that you turn to God and discover that which His Word requires of you. You need to commit in your heart to leave those sins behind! (Acts 20:21; 2 Corinthians 7:10) Repentance calls for action.

If you don’t recognize the hurt you’ve caused, you won’t take heart-felt responsibility for it. And, if you don’t seek God’s way to fill in the ruts of your sinful actions, you’ll return to the same sins “like a dog to its vomit.” You’ll fall prey to the same pattern of ungodly thoughts, ungodly emotions, ungodly actions, habitual action, which becomes a controlling stronghold in your mind, will, and emotions. Jesus warns what will happen if you are delivered from an evil spirit, but don’t fill in that sin area God’s way:

When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean, and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation. (Matthew 12:43-45)

Continue to stay immediately repentant throughout your life. A heart that is ready to repent is harder for demons to seduce. Be quick to confess your sin when you fail, and turn away from further tempting situations. Unrepentance will lead you back to stronghold development. How life-giving it is to hold onto this rich truth because of the shed blood of Jesus: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). So do as Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, “Now go, and don’t sin any more.” (John 8:11b)


You Have Divine Power in the Name of Jesus

Each follower of Jesus has the power of the Holy Spirit to renounce spiritual strongholds with the authority of the Name of Jesus our Lord. We “have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4). After you’ve examined the symptoms that identify the strongholds, renounce each stronghold by name. Confess any sins of which the Holy Spirit convicts you that you committed under that spirit’s influence. Pray, relying on the authority of the name of the Lord Jesus and the power of His shed blood to demolish these strongholds. As a reminder, read the following verses and consider the power and authority that Jesus has given His followers:

He appointed twelve—designating them apostle—that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.

Mark 3:14, 15

They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

Mark 6:12, 13

And these signs will accompany those who trust Me: In my name they will drive out demons.

Mark 16:17

The seventy-two returned with joy and said, ‘Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.’…’I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.

Luke 10:17, 19





God is alive and moving in powerful ways today. Your story of what God has done in your life through Rooted is the way many people will hear the Good News for the first time. For many, this experience has answered important questions, increased faith, deepened a connection to God, and provided a glimpse of what it means to live as a disciple of Jesus. The role of the facilitator is to help people find their story and share it.

So how do we share our story?

It begins with understanding the basics of storytelling. Every story has three parts: beginning, middle, and end. Another way to look at it is orientation (how you see the world), disorientation (an experience like Rooted that has altered the way you see things), and the new orientation (based on your Rooted experience, how you see the world now).

Helping people find their story is a critical part of the Rooted journey. It begins with where they began many weeks ago. Why did they sign up for Rooted? What did they believe about God? What was their relationship with Him like? How did they think about prayer, serving others, or generosity?

Then, what happened in Rooted? Did God open their eyes to something new? Did they encounter a part of His character they hadn’t before? What did God say to them during the prayer or serve experience?

Lastly, how will they live because of their experience? With their new orientation on life, they can now live out the transformation God began in Rooted.

Sharing our story of transformation doesn’t have to be scary, or feel like we are preaching to the people in our life. Rather it’s our opportunity to tell the greatest stories ever told. These stories are Gospel stories. “I once was lame, but now I walk.” “I once was blind, but now I see.” “I once was dead, but now I’m alive in Christ.”

To bring the story all together, consider finding a theme in the Gospels as a foundation for the story to stand on. Redemption, forgiveness, reconciliation, mercy, justice, or healing are some examples of themes we see throughout the stories of Jesus.

Here’s what a story could look like:

“I was reluctant to sign up for Rooted because I feared being judged for some of the things in my past. I haven’t made the best choices, and the weight of shame has crippled me for years. In the prayer experience, I heard God’s voice for the first time, and to my surprise it was a voice of love and acceptance. Then as we served, I felt alive in a way I haven’t for as long as I can remember. But, the biggest moment for me was the week on strongholds. There are lies that have debilitated me, and robbed me of relationships. How could God redeem a broken person like me? In Jesus, I am free. I have been released of my past. And the best part is that God is using my story to reach others who are caught in the weight of their shame, so they can experience the God I have found.”




Angela Jamene, Freelance Writer

The Huffington Post 11/22/2013

In the new era of “The Pope Francis Effect”, and people of all walks coming out for the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini, a lot of previously shy Christians are feeling more confident stepping up and out, and inviting you to church.

Which can be really annoying when you have zero interest in going to church, maybe that’s why you’re reading this. You may even be reading this thinking some version of “Anyone who would believe in some all-powerful man, who watches every little thing that every single person does, telling us to love each other, while he lets whole nations suffer from starvation and genocide, is out of their mind.” That’s what I used to think.

But I don’t anymore.

Just over two years ago, I picked up a free bible, I had read it before but, this time, almost instantly, in a wave of emotions and realizations and revelations and a wide variety of indescribable sensations, I became a Christian. It happened. It was not deliberate and it was not a choice. It was what I thought never happened to anyone, it was what I had been so sure did not exist the way any of these nut jobs described it, but I’ll be damned (pun intended) if it didn’t happen to me. I got saved.

In any movie centered around a coming of age love triangle, the title character will ask “Dad, how did you know you loved mom?” or, if our lead is female, “Mom, how did you know you loved dad?” and whether mom or dad are answering, the answer is always the same, “I just knew.”

It was like that. I just knew.

That’s what they want for you. That’s what the person that has sent you countless emails and texts about next Sunday, or called you every Saturday night asking to pick you up in the morning, wants for you. Every card from your grandma with bible passages written on it means she wants this for you. Every flyer from your neighbor, or old high school friend, about another church event means they want this for you. Every invitation to church is an “I love you and I want this indescribable love, peace, and joy for you because I genuinely care about you.”

The people that invite you to church are just like that friend that insists that you try the new Puerto Rican restaurant downtown, they have experienced something amazing and they want it for you too. It’s like that, but on almighty steroids. When a friend or a kindly stranger, a relative or a playgroup parent, says “Hey, why don’t you come to church with me on Sunday?” what they mean is “I love you so much, I cannot describe what I know you can get from this because I can’t even put into words what it has done for me.” We understand that when you live in a world of sneaky advertising and suspicious sales scams, this sounds like just another one. But, it isn’t.

On behalf of Christians everywhere, I would like you to know that we really, just wholeheartedly, love you. And, we want to share this infinite and ultimate love and acceptance with you. Whoever you are, whoever you love, and whoever you see yourself as or becoming or voting for, we love you. We want you to know Christ loves you, that’s why we do that thing that used to annoy me so much and we remind you (and each other) in every way possible, through music and bumper stickers and even, well-intentioned but misguided, “Jesus Saves” graffiti. We apologize, collectively, for anyone who may have hurt you or wounded you in the name of a God they obviously needed more time getting to know, they had no right to do that, and we pray for the healing of those wounds.

And, yes, we would like to invite you to church.

(Used with permission)




You have been with your group for ten weeks now, and hopefully have an insight into their struggles, breakthroughs, prayer lives, hearts’ desires, and have seen authentic transformation in their spiritual journeys. This day is to celebrate all of that and more!

God calls us all to things bigger than ourselves, but we tend to move away from the big things God calls us to. This is the exact reason why what you are doing in this session is so important. This is why you have taken notes the past ten weeks, and why we have said to lead with the end in mind. This is a great blessing as many have never been prayed over in this manner. It will propel them into the calling and purpose God has been putting on their hearts, but which they may have been too timid to move toward.

In his book, The Language of Blessing, Joseph Cavanaugh III defines what a blessing is:

Blessings are prophetic in that they communicate the heart, mind, and will of God for an individual. They connect us with our Creator’s dream for us. Words of blessing affirm and empower God-given intrinsic attributes, such as personality, gifting, talents, character traits, and intelligences.

As you pray over each person, you are reflecting their God-given beauty back to them, pointing them toward the heart of Jesus and His calling on their life.


Call out the strongholds that were denounced in each person, the freedom they have, and what it has been replaced with from Week 5. Then, confirm the spiritual gifts that have been shared from Weeks 6 and 7. (If the group is co-ed, do not name the stronghold, but do affirm what it has been replaced with). Speak the words of God back to them as you call them to the purpose God has revealed to them.

A great way to start is by having each person in the group affirm what they have seen happen over the ten weeks in the life of the person you are about to pray for. This will give you a break in between praying for each person, so it will not become mechanical. Often, someone in the group will have seen God do something in the life of the individual that you might have missed.


The words we speak to one another are powerful and life-giving. After you pray over each person, ask them what they heard. They will repeat it in a soft, quiet voice, or may have missed it. Make them say it again until they get it! Don’t let them leave without the clarity of what you have seen God do, and what He is calling them to. Don’t worry about your words being perfect. The power of the Holy Spirit will guide you.

After praying over each person, you will present them with a card that captures their journey as it was revealed to you. As you compose your thought on this card, remember to use the notes you have taken about each person since the first session. These notes will give you the insight you need to bless them, and to commission them in their next step of faith and to a lifestyle worthy of their calling.

Below are examples of what your prayer and your note might look like. Reminder: if you have a co-ed group, do not name the stronghold specifically, but affirm the freedom they are living in Christ.



You are a treasure to God. You are free from the strongholds of fear and the lie that you are not worthy. You are instead strong and courageous in Jesus, and you are the loved daughter of your Creator. Your value cannot be measured in His sight. You are gifted through the Holy Spirit with organization, compassion, and helps/service. With those gifts, along with your passion for the homeless of this community, you will minister to those who are on the streets, helpless and hopeless, providing both spiritual care and physical resources for their needs.


It has been amazing to watch you discover your identity in Christ for the first time. I have been honored to pray with you to receive Jesus as your Savior, and stand with you as you have denounced sinful habits of your life, changing from a cohabitation lifestyle, to one which honors God in both appearance and action. You are called to reconcile relationships of those broken by abuse, and to minister to those whose hurts are raw and deep. God will be with you now as you move into this ministry.


These past ten weeks have shaped your faith and it has been a pleasure to walk this journey with you. I stand with you as you declare victory over the stronghold of impurity and control. I will continue to pray for you to surrender to God daily. You have an amazing passion for the marginalized youth in Santa Ana, and will be a shepherd to those lost in the system. Your caring nature and gift of compassion will serve you well, as you serve with God’s heart, in the work He has for you.


Questions about Rooted?


Rooted is a 11-week discipleship experience and a catalyst for life-change. Much more than a book resource, the Rooted experience provokes questions and conversations while having group experiences designed to give you a glimpse of your story in God’s story.


Throughout Rooted, you will have five daily devotional and journaling experiences each week to help you practice the 7 Rooted Rhythms modeled by the early church in Acts 2.  These rhythms include daily devotion, prayer, breaking strongholds, sacrificial generosity, community service, sharing your story, and worship. Committed and consistent practice of these rhythms will not only impact you but the whole church.


To register click the link above with the starting date that works best for you. The $15 cost is for the whole 11- week experience and includes the Rooted Hardcover Workbook, multiple group experiences, and a graduation celebration where you will share a meal together! We do not want finances to deter you from your Rooted participation. When registering you can select scholarship as an option; you will be given access to a digital copy of the book. 


Rooted groups meet weekly in person at the church. We are asking that groups meet as much in person as possible for the greatest connection and experience.


For the best Rooted experience, we recommend not missing more than 2 weeks. The 11-weeks are a cumulative experience, and so we ask that every participant commit to honor each other by being at every meeting. If your schedule requires you to miss more than two, please consider joining us when the next Rooted session starts.


Your book will be available for the kick-off and given to your group Facilitator, who will give it to you at the first meeting. Please contact your Facilitator directly, should you be absent on Week One so you can start the workbook in a timely manner.


Yes! We are excited to share that you can access all the Rooted content (with your Rooted registration).