Dark Materials Week 2 – Discussion Guide


Getting Started

Main Idea: Why do we protect our heads so much, but our minds so little?

Introduction:

Click on the picture below to watch with your group:

Discussion Starter:  Helmets and padding each serve a purpose: they protect us when worn properly. We have all seen humorous social media videos of people “forgetting” to use protective gear as they enter an adventure or competition. Many times, we laugh at the resulting misadventure. Share with the group about a time when you chose to ignore protective equipment such as a helmet or padding. Did the experience humble you?


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: ‭Ephesians 6:12, 17, John 10:10, Romans 8:13, 37-39‬‬
Discussion Questions:

  1. Just as helmets provide protection from brain trauma while participating in recreational activities, the helmet of salvation protects us from mind injuries. A helmet is useless if it doesn’t fit properly or lacks adequate protection. If the enemy can keep us from realizing the victory we have already won through Christ, then our helmet has failed. Read Romans 8:31, 37-39. Discuss how we can find help in these verses to ensure our helmets are working properly.
  2. Read John 10:10. Do you need to find your helmet? Discuss the contrast between the thief seeking to steal and destroy and Jesus offering not only life, but life more abundantly.
  3. A helmet is worthless if we enter the game without wearing it. The only way helmets protect us is if we put them on our heads! When reading Ephesians 6:12 and 6:17 we see two vital keys to wearing a helmet: why we wear it and how we wear it properly. Take a few minutes to break this down.
  4. As Christ-followers we need to fill the space inside our helmets to gain extra padding. We can learn how to fill this space by reading Jeremiah 29:12-13. Take some time to reflect upon the fact that God not only hears our prayers, but He LISTENS too. Why does this make a difference?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Ephesians 6: 12 and 17, John 10:10, or Romans 8:31, 37-39 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

Break into groups of two or three and discuss how even though the enemy cannot steal our victory, he can rob our realization of the victory. Pray together for God’s protection against dark materials bruising your mindset.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  Many spiritual battles are won or lost in our minds. FP provides many resources and opportunities to keep our minds protected with extra padding in our helmets. This week seek out a group member or other Promisor and ask them how you can pray for them. Invite them for coffee or a taco and encourage each other in the battle of protecting the mind. You can also join in community prayer Saturday, March 7 at your campus!

Engaging in Community and the World: Next time you attend a sports game, whether little league or UT football, use the opportunity to talk to others about the protective gear we use in sports and how we can also protect our minds.


Expand God’s Kingdom

We all encounter people from all walks of life every day, but do we even notice them? This week pray that God will give you an opportunity and boldness to reach out to someone that seems to be struggling with realizing the victory God has already given us. Invite them to Faith Promise!


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.

Dark Materials Week 1 – Discussion Guide


Getting Started

Main Idea: Joy is our weapon against the weakness we feel in tough times.

Introduction:

Click on the picture below to watch with your group:

Discussion Starter:  Why do we not choose joy? Can you think of a time when joy has helped you get through a difficult circumstance? Discuss with your group.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: ‭Nehemiah 8:10, 1 Thessalonians 1:6, Hebrews 12:2, John 16:19-22

Discussion Questions:

  1. Joy is a focus, not a feeling. With all the social media in today’s world, we have a lot of pressure to be “happy.” Pleasure and joy are not the same.  Happiness can give you good feelings but joy (biblical joy) is so much more than a feeling.  Read Hebrews 12:2. What was Jesus’ focus?  Or to ask in another way, what was set before Him that allowed Him to endure the suffering?
  2. Joy is not a product of what people say about you. Read John 16:19-22 and 1 Thessalonians 1:6. Where do we get our joy?
  3. Where should we focus to gain strength for endurance?  Read Nehemiah 8:10.
  4. Read Luke 15:7. What brings the Lord joy?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Nehemiah 8:10, 1 Thessalonians 1:6, Hebrews 12:2, or John 16:19-22 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

Break into groups of two or three and discuss how your understanding of joy has expanded and what this means for you. Read Acts 2:46 and pray with one another as you set out this week with a new focus.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  Many groups are starting the Freedom curriculum. This material is amazing and will not always be easy. If you are in a Freedom group, discuss how you will focus on God and the outcomes which will bring you closer to Him as you go through the next few weeks.  Who have you thought about inviting who might benefit from the Freedom curriculum? Invite them next week!

Engaging in Community and the World: Serving is one of the best ways to see God’s work in people.  Have you volunteered with any of the community organizations that Faith Promise supports? Check out https://faithpromise.org/love-local for more information.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Think about all the places you exist – work, church, home, child’s school, etc.  Whom have you seen who looks like they could use more godly joy? Pray that God opens your eyes and heart up to be able to speak into their life. Invite them to Faith Promise!


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.

Faith Promise’s 25th Anniversary – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: We are real people, with real problems, and we have been helping people find the real love of Jesus for 25 years!

Introduction:
Click on the picture below to watch with your group:

Discussion Starter:
Share with your group how long you have been a part of Faith Promise and what that experience has meant to you.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures:  Romans 10:13-18

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Romans 10:13-18. The four questions in verses 14-15 are in reverse order. Can you rephrase the steps in chronological order? Tell your group about the person who brought you the good news. Who are you sharing this good news with?
  2. Verse 16 says that not all the Israelites accepted the good news. Not everyone today accepts the good news either. Discuss your relationships with those who do not share your faith. Do you have an open dialogue? Do you keep your mouth shut and hope the topic doesn’t come up? One of our core values at Faith Promise is “We tell them of Him.” How does this work in practice?
  3.  Verse 18 quotes Psalm 19:4. Read Psalm 19:1-4. Even if a person has never heard of Jesus, can he or she believe there is a God? How?  

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Romans 10:13-18 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

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

Two of our core values at Faith Promise are “We grow together” and “We elevate those around us.” How is this group helping you grow? How are you elevating each other?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  How long has it been since your group had visitors? What about new members? When was the last time you invited someone to come to your group? Don’t depend on just your group leader to get new members.

Engaging in Community and the World:  Another of our core values is “We serve others.” How is your group serving in the community? Check out https://faithpromise.org/love-local to find ministry opportunities.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Is it easier for you to talk about your faith one-on-one or to a group? If you are more comfortable one-on-one, plan a coffee date with a friend. If groups are your thing, ask your group leader if there is a week you could lead the discussion. If you enjoy travel, check out the mission trips that are coming up. Sometimes talking with strangers or people you will not see again is easier than speaking with folks you do know. There are so many ways to share God’s real love. How will you do it this week?


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.

ALL iN Week 5 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: The Bible shows that generous giving is part of the core life of a Christ-follower; are you ALL iN for the Generosity Journey?

Introduction:
Click on the picture below to watch with your group:

Discussion Starter:
Can Jesus followers be fully submitted to the lordship of Jesus Christ without supporting His work through the local church?


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: ‭Acts 2:42-45, Matthew 6:33-34, 24

Discussion Questions:

  1. Acts 2:42 describes the foundation for the Christ-follower’s life: the Word, fellowship, breaking bread, and prayer. One of the most powerful works God can do is change the human heart. The gospel opens our soul — and with it, our hands. How are this sermon and these verses on generosity working in your life? How will you ask God to free you from anything that holds you back from being ALL iN, from making Jesus more important to you than your possessions?
  2. What does it mean to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness”?
  3. If we are called to NOT worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34), how should a Christ-follower proceed with their finances and giving?
  4. Discuss how we give and why we give.

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Matthew 6:1-4 and 19-21 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 you:  Luke describes the early church that ‘shared life together’ in every sense, from fellowshipping, studying the Word, remembering Christ’s finished work on the cross, prayer and generously sharing everything. How do these verses (Acts 2:42-45) affect the way you see yourself within your group? What may God be placing on your heart to strengthen your group as you share life together?

Getting to know them:  Discuss ways you can encourage each other this week with the truth that we have been given more than we could ever earn or deserve in the gift of Christ Himself—our Savior, Lord, and greatest treasure. He demonstrated the ultimate in generosity in coming to save us. Pray for each other–for God to release each of you from anything that holds you back in the generosity journey, that you can be free and truly make Jesus more important than your time and possessions.

Getting to know Him:  When facing fear in the Generosity Journey, ask God to show you what is holding you back from being ALL iN. Meditate on Psalm 139:23-24 as you find ways to fully surrender your life. ALL iN means giving, serving, and growing together in the body of Christ. Is God calling you to something new?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:   Pastor reminded us of Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:19-20: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal.” At Faith Promise we have given millions of dollars and have seen over 8000 baptisms. We have supported ministries at home and abroad that help real people with real problems find the real love of Jesus. We Give Generously because He gave it all. Challenge each other in your personal Generosity Journeys, and discuss how you can collectively be asking, praying and preparing for what God would have you give in the next Heart for the Harvest Offering Weekend.

Engaging in Community and the World:  It is through our generosity at Faith Promise that we are able to engage the world around us to share the hope of Christ in tangible ways. Click on this link to find several opportunities to serve our community individually or with your group: https://faithpromise.org/love-local.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Generosity is one of the great evidences of truly being a Christ-follower. We should not give in order to be seen or praised by others; however, being generous to others with our time, talents, and treasure can cause them to ask about our motivation and give us an opportunity to share the Good News. Who can you share with this week?


Leader’s Notes

  1. Answers will vary.
  2. This means turning to God first! Christ-followers seek Him in everything–to fill our thoughts so that His desires are our desires. His character becomes our character, and we willingly serve and obey Him. What is really important to us consumes our thoughts, and as believers, we place Him first surrendering all in obedience with a glad and cheerful heart. 
  3. Carefully planning for tomorrow is time well-spent; worrying about tomorrow is time wasted. The difference is sometimes difficult to discern, but we are called to plan, trusting in God’s guidance. Worriers, on the other hand, are consumed by fear and stumble trusting God. Their plans interfere with their relationship with God. 
  4. Christ-followers give willingly (2 Corinthians 9:7) and out of a heart grateful to what all God has given us! Christ himself — our Savior, Lord and greatest treasure — demonstrated the ultimate in generosity in coming to save us (2 Corinthians 8:9). If Jesus is in us, then increasingly such an open-handed tendency will be in us as well. Generosity is one of the great evidences of truly following Christ.

    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.

ALL iN Week 4- Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: Go ALL iN for change in 2020!

Introduction:
Click on the picture below to watch with your group:

Discussion Starter:
In your group, share one thing you are excited, praying, hoping, and asking God to do in 2020.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: ‭ Acts 3:1-10, Ephesians 3:20-21

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Acts 3:1-10. In verse 4, Peter commands the man to look at him. What gets your attention? The loudest voice in the room? The most important email in your inbox?
  2. The man gave his attention because he was expecting to get something. Is this why we give God attention? Do we love God the most, or do we love what He can do for us? Will we love Him even if the change in our lives is not what we expect?
  3. The lame man at the temple gate got more than he asked for. Read Ephesians 3:20-21. What hope does this give you for God’s work in your life?
  4. Acts 3:10 says, “they were filled with wonder and amazement.” What was the last thing God did that filled you with wonder and amazement?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Acts 3:1-10 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

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

The man at the temple gate was begging for “change,” but what he got was life change. At the start of our discussion, we shared what we are excited about God doing in 2020. Are you truly ALL iN praying for that change and working toward that change? How are you working toward that change? If you are stuck, what is holding you back? Pray for each other.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  This past weekend was Fusion weekend at Faith Promise. Hundreds of students and leaders sought change in their lives and in their schools. Do you have a heart for changing the next generation? Talk with your campus fpStudents pastor about serving Wednesday nights. If you can’t commit to serve every week, commit to pray for a specific group of students and their group leaders.

Engaging in Community and the World:  This weekend we saw pictures of the GoGlobal boxes of supplies that Faith Promise sent to the Bahamas to aid recovery from Hurricane Dorian. Continue to pray for those in the Bahamas, and check out our upcoming mission trip to the Bahamas at https://faithpromise.org/missions/bahamas.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Think about the answers you heard to question 4. God’s work in our lives causes wonder and amazement! Is there someone you could share this with in the coming week?


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.

ALL iN Week 3 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: Every person has unique skills and abilities gifted by God and meant, in part, to serve the local church.

Discussion Starter:  Has someone served you or made a big impact on you?

Introduction:
Click on the picture below to watch with your group:


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: 1 Peter 4:10, Acts 2:46, Galatians 6:9

Discussion Questions:

  1. Where do think is greatest need for service at Faith Promise?
  2. If you are not currently serving at Faith Promise, what is keeping you from going ALL iN?
  3. This weekend, Pastor Chris asked a tough question: “What would Faith Promise look like if every Promisor played like you?”
  4. Read Galatians 6:9. How do you deal with serving fatigue?
  5. Read Ephesians 6:6-7. A primary difference between a volunteer and a servant is the heart behind the work.  How does it make a difference when you serve wholeheartedly?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Galatians 6:9 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

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

One to greatest ways we show love to one another within the community of faith is to serve one another.  Is there something your group can do to serve you?  Or someone that your group can reach out to and serve?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: If you currently serve at Faith Promise, describe what you do to the rest of the group and how others can get involved.

Engaging in Community and the World:  This weekend Pastor Chris quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve.”  Has you group already got a plan to serve somewhere in the community this year?


Expand God’s Kingdom

Serving others is essential to expanding God’s Kingdom.  Read Philippians 2:1-4. How can you put others before yourself this week?


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.