Fearless Week 1 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
We are called to be fearless sharers of the real love of Jesus Christ to everyone around us.

Discussion Starter:
What is one of your biggest fears?

Introduction:
Fearless courage is inspiring, especially when it comes to saving a life or many lives. We saw a great example of this September 11, 2001. In the same vein, we are called to be first responders for Jesus. Sadly, only 2% of practicing Christians ever invite their friends to church. Fewer than that will ever share the gospel with anyone. Why are we so afraid?

Beginning this weekend, we will live out one of our values: We tell them of Him. We will tell everyone–our family, friends, coworkers, and classmates–about Jesus and how He has transformed our souls and our lives. Let’s become fearless in sharing Jesus with those around us.

Are you fearful or fearless?


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: 2 Timothy 1:7-9 and Matthew 28:18-20

Discussion Questions:

Read the two primary scriptures.

  1. In today’s politically correct culture, how do you understand and apply Paul’s words from 2 Timothy in your life?
  2. Matthew 28:19-20 is commonly known as the Great Commission. Unfortunately, many Christ-followers have turned it into the great omission. We simply do not share our faith often, if at all. First, discuss what fears keep us from sharing our faith. Second, think of ways to overcome these fears.
  3. One common fear is the fear of pushing others away when sharing our faith.  Discuss how engaging others and building relationships opens doors for us to tell others what Jesus has been doing in our lives.
  4. Jesus gave a directive to GO.  Go where? To all the nations–this means to everyone. He wants us to do several things as we go–make disciples, baptize them, and teach them to observe everything He has commanded. Spend some time fleshing out how we can obey this command today. Be specific about what actions you plan to take.
  5. Reread the very first sentence and the very last sentence of Matthew 28:18-20. How does this empower us to move from fearful to fearless?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read 2 Timothy 1:7-9 or Matthew 28:18-20, and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

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

This week our focus has been on overcoming fear of speaking to others about our faith. How can we help each other to become bolder in sharing what Jesus has been doing in our lives this week?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  As a church family we all walk together along the path of life. Each of us has different fears. Pray together asking God to give boldness to empower and encourage each other to face and overcome those fears.

Engaging in Community and the World:  One of the best ways to overcome our fear of sharing Christ with others is to share Christ with others. Just do it! Don’t allow Satan to paralyze you with the fear of what ifs. What if I offend them, what if I lose a friend, what if they laugh at me, what if…We have power to become fearless and courageous if we allow God to work through us.

 


Expand God’s Kingdom

The fear of offending someone or being thought of as a Jesus freak can keep us silent. If we truly believe Jesus promise to never leave us nor forsake us, then we will be able to draw strength from that promise. He didn’t suggest we go to everyone and share about Him, He commanded we go. This week pray for God to remove fear and replace it with boldness. Ask Him to remove the blinders that hide the lost and dying from your eyes, and to let you see others the way He sees them.


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.

 

Shadow of a Doubt Week 6 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: While some wait for MORE, let us MASTER what’s in our hands.

Discussion Starter: How do you manage your household budget?

Introduction: This week, Pastor walked us through the importance of managing the money we have and how budgeting is simple math.  A budget is a detailed plan to allocate every cent of your money.  It reflects your values, reveals your goals, and helps make hard decisions for you.  After-all, Self-Control is a fruit of Spirit!  The enemy tries to convince us to outspend ourselves right into debt, living paycheck to paycheck.  However, believers can master money and not be its slave!

Pastor challenged us to: Courageously evaluate our financial situation, review our income and spending, and decide whether it is mandatory or discretionary. In order to participate in Supernatural Stewardship, we must spend wisely, save diligently, and give generously.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: John 10:10

Discussion Questions: 

  1. Read John 10:10. Discuss what you think the abundant life means.  How are you living that life now?  What is an area that God may be calling you to give up, to free yourself from the constraints of this world and step into the life to which Jesus calls us?
  2. Read Luke 14:28-33. Jesus spoke practically about the importance of budgeting, but this lesson pointed us to the cost of following Jesus. What does it take to follow Jesus? How do we apply this principle to our approach with money?
  3. Read Proverbs 3:9-10. How can you honor the Lord with your wealth? What does the “first of your produce(first fruits)” mean?  How can that look in a person’s life today?  Discuss the principle, “So your barns will be filled with plenty.”
  4. Read Proverbs 6:6-8. What point is Solomon making here? How can you use these verses to impart wisdom to those you influence? (children, grandchildren, young co-workers, etc).

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Luke 14:28-33  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 getting our financial household in order so that money can serve us so we can better honor and serve the Lord.  Discuss financial areas where you need better self-control.  Come up with some practical steps you can take to achieve your goal. Pray together over this.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  Our church family has many needs, some of which are financial.  Consider reviewing the published Faith Promise financial reports from the last 3 years (go to: faithpromise.org/give).  Pray as a group to explore ways to offer your money in faith and submission as God calls you to provide for our church family.

Engaging in Community / the World: God called each of us out of our life of sin to a life of freedom found only in His Son, Jesus Christ.  How will you generously share your financial resources so that the Good News of Jesus Christ is shared with this hurting and dying world? Step out in faith to provide the only lasting source of hope and freedom!


Expand God’s Kingdom

Generosity is more than tithing and more than just money.  A stingy person can give ten percent. The point is not for us to be legalistic and calculate to the penny ten percent to give back to God – it is a matter of the heart!  As Christ followers, we are called to be generous!  Giving sacrificially isn’t just about finances, it is also about giving of our time and possessions.  How will you prayerfully consider your resources and how best to use them to further the Kingdom of God?  Keep in mind that our Savior, Lord, and greatest treasure demonstrated the ultimate act of generosity in coming to rescue us.


Leader’s Notes

  • Answers may include a life full of stamina, energy, ability to do things, enjoyment, satisfaction and contentment in Jesus.
  • Giving up everything! 
  • It is His money to begin with, and we are called to be good stewards of it.  It’s all from Him, it’s all about it Him, and it’s all for Him.
  • By demonstrating gratitude toward and confidence in God (rather than in wealth).  Also, by giving back to God some of your wealth as a sacrifice in recognition that God gave it to you in the first place.
  • It is giving God our first and best. If we will truly honor the Lord with our giving, it won’t be with the last and leftovers.
  • God is the master and distributor of unlimited resources. He knows how to prosper and take care of those who honor Him with the resources He has given to them.
  • These verses speak about the value of hard work. The difference between success and failure, potential disappointment or fulfillment, is often hard work.

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.

Shadow of a Doubt Week 5 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: Worshiping God eventually leads to imitating God, which means giving with gladness.

Discussion Starter: What’s the most impressive gift you’ve ever seen given to someone else? (In person, not on YouTube!)

Introduction: This week, Pastor Chris talked about the spiritual forces that are behind our own desires, and how Jesus said that humans tend toward serving either God or Mammon — but never both.  (If you didn’t make it to the service, “Mammon” is an Aramaic word for “riches,” but was also the Chaldean name for their god of riches.)

Another important word to define is “worship.” Worship doesn’t mean singing or praying. Worship literally means “worth-ship” – or “to consider something of worth or value.”  When we value something, our lives tend toward centering around it.  Moreover, if we maintain our valuation of it, the very person we are changes, too.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Luke 16:10-13

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Luke16:10-13.  In verse 10, Jesus says that if someone isn’t faithful with a little, they aren’t faithful with a lot.  And in the same way, someone that is faithful with little is faithful with a lot.  Can you think of a time in your life when you’ve seen this in person?
  2. In verse 11, Jesus mentions “unrighteous mammon” and “true riches.”  What do you think he means by those words?
  3. Still in verse 11, what would it mean to be faithful with the unrighteous mammon?
  4. What is it that you value in your life? Would someone who didn’t know you be able to tell?
  5. If someone managed to see all the money you’ve ever spent, and that was the only thing they could ever see about you, what sort of conclusions would they come to about what you value?
  6. Like #5, but with time spent, instead of money.   What would someone think you value?
  7. When you think about people you admire, is there anyone on that list who is generous?  Do you tend to admire people who “give their all?”

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Luke 4:14-21  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, we talked about things competing for our allegiance to Christ.  In smaller groups of 2 or 3, discuss what there is in your life that tries to take the #1 spot in your heart.  If you have time, compare our passage in Luke this week to Matthew 6, where Jesus gives a different sermon, but includes and further explains “You cannot serve God and mammon.”


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: All believers, together, make up the body of Christ.  That’s part of how we know that we are made to give: there is no body part that just takes and never gives.  There are plenty of needs here at Faith Promise.  Giving of your time is surely valuable. On Sunday, just walk up to someone who is doing something you think would be up your alley: taking care of kids, tending the coffee shop, greeting folks who come in, singing, or anything else and ask how to get involved.

Engaging in Community/ the World: There are plenty of people in the Knoxville area who need help.  Faith Promise can help you get in touch with many of those folks: God Behind Bars, KARM, and Emerald Youth Foundation, just to name a few.  Visit the Missions table on Sunday at your campus to find out how God can use you.  Additionally, think how your whole small group could participate.  There’s no reason that you can’t do more things together!


Expand God’s Kingdom

Have you ever seen someone whose main priority was money? What did their life look like?

Have you ever seen someone whose main priority was God? What did their life look like?

Have you ever seen someone whose main priority was money, but they wanted everyone to think that their main priority was God?  What did their life look like?

When we value something, we slowly become more like that thing. (After all, we tend to imitate those things we admire and willingly spend time around.)

Therefore, what happens to people who choose to spend time around you?  What happens to you when you’re around them?


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.

Shadow of a Doubt Week 4 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: When we give like God gives, we become united in purpose, experience gladness, sincerity of heart, and find true community.

Discussion Starter: What is the most special gift you have ever been given?

Introduction: In the last week of Shadow of a Doubt, we discuss generosity.  As followers of Jesus, we are called to give generously because of God’s generosity.  However, many of us have doubts about giving our time, talents, and treasure.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Acts 2:1-4, Acts 2:37, Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 2:41-47, Jeremiah 29:11

Discussion Questions:

  1. How has God been generous to you?
  2. What is the hardest area for you to be generous?  Time, talent, or treasure?
  3. What area do you think the enemy uses the most to keep you from being generous?
  4. How would it look to people outside the church if your group, your campus, and Faith Promise (as a whole) actually lived and acted like our brothers and sisters did in Acts 2?
  5. What is one area where you and your group can be generous this week?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Acts 2:44 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 is one way God can use the shared interest of your small group to be generous to other believers and those outside the church?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Read Acts 2:44 How can you and your group work to have “everything in common”?

Engaging in Community: Read Acts 2:45 Does God really mean for us to give to “anyone who has need”?  Find people in your community who have needs and meet them.  If you don’t know of anyone, pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you and provide an opportunity.

Engaging the World: This week’s ministry partner is The Timothy Initiative.  Visit https://www.ttionline.org/give/ where just $300 can plant a church.  Make a plan to see if your group can combine resources to give to TTI and plant a church.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Being generous with your time and talents are two of the biggest components for expanding God’s kingdom.  God has gifted you with ability and availability to raise up other believers.  If you are not currently using your time and talents for this purpose, who can you be generous with to expand God’s kingdom?


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.

Shadow of a Doubt Week 3 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
A call to follow Christ is a call to suffer—a call to die to your old self and old life.

Discussion Starter:
We’ve all heard a variation of the story of how our parents had to walk to and from school. Uphill both ways. In the snow. Give an example of how the next generation has it much easier than you did.

Introduction:
We are all certainly creatures of comfort; we do not like to be inconvenienced. The idea of suffering is barely comprehensible, yet a call to follow Christ is a call to suffer. Beyond that, we are called to embrace our suffering—not enjoying it but rejoicing in it. This sounds a bit crazy, but Christ-followers are called to be different from the world. The shadow of the cross was upon Jesus throughout His life. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, it is also upon everyone who chooses to follow Him. Everyone suffers and experiences tragedy; how we respond to the suffering shows how real Jesus is to us.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Mark 8:34-38 and Luke 14:25-35

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Mark 8:34. Everyone listening knew exactly what the cross meant: suffering and death. Why do you think Jesus put it this way? Did He really mean it?
  2. Continue reading Mark 8:35-38. Discuss what you feel Jesus means in verse 35. How have you experienced this “losing” and “saving” in your own life?
  3. In verse 36, Jesus warns that we can gain acceptance and praise from the world, yet lose our souls in the process. Give some examples of how you see this happening in our modern culture.
  4. Read Luke 14:25-35. Jesus gives two examples of counting the cost: before beginning a project and before going to war. The theme of both was to make sure you will be able to finish what you start. How do you count the cost of following Him?
  5. The hot, dry climate of the first century Middle East, coupled with no refrigeration, made salt a very important commodity. It was not only used for seasoning, but had the added importance of preserving meat, especially fish. Once salt lost its saltiness, it was no longer of any use and was discarded. It went from being important and of great value, to being unfit for any use. Jesus knew His audience would be very much aware of the role of salt in their daily lives. He was using this to illustrate His followers being the “salt of the earth,” and what would happen if they lost their saltiness. How do followers of Jesus lose their saltiness?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Luke 14:25-35 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

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

Are you or someone in your group suffering as a result of taking a stand for Christ? If so, then encourage them and guide them as they embrace the suffering. Remind them to count it worthwhile to suffer for Christ.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Staff members (especially pastors) face opposition and spiritual warfare. This week, choose a staff member at your campus to pray for, and send an email or card of encouragement. Let them know you are lifting them up as they take up their cross to bring the gospel to East Tennessee and the world.

Engaging in Community: Seek out a neighbor that has been having a rough time, and share with them how your faith in Jesus helped you through a similar situation.

Engaging the World: Visit the Faith Promise website and choose a missionary from the list. This week, send them an email thanking them for their willingness to suffer for the gospel. Ask how you can lift them up in prayer.


Expand God’s Kingdom

This week, begin each morning asking God for boldness in choosing to do the right thing by making choices that honor Christ no matter the cost. Then ask Him to intersect your path with someone who needs to see your example—an unwillingness to compromise your faith and ethics for the sake of convenience or advancement.


Leader’s Notes

  1. Jesus knew many of His followers were only there to be entertained by miracles and healings. Some were just curious to see the man everyone was talking about. Jesus cuts straight to the chase. He declares that if anyone chooses to be His disciple it will come at a price. There will be suffering and maybe even death. There’s no better way to separate the serious followers from the thrill seekers than to remove the fluff and shoot straight about the cost of being a disciple.
  2. Answers will vary. One possible answer is that many times people lose sight of Jesus and their moral compass when focusing too much on gaining success using the world’s idea of success. Money, power, fame can all cloud vision and judgement and lead down a path of spiritual destruction when these things become their god. The converse of this is when a person ignores the opinion of the world and puts Christ first in their life no matter the cost. Putting Jesus first becomes more important than pleasing others or gaining riches.
  3. Professional athletes, entertainers, and politicians are a few examples. Things begin well, but eventually they find that a little felt good, but a lot was not enough, whether it is money, power, or fame. The more they acquire the more they crave. It becomes an addiction, and eventually they might be at the very pinnacle of success, yet they’ve lost themselves and maybe even their very soul along the way.
  4. Answers may vary.
  5. A Christ-follower will lose their “saltiness” by compromising values, standards, and ethics. A little cheating here or there will seem of little importance at first, but will eventually lead to compromise on a larger scale and corruption.

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.

Shadow of a Doubt Week 2 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
Faith Promise Value: We serve others. God showed us through His Son how our lives are to be.

Discussion Starter:
Can you think of some members of your campus whose hearts are set on serving Jesus? How do you see Jesus through their service?

Introduction:
God’s supernatural love for us should lead to a supernatural Spirit-filled love for others, but spiritual warfare can keep us stagnant in spirit. Becoming a servant runs counter to the world’s culture. However, a serving life unites the Church in common life, common cause, and common action. Love and service to others is what makes the church different and powerful. God’s desire is for us to serve!


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Matthew 20:25-28 and Philippians 2:1-8

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Matthew 20:25-28. Compare the description of the Gentiles’ behavior to Jesus’ instructions on the disciples’ behavior. We all sin and fall short. Are there circumstances and situations where you are tempted to “lord it over others”? Who in your life might soften to the message of the Gospel if they saw your real life example of Jesus’ servant heart toward them?
  2. Read Philippians 2:1-2. How do you experience the benefits of Christian community in verse 1: encouragement, love, fellowship, affection, and compassion? Reread verse 2. What does it mean to be “united in spirit” and “intent on one purpose”?
  3. Read Philippians 2:3-7. Can you share an example of how someone looked out for your interests rather than their own? How are you looking out for the interests of others?
  4. Read 1 Peter 4:10. What is your spiritual gift, and how can you use it to serve others?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Philippians 2:1-8 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

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

Read 1 Corinthians 12:4-11. How can your spiritual gift be used to unify and build up the Church?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: On the third weekend each month, Faith Promise Next Steps focuses on spiritual gifts and serving. Attend a Next Steps class at your campus to find out more! Next Steps is available at every campus every weekend during the 11:30 AM Sunday experience.  It is also available during the 6:15 PM Saturday experience at the Pellissippi Campus.

Engaging in Community: Visit the Faith Promise Love Local page to find ministry opportunities in your backyard!

Engaging the World: How can we demonstrate unity to the world as a group and as a church?


Expand God’s Kingdom

Serving is a great way to expand God’s Kingdom! Who can you serve 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.