Story Rewind - Week 1 | Foundation, Fall, Flood

Sticky Statement: God wants us, God wants us to want him, God won’t let sin get in the way of a relationship with Him!

Ice Breaker

1.) Which day of Creation is your favorite and why?

Diving In

For a complete picture of Creation, Fall and the Flood, take some time to read Genesis Chapters 1 - 9 this week.

1.) What was one take away that you received from the message? How will you apply that in your life?
  
2.) Part of the meaning of being made in the image of God is that we were made for relationships and community. When sin entered the world relationships were destroyed. Describe the change in relationships that occurred between the following:

a. God and mankind
b. Adam and Eve
c. Mankind and the rest of creation

3.) Discuss the parallels between Noah’s culture and our own. What attributes and actions of Noah can help
us face the challenges of godly living in the world today and making the choice to choose God?

4.) Many people perceive God as vengeful and distant when they encounter an event such as the Flood in the Old Testament. While God clearly establishes Himself as Judge of His creation, chapter one is over overflowing with examples of His love, mercy and grace. How many can you identify?

5.) God made a promise to Noah never again to destroy mankind by a flood and He confirmed it with a rainbow. What promises has he made to you?

In closing, the major doctrines of our faith are rooted here, namely sin and redemption. In the Bible, only the first two chapters of Genesis and the last two chapters of Revelation give us a glimpse into life in a world without sin, a world as God intended it to be. When we compare our world with what the world was like before sin, we learn that nothing is as it should be. Sin changes everything. Since the fall in the garden, man exists in a fallen world. But the believer’s hope lies in knowing that one day the Messiah, promised from the beginning, will return to earth, conquer evil, and fully restore the relationships lost in the garden. How does God want you to respond after hearing this?

PowerPoint Slide Here
  

Fear Not- Week 4

Ice Breaker

1.     What’s your favorite season of the year, least favorite, and if you could only have 2 seasons of the 4 which would you choose and why?

Diving In

2.     This week Pastor Josh talked about two different seasons (or postures) when approaching victory over fear.  Discuss the dynamics of each, how you’ve experienced each, and what type of season you might be in.

a.     Faith is Violent (Matt. 11:12/ Eph. 6:12/ 2 Tim. 1:7)

                                               i.     Consider how Jesus fought Satan’s temptations and how the word of God can be critical in victory.  (Psalm 119:11)

b.     Faith is Passive (Mark 10:14-15/ Romans 8:15)

                                               i.     Consider what it’s like when God gives you the grace for the victory when you did absolutely nothing for it.

Powerpoint Slides Here

Fear Not- Week 3

Ice Breaker

1.     If you’re afraid what’s your most common reaction or response?  Ie.  Get antsy, take it out on someone else, eat, watch tv, isolate, exercise, read, pray, etc…

Diving In

2.     This week Pastor Josh talked about the spiritual realities and rules which we followed apart from Christ vs as Christians.  Consider the following passages (Eph. 6:11-12, 1 Peter 5:8, Eph. 2:1-3, John 8:44, Romans 8:6-15) and discuss how falling into fear is falling back into enemy tactics and enemy rules.  (Col. 2:20)

3.     Read Phil. 1:27-28.  Verse 28 it describes how when we are not frightened by those who oppose us, it is a sign to them of their destruction and our salvation.  Discuss the statement Pastor Josh made about this passage.  “Every time we are victorious over fear, what is broadcast to the enemy is pending doom, absolute destruction, and a reminder that they have no solution…no wonder the enemy doesn’t want us to live in victory over fear.”

Powerpoint Slides Here

Fear Not- Week 2

Ice Breaker

1.     What’s the scariest thing (silly stories please) that you’ve experienced?

Diving In

2.     Pastor Josh asked the foundational question of what are you doing to deal with your fear today?  For you, how do you typically deal with your fear?  (be honest even if you handle it poorly as of today)

3.     Discuss the 3 questions and areas of consideration along with the scripture to deal with fear.

a.     What are you thinking?  2 Cor. 10:3-5

b.     What are you praying?  Matt. 11:28-29

c.      What are you saying?  Joel 3:9-10 (How can speaking Kingdom truth over earthly fact play out in your life?)

Powerpoint Slides Click Here

Fear Not- Week 1

Ice Breaker

1.     Most of us have silly fears…what’s something silly you’re afraid of?

Diving In

2.     Do you agree or disagree with the statement that “most every one of our responses is rooted in love or fear”?  Why?  (1 John 4:18-19)

3.     Pastor Josh introduced the foundation for victory over fear.  It was knowing who is with you/ looking at who He is.  Read Isaiah 51:12-13.  What insights do you see from these verses? How does the statement “that you forget the Lord” teach us how to deal with fear?

4.     2 Kings 6:10-23 is a great example of different people responding to a situation…some in fear, others in love.  Discuss some of the following realities:

a.     Vs 15- the servant fears due to what he sees.

b.     Vs 16- Elisha does not fear due to what is unseen but he knows is with him.

c.      Vs 21- the King of Israel has a question that is rooted from his perspective of fear.

d.     Vs 22- Elisha has a response to the army that is rooted in a kingdom perspective of love.

5.     What practical steps could you take this week to evaluate your responses to see if they are rooted in love or fear?  Then what steps can you take to shift from fear to love?

 

Powerpoint Slides Here

Multiply- Week 5

Read Chapter 5 of Multiply Here

1. Would you say that your church is more inwardly focused or outwardly focused? Why do you say that? 

2. Read 1 Corinthians 13. Would you say that the life of your church is characterized by love? Why or why not?

3.  What steps can you take to be an example of love in your church? Whether you are an official leader in your church or not, how can you lead others in being more loving? 

4.  Read John 17. Pay careful attention to Jesus’s desire for His followers. Would you say that your church could be characterized by this kind of unity? Why or why not?

5.  Take some time to think about your church and your unique cultural setting. What would it take for your church to be united, and for that unity to be displayed to the unbelieving world? 

6.  Do you ever feel like a salesperson when sharing your faith? What steps can you take to change this?

7.  What would it mean for your church to live as a compelling community—a group of people who demonstrate love, unity, and hope in such a way that the unbelieving world is compelled to find out what is going on? 

8. Read 1 Peter 2:4–12. How should Peter’s description of our calling as the church affect the way we think about and interact with our surrounding community? 

Powerpoint Slide from Weekend Message

 

Multiply- Week 4

Read Multiply Chapter 4 Here

  1. Consider the following passages of scripture.  (Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:1–8; 1 Tim. 3:1–13; 5:17; Titus 1:5–9, Gal. 6:1–5; Matt. 18:15–20) Why do you think the New Testament places such a priority on Christians being committed members (or parts) of local churches? How can this priority best be reflected in your life?

  2. Read Ephesians 4:1–16. How should this passage affect the way you view your responsibility to other Christians in the church? 

  3. Think about your unique setting and identify a few opportunities that God has given you to minister to the people around you. Have you taken advantage of these opportunities?

  4. Take a few minutes to meditate on Galatians 6:1–2. What would it look like to help bear someone else’s burden? Is there anyone in your life right now whom you should be helping in this way? 

  5. Whatever help we can offer people who are struggling with sin has to be aimed at transforming hearts, not behavior.  Why do you think we tend to focus on the external circumstances and behavior when we try to help people change?

  6. Using your own words, try to explain why it is essential to get to the heart of the problem rather than merely addressing the circumstances and behavior. 

  7. Paul promised: “If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Rom. 8:13). How should the truth of the gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit affect the way we approach helping people change? 

  8. Would you say that your church body is characterized more by defeat and isolation or the power and transformation of the Holy Spirit? Why do you say that? 

Weekend Powerpoint Slides Here

Multiply- Week 3

Reach Chapter 3 of Multiply HERE

1. Read 1 Samuel 16:7.  Take a moment to examine your heart. In all honesty, why do you want to make disciples? Do you struggle with wanting your actions to be noticed by others? 

2. Read James 3:1–12 and meditate on James’s warning. How do these powerful words affect you? How might you need to adjust your approach to making disciples? 

3. Read 1 John 3:14.  Up to this point, would you say that your desire to make disciples has been motivated by love? Why or why not? 

4. Describe your love for the people God has placed in your life. What evidence can you point to that shows that you love the people around you?

5.  In addition to praying fervently, what practical steps can you take to increase your love for people? 

6.  Would you say that your life is being transformed by the truth of God’s Word? Why or why not?

7.  What changes do you need to make in order to live the truths that you will be teaching other people? 

Powerpoint Slides Here

 

Multiply- Week 2

1.  Read Matthew 28.  Try to place yourself in the disciples' shoes as they witnessed these things and heard these words from Jesus.  How do you think you would have reacted?

2.  Assess your church experience in light of Jesus's command to make disciples.  Would you say that your church is characterized by disciple making?  How can we or are we improving?

3.  Have you identified yourself with Jesus through being baptized?  If so, why do you think this was an important step for you to take?  If not, what is holding you back from being baptized?

4.  Read John 15:18-20.  Would you say that you're ready to commit yourself to studying the Scriptures and investing in the people around you?  Why or why not?

5.  Read Luke 9:57-62.  What excuses tend to keep you from following Jesus's command to make disciples?  What do you need to do in order to move past these excuses?

6.  Whom has God placed in your life right now that you can begin investing in to, in hopes of leading them to Jesus?

7.  Whom has God placed in your life for you to partner with in making disciples?

 

Multiply- Week 1

During the Multiply Series all our small groups are reading the first five chapters of the book Multiply.  You can find all the resources at multiplymovement.com.  The following are questions from chapter 1.

1. Up to this point in your life, would you call yourself a follower of Jesus Christ? Why do you say that? Do you see evidence of your faith as described in Luke 6:40? 

2. Read Ephesians 2 carefully and take some time to consider the truths it presents. Do you trust in the death of Christ for your salvation? Do you ever struggle with believing you need to do something to save yourself? 

3. Evaluate your approach to following Jesus. Would you say that you view Jesus as your Lord, Master, and Owner? Why or why not? 

4. As you look at your life, how would you say that your love for God is shown in your actions? (If you’re having trouble coming up with an answer, take some time to think through some changes you may need to make in your lifestyle.) 

5. Read Luke 14:25-33.  If you choose to obey Jesus’s call to follow, what might it cost you? (Avoid being vague. If following Jesus would cost you specific possessions, comforts, or relationships, list them below.) 

6. What might hold you back from following Jesus at this point? Are you willing to let go of these things if necessary? 

 

Attracting Heaven- No Other gods

Ice Breaker

1.     This week we’re talking about Him being first…sometimes our lives get cluttered with things that distract us.  If could eliminate one thing from your life what you would eliminate?

Diving In

2.     In Exodus 20:3 the first commandment is that we would have no other gods before Him.  The Hebrew word for “before” can be translated “in hostility toward”.  What in your life do you feel is constantly tempting you to think, act, or believe in hostility to God?

3.     In verse 4-5 the second command is that we would not worship created things or make idols for ourselves.  While many of us don’t find ourselves bowing down to worship idols, what created things of this world do you find your heart being drawn to?

4.     Discuss this question that Pastor Josh shared to test for idols.  Do you check with it first?

5.     In Mark 3:1-6 Jesus challenges some Pharisees in regards to their mini-god (the law) when he heals on the Sabbath.  What is interesting or impacts you in this account?

Powerpoint Slides Click Here

Attracting Heaven- Abandonment to Self

Ice Breaker

1.     This week we are talking about abandonment to self in worship.   Share of a time when you publically did something crazy.

Diving In

2.     We began by looking at 2 Samuel 6:5, 14-15.  We observe David and the people of Israel dancing and celebrating with “all their might”.  Why do you think worshiping with all our might is difficult in our culture?

3.     We talked about the difference between David and Michal’s attitude.  Discuss these different “camps” and what makes it more difficult or easier to worship.

a.     David’s camp- my actions are a response to God and His expectations

b.     Michal’s camp- my actions are a response to people and their expectations

4.     In Psalm 95 we see multiple expressions of worship.  Singing, shouting, and bowing are all described as taking place corporately.  Should these expressions be included in modern worship for today?  Why or why not?  Is there value in each?

5.     Pastor Josh left us with the reminder from Luke 18:10-14…our worship is a matter of the heart.  How can you grow in abandonment to self in worship and engage in greater measure with your heart?

Powerpoint Slides Click Here

Attracting Heaven- Worship and Warfare

Ice Breaker

1.     Since much of this series is around worship in song…let’s have some fun singing.  Someone start a song (one that everyone will know)…sing at least one phrase and wherever they stop singing the person beside them has to pick up singing.  Sing a few songs for the fun of it…and have a good laugh at everyone. 

Diving In

2.     In Acts 16:16-34 is the account of Paul and Silas in prison and the events leading up to that event.  In verses 22-24 we observe the set up of their imprisonment.  Pastor Josh walked through three individual elements that many of us can relate to.  How do we typically respond in each of these?

a.     They are stripped- feeling humiliated

b.     They are beaten- feeling attacked and beaten up

c.      They are locked up- feeling trapped

3.     In Acts 16:25 they respond in worship.  Discuss the follow phrase Pastor Josh used:  If you want to shift your attitude, don’t linger in the faultiness of your reality but in the faithfulness of His.

4.     In verses 26-28 we see an impact on not just Paul and Silas but their worship brings freedom to all the prisoners.  How can God use our worship to bring freedom to those in proximity?  In your family, workplace, etc?

5.     In Ephesians 5:19-20 Paul gives similar instruction in regards to our worship and this proceeds instruction around relationships and spiritual warfare.  How might you engage in worship differently this week after this study?

Powerpoint Slides Click Here

Attracting Heaven- Isaiah 6

Ice Breaker

1.  This week as we talk about how the presence of God attracts worshipers...name a person who has been the most awesome or intimidating to be in their presence.

Diving In

2.  In Isaiah 6:1-10 we have the account of Isaiah in the presence of God.  Pastor Josh talked through the following 6 phases of this passage.  What insights, challenges, impressions, and questions did you have from each?

a.  God reveals Himself (verses 1-4)

b. Isaiah confesses (verse 5)

c.  Isaiah is restored and made right (verses 6-7)

d.  God asks for volunteers (verse 8)

e.  Isaiah responds (verse 8)

f.  God commissions him (verse 9-10)

 

Attracting Heaven- Worship in Spirit and Truth

Ice Breaker

1.     What’s something that you have that has great, almost priceless worth to you?

Diving In

2.     As we hop into the series Attracting Heaven we start in the middle of a conversation between Jesus and a woman in John 4:23-24.  It says “…for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”  Why do you think worshipers attract the Father?  What does that reveal about God? 

3.     Jesus gives two characteristics to the type of worship God seeks…those who worship in spirit and truth.  Discuss what “in spirit” means…keep John 3:6 in mind and the following… For those who are new creatures in Christ, our spirit owes its existence and vibrancy to the Spirit of God. As John Piper writes, “True worship comes only from spirits made alive and sensitive by the quickening of the Spirit of God”

4.     Pastor Josh gave some practical things to keep in mind to engage God in worship in spirit.  How can you relate to how these impact your ability to worship?           

a.     Location can be an influence

b.     The need to release stuff

c.      Making mental space

d.     Awareness of God

5.     In regard to worshiping in truth…how does Phil 4:8 influence what guides our thoughts in worship?

Powerpoint Slides Here

Elevator Talk- Part 4- Why Serve?

Ice Breaker

1.     Share one of the most fun and exciting times serving others you’ve experienced.

Diving In

2.     This week Pastor Josh walked us through Paul’s conversion all the way to him serving in full capacity.  Discuss the following stages of Paul’s life and how they can relate to each of us.

a.     Conversion and Call- Acts 9:1-20.  After Paul’s salvation he already has a sense of his gifting and call.  What’s your gifting and call?

b.     Mentoring- Acts 11:25-26.  Barnabas takes Paul under his wings, trains, leads, and help him develop.  Who has been a mentor in your life? 

c.      Drawing out/up- Acts 13:2-3.  Barnabas and Paul are set apart for a new ministry.  This is the sense that God is launching you into something new.

d.     Trial- Acts 13:6-12.  Paul comes into enemy resistance.  Your promotion is on the other side of opposition.

3.     This process of development with our gifts is cyclical.  Once you go through it, you’ll go through it again.  Where might God have you in this process today?  How do you sense the Lord wants you to take the next step in development today?

Powerpoint Slides Click Here

Elevator Talk- Part 3- Why Groups?

Ice Breaker

1.     Who was the closest childhood friend you had?  What made them such a great friend?

Diving In

2.     Reread Proverbs 27:6, 17, 1 Cor. 15:33, and James 5:16.  How have you seen close relationships either benefit and bring you closer to God or take you further away?

3.     Hop into Mark 2:1-12.  In verse 4 you see these friends show their care for the paralytic by being willing to make a spectacle of themselves and even incur a personal cost.  Is it difficult to build relationships with this level of sacrifice in them…why?

4.     In verse 5 it says “Jesus saw their faith”, meaning Jesus responds to the faith of the friends to move the impossible mountain for the paralytic.  How can your faith move an impossible mountain for someone else? 

5.     Is there anyone in your group who today feels like they need to be carried and they need to rely on the faith of your friends?  Take some time to pray for those individuals.

6.     How can you become even more intentional with God centered relationships in your life?

Powerpoint Slides Click Here

Elevator Talk- Part 2- Why Worship?

Ice Breaker

1.     What the biggest, most exciting crowd environment you’ve ever been a part of?

Diving In

2.     This week we are talking about the compelling value of corporate worship in the lives of believers and non-believers.  Pastor Josh talked about the Gentile Court as an important place for Gentiles to be able to observe the worship of the Jews and also personally engage in the worship of God if they so chose to.  Why is the balance within the Sunday morning worship service between growing believers and non-believers being able to come along for the ride so important?

3.     Pastor Josh also talked about the dynamic of the crowd.  So often God spoke to people and conversions took place by the masses in the crowds.  (Acts 2, 8,17)  Have you ever had a significant God moment in a crowd?  Share it.

4.     For a simple yet compelling phrase to invite someone to church we looked at the invitation made by the Samarian woman in John 4:29.  Pastor Josh broke down her phrase into 3 important ideas.  Discuss each.

a.     Invitation- 9 out of 10 people who come to church come because of a personal invitation.

b.     Observation- what are people coming to observe that is compelling to see on a Sunday morning?

c.      Desperation- she speaks to the longing within the people in her culture.  What longing is within those in our culture?

5.     Consider inviting someone to church with a phrase like the following or one that you can personalize that is similar.  Come and see how God is changing lives.  Could God have something life changing for you as well?

Powerpoint Slides Click Here

Elevator Talk- Part 1- Why the Church?

Ice Breaker

1.     Share a statement or question that’s been made to you that you’ve never forgotten because it had such a profound insight or impact.

Diving In

2.     Pastor Josh talked about disciple making as the job description of the church.  The definition he used was:  A disciple is someone who is following Jesus, being changed by Jesus, and committed to the mission of Jesus.  How is that definition different then you might have thought?

3.     The early disciples knew the call to make disciples was a call to introduce people to Jesus, not just help people who follow Jesus to do that better.  Why is leading someone toward a relationship with Jesus sometimes so difficult?

4.     Pastor Josh talked about some of the things missed out on when life is lived outside of the local church body.  Discuss why these are important out of Acts 2: 42-47

a.     Contextual Teaching- Vs 42

b.     Life Together- Vs 42

c.      Testimony’s of God’s power- Vs 43

d.     Shared Mission- Vs 45

e.     Lifting Burdens- Vs 45

5.     The 30 second elevator talk comment for the week based out of Eph. 2:4-5 was…Christ was not committed to making bad thing better, he was committed to making dead things come alive.  (And you can insert in there, “my church is not committed to making bad things better, but committed to making dead things come alive”)  How does that phrase stir in you?

Powerpoint Slides Click Here

Refresh- Philippians 4

Ice Breaker

1.    What is the silliest thing that you get anxious about?

Diving In

2.    Philippians 4:4-7 challenges us in contentment.  Are you content or anxious?

3.    Philippians 4:8How do you think? What do you think about? Is your glass half full or half empty?

4.    Philippians 4:9-13Are you teachable or set in your ways?

5.    What have you learned lately?

6.    Have you learned the secret from Philippians 4:13?