Main Idea: How present are you really when you are with God?
Discussion Starter: Can you think of a place or an event where you observed people all around but felt like no one was really there? Maybe a class in school where everyone was daydreaming, napping or chit chatting instead of paying attention to the instructor? A meeting at work where everyone was on their phone instead of taking part of the meeting?
Introduction: Are you living through the motions, just gleaning here and there, or are you really being transformed in your experiences at church and with God? What instances in the Bible can you think of where God (via a prophet, disciple, or Jesus) discusses the maturation of our spiritual relationship and the importance of our church family during this process?
Primary Scriptures: Ezekiel 36:25-27, 1 Peter 2:2, Hebrews 5:12, 1 John 4:10-12
- What does the passage from Ezekiel say that God is going to do for His people?
- How does this compare to experiences that Jesus talks about in the New Testament?
- Read 1 Peter 2:2 and Hebrews 5:12 What examples can you find of how we should be nourishing ourselves in the growth of our relationship with God? Put these verses into your own words.
- We learned last week that our church family is there to support us and help us grow (Hebrews 10:24-25). According to 1 John 4:10-12 what do we look like when we have a relationship with Christ?
Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Ephesians 4:11-14 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.
Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into dyads or triads for this section.
Getting to know you: In the transformation process that we see described in our primary scripture, where are you personally? Is it possible that you can go back and forth between the stages?
Getting to know them: What other passages of Scripture describe where you are or where you feel like the group is as whole? Think about both your current condition and also goals for the future.
Getting to know Him: Why do you think God so desires for us to be part of a church, a small group, or a body of Christian support? As a team commit to one another to pray Psalms 51:10 every day this week over each other and yourselves.
Engage the World Around Us
Engaging at Faith Promise: Have you signed up for our Serve day?
Engaging in Community: Who are the people at work or in your neighborhood who you believe could benefit from having a church family to support them in their growth? Our community Serve Day is coming up in July. Invite them to join your small group as you serve.
Engaging the World: Pray for the Christian church groups who are being massacred for their faith. This is not generally covered by the news; however, we know more than 40 of our brothers and sisters were killed in late April over Easter in Nigeria and many of them were children. In June, 95 were killed in Mali.
Expand God’s Kingdom
Our verses from 1 John give us the directive to expand God’s Kingdom by showing His love–the same love that we receive even when it isn’t deserved. Who can you demonstrate this type of love to in your community?
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.