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 .

03.31.19 - Small Group Discussion

Not Your Average Joe - Blessing Leads to Legacy

God wins. Evil loses.

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

  • What has been your biggest take away from this study of Joseph’s story? Why?

Read: Genesis 45:16-21, 46:1-7, 50:2-6, 15-20, Romans 8:28

  • Do Genesis 50:20 and Romans 8:28 say everything that happens is good? Why or why not?

  • Have you experienced bad things in your past that you have now been able to see the good in them? Or, if you’re not able to, perhaps you can think of something another person has gone through who has then been able to help you as a result.

  • Do you believe that, in the end, God wins and evil loses? Why can it be hard to believe God wins or easy to think evil wins?

  • If God is all powerful and all good, how can there be evil in the world?

  • When you see evil in the world, how do you address it (ignore, pray, act, etc.)? Do you look for opportunities where good can come from it?

  • How have you used your past hardships to help others? How can you look for these types of opportunities going forward?

Prayer: Pray that you are able to see God using bad situations and turning them to good.

Posted on April 1, 2019 .

03.24.19 - Small Group Discussion

Not Your Average Joe - Usefulness Leads to Blessing

When you have a God-ordained reversal, it’s never about you.

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

  • What’s your favorite story’s reversal, where what you expected to happen is turned on its head? Why?

  • What are some of your favorite reversals in the Bible? Why?

Read: Genesis 42:6-7, 18-23, 36, 43:28-31, 34, 44:10, 45:3-5

  • When we are wronged, it can often be so easy to feel justified if we have the chance to have revenge or get even. What can learn from Joseph in how he handled his opportunity?

  • How do you feel about Jacob’s reaction in 42:36? Why do you think he responded the way he did?

  • Was it right for Joseph to test his brothers the way he did? Why or why not?

  • Have you experienced God orchestrating a reversal in your life? Please share, if you are comfortable.

  • If you are currently in the middle of a painful situation, what helps you as you wait for God’s timing?

  • Joseph went through the hardships that he did so that he could be used to save people. How has God used the hardships in your life to benefit others?

Prayer: Pray that you have patience waiting on God’s timing for a reversal in your life. Thank God for any reversals you have already experienced. Pray that you be open to whatever God intends to do through you as a result of that reversal.

Posted on March 25, 2019 .

03.17.19 - Small Group Discussion

Not Your Average Joe - Humbling Leads to Usefulness

God’s delays are not God’s denials. He’s getting you ready.

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

  • Have you been in a situation you dreaded where you felt like it would never end (a job, school, etc.)? What, if anything, helped?

  • In what areas do you make excuses for why you deserve to do something outside the rules (slacking at work, cheating a little, etc.)?

Read: Genesis 39:2-9, 39:20-23, 40:23, 41:14-16, 41:39-40, and 41:46

  • Do you think Joseph felt like God was with him? Why or why not?

  • What do you think is the significance of Joseph’s coat being snatched by Potiphar’s wife?

  • Do you think it was hard for Joseph to state that God was the one who could interpret the dreams, not him? Why or why not?

  • Have you ever been forgotten by someone you were counting on, like Joseph was forgotten by the cupbearer?

  • What makes you feel like God is with you in your life? What makes you feel like He’s not with you?

  • Have you ever gotten to see or learn why God’s answer was “not yet,” even though you previously thought the answer was “no?”

  • Why does the answer “not yet” feel like “no”?

  • How does changing your viewpoint about God delaying a situation instead of denying a situation change how you interact with where you are in the current moment?

Prayer: Pray for patience as God prepares things in your life.

Posted on March 17, 2019 .

03.10.19 - Small Group Discussion

Not Your Average Joe - Pride Leads to Humbling

When God wants to empower someone, He first humbles them.

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

  • Where do you fall in birth order? Do you feel like the stereotypes of your place fit who you are? Why or why not?

Read: Genesis 37:2-36

  • In what way did Jacob’s actions and attitudes towards his sons affect their actions?

  • Did Joseph do anything wrong in this story? Why or why not?

  • What do you imagine was Joseph’s reasoning for telling his family about the dreams?

  • Reuben tried to save his brother. Did Reuben do anything wrong? Why or why not?

  • Have you ever “sat down for a meal” while someone suffering injustice was screaming for help right beside you?

  • If you were ever the one screaming for help, did you receive help? Were there people there for you?

  • How do you react when you see or face injustice?

  • What do you do when you don’t have the answer for why you’re going through what you’re going through?

Prayer: Pray that you never forget God is there, even when bad things are happening.

Posted on March 10, 2019 .

03.03.19 - Small Group Discussion

Seek Study Serve - Serve

In Order to be like Jesus, You have to Serve like Jesus.

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

  • What do you think of when you hear words like serve, servant, service, etc.?

  • When was the last time you received great service? What made it great?

Read: Mark 10:35-45, 12:29-31, John 13:12-15.

  • Who do you know that exemplifies being a Godly servant? Why that person?

  • How does pride get in the way of serving? How can serving help resist pride?

  •  In what ways have you seen Christians be different than the world when it comes to handling positions of power?

  • What excuses do you make for not serving?

  • Why do we sometimes see other people as beneath us?

  • In the acronym B.L.E.S.S. (Begin with prayer, Listen, Eat with your neighbor, Serve your neighbor, and Share your story), where are you at with your neighbors?

  • Where are you currently serving in the church, or on behalf of the church? If you’re not serving, why not? If you are, why did the pick the area(s) that you are serving in?

Prayer: Pray to have the humility to serve as Jesus served.

Posted on March 4, 2019 .

02.24.19 - Small Group Discussions

Seek Study Serve - Study

The Purpose of Studying God’s Word is to become like the Author.

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

  • How was your relationship with studying in school?

  • Have you had to study anything in your adult life? How did you do it?

Read: Mark 12:28-31, 2 Timothy 2:2, 3:16-17.

  • What resources do you have to help you study God?

  • As you study God, do you struggle with learning about God, instead of learning to be like God? Why or why not?

  • Can you name people in your life that you would want to disciple you? Have you ever had someone disciple you?

  • Are you currently discipling anyone?

  • What gets in the way of someone discipling you or gets in the way of you discipling someone else?

  • What are the benefits to studying in a group?

  • Are there any changes you want your small group to make to study differently?

Prayer: Pray that you see the people in your life that you should be studying with, teaching, and being taught by.

Posted on February 24, 2019 .

02.17.19 - Small Group Discussion

Seek Study Serve - Seek

Bottom Line: You Become Like the People You Spend Time With.

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

  • Do you see the people in your life rubbing off on you, or changing who you are? How so?

  • Have you ever gone seeking for something? Ever devoted yourself to striving for a dream that you sought after with reckless abandon?

  • Does your passion for God match that same level of seeking? Why or why not?

Read: Mark 12:29-31, Matthew 14:23, Luke 4: 16, 6:12-13, Mark 1:35, Hebrews 10:25

  • Why do we let our busy schedules prevent us from spending time with God and with other believers?

  • What do you do to have one-on-time with God?

  • How do you spend time with other believers?

  • It is critical that we seek time with God and with other believers. Which one is harder for you? Why?

  • What will you do this week to take the next step to improve how you are seeking God, whether through one-on-one time with Him or through time with others?

Prayer: Pray that you stop making excuses and start making God a priority with your time.

Posted on February 19, 2019 .

02.10.19 - Small Group Discussion

Puzzling Out Evangelism

Main Point: Be a living monument to God’s story.

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

  • Are you a puzzle-type person? Why or why not?

  • What is a favorite monument of yours? Why?

  • How are the terms “laws” and “instructions” different?

  • Share a bad experience you had regarding evangelism. Share a good experience. Why were they different?

Read: Exodus 19:4-6, Deuteronomy 4:5-8, 1 Peter 2:4-9.

  • Why do we look at the Torah is an old, difficult to follow set of laws, instead of as instructions?

  • What comes to mind when you hear evangelism? What prevents us from evangelizing, or what makes it hard?

  • What does it mean to you to be part of a chosen people?

  • Have you ever known someone who you were drawn to? What drew you to that person (charisma, wisdom, etc.)?

  • How can we stand out among others? If you’re being nice, patient, etc., how/why is that different than any other nice or patient person who happens to not be a Christ-follower?

  • How can we be living monuments to God’s story?

  • As a way of practicing: Share your story.

Prayer: Pray to be bold in sharing God’s role in your life.

Posted on February 10, 2019 .