I am Faith Promise Week 5 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
When we tell them of Him, we create ripples of hope.

Discussion Starter:
Have you ever realized after hanging out with friends that you missed an opportunity to talk about how Jesus did something in your life? Did that realization make a difference for you?

Introduction:
Jesus and His disciples and Paul set examples of how to be witnesses in everyday life. Talking to people about Jesus and inviting them to accept Him isn’t just a church thing. As forgiven believers we are instructed to tell people what a difference Jesus makes as we go about our daily lives. We should also live in such a way that our family, friends and neighbors can see a difference between us and nonbelievers. We can create opportunities to tell them of Him by our lifestyle.


Encounter God

Primary Scripture: Acts 1:4-8

Discussion Questions:
1. Jesus told His disciples they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit, yet scripture does not record them asking any questions about that process. How would you have reacted to news of the Holy Spirit? What was the focus of the disciples?

2. Read Matthew 28:18-20. Jesus told his disciples to go, make disciples, baptize, and teach. Which of these commands would be the most challenging for you?

3. Read the 6 scriptures that were listed on screen (Romans 3:23, Rom. 6:23, Rom. 5:8, Ephesians 2:8-9, Rom. 10:9-10, Revelation 3:20). Divide the 6 passages among 6 people. (These are called the Plan of Salvation) Have each person tell what the verse says to them.

4. Read I Peter 3:15. Each of us should always be ready to tell about how Jesus works in our lives. Can you do that? Remember that no one can dispute your experience.

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read through the Plan of Salvation verses (Romans 3:23, Rom. 6:23, Rom. 5:8, Ephesians 2:8-9, Rom. 10:9-10, Revelation 3:20) and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the verses.


Embrace Others

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

Read I Peter 3:15. How can you “sanctify Christ as Lord in your heart?” How can you help your group members do this?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Do you have opportunities in your ministry to tell people of Jesus and of the most recent experience you’ve had with Him?

Engaging in Community: What can your group do to tell your neighborhood about Jesus?

Engaging the World: Prayerfully consider going on one of Faith Promise’s mission trips. If you’ve already been, how did the trip change you?


Expand God’s Kingdom

The Faith Promise core value we are looking at this week is “We Tell Them of Him.” When was the first time you ever told someone what Jesus means to you or what He has done in your life? If you never have talked about Jesus, why not?


Leader’s Notes

In Embrace Others, the word “sanctify” from I Peter 3:15 means “to declare that something (anything) belongs to God.”

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.

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I am Faith Promise Week 4 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
When we give generously, we respond to God’s real love.

Discussion Starter:
At some point we have all received a gift we didn’t really want or like. What is the most unique or unwanted gift you have ever received?

Introduction:
We have become confused with the meaning of giving in a generous manner. Most people falsely assume generous giving consists of a large amount of money. God’s sees what the heart gives, not just what the hand gives. God is more interested in our motives for giving than in the amount we give.


Encounter God

Primary Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Discussion Questions:
1. We have all heard “God loves a cheerful giver”, what exactly do you think of when you hear “cheerful giver”?

2. Paul uses a farming illustration to make his point about giving. When sowing seed if it is sown bountifully, then the harvest is bountiful. What does Paul mean by this statement?

3. Discuss how our motives for giving are more important to God than the amount we give.

4. How does being a cheerful and generous giver show the real love of God to others, especially those that are not yet Christ-followers?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

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

How can God’s excessive love creating generosity in His followers have an impact on your group? Do you know anyone in need who could benefit from your group’s generosity?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Find an area of service at Faith Promise where you can give of your time and talent.

Engaging in Community: Find an area in your community where your group can demonstrate God’s generous love through service.

Engaging the World: How can you as a group demonstrate being cheerful givers in all that you do?


Expand God’s Kingdom

Too many people feel churches only talk about money. Pastor mentioned a quote from John MacArthur, “God sees the ‘heart gift’ and not the ‘hand gift.’” Brainstorm about ways your group can be “heart givers” and show others what it truly means to be a joyous and cheerful giver: one who gives out of abundant love.


Leader’s Notes

1. Although this is an opinion question, let’s focus on what Pastor pointed out to us. Cheerful is translated from the Greek hilaros, from which we also get the English word hilarious. Generous people are therefore happy, joyous givers that count it a privilege to give.

2. He is NOT talking giving to get more in return. We give in response to God’s generosity, especially His giving of His son for us. God made His love known through giving His son and not through giving of money.

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.

 

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God’s Got Me

On the first week of June, I had the opportunity to go serve on a mission trip with my church to Monterrey Mexico. During the week, I was also a small group leader for some middle school girls. I am still in the midst of a hard time and going to Mexico really opened my eyes. I have severe anxiety and depression, and am currently working on getting my medication right. It has been really rough having to try and try to get better but still feel the exact same way the whole time. I continued to tell my girls my story and God’s truth. However I couldn’t help but feel so unloved by God, so uncared for. I continued feeling tired and depressed throughout the week, but continued praying and sharing my story with the girls.

Then, I had the opportunity to go and serve at a children’s home there in Monterrey. There, I came across an 8 year old child that I had met the year before. He and I would play and play and play whatever he wanted. We would constantly switch gears and play another game about every 5 or 6 minutes. But God opened my eyes as I looked at this child. I knew he was so loved by God. Even during this tough time in his life. And I looked in his precious eyes and saw his smile, he was so happy and thankful. I got one of our people on our team to translate and tell him that God loves him and has a plan for his life. He just nodded and kind of put me off. He told me that he knows, but I didn’t believe him. I wanted him to see how much he is loved. If I knew this orphan was loved by God during his tough time, then the same should be for me.

The boy took me up to the playhouse and we sat on the top and looked up at the sky for a long time. I reflected as I laid there with him….A boy about my age reading to the kids in Spanish was truly amazing, our team was getting some construction work done for the home, the night before was worship, where I lifted my hands and felt his presence, and I could feel it again here with this child. Then, I felt the boy hug me tightly and I knew it was God telling me “I got you” and that’s why I know I have to go back.

– By Callie Holland, Age 14

Awareness

Through all the large group discussions and small group discussions in Monterrey a theme continued to ring throughout, “be aware”. Aware of the needs around me, aware of what God is telling me, aware of the big picture in my life. It is easy in the states to be bogged down by “stuff”. Work, responsibilities, by life in general, all these things distract us from what God wants in our lives. When all that is taken away and you are in a foreign country doing what you know God wants you to do, all that “stuff” falls away. You realize that there are more important things than money, more important things than having a nice house, more important things than having a nice car. When all that “stuff” is not getting in your way you can see God’s priorities. 

 

This hit me as we were traveling to a children’s home and passed many houses full of people. We had travelled all the way to Mexico to stand in the gap for children who have been through tough experiences. Right across the street are people living that are not involved at all. Why not?  Do they not know what is going on in here?  Do they not see the healing that these kids are receiving by people each day?  Or are they just letting the “stuff” in their life get in the way?  As I began feeling good about myself and the “I see it, why can’t you” attitude was kicking in I wondered how much stuff is going on around me in the states that I am not at all involved in.  How many people are in need that I personally know and I miss the signs and warnings that they are in trouble. Am I really as aware as I think?

 

I am returning to my life, my responsibilities, my job, and all my stress with the knowledge that none of that matters. God’s priorities don’t line up with those of the world. I WILL be aware of what God is doing and of the needs around me.

– Dave Holland

 

Monterrey Mexico Family Mission Trip By: The Henry Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

Son: Peyton, Age 9

Peyton: “Mom, we should do missions every time we are on a break from school.”

Me: “I’m sure we can do a mission project on our breaks”

Peyton: “No Mom, I want to go back to Monterrey on fall break, Christmas break, spring break, and summer break.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daughter: McKenna, Age 12

My picture of the week was seeing the smiles on the children’s faces when we played and talked with them every day!!

Dad: Tim

A phrase repeated throughout the week…“Wow, it is so difficult with the language barrier…
So many times “barriers” stop us.

Language barrier didn’t stop us from time spent seeing progress on placing and connecting water, gas, and sewer lines.

Language barrier didn’t stop us from time spent seeing progress on painting a kitchen, bedroom, and outside walls.

Language barrier didn’t stop us from time spent seeing progress in tearing down a wall to make a doorway for new caregiver’s room.

Language barrier didn’t stop us from time spent seeing smiles, hearing laughter, and having purposeful playtime with the children.

Language barrier didn’t stop us from time spent seeing tears from caregivers as we prayed over each child, each bed, and each caregiver.

You see we feel a barrier sometimes when it comes to language, color, race, geography, or whatever else we use as an excuse.

Jesus reminds us in Luke 18:27 (NASB) that… “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.”

God did not remove barriers, but God made possible what we thought was impossible by accomplishing great things while in Monterrey, Mexico!!!!

 

 

 

Honduras Day 5

Day 5 began early for as we had a full day of construction ahead of us. We had breakfast and share time from the previous day and then headed to El Higuito church the location that we did the clothing ministry earlier in the week.

Today we helped the church pour concrete behind the church so they have a place to teach the kids. To begin we had to pull 80lb sacks of mortar out for mixing. Ms. Lisa jumped right in to assist the guys. And Becky helped too. We had to clean off the grass so there would be an area to mix the concrete. And we had to shovel gravel into the area for the concrete to go over. Unfortunately our time was cut short as there was not enough gravel to cover the floor, we have more coming later today and will finish up the project then. Roger also helped Christian with the being able to share the plan of Salvation with others.  It was a great time doing work for the church.

We love and miss you all.

The Packett Small Group