ALL iN Week 2 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
At Faith Promise, one of our values is We Grow Together. Acts 2:42 has the early believers going ALL iN (and growing together) with the apostle’s teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayer. As more Promisors go ALL iN (reading our ALL iN devotional book, preparing a personal growth plan, getting a word of the year, reading God’s word), we are planting the seeds of growth within our four walls and in our community. In this next season of planting, let’s prepare for a harvest of growth, a harvest of souls, and a harvest of real people with real problems adding to our number as we show them the real love of God.

Discussion Starter:
Stagnant means to be dull, unmoving, or sluggish. It comes from the Latin word meaning to form a pool of standing water. Have you ever tried to swim in a stagnant pool? Ever drink a Coke that has been sitting open and stagnant for a week? Has a part of your body “fallen asleep” after sitting unmoving for several hours?

Introduction:
Click on the picture below to watch with your group:


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Acts 2:42, Zephaniah 1:12, Luke 2:40, Luke 2:52, Luke 5:37-39

Discussion Questions:
Fellowship means to have an intimate sharing of one’s self with another. The original followers did not just do this in a social way. The word fellowship could be applied to their conversations, their prayers, their property, and their families. They were united in their feelings, interests, opinions, and their hopes of a blessed immortality.

  1. Who is your fellowship with? Who do you share intimate things with? Who lifts you up? Finding people in your life to do this can be difficult, but rewarding.
  2. Luke 2:40 and 2:52 talks about Jesus’ growth, not just physically but in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and all of the people. To be honest, are we surprised that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature as He grew into His ministry? But why don’t we expect, or even better, seek our own spiritual growth? We want to gain wisdom, but we expect it comes once a week from the stage. How are you gaining wisdom and seeking spiritual growth?
  3. Pastor says that opportunities, experiences, and miracles may be missed because we have wanted to stay in our old comfortable place. Are you more comfort-based than outcome-based? Do you want new or would you rather keep the old and comfortable? What are you stuck (and stagnant) with? Read Acts 2:42 and look at the 4 components (the apostle’s teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayer). Are any of these components stagnant in your life? How could you make them new?
  4. Have you stretched yourself with learning something new? What is something new you can start this year? A hobby? A Bible study? Serving somewhere? What can you teach someone that may be new to them? Look for ways to stretch yourself and someone else.

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Luke 5:37-39 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

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

Think about your answers to question 3. Pray for one another specifically about any stagnation in your lives. Pray that God would open your eyes to the growth potential of each member in your group. “Encourage each other and build each other up.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  Consider doing the Freedom Small Group curriculum in your current group or signing up to lead a new Freedom Group. Contact your Groups/Missions Pastor at your campus for more information.

Engaging in Community:  Going ALL iN is not just serving others inside our Faith Promise walls. We should serve, love, and share with those around us. Who comes to mind as you think of those in your life that may need to go ALL iN? Give them a devotional. Share your word of the year. Invite them to join you in your Bible reading plan.

Engaging the World:  Faith Promise has missionaries we support all around the world that are doing their best to go ALL iN, not only in their own lives, but in their global communities. Pray for them, their communities, and find out more about the many unreached areas of the world that need to hear about Jesus. Pick a missionary AND find an unreached area and pray for both every single day this week.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Zephaniah 1:12 says, “I will search with lanterns in Jerusalem’s darkest corners to punish those who sit complacent in their sins. They think the Lord will do nothing to them, either good or bad.”
This verse is pretty “in your face,” but necessary to understand that often, we have become complacent with the urgency of salvation. The Church body must understand we do not know the day of the Lord, and must be ready at all times.
Are you preparing your new wine skin for that day? What does that even mean to do? Do you feel an urgency to share the gospel with those in your life who don’t know Him?

ALL iN Week 1 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
God gives a clear foundation for church growth and life in Acts 2:42. If we, in our church, were to do the same things the early church did, we could well expect people around us to be changed into Christ-followers now, just like back then.

Discussion Starter:
When you hear the phrase “all in,” what picture comes to mind? Where do you see people “all in” in your life?

Introduction:
Watch the intro video together as a group:
ALL iN – Week 1 Introduction


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Acts 2:42, Psalm 51:12, Genesis 4:25, Jeremiah 33:3, Ephesians 3:20

Discussion Questions:

  1. The first component mentioned in Acts 2:42 is that all the other components were pursued all the time (“continued steadfastly”). Not just most days, or when it was convenient, or when they had extra time for it. Take a moment to think and discuss what you (personally) do every single day. What is it that you make sure that you do every day? Is it Netflix and YouTube? Or is it listening to God’s word, or spending time with other believers, or prayer? What have you been making sure gets some of your time every day?
  2. The second component mentioned is that the church was “in the apostles’ doctrine.” It doesn’t just mean that they were only listening to the apostles teach. (Although, they were doing that too—daily.) They were also living it out. They were struggling with it. They were taking what the apostles said and doing what they had learned from them. And remember: they saw lots of people around them get saved daily. So how much teaching do you take in? And how much do you live out? Your spiritual life is truly important. How does the time you spend listening to preaching compare to the time you spend watching the newest awesome Netflix show? And when you live it out, would someone like the writer of Acts say, “Oh yeah and that person was daily in the teachings of the apostles, too”?
  3. The third component mentioned is that the church was in fellowship with each other. Does your faith in Christ draw you towards others who have the same faith in Christ? Does your experience of repentance from dead works and faith toward God make you want to be around others with a similar experience? Who do you prefer to spend your time with, and why?
  4. The fourth component mentioned in Acts 2:42 is “breaking bread” together. That’s not just eating meals together (although it is that, too). It’s also re-enacting the last part of the Passover meal that Jesus shared with the disciples before he was crucified, also called “The Lord’s supper.” The church didn’t just have some casual social contact; they were together so much of the time that they would share meals. Their relationships with Jesus (and one other) were so close that this was a normal thing—for them. It was not the norm in their society. In fact, their society was much like ours. People had jobs and hobbies and went to the theater (their version of TV), and the same sorts of things we do today. So the question is: how different would you be willing to be, in order to be like the early church?
  5. The fifth and last component mentioned is that the church was in prayers. That is, they spent significant chunks of time talking to God and asking Him to change them and those around them. Have you spent much time this week in prayer? Our schedules can get quite busy. What takes priority in your daily list of things to do? Why does the stuff in your life happen in the order it does?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Acts 2 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: If your small group doesn’t look like the sort of church you see in Acts chapter 2, what is missing? Is there anything that you can think of that would make your small group a more closely-connected group of people that’s more like the Acts 2 church?

Getting to know Him:  When you think about that early church in Acts 2, what do you think was bringing them together? What made them want to be around each other so much? Do you think God, or His desire for His church, has changed at all? If so, why?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  Ask God how He can use you as He draws His church closer together. Is there anything you can help with so others can hear teaching, spend time with each other, eat together, or pray together?

Engaging in Community:  Is there anyone in your neighborhood (like next door, for example) who might need to hear about Jesus? If they notice you have frequent gatherings of people, it might be a great way to get to talk to them.

Engaging the World:  Prayer is without a doubt the most important thing we can do right now for the world.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Our theme verses for this year end with Acts 2:47, “And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.” We discussed four things this early church was doing. Sometimes we can be overwhelmed by a list of things to do. What is ONE thing you will do this week to be like the early church and expand God’s kingdom?


Leader’s Notes

Some of the questions are very pointed, and require serious self-reflection. But like Pastor Chris said, “we often want Pentecost’s power without Pentecost’s participation.” Talking about “dying to yourself” and “taking up your cross daily to follow Jesus” are not really fun, and do not compete well with HBO on the fun-scale.

However, you should be prepared for some people to leave your small groups if you lift up Christ. Some people will love him, and some people will hate him. But if some people leave, then that is actually a good thing. It demonstrates that they were unbelievers that were actually holding back God’s awesome power (1st John 2:19, Matthew 13:58).

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.

God’s Story – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: Every moment of time has told and is telling God’s story.  The whole Bible is His story and every one of us was always planned to be a part of it.

Discussion Starter: If you could visit any time and place in history when and where would you go?

Introduction: This week, Pastor Chris takes us through most of recorded, Biblical history to illuminate how God has revealed himself and compels us to step into God’s plan for us.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: 2 Timothy 2:15, Galatians 4:4, Romans 6:23, Romans 10: 9-10

Discussion Questions:

  1. What do you think is one of the most fascinating stories in the Bible?  What does it tell you about God?
  2. Pastor Chris mentioned that after the book of Malachi, God was silent for 400 years, and he pointed out that we should not mistake God’s silence as inactivity.  Is there an area in your life where you are waiting to hear from God?  If so, how can you be encouraged to know that His silence doesn’t mean He isn’t doing anything?
  3. Read Galatians 4:4 This verse shows us a glimpse into God’s plans and timing.  Discuss some of the obstacles to waiting on God’s timing and plans.
  4. Pastor Chris said that Jesus’ birth and humble beginning was not poverty, but prophecy.  The circumstances of Jesus’ birth were part of God’s plans from the beginning.  Discuss how God can and is working in your current circumstances.   Meditate on Romans 8:26-29.

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Romans 10:10 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:  Discuss how you see your part in God’s story.  Encourage someone in the group as to what you see as their part in His story.

Getting to know Him:  What do you think is one of the most interesting stories from the Bible and how does it reveal God’s character?  If you’re not sure of one, what do you think is one of the most interesting of God’s attributes? For example, 3 of God’s attributes are that He is infinite, transcendent, and personal.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  The Christmas season always provides many opportunities to serve at Faith Promise.  Visit the Information area at your campus if you aren’t sure of the opportunities.

Engaging in Community:  This time of year there are also many opportunities in the community.  Don’t forget about the group that we partnered with over the summer, Serve Day.  Click here for some of their great ideas on how to engage your community.

Engaging the World:  Visit the Missions Spot at your campus to get information on our international missionaries and find out how you can partner with them in their efforts abroad.  Also consider sending them an encouraging Christmas card.


Expand God’s Kingdom

This season is one where many are naturally more drawn to the church.  Find someone who needs help with their next step. Talk to a stranger in the lobby  and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you and your conversations, seeking to encourage and grow them.

Go Global – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
Our mission is to share the real love of Christ with people in Knoxville, East Tennessee, the United States, and around the world.

Discussion Starter: 
Have you ever been on a mission trip? If so, share your experience. If not, what intrigues, excites, or scares you about participating in a mission trip?

Introduction:
This week we heard from some of Faith Promise’s global mission teams and partners around the world. How can you support them in fulfilling Jesus’ charge in Mark 16:15 to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation?”

Watch this short video with your group.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Mark 16:15, Ephesians 4:11-15

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Mark 16:15. How did you go and make disciples in 2019? How will you go and make disciples in 2020?
  2. Read Ephesians 4:11-15. Do you see yourself in the list of people in these verses? How have pastors, teachers, and evangelists equipped you for God’s service?
  3. What tools can we use to become “mature” as it says in verses 13 and 15?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Ephesians 4:11-15 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:  How are you doing as Christmas approaches? Are you excited? Stressed? Sick? Grieving? How can we pray for each other?

Getting to know Him:  Work on memorizing Ephesians 4:11-13 as a group. Pray that we may reach unity in the faith and attain the whole measure of fullness in Christ.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  We discussed how God blessed us and used pastors, teachers, and evangelists to equip us. Send a note of thanks to someone at your campus who has equipped you for God’s work.

Engaging in Community:  Going into “all the world” starts with going into our communities. This time of year there are many opportunities to serve and love people in Jesus name. Sign up to volunteer for All is Bright and view our other local ministry partners here.

Engaging the World:  Commit to pray regularly for your campus missionary. Some groups commit to support their missionary financially through regular group offerings.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Christmas is a time of year when many people are looking for hope. This season can be difficult for those grieving the loss of a loved one or the loss of a relationship. Give the gift of your time this holiday season. Ask how people are, and really listen to their answer. Share how Christ has been a light in your life.

Giant Sized Faith – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
God’s promises to bless us, but God’s blessing always involves us changing.

Discussion Starter:
Charles Blondin was an amazing tightrope walker. In the 1860s, he crossed Niagara Falls multiple times in front of crowds…but he wouldn’t only walk across. Sometimes he would cross on a bicycle, or on stilts, or even blindfolded, or with a wheelbarrow full of potatoes. Crowds would cheer and praise him for his ability. One time, he famously asked the crowd if they thought he could push a person across in the wheelbarrow. The crowd roared with agreement, “Yes, you can! We know you can!” Then Charles asked for someone to get in his wheelbarrow. Nobody did.

Did those people in the crowd really believe he could do it? And how good would Charles have to be for you to get in his wheelbarrow? (Some people wouldn’t go, no matter what, and that’s fine!)

Introduction:
This week guest speaker Hallerin Hilton Hill preached about giant sized faith using the story of the call of Abram. What size is our faith, and how can we make it grow even bigger?

Watch this short video with your group.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Genesis 12:2-3, Hebrews 11:8-19, James 1:22-25

Discussion Questions:

  1. According to Genesis 12:2-3, who did God intend to bless?
  2. When God says who He intends to bless in Genesis 12:3, is the focus on the past, the present, or the future? Why would God’s focus be there?
  3. He also says that all families of the earth will be blessed through Abraham. We are to go not just to receive a blessing but to BE a blessing. How are you a blessing to others?
  4. In James 1:22-25, James talks about not being a forgetful hearer, but a doer of what God has said. Plenty of people say they ‘believe God.’ But God knows what is in our hearts. When He asked Abram to leave Haran, Abram went. But when Jesus asked the rich young ruler to follow Him, that guy went away sad (Mark 10:22). What you do shows what you believe. Not many people got in Charles Blondin’s wheelbarrow, because those people didn’t trust him enough. And they were probably right to be cautious; Charles was a mortal man who was just one badly-timed sneeze away from the end of his career. So…what do your actions reveal about what you think of God?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, read Hebrews 11:8-13 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:  What is one promise that God has made that you are particularly excited about? Don’t be shy about sharing! The things you care most about define who you are.

Getting to know Him:   What do you see God doing in Knoxville right now? How have you noticed Him actively keeping the promise He made in John 12:32 (“I will draw all people to me”)?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  How can you be a blessing to others at Faith Promise? Have you become friends with someone who needs your help, and the love of God?

Engaging in Community:  Christmas is a very difficult time of year for a great many people. A huge number of homeless people live under the bridge downtown. Those people can always use more warm clothes (especially socks), and maybe a Bible! But maybe your group can think of a way to help that nobody else has thought of yet?

Engaging the World:  There are literal riots and police beatings happening in many countries around the world, right now (e.g. Hong Kong). Many people are being beaten and killed for present-day political freedom. Please join us in prayer that many people will repent, and that God will use these tragedies to cause people to look for that city that is to come, like Abraham.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Paul is very clear that the Kingdom of God is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17). Does your life spread those things? Are you actively cultivating those things in your life with Bible study, prayer, and fasting? Are you being discipled, or discipling someone else? If not, why not? At Faith Promise, there are certainly people eager to do both of those. Surely you can find someone!


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.