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.

 

Heart for the Harvest Week 4 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: How long do we pray for a miracle?  This week, we see in God’s Word where Jesus encourages us to be persistent in asking God for miracles.

Discussion Starter: When you were a kid, did you ask your parents for something over and over?  Did you ever get it?

Introduction: A consistent theme throughout God’s Word is the long suffering and persistent pleading from God’s people (Exodus, Psalms, Job, Habakkuk, and many more) for God to meet them and do something only He can do.  In every case God shows His people that he IS just, kind, merciful, loving, and generous.

Watch this brief intro together with your group (click picture below):


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Luke 18:1-8

Discussion Questions:

1. Consistent and persistent prayer can be hard, especially when we have been praying for something over months, days, and years.  What are the biggest obstacles for you to be consistent and persistent in prayer?

2. How can you lean on each other in your group to encourage one another in your prayer life?

3. Read James 5:16 Confession is aligning who we are with who God has designed and called us to be.  How can your confession be more than just a laundry list of what you did wrong?

4. What is something in your life that you need to “wear God out” with?

5. Read Isaiah 40:31 In our culture, we are not used to having to wait on much of anything.  However, this “waiting” is not passive.  Consider a farmer who waits for God to bring a good harvest.  The farmer still has to plow, sow, and tend.  What would God have you DO while you wait for him to answer your prayers?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Philippians 4:6 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

What is a common prayer that your group can relentlessly ask God for?

How can you encourage each other along the way to keep praying for God to do what only He can do?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Read Galatians 6:9-10 One way to avoid being discouraged is remaining steadfast in prayer.  How can you pray for the work you and others do at Faith Promise?

Engaging in Community and the World: The prophet Habakkuk is a great example of someone interceding for his community and the world.  Read the book of Habakkuk (don’t worry it’s only three chapters) and consider how you can cry out to God on behalf of your community and this world.  Discuss how God has met your hopes in the past and what you hope from Him in the future.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Read 1 Thessalonians 2:9-12 Expanding God’s Kingdom is hard.  Who are you working with to expand God’s Kingdom?  And how are you praying together?


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.

 

Revival Week 4 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: Thanks to God’s will and initiation, revival is available to everyone.

Discussion Starter: Discuss a time when you learned from a mistake.

Introduction: This week Pastor Zac showed us the progression of revival and how revival is available to everyone through God’s will.

Watch this brief intro together with your group (click picture below):

Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: John 3:16, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Proverbs 14:22, Hebrews 12:4-11, Luke 15:20-23, Romans 6:23, Psalm 51:12

Discussion Questions:

1. Pastor Zac quoted Henry Blackaby, who said, “Revival is a divinely initiated work in which God’s people pray, repent of their sin, and return to a holy, Spirit-filled, obedient love relationship with God.”  Restate this definition in your own words.

2.  Why is it important that God is the One who initiates revival?

3. There is a difference between discipline and punishment.  Discipline is used to train, whereas punishment is a penalty for an offense.  Read Hebrews 12:4-11.  How has God disciplined you in the past or currently?  Did you respond with appreciation?

4.  In Progression 4, Pastor Zac points out that we cry out to God.  Read Psalm 61:1-4.  Why is being humble an essential element of crying out to God?  Can you genuinely cry out to God while being prideful?

5. What is your biggest obstacle to moving from a “what if” revival is available mindset and life, to an “as if” one?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Proverbs 14:22 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 can those in your group help you identify where you are on the revival progression?

Getting to know them: How can your group help each other take their next step in the revival progression?

Getting to know Him:  Read Philippians 1:6.  Take some time and reflect on how God started His work in you.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  Since it is Pastor Appreciation Month, reach out and encourage a pastor at your campus this week.

Engaging in Community:  Undoubtedly, God wants to bring revival to all of our communities.  Where is your place in being a part of revival in your community?

Engaging the World: God’s Kingdom is expanding all over the world.  How are you partnering with Christians around the world to see global revival?


Expand God’s Kingdom

This week, read James 5:7-11 with someone you are helping disciple and discuss how each of you can grow in your walk with Christ.


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.

Revival Week 2 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: Putting revival and eternity back in the forefront of our hearts and minds

Discussion Starter: Have you or anyone you know ever gone to a white tent revival?  What do you think of when someone starts speaking about revival?

Introduction: This Sunday Pastor Chris discusses attitudes or mindsets that the church needs to embody in order to set us up for revival. With the directive of not grieving the Holy Spirit and carrying out the 3 “attitudes of revival,” comes a significant adjustment to some if not all our lives.

Watch this brief intro together with your group (click picture below):


Encounter God

Primary Scripture: Ephesians 4:30-32, Matthew 6:14-15, Hebrews 12:15, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19, 2 Corinthians 9:6-13, 1 john 1:9, Matthew 7:8-11

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the three attitudes of revival that can be found in these scriptures? Even if you have not seen this weekend’s sermon, what common themes should we be implementing in our lives from these verses?

2. What happens to us when we are not practicing these attitudes?

3. What does it mean to grieve the Holy Spirit?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Ephesians 4:32 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

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

1. Getting to know you- Reflect back on the 3 “attitudes of revival.” You can discuss with your group or just think to yourselves, which of these is your strongest? Which of these attitudes should you work on this week?

2. Getting to know them- This week keep a gratitude list where you write at least 3 things you are grateful for every morning and bring it to our next week’s small group to share some of the gratitude’s and how the practice of focusing on them every morning helped to shape your week and your mindset.

3. Getting to know God- What are some accountability actions you and your small group can do this week to help each other remember to keep revival and eternity in the forefront of your mind?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Pray for revival within your  group.

Engaging in Community: Pray for revival in your community. Remember that these were promises that God gave to His people, so in order to have revival we must share God’s real love and people must turn to Him.

Engaging the World: Pray that Faith Promise missionaries around the world would experience revival in their communities.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Who can you share this message with this week?


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.