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 .

05.26.19 - Small Group Discussion

Summer of Love - Love One Another

Jesus shows us how to love.

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

  • If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be? Why?

  • What does our culture say love is?

Read: John 1:4-5, 8:12, 3:16, 13:34-35, 15:10

  • How is loving others like Jesus loves different from loving others as yourself?

  • Based on Jesus’ words, love is a verb. It’s an action. How does this impact how you view love? What does it mean for your daily interactions with people?

  • If you are a Christian, have you ever been hesitant to use the name Christian? Why or why not?

  • Jesus washed Judas’ feet. What excuse do you have for not showing love to someone?

  • If people know we are disciples of Jesus by how we love, do people know that you’re a disciple of Jesus?

  • We all know the world needs more love. What can you do to add more love to the world? What person or people group can you start showing love to?

Prayer: Pray that you love like Jesus.

Posted on May 28, 2019 .

05.19.19 - Small Group Discussion

Relation/Shift - Love your Enemies

You are made in God’s image. So are your enemies.

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

  • Who would you consider enemies (in your life, our culture, etc.)? How do they treat one another?

  • What does being made in the image of God mean to you? What keeps you from seeing people as being made in God’s image?

Read: Matthew 5:43-48, Luke 6:27-36, 10:25-37

  • The challenge of turning the other cheek addresses when you are disrespected and making sure to react appropriately. How are we disrespected and what does turning the other cheek look like in our culture?

  • Why do you think Jesus says to give your shirt also when asked for your coat? What does this look like in our culture?

  • Who do you act most like in the story of the Good Samaritan?

  • Samaritans were despised by the Israelites. If Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan in today’s culture, who would fill the role of the Samaritan? How does this challenge how that person/people group is addressed currently?

  • How can you help people see that they are made in God’s image?

  • Why is it important to see everyone as being made in God’s image?

Prayer: Pray that you see your enemies as being made in the image of God and show them love accordingly.

Posted on May 20, 2019 .

05.12.19 - Small Group Discussion

RelationShift - Family and God’s Fam

Every Family needs a Child of God.

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

  • When you hear the word “family,” what do you think of?

  • Are there people in your life that you call family even though there’s no biological connection? How did they become family?

Read: 1 Peter 4:7-11

  • How does prayer play a role in being part of God’s family?

  • What does it look like to show love to your family?

  • Has anyone shown you hospitality? How did that make you feel?

  • Do you feel like you have any gifts from God to help your family? What are they? How do you use them?

  • Do you use your words to build people up? How do you do at taking compliments from other people trying to build you up?

  • How do you serve?

  • Why do we do the things listed in this passage? Why is it important that God is glorified through them?

  • Of the things listed in this passage (prayer, love, hospitality, gifts, words, and serving), what are you good at? What do you struggle with?

  • How are you showing that you are part of God’s family in your everyday life?

Prayer: Pray that you will be the child of God that points others to Him.

Posted on May 14, 2019 .

05.05.19 - Small Group Discussion

Relationshift - Us

God wants to move you from Loneliness to Community.

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

  • When/where have you felt the strongest sense of community?

  • Have you ever felt separated from community? How did it feel?

Read: Acts 2:42-47, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Ephesians 4:2, 1 Peter 4:9

  • Why do you think community is important? Or, if you don’t think it’s important, why?

  • What is your answer if someone asks to tell them about your church?

  • In the description of the early church in Acts, what appeals to you the most? Why?

  • Ephesians tells us to encourage one another. How do you encourage others? What encourages you?

  • How are you with patience? Are you more patient with people you know or with strangers? Why?

  • The 1 Peter passage tells us to offer hospitality. Have you offered hospitality in the past? Have you been offered hospitality by someone else? What was it like?

  • Do you feel like you’re a part of a community with the other people at SLCC? Why or why not?

  • What is something that you can do to improve the community? What is something that is currently being done well that supports the community?

Prayer: Pray you will see the opportunities for community and take advantage of them.

Posted on May 5, 2019 .

04.28.19 - Small Group Discussion

RelationSHIFT - God and Me

Love like God.

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

  • What are some of the relationships in your life? How do you prioritize them?

  • How do you show love to the people you have relationships with?

  • Is it easier to show love to some people over others? Why or why not?

Read: John 3:16, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, Galatians 5:19-23, 1 John 4:7-12, Mark 12:30-31.

  • Do you believe that God loves you? Do you feel like God loves you? Why or why not?

  • For the lists in the Corinthians and Galatians passages, what facet of love do you feel like you do a good job at? Which one do you struggle with? Why?

  • If someone does not love, why can’t they know God?

  • Why is it so important for us to love one another?

  • How can you love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength?

  • What do we allow to get in the way of loving others and showing them God’s love?

  • How would you explain to a person that they have value to God and are loved by Him? (Now apply that encouragement and support to yourself.)

Prayer: Pray you will feel God’s love for you this week while also showing that love to others.

Posted on April 29, 2019 .

04.21.19 - Small Group Discussion

The Road to the Cross - Easter

God sent the Messiah they needed, not the Messiah they wanted.

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

  • Did you enjoy “do overs” while playing games as a kid? What about as an adult? Have there been times in your life where you wish you could just yell “do over” and rewind everything?

Read: Mark 1:1, 9, 14, 10:32-34, 14:27-28, 16:1-7.

  • Why do you think Jesus constantly returned to Galilee where everything began for him?

  • Is there a place that you find help in returning to?

  • How do you feel about the phrase “you can never go home again?”

  • If you have lost your zeal or passion for someone and something, how do you go back to the beginning to remind yourself of why you loved them in the first place?

  • Jesus had to endure the cross before he returned to Galilee for the last time. What can we learn from this in regards to any limits on what we have to endure before returning to a place or time that is the beginning of something for us?

  • Do you treat every moment and opportunity as a new beginning, or do you let yourself get bogged down with past events? Why?

  • How can you help others see or feel the new beginning that God offers?

Prayer: Pray that you live in such a way that honors the new beginning that God has given you.

Posted on April 23, 2019 .

04.14.19 - Small Group Discussion

Palm Sunday - The Triumphal Entry

God sent the Messiah they needed, not the Messiah they wanted.

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

  • When have your expectations of someone or something not been the same as the reality? Was it good or bad? Why?

  • How can expectations be good? How can they be bad?

Read: John 11:47-53, 12:12-19, Genesis 49:10-11, Zechariah 9:9-10.

  • The Pharisees express fear that if people keep flocking to Jesus that it will cause the Romans to crack down on them. How often do we allow fear to prevent us from doing what’s right?

  • Do Caiaphas’s words “it is better for one man to die than a nation to be destroyed” validate the saying “the ends justify the means?” Why or why not?

  • What realities do we twist to make our reasons or expectations fit (such as the Pharisees trying to justify killing Jesus)?

  • What do you expect from God? What are some things you want to see God do?

  • Does He meet your expectations? How or how not?

  • Does God do better than what you expect? Why or why not?

Prayer: Pray that you be open to what God is doing, instead of what you want Him to do.

Posted on April 14, 2019 .

04.07.19 - Small Group Discussion

Living a Life Worthy - Ephesians 4:1-3

  • Why is it so important to “walk our talk” as Christians in a world that needs Christ?

  • The Apostle Paul in the first three chapters of Ephesians focuses upon the salvation we have in Christ.  List the spiritual blessings Paul mentions in chapter 1.

  • In chapters 4-6, Paul emphasizes the practice or “walk” of a Christian.  What are some of the topics he brings to their attention?

  • The tipping point of the book is chapter 4:1 where he transitions from talking about their position in Christ to their practice as Christians.  Paul uses the phrase “live a life worthy of the calling.”  What worthy living is necessary to live up to this calling?

  • What Scriptural evidence is there for the Christian life to be a calling? (1 Peter 2:9-12)

  • What Christian qualities are mentioned in verse 2 that will show that you are living a life worthy of the calling?

  • What does the Bible say about “humility?” (1 Peter 3:8; Acts 20:19; Phil 2:3)

  • If “gentleness” is having every right to do what one wants but you yield because it’s best for the other person, how would this apply to marriage?  To church relationships?

  • “Patience” is having every right to retaliate but you don’t.  Describe how Jesus was a patient person.  How does forgiveness become the better option than retaliation, revenge, or getting even?

  • What is the result when people are willing to “bear with one another in love?”

  • Review what it takes to live a life worthy of the calling?

Posted on April 7, 2019 .