God’s Story – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: Every moment of time has told and is telling God’s story.  The whole Bible is His story and every one of us was always planned to be a part of it.

Discussion Starter: If you could visit any time and place in history when and where would you go?

Introduction: This week, Pastor Chris takes us through most of recorded, Biblical history to illuminate how God has revealed himself and compels us to step into God’s plan for us.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: 2 Timothy 2:15, Galatians 4:4, Romans 6:23, Romans 10: 9-10

Discussion Questions:

  1. What do you think is one of the most fascinating stories in the Bible?  What does it tell you about God?
  2. Pastor Chris mentioned that after the book of Malachi, God was silent for 400 years, and he pointed out that we should not mistake God’s silence as inactivity.  Is there an area in your life where you are waiting to hear from God?  If so, how can you be encouraged to know that His silence doesn’t mean He isn’t doing anything?
  3. Read Galatians 4:4 This verse shows us a glimpse into God’s plans and timing.  Discuss some of the obstacles to waiting on God’s timing and plans.
  4. Pastor Chris said that Jesus’ birth and humble beginning was not poverty, but prophecy.  The circumstances of Jesus’ birth were part of God’s plans from the beginning.  Discuss how God can and is working in your current circumstances.   Meditate on Romans 8:26-29.

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Romans 10:10 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into twos or threes for this section.

Getting to know each other:  Discuss how you see your part in God’s story.  Encourage someone in the group as to what you see as their part in His story.

Getting to know Him:  What do you think is one of the most interesting stories from the Bible and how does it reveal God’s character?  If you’re not sure of one, what do you think is one of the most interesting of God’s attributes? For example, 3 of God’s attributes are that He is infinite, transcendent, and personal.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  The Christmas season always provides many opportunities to serve at Faith Promise.  Visit the Information area at your campus if you aren’t sure of the opportunities.

Engaging in Community:  This time of year there are also many opportunities in the community.  Don’t forget about the group that we partnered with over the summer, Serve Day.  Click here for some of their great ideas on how to engage your community.

Engaging the World:  Visit the Missions Spot at your campus to get information on our international missionaries and find out how you can partner with them in their efforts abroad.  Also consider sending them an encouraging Christmas card.


Expand God’s Kingdom

This season is one where many are naturally more drawn to the church.  Find someone who needs help with their next step. Talk to a stranger in the lobby  and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you and your conversations, seeking to encourage and grow them.

Heart for the Harvest Week 3 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: To extend and expand requires us to be all in!

Discussion Starter: What would happen if you couldn’t use your cell phone for an entire day?

Introduction: This week, we saw three pictures of generosity; Hannah, the widow of Zarephath, and the widow’s mite.  In these pictures, one gave her first, another her last, and another her all.  What God really wants to know is if we are willing to give our all in worship of Him.

Watch this short video with your group.


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: 2 Chronicles 6:12-15, 2 Chronicles 7:1-5

Discussion Questions:

  1. If you fasted during this Heart for the Harvest, how did it impact your walk with God?  If you did not fast, consider fasting in the future.
  2. What is one area where you put God first?  What is one area where you don’t currently put Him first, but know you need to?
  3. Has there been a time when you gave God the last of something when you weren’t sure if there would be more?
  4. What’s your next step to a deeper level of commitment to God?
  5. This week drew to a close Heart for the Harvest 2019, what can you do to start preparing for 2020?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Mark 12:43 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into twos or threes here.

Getting to know each other:  Read Proverbs 16:3  How can you encourage each other this week to commit to God’s plans?

Getting to know Him:  God’s heart is one that delights in opportunities to bless us and opportunities for us to bless others.  How can your group prepare to receive blessings and be available to bless others?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  What gift has God given you that you can use to serve at Faith Promise?

Engaging in Community: Does your group have plans to serve somewhere in your community before the end of the year?  If not, consider serving at All Is Bright.

Engaging the World: Moving into the Christmas season, there are many opportunities to help with the God’s global work.  Consider how your group can be a part of that work.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Expanding God’s Kingdom by pouring into the discipleship journey of others requires commitment and preparation.  How can you prepare to help someone grow in their discipleship?

Come Here Often? Week 3 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: How present are you really when you are with God?

Discussion Starter: Can you think of a place or an event where you observed people all around but felt like no one was really there?  Maybe a class in school where everyone was daydreaming, napping or chit chatting instead of paying attention to the instructor?  A meeting at work where everyone was on their phone instead of taking part of the meeting?

Introduction: Are you living through the motions, just gleaning here and there, or are you really being transformed in your experiences at church and with God?  What instances in the Bible can you think of where God (via a prophet, disciple, or Jesus) discusses the maturation of our spiritual relationship and the importance of our church family during this process?


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Ezekiel 36:25-27, 1 Peter 2:2, Hebrews 5:12, 1 John 4:10-12

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does the passage from Ezekiel say that God is going to do for His people?
  2. How does this compare to experiences that Jesus talks about in the New Testament?
  3. Read 1 Peter 2:2 and Hebrews 5:12 What examples can you find of how we should be nourishing ourselves in the growth of our relationship with God? Put these verses into your own words.
  4. We learned last week that our church family is there to support us and help us grow (Hebrews 10:24-25). According to 1 John 4:10-12 what do we look like when we have a relationship with Christ?

Discovery Bible Method:

For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Ephesians 4:11-14 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: In the transformation process that we see described in our primary scripture, where are you personally?  Is it possible that you can go back and forth between the stages?

Getting to know them: What other passages of Scripture describe where you are or where you feel like the group is as whole?  Think about both your current condition and also goals for the future.

Getting to know Him: Why do you think God so desires for us to be part of a church, a small group, or a body of Christian support? As a team commit to one another to pray Psalms 51:10 every day this week over each other and yourselves.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Have you signed up for our Serve day?

Engaging in Community: Who are the people at work or in your neighborhood who you believe could benefit from having a church family to support them in their growth?  Our community Serve Day is coming up in July.  Invite them to join your small group as you serve.

Engaging the World: Pray for the Christian church groups who are being massacred for their faith.  This is not generally covered by the news; however, we know more than 40 of our brothers and sisters were killed in late April over Easter in Nigeria and many of them were children.  In June, 95 were killed in Mali.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Our verses from 1 John give us the directive to expand God’s Kingdom by showing His love–the same love that we receive even when it isn’t deserved.  Who can you demonstrate this type of love to in your community?


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.

Come Here Often? Week 1 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: The church is not a building; it is people who trust in Christ.  However, like a building, things start to fall apart when they are not connected to each other and do not support each other.

Discussion Starter: When you grew up, how did you define “church?”

Introduction: When mother birds want their children to learn to fly, they often start by being a good example, and chucking themselves out of the nest and spreading their wings.  They swoop and come back to the nest, over and over. If the little bird doesn’t at least try, then the mother bird starts putting lots of sharp sticks in the nest until the little bird is so uncomfortable that it would rather jump out of the nest than stay in it.  All this works out for the little bird’s benefit, though, because it learns to fly. Can you think of a time that God let your life become very uncomfortable so that you would have to trust in him to handle the situation? Share with the group a time that you can think of – it doesn’t have to be profound.

Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Hebrews 10:23-25, 2 Corinthians 6:16, Ephesians 2:20-22, 1 Peter 2:5

Discussion Questions:

  1. In Hebrews 10:24, the text says we should “consider one another” (or ‘observe’ one another) so we can know how to provoke each other to love and good works.  Share with the group a time that you got provoked to either love or good works. Don’t be afraid to get specific. Everyone is different, and people may know someone a lot like you in another part of their lives.  What you share could help someone a lot.
  2. When other people shared their answers to question 1, were you surprised?  Did everyone get provoked by the kind of thing you thought would provoke them?
  3. A little further down in Hebrews 10:25, the text says that believers should be even more active in our care for each other “as you see the day approaching.”  This is definitely talking about “the day of the Lord” that is referenced all over the Bible. How does Jesus future return make you feel?  Does it make you feel more comfortable, or fearful?  What does thinking about Jesus’ return make you want to do, if anything?

Discovery Bible Method:

For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read 2 Corinthians 6:16 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: The Bible says, in 1 Peter 2:5, that believers are each like bricks that make up the spiritual house that God inhabits.  Who relies on you? On whom do you rely?  Do people in your group actually rely on each other or just make small talk once a week?  And…what is it like for other people when you put pressure on others?

Getting to know them: How have you needed support lately? If everyone goes around and shares that first, you can answer another important question: How can you support at least one other person here?

Getting to know God: Why would God want us to have such an interconnection with other believers?  Why would He bother making us go through that step? What happens when we are physically alone, like believers in some parts of the world?

Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: As you probably noticed from your group’s discussion, there are a lot of ways to provoke people to love and good works.  Try to find at least one person in your group that you can provoke to at least a little bit more love this week before you leave – and let them do the same to you.  (It can be more than one, of course!)

Engaging in Community and the World:  Are there any other believers in your community?  It doesn’t matter where (or if) they go to a building on Sundays.  Talk with them. Try to see if anything you learned from your discussion might be used to provoke them at all (in a good way!).

Engaging in the World: What would you do if everyone in your group, and everyone in your community was properly “provoked?”  What would you do to reach the world? Maybe this is the time to try something new.

Expand God’s Kingdom

What is the best realization you’ve had about God lately? It can be anything at all — just something that makes you say “Wow He really is amazing.”  Can you think of how to share that one thought with someone, whether a fellow believer or not? Maybe a believer could use your realization as an encouragement, or maybe God can use that thought to nudge an unbeliever who is far away from him just a little bit closer.

Leader’s Notes

Discussion Question #3:

Paul talked about Christ’s love comforting him, and in that sense, he was comforted.  But he also talked about how terrified he was of that coming day. (Hebrews 10:31, 2 Corinthians 5:11.)  He knows that God will judge His people, and it will be rough going. But he knows that in the end he will be saved.  So there should be some level of tension in this question.

If your group is all smiles and nods and “Oh I just feel great about it,” ask about why Paul was so afraid of it. And if your group is a bit distraught because they are all-too-aware of God’s promise to discipline his own kids (like Hebrews 12:6 discusses), remind them how God will never leave them nor forsake those who call on Him, either.

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.

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.