11.11.18 Small Group Discussion

FOMO - Missing Out on What Matters

Main Point: FOMO makes temporary decisions at the expense of eternal destiny.

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

  • How did your choices in activities as a child (or the choices you make for your children) reflect your priorities?

  • Why is the fear of missing out so powerful?

  • Have your priorities changed since you were a child? Do your activities and usage of time reflect that change?

Read: Luke 16:19-31.

  • Why is it so hard to keep our focus on eternity?

  • The rich man held on to his wealth and Lazarus suffered. What are you holding on to that is causing others to suffer because you won’t share, because you’re afraid that sharing will cause you to miss out?

  • Does your life reflect a fear of “my church” or “my God” being changed by others that is preventing you from sharing it with others?

  • What choices are you making that impact eternal destinies, both positively and negatively?

Prayer: Pray that you keep your focus on eternity.

Posted on November 11, 2018 .

11.04.18 - Small Group Discussion

FOMO - Is God Enough?

Main Point: Contentment > FOMO

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

  • Have you had a time in your life where you’ve felt content? What was it like?

  • What are you afraid of missing out on (or what have you previously been afraid of missing out on)?

  • Do you feel like God is enough? Why or why not?

Read: Genesis 2:15-17 and 3:1-7, 23-24.

  • Why did God put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden?

  • The serpent’s lies contained some truth. How are lies with truth in them harder to resist?

  • Why is contentment important and why is the fear of missing out bad?

  • How does contentment help combat the fear of missing out?

  • Why do you trade being in God’s presence for wanting what other people have?

  • When is it hardest for you to believe that God is enough?

  • What will you do this week to help your contentment win over your fear of missing out?

Prayer: Pray for contentment in what you have.

Posted on November 5, 2018 .

10.28.18 - Small Group Discussion

Social Media - Chatter or Change?

Main Point: Are you changing people’s hearts, or just adding to the chatter?

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

  • Why do you use social media?

  • Why is it important that we examine why we surround ourselves or involve ourselves in the things that we do?

Read: Psalm 34:11-14 and 141:3-4, Colossians 4:5-6, and Philippians 4:8

  • Do you consider whether your posting (or talking to others) is helping to bring about change, or if it’s just adding to the chatter?

  • How is evil overcome by good?

  • Do you know someone that you would describe as having conversation that is “gracious and attractive?” What do they do that makes them fit that description?

  • David says to work to maintain peace. What does that look like?

  • What do you do to help control your interactions on social media?

  • Have you ever prayed for God to take control of what you say and guard your lips?

  • How will you be a positive change on social media this week?

Prayer: Pray that you use social media in a way that makes a difference.

Posted on November 5, 2018 .

10.21.18 - Small Group Discussion

Social Media - 140 Character Conflict

Main Point: iContact is no substitute for Eye Contact.

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

  • When did you get your first cell phone?

  • Gossip and comments are no longer just spoken behind people’s backs. Is this positive or negative? Why?

  • Why is it easier to say things we shouldn’t when we’re not talking face-to-face with a person?

Read: Proverbs 11:27, 26:17-27.

  • Do you have examples of people who are surrounded by positive or negative people on social media because of how they handle themselves online?

  • Why is eye contact important in discussions?

  • Since eye contact is important, how do you handle discussions or quarrels where eye contact is not an option?

  • How do you balance blocking toxic influences with not getting tunnel-vision on your social media and being able to make a difference?

  • Are we called to be civil in all conversations? Why or why not?

  • How can you be a positive influence on social media this week?

Prayer: Pray that you handle your conversations with others appropriately.

Posted on October 21, 2018 .

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 .