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.

Week of September 16th - Small Group Questions

Current Series: Perfect Peace in a Perfect Storm  

This Sunday: Get Out of the Cave  

Primary Text: I Kings 19:1-9

  • (Excerpt from Devotional – Day 1) Read 1 Kings 19:1-3 Elijah was afraid, and he ran. We might look at the story and think he had every reason to run since someone wanted to kill him. Fear isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It alerts us of danger and can motivate us to respond appropriately. Elijah was warned and he responded by fleeing to safety; so far, so good. But what happens next? Read the verses again, but this time, continue through verse 4. That escalated quickly! Instead of allowing fear to do the work of warning and motivating, Elijah let his fear completely redefine and shape his perspective. He moved from running to protect his life to wanting to give up his life. Notice he even begins believing a false narrative, “I am no better than my ancestors, I can’t go on.”

  • How can you relate? Has there been a situation in your life when worry took over?  

  • Read verses 5-9. It appears that lack of sleep and food contributed to Elijah’s state of mind. Besides these two factors, what circumstances can turn people toward negativity, judgment, worry, control, etc?   

  • What are common triggers for you?

  • After some food and sleep, Elijah could get out of the cave? What needed practices (practical and spiritual) are important for you to maintain faith and perspective? Go around the room and everyone share.

  • What activity or habit would you love to build into your routine and know it would help you?

  • How could you take a step towards it? How could you practice it?

Week of September 9th - Small Group Questions

Current Series: Perfect Peace in a Perfect Storm  

This Sunday: Get Under God’s Hand

Primary Text: Isaiah 26:3, I Peter 5:5-11

  • In the past year, what have been your 1-2 biggest stresses/challenges?
  • Read I Peter 5:5-11. What attitude or virtue is Peter calling for us to put on when we experience anxiety?
  • Why is humility important when you are facing anxiety?
  • Is there a current challenge or stress in your life?
  • What are 1-2 practical ways you can humble yourself in the midst of this life challenge?
  • Sometimes, God parts the seas. Sometimes He offers an umbrella in the midst of the storm. And there are times, He builds character when the storm doesn’t seem to be letting up. For those facing a current life struggle, where are you seeing God’s might hand?
  • Does anyone need some support? How can the group support those going through a difficult time?  
  • Do you have a family member, friend or co-worker who has clinical anxiety or depression? These are real issues that may not be solved solely by prayer and scripture. How can you gain further understanding and be of greater support to someone who deals with one of these issues?  

Summer Guide - Developing Small Group Questions

Since many groups break from regular meetings during the summer, we will not be providing weekly small group discussion questions. However, if your group does want to meet, review the message and discuss, here are a few tips in making your own questions.

1. Generate 1-2 intro questions. The kinds of questions that get people talking, sharing personal experiences. These questions help the group to relate and understand one another.

2. Take time to read the scripture used in the message or find related scriptures.

3. Review the message outline. Consider the 2-3 main points of the message. Come up with two types of questions. The first type offers discussion on the meaning, the truth, or insight gained from a point or scripture. The second are application questions. What are we going to do about it? Sometimes people don’t want to get specific. However model by sharing personal application yourself. As a small group, it is the goal to grow in our faith and surrender to Christ, which is often practiced in loving and serving others. 

4. See posts from previous weeks. Scroll down to see the format of the questions.

5. Start the process by inviting God into it. Coming up with questions can be a spiritual exercise in of itself. You may find you grow more in preparing questions. That would be awesome!

Week of May28th - Small Group Questions

Current Series: A Call to Courage

This Sunday: A Call to Courage

Primary Text: Joshua 1:6, I Samuel 17, Judges 6, Acts 4

  •  What is the most courageous feat you’ve done or witnessed firsthand?  
  • Jack shared three biblical stories on Sunday. David and Goliath (1 Sam. 17), Gideon and Midian (Judges 6), and Peter and the Sanhedrin (Acts 4). Choose one story. Read and review the message notes from Sunday. Then discuss as a group.
  1. Why do we need courage?
  2. How do we lose courage?
  3. Where do we find courage?
  • What is your giant right now? What one insight you can take with you as you face your giant?

 

Week of May20th - Small Group Questions

Current Series: Communion      

This Sunday: Jesus’s Invitation

Primary Text: Exodus 12; I Corinthians 11:23-34; Luke 22:24 / John 13:34-35

  •  Read Exodus 12:1-14, 31,32 the story of the Passover. Discuss the physical deliverance the Israelites were freed from.
  • It’s no wonder that the disciples during the Passover had the minds on a physical deliverance. Talk as a group how the disciples and people of that day would have to unlearn or be open to a different kind of deliverance.  
  • Is there a circumstance where you prayed for some kind of deliverance but God showed up in a different way?
  • Jesus says, “Do this in remembrance of me.” What does Jesus’s spiritual deliverance mean in your life?
  • Communion is a practice done with others. When we identify with Jesus, we seek to follow Jesus. Read John 13:34-35.We cannot follow Jesus without loving others. Is there someone you are finding it difficult to love? Share in small groups of 2-3 and pray for these situations.

Week of May13th - Small Group Questions

Current Series: Mother’s Day     

This Sunday: This Time I will Praise Him

Primary Text: Genesis 29-30; I Samuel 1

  • Recall the message from two weeks ago on Senioritis. How does that message relate to the message Amy shared on Sunday?
  • Read Genesis 29:15-35; 30:19-20. Leah was stuck in a current reality searching for fulfillment in a future season. Her “future” fulfillment was children to achieve the love of a husband. Where are you stuck right now? What angst, frustration, disappointment or grief nags at you?
  • How long have you wrestled in this current reality?
  • How have you attempted to achieve peace or fulfillment?
  • What is your current attempt to achieve peace or fulfillment?
  • How do you know if your attempt is how God wants you to achieve peace/resolution?
  • Spend time in silent prayer for each other. Then pray out loud for one another. Seek to find rest and direction as you wait to find clarity.  In the midst of waiting, can you pray, “this time I will praise Him”?

Week of May 6th - Small Group Questions

May 6th

Current Series: Reactions to the Resurrection    

This Sunday: Senioritis

Primary Text: Acts 1:4-9

  • Discuss the message from Sunday. What is one point you remember?
  • Did you have “Senioritis” when you where in high school or college? Do you have a son or daughter, or someone else in your life who has caught the Senioritis bug?
  • Read Acts 1:4-9. Jesus told His disciples to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit who will help them during the next season. What was the question from the disciples?
  • Did the disciples have an accurate picture of the future? Was it the same as Jesus’?
  • Briefly share a time when your picture of the future was not accurate. Life didn’t go how you planned.
  • In thinking about the future, we can get stuck in a current reality. This season doesn’t matter because I’m off to the next one. What are the dangers in this thinking? List 4-5.
  • In same sex groups of 3-4, answer these questions. Are you stuck in a current reality longing for a different future?
  • If you are, what is the danger for you?
  • What might be 2-3 lessons God may want to teach you in this season?
  • Pray for one another.