Discussion Guide for Open to Wonder: Bonus Episode With Sandra Van Opstal

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During each episode of the Open to Wonder podcast, hosts Chris Schoon and yours truly explore with our guests all kinds of faith questions: big ones, small ones, weird ones, and hard-to-talk-about-in-church ones, and we invite listeners to imagine what faith looks like in our day-to-day lives. 

In Season One, we went Beyond Sunday to explore the ways in which faith is formed during the hours we spend outside the church’s buildings. Those episodes laid a wonderful foundation for the ‘Bonus Episode’ conversation we had with with activist, author, pastor and sought-after speaker, Sandra Van Opstal. Sandra spoke on Worship, Justice and the Two Words That Can Shape How We Love Our Neighbors—and what a conversation it was! So. Much. Wisdom. 

In fact, even though I was present for the live conversation with Sandra, I’ve since listened to the recording three times (and counting!) because every time I hear it I come away with fresh notes, quotes and insights to apply in my own life. The best part? Like our guests in Season One, what Sandra said about the ways in which faith is formed and lived out in daily life was both challenging and do-able. 

Here’s how to use our conversation with Sandra to start your own conversation (with your congregation, small group, friends and/or family) on living justly: 

  1. Share the episode and the listening prompts (below) with your people. 
  2. Set a date to gather online or in-person and talk about what you heard.  

Listening Prompts. As you listen, look for:  

  • Two words that can shape how we love our neighbors. 
  • The impact of interpreting Scripture through a Western cultural lens. 
  • A description of Biblical worship.  
  • What the Bible never says about tithing and the question Van Opstal says we should be asking God instead of “How much should I give?” 

Discussion Questions: 

  • What were some things that stood out to you during this conversation?  
  • What are you wondering about after listening? 
  • What’s one aspect of this conversation that you’d like to keep learning about? 
  • What’s one action you’d like to take as a response to this conversation? 

Let us know how it goes! We’d love to learn from your experience. Reach out to us at [email protected] or engage with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

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