Digging New Wells – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:

We as Promisors need to prepare the way for another movement of God now and for the next generation.

Discussion Starter:

With the beginning of summer right around the corner and all this talk of digging, share if you have plans to get out in your yard or even if you have plans to dig through and clean up your “stuff”!

Introduction:
In this week’s stand-alone message, Pastor challenged us to prepare the way for another movement of God, a revival! We desperately need this now and for the next generation. It is our responsibility to impart to the next generation truth and to teach them how to praise and worship God! We need to resurrect spiritual practices the enemy has tried to obscure such as: praise and worship, sacrifice, faith, valuing life and people, winning the lost, valuing marriage and family, studying His inerrant Word, trusting in His power and delivery, having a reverent fear of Him, prayer and fasting, and true repentance. We are to put God first in our lives, giving Him our best and our first not our last and our leftovers.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures:  Genesis 26:12-25, Proverbs 5:15, Proverbs 13:22a, Genesis 22:5, Acts 1:8, Luke 4:18-19

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Genesis 26:12-17 Isaac’s Philistine neighbors envied his wealth and tried to get him to leave their land by stopping up his wells, which were necessary in that area to succeed in the land. What is necessary for a Christian to “succeed” in this world? What is your definition of success?
  2. How does culture and the enemy “muddy your waters” and attempt to lure you away from God?
  3. How will you depend on God and His promised victory regardless of your circumstances?
  4. Read Genesis 26:18-25 Isaac continued to face conflict from his Philistine enemy as they followed him and confiscated his wells. Finally, he finally found peace and God’s blessing and named it Rehoboth (room). As Pastor taught us this week, the church is looking for something new; when what we really need is to dig again the old wells of spiritual practices that believers have depended on from the beginning.  Discuss these “old wells” that we need to re-open.
  5. God blessed Isaac and his patient, persistent faith. This is spiritually true for believers today.  In John 4:14, Christ promises to give those who place their faith in Him a well of living water that no one can obstruct.  Who has God placed in your life to share the refreshing truth about Him?  Will you boldly step out in faith as God directs you?
  6. What holds you back from sharing openly the truth about Jesus Christ?  How can your group pray for you as you ask for courage and opportunities to share?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Genesis 26:25 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: Revival starts first with ourselves; only then can it spread to those around us and then outward to the lost. From the various “wells” Pastor talked about, which spiritual practice will you resurrect or breathe new life into to start your own personal revival?

Getting to know them: In groups of 2 or 3, discuss ways you can encourage each other this week to grow spiritually. Some possibilities include setting aside a personal quiet time, scripture memorization, or journaling your reflections from daily Bible reading.

Getting to know Him: Choose a verse to memorize this week for encouragement. Consider Isaiah 40:31, Psalm 23:3, or Psalm 40:3. Touch base throughout the week, lift each other up in prayer and “encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Heb 10:25)


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: As Pastor has challenged us and motivated us to prepare for God to move in our hearts and in our church, will you as a group pray for each Promisor to have laser-focus on God, to hear His still small voice and to seek Him as we anticipate a Revival like none other? How can your group support this movement as we re-dig the wells of our Spiritual fathers and let the Living Water flow?

Engaging in Community/Engaging the World: Christ promises to give those who place their faith in Him a well of living water that no one can obstruct. We learned this week of Lina, who was on the brink of selling her 14-year-old daughter out of desperation and hunger, but the Lord provided a basket of food, thanks to the generosity of believers. How will you, in the power of the Holy Spirit, demonstrate that the body of Christ values the life and dignity of all people? Will you take that step and give back to God a portion from which He has given you to offer hope to this hungry and hurting world?


Expand God’s Kingdom

A pastor once said, “Revival is not the discovery of some new truth. It’s the rediscovery of the grand old truth of God’s power in and through the Cross.”  How will you rediscover these old but powerful truths and share them with this hurting and dying world? We must feel the urgency to pass this on to the next generation! Revival starts first with ourselves. Only then can it spread to those around us and then outward to the lost. Pray together as a group for revival to start within and for its ripple effect to touch those around you and spread to the far-reaches to save the lost.


Leader’s Notes

  1. Answers will vary but may include: putting God first and staying close to Him, studying His Word, and applying its truth, prayer, claiming His promises, surrounding yourself with other believers. Success is not in our advantages or possessions, but in contentment with God and wholehearted devotion to Him.
  2. Answers will vary.
  3. Answers will vary.
  4. The Word of God, prayer, praise and worship, faith, the power of the Spirit, sacrifice, and service.
  5. Answers will 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.

Illusions – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
Every human being is a part of a spiritual war, in which they are both the battleground and the prize. When someone trusts Christ, they have the power to flee temptations and see through Satan’s illusions.

Discussion Starter:
Do you remember the 2015 viral photo of the dress? Is it blue and black, or white and gold? Spoiler alert: the correct answer is blue and black. If you saw the dress as white and gold, how does it make you feel to realize that what you perceived was an incorrect illusion?

Introduction:
This week, Pastor Zac mentioned some of the tricks Satan uses, like distracting us from God with either pleasure or busyness. New believers who have just switched sides of the spiritual war need to understand that there are two distinct ways that we resist Satan, according to the Bible, which will be uncovered in this discussion. Can you think of a way that you’ve tried to resist sin and Satan in your own life? Don’t focus on what you were trying to resist, but how you were trying to resist it. If you can, write down your way of resisting on a small piece of paper for later.


Encounter God

A note to leaders: Please review the wealth of information in the Leader’s Notes at the bottom of the discussion guide.

Primary Scriptures:  1 Peter 1:8, 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, 1 Timothy 6:10-11, 1 Corinthians 6:18, 2 Timothy 2:22

Discussion Questions:

  1. The Bible says that Satan goes about “as a roaring lion.” Compare 1 Peter 5:8 to Revelation 5:5. Can you see how Satan’s actions show his lies and illusions at work?
  2. If someone were to come to you and say, “I don’t think God loves me or anyone,” how would you respond?
  3. If someone were to come to you with their lust and say, “I really want to commit adultery,” how would you respond?
  4. When you look at the scriptures above, do you see two basic ways to respond to the temptations and lies of Satan?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read James 5:13-20 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

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

Getting to know you: Facts and reasoning destroy Satan’s lies, because they cannot withstand much examination. Satan never has an argument—just fancy presentation. Lusts, however, cannot be reasoned with. You simply have to decide that you want something else more (for instance, God). In the Introduction, what were you resisting? A lust, or an ‘evil imagination’? And, importantly…how did you handle it? Did you give a counter-argument, or flee? Or did you try to do something else?

Getting to know them: In the interest of being ‘raw and real,’ share how you resisted with your group. And (buckle up!) share how that approach has worked out since then. Did that method of handling the problem lead to sliding back into that same spiritual problem, or did you experience victory?

Getting to know Him: God controls everything, including the temptations He allows us to face. In 1 Corinthians 10:13, we see that God also creates “a way to escape” with every temptation. Why would God would allow us to face temptation at all? Does it have something to say about how God intends to change us?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Be eager to greet people who just last week began to trust Christ and be transformed by Him. They need to know we’re thrilled to have them, and that they are in good company: we all struggle with the same things, and we’re all a mess. But most importantly, we all have the same Savior, and we want to help each other.

Engaging in Community: Find ways to talk about issues that are important to your neighbors and co-workers. They are all interested in, and even passionate about, all sorts of different things. Maybe social media has created an ‘illusion’ of enmity because you disagree about politics. Tear down the illusions, and sow God’s truth in your conversations.

Engaging the World: In some countries, people (wrongly) imagine that they do good when they murder Christian missionaries. So, pray for Christ’s missionaries to be safe and not to be discouraged. Scripture is clear that our prayers matter (James 5:16).


Expand God’s Kingdom

What is the best realization you’ve had about God lately? It can be anything at all — just something that makes you say “Wow, He really is amazing.” Can you think of how to share that one thought with someone, whether a fellow believer or not? Maybe a believer could use your realization as an encouragement, or maybe God can use that thought to nudge an unbeliever who is far away from Him just a little bit closer.


Leader’s Notes

  1. Jesus is the Lion of Judah, according to Revelation. 1 Peter 5:8 says that Satan walks around “AS” a lion.  He’s no lion.  He really wants to be like God, even though he’s definitely not.  (See Isaiah 14:14 for a glimpse at Satan’s ambition in this way.)Satan will try to convince people that he is God, when he is not. And Satan will try to convince them that he is to be feared, when only God should be feared.  And as a reminder, the lion that roars is not the lion that hunts.  Roaring lions scare the prey so that they run toward the hunters.
  2. The point of this question is to show how we, as Christians, are supposed to engage with evil reasoning.  No matter what kind of evil thoughts they are, if they are making false truth claims about reality that are opposed to God’s love, then we as believers are supposed to engage those ideas with truth.  The light of truth destroys terrible reasoning.The point of this particular question is to show how all of us, as believers, can instantly see how to try to make a cogent argument for God’s love of all mankind (even if we don’t give the best explanation ever, it still makes sense coming out of our mouths).All of this is in stark contrast to Question #3.
  3. The point of this question is to show that no matter what kind of argument you present, “But I want the object of my desire” never ever goes away.  If someone likes the taste of chocolate, you cannot convince them that they shouldn’t like the taste of chocolate.  That pleasure always exists, and you cannot reason with it.The only way to ‘escape’ a lust is to flee it (like Joseph did in Genesis 39), and instead run toward something else (like 2nd Timothy says).
  4. The point of questions 2, 3, and 4 is to show how there are two kinds of spiritual problems: Evil ideas, and animal lusts.  You have to fight evil ideas with the truth of scripture.  If you leave them alone, they fester and become a real problem for everyone.And you have to just run away from the lusts. If you engage them, it causes a huge problem for everyone.When you look at your own life, you can often see what happens when you try to fight lusts, or flee from evil thoughts (rather than confront them).  These questions are supposed to help bring out the two main kinds of problems, and the two main approaches to them. And hopefully, as a group leader, you can make it clear what happens when you try a solution that doesn’t match up with its problem.

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.

Easter 2019 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: Jesus passes the light from His life to us, so that we can have light and life again.

Discussion Starter: Discuss a big decision you’ve made that was easy because it was a clear “yes” or “no.”

Introduction: We were all born into a dark world, where pain and suffering are evident (even at an early age).  Any one who has ever held the mirror up to their own lives, observed their own problems, AND looked around at the pain and suffering of so many in this world, has asked: “God where are you?” or “Does a good, loving God really exist?”  This Easter we heard about God’s ultimate answer to the question of pain: the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  God’s one and only son, God Himself in human form, taking on Himself the most painful thing in all existence, sin (discord and separation from God).


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Romans 5:8, John 10:10, John 3:16, Romans 10:9-10

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does it mean to you personally that Jesus died for you?
  2. Read John 10:10 What has the enemy stolen (or tried to steal) from you?  What has Jesus given you in abundance?
  3. Jesus said he came to give us “life.”  What did He mean by that?  Read John 17:1-3
  4. How can your daily life change by knowing that, if you are a Christ-follower, you have already begun that eternal, abundant life?
  5. What is an area of pride or stubbornness in your life that keeps you from seeing and resting in Jesus’ light?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Romans 5:8 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

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

Getting to know you: How has God used the shared interest of this Group to show you that you are not alone in your suffering?

Getting to know them: How can your group reach out to each other between group meetings to encourage each other?

Getting to know Him: God uses the shared interest of this group to show you His love and light.  How can you and your group find others with this shared interest to show them the real love of God?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: How can you and your group suffer with those suffering at Faith Promise?

Engaging in Community: How can you and your group be a light in the dark places in your community?

Engaging the World: Find an area of the world that needs the light of Jesus. Or find a group that is already taking the light of Jesus to dark places.  Discuss how your group can partner with people or organizations around the world.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Come follow me as I follow Jesus.  This could be a terrifying statement to us.  However, it is one of the most effective, sincere ways to disciple others.  Find someone that God wants you to encourage, teach, and lead this way.


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.

 

Fearless Week 4 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
We are called to become fearless witnesses and share the real love of Jesus with those around us.

Discussion Starter:
Pastor Chris mentioned inviting people from his CrossFit class. Can you think of a time when you or someone you knew invited someone to church? Maybe you can remember when someone invited you to a church for the first time. How did that work out?

Introduction:
Life can feel pretty hopeless without the presence of Jesus Christ in our lives. This weekend we are studying a time in Israel’s history when God’s people were hopeless. They were starving and feeling pretty desperate. As we revisit this story, let’s think about the necessity of knowing Jesus and sharing Him with others.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: 2 Kings 6:24-7:16

Discussion Questions:

  1. Over and over throughout scripture we see God’s people taking things into their own hands. What are some ways we see the people handling their situation in this passage? What do we do when we are desperate? How do we attempt to solve our own problems?
  2. Who did the messenger to Elisha say was responsible for the disaster? Do you ever feel this way? How can we avoid misplacing blame?
  3. What are some of the ways we see God working to help the people?
  4. Is there anything significant about the group who found the abandoned Aramean camp? Have you ever felt that God could not use you? Why?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read 2 Kings 6:24-7:16 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: Many times we act independently instead of relying on God because of the fear it can take to trust God. As you are thinking of whom you can invite to Easter, what can you remember from this week’s discussion when fear moves into your mind?

Getting to know them: In your dyads and triads, discuss ways you can invite people you know to church this weekend. What are the hesitations or roadblocks that hinder you? What are some strategies for overcoming these blocks?

Getting to know Him: Choose a verse to memorize this week for encouragement. You might choose the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) or Matthew 19:26. Touch base through the week and lift each other up in prayer.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Since this week we are working towards inviting people to church for Easter week, let’s pray for our church family. Pray for all the volunteers who work to make so many Easter experiences available at all our campuses. Pray for strength and courage to invite, and pray that we hear amazing stories as God works through us to grow His Kingdom.

Engaging in Community: Who in your community will you bring to attend a Faith Promise Easter experience?

Engaging the World: This week we saw a story about our partnership in Nairobi. Pray for the children in this community and our other partners around the world. Pray that God’s love for the world would be visible through our actions and generosity in the world.


Expand God’s Kingdom

In addition to inviting friends and family to attend a Faith Promise experience, remember to invite them to your group to engage and spend time in His Word.


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.

 

Fearless Week 3 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
We are called to be fearless witnesses of Jesus Christ.

Discussion Starter:
When faced with a challenge, do you focus on the obstacles or the outcome?

Introduction:

The Christian life is not meant to be a solo endeavor. Christ created a community called the Church to help you on your journey of faith and to spread the gospel throughout the earth. At Faith Promise Church, we grow together and we tell them of Him.

Jesus’ death and resurrection gave Him power over sin and death. He gives us this same power through the Holy Spirit. We must live with our sights set on heaven. When we see those far from God, we must put aside our fears and talk to them. A fearless witness will see the power, the people, and proclaim with passion.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Acts 1:8 and Matthew 28:19-20

Discussion Questions:

Read the two primary scriptures.

  1. Pastor said that together these two scriptures reveal the heart of God for us. In your own words explain our mission as revealed in these verses.
  2. In Acts 1:8 Jesus promises to send His power in the form of the Holy Spirit. It is important to note the disciples had to wait for this power BEFORE being sent out as witness. Discuss why they could not go out in their own power.
  3. “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all of Judea, and Samaria, and to the end of the Earth.” Do you see any significance in the order of the locations listed? Where is the most immediate place for you to witness? How is your area of witness expanding? 
  4. It is easy to allow fear to keep us from sharing Christ with those far from God, on the other hand, it is easy to share about the things that excite us. What do you find exciting in your faith right now? What is God doing in your life? In your family? In your workplace? Go and share your good news!

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Acts 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.

Pray in your dyads and triads for eyes to see the people around you this week who are far from God. Pray for courage to share your faith with them.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  Have you taken the Next Steps class? Next Steps is your next step! 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 and the World: Have you invited anyone to one of the upcoming Easter services? If not begin praying for God to show you whom to invite. You can find digital invite cards here. One of the invite cards says, “sit with me.” Don’t just invite the friend to show up at church. Go out of your way to make sure they find your campus—you could even pick them up! Make sure they know where the restrooms are. If they have kids, show them where to get their kids signed in to fpKids. 


Expand God’s Kingdom

At Faith Promise we grow together and we tell them of Him. Being a Christ-follower is a journey. It is a journey not meant to be traveled alone. We are to pray for and encourage each other. We are to learn and grow together as we build relationships. We are called to be His witnesses. What type of witness is your life? Pray together, as a group, for God to help you to become a more fearless witness and to help each other grow in boldness.


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.

 

Fearless Week 2 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
When we’re fearless and we believe, it’s amazing what we will see.

Discussion Starter:
What is something courageous you have done or have seen someone do? What does it take to have courage?

Introduction:
Fear can make us believe some crazy things. It can play tricks on our minds. And, when we listen to fear, we miss what God has for us. The Gospel of Matthew is full of profound meaning. It concerns the most important issue of human life, faith in Jesus Christ. Peter certainly had faith, but at that moment in the storm, his faith was not yet solid. When the wind began to blow more strongly, Peter began to sink because he started listening to fear. It was not the wind that made Peter sink into the lake, but the lack of surrender of his faith. Peter’s faith had lacked one essential element—complete surrender to Christ, total trust in Him through the storm.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Matthew 14:22-33, Romans 10:13

Discussion Questions:
Read the two primary scriptures.

  1. Miracles often await us in storms. Too often, when a storm hits we “hunker down” until it passes or until God can get us out of it. What if God wants us there so that we can learn something? Or someone ELSE can learn something? In your storm, what is God saying? What would it look like if we embraced our storm, and instead of looking for a way out, we looked for a miracle within it? What is your miracle in your storm?
  2. Reread Matthew 14:28-29. When you are the most afraid, Jesus wants you to come to Him. Are you afraid of asking God to do something in your life? If so, what is it? Or are you afraid of what God wants you do to? Have you told God “no” before?
  3. Are you sitting in your boat, afraid to follow Jesus, truly surrender to Jesus, or tell others of Jesus? What’s your next step to get out of the boat?
  4. Fear holds us back from listening to God, learning what He is asking of us, and surrendering completely to the outcome. What is holding you back? What do you need to surrender?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Matthew 14:22-33 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 has been on overcoming fear of speaking to others about our faith. Practice your story in your small group. There are apps to help, such as 3 Circles: Life on Mission. Or you can look back on the Faith Promise website for our Storytellers series about how to share the gospel.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:
Have you invited anyone to visit your group? Make a plan of who to ask to your next meeting.

Engaging in Community and the World:
Have you asked anyone to church? Easter is soon. Take the Easter invitation cards and pass them out to neighbors, those in your life at school or work, etc. Personally invite people to join you at one of the services. If you want to invite a friend through text or email you can find digital invite cards here.


Expand God’s Kingdom

One of our Faith Promise values is “We tell them of Him.” Something we must understand is that we are to not only tell others of Him, but we must shepherd and take care of people. We should invite others to join us in our walk with Christ. Spiritual growth is intentional and should not be done alone. It is not enough to reach people with the message of Jesus Christ. We are also to make disciples of those around us. Discipleship is a process of helping others grow in their relationship with Christ. Who are you discipling?


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.