10.14.18 - Small Group Discussion

Social Media - Social Media Feed (ME!)

Main Point: Ask “How is this investment of time changing me?”

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

  • What was your first social media platform? How many are you currently active on?

  • How much time would you guess that you spend scrolling through various social media feeds?

Read: Proverbs 12:11, 23-27

  • What are some of the positive time investments that you make with social media? What are some of the negative investments?

  • How are the algorithms that select what we see both positive and negative?

  • Do you have a way of limiting yourself to time spent on social media?

  • Why do you think we don’t realize how much time we spend on social media?

  • Proverb 12:23 says fools broadcast their foolishness. Have you been caught in a “discussion” (argument, if we’re honest) that has broadcasted your foolishness?

  • Have you ever committed to avoiding all social media for a certain amount of time? Would you be willing to do so? Why or why not?

Prayer: Pray that you are conscious of how your time is being spent.

Posted on October 15, 2018 .

10.07.18 - Small Group Discussion

Social Media - Power at Arm’s Length

Main Point: Your mobile phone is the most powerful device you own.

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

  • What are some of the powerful or dangerous things that you own? How do you handle them?

  • How do you feel about “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me?”

  • What do you use social media for?

Read: Proverbs 18:1-9, 21

  • Share a time that words were used to encourage you and/or a time that words tore you down.

  • Is there someone whose words you always love to listen to, such as an author, a teacher, or an internet personality? Are their words a positive influence in your life?

  • Have you ever noticed a difference in your attitude or how you handle situations when you have surrounded yourself with positive words as opposed to toxic words?

  • Do you live in such a way that reflects the truth that words have the power of life and death? Why or why not?

  • How will you use social media (or your words) in a positive way this week?

Prayer: Pray for wisdom in how you use your words.

Posted on October 7, 2018 .

09.30.18 - Small Group Discussion

Esther - The Great Reversal

Main Point: God is the orchestrator of great reversals.

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

  • What is your favorite underdog story?

  • Why do you think we love underdog stories?

Read: Esther 9:1-10:3

  • There are examples of God showing up in obvious ways, such as a burning bush, but that occurred to only a small percentage of people in the world. The majority of people live lives like those during Esther’s time. Is this a comfort to you? Why or why not?

  • Share a time when you were able to look back in your life and see God working even though you couldn’t see Him while you were going through it.

  • What do you do in, or how do you handle, the times when you’re waiting for God to show up?

  • The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of both now and not yet, meaning it is here, but not yet in its fullness. How does our life need to reflect that?

  • How can we show the Kingdom of grace and second chances to the people in our lives?

Prayer: Pray for peace when it doesn’t seem like God is present.

Posted on September 30, 2018 .

09.23.18 Small Group Discussion

Esther -The Great Reversal

Main Point: If God seems absent in your story, find courage in His story.

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

  • When is a time you made the wrong choice, because you were thinking about yourself above others or God?

  • Why does integrity in the small things impact our ability to make the right choices in the big things?

  • What makes God seem absent in our lives?

Read: Esther 6:1-2, 8:15-17.

  • Where has God acted in the story of Esther?

  • Did Esther and Mordecai’s actions make a difference? Why or why not?

  • Why should we find courage in God’s story when we don’t feel him working in our story?

  • How do you handle the situations when it doesn’t seem like God is present or active?

  • How can remembering our place in God’s story help us make the right choice?

Prayer: Pray to have integrity in both the big and small choices of life.

Posted on September 22, 2018 .

09.16.18 - Small Group Discussion

Esther - When Darkness Threatens

Main Point: Your circumstances shape your identity, or your identity shapes how you handle your circumstances.

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

  • Share a time you went with the crowd or took the path of least resistance.

  • What do you consider to be your primary identity? Does your life reflect that answer?

Read: Esther 4:12-17, Matthew 10:32-33.

  • Why is the question, “Who am I?” such an important question?

  • How do you feel about Mordecai’s words that salvation for the Jews would come whether or not Esther did what she was supposed to? How does this fit with the idea that privilege and providence go hand in hand?

  • Do you have an example of someone choosing their identity in Christ at the cost of losing something, such as job or friends? If so, how does that encourage you?

  • Share a time when you’ve seen circumstances shape someone’s identity.

  • If you are baptized, what was it like to announce your identity is with Christ? If you are not baptized, what is preventing you from making that commitment?

  • What choices will you make this week because your identity is in Christ?

Prayer: Pray that you will remember your identity in Christ when faced with opposition and hard times.

Posted on September 17, 2018 .

09.09.18 - Small Group Discussion

Esther - From Orphan to Queen 

Main Point: Use your privilege like Jesus used his.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
     
  • Do you think of yourself as privileged? Why or why not?
     
  • What keeps us from seeing our privilege?
     
  • Do you believe that privilege and providence go hand in hand? Why or why not?
     
  • What can be difficult about the mindset that privilege and providence go hand in hand?

Read: Esther 2:17, Philippians 2:3-8

  • Was Jesus privileged? How did Jesus use his privilege?
     
  • What is your first reaction to someone telling you that you’re privileged?
     
  • How are you privileged? What will you do with your privilege?
     
  • How can the passage in Philippians help us with how we interact with other people?
     
  • Does the Church use its privilege properly? Why or why not? How can the Church improve?

Prayer: Pray for the humility to that our privilege does not make us better, and courage to use our privilege like Jesus used his.

Posted on September 10, 2018 .

09.02.18 - Small Group Discussion

To Seek and Save / Empowered to Serve

Main Point: We are empowered by God to serve and to seek the Lost.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
     
  • Have you ever been lost? What was it like?
     
  • What would you do to find someone you love who is lost?

Read: Luke 19:6-10, Acts 1:8

  • What keeps us from going after the lost?
     
  • Why does fear get in the way?
     
  • Are our fears worth the consequences of not acting? Why or why not?
     
  • Do you feel empowered by the Holy Spirit? Why or why not?
     
  • Who do you have in your life that you can be showing Christ to? Who are you praying for right now?
     
  • Who can you invite to church on Sunday?

Prayer: Pray that you see the opportunities that God puts before you and that you have the courage to act when they come.

Posted on September 2, 2018 .

08.26.18 - Small Group Discussion

Healing Journey Ministry - Do Good!

Main Point: It’s about we, not me.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
     
  • In our culture, what gives a person value?
     
  • In our faith, what gives a person value?
     
  • How have others either helped you feel valued, or have made you feel less valuable?

Read: Ephesians 5:22-6:10.

  • How can we help restore someone caught in a sin, and how do we avoid being tempted in the process?
     
  • How can we find the balance between what is a burden (something we are to help others with) and what is a load (our personal responsibility)?
     
  • What does it look like to take pride in yourself without comparing yourself to others, as it says to do in verse 4?
     
  • Have you seen or experienced examples of the law of the harvest (“reap what you sow”)?
  • How can we keep from growing weary when doing good?
     
  • What good are you doing for your neighborhood? What good are you doing for your fellow Christians?

Prayer: Pray for opportunities to come alongside others to help with their burdens.

Posted on August 26, 2018 .

08.19.19 - Small Group Discussion

Ephesians - Defense against Disunity

Main Point: You are not alone. You are all one.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
     
  • How do you get pumped up or excited about something?
     
  • What is something you have prepared for? What was involved in preparing?
     
  • Once we’ve prepared for something, what prevents us from acting?

Read: Ephesians 6:10-24.

  • What is the significance of the ‘you’ pronouns being plural instead of singular? Why?
     
  • People are not the enemy. Why do we lose sight of who the real enemy is?
     
  • With armor on, we are told to stand, not attack. How is this significant?
     
  • Paul is a great example for us to look up to. Does the fact that even he asked for prayer help you be open to asking for prayer and help? Why or why not?
     
  • Share a time that someone came alongside you and helped you during a difficult time.
     
  • When you feel disconnected from someone, what do you do in order to reconnect?
     
  • What can you do to feel more connected to the church?

Prayer: Pray for one another.

Posted on August 18, 2018 .

08.12.18 - Small Group Discussion

Ephesians - Elevating Others

Main Point: The willingness to ask and the humility to act.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
     
  • What are some of your family’s house rules?
     
  • Were there any family rules from when you were a kid that you were adamant that you would either keep or never do?

Read: Ephesians 5:21-28, 5:33-6:9.

  • What is the difference to you between surrender and submit?
     
  • Wives are called to submit, and husbands are called to love. Is there a difference in the instructions they are given? Why or why not?
     
  • Do you think these instructions should be different in our modern culture? Why or why not?
     
  • For children living at home, how you do submit to your parents? For parents, how do you submit to your children?
     
  • In regards to slave and master, in what area do you struggle to see the person behind the role and not dehumanize them?
     
  • We are all called to submit to one another, regardless of relationship. Who do you need to get better at submitting to?
     
  • What will it take to incorporate the house rule of “the willingness to ask and the humility to act?”

Prayer: Pray for humility in order to properly submit to others.

Posted on August 13, 2018 .

08.05.18 - Small Group Discussion

Ephesians - Children in the Light

Main Point: Jesus’s family is different.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
     
  • Have you ever been compared to one of your parents? Was it a positive or negative thing? Why?
     
  • Has your identity (whether as a student, parent, employee, etc.) dictated your actions? How so?

Read: Ephesians 5:1-21.

  • How do you learn to imitate someone?
     
  • Why is thankfulness an important replacement for “obscenity, foolish talk, or coarse joking?”
     
  • How or why are immoral, impure, and greedy people idolaters?
     
  • Paul writes that we were once darkness. What is significance of us being darkness, as opposed to just being in the darkness?
     
  • How can we expose the darkness?
     
  • What are some of the differences you see in how Christians live in comparison to non-Christians?
     
  • What steps can you put in place to be more like Jesus this week?
     
  • Everyone, regardless of ethnicity, gender, financial standing, has the same number of hours in a day. How will you use your next 24 hours to imitate God?

Prayer: Pray that you will reflect God’s light bright and proud.

Posted on August 6, 2018 .

07.29.18 - Small Group Discussions

Ephesians - Children of the Light

Main Point: Like dark and light, Christian and non-Christian are binary states.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
     
  • What do you see as the biggest difference between Christians and non-Christians in regards to how they live?
     
  • What does becoming a Christian mean to you?

Read: Ephesians 4:17-32.

  • How can you “put off your old self” and “put on your new self?”
     
  • Why must we speak truthfully?
     
  • What are your ways of dealing with not sinning when angry? How do you handle not letting “the sun go down while you are still angry?”
     
  • Verse 28 addresses working and not stealing. Does this verse address how we are supposed to handle people in need, such as beggars on the street corner? Why or why not?
     
  • How would you define “unwholesome talk” (Is it specific words, attitudes, intentions, etc.)?
     
  • What does it mean to “grieve the Holy Spirit?”
     
  • Is there a limit to who we are called to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to?
     
  • If you are a Christian, do you feel like there is a difference to who you were before and after becoming a Christian? Why or why not?

Prayer: Pray that we will live as Christians, not as non-believers.

Posted on July 30, 2018 .

07.22.18 - Small Group Discussion

Ephesians - One Body

Main Point: Humility plus maturity equals unity.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
     
  • What is your church background?
     
  • Where/how have you seen humility and/or maturity be used to help bring about unity?
     
  • Have you been involved in a church division? Was it ever resolved? If so, how was it resolved? If not, what could be done still today to help resolve it?

Read: Ephesians 4:1-16.

  • What does it mean to you to live a life worthy of what you’ve been called to? Is it scary? Why or why not? How can you do it?
     
  • In practical terms, how can we show humility, gentleness, patience, and bearing with one another in love?
     
  • Do Christians tend to live united or divided? Why?
     
  • What gifts do you think God has given you for His glory? How do you use them?
     
  • How are you promoting unity in the church (or how can you promote unity in the church)?
     
  • What does unity mean to you?
     
  • What does the phrase, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, love” mean to you?

Prayer: Pray for humility, maturity, and unity.

Posted on July 22, 2018 .

07.15.18 - Small Group Discussion

Ephesians - Love’s Dimensions

Main Point: If you want a guaranteed “yes,” pray like Paul did.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
     
  • How often do you pray?
     
  • Do you have someone in your life that you would consider a person of prayer? Do you fill that role in someone else’s life?

Read: Ephesians 3:1, 14-21.

  • Verses 14-15 references every family deriving its name from God. This continues Paul’s previous writing about all of us being connected. How do you think things would be different if we truly viewed everyone as coming from the same source?
     
  • Have you ever prayed for strength from the Holy Spirit? What happened?
     
  • What does it mean to you to be rooted and established in love?
     
  • Do you feel loved by God? Why or why not?
     
  • How can we “know a love that surpasses knowledge?”
     
  • Since Christians will be known by their love, do people know that you’re a Christian?
     
  • Why is it significant that God works in us and through us to accomplish His goals?

Prayer: Pray Ephesians 3:16-19.

Posted on July 17, 2018 .

07.08.18 - Small Group Discussions

Ephesians - For the Sake of the Gospel

Main Point: What will you give up for the sake the Gospel?

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
     
  • Have you ever been the steward of something? What was it like?
     
  • What does your prayer life look like? What things distract you while you pray?
     
  • How do you approach conversations about God with others?

Read: Ephesians 3:1-13.

  • Do you see the opportunity to share the Gospel as a good or exciting thing? Why or why not?
     
  • What are you doing to be a good steward of the Gospel?
     
  • Paul gave up everything for the Gospel. What are you willing to give up?
     
  • When your faith requires sacrifice, do you find yourself whining or grumbling about it, or do you gladly accept the cost?
     
  • Penn Jillette says we must truly hate someone in order to refuse to share the Gospel with them just to avoid a bit of social awkwardness. Do you agree with this? Why or why not?
     
  • In what areas of your life do you have people you can share the Gospel with? What are you doing to share with them?

Prayer: Pray for the courage to share the Gospel and be willing to give up whatever is required.

Posted on July 8, 2018 .

07.01.18 - Small Group Discussion

Ephesians - Reconciled by Blood

Main Point: The blood of Jesus is the adhesive the holds the Church together.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
     
  • Describe yourself.
     
  • Was “Christian” one of your descriptors? How far down the list was it?
     
  • What are some identities that we place before our identities as Christians? Why do we do this?

Read: Ephesians 2:1-11-22.

  • Maybe you don’t identify with the divide between Gentile and Jew, but chances are you still have a divide somewhere. What causes that divide, even when they’re fellow Christians?
     
  • Share a time when you have felt unity with other Christians.
     
  • Jesus made one humanity and wanted peace. He gave us a new citizenship. What citizenship do you identify most with? What citizenship do you allow to most dictate your actions?
     
  • Since we are citizens of God’s kingdom, do national borders matter? Why or why not?
     
  • Do you allow family into your home or kick them out? Why?
     
  • How will you promote peace and unity?

Prayer: Pray for peace and unity.

Posted on June 30, 2018 .

06.24.18 Small Group Discussion

Ephesians - Saved by Grace

Main Point: Grace Saves, not works.

  • What’s one idea from the message that stood out to you? Why do you think it grabbed you?
     
  • When have you been shown grace?
     
  • Is it harder for you to give or receive grace? Why?

    Read: Ephesians 2:1-10.
  • The first verses speak to us all being dead in our sin. Do you struggle with remembering where you started when you look at others who are not yet Christ-followers? Why or why not?
     
  • What is the difference between a Christ-follower and someone who does not follow Christ?
     
  • Jesus redeemed us before we decided to follow Him. Does this order of events match what we expect of people coming to church? Why or why not? (In other words, do we expect them to live like they’re saved before they’ve decided to follow Jesus?)
     
  • What does it mean to you that you were dead and are made alive through Christ?
     
  • Do you struggle with the fact that grace is what saves you, instead of works? Why or why not?
     
  • We are called to do good works. What does that mean?

Prayer: Pray that you see people through the lens of grace.

Posted on June 27, 2018 .

06.17.18 - Small Group Discussion

Ephesians - The Power Within You

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 something you tried to help your parent do when you were a child?
     
  • Why do we struggle to believe that God’s power is available to us?

Read: Ephesians 1:15-23.

  • What do you think the reputation of SLCC is? Why?
     
  • How often do you pray for wisdom and revelation compared to other things? Why do you think your prayers are the way they are?
     
  • What does hope mean to you? Do you live as one who has hope? Why or why not?
     
  • Have you had something you were/are excited to inherit? How does it make you feel that the Church, and therefore you, are God’s inheritance?
     
  • What is your favorite example of God’s power?
     
  • What is the hope that you get from Jesus being seated above all earthly powers and domains?
     
  • Why do we struggle to hold on to that hope when hardships come our way?
     
  • How can you live in a way that shows you believe that God’s power is available to you?

Prayer: Pray that you will open yourself up to God’s power.

Posted on June 19, 2018 .

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 .