Discussion Questions based on Eric Barreto
1. Eric said, “My faith taught me many wonderful things.” What wonderful things has your faith taught you?
2. According to Eric, “My church also taught me one big lie: That I was not different. That I was just like the person sitting next to me.” Why is it a lie to believe that you are not different from those around you?
In what ways are you different from those around you? How have you celebrated those differences? Mourned them?
As Christians, why's it important for us to embrace our differences?
How is the body of Christ richer because of our diversity?
In what ways can the church celebrate our diversity? Honor it?
Aside from the one that Eric mentions, what other lies has the church taught you? Why do you think these lies are so embedded in our church culture?
3. According to Eric, “In denying my culture, they were denying something so important about the way God created me.” How does denying our culture deny the way God made us?
4. Eric said, “God does not create generic people.” In what ways do we try to make people generic? Why do you think we try to do this?
5. Eric said, “Your God-given value is in the unique, particular way God created you and you alone.” How has God uniquely created you? Why is this valuable? To the church? The world around us?
6. According to Eric, “Our differences are a gift from God. They are reflections of God's creativity and grace.” How do our differences reflect God's creativity? His grace?
7. According to Eric, “You encounter the holiness of another person when you can hear their language.” Describe a time when you found this to be true.
8. Eric said, “We should not be afraid of diversity. These are not burdens.” Why do you think so many people are afraid of diversity?
Be honest. In what ways are you afraid of diversity?
9. Eric said, “Diversity is not a problem we should solve. Diversity is the very place where God acts most powerfully.” In what ways have you encountered God not in spite of diversity but because of it?
10. Eric gave this definition of sin: “Sin: Taking a gift God has given us and turning it upside down.” How does this compare to your definition of sin?
Based on this definition, how else have you sinned? What other gifts have you taken and turned upside down?
11. Eric said, “You are the church who will help make our churches places where differences are embraced, not feared.” Think about our church. On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being “We stink at this” and 10 being “We rock at this”, how good are we at embracing our differences? Why do you think this is?
As a congregation, how can we work together to overcome our fear of diversity and help others to do the same?