10.20.19 - Small Group Discussion

Meeting Jesus - Grace Reminder

People are quick to condemn; Jesus is quick to forgive.

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

  • Do you lean towards forgiveness or condemning? What factors play a part in your choice (sleepy, hungry, driving, etc.)?

Read: John 7:53-8:11, Leviticus 20:10.

  • How do you feel about this passage of John not being included in the earliest manuscripts? Why?

  • What do you imagine Jesus wrote in the dirt?

  • The religious leaders were just using the woman to trap Jesus. Do intentions matter for the choices we make? Why or why not?

  • Nowhere in this story does the woman ask for forgiveness, yet Jesus forgives her. How does this impact how we should approach forgiving people?

  • What makes someone’s forgiveness feel genuine? Why?

  • If comfortable, share what you’ve been carrying around that you need to let Jesus forgive you for.

  • Think about someone you need to forgive. What makes it hard to forgive them? How can you show forgiveness to them this week?

Prayer: Pray that you are quick to forgive, not condemn. Pray for the other people in your group that they accept Jesus’ forgiveness.

Posted on October 21, 2019 .

10.13.19 - Small Group Discussion

Meeting Jesus - Two Messes

Jesus isn’t afraid of cooties.

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

  • What makes you avoid people?

Read: Mark 5:21-43.

  • Why do you avoid “messy” people?

  • Do you feel like the Church is a place for messy people? Do you feel that you are welcoming to messy people? Do you feel that the Church has been welcoming to you with your messiness? Why or why not?

  • Jairus was a synagogue leader. Does his position have an impact on the situation or the fact that he went to Jesus?

  • The woman who was bleeding did not have a high position like Jairus, but Jesus still waded into her mess. What can we learn from the woman and Jairus regarding who we should be engaging with?

  • What does Jesus’ willingness to be ceremonially unclean mean for how we need to be for people? Was there anything wrong with being ceremonially unclean? Why or why not?

  • How would things be different if we were willing to wade into more messy situations?

Prayer: Pray for courage when confronted with messy situations so that you will engage with the situation instead of avoiding it.

Posted on October 14, 2019 .

10.06.19 - Small Group Discussion

Meeting Jesus - Calling Matthew

Acceptance does not equal approval.

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

  • What are some of the ways you interact with and affect people?

  • Tax collectors were hated for collaborating with the occupying nation and stealing from the people to become rich. Can you think of what a similarly hated occupation might be today?

  • Why do we often equate acceptance with approval?

Read: Matthew 9:9-13.

  • To accept others the way Jesus does, we need to leave our place of comfort. What keeps you from doing so?

  • Frank presents three primary reasons that Christians are sometimes hesitant to interact with non-Christians (They confuse acceptance with approval, they’re afraid the sin will “rub off,” or they’re apathetic about Hell). Do you see yourself in one of these categories? How so? Or, if you don’t, what keeps you from interacting with non-Christians?

  • Why does Jesus desire mercy, not sacrifice?

  • How can you be accepting to those whose actions or life choices are ones you don’t approve of? What does it look like?

Prayer: Pray that you are accepting and loving to those around you.

Posted on October 7, 2019 .

09.29.19 - Small Group Discussion

Grumpy Old Men - Micah

Seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly.

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

  • When have you experienced denial? What helps shake you out of it?

  • How does denial prevent you from moving forward?

Read: Micah 1:2-5, 3:1-4, 5:2, 4-5, 6:1-4, 8.

  • Micah 1 addresses the punishment coming due to the people’s sins. How do you handle situations where you are told a punishment is coming?

  • Micah 3 addresses the leaders. Why are leaders held to a higher standard? Does a leader’s poor leadership absolve their followers of their sins? Why or why not?

  • We are told to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly. Why?

  • What does justice mean to you? How can you seek it?

  • What does mercy mean? What does it look like to love mercy?

  • What does humility mean to you? How do we walk humbly?

  • Which of these three instructions is hardest for you? Why?

  • For the two principles presented (prophecy is more important for what it reveals about God than what it reveals about the future, and prophecy wasn’t necessarily written to us, but it was definitely preserved for us), what do Micah’s words reveal about God and why were these words preserved for us?

Prayer: Pray that you be shown how to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly.

Posted on September 29, 2019 .

09.22.19 - Small Group Discussion

Grumpy Old Men - Amos

God wants you to have eternal life; He also wants you to have abundant living.

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

  • What experiences have you had with a good or bad foundation?

Read: Amos 7:7-9, 2:6-7, Deuteronomy 25:9-10

  • Amos 7 discusses a plumb line. Do you compare your actions to others’ actions to determine if something is ok? Why or why not? Is this a good thing to do? Why or why not?

  • Amos 2 deals with injustice and oppression. What are some examples of injustice and oppression that you’re aware of in our current culture?

  • In what ways do you contribute, intentionally or not, to the injustice and/or oppression in our culture?

  • For the two principles presented (prophecy is more important for what it reveals about God than what it reveals about the future, and prophecy wasn’t necessarily written to us, but it was definitely preserved for us), what do Amos’s words reveal about God and why were these words preserved for us?

  • What are you doing to right the wrongs of injustice and oppression in our world?

Prayer: Pray that you reject partaking in injustice and oppression, and that the only guidance you follow for right and wrong is God’s direction.

Posted on September 22, 2019 .

09.15.19 - Small Group Discussion

Grumpy Old Men - Hosea

God loves you enough to discipline you and too much to discard you.

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

  • How has your view of discipline changed over time?

  • Why is discipline important?

Read: Hosea 1:2-12, 2:6-8, 3:1, Romans, 5:6-8, Hebrews 12:7, 11

  • What have you been taught previously about God and discipline? Do these verses match that? Why or why not?

  • Is it difficult to reconcile the way God is with Hosea and his family with your view of God? Why or why not?

  • Do you find encouragement in these passages? Why or why not?

  • What does it mean to you that God’s love is unreasonable? What about that His love is tough and that His love is unconditional?

  • Do you believe these (His love is unreasonable, tough, and unconditional) to be true? Why or why not?

  • What has God done that makes you feel loved?

  • For the two principles presented last week (prophecy is more important for what it reveals about God than what it reveals about the future, and prophecy wasn’t necessarily written to us, but it was definitely preserved for us), what did Hosea’s words reveal about God and why were these words preserved for us?

Prayer: Pray that you receive discipline well and change in accordance to it.

Posted on September 15, 2019 .

09.08.19 - Small Group Discussion

Grumpy Old Men - Joel

Either you kill sin, or sin kills you.

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

  • What is your initial impression or attitudes towards the books of prophecy in the Old Testament? Why?

  • When you hear the word “prophecy,” what comes to mind?

  • How do the two principles Frank presented impact your view on prophecy? (prophecy is more important for what it reveals about God than what it reveals about the future, and prophecy wasn’t necessarily written to us, but it was definitely preserved for us)

Read: Joel 1:1-14, 2:12-13

  • Like the destruction the locusts bring, sin will destroy us and our lives. How can we acknowledge the cost of sin? What keeps us from acknowledging the cost? Why is acknowledging the cost important?

  • What does it mean to genuinely mourn your sin? Why is this important to do?

  • What does repenting mean to you and what does it look like in your life?

  • Joel speaks to God’s character in 2:13. Have you found his descriptions to be accurate? Why or why not?

  • For the two principles presented previously, what did Joel’s words reveal about God and why were these words preserved for us?

Prayer: Pray a pray of thanks for God’s forgiveness and ask for help in counting the cost, mourning the sin, and repenting of the sin.

Posted on September 8, 2019 .

08.25.19 - Small Group Discussion

Summer of Love - Final Instructions

We’re in this together.

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

  • Can you think of any opening or closing words that you’ve heard from a speaker that have stuck with you? What were they? Why did they stick with you?

Read: 1 John 5:13-21

  • What does eternal life mean to you? How does it impact the way you live/think/act/view the world? Do you live like you have eternal life? How or how not?

  • Do you believe that God hears you when you pray? Why or why not?

  • What is your approach to handling a situation when a fellow believer is sinning?

  • What does it mean to you to be a child of God?

  • How are we able to know God? How does this impact how we live?

  • If you were able to know what your last words were going to be, what would they be and who would you share them with?

Prayer: Pray for God’s will to be done.

Posted on August 25, 2019 .

08.18.19 - Small Group Discussion

Summer of Love - Water, Blood, and Spirit 

The water, the blood, and the Spirit all come through baptism.

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

  • What does your last name mean to you?

  • Have you ever had a change in who your family is (adoption, birth, marriage, etc.)? What was that like to either be brought into a family or bring someone else into a family?

Read: 1 John 5:6-12, Matthew 3:15-17, and Romans 6:3-4

  • How do you imagine you would have reacted if you had been there the day Jesus was baptized?

  • What does baptism mean to you? Have you been baptized? Why or why not?

  • If you are baptized, does your life reflect someone who has died to your old self and now lives for Christ? Why or why not?

  • Do you ever feel like God is a liar? Why or why not?

  • What are some of the reasons you have had, or have heard from others, for not getting baptized? How do you approach those reasons?

  • As a Christian, do you feel like part of a family? Why or why not?

  • How can you help others be part of the family of God?

Prayer: Pray for faith in Christ.

Posted on August 21, 2019 .

08.11.19 - Small Group Discussion

Summer of Love - Winning the Battle

Belief in God means obeying the Father and loving your siblings.

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

  • In what ways have your parents shaped your view of God?

  • How can you both love and fear God? Where do you fall on the scale between “All powerful being to be feared” and “buddy Jesus”?

Read: 1 John 5:1-5

  • Why is keeping God’s commandments a sign that we love Him?

  • What would a relationship look like if you liked the adults but hated their children, talked badly about the children, or mistreated them?

  • What helps you or hinders you from seeing others as your siblings and recognizing them to be children of God?

  •  John says that every child of God overcomes the world. Do you feel like you’re overcoming the world? Why or why not?

  • Do you face your struggles alone or with faith? Why?

  • What does it mean to overcome struggles by faith?

Prayer: Pray that you will love your siblings and obey God’s commands.

Posted on August 12, 2019 .

08.04.19 - Small Group Discussion

Summer of Love - Love Another

When you get how much God loves you, loving others goes from ought-to to automatic.

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

  • What makes you feel loved?

  • What makes it easier for you to show love to people? What makes it harder? Why?

Read: 1 John 4:7-21

  • What is your response to loving others being a command?

  • How do our actions of showing love to others make it so they can see God?

  • Why does love drive out the fear of the day of judgment?

  •  Why is someone a liar if they say they love God, but hate a person?

  • What does this passage say about loving people of different political opinions?

  • What does it say about loving people of different ethnicities?

  • What does it say about loving people of different gender identities or who have different sexual preferences?

  • How are we supposed to treat other people? Why?

  • What gets in the way of you loving people? Why?

  • What does it mean to you to love people?

Prayer: Pray that you will realize how much God loves you, so you can show that same love to others.

Posted on August 4, 2019 .

07.28.19 - Small Group Discussion

Summer of Love - Test the Spirits

What to know if a teacher is true or not? What does the Book say?

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

  • Do you tend to trust your gut when things feel off? Why or why not?

  • Has anyone ever tried to convince you of something you knew wasn’t true? How did you handle it?

Read: 1 John 4:1-6

  • How do you feel about John’s words that there are spirits acting against the Church?

  • What do you do if two people, both claiming Christianity, teach two opposing things?

  • Can someone teach both true and false things? Why or why not?

  • How can we focus on the Holy Spirit’s leading when sorting through teachings?

  • Should we be suspicious of teachings that are popular with the world? Why or why not?

  • Do you think our culture rejects truth? Why or why not?

  • Why do you think people read the Bible less in today’s culture?

  • How often do you read the Bible?

Prayer: Pray that you will listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading for truth.

Posted on July 29, 2019 .

07.21.19 - Small Group Discussion

Summer of Love - Love One Another

Belief in Jesus, plus loving each other, secures fellowship with God.

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

  • What’s your favorite story of a character sacrificing their life for someone? Why do you think those stories resonate with us?

  • How has someone’s actions towards someone you care about impacted what you think of that person?

Read: 1 John 3:11-24.

  • Do you think it is harder to show love by dying for someone or by living for someone? Why?

  • In what ways can the world hate Christians?

  • Anyone who hates is a murderer. How does this impact your feelings towards people? Is there someone you need to work on changing your feelings about?

  • How would the world be different if we showed compassion to those in need?

  • How can the love of God be in us if we don’t share what we have with those in need?

  • What is the hardest thing for you in regards to the command of believing in Jesus and loving one another? Does one part of that command come easier than the other? Does one ever seem to conflict with the other?

  • How will you be loving this week?

Prayer: Pray that you will see others as God sees them and show them love.

Posted on July 19, 2019 .

07.14.19 Small Group Discussion

Summer of Love - Children of God

God’s children resemble their father.

  • What is one thing that spoke to you from Frank’s message?

  • In what way do you resemble your parents? In what way do your kid(s) resemble you?

Read: 1 John 2:28-3:10

  • How should the expectation of Jesus’ return affect the way we live?

  • Frank said, “We do not become God’s children by being righteous. We become righteous by being God’s children.” Why do we so easily mix those two up? If we get that right, how will it change us?

  • If becoming like the Father is the result of spending time with Him, what stands in the way of you spending time with God and how can you overcome whatever barriers keep you from doing so?

Prayer: Pray that God will help you establish a routine of spending time in His word. Pray that he will protect our church from the kind of conflict that can cause disunity.

Posted on July 19, 2019 .

07.07.19 - Small Group Discussion

Summer of Love - All You Need

People can – and do – fall away. Don’t be one of them.

  • What is one thing that spoke to you from Frank’s message?

  • Frank talked about church splits. Have you ever been involved in church conflict? What made it difficult?

Read: 1 John 2:18-27

  • John wrote that “Anyone who denies the Son doesn’t have the Father, either.” Why do people struggle with the exclusive claim of Jesus? (See John 14:6)

  • John wrote that we don’t need teachers; all we need is the Holy Spirit (v. 27). Yet John was a teacher. Jesus commanded his people to teach (Matt. 28:20). How do we reconcile those two ideas?

  • What are some doctrinal or theological issues at work in our world that threaten the unity of Christ’s church?

  • How can we prepare to meet them?

Prayer: Pray that God will help you establish a routine of spending time in His word. Pray that he will protect our church from the kind of conflict that can cause disunity.

Posted on July 18, 2019 .

06.30.19 - Small Group Discussion

Summer of Love - Competing Allegiance 

Attachments are for eternal things; not for temporary things.

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

  • What’s your favorite thing in your home? Why?

  • If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it?

  • Have you ever had a time when you’ve been able to completely disconnect from your normal environment, activities, and attachments? What was it like?

Read: 1 John 2:15-17, 1 Corinthians 7:31, and Matthew 6:19-20.

  • Why is loving the world (things, not people) a sign of not having God’s love in you?

  • Why can being attached to things be a problem?

  • How would believing or not believing in eternity impact our view on attachments?

  • What would be your hardest thing to give up? Why?

  • Why do we struggle with being attached to things and not people?

  • Between denying yourself physical pleasure, such as fasting, or limiting what you look at, or stopping talking about your achievements and possessions, what can you work on this week?

Prayer: Pray for the proper priorities.

Posted on July 1, 2019 .

06.23.19 - Small Group Discussion

Summer of Love - Confidence in Christ

When God says you’ve won, you’ve won.

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

  • What are some things you have doubted in your life?

  • How have you overcome doubt in your life?

Read: 1 John 2:12-14

  • Why do we doubt aspects of God and our faith?

  • Does doubting mean our faith is weak? Why or why not?

  • John says God’s children have had their sins forgiven and they know the Father. How do we, as God’s children, know the Father?

  • Those who are young in their faith have won against the evil one. How have they won? What gives you confidence that you’ve won Christ?

  • Those who are mature know Christ. How does that knowledge change as your faith grows?

  • All of God’s children know Him. What does this mean for how you interact with those who have both a younger faith and a more mature faith than you?

  • Spiritual growth is expected. Where have you grown in the past year? What are you doing to continue growing?

  • What are you doing to help others grow?

Prayer: Pray for reassurance when you doubt.

Posted on June 24, 2019 .

06.16.19 - Small Group Discussion

Summer of Love - Love Means Obeying

The way to know the Father is to live and love the way Jesus did.

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

  • What was a rule that you had to follow as a kid that you hated, but you followed it anyway? As an adult, are you able to see the reason for the rule, and does it even matter if you see the reason? Why or why not?

Read: 1 John 2:3-11

  • Do you feel like you know God? Do you feel like you have a relationship? Why or why not?

  • Jesus made the command “Love one another” new. Have you ever had someone take something you already knew and make it new?

  • We can’t live as we are supposed to if we also hate others. Have you been in situations where your hate or others’ hate has destroyed a relationship? Was reconciliation able to happen?

  • What keeps you from obeying?

  • What keeps you from loving?

  • What command do you struggle with that you can work on?

Prayer: Pray that you are obedient.

Posted on June 18, 2019 .

06.09.19 - Small Group Discussion

Summer of Love - Jesus is Light

You can’t fool God about sin, so stop trying to fool everyone else

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

  • Was the church or home you grew up in one that focused a lot on sin? What was that like?

  • Have you or someone you know grown up with associating church with guilt? What can be harmful about that association? What can be beneficial about it?

Read: 1 John 1:5-2:2

  • John writes that fellowship with others is dependent on living in the light. Why would this be? What happens to your relationships when you are hiding sin?

  • What is the danger of having the approach of just managing sin, instead of eradicating sin?

  • Have you ever experienced the feeling of confessing your sins to another person? How did it feel?

  • In verse 10, John says that if we say we have not sinned, we make God a liar. Have you ever been told you’re lying when you’re really telling the truth? What was that like?

  • Why do we hesitate to cut out a relationship/hobby/etc. that makes us sin?

  • Why do we struggle to confess our sins?

Prayer: Confess your sins and thank God for his grace.

Posted on June 9, 2019 .

06.02.19 - Small Group Discussion

Summer of Love - Jesus is God

Everyone must answer the question: Who is Jesus?

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

  • What is your favorite summer activity?

  • Have you ever had to try and convince someone of something? How did you do it?

Read: 1 John 1:1-4

  • What helps you believe something (type of evidence, etc.)?

  • How do you approach people’s opinion that Jesus was just a good man or a good teacher?

  • How do you wrap your head around the fact that Jesus is both God and man?

  • What is, or was, the hardest thing about Jesus for you to come to terms with? Why?

  • John was the last of the original apostles. Put yourselves in his shoes. What would you be feeling? What would you write to people to convince and reassure them that Jesus is God?

  • The end of these verses states John’s desire to have everyone share in his joy. How does believing in Jesus give you joy? What does joy mean to you?

Prayer: Pray for reassurance in the times that you doubt in Jesus.

Posted on June 3, 2019 .