1. Notice Brokenness Around You.
Most of the time we ignore the pain and suffering that goes on around us. It is painful to feel with those who are going through, well, pain. It is far easier to look the other way than to pick up on their challenges. Pain comes in degrees. Notice a bit of obvious pain and more of that realization will stream in before you know it.
Have you prayed that God will draw you closer to himself? It is the pain of others that will lead you to intimacy with him. To come into a closer relationship with Jesus often means taking the road of noticing — picking up on the pain of those nearby who aren’t doing all that well. God will take the pain of others and imprint that on you as a starting point to lead you in the adventure of following him.
To begin your own adventure take your team on a field trip to a popular shopping area. Split up into 2s and 3s. Pray briefly–ask God to speak to each of your teams. Ask him to show you the specific stress points of people you pass. It is easy to go through life and not really notice others–at least not pick up on what they are going through. During this time pay close attention to what they seem to be facing. After 45 minutes or an hour, gather together to share your observations. Compare notes to see what you picked up on that seemed to be common to all and what stood out as unique. Start a group Noticing Journal. This day’s observations would make a great first entry.