06.10.18 - Small Group Discussion

Ephesians - God’s Holy Children

Main Point: In Christ, we have been chosen.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
  • What is your typical response to things that confuse you (such as, do you try to understand? Get frustrated? Etc.)
  • Share something that previously confused you but makes sense to you now. How did you come to understand it?
  • What is something in the Bible that confuses you?

Read: Ephesians 1:1-14.

  • What does it mean to you to be chosen and adopted by God?
  • Paul writes that all things are to be brought into unity in Jesus. How does this impact how we interact with every single person we meet regardless of who they are?
  • When we believe, we are marked with the Holy Spirit, meaning new and old Christians both have the same Holy Spirit. What does this mean for each Christian’s ability to understand God and speak about spiritual things?
  • Why is it important that God predestined that all who follow Jesus are adopted into His family, as opposed to God predestining who it is that is adopted?

Prayer: Thank God for His willingness to adopt us into His family.

Posted on June 10, 2018 .

06.03.18 - Small Group Discussion

MEYOUSEX - Married Sex

  • This has been a thought-provoking series. What have been some of the concepts that have been the most challenging?

  • The main idea behind this series is that our individual actions have an impact on the entire church. Why does that concept run so counter to our thinking? 

Read: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

  • Paul wrote, “You are not your own.” Whose are you? What is the implication of that shift in belonging?
  • What does glorifying God in your body look like, in practical terms.

Read: 1 Corinthians 7:1-9

  • What are some of the obstacles that couples face in making themselves sexually available to one another?
  • If you are married, what are the challenges you face, personally, in yielding authority over your body to your spouse?
  • How can couples work together to embody the idea: “It’s not about me; it’s not about you, it’s about us.”?
  • Paul writes that he wishes everyone were as he is – unmarried. Why do you think he makes that statement?
  • What are some of the benefits of being unmarried? How can individuals who remain single embrace the idea: “It’s not about me; it’s not about you, it’s about us.”?

Prayer: Pray for one another! Pray for married couples to glorify God in their marriage. Pray for unmarried adults to glorify God in their singleness.

Posted on June 3, 2018 .

05.27.18 - Small Group Discussion

MEYOUSEX - Temple Purity

Main Point: The only sexual choice for Christians is to honor God with their bodies.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
  • What are some of the laws we break “because it isn’t hurting anybody?”
  • What is something our culture allows or encourages that you struggle with because it doesn’t fit with a Christian faith? In other words, what is a guilty pleasure that you know as a Christian you should not be a part of?

Read: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20.

  • What rights do you cling to that as a Christian you should not?
  • Does Paul’s point of being united as one impact how you view sex and things such as porn? Why or why not?
  • Paul then says that we are likewise united with God in spirit. What does this mean to you?
  • What do you think of when you think of a temple?
  • How does the fact that we were bought with a price and are not our own impact how you live and treat yourself and others?
  • How can you honor God with your body?

Prayer: Pray that you will see yourself and others as Children of God and as current or future temples of the Holy Spirit. Pray that your actions will be impacted as a result.

Posted on May 27, 2018 .

05.20.18 - Small Group Discussion

MEYOUSEX - A Floodlight, not a spotlight

Main Point: Our job is to love people; the Holy Spirit’s job is to change people.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
  • What communities have you been a part of? What were the benefits of being part of that community?
  • What are the responsibilities of a member of a community?
  • Do you feel like the Church is a community? Why or why not?

Read: 1 Corinthians 6:1-10.

  • Paul mentions lawsuits are something that reflects poorly on the Church. What are some other things that can occur within the Church that reflect poorly on the whole community?
  • Sexual sins are listed equally among many other sins. Why do you think there is typically a more negative attitude towards sexual sins?
  • How do you do at recognizing that temptation is not sin?
  • We have all sinned. People will often ignore or downplay their own faults while hi-lighting the sins of others. Why do we do this?
  • What is the difference between a Christian and a non-Christian?
  • Our job is to love people. The Holy Spirit’s job is to change people. How are you at keeping those job descriptions straight and sticking to the loving and not the judging?

Prayer: Pray that you will love all people, and leave any judgment to the Holy Spirit.

Posted on May 20, 2018 .

05.13.18 - Small Group Discussion

MEYOUSEX - Me, Us, and Y’all

Main Point: The Church must stop expecting outsiders to act like insiders while insiders act like outsiders.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
  • What family traditions do you have? As you grew up, were there traditions that were hard to let go of or change?
  • In what ways do we struggle to leave our old lives and follow Jesus?
  • How has the Church struggled in pointing at outsiders and telling them to change while not living that way ourselves?

Read: 1 Corinthians 5:1-13

  • Why does Paul say to excommunicate the man (meaning kick him out) from church?
  • Have you seen one person, or a small group of people, whose actions have had a great impact on a whole church? Why is it that one person’s actions can affect so many?
  • What is the draw to become a Christian when Christians look just like the world, or in comes cases, worse than the world?
  • Paul says to judge those within the Church, not those who are outside of it. How has the Church done at this? How have you done at this?
  • How can we show acceptance of people without giving approval to their actions?

Prayer: Pray that you can see people in God’s image.

Posted on May 13, 2018 .

05.06.18 - Small Group Discussion

MEYOUSEX - God made sex (too)

Main Point: Sex is not just physical; it’s spiritual. It either reflects God’s image, or it corrupts it.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
  • In what areas of your life do you compartmentalize things? What are the dangers of doing so?
  • As a whole, how has the Church compartmentalized itself? Do you see the Church being involved, or should it be involved, in all facets of life? Why or why not?
  • Did you grow up in a household where sex was something you could talk about, or was it more of a secret topic?

Read: Genesis 1:26-27, 2:18-24.

  • What does it mean to you to be made in the image of God?
  • Adam knew it was not good for him to be alone, because he saw the pairings of all the animals. What do you think is the benefit to Adam having realized that before he had Eve, as opposed to Adam and Eve being made at the same time?
  • What is the significance of a man leaving his father and mother to be with his wife in regard to how we approach our family relationships?
  • How can we make progress in seeing all people as being made in the image of God?

Prayer: Pray that you can see people in God’s image.

Posted on May 8, 2018 .

04.29.18 - Small Group Discussion

Fierce - The Wise Woman of Tekoa

Main Point: Hope.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
  • How do you define hope?
  • When is a time in your life that hope has been an integral part?
  • Have you been part of a group giving hope to others? What was that like?
  • How does a lack of hope impact people?

Read: 2 Samuel 14:1-13.

  • Was it right for Joab to use the woman to get David to see things in a different light? Why or why not?
  • David is quicker to provide forgiveness to the woman’s son who he does not know than he is to give forgiveness to his son Absalom. Why do you think this was? Are you similar to David in this regard?

Read: 2 Samuel 14:14.

  • What is the perception of death in this verse?
  • What is the hope in this verse?
  • How does this hope impact how we live?
  • Why do we hesitate, or fail, to share this hope?
  • Is it harder for you to share the hope of Christ with people close to you or slightly less close? Why?

Prayer: Pray to be filled with hope and open to opportunities to share it.

Posted on April 30, 2018 .

04.22.18 - Small Group Discussion

Fierce - Abigail

Main Point: We all need someone in our lives to check out judgment. Moreover, we can all be that person.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
  • Who is someone who can speak truth into your life and call you out when needed?
  • What are some of the components that can make things go well when someone is being called out? What are some of the components that can make things go poorly?
  • What stops us from calling people out when they need to be?

Read: 1 Samuel 25:2-17.

  • David reacts in anger because his pride is hurt. How do you react when your pride is hurt? Is it a time when you are open to hearing someone call you out?
  • Nabal’s servant goes to Abigail to have her fix the problem. What can we learn and apply to our lives when we look at the servant going to Abigail, instead of the servant dealing with the situation?

Read: 1 Samuel 25:19-38

  • Abigail saved all the males of Nabal’s line and David’s reputation because she had the courage to call David out. What are some of the things you have been able to take a step back from and re-evaluate because someone cared enough to call you on it?
  • How do you approach a person when you need to call them out?
  • Can anyone speak into anyone’s life to call them on their mistakes? Why or why not?

Prayer: Pray for courage to speak into a loved one’s life when it’s necessary, and the wisdom to listen when people speak into yours.

Posted on April 22, 2018 .

04.15.18 - Small Group Discussion

Fierce - Deborah and Jael

 Main Point: God chooses leaders based on their faith, not their facade.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
  • What are the qualities or characteristics that you look for in a leader?
  • Why do you think we put so much weight on exterior qualities?
  • Who is one of your favorite surprising leaders in the Bible? Why?

Read: Judges 4:1-10.

  • Verses 1-3 establish the pattern that Israel falls into. Why does it seem like Israel is constantly unintelligent, but we have a hard time seeing the same pattern in ourselves?
  •  In verses 4-10, Barak says he wants Deborah to go with him. Why do you think he wanted her with him? Have you ever wanted someone to be with you when attempting a task?

Read: Judges 4:14-24.

  • Is there shame in a woman getting the glory for this battle? Why or why not?
  • Jael was not an Israelite, but she was chosen by God. How do you react when an outsider is brought in to lead? How does our culture approach outsiders as leaders?
  • What are some of your prejudices and assumptions regarding leaders that you need to work on?
  • How can we raise up leaders to have the proper qualities that truly matter?

Prayer: Pray for wisdom in electing leaders and wisdom in how you lead.

Posted on April 15, 2018 .

04.08.18 - Small Group Discussion

Fierce - Jochebed 

Main Point: Do the right thing and trust God to work it out.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
  • Who is the toughest woman you know? Why?
  • Jochebed’s name was almost lost to history. Who are some women whose names have been forgotten that have made an impact in your life?
  • Who is your favorite woman in the Bible? Why?

Read: Exodus 2:1-10.      

  • How would things be different if Jochebed had obeyed Pharaoh’s law?
  • What would the impact have been if Miriam wasn’t willing to step up and speak to Pharaoh’s daughter?
  • What are some of the other options that Pharaoh’s daughter could have taken?
  • Jochebed gave up Moses twice. Do you think it was easier or harder the second time? Why?
  • Have you had a time where you’ve had to choose between what God says is right and what the law says is right? How did you handle that situation?
  • Have you ever lost something because you followed God’s will instead of mankind’s will? Explain the situation, if you’re comfortable.
  • How can ‘doing the right thing and trusting God to work it out’ make things easier in your life?

Prayer: Pray for courage and boldness to do the right thing, no matter what, even when it doesn’t seem like it will make a difference.

Posted on April 8, 2018 .

04.01.18 - Small Group Discussion

Point of View - Divorce

Main Point: The resurrection is just the beginning!

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
  • Frank talked about surprise endings. Share with your group about an ending that surprised you.

Read: Mark 1:1; John 21:25

  • Mark wrote that his Gospel was just the beginning of all that Jesus did. John wrote that it would be impossible to record all that Jesus did. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit they recorded certain events. Why did they choose the events they did? What is their significance? 

Read: Mark 16:1-8

  • Each of the Gospels records that women were the first to know that the tomb was empty. Why?
  • Mark gives an interesting detail about the angel’s position in the tomb. Is there importance to where the angel is seated? If so, what is its importance?
  • Mark’s Gospel ends so abruptly that, at some later date, an editor added verses 9-20. There is a lot of speculation about why it might have ended so suddenly, but assuming that the ending is intentional: why do you think the ending was so sudden?
  • We’re so familiar with Jesus’ story that the resurrection isn’t much of a surprise for us. But for those in the first century, it was an earth-altering event, a stunning plot twist. Put yourself in the shoes of the eyewitnesses of the resurrection. What would your reaction have been?
  • What is the effect of the resurrection for you and me? How does it change your point of view?

Prayer: Since the resurrection proves that failure isn’t final, pray that God will help you to live as an overcomer!

Action: I Love My City is coming up on April 29. Frank tells me that he has heard from only one group about the project they are undertaking. If your group had talked about a service project please communicate those details with Frank via Email.

Posted on April 4, 2018 .

03.25.08 - Small Group Discussion

Point of View - Divorce

Main Point: You can’t change your point of view on your own; you need God’s help

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
  • Have you ever had a change of view that was so sudden that it caught you by surprise?

Read: Mark 10:46-52

  • Why do you suppose Jesus asked Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?” He was all-knowing so Jesus already knew. Not only that, but wasn’t it obvious? Bartimaeus was blind. So why did Jesus ask a question with such an obvious answer?
  • Mark wrote that Bartimaeus followed Jesus down the road. If he followed him the entire way into Jerusalem, what would he have seen (for the very first time!)?

 Read: Mark 11:1-25

  • Like the people accompanying Jesus into Jerusalem, we can easily make Jesus into our own version of a Savior – one whose chief goals are to save us from physical, financial and emotional difficulties. Jesus’ salvation is primarily spiritual, though. What does that mean for us?
  • Like the fig tree, the religious leaders in Jerusalem looked healthy on the outside, but they were without fruit. How is this a danger for us? What can we do about it?
  • Try as we might, the only way we can change our point of view to Jesus’ point of view is with God’s help. How does he help us experience His point of view?

Prayer: Pray for God to help you experience Jesus’ point of view in every area of your life.

 Action: I Love My City is coming up on April 29. Has your group talked about a service project you can take on? Have you communicated those details with frank by emailing him.

Posted on March 25, 2018 .

03.18.18 - Small Group Discussion

Point of View - Divorce

Main Point: You live in a self-serve world, but you’re part of a world-serve church.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
  • Share with your group a recent example of incredible service that you witnessed or experienced.
  • What is it about our world that has so conditioned us to expect to be served more than to serve?

Read: Mark 10:32-34

  • This is the third time Jesus has told his disciples what awaited him in Jerusalem. This is the most detailed of the three. Why did Jesus keep returning to this theme in Mark 8-10?
  • We have the benefit of viewing Jesus’ death in light of his resurrection. How does that give us an advantage over Jesus’ first twelve disciples?

Read: Mark 10:35-45

  • Put yourself in this story. Are you more like James and John or are you more like the “indignant” disciples? Why do you think that?
  • Jesus has just told his followers that he will be betrayed, mocked, spit on, flogged, whipped and killed before rising again on the third day. How must he be feeling as he confronts their jockeying for rank and position?
  • Jesus makes it clear that the Church should look differently than the world when it comes to power structures and authority. How are we doing that? Are there ways that the Church reflects the world that need to be confronted? Where is the Church getting it right in terms of having Jesus’ outlook on service?
  • What is a specific way you can emulate Jesus attitude of service this week?

Prayer: Pray for your perspective on service to align with Jesus’ point of view.

Action: I Love My City is coming up on April 29. Talk about a service project your group can take on and then share those details with frank by emailing him.

Posted on March 19, 2018 .

03.11.18 Small Group Questions

Point of View - Divorce

Main Point: Divorce is not the enemy of marriage; a hard heart is.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
  • This might be a difficult conversation but if your group feels safe enough share how divorce has impacted you and your family.
  • There was a time when many churches did not feel like they were safe places to go through or recover from divorce. Why do you think that was? What has changed?

Read: Mark 10:1-12

  • Frank said the Pharisees were more concerned about their rights than their responsibilities. They were always looking for a loophole. In what ways are we like that? Why?
  • Women in the time of Moses had few rights. Moses’ instructions in Deuteronomy 24:1-4 were for their protection. In Mark 10 how did Jesus elevate the status of women in his answer to the Pharisees?
  • David Garland wrote, “Divorce happens, but Jesus attributes it to a sclerosis of the heart – deliberate disobedience to God.” What are some ways in which we allow our hearts to grow hard, either in marriage or in general?
  • How can each of us foster a tender heart?

Bonus Read: If you have time, and are so inclined read Mark 10:13-16

  • Why are children so important to Jesus? In what ways should our spiritual lives should be childlike
  • Jesus just taught about marriage and divorce. Now he talks about children and childlikeness. How are these two subjects connected?

Prayer: Pray for your heart to become more tender.
Action: Talk about something specific you plan to do this week to cultivate a tender heart.

Posted on March 10, 2018 .

03.04.18 - Small Group Discussion

Point of View - Pride and Sin

Main Point: Adopting Jesus’ perspective means including him in every area of life.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
  • Have you ever had an eye test to get glasses or contacts? If not, think about simply going from a dark room into a lit room, or some such instance. Describe what it was like to suddenly be able to see properly?
  • What are some common areas that you feel Christians struggle with handling from God’s point of view? Why do you think people struggle in those areas?

Read: Mark 9:33-50. 

  • What is your feeling towards ambition? Do your actions and beliefs line up with Jesus’s stance to be last and serve everyone?
  • How do you feel about the phrase, “We’re Christians only, but we’re not the only Christians?”
  • How has Christians divisiveness caused issues throughout history and still today?
  • Jesus has a firm stance on sin. How is the stance that you hold similar or different from Jesus’s?
  • If our point of view is supposed to match Jesus’s point of view in every area of our lives, what areas do you need to refocus? How about the books you read or movies and TV you watch, for example?

Prayer: Pray for God to open your eyes to the parts of your life that you need to approach from God’s point of view.

Posted on March 3, 2018 .

02.25.18 - Small Group Discussion

POV - Next Level Faith

Main Point: Next level faith is having the faith of Jesus.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
  • Have you ever looked at something simply from a different angle or perspective and it totally changed how you looked at it, such as a board game, a sports replay, a position in a debate, etc.?
  • What do you think impacts the perspective you have regarding your faith? Have people said or done things that have changed how you view your faith?

Read: Mark 9:14-29.

  • How do you handle mountain-to-valley experiences going from a spiritual high to daily life?
  • How do you feel about stories dealing with demon possession? Why do you feel that way?
  • Do you think demon activity is different today than in Jesus’ day? Why or why not?
  • Do you think Jesus ever has a similar view of us as the view he presented in verse 19? Why or why not?
  • How often do you have an if-you-can approach to God’s ability as opposed to a you-can approach? What do you think creates each approach?
  • Frank presented three components to having the faith of Jesus in order to have a next level faith: You ask for it, you trust God to give you that kind of faith, and you do what Jesus did. What part do you think you can focus on this week?
  • How would the Church look if it was full of people who had the faith of Jesus? How can you help bring this state to fruition?

Prayer: Pray for God to help you in your disbelief.

Posted on February 25, 2018 .

02.18.18 - Small Group Discussion

PoV - Glory and Suffering

Main Point: Suffering and glory go together.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
  • What comes to your mind when you think about glory and suffering? Do they go together in your mind? Why or why not?
  • Share a time when suffering led to glory.
  • What’s something you have wanted to achieve, but have been hesitant to put in the hard work for?

Read: Mark 9:2-11.

  • Peter, James, and John see Jesus transformed into brilliantly white clothes symbolizing righteousness and hear God speak in support of Jesus. How does this fit with how they pictured the messiah?
  • Peter babbles in fear about building shelters. What are some ways we respond to God’s glory in fear?
  • Why could they not understand the phrase, “rising from the dead?”
  • Jesus declares that he will suffer and be rejected. Does this fit with what we think of when we think of heroes in stories? Why or why not?
  • How is suffering and glory going hand in hand an encouragement?
  • If you are a person who has had a lot of suffering, what can help you remember that glory will eventually come?
  • If you are someone who has not had much suffering, how can you help lighten the load of others?

Prayer: Pray for strength to endure suffering, and pray for courage to step up and help others who are suffering.

Posted on February 17, 2018 .

02.11.18 - Small Group Discussion

Point of View - Paradoxial Savior

Main Point: Changing your point of view is more important than changing your circumstances.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
  • Share a time when your point of view shifted dramatically as the result of being confronted by some new experience or situation.
  • Why do you think it is so hard to see things from another’s point of view?

Read: Mark 8:31-33

  • Imagine being there when Peter confronted Jesus. What do you think was going on? What would your reaction be?
  • In his response to Peter, Jesus makes it clear that people are not the enemy; the devil is. What are some practical ways you can live that principle out?
  • What are some ways you struggle to see things from God’s point of view?

Read: Mark 8:34-38

  • These four paradoxes that Jesus tells the crowd must have had puzzled them. Which of the four challenges you the most?
  • Frank said that changing your point of view is more important than changing your circumstances. Share a time where you longed to change your circumstances, but needed to first change your point of view. What difference would (or did) changing your point of view make?
  • It can be difficult to see situations from God’s point of view; it can be nearly impossible, sometimes, to see people from God’s point of view. Is there someone in your life that you need to begin seeing through God’s eyes? What would that look like if you did?

Prayer: Pray for the spiritual vision to see everything from God’s point of view.

Read Mark 9:2-13 to be ready for next Sunday’s teaching.

Posted on February 12, 2018 .

1.28.18 - Small Groups Discussion

Main Point: A generous lifestyle is about more than money.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?

  • Share some instances where you have seen generosity lived out that had nothing to do with money.

Read: Exodus 31:1-6

  • Who do you know that has been specifically chosen and gifted by God for a task? What kind of inspiration have you drawn from being around that person?

  • We don’t know anything else about Bezalel and Oholiab except what we read here (and a bit about their genealogy in a couple other passages). What kind of legacy did they leave behind? What would you like to be written about the way you used your gifts for God’s glory?

Read: Exodus 36:1-7

  • What does this passage communicate about generosity?

  • The wealth that the Israelites offered for the construction of the Tabernacle was immense. 2,800 pounds of gold worth $41 million today and 9,600 pounds of silver worth $2.25 million today. What strikes you about that incredible outpouring? In what ways does our giving reflect theirs? In what ways does it not?
  • Frank said, “A generous lifestyle is about more than money.” What is it about? •
  • America is the wealthiest nation on the planet. The poor in America are middle-class in the rest of the world. What responsibilities come with the privilege?
  • Talk about the way this series has affected your group’s perspective of generosity and how you can continue to grow in generosity as a  group and as individuals.

Prayer: Thank God for the ability to raise your standard of giving and impact the world for Christ through being generous.

Posted on January 29, 2018 .

01.21.18 - Small Group Discussion

Contagious Generosity - How to be Generous

Main Point: Generosity begins where tithing ends.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
  • This week’s teaching was on the obedient discipline of tithing (giving ten percent of your income) to God. Why is that such a difficult topic to talk about, and a difficult discipline to practice?

Read: Malachi 3:6-11

  •  According to this text, what is the connection between tithing and being blessed?

Read: Hebrews 7:1-2; Genesis 14:17-20

  • The Hebrew writer compares Jesus to the ancient priest, Melchizedek. What impact do these two scriptures have on our understanding of whether or not Christians should tithe?
  • In Matthew 5:17-20 Jesus said that he did not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. He also said that our righteousness should exceed that of the Pharisees. How does that influence your understanding of tithing?
  • The main point of Sunday’s sermon was, “Generous obedience always results in generous blessing.” Where have you seen the connection between obedience and blessing you your life this week (or in the past)?

Read: 2 Corinthians 9:6-11

  • What does “cheerful” giving look like?
  • How can you as a group encourage each other to be more generous?
  • If your group has not already done so, talk about a way your group can come together to plan an act of contagious generosity.

Prayer: Pray for God to give you a heart that obeys him in the way you practice tithing and generosity.

Posted on January 21, 2018 .