Week of March 17th - Small Group Questions

CURRENT SERIES: By Faith  

SUNDAY’S MESSAGE: The Price of Faith   

PRIMARY TEXT: Joshua 5; Romans 2:25-29  

  • Recall David finding strength in the Lord? Have you found strength in the Lord this past week? Share with the group.  

  • Give the task of a small group member the task of refreshing the group by explaining to the group the process of circumcision, then giggle like middle schoolers as he squirms explaining it. (Just kidding…just trying to loosen up the mood. We can be so serious!)

  • Read Joshua 5:1-12. We pick up in the story as the Israelites have just crossed the Jordan River (miraculously) and are advancing into the Promised Land. This is a long-anticipated event, and they have erected some huge stones as a remembrance. Are we given a clear reason why the Lord commanded this act of circumcision?   

  • On the precipice of taking the Promised Land, these men were circumcised. Consider some of the emotions going through these men. How was this testing their faith?  

  • Does anyone have any questions or insights from this passage?  

  • In Romans 2, Paul talks about the act of circumcision. He uses it as a metaphor of circumcising the heart. Read Romans 2:28-29. What is a circumcision of the heart?  

  • In smaller groups (3-5 people), share what is one of the biggest obstacles, giants or challenges facing you. Or maybe you aren’t facing a big trial, but someone close to you is.  

  • In these same groups, identify and read 3-4 verses that strengthen your trust or faith in God. Take time to pray for each other. Discuss ways that you can support each other over the next few days.  

  • Write down how you are going to support one another. This is the church being the church.  

  • If time, consider doing communion as a group remembering what Jesus has done for us on our behalf and the trust we can have in Him at this very moment.  

Week of March 10th - Small Group Questions

CURRENT SERIES: By Faith  

SUNDAY’S MESSAGE: He Strengthens Me  

PRIMARY TEXT: John 10:10, I Samuel 30   

  • What has been the most challenging situation you encountered this week? Share with the group.  

  • Read Luke 6:46-49. Without judgment, share about your current spiritual practices. How did they influence your response to the challenges you encountered this week?   

  • Read I Samuel 30:1-4. Discuss what has happened to David and his men as they returned home.  

  • Is there a time when you found strength in the Lord or are you in the middle of such a time?  

  • How has God’s love, goodness, etc shown up in your life during trials?  

  • In what ways have you lost sight of God? Where have you seen yourself struggle or waiver?  

  • In light these questions, how has your faith been affected?  

  • Consider this quote and spend time praying for one another. “Faith is looking at the darkest, blackest fact in the face without it damaging God’s character.”  

Week of February 24th - Small Group Questions

CURRENT SERIES: By Faith  

SUNDAY’S MESSAGE: Crossing Your Own Red Sea 

PRIMARY TEXT: Exodus 14  

  • Share with the group what you’ve learned about faith during the current message series.  

  • Moses is about to lead the people out of Egypt. Read Exodus 14. What instructions does God give to Moses?   

  • How does God reassure the Israelite people of His presence and care while they are fleeing?  

  • What reassurance has God given to you in this season of your life? Consider scripture you’ve read, songs that are meaningful to you, relationships that encourage you, habits that restore you.  

  • Discuss as a group. Is it harder to trust God when you’ve run out of options or when you have 3-4 options?  

  • Are you facing your own Red Sea?  

  • Is there a step of faith, a step into the Red Sea that you are feeling led to take?  

  • Take time to support each other and pray as a group.  

 

Week of February 17th - Small Group Questions

CURRENT SERIES: By Faith  

SUNDAY’S MESSAGE: The faith stealer of failure  

PRIMARY TEXT: Genesis 37-50  

  • Share with the group what you’ve learned about faith during the current message series.  

  • Joseph’s brothers are jealous of him and are filled with contempt. Choosing to not deal with their own heart, they seek to rid themselves of Joseph. Read Genesis 37:19-32. What role did Judah play in this scene?  

  • Discuss the guilt that Judah might have endured after this incident, especially when in the sight of his father.  

  • Judah and his brothers kept this secret from their father. Talk about how a secret contributes to the lingering feelings of guilt.  

  • This story can conjure up emotions and memories of mistakes that we’ve made. Take a few moments of silence to privately reflect on past mistakes you’ve made.  

  • Without sharing the mistakes, what emotions rise up in you as you wrote out that list?  

  • Read Ephesians 2:4-10. In light of our lists, discuss what grace means to you?  

  • The title of this message is, “The faith stealer of failure”. How can failure and guilt rob someone of faith?  

  • What does this conversation do to the “faith” that you have in God?  

  • Take a few moments to share of how failure or pain is threatening to steal faith from you or in the lives of loved ones. Discuss ways to support and pray for these people.  

  • Consider sharing in communion together as a group tonight or at a future meeting. 

Week of February 10th - Small Group Questions

CURRENT SERIES: By Faith  

SUNDAY’S MESSAGE: There’s Value in the Process 

PRIMARY TEXT: I Kings 18  

  • Share with the group what you’ve learned about faith during the current message series.  

  • Read I Kings 18:41-43. Elijah promises rain to show King Ahab of the power of the one true God, over the other gods popular of the day. Describe the scene in these verses.  

  • Has anyone had a conversation in the last week where you were attempting to show the power, goodness or love of the one, true God? If so, describe how you explained yourself? Do you feel like you were understood?  

  • How many times did Elijah send his servant to check to see if God was bringing rain? Consider the duration of time from the first prayer to the seventh. We don’t know what lesson Elijah learned, but share with the group a frequent prayer you’ve prayed. What have you learned in the process?  

  • Discuss the mindset of the person who focuses on the results vs. the person who focuses on obedience.  

  • Read I Kings 18:44-46. Share your response to these verses.  

  • Take some extended time to share prayer requests. Pray for those requests and for understanding and clarity in the process.  

  • Consider praying for the elders, staff, leadership and church body at LSCC. 

Week of February 3rd - Small Group Questions

CURRENT SERIES: By Faith  

SUNDAY’S MESSAGE: Faith Leads to Action  

PRIMARY TEXT: James 2:14-26  

  • Share with the group something you’ve learned about faith during the current message series.  

  • Read James 2:14-17. How does James explain or describe faith in these verses? What is the correlation he is making?  

  • Consider a parent-child relationship for a moment. View it from the perspective of a son or a daughter.  What message does a child hear when a parent’s actions don’t match their words?  

  • Choose another role or life circumstance. What are the implications when words and actions don’t match? Employer – Employee, Coach – Player, Teacher – Student, Friends, Spouses.  

  • Take 5 minutes to quietly pray and reflect. Privately consider any areas in your life where your actions don’t match your words.  

  • If the group is comfortable, gather into groups of 3-4 and discuss the reflection time.

  • Read James 2:18-26. Discuss as a group how Abraham and Rahab’s actions demonstrated faith.  

  • If your group has met for a while and knows each other well, go around the room and share how your group sees faith being demonstrated by each group member.   

  • Go around the group and share one situation in the coming days that will be an opportunity to put action to faith. Encourage and pray for each other. 

Week of January 27th - Small Group Questions

CURRENT SERIES: Journey of Faith

SUNDAY’S MESSAGE: God Can    

PRIMARY TEXT: Matthew 8:5-13, 8:23-27, 9:18-26, 9:27-30, Hebrews 11:40

  • Does anyone have an insight about “faith” from this past week or from the message?

  • Read Hebrews 11:40. Often in our lives, God has something else, something different, something better in mind. Share of a time when you wanted and prayed for something, but God had something different in mind?

  • From those who shared, what did you learn about God or yourself through it? Did the experience grow or weaken your faith?

  • Read Matthew 8:5-13. Discuss the faith of the centurion. What does he understand of Jesus’s power and authority?

  • Why do you think Jesus commends the centurion of such great faith?

  • Some prayers we don’t know how or if God will answer them. For instance the outcome of a specific situation. However, there are other prayers that we can have confidence that He hears and desires to respond. Give some examples of those prayers. (If stuck, consider the next exercise.)

  • Here is an example of such a prayer. God, help me to know and understand you better. Help me to love people like you love people. Show me specific situations where you can love someone through me. Is this a prayer that we can have confidence God will answer? Discuss.

  • In groups of 3-4 or a big group, spend time praying prayers that you can have confidence God desires to answer in your life.

Week of January 20th - Small Group Questions

CURRENT SERIES: Journey of Faith  

SUNDAY’S MESSAGE: Lack Of…

PRIMARY TEXT: Matthew 8:5-13, 8:23-27, 9:18-26, 14:22-33

  • Does anyone have any thoughts or insights about “faith” from this past week?  

  • Read Matthew 8:5-13, 13:53-58, and 14:22-33. What do you learn about faith from these passages?  

  • Read Matthew 8:23-27. If you were in the boat, how would you have reacted? What do you learn about your faith through your answer?  

  • Staying on the Matthew 8 passage, what mindset would someone have to have in order to express faith in that moment?  

  • In smaller groups of 3-4... 

    • Bring this to your life. What is a current stress, problem or issue for you? You have many legitimate reasons for the emotions you have, but what would it look like to have “boat-like” faith in your situation?  

    • Take some time to pray for each other’s faith. 

Week of January 13th - Small Group Questions

CURRENT SERIES: Journey of Faith  

SUNDAY’S MESSAGE: The Foundation    

PRIMARY TEXT: Romans 4; Hebrews 11:1 & 6  

  • During the service, Cory and Patrick talked about setting intentions or goals. Talk about what has help you in the past set an intention or accomplish a goal in your life?   

  • In general terms, how would you define the word faith?  

  • What helps grow your faith in another person or in God?  

  • Read Hebrews 11:1. What do you learn about faith in this passage?  

  • Read Hebrews 11:6. What do you learn about faith in this passage?  

  • Read Romans 4:1-17 and 22-25. What do we learn about Abraham’s faith in this passage? Why does Paul point to Abraham and his faith as an example?  

  • Did God stir you or show you something? Is there an action to take? Or going back to the first question, is there an intention that you’d like to make in the next 30 or 60 days. Share with the group or break into small groups.  

Week of December 16th - Small Group Questions

CURRENT SERIES: A Matter of the Heart   

SUNDAY’S MESSAGE: Four Spiritual Heart Conditions   

PRIMARY TEXT: Matthew 13:1-17, 18-23 

Leader Notes:

  1. These will be the last discussion questions for the semester until we resume in January.

  2. Consider all of these questions, then choose the ones that most pertain to your group. Also, interject your own questions. Allow the questions to be a launching point for your group. These questions are not intended to all be completed in one group meeting.   

This Week’s Questions:

Here are some topics we’ve covered in this series, A Matter of the Heart. Are there 1-2 thoughts or ideas that you’ve taken from this series? Share with your group.

  • Guard Your Heart – Proverbs 4:23  

  • New Identity – As Jacob wrestled with God, he received a new name and new identity.  

  • Heart Rhythms – What rhythms currently exist in my life that grow my faith?  

  • Search Your Heart – Is there any duplicity in my life? Am I same person in different settings?  

Has there been a warning, a reminder, or some encouragement He has given to you during these past several weeks?  

Read Matthew 13:1-17. Discuss the meaning of this parable. What do each symbolize? Farmer, seed and the different soils.  

Read Matthew 13:18-23. What reason does Jesus give for speaking in parables? How does his explanation correlate with the actual message of this parable?  

Consider the analogy Jesus used. What made it an effective teaching tool?  

Of these three heart conditions – hard heart, shallow heart and an anxious heart – what are some visible warning signs?  

How can this parable help anyone who reads it?  

What do you learn about Jesus through this parable?  

Which condition most closely resembles yours this week?

Week of December 9th - Small Group Questions

CURRENT SERIES: A Matter of the Heart 

SUNDAY’S MESSAGE: A Heart of Duplicity or Consistency

PRIMARY TEXT: Luke 20:20-26; I Timothy 3:7; I Peter 2:11-12, 15; I Peter 3:16; Titus 2:7-8; Hebrews 13:18

*Note to the leader. Consider all of these questions and choose the ones that most pertain to your group. Also interject your own questions. Allow this to be a launching point. These questions were not intended to all be completed in one group meeting.  

  • How has God spoken to you during this series a Matter of the Heart? Has there been a warning, a reminder, or some encouragement He has given to you during these past several weeks?

  • Read Proverbs 4:23. How does this verse affirm Sunday’s message?  

  • Who is someone in your life you admire who has demonstrated consistency of character (a consistent heart) in their lives?

  • Is duplicity difficult to spot? Why or why not?  

  • Read Luke 20:20-26. How does this passage show us the danger of living a duplicitous life?

  • Read I Timothy 3:1-7 and the qualifications of an overseer or elder of the church. In this description, what qualifications relate to one’s character?

  • Why is verse 7 included in this list?

  • What is meant by, “so he will not fall into the disgrace and the devil’s trap”?

  • What does duplicity do to the heart, to our souls?

  • Consider to time of silence for the group to offer personal confession. Read Psalm 139:23-24 to lead this time of silence.

  • Did God reveal something to you tonight?

Week of November 25th - Small Group Questions

CURRENT SERIES: A Matter of the Heart 

SUNDAY’S MESSAGE: A Heart Needs Saving (Part 2)

PRIMARY TEXT: Psalm 51, I Samuel 7:1-4, Psalm 139:23-24

 

  • Respond to Doug’s message. Share with the group 1-2 thoughts that you remember from the message.

  • List some practices that can be meaningful for people to hear from God? Explain how they can be effective.

  • Read I Samuel 7:1-4. How would you define an idol today?

  • Samuel said to pack up the idols up and put them away. Removing the temptation is part of the equation. But why isn’t that enough to overcome the pull to chase worldly pursuits?  

  • Read Psalm 139:23-24. How does this passage solve the problem from the last question?

  • How do we gain a pure heart?

  • Where has God done work in your life and given you a heart that resembles his heart?

  • What area of your life is He working on your heart? Where do you see a big gap between your heart and his heart?

  • In smaller groups, pray for these areas of our hearts where God is at work, where the current struggle is real.

Week of November 18th - Small Group Questions

CURRENT SERIES: A MATTER OF THE HEART  

SUNDAY’S MESSAGE: OUR HEARTS NEEDS SAVING

PRIMARY TEXT: PROVERBS 4:23, GENESIS 25-32

  • Read Genesis 25:19-34, 27:1-10 and 27:22-35. On two occasions, Jacob took something that wasn’t his to take? What did he take?  

  • What was significant about a birthright or a blessing in this culture? If the group is unsure, consider a Bible dictionary or a Google search.  

  • The birthright and blessing were of great value in Jacob’s day, yet they were not for him to take. We don’t exactly know why Jacob did it. What do you think was in his heart to plot and carry out such actions?  

  • The Bible is full of truly amazing stories. Read Genesis 32:22-32. Jacob wrestles with a man, yet it references God. Man or God, Jacob recognizes that this is a spiritual experience. What did Jacob receive from this encounter?  

  • Does anyone know what the name Jacob meant? My Bible footnote says, “he deceives”. His new name was Israel, he who struggles with God. What is the significance of this name change for Jacob?  

  • Read John 3:2-6 and II Corinthians 5:17. Like Jacob was given a new name, we are a new creation and given a new heart. What does your new heart look like? Consider your heart when you first became a Christian.  

  • How is Jesus still changing your heart?  

  • Take time to prayer as a group or in smaller groups thanking God for your new heart. In your time of prayer, consider the verses and stories you read tonight. 

Week of November 11th - Small Group Questions

CURRENT SERIES: A Matter of the Heart

Sunday’s Message: Life Flows From the Heart    

PRIMARY TEXT: Proverbs 4:23

  • What verse or point from Sunday’s message captured your attention?

  • Read Matthew 15:1-15. Summarize this passage in your own words.

  • Action reveals the heart. How does Jesus make that point in this passage?

  • Read Proverbs 4:23. How is this a universal truth? Explain or give some examples in our culture or daily life.  

  • What has positively affected your heart the most?

  • What do you think are the best ways for a person to guard their heart?

  • Have the group close their eyes and pray this prayer from Psalm 139:23-34 (The Message): “Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me. Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about. See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong— then guide me on the road to eternal life.” Give 5-10 minutes of silence for people to reflect on their own hearts.

  • Give time for people to share thoughts from this time of personal reflection.

Week of November 4th - Small Group Questions

CURRENT SERIES: How to Be Rich   

PRIMARY TEXT: I Timothy 6:18

  • On Sunday Cory explained the view of generosity in the culture when Jesus lived. Summarize how the people in Jesus’s day viewed generosity.

  • How would you describe generosity in today’s American culture?

  • Read Acts 2:41-47. Christians created a movement that was characterized by generosity and love. How is the Church doing today? Discuss how the Church (in US and worldwide) is doing at expressing generosity.

  • How would you say LSCC is doing?

  • How about you? As a part of LSCC and “the Church”, how do you play a part in “being” rich?

  • Last week the devotional provided an exercise called the Heart Exam. Does anyone have any insights or thoughts as you worked through this tool?

  • We concluded this series on Sunday. What one truth, scripture, principle or phrase that impacted you and that you hope to incorporate in your life as a result? Go around the room allowing each person to share.

Week of October 14th - Small Group Questions

CURRENT SERIES: Be Rich   

PRIMARY TEXT: I Timothy 6:17

  • When growing up, remember when you sat in a friend’s car, visited their house, saw their bike or new dress? We are perfectly content with what we have until we see what someone else has. Share a childhood story when you discovered that your friend had something really awesome.

  • Who is someone in your life who has modeled generosity?

  • Read I Timothy 6:17. What are the two warnings given in this verse? In society, where do you see rich treated better? The poor worse?

  • It is easy to trust in the gift over the giver. In small groups of 3-4 people, share with each other. If you find yourself not trusting in God, where are you tempted to put your trust?

  • In these smaller groups, each share 2-3 possessions that you are most thankful for. Describe to this group why you are so appreciative.  

  • Take 5-10 minutes to pray in smaller groups thanking God for the gifts He has given.

  • This series is about generosity. What attitudes stand in your way of being generous?

  • What area in your life or in a specific relationship can you be generous this week? If you get stuck, as a group brainstorm ways to be generous.

Week of October 7th - Small Group Questions

Current Series: Perfect Peace for a Perfect Storm  

This Sunday: Start With Praise

Primary Text: Philippians 4:4-9; 10-13, Genesis 15:1-6, II Chronicles 20:1-12

  • Discuss these statements. Fear sees a threat; anxiety imagines one.

  • Read II Chronicles 20:1-12. The king of Israel, Jehoshaphat, is in trouble. Discuss as a group the situation Israel finds itself in.

  • What was Jehoshaphat’s response? He saw the reality in front of him, but what else did he see?

  • At this point (verse 12), there is no response from the Lord. No promise given. Often times, we don’t receive a clear promise of a specific outcome.

  • Read Romans 8:28-29 and Philippians 4:4-9. Sometimes this is God’s response in the midst of our storm. When the storm rages in, what do these and other scriptures offer you?

  • When we see a storm in someone else’s life, faith can be easier to have. Who is someone in your life who is in the middle of a storm? Are there any ways in which you can support them? Be careful not to convince them but support and love them. Maybe they need to lean on your faith for a time and your presence (because of Christ in you) provides peace.

  • Take some extended time to pray for those in a storm. Is there a practical way your group can support someone going through a significant trial?

Week of September 30th - Small Group Questions

Current Series: Perfect Peace for a Perfect Storm  

This Sunday: Get Some Peace    

Primary Text: Philippians 4:4-9, Mark 4:35-41

  • How is this message series impacting you? What verse or truth does God keep bringing to you?

  •  Read Philippians 4:4-9. When reading some passages of scripture, the benefit or blessing is shared followed by a command. Sometimes it’s the opposite? What is the command and benefit principle in this passage?

  • In order to release worry to God, what belief needs to be present in one’s heart?

  • What are the best practices or habits that bring you back to a place of surrender?

  • Who is someone in your life who lives in peace? Peace seems to overflow in their lives.

  • Share current examples where you are struggling with peace. Allow everyone who wants to share to do so. Then move onto the next exercise.

  • Share with each other verses that bring about peace to your soul. Look them up and read them. Reflect on how reading these passages change your mind and body. Be specific.

Week of September 23rd - Small Group Questions

Perfect Peace for a Perfect Storm

This Sunday: Worry & Others   

Primary Text: Genesis 21:9-20; I Kings 17:7-16

  • Is there someone in your life who worries about you? If so, what do they worry about?

  • Read Genesis 21:9-20. What surprises you most about this story?

  • What do you learn about God in this story?

  • When was the last time God reminded you that He cares for you and that He has you?

  • What recent or current circumstance threatens the truth of how God sees you?

  • Are there children or other people in your life who you worry about? How did God speak to you that during the message on Sunday?

  • Spend some time praying for others and releasing them into God’s hands. Pray for the individuals who are wrapped up in worry over their loved ones and the lessons He has for them during this time.