Small Group Leaders

Communication and resources for Bethel Small Group leaders

Oct

7

“Unleashed #4: Your Nine to Five (Daniel 6:1-28)” by James Armstrong

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This week we will be encouraged to be unleashed in our “nine to five” jobs and to make a few changes to better represent Christ in our work life.  Here are the questions for small group discussion:

1.  What was your worst job to date?  Why? This mixer question is hopefully a fun way to get everyone engaged in the group discussion.

2. Read Daniel 6:1-28 and discuss the following:

a. What do you think motivated Daniel’s peers to work against him?  The text doesn’t explicitly tell us but it could be that they were jealous of his gifts and favor OR they were prejudiced against him as a foreigner.

b. Share 1-2 words to describe Daniel’s “nine to five” reputation.  Answers will vary but could include:  high integrity, excellent spirit (from v. 3), faithful and trustworthy, etc.

c. What impresses you the most about Daniel?  Answers will vary but could include his reputation, his continued devotion to the Lord despite the new law, surviving a lion’s den, his praise to the Lord after surviving, etc.

d. How did Daniel connect to God daily?  Why do you think this was important to him? Daniel connected to the Lord three times a day through prayer on his knees (v. 10).   He thanked God and asked the Lord for help.  Answers will vary on why this was important to Daniel, but it could be so that he was not influenced by the Babylonian culture, so he stayed relationally connected to the Lord, and it was his source of strength and excellence.

 3. What are the abilities God has given you to bring blessing to those in your “nine to five” life? Are you able to bless those who are against you?  How can you start?  Answers will vary but should include each person’s spiritual gifts plus other talents, experience, and abilities.  Daniel was able to bless others as he lead well with excellence.  King Darius was blessed as his authority.  We are called to bless those who persecute us by Jesus himself (Matthew 5:43-48). Praying for those who are against us might be the first way many of us could start be blessing.

4. What 1-2 words would others use to describe you at your “nine to five”?  What would you like those words to be? What are the characteristics of an “excellent spirit” you need the Lord to develop in you while at your “nine to five”?   Answers will vary.  This question might be best to answer in a gender specific sub-group.  The answer to this question will be the focus of the prayer time later.

5. In your busy “nine to five” schedule, when could you stop for a moment to pray and give thanks to God? Take time now to set up the ECHO Prayer app on your smart phone. See www.bethel-church.org/unleashed Week 4 Small Group Resources for instructions. Brainstorm together on times during the day that would work for each individual – a stay at home mom might do so during naptime 2 times/day; a teacher might need to pray between each class or during lunch.  Those with more flexibility could take 1-3 minutes every hour, every two hours, etc.  The ECHO app can be customized as needed as an alert and on content for the prayer.  You can pray to live in step with the Spirit (Gal 5:25), to be a light to co-workers (Matt 5:14-16),  for wisdom (James 1:5), for family, for small group members, for work peers, etc.

6. What is one thing you know you need to change in how you approach your “nine to five” life in order to be unleashed for Christ?  The preacher will end the sermon with this challenge.

7. Use your answers to questions #4 and #6 to pray for one another.

Sep

29

“Unleashed #3: Your New Calling” (1 Peter 2:9-12) by Jeff Sanders

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The notes are also published on the Unleashed website under sermon notes.  We have also provided them here for your small group use.

  1. Mixer:  Share one highlight from this last week.

Mixer questions provide everyone with an opportunity to share in a non-threatening, fun way. If your group is new, mixer questions are really important in developing relationships and getting to know each other better.

2. Read 1 Peter 2:9-12 and discuss the following:

How are Christians described in verse 9?  How is each description different or distinct? How is each similar?

Christians are described as a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation and a people belonging to God.  These descriptions are similar in that we are part of a community, not just an individual, and are called to a mission as the people of God TOGETHER.

Chosen race/people is a reference to God’s grace in saving us, not works (Matt 16:18, Eph 2:8-9).  God chooses us despite our fallen ness to bring glory to Him.  We are singled out for a purpose.  

Royal priesthood and Holy Nation is a reference from Exodus 19:1-6 where the Lord calls His people out of bondage in Egypt so the entire nation would serve Him.  We are now royal priests, and the privilege of being a priest is direct access to God.  We gained this access through the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on the cross on our behalf (Hebrews 10:10-14). This access is NOT just for ourselves but also to reveal God to others.

Possessed/Special People – believers belong to God because He bought them at the ultimate price – Jesus Christ’s life (see Titus 2:14). Scripture often uses the analogy of Christ as the Groom and the church as His bride.  Nothing could better communicate the depth and special nature of this relationship. 

Chosen/Royal/Holy/Special these images each convey that we are to be different from the world.  It should be obvious to the people around us that we belong to the King.  Our actions, words, and behaviors should give us away easily.

What commands are given to Christians?  For what purpose?

We are to abstain from sinful desires (feelings/passions) and live good lives (conduct).  By doing so, we bring glory to God.

Why do you think verse 10 is included?

Answers will vary.  It could be included as a reminder of what we have been saved from in contrast to whom we are now (v. 9).  It also reminds us of why we abstain and conduct our lives worthy of Christ (v. 11).  Overall, it seems to serve as a bridge between the gospel, our identity, and our mission.

3. How do our spiritual gift(s) help us declare and display Jesus?

The way we declare and display Him will vary based upon our gifting – some declare Him by teaching from His Word, or using their gift of evangelism. We can display Him by using our gift of mercy to help a believer through a trial, or using our gift of giving to meet a need, etc.

4. How does being part of community help us declare and display Jesus?

We declare and display Jesus with a community of believers.  Each of us use our gifts to declare and display Jesus.  For example, one person shares the Gospel through their gift of evangelism and teaching while another person prays behind the scenes and provides a comfortable environment for hearing the Gospel by using their gift of shepherding and hospitality/giving.

5. Do you feel more comfortable declaring Jesus or displaying Jesus as an individual?  Why?

Answers will vary.  This question will help you understand your members better as a leader.  It might be interesting to link a person’s spiritual gift with their area of comfort.  Is there a connection between the two? Take the test at: bthl.ch/gifts

6. As we declare and display Jesus, we encourage other believers and witness to unbelievers.  Use the Relational Circle tool to brainstorm specific people you are to encourage and/or witness to by using your spiritual gifts.

Break into gender groups to discuss the following:

7. Share some specific ways your life has changed since you became a Christian.  In what areas do you need the Lord to continue to change you?

8. Pray together about the people you listed in question #6 and about your answer to question #7.

May

18

“Core Commitment #3: Humble Hearts” by Dave Hilliard

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Here are the sermon questions for the sermon given on Sunday, May 21st at the Richland Campus by Dave Hilliard:

1.       What examples of “full engagement” have you seen in yourself or others recently?  We included this question to give people a chance to review our “full engagement” value from two week’s ago.  Examples could include the Run for Rescue, volunteer greeters, volunteer music team, small group leaders, etc.

2.       How would you explain Bethel’s value of “humble hearts?” What would be the opposite?  It can be useful to help define something by identifying the opposite.  In this case, the opposite would be proud, conceited, coercive, complaining, condescending, trusting in yourself and abilities and “what you can do for God”.  Humble hearts are humble in recognizing their need and thankfulness for the gospel, joyfully surrendering to Christ’s Lordship without complaint, truly honors others and their value while having a right view of our self, and is a servant leader.

3.       How do the following Scriptures help us understand humility?  We selected these Scriptures as a way of surveying other verses besides those in the sermon on humility.

a.       2 Chron 7:14  Prayer is a posture of humility.  Prayerlessness indicates a proud, self-reliant heart.

b.       Prov 22:4  Humility is the fear of the Lord.  It is a right view of our self and of the Lord.

c.       Mark 9:35 Being a servant shows humility

d.       Rom 12:16  Humility is not conceited or proud but willing to associate with people of low levels (all levels)

e.       Phil 2:3 Humility values others above themselves – living a life of serving others and not living out of selfish ambition

4.       Read Luke 18:9-14.  How did the tax collector demonstrate his trust in the grace and mercy of Christ Jesus?  What did the Pharisee trust in?  The tax collector recognized his need for mercy in his declaration for mercy.  He also did not list the reasons why he “deserved” mercy.  The Pharisee trusted in how he compared to others, his pious disciplines, and what he could “do” for God.

5.       In submitting to Christ’s lordship, what has He asked you to do without complaint (e.g., obey Scripture, submit to authority, endure unfair treatment, complete a costly task, etc)?  Answers will vary here.

6.       What does it look to honor each person as the body of Christ?  We respect the thinking, opinions, values, and gifting of others.  We see every person as important, worth our time, worth listening to, and we believe everyone has something to contribute.  We view each person as a child of God and our family.  Dave Hilliard used an example of Dave B with the middle school space and the offices. 

7.       How did Jesus demonstrate leadership through serving?  How can we do this in our church, home, workplace, etc?

Break into gender groups to discuss the following:

8.       Was there anything from this sermon that was particularly convicting?  Humbly confess this to one another.  We are hoping this could be a time of specific confession that leads to prayer.

9.       When is the last time you prayed “God, be merciful to me, a sinner” like the tax-collector?  Consider using this prompt as you enter into prayer together.