Mind Monsters Week 2 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
Anger is a thought that we are supposed to bring into captivity (to the obedience of Christ). When we get angry, we should imitate what Jesus did when He got angry.

Discussion Starter:
Have you ever seen a sporting event where a coach lost their cool? Did it make sense for him/her to lose it, or was it ridiculous on the instant replay? Share your favorite “I saw a coach (or fan) go berzerk” story!

Introduction:
Humans are made in the image of God, so it shouldn’t seem too strange that God also feels anger (Numbers 25:3, Exodus 4:14). Even in the person of Jesus, God was sometimes angry (Mark 3:5). But Jesus also warned that anger can be morally the same as murder (Matthew 5:22). So it’s not a matter of whether we will have feelings of anger. It’s a matter of how quickly we will have those feelings, and what we will do when those feelings arrive.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 10:5, Mark 3:5, Ephesians 4:26, Psalm 103:8

Discussion Questions:

  1. God asks us to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Jesus also asked Peter to come to Him while He walked on the water. God routinely asks people to do things that they are not capable of doing on their own. Can you think of why God would do this?
  2. Jesus is recorded as being angry in Mark 3:5. When you read the whole passage, with whom is Jesus angry? Why? How is this different from His warning about anger in Matthew 5:22?
  3. Read Ephesians 4:26. Jesus clearly never sinned, even though He got angry. What did Jesus do with His anger? How can you follow His example?
  4. God tells us to be slow to anger (James 1:19), in part because that’s the way God is (Psalm 103:8). That’s not the same as “don’t ever be angry.” Can you think of some Biblical examples where God was slow to anger?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read James 1:19-20 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

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

What is something you have gotten angry about recently? Road rage is a common one, but sometimes even very small things can get to us at the wrong time. In retrospect, were you as slow to anger as you would like to be? Do some other thoughts need to be taken captive, too (the ones that come along when you get angry)?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Do you have anger for anyone among your group, your family, your work, or even your Faith Promise campus? Start fixing the problems in the world by fixing the problems at home, first.

Engaging in Community: There is so much angry rhetoric in our nation right now, but is this anger about sin? If we practice being “quick to listen and slow to speak,” and grow our ability to be “slow to anger,” this can make a huge difference when we engage our neighbors in the things they care deeply about, without causing argument.

Engaging the World: There is so much darkness in the world that can make us angry. Consider our many missionary projects which bring light into dark places. How might you be a part of these projects or support them?


Expand God’s Kingdom

Think about something you used to get angry about, but don’t (much) any more. Is there anyone at all who might be able to benefit from whatever insight you’ve gained?


Leader’s Notes

A special note to leaders on anger: Remember that abuse is a very real thing that takes place in many households both inside and outside the church. And some people will try to twist scripture until it means “Love = being my doormat, and you are being a bad Christian and sinning if you get angry at my abuse.” Some people will love this study, since they will try to use it like a club to keep their victims quiet about their abuse. Be aware that this is a problem for some people, and try to address it if it seems necessary.

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.

 

Mind Monsters Week 1- Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: Emotions are the monsters under our beds that climbed into our heads!

Discussion Starter: Have you ever gone the wrong direction?  Name a time (physically or mentally) where you thought you were headed the right direction but realized you were completely lost.

Introduction: Emotions are a funny thing. Have you ever felt something, yet didn’t know why? Have you ever watched a toddler throw a temper tantrum and thought, “I wonder how and why they’re so out of control?” And then, have you wished as an adult that you had the freedom to throw a tantrum? Emotions are a funny thing. The good ones are fantastic feelings, but the bad ones are not. Crying is sometimes seen as weak. Anger can get us in trouble. What if we thought about our emotions as passengers in our lives, not the drivers? What if we control our emotions and use every single one of them to glorify God, instead of letting the enemy use our emotions to access our lives and control our thoughts and behaviors?


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Philippians 4:4-9, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Proverbs 4:23, James 5:16, Malachi 3:10

Discussion Questions:

  1. Philippians 4:4-9 starts off with, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice!” but do we really rejoice in EVERYTHING? ALWAYS? Or do we only rejoice in the things that are good? And wallow in pity and despair with in the bad moments? Why is that?
  2. 2 Corinthians 10 tells us to take every thought captive. How do we do that? Emotions can get the better of us, controlling our lives. How can we take captive our emotions and let God be the conductor of lives?
  3. Pastor said in his message, “It’s impossible to live a positive life in a negative light.” The P48 train refers to Philippians 4:8, that says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” On what are your thoughts dwelling? How can you put your life on path with the P48 train?

Discovery Bible Method:
For an alternative to the questions above, read the scriptures Philippians 4:4-9 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

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

Getting to know you: 2 Corinthians 10:3 says that for though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. With what or who are we in war?

Getting to know them: James 5:16 says to confess your sins to one another and pray for one another. Use this time in group to be transparent with what you need prayers in your life and what you need to confess.

Getting to know Him: God wants us to be like Him, because that’s the only way to have our emotions as passengers in our lives, not the conductors or controllers. He does not want us to get on the wrong train of pity, rage, worry, suspicion, doubt, or anxiety.  How can we climb on the P48 train?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: We elevate those around us” is one of our values. Pastor talked about not boarding the emotion train without determining the destination. How can we help elevate those around us determine their destination? When we lift one another up, we help support their journey. Who are you elevating today?

Engaging in Community: Over the past three months, KARM stores received 943 donations of goods and time from people connected to Faith Promise.  Did you know when you donated items or your service to ANY KARM store and attach Faith Promise to the donation, we receive KARM gift cards back to be used in our benevolence program?  Donate to KARM – they not only help those in our community but they help Faith Promise help those who seek help directly at Faith Promise.

Engaging the World: If you want to reach beyond your local community, Faith Promise sponsors multiple missionary families. Stop by the Missions Spot at your campus next time you’re there to find out how you can help them and pray for them.


Expand God’s Kingdom

On what train are you riding? It’s important to recognize that one Mind Monster that many of us allow to become conductor of our lives and take us places we don’t want to go is Doubt. Today it’s getting harder and harder to trust, especially those in authority around us. If it’s hard to trust those around us, how hard is it to trust God and His authority? Accept the challenge this week to trust Him, because we believe that you will find that you can indeed trust Him in ALL things. And when you do, you will not only see God’s Kingdom around you, but you will begin to expand it to include 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.

Perspectives on Possessions – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
We are only stewards of everything in our lives…even our own selves. And God will hold us to account one day, and right now He is working on us so that we might be found faithful.

Discussion Starter:
Has anyone ever borrowed something from you? Or have you ever borrowed something? Especially something valuable? Can you think of a time it worked out well for the lender? Can you think of a time that it didn’t work out so well for the lender?

Introduction:
This week, we heard about different ways of looking at the ‘stuff’ around us—money, houses, and so on. And depending on the way we look at the world, we will interact with everything—and everyone—differently. If we view everything as ours, we act one way. If we view everything as belonging to everyone else, we act another. But the Bible’s perspective is that nothing at all down here ultimately belongs to any of us: it’s all on loan from God. That fact should deeply affect how we live, and one way it ought to affect us is to make us more generous with whatever God has given us (whether our time or our resources).


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Luke 16:10-12, 1st Corinthians 6:19-20, Mark 4:24, Romans 14:12, Matthew 12:36, 1st Corinthians 4:7

Discussion Questions:

  1. If you knew someone who dropped a phone nearly every time they held one, would you feel like buying them a brand new phone? Why or why not? Would you lend them yours? Why or why not?
  2. If you were in a doctor’s office waiting room, what would you think if you saw two grown men get into a fistfight over who got to read the waiting room’s copy of a 1985 “Golf Digest” magazine? You would probably think they were crazy. Nobody is in the waiting room forever, and the 1985 Golf Digest isn’t all that important. By way of comparison, how long do you expect to be here, in this world, in your current body? And how much do you value the stuff around you?
  3. If someone saved your life by pushing you out of the way of an oncoming car, would you feel any sense of obligation toward them, like you owed them anything? How do you think you should feel about someone who stepped in and took the wrath of God on your behalf, and paid your soul’s death penalty for you?

Discovery Bible Method:
For an alternative to the questions above, read the scriptures outlined above (especially Luke 16:10-12) and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

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

Getting to know you: God lent you the use of your body for now. How have you been treating it? How faithful have you been with your body?

Getting to know them: God has lent you the time with the people in this group. How have you been a blessing to them? Are you folks praying for each other? Are you holding each other accountable, so you can become stronger together? How are you being faithful with this time?

Getting to know Him: God wants us to be like Him, because that’s the only way to have love, joy, and peace. Take some time and think about God’s promise to everyone who trusts Him in 1 Thessalonians 5:24. It’s worth thinking about. Can you memorize 1 Thessalonians 5:24 this week?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: We often think of “giving” in terms of money, or time, or serving projects. Those things are important, but have you given the effort to get to know folks next to you at church, or new people in your group? Those people might need something as small as a greeting and a smile to remind them God cares about them, and that’s something you can definitely give.

Engaging in Community: Every week, Faith Promise has serving projects available. And we have special ones as the seasons change, too. A new school year is coming up, and public school teachers everywhere are buying things for their classrooms out of their own pockets. If your group goes school supply shopping, grab a few extra supplies, and give them to a local school. Or perhaps you can take up just $5 each and go pay for some kid’s meals for the year. The teachers will take notice. Faith Promise will head up the “Back To School Drive 2019” with Collection Dates from August 18-25th. This is an alternative way to give back to our community and its students by providing specific school materials that they will need this coming school year. Be on the lookout to see what your campus is collecting and for which school at https://faithpromise.org/love-local.

Engaging the World: If you want to reach beyond your local community, Faith Promise sponsors the Jamaican Deaf Village, which has a school of its own. Stop by the Missions Spot at your campus next time you’re there to find out how you can help them.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Try to think of one thing you know you could be more faithful in. It doesn’t have to be the most amazing, spectacular, earth-shattering, life-altering thing. It could be something as simple as returning your cart at the grocery store or making eye contact and conversation with the cashier instead of being distracted at the checkout. See if you can pick one thing this week, and be more faithful in that. See if that doesn’t make you want to pick a new thing next week. And if someone asks you why you’re doing these weird, small, nice things, you have a chance to talk about Jesus.


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.

 

Follow the Filling – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
Where the Spirit leads…I will follow. This is our theme of the year at Faith Promise. We repeat it, but do we really live it?

Discussion Starter:
Have you ever seen something you want to change or incorporate into your life, but you know it’s going to take an all-in, wholly-involved commitment?

Introduction:
“Follow the Filling” is the Faith Promise theme of the year. Pastor says, “Where the Spirit leads.” And we say, “I will follow.” We have been repeating it all year, but in reality, are we living it? Do we listen to God when He is leading? Are we following what He asks us to do? What would our lives look like if wherever the Spirit lead, we actually followed? This could mean a fair bit of change in our lives.

At Movement, hundreds of students prayed for the strength to follow God wherever He would lead. They prayed for a supernatural change in their lives. But if we aren’t already close to God, following His lead can seem difficult. We must pursue God in order to be where God leads.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Exodus 33:15-16, Matthew 6:33 & 6:21, John 15:5-6, James 4:8, Revelation 21:1-4

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does it take to be close to God? What does that mean?
  2. Are we pursuing closeness with God? If we seek God first, God promises to take care of us. Proximity brings passion. What are you passionate about?
  3. What gets in the way of our pursuit of God? Are we pursuing the right things?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Revelation 21:1-4 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 are some fears you have about putting God first? Are you pursuing proximity to something other than God?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: We saw this weekend how many students were impacted by Movement. It took hundreds of volunteers to make Movement successful. Faith Promise students and kids ministries both touch so many young lives every single week. Have you ever thought about volunteering in fpKIDS or fpStudents? One of our core values is We Serve Others. If you want to serve God, serve His children.

Engaging in Community: Did your group participate in Serve Day 2019? Promisors served at 74 Projects for over 3,200 Hours. Whether you served or not, you can still find something for your group to do in your community. Find a neighbor in need, clean up some trash at some local school or park grounds, take donuts to the ER nurses and doctors… there are so many ways to serve those around us. Make a plan to serve this fall.

Engaging the World: Faith Promise missionaries put God first by serving in locations far from home. Pray for the missionaries supported by your campus. Pick a missionary family from Faith Promise and reach out to them to show them your support. They love to hear from Promisors back home.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Faith Promise is full of Real People with Real Problems who know Real Love. How can you show those around you Real Love? Invite your friends, family, and co-workers to spend time with John Maxwell, renowned author, speaker, and coach. He will be sharing the Word at Faith Promise July 27-28 at our normal service times.


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.

 

We Put God First – Discussion Guide

Main Idea: 
Growing as a disciple is a complete surrender of every area of your life to Jesus.

Discussion Starter: 
What is the first thing you do when you wake up every morning?

Introduction: 
When asked the greatest commandment, Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:4-5: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” We are to put every part of our lives under God’s control. God is willing to provide for our needs if we trust Him completely with all that we have. Beginning with salvation and throughout the rest of our lives, we have opportunities to let God solve our problems. When we depend on Him, we learn that He is there every time.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Matthew 6:25-33, Malachi 3:10-11

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Matthew 6:25-33. What do you worry about? What does Jesus promise to those who put God first?
  2. Read Malachi 3:10-11. Why were folks instructed to bring the whole tithe?  Who was the food for? How were the generous to be rewarded?
  3. In verse 11, what were these farmers promised? How has God both provided what you need and protected what you already have?

Discovery Bible Method:

For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Matthew 6:25-33 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

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

What are some fears you have about putting God first and giving generously? Pray Philippians 4:6-7 over each other.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Pastor shared four levels of giving ranging from beginner to lavish giver. No matter where you are on the generosity journey, can you take the next step?

Engaging in Community: Did your group participate in Serve Day 2019? How did it go? Did you make any connections to people or ministries you could serve on a regular basis?

Engaging the World: Faith Promise missionaries put God first by serving in locations far from home. Pray for the missionaries supported by your campus.


Expand God’s Kingdom

What did you learn today that you can share with someone outside 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.

Come Here Often? Week 3 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

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?


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Ezekiel 36:25-27, 1 Peter 2:2, Hebrews 5:12, 1 John 4:10-12

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does the passage from Ezekiel say that God is going to do for His people?
  2. How does this compare to experiences that Jesus talks about in the New Testament?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.


Embrace Others

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?


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.