A Christmas Spectacular!

Getting Started

Main Idea:
God came to Earth 2000 years ago to seek and save what was lost—you and me.

Discussion Starter:
Have you ever lost something that you still wish to this day you hadn’t?

Introduction:
This week, our creative team at FP treated us to a wonderful presentation of the gospel. Maybe this is just an old story that you’ve heard more times than you can remember, or maybe Christmas is a just a family tradition passed down in your family for generations. For some, this season is simply a time of the year when we all try to be a little better to each other. But we believe Christmas is a little bit more. We believe that 2000 years ago, God really did come to Earth in the most scandalous way to seek and save what was lost—you and me. At Faith Promise, we are all about helping real people with real problems find the real love of Jesus Christ. We believe that only Jesus’ love can satisfy our souls and our longings to belong. We believe His forgiveness and grace are the only remedy for shame and guilt. And we believe His sacrifice, death, and resurrection are the only way to true and lasting hope. God is the God of of new beginnings; with whom will you share the good news of Jesus Christ?


Encounter God

Primary Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12

Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the different players in this passage and their respective responses to the birth of Jesus.
  2. How do people today respond to Jesus? What is your response? As Christ followers, how are we to interact with unbelievers?
  3. What do you learn about worship from the Magi?
  4. The Christmas story is not about presents; it is about the ever-present God with us: Immanuel. Read John 14:16-17. Not only is God with us, but He is also in us. How will you spend your time this Christmas season in concentrated and prayerful worship of the Savior? What one thing can you do this week to make sure you connect with God?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Matthew 2:1-12 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore a how Christ followers are to follow and worship Jesus.


Embrace Others

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

This week, our focus was the amazing gift of Jesus. In small groups of 2 or 3, discuss and encourage one another on how following and worshiping Jesus is the only lasting source of hope and satisfaction.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Romans 12:1 exhorts believers in this way: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship.” Pray as a group to explore ways you can step out in faith as God calls you to serve our church family as an act of worship.

Engaging in Community and in the World: God called each of us out of darkness and saved us by giving us the gift of faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. How will you share the Good News of Jesus Christ to a hurting and dying world? Step out in faith and share the only lasting source of hope and satisfaction.


Expand God’s Kingdom

William Booth (1829-1912), the founder of the Salvation Army, predicted: “The chief danger that confronts the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, heaven without hell.” How will you step out in faith, humility and compassion and share the truth of the gospel—the good news found only in Jesus Christ?


Leader’s Notes

  1. Magi: wanted to worship the King of the Jews. Herod: disturbed; asked scholars where the Christ was to be born; claimed (but lied) that he wanted to worship the Christ. “All Jerusalem”: disturbed but indifferent (Bethlehem is only 6 miles from Jerusalem!); did not seek Jesus. Scribes: also indifferent but filled with knowledge; did not seek Jesus.
  2. Many are disturbed, even some are outright hostile towards Him. Christ followers are to love our enemies. We are to stand courageously for biblical truth; however, we must do so with gracious compassion. We are not to condemn others that do not live according to the Bible, but we are to intercede for them and ask Jesus to give us His heart for them. When we have established a relationship with others, we are able to engage them and lead them to Christ.
  3. They were purposeful and the first to worship Christ. They traveled many miles and dropped everything to find Jesus. They were overjoyed, bowed down in worship and gave Him their most costly possessions. After their encounter with Him, they left a different way. Jesus is worthy of our all, our complete submission and praise, regardless of our circumstances. This is our source of lasting and pure joy. Whoever encounters Jesus never leaves the same. They are a new creation! True encounters with Jesus change the course and direction of our lives.
  4. 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.

 

Revival Week 2 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: Putting revival and eternity back in the forefront of our hearts and minds

Discussion Starter: Have you or anyone you know ever gone to a white tent revival?  What do you think of when someone starts speaking about revival?

Introduction: This Sunday Pastor Chris discusses attitudes or mindsets that the church needs to embody in order to set us up for revival. With the directive of not grieving the Holy Spirit and carrying out the 3 “attitudes of revival,” comes a significant adjustment to some if not all our lives.

Watch this brief intro together with your group (click picture below):


Encounter God

Primary Scripture: Ephesians 4:30-32, Matthew 6:14-15, Hebrews 12:15, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19, 2 Corinthians 9:6-13, 1 john 1:9, Matthew 7:8-11

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the three attitudes of revival that can be found in these scriptures? Even if you have not seen this weekend’s sermon, what common themes should we be implementing in our lives from these verses?

2. What happens to us when we are not practicing these attitudes?

3. What does it mean to grieve the Holy Spirit?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Ephesians 4:32 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

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

1. Getting to know you- Reflect back on the 3 “attitudes of revival.” You can discuss with your group or just think to yourselves, which of these is your strongest? Which of these attitudes should you work on this week?

2. Getting to know them- This week keep a gratitude list where you write at least 3 things you are grateful for every morning and bring it to our next week’s small group to share some of the gratitude’s and how the practice of focusing on them every morning helped to shape your week and your mindset.

3. Getting to know God- What are some accountability actions you and your small group can do this week to help each other remember to keep revival and eternity in the forefront of your mind?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Pray for revival within your  group.

Engaging in Community: Pray for revival in your community. Remember that these were promises that God gave to His people, so in order to have revival we must share God’s real love and people must turn to Him.

Engaging the World: Pray that Faith Promise missionaries around the world would experience revival in their communities.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Who can you share this message with 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.

Launchpad Week 2 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started 

Main Idea: A launch pad is the foundation for a successful liftoff and a stabilizing start for the mission.

Discussion Starter: At the beginning of each year, many of us set goals. Since we are almost half way through the year, are there any goals you set that you have already accomplished? Is there something you would like to accomplish before the end of the year?

Introduction: This week Michele walked us through the story of Ruth, showing us how families are the launch pad that ignites and transforms the next generation for a successful liftoff.


Encounter God

Primary Scripture: The Book of Ruth

Discussion Questions:
1. Deuteronomy 6:4-6 has become known as the Shema. In fact, in Hebrew, the first word of verse 4 is “shema,” literally translated in English to “listen”. However, Timothy Mackie points out that more accurately “in Hebrew, listening and doing are two sides of the same coin.” How can you more fully listen to God and do what He asks?

2. Michele said that Naomi thought the mission was scrubbed when she released her daughters-in-law. Has there been a time when you felt there was no hope? How did God bring you out of that? Or if you feel hopeless now, how can those around you help carry that burden and show you God’s hope and future for you?

3. How does your biological and church family act as a stabilizing launchpad for you?

4. Boaz called Naomi a “woman of noble character”. Read Proverbs 31:10-31. How can you move closer to the characteristics in this scripture? Or how can you support the women in your life to move closer to these characteristics?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Ruth 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.
Discuss how God is at work in the ordinary and mundane details in our lives.


Engage the World Around Us

Naomi and Ruth were able to harvest because Boaz practiced grace extended to foreigners, orphans, and widows as outlined in Deuteronomy 24:19-22. God does not put caveats on whether someone from these 3 groups “deserves” grace and help. He does not say that we only offer help to foreigners if they have some sort of secular legal standing or pick a political side about the social benefits programs that orphans and widows receive.

Discuss how you can Embrace the world around you by making grace and love top priorities; at Faith Promise, in your community, and in the world at large.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Read Matthew 12:46-50. How can you help your brothers and sisters do the will of God?


Leader’s Notes

ALL groups at Faith Promise should follow Jesus Christ and lead others to do the same. Below are the marks of a growing follower and disciple of Jesus.

– A follower of Jesus desires to encounter God through the deeper study and application of God’s Word.

– A follower of Jesus embraces people and values relationships on a deeper level so everyone can grow together.

– A follower of Jesus engages and serves the world around them and in their community, through local partners or God-directed opportunities.

– A follower of Jesus expands God’s Kingdom through development and multiplication of disciple-makers, possibly to lead more groups at Faith Promise.

 

Like a Boss Week 2 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

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

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

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


Encounter God

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

Discussion Questions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Embrace Others

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

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

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

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


Engaging the world

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

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


Expanding God’s Kingdom

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


Leader’s Notes

ALL groups at Faith Promise should follow Jesus Christ and lead others to do the same. Below are the marks of a growing follower and disciple of Jesus.

– A follower of Jesus desires to encounter God through the deeper study and application of God’s Word.

– A follower of Jesus embraces people and values relationships on a deeper level so everyone can grow together.

– A follower of Jesus engages and serves the world around them and in their community, through local partners or God-directed opportunities.

– A follower of Jesus expands God’s Kingdom through development and multiplication of disciple-makers, possibly to lead more groups at Faith Promise.

Real People, Real Problems, Real Love Week 2 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
This weekend Pastor Chris challenged us to abide in the vine and remain wrapped up and wrapped in His love. He encouraged Promisors to consider how much God gave through His Son Jesus Christ with how much we are willing to give to others.

Discussion Starter:
Share a recent struggle you experienced and who God used to help you through it. Even knowing how important a role others play in our lives and how God can use them, why is it still so hard to become involved in the problems of people around us?

Introduction:
This week we will discuss how being real people, people of authentic faith, requires we step into the real problems of the world and the people all around us through the giving of ourselves through God’s sustaining power and grace.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures:  John 15:1-17

Discussion Questions:
1. In verses 1-2, what is the difference between being a cut off vine and one which is being pruned? How does being cut off affect our desire and capacity to give?

2. In verse 5, Jesus tells us we are the branches and can bear much fruit by remaining in Him. How have you experienced this? Share this experience.

3. When Jesus tells us in verse 13 to lay down our lives for friends, what is He really saying? How can we sacrifice for people in our everyday lives?

4. Pastor Chris listed three expenses of loving people: time, tears, and trouble. Which of these is hardest for you? Why? How do you handle it?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read John 15:1-17 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore how to be authentic in our relationships and our faith.


Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into dyads or triads during this time.

Getting together better:
In your dyad or triad commit to connect with each other this week through a common interest or shared hobby. Commit to pray for each other or with each other about a specific real problem this week.

Getting to know Him better together:
Use the above opportunity to challenge and encourage one another with what was discussed in group this week and share any stories of progress or “God at work” (perhaps look up other Scripture that tell us how to “remain” in Him).

 


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:
Choose a fpStaff member or fpVolunteer leader to encourage in their ministry as an act of service and thanks.

Engaging in Community:
Commit to connect and serve the community in solving a real problem (this does not have to be elaborate, choose something simple – i.e. buy the teachers at a local public school donuts for breakfast, etc.) this week or month.

Engaging the World:
Begin now to consider how you and your group, dyad, or triad will sponsor a Compassion International child (for more details, check out https://cts.compassion.com/events/807)


Expand God’s Kingdom

In your dyad or triad discuss the possibilities of leading or hosting your own Group. What are some obstacles in your path? Pray for God to remove those and begin to ask Him to show what is your next step towards making room for more people to find God’s real love through the loving community of an fpGroup.


Leader’s Notes

For the Discussion Starter, be careful that the discussion does not descend into gossip. We can share negative experiences and learn from them without sharing names.

Be familiar with John 15:1-17 or watch the message online again prior to group.

E-Groups
– Encounter Groups: the primary focus of Encounter Groups is the deeper study and application of God’s Word.

– Embrace Groups: the primary focus of Embrace Groups is making friends and being friends on a deeper level.

– Engage Groups: the primary focus of Engage Groups is serving the people of our area through our local partners and through God-directed opportunities.

– Expand Groups: the primary focus of Expand Groups is the development and multiplication of disciple-makers to lead more groups at Faith Promise.