Mind Monsters Week 2 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

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

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

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


Encounter God

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

Discussion Questions:

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

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


Embrace Others

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

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


Engage the World Around Us

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

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

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


Expand God’s Kingdom

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


Leader’s Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Mind Monsters Week 1- Discussion Guide

Getting Started

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

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

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


Encounter God

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

Discussion Questions:

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

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


Embrace Others

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

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

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

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


Engage the World Around Us

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

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

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


Expand God’s Kingdom

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


Leader’s Notes

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

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

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

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

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

From Discouraged to Encouraged – Mexico Mission Trip 2019

During the entire mission trip, I knew that confidence was a major element that mattered. I did my best on spreading this message to others, but no message compared to the 4thday. Mid mission trip , it was extended worship, an event B2B (Back 2 Back) has every year. It is a gathering of everyone at B2B to come together, worship, encourage, and let go of past mistakes.  During that night I chose to go around encouraging my entire group by telling them that God had something in store for them, and that he would give them a purpose for coming. The day after, Jed (A leader for B2B) told everyone that they were supporting characters of God. It felt far beyond my comprehension. I saw this statement as yet another way to encourage others, and myself. I considered it as my picture for the entire trip. I knew that the end of the trip was nearing, and some people could have felt discouraged, yet what Jed told them will possibly give them the support of a lifetime. If they did not know such a thing, then where would they be now?

From Discouraged to Encouraged- Blog by Randy Kercher (Edited by Daisy Kercher)

Perspectives on Possessions – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

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

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

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


Encounter God

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

Discussion Questions:

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

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


Embrace Others

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

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

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

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


Engage the World Around Us

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

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

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


Expand God’s Kingdom

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


Leader’s Notes

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

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

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

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

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

 

Follow the Filling – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

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

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

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

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


Encounter God

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

Discussion Questions:

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

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Revelation 21:1-4 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

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

What are some fears you have about putting God first? Are you pursuing proximity to something other than God?


Engage the World Around Us

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

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

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


Expand God’s Kingdom

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


Leader’s Notes

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

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

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

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

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

 

Intern Missionary to Jamaica shares her experience.

Last year when I graduated high school, I decided to go on a mission trip instead of a senior trip. When my Mom and I visited the missions spot at the FP Blount Campus, we found out about an opportunity to travel to and serve a deaf community in Jamaica.  Since sign language is important to both of us and has been used in our family for years, we began seeking God’s will and praying over it.  Thankfully, over time, God showed his favor on us, provided, and sent us to Jamaica in June of 2018.

During my time in Jamaica, I fell deeper in love with sign language, the deaf culture, and the deaf community.  God developed in me a heart for the Jamaican deaf and the country itself.  He taught me many things and I left with a desire to return the following year.  I went to college in the fall and began saving money, but I didn’t have any plans set in place.  When I heard someone mention an international internship God brought Dana to my mind; Dana is a short term missionary I met during my week in Jamaica.   She served alongside the Faith Promise Mission Team and she lived alongside the Jamaican Deaf and missionaries.  I took my desire to return to Jamaica as a Short Term Missionary (STM) to God and began praying about it.  I contacted Mr. Ben Beukema, a friend of mine who is also the president of CCCD’s (Christian Center for the Deaf) stateside office, and one of the missionaries Faith Promise supports.  He directed me to his wife, Mrs. Krista Beukema, who is also a missionary.  Mrs. Krista guided me through the application process and I obtained recommendation letters from core members of the Blount Campus.  God had his hand on it the whole time and I was granted permission from CCCD to become a STM/intern at their campus in Kingston, Jamaica during May and June of 2019.  Then, through a time of waiting and God teaching me, God provided me with the finances for my trip.  Not only did he provide me the $2,700 I thought I needed, but he provided me with an extra $600.  I used this money to cover unexpected expenses and, once in Jamaica, buy wheelbarrows and shovels for the deaf village.

The very first donation I received to cover these expenses was from Faith Promise Church.  The church made a significant contribution towards my mission trip.  It confirmed to me that it was God’s will for me to serve in Jamaica and live alongside the deaf community at the Kingston campus.  I am very grateful to those who helped make this possible.  Many people have believed in me and prayed for me.  I would not be the person I am today had it not been for individuals within the church body at Faith Promise.  God has used you all in my life and I am sure he will continue working through you to encourage me, to teach me, and to remind me of his love for me.  Thank you for your impact.

While in Kingston, I lived on the campus of one of CCCD’s boarding schools. For the first couple of weeks I served as a teacher’s assistant.  This experience taught me important aspects of the teaching profession, which I will apply to my education major in college.  After a few weeks, my role changed to serving as a bridge between visiting mission teams and the campus, the children, the culture, sign language, etc.  However, the impact is not as much through the things I accomplished as it is through the relationships I made and cultivated.  I value the people I met and the lessons God continues to teach me through these relationships.  I want to tell you about two relationships of the relationships I made during my time in Jamaica.

When I went to Jamaica in 2018, I made several friends at the Jamaican Deaf Village.  Calva and I became friends early on during this mission trip.  He sat and had hour long conversations with me and taught me a lot of sign language.  He is a very good and patient teacher.  We were able to learn about one another and enjoy each other’s company.  Just about every evening, Calva, other deaf at Jamaica Village and our own team, would play card games and dominos.  When I got back to the states, Calva and I found each other on social media and have kept in touch all throughout this past year. We messaged each other several times a month and video chatted a few times as well.  I was grateful to have the opportunity to visit JDV for a week during my recent trip this summer.  When I arrived, Calva and I found each other and it was a happy reunion.  I am very thankful for the friendship Calva and I share and that we’re able to keep in touch.  Our contact with one another throughout the year keeps our friendship alive. It’s an amazing thing to see my friend after being a year apart.

On the Kingston campus, there are around 30 students attending the CCCD school. Their ages range from 6 to 20.  Throughout my time on campus, I did life with these students.  We ate, played games, went on field trips, learned, and talked together.  I got to know several of these kids.  My relationships with them varied in their depth and in their roles.  To some of them, I was their friend.  This was the case with a little boy named Martino.  Martino is a sweet boy around the age of 8.  He loves to play with cars and his friends.  He and two other young boys, Jamie and Nathaniel, are referred to as the three stooges or the three musketeers.  One of their chores was to take trash to the dumpster.  One day, when it was their turn to do their chores, all three of them loaded bags into wheel barrels and then raced them across campus to the dumpster. It was a very funny to watch. Throughout the whole thing, Martino held his nose a little in the air.  It’s one of his cute little quirks; he tilts his head back just a little like he’s trying to see over his nose.  I have no idea why he does it but it’s funny to watch when he does it while racing a wheel barrow.  There were many times when Martino would come sit beside me and lean up against me.  He has a kind heart and would give hugs while smiling great big.  He drew me pictures and colored coloring pages (all of which I’ve kept.)  I love him and our relationship continues to bring me joy.  I intend to write letters and keep in touch with him and several other students.

I could write about several more relationships I’ve made with children and adults alike.  They’re allspecial to me and I cherish them. I hope to continue and always remember these friendships.  Relationships are where memories are made and it’s where God moves.  It’s important not to underestimate the impact relationships make, on all of those involved.

I have found that God gives us a heart and a passion for a people, place, and/or language.  This certainly reigns true in my life.  God continues to open doors and invite me to walk through them.  I’m not sure what God has in store for me next. But I’m excited to see what he does next because I know it’s going to be incredible.  I ask you all to pray that he guides me and reminds me of his promises for my life.  I want to walk with him and I want to walk in his love.

There is a lot of value in mission trips, but we can also do missions work where we are right now.  Our jobs, the grocery store, the local shelters; everywhere around us is our mission field.  God can use even the simplest conversations we have with the people we encounter every day. I challenge you to start a conversation with a stranger or ask your waiter how you can pray for him.  God will use it to touch that person’s heart and show them his love; and he’ll do the same for you.

Thank you for loving me church and thank you for believing in God’s work in my life.  I appreciate you all.  Y’all stay blessed.

-Ally Rey Carpenter