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.

 

Fearless Week 1 – Discussion Guide


Getting Started

Main Idea:
We are called to be fearless sharers of the real love of Jesus Christ to everyone around us.

Discussion Starter:
What is one of your biggest fears?

Introduction:
Fearless courage is inspiring, especially when it comes to saving a life or many lives. We saw a great example of this September 11, 2001. In the same vein, we are called to be first responders for Jesus. Sadly, only 2% of practicing Christians ever invite their friends to church. Fewer than that will ever share the gospel with anyone. Why are we so afraid?

Beginning this weekend, we will live out one of our values: We tell them of Him. We will tell everyone–our family, friends, coworkers, and classmates–about Jesus and how He has transformed our souls and our lives. Let’s become fearless in sharing Jesus with those around us.

Are you fearful or fearless?


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: 2 Timothy 1:7-9 and Matthew 28:18-20

Discussion Questions:

Read the two primary scriptures.

  1. In today’s politically correct culture, how do you understand and apply Paul’s words from 2 Timothy in your life?
  2. Matthew 28:19-20 is commonly known as the Great Commission. Unfortunately, many Christ-followers have turned it into the great omission. We simply do not share our faith often, if at all. First, discuss what fears keep us from sharing our faith. Second, think of ways to overcome these fears.
  3. One common fear is the fear of pushing others away when sharing our faith.  Discuss how engaging others and building relationships opens doors for us to tell others what Jesus has been doing in our lives.
  4. Jesus gave a directive to GO.  Go where? To all the nations–this means to everyone. He wants us to do several things as we go–make disciples, baptize them, and teach them to observe everything He has commanded. Spend some time fleshing out how we can obey this command today. Be specific about what actions you plan to take.
  5. Reread the very first sentence and the very last sentence of Matthew 28:18-20. How does this empower us to move from fearful to fearless?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read 2 Timothy 1:7-9 or Matthew 28:18-20, and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

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

This week our focus has been on overcoming fear of speaking to others about our faith. How can we help each other to become bolder in sharing what Jesus has been doing in our lives this week?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  As a church family we all walk together along the path of life. Each of us has different fears. Pray together asking God to give boldness to empower and encourage each other to face and overcome those fears.

Engaging in Community and the World:  One of the best ways to overcome our fear of sharing Christ with others is to share Christ with others. Just do it! Don’t allow Satan to paralyze you with the fear of what ifs. What if I offend them, what if I lose a friend, what if they laugh at me, what if…We have power to become fearless and courageous if we allow God to work through us.

 


Expand God’s Kingdom

The fear of offending someone or being thought of as a Jesus freak can keep us silent. If we truly believe Jesus promise to never leave us nor forsake us, then we will be able to draw strength from that promise. He didn’t suggest we go to everyone and share about Him, He commanded we go. This week pray for God to remove fear and replace it with boldness. Ask Him to remove the blinders that hide the lost and dying from your eyes, and to let you see others the way He sees them.


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.

 

Shadow of a Doubt Week 6 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: While some wait for MORE, let us MASTER what’s in our hands.

Discussion Starter: How do you manage your household budget?

Introduction: This week, Pastor walked us through the importance of managing the money we have and how budgeting is simple math.  A budget is a detailed plan to allocate every cent of your money.  It reflects your values, reveals your goals, and helps make hard decisions for you.  After-all, Self-Control is a fruit of Spirit!  The enemy tries to convince us to outspend ourselves right into debt, living paycheck to paycheck.  However, believers can master money and not be its slave!

Pastor challenged us to: Courageously evaluate our financial situation, review our income and spending, and decide whether it is mandatory or discretionary. In order to participate in Supernatural Stewardship, we must spend wisely, save diligently, and give generously.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: John 10:10

Discussion Questions: 

  1. Read John 10:10. Discuss what you think the abundant life means.  How are you living that life now?  What is an area that God may be calling you to give up, to free yourself from the constraints of this world and step into the life to which Jesus calls us?
  2. Read Luke 14:28-33. Jesus spoke practically about the importance of budgeting, but this lesson pointed us to the cost of following Jesus. What does it take to follow Jesus? How do we apply this principle to our approach with money?
  3. Read Proverbs 3:9-10. How can you honor the Lord with your wealth? What does the “first of your produce(first fruits)” mean?  How can that look in a person’s life today?  Discuss the principle, “So your barns will be filled with plenty.”
  4. Read Proverbs 6:6-8. What point is Solomon making here? How can you use these verses to impart wisdom to those you influence? (children, grandchildren, young co-workers, etc).

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Luke 14:28-33  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 was on getting our financial household in order so that money can serve us so we can better honor and serve the Lord.  Discuss financial areas where you need better self-control.  Come up with some practical steps you can take to achieve your goal. Pray together over this.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  Our church family has many needs, some of which are financial.  Consider reviewing the published Faith Promise financial reports from the last 3 years (go to: faithpromise.org/give).  Pray as a group to explore ways to offer your money in faith and submission as God calls you to provide for our church family.

Engaging in Community / the World: God called each of us out of our life of sin to a life of freedom found only in His Son, Jesus Christ.  How will you generously share your financial resources so that the Good News of Jesus Christ is shared with this hurting and dying world? Step out in faith to provide the only lasting source of hope and freedom!


Expand God’s Kingdom

Generosity is more than tithing and more than just money.  A stingy person can give ten percent. The point is not for us to be legalistic and calculate to the penny ten percent to give back to God – it is a matter of the heart!  As Christ followers, we are called to be generous!  Giving sacrificially isn’t just about finances, it is also about giving of our time and possessions.  How will you prayerfully consider your resources and how best to use them to further the Kingdom of God?  Keep in mind that our Savior, Lord, and greatest treasure demonstrated the ultimate act of generosity in coming to rescue us.


Leader’s Notes

  • Answers may include a life full of stamina, energy, ability to do things, enjoyment, satisfaction and contentment in Jesus.
  • Giving up everything! 
  • It is His money to begin with, and we are called to be good stewards of it.  It’s all from Him, it’s all about it Him, and it’s all for Him.
  • By demonstrating gratitude toward and confidence in God (rather than in wealth).  Also, by giving back to God some of your wealth as a sacrifice in recognition that God gave it to you in the first place.
  • It is giving God our first and best. If we will truly honor the Lord with our giving, it won’t be with the last and leftovers.
  • God is the master and distributor of unlimited resources. He knows how to prosper and take care of those who honor Him with the resources He has given to them.
  • These verses speak about the value of hard work. The difference between success and failure, potential disappointment or fulfillment, is often hard work.

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.