500 Reasons Week 1 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
We are all easily blinded by the world, our culture, our fears, and many other things. As Christians, we are called to boldly step out and share God’s light to all those living blindly in darkness.

Discussion Starter:
Think back on when you first heard about the love of God. How did
people share their story with you?

Introduction:
Take a moment to ponder: What is your current sense of urgency in sharing the gospel? Jesus went out into the world and found sinners. He relentlessly sought out the worst of the worst and did not condemn. Instead, He shared God’s love and transformed the way people believed. He trained His disciples to do the same–to put God’s mission about everything without fear of ridicule. What could we all do to increase our level of urgency?


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: John 9, Acts 13:47, Matthew 5: 14-16, 1 John 1:7-9, Matthew 6:33

Discussion Questions:
1. In story about the blind man (John 9), what was the assumption that the community and even the disciples made?

2. What similar fears might we have about ministering to some people today?

3. What other fears or assumption do we have about sinners and types of sins that may prevent us from being God’s light?

4. According to the verses Acts 13:47, Matthew 5:14-16, and 1 John1:7-9, how does God instruct us to act?

5. Pastor also brings up that life gets in the way of sharing God’s light. What does God say in Matthew 6:33? What are some ways we can prioritize God while living a busy life?

6. What is your level of urgency now? In light of our discussion, what can we do differently at home, with our family, and at work to fulfill God’s mission and to stop living blindly?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read John 9 (if you want to focus on a shorter passage, emphasize verses 1-16) and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

If you haven’t already, fill out your spiritual growth plan and really focus on how many people you are going to share the Gospel with this year. Come up with a number of people who you will invite to church on Easter Sunday.

Break into dyads or triads and discuss ways that you have shared or seen others share the Gospel.

What are some ways that you prioritize God now or ways that you can focus on God this coming week?

Who in your small group can you call midway through the week and see how things are going?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Are there areas or ministries at Faith Promise that you have been curious about getting involved with? Take a step this week.  Contact the person in charge of those ministries and try a trial run of serving in that area.

Engaging in Community: What are definite ways to influence our sphere and share God? How can you show God more at work and in your community?

Engaging the World: Consider supporting Faith Promise missionaries financially or through prayer.


Expand God’s Kingdom

What is your biggest take-away from the discussion this week? With whom can you share what you have learned?


Leader’s Notes

ALL groups at Faith Promise should participate in ALL 4 characteristics of a disciple of Christ (encountering God, embracing others, engaging the world, and expanding God’s Kingdom). However, each individual group may be primarily focused on one of these “Es” for a season, or for the life of that particular group. Below is an explanation of each type of group.

– 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.

Our New Series, 500 Reasons, Begins This Weekend!

Wow Promisors,

What an incredible month February was in the life of Faith Promise! We kicked it off with another incredible Sunday Showdown! Then, we launched into This Is Group and started 83 new groups and connected 712 new people into community. We grow together and are getting in and getting on God’s New Rivers and New Roads.

Don’t miss out on something new God is doing in our disciple-making communities.

The world is not getting darker, believers are getting dimmer. But we refuse to dim! And fpStudents led the way in flipping the switch in Fusion 2018 – with over 1,000 students and leaders becoming brighter lights, resulting in 40 baptisms already.

And somehow, March is looking even brighter, as we move into an entire month of preparation for Easter at Faith Promise. Throughout this month, we will challenge Promisors with 500 Reasons to Get Others In and invite everyone they know or meet to join them for Easter weekend. I am praying for 20,000 people, 500 baptisms THAT weekend, and for God to continue doing something new in the lives of every Promisor.

Remember that whatever we face as a church, our first and only response is to love and serve and help real people with real problems find the real love of Jesus Christ.

Finally, let me challenge you to take your next step this month:

Get In the Water and acknowledge God publicly in baptism,

Get In the Word and begin a devotional time with the Lord in the Bible,

Get In the Weekend and begin making Faith Promise weekends a priority,

Get In A Group and join the disciple-making community,

Get In a Ministry and begin using your gifts to serve others,

Get In on Generosity and begin giving, tithing, or preparing for Heart for the

Harvest this fall,

or Get Others In by bringing people to Easter at Faith Promise.

No matter what’s your next step – you can do it! I pray for and believe in every Promisor. Let’s keep getting in and getting on His new rivers of provision and roads of vision this year!

Love you and see you this weekend!

Pastor

This is Group Week 3 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
Groups offer community and provide challenge for growth.

Discussion Starter:
Do you sometimes wonder how a person with no money to spare can contribute to God’s kingdom?  Can you think of an example when someone showed you God’s love apart from financial help?

Introduction:
One of our core values at Faith Promise is, “We grow together.” Groups provide this opportunity to grow together, from age 2 to 102. A disconnected light bulb is useless and fragile. It cannot reach its full potential until it is screwed into a socket and turned on. Once we are saved, God’s Holy Spirit flows throughout our bodies and minds. As we study the Word individually and within a group, we grow toward our full potential. Encounter groups help us grow together through the study of God’s Word and prayer. In order to provide this place of growth, Faith Promise is launching Expand groups. Expand groups are followers of Christ, disciples who follow Jesus and lead others to do the same. They focus on rapid development of new group leaders to provide more groups for more disciples.  Expand groups are where leaders grow.


Encounter God

Primary Scripture: 1 John 4:11-21

Discussion Questions:
1. How do you obey the command to “love one another”? Consider how you love people in different areas of your life–at home, at work, at school, at places you volunteer, at group, etc. Share ideas about how you can show God’s real love to real people with real problems.

2. How do you “abide in God”? What is one way this group can encourage you in your spiritual growth journey?

3. Verse 18 says “There is no fear in love…” Have you ever been in a relationship based on fear? Have you ever been tempted to use fear as a tool in your relationships?

4. Verse 20 says if we hate our brother then we cannot love God. Have you ever noticed prejudice within yourself? Confess this sin to God and ask Him to give you a love for all people He has created.

5. Give an example of how our groups reflect our core value to grow together. In what kind of group does FP grow most of its leaders? Could you see yourself being a part of an Expand group?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read 1 John 4:7-21 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 your special interest or talent enrich other believers and strengthen their faith and yours?


Engage the World Around Us

Bible study encourages us to seek mission opportunities. What can your group do as a mission project?


Expand God’s Kingdom

What did you learn today that you can share with someone outside Faith Promise?


Leader’s Notes

ALL groups at Faith Promise should participate in ALL 4 characteristics of a disciple of Christ (encountering God, embracing others, engaging the world, and expanding God’s Kingdom). However, each individual group may be primarily focused on one of these “Es” for a season, or for the life of that particular group. Below is an explanation of each type of group.

– 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.

This is Group Week 2 – Discussion Guide

Main Idea:
There are 4 characteristics of being a disciple of Jesus: encountering God, embracing others, engaging the world, expanding God’s Kingdom.

Discussion Starter:
What is the most exciting/interesting part of following Jesus?

Introduction:
Faith Promise Groups exist to help real people with real problems find real love. Groups help disciples of Christ to realize God’s love through encountering God in His Word, embracing others, engaging the world around them, and expanding God’s Kingdom.


Encounter God

Primary Scripture: John 4:7-42

Discussion Questions:
1. How did the woman at the well feel excluded from her society? Describe a time when you felt like you didn’t belong.

2. How did Jesus cross cultural and conventional barriers in this story from John 4? Describe a time when you felt like you did belong.

3. Have you ever been around someone who was undeniably changed by Jesus? Has anyone ever thought that about you?

4. Read Matthew 25:34-40. God’s Kingdom goes beyond our culture. What are some cultural or conventional barriers that Jesus calls us to cross?

5. Discuss a time when the Holy Spirit led you to speak to someone about Jesus?

6. What is the biggest obstacle to you leading others to follow Jesus?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read John 4:7-42 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

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

Read Romans 15:5-6.

How can you use your common interests with others to raise one voice that glorifies God?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: This week contact a fpStaff, fpVolunteer, or a missionary from your campus and ask if they have a personal need that you can meet, or if they know of a need in the community.

Engaging in Community: Pray that God will show you a new way to engage the people in your community, then go do it. For example, take a roll of quarters to a local laundromat and help out.

Engaging the World: Pray that God will direct you to a national or international non-profit or para-church organization where you can show the real love of Jesus.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Read Romans 14:19.

Discuss how you can build up someone else.


Leader’s Notes

ALL groups at Faith Promise should participate in ALL 4 characteristics of a disciple of Christ (encountering God, embracing others, engaging the world, and expanding God’s Kingdom). However, each individual group may be primarily focused on one of these “Es” for a season, or for the life of that particular group. Below is an explanation of each type of group.

– 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.

This is Group Week 1 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
Real people with real problems seeking real love: this is group!

Discussion Starter:
We love to tell others about things we discover that excite us. Share with the group about something new you discovered or a group you joined that excited you and motivated you to tell others.

Introduction:
We can be blinded by believing that our own problems are bigger than other people and their needs. If we continue in this blindness, we will miss out on what God is doing in the lives of those around us. We must open our eyes and see the real people and real problems around us. As we encounter real people with real problems seeking real love, we grow together. God calls each of us not just to follow Jesus, but to lead others to do the same.


Encounter God

Primary Scripture: Matthew 28:18-20

Discussion Questions:
1. Read Matthew 28:18-20. What does Jesus do first BEFORE He commissions the disciples to “GO!”?

2. Why do you think Jesus insists on informing His disciples of His authority and power before giving them their marching orders?

3. Jesus tells them to make disciples, “teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.” Basically, the disciples are to do life with their own disciples just as Jesus did with them. What would this have looked like in the first century? How about today?

4. Jesus states, “…and remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Why would he add this statement to the end of His commission?

5. When we don’t grow together, we grow apart. Discuss why this happens.

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Matthew 28:16-20 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the Great Commission.


Embrace Others

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

Read 1 John 3:16-20. We can embrace others through real love relationships. This is love in action. We cannot ignore those in need and claim to have God’s love in our hearts. Discuss how being together in group helps grow this love.


Engage the World Around Us

Read Matthew 25:31-46. We engage the world by meeting the immediate needs we see in those we encounter. As a group discuss what some of these needs are and ways to meet them.

Engaging at Faith Promise:
Pray for the staff and the missionaries listed for your campus. Send a note of encouragement to a staff member, group member, or missionary this week. Let them know they are not in this alone.

Engaging in Community:
Prayerfully consider where your group can encounter people with physical and spiritual needs. Plan how to show real love by ways you can meet these needs.

Engaging the World:
In order to engage the world, we must encounter people and interact with them. Intentionally go somewhere new this week or take a different route and pray God will lead you to those needing His love.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Pray together for opportunities for disciples to make disciples that make more disciples.


Leader’s Notes

1. He states He has been given ALL authority in heaven and on earth.
2. This shows they will be doing this through Jesus’ power and authority and not their own.
4. Jesus knew they would face trials and persecution in their efforts. They might easily become discouraged and think of giving up. He wanted them to know they would not be going alone.

– 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.