I am Faith Promise Week 2 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
When we serve others, we lift others up.

Discussion Starter:
Share a time when someone stepped in and served you when you least expected help.

Introduction:
This weekend, we continued to look at who we are as a church at Faith Promise. We believe our starting place is to put God first. When we do this, everything else falls into place, and we begin to change from the inside out. We love God, and we develop a new capacity to love others. What does it look like to “love others”, and how do we go about using our God-given gifts? Many people struggle to understand their purpose in life, but when we turn to God, He will help us understand how to fulfill the calling He uniquely places on each of His children. When we serve others, we lift others up. Like a pulley, we were made for pulling and lifting; our purpose is to point others to Christ: to lift them up in God’s grace and forgiveness. In order to be truly effective for the Kingdom of God, all Promisors need to take part. A pulley is worthless if there is slack in the line, and the best way to strengthen Faith Promise is for each of us to stay connected and close to God. We are called to serve God with the gifts He has given us and not in our own strength. A gift from God is a calling that a Christ-follower will find honor and joy in using. Will you seek God’s call and purpose for your life and serve Him by serving others?


Encounter God

Primary Scripture: Primary Scripture 1 Peter 4:7-11

Discussion Questions:
1. According to theses verses, what should encourage a Christ-follower to persevere in living a life pleasing to God? Describe how does this looks in a practical sense.

2. Discuss ways believers can be of “sound mind and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer”.

3. Peter describes Christian love as fervent, forgiving, and practical. In what ways can you show your love to other believers this week? Whom is God calling you to serve in love?

4. Each Christ-follower is given at least one spiritual gift, and we are called to use that gift to the glory of God and to the building up of the church. How are you using what God has given you? If you are not serving, will you ask God to remove any fear or hesitation so that you can fulfill His calling in your life?

5. What one activity may God be laying on your heart to omit from your week so that you can prayerfully spend time with Him, seeking His direction in how you can serve others for His glory and the building up of the church?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read 1 Peter 4:7-11 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the Believer’s relationship to Jesus.


Embrace Others

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

This week, our focus was on serving. In your dyads or triads, discuss and encourage one another about how God has given you gifts to serve and build up the church for His glory.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Pray as a group to explore ways you can volunteer your time and gifts to serve our church family.

Engaging in Community: Our community has several opportunities to serve and share the healing message of forgiveness found only in the Gospel of God. Discuss how you as a group can identify a need in the community and move into faithful and fruitful service. Visit https://faithpromise.org/love-local to review several opportunities to serve together.

Engaging the World: Consider as a group supporting the Scotts, who will be launching East Mountain in Scotland, a ministry which exists to help local churches train, develop, and empower leaders. You learn more about what they will be doing and/or connect with them at http://scottsinscotland.com. You can also email them at scottsinscotland@gmail.com. The Scott’s need $800 of monthly support to sustain their ongoing ministry.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Mother Teresa said, “Prayer in action is love, and love in action is service. Try to give unconditionally whatever a person needs in the moment. The point is to do something, however small, and show you care through your actions by giving your time … We are all God’s children so it is important to share His gifts. Do not worry about why problems exist in the world – just respond to people’s needs … We feel what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean, but that ocean would be less without that drop.“

Mother Teresa was a woman of action for God’s purposes and glory. She saw needs all around her in the streets of Calcutta and served tirelessly. Although no one can see God, we are to serve Him in others, and Jesus encourages these actions in His words from Matthew 25:40: “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” How will you lift up others as you serve them this week?


Leader’s Notes

1. We should live expectantly knowing Jesus is coming back!  We are here in this broken world, and it is a time for preparation. Like Jesus, we are to be about our Father’s business (Luke 2:49). We were designed to live with Him forever and to live life with an eternal perspective. We are not to satisfy our longing for eternity with the things of this world- our possessions, experiences, positions, or people. We live out our calling by serving others and lifting them up in real love by sharing the grace and forgiveness found only in Jesus Christ.
2. Answers may vary. May include a sound approach to the end-times (not an unbiblical emphasis or misinterpretation of prophecy), a purposeful life/ not impulsive, and having good judgment when it comes to Christian doctrine and practical matters in life. Staying in the Word, surrounding yourself with other believers, praying and allowing the Spirit’s guidance will guard our hearts and minds. Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” If our thinking and praying are right, our living should be right!
3. We are called to eagerly love other believers, forgive easily, offer hospitality, be generous and use our spiritual gifts in ministry to one another.
4. Answers may vary. If a member is concerned that they do not know what their gift is or if they even have one, reassure them and point them to helpful resources for discerning God’s gifts. (e.g. https://spiritualgiftstest.com).
5 Encourage members to be sensitive to the Spirit’s conviction of hearts- to identify an area of busy-ness and remove it knowing space, time and energy could be freed up and devoted to Kingdom business! B-U-S-Y= being under Satan’s yoke!

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.

A Bountiful Harvest – Honduras Day 4

This morning Susan led our team in a time of devotion. As a part of her teaching she discussed the tools and ways we should go about our devotion. By doing so it make us more consistent with our devotion.

After breakfast we departed for the children’s feeding program again. This time we were able to stay much longer and got to participate in the feeding portion of the program. I have been told that all of the ladies  on our team want a set of knives that Ms. Martha, one of the workers at the feeding program, was using.

When we had finished up at the feeding program, the team went back to the house to prepare rice and beans for to take with them for door to door evangelism. Once the rice was ready, we met up with Pastor Joel and other members from his church to go door to door. God was working with us, we saw 7 accept Christ, it was truly a bountiful harvest.

Next we attended Pastor Joel’s church where I was asked to deliver a message. It was truly a great time, the Holy Spirit was there in a mighty way.

Starting the Day Out Right – Honduras Day 3

Our team began day 3 with a devotion led by yours truly. It was a discussion about helping others in need.

We then enjoyed a wonderful breakfast before departing to assist Open Eyes Ministries with their feeding program. There were 30 kids at the site where the feeding program is run. Due to an issue with the electricity, the power was out and we were not able to feed the kids.  We were however, able to help with the meal prep and we had a great time playing and interacting with all of the kids. We had many kids throwing frisbee, coloring, and kicking soccer balls; but the biggest hit was the wiffle ball. The kids here are really talented and able to pickup the sport very quickly.

From there we went to a local restaurant for a cultural experience, Pizza Hut. We then stopped at a local market for some much needed mocha chinos before helping to prepare clothing for a local church. While we were there Don shared his testimony while Rebecca interpreted. There was also time to play with the children, they loved baseball and bubbles. You could feel the love. One young man, Christian, came around introducing himself and hugging everyone.

After that was complete we came back to the house and prepared for the evening church service with Pastor Robert. He is the one that keeps the girls for the Mission of Hope. While we were there I delivered the message for that service and Pamela interpreted for me. It was a great experience and I for one have been truly blessed to be a part of it.

A Full Day’s Work – Jamaica Day 4

Wednesday was all about manual labor! We painted bathrooms and gates, sanded walls, and cut, hammered, and bent rebar to make cement columns for some new houses. JDV is growing and the houses will provide additional room for the growing families that live and work here.

In the afternoon we visited a children’s home. Unlike the United States, when a child enters the foster care system here, they live in a group home until they potentially can return to live with family. The Windsor Lodge houses 56 children ages 3-18.

Tomorrow we will finish our work projects and then head to the infirmary to visit patients.

 

Deaf Can! Coffee – Jamaica Day 3

Today our team met an amazing young man by the name of Javaughny Dawes. He shared with us a presentation of Deaf Can! Coffee which began from a boys bible study learning how to roast coffee and turned into to a coffee ministry proving that the Deaf can do anything.

Often the Deaf community is viewed as “less than” because of their hearing loss. They believe that “deaf gain” so much more when they are understood.  The store we visited is one of eight stores, including one in the US Embassy. The store’s name is E3 because they Engage, Equip, and Empower the Deaf community.

Tomorrow we will work around the Jamaican Deaf Village with a variety of projects and will then travel to the Mandeville Children’s Home.

It has been an amazing 3 days here and we cannot wait to see what God has for us tomorrow.

Lisa

Buenos Dias de Honduras – Day 2

Good morning from Honduras or Buenos Dias de Honduras.

The morning started with Don giving the daily devotion. Don discussed how we should walk with God and explained that if we don’t that this is where sin can creep in. He used cards to illustrate his lesson and did a great job; he is quite the magician.

We then left for the Home of Hope to meet the 8 beautiful little girls that live there. We spent about 2 hours there sharing gifts and Roger became an instant hit when he pulled out the play dough and started molding animals. The girls at Home of Hope are very precious!

After spending time at Home of Hope we traveled back for lunch and then went to visit the local hospital.  Once there we divided into two teams with the ladies visiting women and kids and the men visiting the men.  We spent over an hour there praying and loving on the patients. The hospital we visited is run differently from hospitals in the states. There is no air conditioning and the patients have to bring their own sheets and food to the hospital. Once they are seen by the doctor their families  have to go and purchase any necessary medications and medical supplies. This made us appreciate the luxuries we have in the states that much more.

Our team was impressed with the openness of the people that we met. We spoke to them individually and they were all very receptive to us being there. A highlight was praying with a family of 5 brothers and one sister. It was a powerful prayer circle. As we came back through they stopped us again and asked us to pray over them so that their family relationship would also be restored.

When we finished at the hospital, Pamela took us to the plaza to for a little local site seeing.

It was a great time and everyone in our group is truly being richly blessed.