Set the Table Week 6 – Discussion Guide

 

 

Getting Started

Main Idea:
Set the table for a Spirit-filled legacy in your family.

Discussion Starter:
Does anyone know a good “dad joke?” Here are a couple to get you started: “How does Moses make his coffee? He brews it.” “What do John the Baptist and Winnie the Pooh have in common? They have the same middle name.”

Introduction:
It is God’s plan for dad to lead the home. Even where the ideal is not available (no dad in the picture), God has placed spiritual fathers in the church to be sacrificial leaders. Fathers are called to lead with courage and vulnerability, strength and kindness, patience and resolve, dedication and grace. None of this can be done without a relationship with God.

Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Romans 12:2, Ephesians 5:18, 2 Samuel 23:11-12,

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Romans 12:2. What is the an area in your life or household where you are being conformed to this world? How can you allow God to renew your mind to change that area?
  2. If you died today, what is the spiritual legacy you think you would leave?
  3. What are some examples of godly fatherhood you have seen or experienced? If you haven’t really seen any, how are you comforted by God as the ultimate, Holy Father?

Discovery Bible Method:

For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Psalm 68:5 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.

Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into dyads or triads for this section. You may want to separate by gender.

Pastor pointed out that “the enemy always wants you in a weakened position.” What are some potentially weak positions for you? How can you avoid them or have other believers shoulder-to-shoulder with you to strengthen your position?

This week pastor said we “must win the battle within, before we can win the battle without.”  Share some of your internal struggles. How can each person in the group help fight those battles?

Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: FP Kids and Students are great places to serve as spiritual parents. Consider serving in one of these areas. Or, encourage someone else to take their next step and become a leader in one of these areas. Young adults and adults can also benefit from having solid spiritual fathers in the church. These are usually less formal roles, but consider how you can be a part of (or encourage someone else) to be a spiritual leader to a young adult or adult in our church.

Engaging in Community and the World:  Read Psalm 82:3 There are numerous organizations both locally and globally that assist orphans. How can  your group can be a part of bringing God’s justice to the weak?

Expand God’s Kingdom

Being a spiritual father or mother to those who do not have a spiritual leader is an amazing opportunity to expand God’s kingdom. Has God called you to be a spiritual parent in some way? If so, seek out those opportunities. If not, how can you support those who are called to that work?

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.

Digging New Wells – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:

We as Promisors need to prepare the way for another movement of God now and for the next generation.

Discussion Starter:

With the beginning of summer right around the corner and all this talk of digging, share if you have plans to get out in your yard or even if you have plans to dig through and clean up your “stuff”!

Introduction:
In this week’s stand-alone message, Pastor challenged us to prepare the way for another movement of God, a revival! We desperately need this now and for the next generation. It is our responsibility to impart to the next generation truth and to teach them how to praise and worship God! We need to resurrect spiritual practices the enemy has tried to obscure such as: praise and worship, sacrifice, faith, valuing life and people, winning the lost, valuing marriage and family, studying His inerrant Word, trusting in His power and delivery, having a reverent fear of Him, prayer and fasting, and true repentance. We are to put God first in our lives, giving Him our best and our first not our last and our leftovers.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures:  Genesis 26:12-25, Proverbs 5:15, Proverbs 13:22a, Genesis 22:5, Acts 1:8, Luke 4:18-19

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Genesis 26:12-17 Isaac’s Philistine neighbors envied his wealth and tried to get him to leave their land by stopping up his wells, which were necessary in that area to succeed in the land. What is necessary for a Christian to “succeed” in this world? What is your definition of success?
  2. How does culture and the enemy “muddy your waters” and attempt to lure you away from God?
  3. How will you depend on God and His promised victory regardless of your circumstances?
  4. Read Genesis 26:18-25 Isaac continued to face conflict from his Philistine enemy as they followed him and confiscated his wells. Finally, he finally found peace and God’s blessing and named it Rehoboth (room). As Pastor taught us this week, the church is looking for something new; when what we really need is to dig again the old wells of spiritual practices that believers have depended on from the beginning.  Discuss these “old wells” that we need to re-open.
  5. God blessed Isaac and his patient, persistent faith. This is spiritually true for believers today.  In John 4:14, Christ promises to give those who place their faith in Him a well of living water that no one can obstruct.  Who has God placed in your life to share the refreshing truth about Him?  Will you boldly step out in faith as God directs you?
  6. What holds you back from sharing openly the truth about Jesus Christ?  How can your group pray for you as you ask for courage and opportunities to share?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Genesis 26:25 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: Revival starts first with ourselves; only then can it spread to those around us and then outward to the lost. From the various “wells” Pastor talked about, which spiritual practice will you resurrect or breathe new life into to start your own personal revival?

Getting to know them: In groups of 2 or 3, discuss ways you can encourage each other this week to grow spiritually. Some possibilities include setting aside a personal quiet time, scripture memorization, or journaling your reflections from daily Bible reading.

Getting to know Him: Choose a verse to memorize this week for encouragement. Consider Isaiah 40:31, Psalm 23:3, or Psalm 40:3. Touch base throughout the week, lift each other up in prayer and “encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Heb 10:25)


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: As Pastor has challenged us and motivated us to prepare for God to move in our hearts and in our church, will you as a group pray for each Promisor to have laser-focus on God, to hear His still small voice and to seek Him as we anticipate a Revival like none other? How can your group support this movement as we re-dig the wells of our Spiritual fathers and let the Living Water flow?

Engaging in Community/Engaging the World: Christ promises to give those who place their faith in Him a well of living water that no one can obstruct. We learned this week of Lina, who was on the brink of selling her 14-year-old daughter out of desperation and hunger, but the Lord provided a basket of food, thanks to the generosity of believers. How will you, in the power of the Holy Spirit, demonstrate that the body of Christ values the life and dignity of all people? Will you take that step and give back to God a portion from which He has given you to offer hope to this hungry and hurting world?


Expand God’s Kingdom

A pastor once said, “Revival is not the discovery of some new truth. It’s the rediscovery of the grand old truth of God’s power in and through the Cross.”  How will you rediscover these old but powerful truths and share them with this hurting and dying world? We must feel the urgency to pass this on to the next generation! Revival starts first with ourselves. Only then can it spread to those around us and then outward to the lost. Pray together as a group for revival to start within and for its ripple effect to touch those around you and spread to the far-reaches to save the lost.


Leader’s Notes

  1. Answers will vary but may include: putting God first and staying close to Him, studying His Word, and applying its truth, prayer, claiming His promises, surrounding yourself with other believers. Success is not in our advantages or possessions, but in contentment with God and wholehearted devotion to Him.
  2. Answers will vary.
  3. Answers will vary.
  4. The Word of God, prayer, praise and worship, faith, the power of the Spirit, sacrifice, and service.
  5. Answers will vary.

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 4 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: When we give like God gives, we become united in purpose, experience gladness, sincerity of heart, and find true community.

Discussion Starter: What is the most special gift you have ever been given?

Introduction: In the last week of Shadow of a Doubt, we discuss generosity.  As followers of Jesus, we are called to give generously because of God’s generosity.  However, many of us have doubts about giving our time, talents, and treasure.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Acts 2:1-4, Acts 2:37, Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 2:41-47, Jeremiah 29:11

Discussion Questions:

  1. How has God been generous to you?
  2. What is the hardest area for you to be generous?  Time, talent, or treasure?
  3. What area do you think the enemy uses the most to keep you from being generous?
  4. How would it look to people outside the church if your group, your campus, and Faith Promise (as a whole) actually lived and acted like our brothers and sisters did in Acts 2?
  5. What is one area where you and your group can be generous this week?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Acts 2:44 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 one way God can use the shared interest of your small group to be generous to other believers and those outside the church?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Read Acts 2:44 How can you and your group work to have “everything in common”?

Engaging in Community: Read Acts 2:45 Does God really mean for us to give to “anyone who has need”?  Find people in your community who have needs and meet them.  If you don’t know of anyone, pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you and provide an opportunity.

Engaging the World: This week’s ministry partner is The Timothy Initiative.  Visit https://www.ttionline.org/give/ where just $300 can plant a church.  Make a plan to see if your group can combine resources to give to TTI and plant a church.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Being generous with your time and talents are two of the biggest components for expanding God’s kingdom.  God has gifted you with ability and availability to raise up other believers.  If you are not currently using your time and talents for this purpose, who can you be generous with to expand God’s kingdom?


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 1 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
Did God really mean to love others, to serve others, to suffer like Him, and be as generous as Him? This week begins a new series on spiritual warfare, Shadow of Doubt, where Pastor Chris invites us to engage in the battle.

Discussion Starter:

What does God really mean when He calls us to LOVE those around us?  Does He really mean everyoneWHO is everyone?  Bring specific people to mind that God is calling you to love as you read through the rest of the guide.

Introduction:

Jesus is love. When He came to this world, He embodied everything that love is. We mocked Him, betrayed Him, turned away from Him, but even so, He gave His life for us. That is love.  Jesus gives us a “new command” to love others as He has loved us.  We are called show love to everyone because we are fully loved and everyone is created in God’s image.  Through that calling, others will see Jesus in us and know we are a disciple of His.

But this is the last thing that the enemy wants from us. His goal is to turn our hearts cold towards God and each other. He knows that if we choose not to walk in Christ’s love then we will not follow God and obey His command to love and serve others.  Satan knows that if we do not understand what God means when He tells us to love others, that our trust and love for others withers and dies.  This is why he works diligently and subtly to incite and encourage the erosion of our trust and love in one another.

Christian love is the force most threatening to Satan’s kingdom and therefore what he seeks most to disarm and destroy.  One of the greatest acts of spiritual warfare in which we can engage, one of the greatest blows we can deal Satan, is pursuing love of others around us, regardless of their actions or words.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: John 13:34-35, Ephesians 6:10-12

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read John 13:34-35. God is clear beyond a shadow of a doubt in His command to us.  Love others as He has loved us.  Then others know we are a disciple (follower) of Jesus Christ.  How do we love others?  As we approach Valentine’s Day, how does the world’s definition of love differ from God’s definition? What does loving those around you look like daily? Weekly?
  2. Read Ephesians 6:10-13. As Christians, we are in a spiritual battle of some sort on a daily basis. Our spiritual battles and warfare are real, even though we cannot physically see the attacker. But we can learn how the battles are fought and how they impact our lives on a daily basis.  What are spiritual battles that we face? Who are we in a spiritual battle with – those around us or Satan?  What does is look like if you accept you are not battling someone or something but Satan?  Can you think of past situations where you now realize you were not battling a specific person, but that Satan was using that person to engage in spiritual warfare?  If you look at difficult situations you might be facing right now, how does praying for the people involved change how you relate to them?
  3. Read Ephesians 6:14-18 What is the armor of God? How can each piece of armor help us battle the different types of spiritual warfare we face? How does the armor of God equate to showing love to others? How do we battle evil forces around us while showing love to the people in our lives?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Ephesians 6:10-18 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: Do you have a spiritual battle going on right now? Has Satan attacked you using those you love, so that he can steal your joy and trust? Pray for eyes to see others as God sees them and to love others as God loves them.  Let the Holy Spirit fill you so that you may love as God loves.

Getting to know them: Think about your coworkers, your family, and your friends. Is there anyone you can love more? Who is the Holy Spirit directing you to show love to? What does this love look like in action?

Getting to know Him: Ephesians 6:14-18 lists our armor with which God supplies us for spiritual battle.  Do you use these every day?  Which ones do you need to learn to utilize a little more?  How can we be better about Ephesians 6:18?  Who can we be praying for (and not battling)?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Have you invited anyone new to your group? Personal invitation is a wonderful way to love those around you and make someone feel welcome to join a group.  Invite someone today!

Engaging in Community: Many schools around us closed this week due to illness.  Faith Promise has partner schools for every campus that needs your help.  Their supplies of tissues, Clorox wipes, and hand sanitizer have depleted.  Consider purchasing some supplies and taking it to a school.  For a list of Faith Promise partner schools, email lisac@faithpromise.org.

Engaging the World: Do you know that each Faith Promise campus sponsors a missionary? Find out who your Faith Promise missionary is, and commit to pray for that family.  Send them notes of prayer and encouragement through our missions office.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Showing love to others may lead people to ask, “Why are you so nice to me?”  Take this opportunity to explain that God calls Christ-followers to love everyone, not judge or condemn.


Leader’s Notes

  1. See John 13:34-35. We are known to be disciples of Jesus Christ through our love for others.  What else are marks of a disciple? Below are the marks of a growing follower and disciple of Jesus.  Are you focusing on these as a group or individual?
    – 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.
  2. See Ephesians 6:10-18 Spiritual warfare is frightening for some people to accept. How can we help them understand what spiritual warfare is and how to battle it? Once we accept that we are engaged in battle with Satan and not those around us, it is easier to love “difficult” people.  And once we accept that God is always fighting with us and for us (and, spoiler alert, has already WON the battle), we can strap on our armor of God and stand firm.

Follow the Filling Week 3 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:  Following the filling calls us to move past information to desperation – an active, deep, and urgent need for the Holy Spirit.

Discussion Starter: What’s something you know a lot about, but have not actually done yourself?  Examples: you know players, stats, and plays in football but have never played at a high level; or you have watched hours of baking or home remodeling shows but have never really done those things.

Introduction: Information alone does not produce transformation.  Simply knowing about Jesus is not the same as being transformed by Him.  The Pharisees of Jesus’ day had the first 5 books of the Bible memorized, but it did nothing to bring them closer to a relationship with the Messiah.  Only someone who has a desperation for God is able to take what they know about Him and act on it.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Luke 4:18-19, Luke 4:20-22, 2 Timothy 3:5, Matthew 11:2-5

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read 2 Corinthians 3:17-18. How is God currently transforming you through His Spirit?  Remember, this is not a competition and there should be no shame in your progress.
  2. Describe a time when you know the Holy Spirit led you to do something, but you did not do it?  How can you react differently next time?
  3. Read Psalm 63:1. Have you ever felt desperate for God?  How did He respond?
  4. How can you partner with the Holy Spirit to elevate God in your life?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read James 4:17 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: What are you most desperate for God to do in your life?

Getting to know them: Romans 8:11 talks about the Spirit that we share.  How can knowing the Spirit is the same within each believer move you to work with others to love God and people?

Getting to know Him: Think about and discuss how desperation allows you to elevate God while making less of yourself.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: How can you partner with Faith Promise to move from simply knowing about the work at FP to getting involved?

Engaging in Community: What does a life of desperation look like for those seeking God’s help love people?

Engaging the World: Pastor Zac said “desperate times call for desperate people.”  Where is God calling you that is desperate?


Expand God’s Kingdom

Is there someone you can think of that is struggling with moving from information to transformation?  How can you walk alongside them to realize their desperation for God?


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.

A Christmas Spectacular!

Getting Started

Main Idea:
God came to Earth 2000 years ago to seek and save what was lost—you and me.

Discussion Starter:
Have you ever lost something that you still wish to this day you hadn’t?

Introduction:
This week, our creative team at FP treated us to a wonderful presentation of the gospel. Maybe this is just an old story that you’ve heard more times than you can remember, or maybe Christmas is a just a family tradition passed down in your family for generations. For some, this season is simply a time of the year when we all try to be a little better to each other. But we believe Christmas is a little bit more. We believe that 2000 years ago, God really did come to Earth in the most scandalous way to seek and save what was lost—you and me. At Faith Promise, we are all about helping real people with real problems find the real love of Jesus Christ. We believe that only Jesus’ love can satisfy our souls and our longings to belong. We believe His forgiveness and grace are the only remedy for shame and guilt. And we believe His sacrifice, death, and resurrection are the only way to true and lasting hope. God is the God of of new beginnings; with whom will you share the good news of Jesus Christ?


Encounter God

Primary Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12

Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the different players in this passage and their respective responses to the birth of Jesus.
  2. How do people today respond to Jesus? What is your response? As Christ followers, how are we to interact with unbelievers?
  3. What do you learn about worship from the Magi?
  4. The Christmas story is not about presents; it is about the ever-present God with us: Immanuel. Read John 14:16-17. Not only is God with us, but He is also in us. How will you spend your time this Christmas season in concentrated and prayerful worship of the Savior? What one thing can you do this week to make sure you connect with God?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Matthew 2:1-12 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore a how Christ followers are to follow and worship Jesus.


Embrace Others

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

This week, our focus was the amazing gift of Jesus. In small groups of 2 or 3, discuss and encourage one another on how following and worshiping Jesus is the only lasting source of hope and satisfaction.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Romans 12:1 exhorts believers in this way: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship.” Pray as a group to explore ways you can step out in faith as God calls you to serve our church family as an act of worship.

Engaging in Community and in the World: God called each of us out of darkness and saved us by giving us the gift of faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. How will you share the Good News of Jesus Christ to a hurting and dying world? Step out in faith and share the only lasting source of hope and satisfaction.


Expand God’s Kingdom

William Booth (1829-1912), the founder of the Salvation Army, predicted: “The chief danger that confronts the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, heaven without hell.” How will you step out in faith, humility and compassion and share the truth of the gospel—the good news found only in Jesus Christ?


Leader’s Notes

  1. Magi: wanted to worship the King of the Jews. Herod: disturbed; asked scholars where the Christ was to be born; claimed (but lied) that he wanted to worship the Christ. “All Jerusalem”: disturbed but indifferent (Bethlehem is only 6 miles from Jerusalem!); did not seek Jesus. Scribes: also indifferent but filled with knowledge; did not seek Jesus.
  2. Many are disturbed, even some are outright hostile towards Him. Christ followers are to love our enemies. We are to stand courageously for biblical truth; however, we must do so with gracious compassion. We are not to condemn others that do not live according to the Bible, but we are to intercede for them and ask Jesus to give us His heart for them. When we have established a relationship with others, we are able to engage them and lead them to Christ.
  3. They were purposeful and the first to worship Christ. They traveled many miles and dropped everything to find Jesus. They were overjoyed, bowed down in worship and gave Him their most costly possessions. After their encounter with Him, they left a different way. Jesus is worthy of our all, our complete submission and praise, regardless of our circumstances. This is our source of lasting and pure joy. Whoever encounters Jesus never leaves the same. They are a new creation! True encounters with Jesus change the course and direction of our lives.
  4. Answers will vary.

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.