Small Group Questions 2017-11-15T08:49:54+00:00

Week 1 (October 15)

How to live:

Sermon on the Mount

  • During these next 6 weeks what can I or someone else in this group do to irritate you?
  • What can I or someone else in the group do during these next 6 weeks that would energize you? 
  • What do you know or think you know about Jesus’ teaching from Matthew 5-7?
  • What do we want as our primary goal for the group during these next 6 weeks?
  • What are you hoping will happen in your life during these next 6 weeks focusing on these passages? How can we help you in those goals?
  • For next week, have everyone in the group plan on reading Matthew 5-7 and outline it the best way you know how.  Please bring those outlines next week and we can see how we see the entire teaching.  If you have any other research or study please bring that also.
  • During the Sermons beginning Oct 22, plan on taking notes on your phone, on the notes page included on your chair on Sundays, or underlining and making notes in your personal Bible.  We will share those as a group also when we meet.
  • Pray for the person on your right as you close.

Week 2 (October 22)

How to live:

Sermon on the Mount

  • What can we do as a group other than just meeting in this house during this series?  Let’s get some ideas from reading Acts 2:42.
  • Have you ever had a DTR?  Are you willing to describe that moment?
  • What is your definition of a ‘fan’?  What people or things are you a fan of and why?

FAN

1 :an enthusiastic devotee (as of a sport or a performing art) usually as a spectator

2 :an ardent admirer or enthusiast (as of a celebrity or a pursuit)

  • The sermon on the mount is for followers, not fans.  However, in Matthew 5:1 the crowd is made up of fans and those seeking to be disciples or who have already decided.  What is the difference between a fan and a follower?
  • All disciples must start out as a fan.  Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why?
  • A possible definition of a follower could have been given by Morpheus in the movie The Matrix, “Sooner or later you’re going to realize just as I did, there is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” What do you think about this definition as it relates to the life as a follower of Jesus.
  • To a crowd, Jesus defines a follower in John 6 (Amplified Bible), “28 They then said, What are we to do, that we may [habitually] be working the works of God? [What are we to do to carry out what God requires?] 29 Jesus replied, This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger].
  • Imagine that Jesus is sitting you down right now attempting to have a DTR.  At this point in your faith journey are you a ‘fan’ or a ‘follower’?  How can we be patient with each other in our differences as a mixture of fans and followers?
  • This week read Matthew 5-7 and take notes.  It’s go time!

Week 3 (October 29)

How to live:

Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 6:19-33

  • Name a time you were greedy?
  • Synonyms for greed are hungry, grasping, close fisted, insatiable
  • Read Matthew 6:19-24.  Jesus is telling us to beware of greed as it relates to possessions.  But, what else other than money or material things do we seek that could be taken from us or that we close our fists around?
  • In light of this greed/grasping, Jesus says (Matthew 6:25 Amplified Translation) we need to “stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about life.”  Does seeking these ‘other things’ other than God’s Kingdom do that to you?
  • The Sermon in Matthew 5-7 is meant for those seeking to be a Christians.  Can you be saved but not be a Christian?  This will mean defining these terms.
  • If the antidote to greed is generosity, how do we obey Jesus in this on a daily basis?  What is God tugging on your heart and mind to ‘let go of’ that you’re grasping and close fisted about?

Week 4 (November 5)

How to live:

Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 5:21-24

  • How would you describe what it feels like when someone is angry with you?
  • What is the definition of anger in Matthew 5:21-22
  • By that definition, when is a significant time you were angry with someone?
  • In light of Matthew 5:21-22, what does that anger do to you?  To the person you are angry with?
  • With the interpretation that ‘the fires of hell’ is not referring to ‘hell’ itself, have you felt those fires when you were careless?
  • When we insult someone, as described in Matt 5:23-24,  it infers that we treat them as less than a person.  They are of no value. Is that what we think at the moment we are angry (remember, anger can be words or the lack of words.)
  • Should Matthew 5:23-24 be taken literally?  If literal, what does that look like in real life?  Is there any downside to taking it literally?
  • Take a 10 minute break and give each other the space to contact someone right now that they need to reconcile with.  Remember, you can’t be responsible for their desire to reconcile.  We can only own our own intent of the heart.  To say and mean the 9 words, “I was wrong. I’m sorry.  Will you forgive me?”

Week 5 (November 12)

Marriage:

Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 5:27-37

  • Who are your role models for what marriage should look like?
  • What have you been taught or modeled are good reasons for divorce?
  • What are good reasons for getting married?
  • Before reading the scriptures consider that Boog said on Sunday that Jesus never forbids divorce.  Now, let’s read two main passages from Jesus’ teaching.
  • Read Matthew 5:31-32.  Not ‘what’ but ‘why’ is Jesus teaching this to these people at this time in history? (This context was discussed on Sunday in detail.)
  • Read Matthew 19:1-12 and think of these questions before doing so: 1) Why did the Pharisees ask the question of divorce?  2) Knowing that the Jewish leaders over the years had made it much easier and accepted to divorce a woman (women had very little say or rights in the matter comparatively) how is Jesus’ response significant?
  • Focus now on the disciples response in Matthew 19:10.  Is there incredulity due to the idea of divorce or marriage?
  • Jesus response in Matthew 19:11-12 is for all of us as it regards the hard work involved in marriage.  What is Jesus teaching about marriage?  Should everyone get married based on these passages?
  • How is your view of marriage changed or confirmed by this study and discussion?

Week 6 (November 19)

How to live:

Sermon on the Mount

Scripture

  • 1st point/question
  • 2nd point/question

Week 1 (April 23)

It’s Not About Me

  • When was the last time you took a ‘selfie’?
  • Like Hezekiah in Isaiah 38:1-5,  what 3 reasons can you give to God for why He should let you live another 15 years?
  • In the light of the statement “It’s not about you”, read Luke 9:21-25.  What is Jesus trying to teach us from this passage?
  • What will your life look like if you attempt to ‘lose your life’ in attempt to love/give your life for God and others?
  • What was the biggest thing you took away from the message on Sunday?  From the book, What on Earth Am I Here For?  From your own personal study and prayer?
  • Who are 3 friends you could ask to join this group for the 5 weeks that are remaining?
  • Who is hosting next week, who is facilitating, and who is bringing some epic treats to share?
  • Who is going to help clean up the mess that was just created at this house?

Week 2 (April 30)

What Drives Your Life?

  • How would you explain to someone who is unfamiliar with the ocean, what it’s like to be caught in a rip current and pulled out to sea?
  • If we define Drive as what controls, motivates, guides, or directs you, what do you think your family or friends would say ‘Drives’ you?
  • Of these 5, which has had the greatest pull or push in your life: Fear, Guilt, Materialism, Anger, Pleasing others?
  • Read Galatians 1:10-12 out loud and together.  Some believe that verse 10 is an introduction for what is to follow.  With this assumption, what circumstances is Paul addressing from some of the people in Galatia?
  • Paul says, “If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”  Can you “belong” to both people and Christ?  Can you be directed by people and Christ?
  • Do you agree that you cannot be guided, directed, and controlled by both God and other ‘currents’?
  • After arriving in 1901, Marie Monsen, a single 23 yr old female Norwegian missionary to China said, “You proclaim Christ with your lips but your hearts are far from Him!” If she arrived on our shore, what would she say to us?  To you?
  • What does tomorrow look like with you deciding to live as a full-time servant of Jesus, letting him direct, control, and guide you?

Week 3 (May 7)

You Are Not an Accident

  • Do you know if you were a surprise to your parents?
  • Have you ever encountered God in unexpected places?  When? Where?
  • Do you ever feel like the world is a cold, hard, dead place?  Do you feel like death may have the last word?
  • Have you ever been in despair?  Wondering what you are doing here and whether your life has a purpose?
  • Have you ever resented God for the way in which you were formed; for the parents you were/weren’t given; for the body you were given/not given; for the limitations that you have?
  • What does it mean to you that the creator God of the scriptures has an intimate knowledge of you, and that God’s disposition toward you is unconditional love?
  • Have you experienced this love of God, or is it still something that you have only been told about?  In other words, is the fact that God loves you unconditionally simply a statement you agree with, or is it a reality you have experienced?
  • To be made in the image of God is different than to be made in the image of what our culture tells us are gods and goddesses.  Are there ways in which you are currently striving to be made in the image of a cultural god/goddess (in other words: working toward a particular body-type, career, power, financial status, etc)?
  • Confess one way in which you’re striving to be made in man’s image of a god and then have someone in your group say a prayer that you would be released from that striving.

Week 4 (May 14)

This is Not Your Home

  • If you could do over Mother’s Day, what would you do different to honor the Mama’s in your life?
  • Go around the group having people read one verse each, out loud, until you finish the passage:
    • 1Pet. 2:11   Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul.  12 Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives. 1Pet. 2:13   Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level;  14 they are God’s emissaries for keeping order.  15 It is God’s will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you’re a danger to society.  16 Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules.  17 Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.
  • The bible describes us as ‘foreigners, strangers, or aliens’ on earth.  Do you believe that?  More importantly, are you living that way?  What would it look like to live that way.
    • Heb. 11:13        All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 
  • Read together Phil 3:20-21 in different translations if you have them.  What does it mean to live knowing this is not home and that you are a citizen of somewhere else?  Can you make the mental leap, the changing of thinking to see yourself as not of this world, but you are on a temporary Visa and you are here with a job to do?
    • Phillipians 3:20-21, But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.
  • Are you trying to fit in or are you being your true self?  Why are you living the way you are living?

Week 5 (May 21)

Building Life from God’s View

  • What is it that you have built with your own hands that you are most proud of?  What have you built that you are most embarrassed of?
  • Life is described as a ‘puzzle’, ‘a game’, ‘a dance’, a ‘journey’.  What metaphors have you used or heard described from others as a view of life?
  • Boog shared the quote below on Sunday?  Can you relate with this or not? Explain.
    •  “There have been many times in New York City that I have seen people make professions of faith that seemed quite heart-felt, but when faced with serious consequences if they maintained their identification with Christ (e.g. missing the opportunity for a new sexual partner or some major professional setback) they bailed on their Christian commitment. The probable reason was that they had not undergone deeper ‘world-view change’. They had fitted Christ to their individualistic world-view rather than fitting their world-view to Christ. They professed faith simply because Christianity worked for them, and not because they grasped it as true whether it is ‘working’ for them this year or not! They had not experienced a ‘power-encounter’ between the gospel and their individualistic world-view.”  Tim Keller
  • Read Romans 12:2 together.  What does it look like when we ‘conform to the patterns of this world’?  Have you experienced or not experienced what it looks like to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may know His will.  His good, perfect and pleasing will.”
  • If someone were to ask you how they can be transformed can you give them personal experience?  If so, what would you tell them to do to have this ‘transformed’ mind – or view of life.

Week 6 (May 28)

Begin in the Beginning

  • Read Genesis chapters 1 & 2 (or at least Genesis 1:26-31)
  • When you read these chapters do you get the sense that God originally intended for humankind to be somewhere other than here on earth?
  • Read Revelation 21 & 22 (or at least Revelation 21:1-7)
  • When you read Genesis & Revelation do you get the sense that the writers are talking about physical participation or disembodied evacuation (in other words, going somewhere non-physical)?
  • Do you see the world and your place in it from the very beginning; from the point of view of Genesis 1 & 2?  Or do you tend to the world and you place in it primarily from the point of view of Genesis 3?  Explain.
  • Can you see why it is important to begin the story in Genesis one which is grounded in peace and shalom?
  • Share some of the things that you love about life; things that bring you joy.
  • When you think about heaven, what do you picture it to be like?  Do you think of enjoying things that are physical or material; things that you have experienced here on earth?
  • One person put it this way, “We should not be surprised when grace beauty, meaning, order, compassion, truth, and love show up in all sorts of unexpected people and places because it always has been God’s world, it is God’s world, and it always will be God’s world.” – Rob Bell.  Where have you seen these things show up in unexpected places or people?
  • As you reflect on this series, do you feel that you have grown in your journey of answering the question, “What on earth are you here for?”