Mind Monsters Week 3 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: The Mind Monsters of emotion have moved from under our beds to inside our heads.

Discussion Starter: Have you known anyone to have some deep-seated fear, a fear that paralyzed them or prevented them from doing something?  Have you experienced any of these: fear of heights, speaking in public, tight spaces, spiders, snakes, etc.?

Introduction: There is more than one type of fear and the Bible has a lot to say about fear. This week we will look at how fear impacts us and how we can handle fears more productively, as well as supporting others as they work through some of their personal fears. Wouldn’t it be nice if this mind monster lost some (or all!) its control in our lives?


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures:  

2 Timothy 1:7, 1 John 4:18, Hebrews 2:14, Matthew 6:25-34

Discussion Questions:

  1. What do the passages in 1 John and Hebrews point to as the source of our fear?
  2. What does the passage in 2 Timothy say that God gives us?
  3. In this series, Pastor talked about parking our minds on the thoughts found on the “P48 Train.”  What similar thoughts/actions are we reminded of in 2 Timothy that God gives us to overcome Mind Monsters?
  4. How does the passage from Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 6:25-34 tell us to behave?
  5. What are some action items or thoughts we can take this week to help us with our fears?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Matthew 6:25 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: As you go through the week and encounter the Mind Monster of fear, consider Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:25-34 then reach out to your group and share ways you are encouraged.

Getting to know them: As a group, search for other scriptures on prayers to help arm you and your loved ones against the fear Mind Monster.

Getting to know Him: Commit in your groups to reading/memorizing one or two of the scriptures you found and praying for your group during your quiet time.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  Groups can be very intimidating to many.  Pray for all the new groups starting and for the Promisers who have yet to sign up.  Pray that they find their group and that the Mind Monster of fear doesn’t get in the way.

Engaging in Community: Pay attention this week as you are at work or with family and notice how fear is impacting the lives of those around you.  Things you may not have noticed before will be more evident. Share some of what you are learning, Jesus’ love, and your relationship with Him, and how this helps overcome fears.

Engaging the World: This time of year, students are heading back to school, teachers are meeting their new pupils, and we are approaching fall. Let’s say special prayers for those leaders in schools and all the students, because we know there are a lot of emotions including fear during this time.


Expand God’s Kingdom

One of the biggest obstacles for people taking their next step in becoming a leader is fear.  Who is someone who you know is afraid of moving forward and stepping up to their next level of leadership?  Reach out to them this week, and help them take their next step.


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.

Mind Monsters Week 1- Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: Emotions are the monsters under our beds that climbed into our heads!

Discussion Starter: Have you ever gone the wrong direction?  Name a time (physically or mentally) where you thought you were headed the right direction but realized you were completely lost.

Introduction: Emotions are a funny thing. Have you ever felt something, yet didn’t know why? Have you ever watched a toddler throw a temper tantrum and thought, “I wonder how and why they’re so out of control?” And then, have you wished as an adult that you had the freedom to throw a tantrum? Emotions are a funny thing. The good ones are fantastic feelings, but the bad ones are not. Crying is sometimes seen as weak. Anger can get us in trouble. What if we thought about our emotions as passengers in our lives, not the drivers? What if we control our emotions and use every single one of them to glorify God, instead of letting the enemy use our emotions to access our lives and control our thoughts and behaviors?


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Philippians 4:4-9, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Proverbs 4:23, James 5:16, Malachi 3:10

Discussion Questions:

  1. Philippians 4:4-9 starts off with, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice!” but do we really rejoice in EVERYTHING? ALWAYS? Or do we only rejoice in the things that are good? And wallow in pity and despair with in the bad moments? Why is that?
  2. 2 Corinthians 10 tells us to take every thought captive. How do we do that? Emotions can get the better of us, controlling our lives. How can we take captive our emotions and let God be the conductor of lives?
  3. Pastor said in his message, “It’s impossible to live a positive life in a negative light.” The P48 train refers to Philippians 4:8, that says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” On what are your thoughts dwelling? How can you put your life on path with the P48 train?

Discovery Bible Method:
For an alternative to the questions above, read the scriptures Philippians 4:4-9 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: 2 Corinthians 10:3 says that for though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. With what or who are we in war?

Getting to know them: James 5:16 says to confess your sins to one another and pray for one another. Use this time in group to be transparent with what you need prayers in your life and what you need to confess.

Getting to know Him: God wants us to be like Him, because that’s the only way to have our emotions as passengers in our lives, not the conductors or controllers. He does not want us to get on the wrong train of pity, rage, worry, suspicion, doubt, or anxiety.  How can we climb on the P48 train?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: We elevate those around us” is one of our values. Pastor talked about not boarding the emotion train without determining the destination. How can we help elevate those around us determine their destination? When we lift one another up, we help support their journey. Who are you elevating today?

Engaging in Community: Over the past three months, KARM stores received 943 donations of goods and time from people connected to Faith Promise.  Did you know when you donated items or your service to ANY KARM store and attach Faith Promise to the donation, we receive KARM gift cards back to be used in our benevolence program?  Donate to KARM – they not only help those in our community but they help Faith Promise help those who seek help directly at Faith Promise.

Engaging the World: If you want to reach beyond your local community, Faith Promise sponsors multiple missionary families. Stop by the Missions Spot at your campus next time you’re there to find out how you can help them and pray for them.


Expand God’s Kingdom

On what train are you riding? It’s important to recognize that one Mind Monster that many of us allow to become conductor of our lives and take us places we don’t want to go is Doubt. Today it’s getting harder and harder to trust, especially those in authority around us. If it’s hard to trust those around us, how hard is it to trust God and His authority? Accept the challenge this week to trust Him, because we believe that you will find that you can indeed trust Him in ALL things. And when you do, you will not only see God’s Kingdom around you, but you will begin to expand it to include others.


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 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.