Heart for the Harvest Week 2 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
To extend and expand, it takes a foundation of faith and preparation. Faith Promise has an incredible foundation of faith, obedience, and sacrifice from so many “Davids” who came before.

Discussion Starter:
Have you ever done something that when you look back, you think, “How did I actually do this? WHY did I actually do this?” Or even better, “What was I thinking?” Discuss some crazy things you have tried that took extraordinary faith (and guts).

Introduction:
This week we are in our second week of Faith Promise’s annual Heart for the Harvest season. Pastor Chris cast a vision for how Faith Promise can reach real people with real problems and share the real love of Christ. Our offering on November 9-10 will be used to further this vision and expand God’s kingdom. You can look at the initiatives planned here.

Watch this short video with your group.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: 1 Chronicles 22:11-16, Luke 4:18-19, 1 Chronicles 11:17-19

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does it mean to completely trust God?
  2. Read 1 Chronicles 22:11-16. God not only provides the material and workers, but also the discretion and understanding to build the temple. Why would David then say, “be strong and courageous”?
  3. Read 1 Chronicles 22:17-19. God asks the Israelites to devote their heart and soul to seeking the Lord first. What do you need to devote to Lord before you ask for provision? Where are you lacking trust for what God can do in your life?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Proverbs 3:5-6 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into twos or threes here.

Getting to know each other:  We discuss trusting God completely in our guide. Why is that hard to do? What are we afraid to completely hand over to Him? Do we trust God so little today because we’ve trusted Him with so little in the past? How can we change that?

Getting to know Him:  One way to sacrifice to God is to give Him our time, our minds, and our hearts. Memorizing scripture requires a sacrifice of our time, but we reap abundant rewards in having God’s word always with us. This week memorize our theme verse for 2019, Luke 4:18-19.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  Are you participating in our 21-Days of Fasting and Prayer? The fast began Monday October 21 and will end on our Heart for the Harvest offering weekend November 10. You can also view daily devotions during this 21-Days here.

Engaging in Community:  This week we prayed for provision. Are you able to be the answer to someone’s prayer? Do you know of a need for food, clothing, or money? Could your group work together to meet that need? Ask God to show you how to be His hands and feet in answering prayers for provision.

Engaging the World:  One of our 2020 initiatives for Heart for the Harvest is launching new campuses. Pray for the new campuses that will launch and the lives that will change because of God’s real love.


Expand God’s Kingdom

This weekend we prayed for provision. Tell others of what God has provided you and your family.

No Tricks, All Treats – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
The devil is real and aims to destroy God’s people, but God is greater and will win the final victory.

Discussion Starter:
Which Halloween candy do you prefer, chocolate or not? What is your least favorite?

Introduction:

This week, we dive into a topic many don’t like to discuss–spiritual warfare. The devil is a real person, and his mission is to destroy God’s people. This is his only way to get at God! We must “put on the full armor of God, so that [we] can take [a] stand against [his] schemes.” There is power in the name of Jesus, the One who defeated sin and death on the cross!

Watch this short video with your group.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Ephesians 6:10-18

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Ephesians 6:10-18. Paul begins this last section at the very end of his letter with “finally”. Up to this point, he has carefully established our place in Jesus and the basics of the Christian walk. When he wrote “finally” here, he is speaking in light of all he has previously said. Describe your glorious standing as a child of God, all that He has done for you, and what it means to you daily.
  2. According to verses 10-11, what 2 things must a believer do to “stand firm against the schemes of the devil”?
  3. What does it mean to “be strong in the Lord and in His strength”?
  4. This is God’s armor that He shares with us! Discuss each aspect of His armor He has graciously given to us. How does knowing you have access to God’s armor encourage you as you endure difficult times? See Romans 8:37.
  5. What do you learn about God and about Satan in this passage?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Ephesians 6:10-18 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore how Christ followers are to depend on the strength of God and the protection of spiritual armor, in order to stand against the attacks of spiritual enemies.


Embrace Others

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

Getting to know you: Paul reminds us that our struggle is “not against flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” How does this truth affect the way you think about a struggle or conflict you may have in your family, relationships, or in the workplace? How will you apply this passage and use the tools (armor) God has provided us?

Getting to know them: We have access to God’s Spirit and His strength–not ours–to face hardships in life. Discuss ways you can encourage each other with this truth. Pray for specific struggles your group members may be facing. Allow God to work by the power of His Spirit, and pray for members to be protected by truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, and the Word of God!

Getting to know Him: When facing attack, meditate on Ephesians 6:12, that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood” and pray for the person through whom the attack is coming. Challenge each other to memorize 1 John 4:4, “because the One[Jesus] who is in you is greater than the one[the devil] who is in the world.”


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Pastor Zac challenged us that Heart for the Harvest (“H4H”) is coming up in two weekends. This is not a time to kick back, sit, or stand still. It is a time to stand firm and advance! As a congregation, we are praying and fasting for God to move in our hearts towards generosity. It is a time to connect with God and disconnect from the world! “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” -Ephesians 6:18. Your financial gifts through our annual Heart for the Harvest Offering are key in our effort to launch new campuses, see exponential growth, and produce changed lives.

Engaging in Community/Engaging the World: It is through our generosity at FP that we are able to support local groups such as Emerald Youth. Emerald Youth Foundation is a Christian, urban youth and community ministry in Knoxville, TN serving over 2,300 young people annually. Your group could pray about finding ways to spend some time together volunteering. Emerald has a variety of ways in which you can get involved. Check out the information in this link to learn more. https://www.emeraldyouth.org/getinvolved


Expand God’s Kingdom

Our mission at Faith Promise is this: “We exist to help real people with real problems find real love.” The very task of reaching out to the lost places us in the sights of the enemy. Because we are seeking to reach nonbelievers and sharing with them about the real love and hope found only in Jesus Christ, we are offensively engaging the enemy’s territory—we can expect that the enemy will fight back. We needn’t fear, however. We can rely on the Power of the Spirit and God’s armor to go into battle knowing Satan is already defeated! How will you pray for God to empower our church as we face spiritual warfare so that we can shine as much light on the name of Jesus Christ? “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” (1Corinthians 16:13-14)


Leader’s Notes

1. Answers will vary. If discussion is quiet, ask for how God has blessed your members’ lives. Feel free to emphasize that their lives to come are the ones that are filled with overwhelming amazing blessings (like Hebrews 13:14 talks about), even if their lives right now are a lot more like Stephen in Acts 7:59.

2. Be strong in the Lord and in His strength; put on the full armor of God. Both are essential!

3. His strength works in us as we rely on it and step out to do the work He has called us to do. It is not realized unless we take action! It is also not realized when we take action in our own strength. Satan’s schemes against us come to nothing when we stand against them in the power of God.

And conversely, if we do not put on the whole armor of God, then we have at least one ‘weak point.’ And that can be very troublesome. Because there are instances of people in the Bible not really understanding spiritual warfare, and then suffering because they fall into sin. (E.g. Acts 19:15 — which happened at Ephesus).Trying to engage in warfare casually is a really, really bad idea. Consider ‘warfare’-related verses like 1st Timothy 1:18-19.

4. Answers may vary. Don’t be afraid to look up a little bit about Roman military equipment before leading a discussion on this passage. For instance, did you know that Roman tower shields were designed with hooks on the corners? Also, those shields were bucklers, which were strapped and buckled onto the arms of the soldiers using them (much like a belt), so they couldn’t drop them. This way, even if a soldier were injured, the shield wall could remain in tact, and a soldier could remain standing because of those by his side—and the entire column of soldiers could still advance. Of course, it would be a different story if everyone were injured. This is a very rich study that is made amazing if you get to look into the historical facts surrounding the equipment Paul mentions—and that which he leaves out!

5. In the Christian life we WILL battle the spiritual forces of wickedness, these demonic forces that are under Satan’s authority. Although we are assured victory, we must engage in the struggle until Christ’s return. God provides us supernatural power with the Holy Spirit as well as his surrounding armor to do battle- “to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

Heart for the Harvest Week 1 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
Extending God’s Hand and Heart, and expanding God’s Kingdom requires a foundation of faith and preparation.

Discussion Starter:
Have you ever built something? A house? A dog house? A massive birthday cake with many layers? How did your preparation affect the outcome of your project?

Introduction:
This week we begin our annual Heart for the Harvest season. Pastor Chris cast a vision for how Faith Promise can reach real people with real problems and share the real love of Christ. Our offering on November 9-10 will be used to further this vision and expand God’s kingdom. You can look at the initiatives planned here. Before we begin, let’s lay a foundation.

Watch this short video with your group.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: 1 Chronicles 22:1-5, Luke 6:46-49

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does it mean to “extend God’s Hand?”
  2. Read 1 Chronicles 22:1-5. David would not see the temple built, and yet he made “ample preparations.” What ample preparations are you making for the next generation? Financial preparations? Educational preparations? Spiritual preparations?
  3. Read Luke 6:46-49. This week Pastor spoke about laying a foundation. According to these verses, how do we know if we have a solid foundation? 
  4. Are you weathering any storms? How is your foundation of faith? 

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Luke 6:46-49 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into twos or threes here.

Getting to know each other:  
We discussed facing storms and testing our foundation. We have all faced situations where we could have been better prepared. Think about solidifying or repairing your foundation. How can you help each other to remain committed to prayer, Bible reading, and attending church and group?

Getting to know Him:  
One way to cement our foundation is to keep God’s word in our minds and in our hearts. This week, commit to memorize 1 Corinthians 3:11:
For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  Are you participating in our 21-Days of Fasting and Prayer? The fast begins Monday October 21 and will end on our Heart for the Harvest offering weekend November 10. You can also view daily devotions during this 21-Days here.

Engaging in Community:  Next weekend (October 26-27) is our No Tricks, All Treats weekend at every campus. Invite friends with kids to join in the fun!

Engaging the World:  One of our 2020 initiatives for Heart for the Harvest is launching new campuses. Pray for the new campuses that will launch and the lives that will change because of God’s real love.


Expand God’s Kingdom

This weekend we prayed for prodigals and relationships. Did God bring someone to your heart and mind? Reach out and connect with them this week.


Leader’s Notes

  1. We are man and not God, so we do NOT control God’s Hand. However, God offers His free gift of salvation to ALL (see Romans 5:8, Romans 6:23). “Extending God’s Hand” is telling and showing others about God’s love and His free gift of salvation.

Pastor Appreciation – Discussion Guide

Main Idea: 

The members of the church should be growing the church by making more disciples. (It’s every Christ follower’s responsibility, not just the pastor’s!)

Discussion Starter: 

Little kids pretend to be animals that they see, like cats or dogs. And strangely, animals will imitate other animals if they grow up around them (like cats who bark because they were raised around dogs, or dogs that hop like bunnies because they were raised around bunnies). There is even a park in Japan where the deer have learned that when they bow like people, they are more likely to be fed! Can you share a fun or memorable example of imitation that you’ve seen? (Or maybe even just one you heard of!)

Introduction: 

This week, Pastor Chris talked about Colossians 1:28, where Paul goes from talking about you and to talking about we. He says that we talk about Christ — not just Paul, but all those who trust in Jesus. This week, we’re going to talk about how we communicate what we believe about Jesus, not just with our words, but with every part of our lives.

Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: 

Colossians 1:28

1 Corinthians 11:1

2 Corinthians 5:10-11

Discussion Questions:

  1. In Colossians 1:27-28, God’s word talks about how God wants to reveal something that was hidden for thousands of years: Christ is living in us (believers), giving the hope of glory! So the question is, “What is it that is being revealed by your life?” Is it the unsearchable riches of Christ? Or is it the season finale of that new Netflix show?
  2. In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul tells his readers to follow him in following Christ. So if you were to win someone to Christ right this minute, and they were to follow your personal example exactly…how excited would you be? How do you think that would affect church discipleship over the course of a year?
  3. In a flock of sheep, how do you get more sheep? Is it the shepherd that makes more sheep, or is it the sheep that make more sheep? Discuss this Biblical metaphor for the church as it pertains to the pastor (pastor just means shepherd) and the rest of the congregation (the sheep). How does that pertain to discipleship?
  4. In Colossians 1:28, Paul says that we (believers) are supposed to be warning everyone. Not just unbelievers, but everyone. In 2 Corinthians 5:10-11, Paul talks about a terror (see the NKJV or KJV) that causes him to warn people. If Paul describes this knowledge as terror, what is his terror about? And why does he, of all people, have such a fear?

Discovery Bible Method:

For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read the Primary Scriptures above and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passages.

Embrace Others

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

Earlier in the passage from Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he says that “Christ is the head of the body, the church” (Colossians 1:18). Other passages also talk about how all believers (collectively, “the church”) are part of the body of Christ (for example, Romans 12:5, and 1 Corinthains 12:27).

There are no useless parts of your body. (Even your appendix has purpose; it’s part of your immune system–like a tonsil for your tummy.) Your eyebrows and your liver both have a function. They do very different things, though, and are connected in different ways to the rest of the body. 

Why do you think God chose the metaphor of a body to describe the relationship of believers to one another, and to Himself? How do those in your small group bring different gifts to the body of Christ? What sorts of things might your small group be able to do if it worked together?

Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:

Are you thankful for those at Faith Promise who teach the Word of God to you? Just a simple “Thank you” or “Hey, that one time you really helped me” would mean a lot. And what better time than Pastor Appreciation Month?

Engaging in Community:

The Bible says that God wants to reveal Christ in us — to everyone. If Jesus were to walk through your neighborhood, what sort of example can you see from the Bible that would show you what He would do? It might have a tremendous impact on your community if you or your family were to try to follow Jesus’ example.

Engaging the World:

Not everyone can go to the darkest, most dangerous parts of the world to tell others about Jesus. But we can certainly support them! Consider sponsoring a missionary. They definitely do not get tired of being reminded that there are those at home who are praying for them. Email missions@faithpromise.org to find out how you can support a Faith Promise missionary.

Expand God’s Kingdom

What sort of support do you think would have helped Paul the most while he was doing his pastoral work? Can you imagine how much more Paul could have done if he had gotten certain kinds of help?

Do you think it would help if you were able to do a modern-day version of that for your local group of Christ-followers?

Leader’s Notes

ALL groups at Faith Promise should follow Jesus Christ and lead others to do the same.

Try to read all the scriptures ahead of time, spend time in prayer, and study to understand them. This might be a tremendously important week for someone in your group, and you might be the one person they will listen to.

And don’t forget God’s promises when you talk to others (especially Isaiah 55:11): the power is in the seed, not in the sower. 

For some of the discussion questions, remember that there may be some people who (wrongly!) think that maybe they aren’t meant to make other disciples, or that they have nothing to contribute. You may need to remind them that all of us are equally members of the body of Christ—we might all have different roles, but every part does something. (1 Corinthians 12:12-18).

Table for Two – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: 
The Lord is our Shepherd.

Discussion Starter: 
If you could have one special meal with anyone living, who would you choose?

Introduction: 
This weekend Pastor Chris shared a message he heard from Louie Giglio on the 23rd Psalm. For those who grew up in church this passage is very familiar. It is embroidered on pillows, displayed in homes, and it is one of the first scriptures that many memorized as children. If you didn’t grow up in church, you will probably still recognize these verses because they are often read at funerals. Let’s take some time to dig deeper into these familiar words.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures:  Psalm 23:1-6
Discussion Questions:

  1. There is a lot of imagery in these verses. Which image is your favorite?
  2. David was a shepherd before he became the king of Israel, so he was very familiar with sheep. Today we may find it a bit harder to relate to this analogy. Pastor talked about how the shepherd’s crook could be used to rescue a sheep from drowning. Can you share a time when God rescued you?
  3. Verse 5 says that God prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies. What enemies keep you from making time for God? Busyness? Distraction?
  4. Verse 6 reminds us of eternity. How do we live in the present but keep our eyes on eternity?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Psalm 23:1-6 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 each other: Do you feel like your spiritual life is fast food or fine dining lately?

Getting to know Him: If you have not memorized Psalm 23, commit to take the time to memorize it this week together with another member of your group. If you have memorized it, try reading it through each day in a different translation and sharing it with another member of the group.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  No Tricks, All Treats is coming to your campus October 26-27! Talk to your fpKids team leader and find out how you can help.

Engaging in Community and the World: The 23rd Psalm is often read at funerals. As we approach a season of holidays, think about those around you who may be having their first Thanksgiving or Christmas without a loved one. Reach out to them as a group. Let them know you are praying for them and that there is a place at your table for the holidays.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Psalm 23:5 says, “my cup overflows.” Where do you have an abundance? How can you let that overflow nourish and feed others?

This week’s Bonus Feature – E.T.

Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: John 14:1-2, Romans 8:38-39

Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss a time where you felt that you were all alone.
  2. When and where do you feel the most “at home”?
  3. Read 1 Peter 2:11-12. A sojourner is someone who lives somewhere for a short period of time. How can you apply this mindset to your daily life? Do people see you as different because of your faith?
  4. Who is someone you can reach out to this week that needs a place to feel at home?  If you cannot think of anyone, pray that God will open your heart to someone.

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Philippians 3:20-21 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

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

Discuss the home-like qualities of your group. What shared interests draw you together?

How has God made you feel at home through your relationship with Jesus and other believers?


Engage the World Around Us

Where are you serving and how can you make being at Faith Promise feel like home to visitors and newcomers?

Where is an area in your community that you can engage with people who need a home? Think about physical, emotional, or spiritual homes.

Is there an organization that your group can assist that helps the homeless?


Expand God’s Kingdom

Having a safe space is essential to feeling at home. Can you be a safe space for someone? Who do you know who needs a safe space to openly communicate real problems? Reach out to them and share God’s real love!