Like a Boss Week 3 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
It’s not about what you are given, but what you do with what you are given.

Discussion Starter:
What would you do if you were given a million dollars—no strings attached?

Introduction:
This weekend, we continued to look at how Promisors can live like a boss, move into the corner office of contentment, and take charge of our finances. In the sermon, we learned that in God’s Kingdom, it is not about who gives the most money, but who gives the most of their heart. At Faith Promise, we give generously. We were challenged to consider our next step in generosity—to trust God and either begin tithing, if you haven’t already, or for those who do give generously, prayerfully consider and plan for giving at Heart for the Harvest this year. Pastor asked if we are putting God first in our finances—and in everything for that matter, because it is all His, no matter how big or how small. He is the owner; we are the managers. Christ-followers are each given unique moments, abilities and opportunities, and the critical issue is what we do with what we are given. The more we love the Giver, the more we respect His gifts! How are you managing and investing God’s gifts?


Encounter God

Primary Scripture: Matthew 25:14-30

Discussion Questions:
1. Who do you think is represented by the Master in this parable, and what is meant by the long time he was away?

2. The talent in this story is money entrusted to the servants. Each was given a different amount, according to the master’s understanding of their character and ability. What are believers entrusted with today? How are you managing what He has given you?

3. How did the attitudes of the servants entrusted with five and two talents compare with the attitude of the servant entrusted with one? Is your attitude more like the former or the latter? How will you ask God to enable, empower and equip you for a life of faithful and fruitful living?

4. What promises does God give to those who have “buried their talent” but who repent before the Master returns (see Joel 2:23-27).

5. Put Matthew 25:29 into your own words.

6. Are you expectant and ready for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, or are you putting it off until tomorrow?

7. God graciously commends us for what He accomplishes through us, and He calls us to share His purposes for the world. How have experienced the joy of being used by God?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Matthew 25:14-30 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into dyads or triads for this section.

This week, our focus was on how it is not a matter of what we are given but what we do with what we are given. In your dyads or triads, discuss how you are managing God’s gifts, how you are investing God’s gifts, and how you are receiving God’s rewards.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  Pray as a group to explore ways you can volunteer your time and talents to serve our church family. Consider how you can specifically bless our church leaders.

Engaging in Community:  This world is dying and hurting. More than ever it needs the healing message of forgiveness found only in the Gospel of God. Discuss how you as a group can identify a need in the community and move into faithful and fruitful service. Visit https://faithpromise.org/love-local to review several opportunities to serve together.

Engaging the World:  Pray as a group that the news of Jesus will penetrate even the darkest places in our world. Pray especially for our missionaries who risk it all to share the good news with which God has entrusted them! If you have not checked out our digital missions magazine, take a look at: https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/faithpromise.org/docs/mission-magazine-2017.pdf to see what FP is up to around the world and how you can pray specifically for our missionaries.


Expand God’s Kingdom

A woman once approached the great evangelist D. L. Moody to air a grievance. (Moody was an international evangelist of great renown in the 19th Century.) The woman said to him, “Mr. Moody, I don’t like the way you do evangelism!” “Well, ma’am, let me ask you, how do you do it?” Moody asked. She replied, “I don’t!” Moody responded, “Well, I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it!” Will you ask God for the boldness and strength to share the good news of Jesus Christ- to invest what God has entrusted to His children? This is our highest calling!


Leader’s Notes

1. The Master represents the Lord Jesus Christ, and the time represents the period between Jesus’ first and second coming.

2. Believers are entrusted with God’s truth- the Bible and the knowledge of Jesus Christ. We are to use the opportunities He gives, grow in the knowledge of Him, and give His treasure to the world.

3. The servants entrusted with five and two talents both were enthusiastic, diligent, eager to gain more and excited to share in their master’s happiness. The servant entrusted with one talent was self-centered, irresponsible, lazy and did not try; he made excuses and accused his master of wrongdoing, he feared/hated the master and disobeyed. He missed his opportunity to use what His master had given him. It’s not about what you are given but what what you do with what you are given!

4. He promises to repay us for the years the locusts have eaten. There is hope! As long as there is breath, there is hope (Ecclesiastes 9:3-5).

5. A life fully surrendered to God will be blessed; those who have no heart for the Kingdom of God will be punished.

6. Answers may vary.

7. Answers may vary.

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.

 

Like a Boss Week 2 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
Living a life where you are the boss of your money so it is not the boss of you.

Discussion: How do you know when money has become the boss of someone?  Can you think of someone at work, in your life, your family, or your home who answers to money?

Introduction:  How many self-help books, courses, TV shows have you seen that want to help you find your way to financial freedom?  Why do you think we have such a hard time managing money as a society?  When you reflect on what culture says about money, goals, and priorities, it is no wonder that we are so confused on how to be good stewards of the gifts we are given.  So often, we look to the world for wisdom instead of the Bible.


Encounter God

Primary Scripture:  Acts 20:35, Haggai 1:5-6, Hebrews 13:5, and Hebrews 12:11, 1 Timothy 6:10, 2 Timothy 3:1-2

Discussion Questions:

When anything in life is an absolute requirement for your happiness and self-worth, it is essentially an ‘idol,’ something you are actually worshiping…” Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods.

1. In the sermon, Pastor references The Day America Told the Truth.  Specifically, what individuals said they would do for 10 million dollars. What are the warnings we read in the book of Timothy regarding money? What measures can we take to prevent the idolization of money?

2. One call of action Pastor gives in order to live Like a Boss is to put someone or something ahead of you this week financially.  How can we live like a boss by putting someone or something ahead of ourselves financially?

3. In Haggai, the prophet is commenting on how the people are never satisfied.  How similar is our world today?!

4. What are some other directives to prevent money from being your boss? With any habit  we must unlearn and realize that we are prioritizing somethings in the wrong order.

5. Hebrews 12:11 gives us a solid reminder of what the reward is when we perform the uncomfortable task of change and discipline ourselves to follow God’s commands.  What are some good disciplines in your life that help you keep the prioritization of God and money in the right order?

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


Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into dyads or triads for this section.

What ways can you prioritize what you have above what you want?

Talk about ways you are going to live like a boss this week.

In your groups take a minute and pray, asking God to open your eyes and give you discernment when you are struggling with moments of incorrect prioritization.  Ask for directions on how He wants you to move forward with placing others before yourself.


Engaging the world

How can we take what we have discussed here today and engage with our family at FP?

What about in the community?  Are there ways we can start to change the culture of “me first?”


Expanding God’s Kingdom

How can we practice being disciple makers that use our new habits to help create disciples who are called to serve others?


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.

Like a Boss Week 1 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
Seeking God first in all you do brings genuine and lasting contentment.

Discussion Starter:
What is something you wanted very badly? When you finally got it, how did you feel? How long was it before you starting wanting something else very badly?

Introduction:
Comparison is in constant competition with contentment. It seems that there’s always someone who is just a little ahead of us. The purpose of this study is to understand how to move from living in competition to living a life of contentment. In almost every group we join, we feel pressured to become the best or be “king of the hill.” Most often that pressure comes from inside us. There’s still someone who has more or is better. We learn that having stuff never fills that emptiness inside, no matter how much we have or how valuable it is. However, contentment isn’t based on a situation or a thing; it’s based on a Person. If you have given control of your finances to God, you have come to realize that contentment is not only real and lasting, it gives us freedom. Like the apostle Paul (Philippians 4:11-13), we too can be content in whatever our circumstances.


Encounter God

Primary Scripture:  Matthew 6:24-34

Discussion Questions:
1. Jesus taught that we must choose our loyalty. Why must we do this?

2. As you have gone through stages of life (adolescence, young adulthood, etc.) how have you changed in your relationship with God? Is there a constant?

3. In considering life, food, clothes, shelter, how does Jesus explain what’s important? How do you set priorities in your life?

4. These verses add up to a guide to contentment. Can you summarize it?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Matthew 6: 24-34 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into dyads or triads for this section.

How can we work with others in our group to experience contentment and let go of comparisons?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Is there an area of ministry you are wanting to try? Contact the person in charge and do a trial run.

Engaging in Community: Visit Faith Promise local missions page at https://faithpromise.org/love-local and find a ministry your group can do together.

Engaging the World: Visit Faith Promise missions page and look at upcoming mission trip opportunities. Are you interested in going on a mission trip? Can you support someone else financially so that they can go? Pray for the teams serving on these trips.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Who are you bringing to group or worship at Faith Promise next week? Pray as a group for opportunities to invite and share God’s love with those around you.


Leader’s Notes

1. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other.
3. Jesus gives examples of nature and how God provides for animals and plants. Seek God’s way of doing things.
4. Give your attention to what God is doing right now. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when they come up.

ALL groups at Faith Promise should participate in ALL 4 characteristics of a disciple of Christ (encountering God, embracing others, engaging the world, and expanding God’s Kingdom). However, each individual group may be primarily focused on one of these “Es” for a season, or for the life of that particular group. Below is an explanation of each type of group.

– 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.

 

Easter 2018 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
God didn’t create faith to cower behind closed doors.

Discussion Starter:
Do you have a funny or strange talent?

Introduction:
How we respond to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is the most important question we can pursue.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: John 10:9-11, Matthew 18:12-14, Luke 10:38-42, Ephesians 2:8-10

Discussion Questions:
1. Discuss a time when you felt like an outcast. Discuss a time when you felt like you belonged.

2. Read Matthew 18:12-14. How has God pursued you?

3. Read Luke 10:38-42. Describe a time when something did not go the way you had hoped even though you felt like you were “doing everything right.” Have you tried to build your own doorway to God with good deeds?

4. Read Ephesians 2:8-10. How can you find freedom in this scripture?

5. How have you responded to Jesus in the past? How do you encounter and respond to him daily?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, pick a Gospel (Matthew 28:1-15, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-18) and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the story of the first Easter morning.


Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into dyads or triads for this section.

Read Luke 5:17-20. What obstacles can you remove for those in your life so they can make their way to Jesus?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: At an FP service this week, reach out to someone you have never met, introduce yourself, and (without being intrusive) ask if they have a need you can help meet.

Engaging in Community: As you engage your community as the hands and feet of God, discuss how you can express the Gospel while you do it.

Engaging the World: Pray that the Gospel of Jesus will be brought to every corner of the world and seek God for how you can be a part of it.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Read James 5:19-20. How can you work together to pursue and bring back to God those you know have wandered from Him? How can you work together to help prevent your friends and family from wandering from God?


Leader’s Notes

ALL groups at Faith Promise should participate in ALL 4 characteristics of a disciple of Christ (encountering God, embracing others, engaging the world, and expanding God’s Kingdom). However, each individual group may be primarily focused on one of these “Es” for a season, or for the life of that particular group. Below is an explanation of each type of group.

– 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.

500 Reasons Week 4 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
Don’t let moments of invitation become memories of silence.

Discussion Starter:
Have you ever attempted to plant tomato plants or a flower bed? Share about how you prepared the soil before placing the plants into the ground.

Introduction:
God is doing something new in the lives of Promisors. God is pouring urgency and uncovering brokenness as He softens the hearts of Promisors for the real people with real problems in their lives who need real love. Jesus discussed the state of our hearts when telling parables. Parables are stories that relate kingdom (eternal) truths in a form ordinary people could understand.


Encounter God

Primary Scripture: Mark 4:1-20

Discussion Questions:
1. Read Mark 4:1-9. We notice that many variables contributed to the non-production and growth of the seeds sown. The most important aspect was the condition of the soil. How do we make our soil (hearts) more fertile?

2. Jesus says in verse 9, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Discuss what you think is meant by this phrase.

3. Read Mark 4:10-20. Seeds not producing can be blamed on several things such as the sower, the seeds, the birds, the thorns, or the scorching sun. Discuss what each of these represent.

4. If we are not sharing, inviting, or bringing people to church, we have a soil problem: our hearts are too hard. If we never sow, we will never reap. Discuss the following question. If you’re not leading people to find and follow Jesus, are you following Christ at all?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, Mark 4:1-20 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into dyads or triads for this section.

Share with the group ways to plant seeds everywhere you go this week. Pray for God to soften your heart and give you an urgency to see the people with real problems who need real love.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:   Discuss ways to make this weekend’s Easter Services more inviting to first time guests.

Engaging in Community:   Use the Easter invitation cards to inform others about this coming weekend’s Easter services. Be creative in how you hand them out.

Engaging the World:   Pray about those you will share your faith with. Send a card, email, or make a call to them.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Pray for God to soften your heart for the people who need you to plant seeds in their lives. Ask Him to open your eyes and ears to those with real problems needing real love. Be willing to be used as a sower in their lives.


Leader’s Notes

2. Try reading verse 9 in a different translation like the NET and read the footnotes. This phrase is also found in Matthew 11:15, Matthew 13:9 and 43, Mark 4:23, Luke 8:8, and Luke 14:35.

3. The sower is someone who shares God’s Word (that’s you!), the seed is God’s Word (that’s your Bible!), the birds are Satan’s distractions, the thorns are busyness and the worries of this world, the sun is meant to help a plant grow, but it scorches plants that have shallow roots (we must be firmly rooted in our relationship with Christ).

ALL groups at Faith Promise should participate in ALL 4 characteristics of a disciple of Christ (encountering God, embracing others, engaging the world, and expanding God’s Kingdom). However, each individual group may be primarily focused on one of these “Es” for a season, or for the life of that particular group. Below is an explanation of each type of group.

– 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.

500 Reasons Week 3 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:

Christ-followers are called to bring people (God’s treasures), bury them at the feet of Jesus, and believe He will forgive and heal.

Discussion Starter:

What would you do if you discovered a priceless treasure chest buried in the sand?

Introduction:

This weekend, we continued to look at the 500 Reasons to bring our family, our friends, and the people all around us to Easter 2018. In the teaching, we learned that as Christ-followers, we are to treasure what God treasures most- people. The natural thing to do when you discover treasure is to bring it close and then bury it.

This was illustrated perfectly in the story of the paralytic whose faithful friends carried him some distance, tore open the roof of the house where Jesus was teaching and lowered him down to the feet of Jesus, where he received forgiveness and healing.

We were reminded that we too are to bring friends and lower them to the feet of Jesus. We can only do this when our own hands and heart are free to do the work. We need to drop anything and everything that we may be holding on to too tightly and ask God to tear open the roof of our heart and reveal anything that might be between Him and us.Who are you bringing and burying and believing for God to forgive and heal and transform before our very eyes this Easter?


Encounter God

Primary Scripture: Mark 2:1-12

Discussion Questions:
1. For what did the friends of the paralytic ask Jesus? Whose faith did Jesus acknowledge in this healing? How does this encourage you?

2. What did Jesus say to the paralytic? Have you personally accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, as the ONLY One who can forgive us for our sins? 

3. Who has God laid on your heart who needs spiritual healing? Will you share with them the good news found only in Christ? Will you invite and bring them to Easter 2018?

4. What did the paralyzed man do that proved Jesus has the authority to forgive sins?

5. What did the teachers of the law refer to Jesus as, and of what did they accuse Him? Discuss how the teachers of the law missed the mark and missed the true identity of Jesus.

6. How has God amazed you this week, and how have you praised Him? (see v. 12)

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Mark 2:1-12 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the Believer’s relationship to Jesus.


Embrace Others

This week, our focus is on how Christ-followers must treasure what God treasures- people! When we find a treasure, we bring it close and bury it. We are to hold people close and lay them down at the feet of Jesus, where they can receive what we need most- forgiveness and reconciliation. In small groups of 2 or 3, discuss how the gift of forgiveness motivates and encourages you to share this message of hope with others- to bring them to Jesus. Share with one another who God is placing on your heart this weekend to bring to Easter 2018.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Pray as a group to explore ways you can serve and fill the many extra volunteer spots for Easter 2018 weekend.

Engaging in Community: Like the paralytic’s friends, discuss how you as a group can identify a need in the community and move into compassionate action. Visit https://faithpromise.org/love-local to review several opportunities to serve together. 

Engaging the World: Pray as a group that the news of Jesus will penetrate even the darkest places in our world. Pray especially for our missionaries who daily carry the needy up to rooftops and lower them to the feet of Jesus! If you have not checked out our digital missions magazine, take a look at: https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/faithpromise.org/docs/mission-magazine-2017.pdf to see what FP is up to around the world and how you can pray specially for our missionaries. 


Expanding God’s Kingdom

Will you ask God for the strength, courage and vision to overcome any obstacle to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ? This is our highest calling! Nothing stood in the way of the paralytics friends! Invite and bring those God places on your heart to Easter 2018.


 Leader’s Notes

  1. Trick question! the friends did not ask for anything! They simply placed their friend at the feet of Jesus and trusted Him to act. The paralytic’s friends’ faith; our faith and love for our friends matter! The Lord longs to hear our prayer and honor our faith, all in His perfect timing and according to His perfect plan.
  2. Son, your sins are forgiven.
  3. answers may vary
  4. stood up and walked
  5. “fellow”, blasphemy
  6. They thought that maybe God had given Jesus the authority to heal another man, but only God had the power to forgive sins. That is why they accused Jesus of blasphemy when He declared the paralytic’s sins forgiven. The teachers missed that God Incarnate was in their midst! Jesus is able to heal the physical (the visible) and the spiritual (the invisible). Faith in Jesus can result in complete healing, not always here on earth but ultimately in heaven. 

– 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.