God’s Story – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: Every moment of time has told and is telling God’s story.  The whole Bible is His story and every one of us was always planned to be a part of it.

Discussion Starter: If you could visit any time and place in history when and where would you go?

Introduction: This week, Pastor Chris takes us through most of recorded, Biblical history to illuminate how God has revealed himself and compels us to step into God’s plan for us.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: 2 Timothy 2:15, Galatians 4:4, Romans 6:23, Romans 10: 9-10

Discussion Questions:

  1. What do you think is one of the most fascinating stories in the Bible?  What does it tell you about God?
  2. Pastor Chris mentioned that after the book of Malachi, God was silent for 400 years, and he pointed out that we should not mistake God’s silence as inactivity.  Is there an area in your life where you are waiting to hear from God?  If so, how can you be encouraged to know that His silence doesn’t mean He isn’t doing anything?
  3. Read Galatians 4:4 This verse shows us a glimpse into God’s plans and timing.  Discuss some of the obstacles to waiting on God’s timing and plans.
  4. Pastor Chris said that Jesus’ birth and humble beginning was not poverty, but prophecy.  The circumstances of Jesus’ birth were part of God’s plans from the beginning.  Discuss how God can and is working in your current circumstances.   Meditate on Romans 8:26-29.

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Romans 10:10 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into twos or threes for this section.

Getting to know each other:  Discuss how you see your part in God’s story.  Encourage someone in the group as to what you see as their part in His story.

Getting to know Him:  What do you think is one of the most interesting stories from the Bible and how does it reveal God’s character?  If you’re not sure of one, what do you think is one of the most interesting of God’s attributes? For example, 3 of God’s attributes are that He is infinite, transcendent, and personal.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  The Christmas season always provides many opportunities to serve at Faith Promise.  Visit the Information area at your campus if you aren’t sure of the opportunities.

Engaging in Community:  This time of year there are also many opportunities in the community.  Don’t forget about the group that we partnered with over the summer, Serve Day.  Click here for some of their great ideas on how to engage your community.

Engaging the World:  Visit the Missions Spot at your campus to get information on our international missionaries and find out how you can partner with them in their efforts abroad.  Also consider sending them an encouraging Christmas card.


Expand God’s Kingdom

This season is one where many are naturally more drawn to the church.  Find someone who needs help with their next step. Talk to a stranger in the lobby  and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you and your conversations, seeking to encourage and grow them.

Go Global – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
Our mission is to share the real love of Christ with people in Knoxville, East Tennessee, the United States, and around the world.

Discussion Starter: 
Have you ever been on a mission trip? If so, share your experience. If not, what intrigues, excites, or scares you about participating in a mission trip?

Introduction:
This week we heard from some of Faith Promise’s global mission teams and partners around the world. How can you support them in fulfilling Jesus’ charge in Mark 16:15 to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation?”

Watch this short video with your group.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Mark 16:15, Ephesians 4:11-15

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Mark 16:15. How did you go and make disciples in 2019? How will you go and make disciples in 2020?
  2. Read Ephesians 4:11-15. Do you see yourself in the list of people in these verses? How have pastors, teachers, and evangelists equipped you for God’s service?
  3. What tools can we use to become “mature” as it says in verses 13 and 15?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Ephesians 4:11-15 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into twos or threes for this section.

Getting to know each other:  How are you doing as Christmas approaches? Are you excited? Stressed? Sick? Grieving? How can we pray for each other?

Getting to know Him:  Work on memorizing Ephesians 4:11-13 as a group. Pray that we may reach unity in the faith and attain the whole measure of fullness in Christ.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  We discussed how God blessed us and used pastors, teachers, and evangelists to equip us. Send a note of thanks to someone at your campus who has equipped you for God’s work.

Engaging in Community:  Going into “all the world” starts with going into our communities. This time of year there are many opportunities to serve and love people in Jesus name. Sign up to volunteer for All is Bright and view our other local ministry partners here.

Engaging the World:  Commit to pray regularly for your campus missionary. Some groups commit to support their missionary financially through regular group offerings.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Christmas is a time of year when many people are looking for hope. This season can be difficult for those grieving the loss of a loved one or the loss of a relationship. Give the gift of your time this holiday season. Ask how people are, and really listen to their answer. Share how Christ has been a light in your life.

Giant Sized Faith – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
God’s promises to bless us, but God’s blessing always involves us changing.

Discussion Starter:
Charles Blondin was an amazing tightrope walker. In the 1860s, he crossed Niagara Falls multiple times in front of crowds…but he wouldn’t only walk across. Sometimes he would cross on a bicycle, or on stilts, or even blindfolded, or with a wheelbarrow full of potatoes. Crowds would cheer and praise him for his ability. One time, he famously asked the crowd if they thought he could push a person across in the wheelbarrow. The crowd roared with agreement, “Yes, you can! We know you can!” Then Charles asked for someone to get in his wheelbarrow. Nobody did.

Did those people in the crowd really believe he could do it? And how good would Charles have to be for you to get in his wheelbarrow? (Some people wouldn’t go, no matter what, and that’s fine!)

Introduction:
This week guest speaker Hallerin Hilton Hill preached about giant sized faith using the story of the call of Abram. What size is our faith, and how can we make it grow even bigger?

Watch this short video with your group.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Genesis 12:2-3, Hebrews 11:8-19, James 1:22-25

Discussion Questions:

  1. According to Genesis 12:2-3, who did God intend to bless?
  2. When God says who He intends to bless in Genesis 12:3, is the focus on the past, the present, or the future? Why would God’s focus be there?
  3. He also says that all families of the earth will be blessed through Abraham. We are to go not just to receive a blessing but to BE a blessing. How are you a blessing to others?
  4. In James 1:22-25, James talks about not being a forgetful hearer, but a doer of what God has said. Plenty of people say they ‘believe God.’ But God knows what is in our hearts. When He asked Abram to leave Haran, Abram went. But when Jesus asked the rich young ruler to follow Him, that guy went away sad (Mark 10:22). What you do shows what you believe. Not many people got in Charles Blondin’s wheelbarrow, because those people didn’t trust him enough. And they were probably right to be cautious; Charles was a mortal man who was just one badly-timed sneeze away from the end of his career. So…what do your actions reveal about what you think of God?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, read Hebrews 11:8-13 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into twos or threes for this section.

Getting to know each other:  What is one promise that God has made that you are particularly excited about? Don’t be shy about sharing! The things you care most about define who you are.

Getting to know Him:   What do you see God doing in Knoxville right now? How have you noticed Him actively keeping the promise He made in John 12:32 (“I will draw all people to me”)?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  How can you be a blessing to others at Faith Promise? Have you become friends with someone who needs your help, and the love of God?

Engaging in Community:  Christmas is a very difficult time of year for a great many people. A huge number of homeless people live under the bridge downtown. Those people can always use more warm clothes (especially socks), and maybe a Bible! But maybe your group can think of a way to help that nobody else has thought of yet?

Engaging the World:  There are literal riots and police beatings happening in many countries around the world, right now (e.g. Hong Kong). Many people are being beaten and killed for present-day political freedom. Please join us in prayer that many people will repent, and that God will use these tragedies to cause people to look for that city that is to come, like Abraham.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Paul is very clear that the Kingdom of God is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17). Does your life spread those things? Are you actively cultivating those things in your life with Bible study, prayer, and fasting? Are you being discipled, or discipling someone else? If not, why not? At Faith Promise, there are certainly people eager to do both of those. Surely you can find someone!


Leader’s Notes

ALL groups at Faith Promise should follow Jesus Christ and lead others to do the same. Below are the marks of a growing follower and disciple of Jesus.

– A follower of Jesus desires to encounter God through the deeper study and application of God’s Word.

– A follower of Jesus embraces people and values relationships on a deeper level so everyone can grow together.

– A follower of Jesus engages and serves the world around them and in their community, through local partners or God-directed opportunities.

– A follower of Jesus expands God’s Kingdom through development and multiplication of disciple-makers, possibly to lead more groups at Faith Promise.

Fifty Shades of They – Discussion Guide


Getting Started

Main Idea:
Who are THEY? Show me your friends and I will show you your future. Surrounding yourself with the wrong “they” can pull you down. But there can be immeasurable growth and success when you surround yourself with the right they.

Discussion Starter:
Who are the 5 people in your life who you go to when you have a problem?

Introduction:
God wants us to get the most out of every relationship we have. But this does not happen without intentionality. We have to actively surround ourselves with the right THEY.

Watch this short video with your group.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Proverbs 13:20, Proverbs 14:7, 2 Corinthians 6:14, 2nd Timothy 2:22, Galatians 6:2, 1 Corinthians 5:11

Discussion Questions:

  1. If you think back to your five friends that you would go to if you needed help, think now if there is anyone else who can be in your “circle of influence.” Who do you call at 2 AM when there is a problem? In other words, who is your “they”?
  2. Pastor Young spoke about relationships we can “walk to” (become more engaged in) and those we may need to “walk from” (become less engaged in). Read Proverbs 14:7 and 2 Timothy 2:22 as you think about those currently in your life and those you can intentionally place in your life.
  3. Read 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. What does this mean about your current friendships or work relationships with nonbelievers? How are we to live in the world and share the gospel and yet still be “separate”?
  4. Read 1 Corinthians 5:11. Would this have any impact on your relationships with people who call themselves believers?
  5. Read Proverbs 27:19 and Proverbs 9:9. How can both of these verses be played out in your life?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into twos or threes here.

Getting to know each other:  Read Proverbs 12:25 and Galatians 6:2. What anxieties can you share in order to lessen the weight on your heart?

Getting to know Him:  God’s heart is one that delights in opportunities for us to know Him better. How can your group prepare to know God in a deeper way? Consider putting together your Personal Spiritual Growth Plan that you can begin and share with your group January 1.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:   What gift has God given you that you can use to serve at Faith Promise?

Engaging in Community:  Does your group have plans to serve somewhere in your community before the end of the year? If not, consider serving at All Is Bright or Christmas Spectacular.

Engaging the World:  Moving into the Christmas season, there are many opportunities to pray for our Missionary partners. Most of our missionary families are away from their families. Pray for a peace this holiday season as they commit to God’s work around the world.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Expanding God’s Kingdom by pouring into the discipleship journey of others requires commitment and preparation. How can you prepare to help someone grow in their discipleship?


Leader’s Notes

The discussion starter and questions may be fun for some people, but extremely unpleasant and painful for others. But this can be an excellent opportunity for the leader of the group to lead.

The Bible predicted that narcissism would rise, and that even natural family relations would, for some people, be impossible (2 Timothy 3:2-4). Many people do not even have one person to turn to, and these questions can make it painfully apparent to them. If your group is full of genuine Christ-followers, then be prepared to emphasize that you can be called on in time of need.

Many people have horrendous, emotionally abusive family relationships, and feel that “the Christian thing to do” is to accept the abuse and be a doormat. As a leader, the only thing you might see is someone being very quiet and a little disengaged. You must be prepared to reach out to these people and make serious effort that might even be resisted at first.

The people who are truly sad and hurting are not usually very vocal about it. And they may be ashamed that they don’t have people, which causes them to withdraw even more. These questions might expose very sensitive areas for people, but that can be a great way to show the love of Christ, and for you and your group to build real relationships.

Remember, when the Bible talks about us being “the household of God” and “brothers and sisters in Christ,” this might form a beautiful Norman Rockwell picture in most minds that hear it. But increasingly, hearing about how ‘believers are a big family’ may not give some people warm fuzzy feelings. Their family may be full of conflict, emotional or physical abuse, addiction, or other troubles. Why should they believe that God’s family is different? We have to show them! As believers, we should be redefining what a family is.

So as leaders, we should be ready to look for and actually reach out to people who are hurting; they will not always speak up about their needs. They often think nobody cares. But you, and others in your group, might be in the perfect place to prove to them that God does, and that others do, too. But you may have to notice, and reach out.

Heart for the Harvest Week 3 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: To extend and expand requires us to be all in!

Discussion Starter: What would happen if you couldn’t use your cell phone for an entire day?

Introduction: This week, we saw three pictures of generosity; Hannah, the widow of Zarephath, and the widow’s mite.  In these pictures, one gave her first, another her last, and another her all.  What God really wants to know is if we are willing to give our all in worship of Him.

Watch this short video with your group.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: 2 Chronicles 6:12-15, 2 Chronicles 7:1-5

Discussion Questions:

  1. If you fasted during this Heart for the Harvest, how did it impact your walk with God?  If you did not fast, consider fasting in the future.
  2. What is one area where you put God first?  What is one area where you don’t currently put Him first, but know you need to?
  3. Has there been a time when you gave God the last of something when you weren’t sure if there would be more?
  4. What’s your next step to a deeper level of commitment to God?
  5. This week drew to a close Heart for the Harvest 2019, what can you do to start preparing for 2020?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Mark 12:43 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into twos or threes here.

Getting to know each other:  Read Proverbs 16:3  How can you encourage each other this week to commit to God’s plans?

Getting to know Him:  God’s heart is one that delights in opportunities to bless us and opportunities for us to bless others.  How can your group prepare to receive blessings and be available to bless others?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  What gift has God given you that you can use to serve at Faith Promise?

Engaging in Community: Does your group have plans to serve somewhere in your community before the end of the year?  If not, consider serving at All Is Bright.

Engaging the World: Moving into the Christmas season, there are many opportunities to help with the God’s global work.  Consider how your group can be a part of that work.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Expanding God’s Kingdom by pouring into the discipleship journey of others requires commitment and preparation.  How can you prepare to help someone grow in their discipleship?