Pre-Christmas Spectacular Week 2 – Discussion Guide

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Getting Started

Main Idea:
Invite people to experience Jesus in an experience called A Christmas Spectacular.

Discussion Starter:
This weekend we looked at how Christmas is a crossover in relationship, worship, and leadership. Share with each other your top 3 life-changers- situations that caused your life to be totally different afterwards than how it was before. (Hint: salvation, going off to college, marriage, birth of a child, illness, etc.)

Introduction:
This week, Pastor Chris continued in our series Christmas Spectacular with the “Christmas Crossover” as we build up to next weekend full of celebration and worship. He challenged us to prepare our own hearts and pray for the hearts of those who will be coming in a week. We want to be on our knees for real people with real problems to find the real love of Jesus Christ this Christmas. Even on the first Christmas, God invited “outsiders” to take part- to come and see and worship Jesus. He called you out, first to come and see and encounter King Jesus, and then to go and tell others all about it. Who are you inviting?


Encounter God

Primary Scripture:  Matthew 1:18-25; 2:1-12

Discussion Questions:

Read Matthew 1:18-25.

1. What are the two names and their respective meanings that Mary and Joseph were to give to their Son? How have these made a difference in your life?

2. Matthew quotes the Old Testament passage from Isaiah 7:14. How did Joseph’s actions reflect His faith in God’s Word? Similar to Joseph, can you share how you proved your faith in God’s Word when your plans were not the same as God’s plan?

Read Matthew 2:1-12.

3. In this passage, name the people or groups of people and discuss their different responses the news of Christ’s birth and to God’s Word. Do you see these kinds of responses today?

4. The Magi had limited knowledge of God, but they had access to the Old Testament scriptures (see Numbers 24:17). With the appearance of the star in the sky, they were compelled to follow it. God longs for people to seek Him. In what ways and how often do you seek Him?

5. Once the Magi found Jesus in Bethlehem, they were overjoyed. Having been warned, they returned to their home by another route. It turns out that true encounters with Jesus change the course and direction of our lives. How is this true of you? Describe your life before and after you met Jesus. With whom are you sharing your story?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Matthew 1:18-25; 2:1-12 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore Matthew’s account of the Christmas story.


Embrace Others

This week, our focus was on how Christmas is a crossover from death to life. God the Father sent His Son on a rescue mission to save us from our sins. In small groups of 2 or 3 discuss how you apply this truth that as a believer, that you have crossed over from death to life when you face trouble in this world.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:   As your small group prays for 15,000 to join us at the Christmas Spectacular, consider how you will serve in a volunteer capacity to make our visitors feel welcome and loved.

Engaging in Community:   Where will you strategically place and hand out the Christmas Spectacular invitation cards and share the news on social media?

Engaging the World:   Pray as a group that the news of Jesus will penetrate even the darkest places in our world.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Will you ask God for the strength and courage to invite others to encounter Jesus in a new and fresh way at Faith Promise next weekend at the Christmas Spectacular?


Leader’s Notes

1. Jesus- He would save His people from their sin; Immanuel- “God with us”
2. He obeyed and took Mary into his home as his wife.
3. Magi- followed, asked, sought, persisted, persevered, rejoiced, worshipped; King Herod- disturbed, vicious, secretive, deceptive; Priests/teachers- indifferent, unmoved though filled with knowledge; People of Jerusalem- disturbed
4. Answers may vary.
5. Answers may vary.

E-Groups
– Encounter Groups: the primary focus of Encounter Groups is the deeper study and application of God’s Word.

– Embrace Groups: the primary focus of Embrace Groups is making friends and being friends on a deeper level.

– Engage Groups: the primary focus of Engage Groups is serving the people of our area through our local partners and through God-directed opportunities.

– Expand Groups: the primary focus of Expand Groups is the development and multiplication of disciple-makers to lead more groups at Faith Promise.