Growth Group Homework – Spring 2016 – Week 6

Getting to Know You   Read the priestly Blessing: Numbers 6:24-26

  1. What comes to mind as you hear the blessing?
  2. What is the biggest act of blessing you have done for someone else?
  3. How have you experienced the blessings of grace and peace in your life?

 

Going Deeper

Watch:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ab_gF5sffEw

  1. What stood out to you in the video?
  2. Why do you think people were discouraged from looking at the priests during the blessing?
  3. How do you distinguish a blessing from God versus another person?

 

Read Matthew 6:5-6 

  1. Why would praying in a very public way ruin the experience?
  2. How can we pray in public and not lose focus?
  3. In your life, do you experience more public or private prayers?
  4. In v. 6, Jesus instructs us to enter our “prayer closet,” what does He mean?
  5. Where is your prayer closet?

 

Read Matthew 6:1-4 

  1. Why does God involve people in the act of blessing others in the first place?
  2. Why does Jesus warn us again about publicly taking credit for blessing people?
  3. Have you ever been blessed in secret? What did it feel like?
  4. In what ways is our church a blessing to Midland?

 

Read Genesis 22:15-18

  1. What was Abraham blessed with?
  2. How can we today understand ourselves to be blessed because of Abraham?
  3. Could future generations be blessed based on their actions?

 

Take it Home

  1. Who can you bless this week?
  2. Can you find time for both public and private prayer this week?


Growth Group Homework – Spring 2016 – Week 5

 

Getting to Know You  

  1. In your own understanding, what is a blessing?
  2. When have you been most blessed? (Beyond your family and your faith?)
  3. Do you feel this generation has been more or less blessed than those who have come before?

Going Deeper

Read Deuteronomy 7:12-13.

  1. How does God promise to bless Israel?
  2. What does Israel need to accomplish for these blessings to be realized?
  3. Why would God bless the Israelites this way?
  4. What would a comparable list look like in modern terms? Would you want to be blessed that way?

Read Matthew 5:1-12. 

  1. Who are the blessed in this passage?
  2. How does the Kingdom of Heaven factor into blessings?
  3. What is God’s aim in blessing people?

Read Jeremiah 17:7-8. 

  1. Who are the blessed in this passage?
  2. How can our “roots” reach deep into the water?
  3. The trees near the river are not bothered by the heat and their leaves stay green. How is it possible for Christians to stay “green” in hard times?

Read James1:12.

  1. Who does God bless in this passage?
  2. What is the reward promised? Why would we care about this reward in Heaven?
  3. What areas of life have you had to “patiently endure?”

Take it Home

  1. Can you recognize a blessing from God once a day?
  2. How can you bless a person at least once a day?
  3. Can you bless God (give thanks) for one part of your life today?


Growth Group Homework – Spring 2016 – Week 4

Getting to Know You  

  1. What was your favorite animal at the zoo as a child?  Now?
  2. What piece of clothing have you had the longest?
  3. As a child, what did you think a “religious” person looked like? 

 

Going Deeper

Read 1 Corinthians 12.

  1. How is the church like a “body” according to this week’s scripture? 
  2. What does it mean for Christ to be the “head” of the body? 

 

Read Philippians 2:5-7. 

  1. What is meant by the phrase, “emptied himself”?
  2. In your experience as a Christian, what has it cost you?  What have you sacrificed?

 

Read Luke 10:25-37. 

  1. What is Jesus trying to teach?  What does Jesus mean when he uses the word “mercy”?  Define mercy.  When have you seen mercy in action?  When have you been a recipient of mercy?
  2. How might servanthood be a form of evangelism?
  3. What meaning does being a disciple provide for your life?  Were you ever “lost?”

 

Read Ephesians 4:12.

  1. How do spiritual gifts relate to serving? 
  2. Who do you look to as a mentor in the area of servanthood?
  3. What actions of service are you now involved in? 

 

Take it home

  1. What one person will you be a “Samaritan” to this week?  How?
  2. In what way are you connected to the body of Christ, our church?
  3. If you have not returned your “Get Connected” form, do that—or you can do it online.


Growth Group Homework – Spring 2016 – Week 2

Getting to Know You  

  1. What was the most fulfilling job or task you ever had?
  2. What has been the most rewarding job or task as a church member?
  3. What is one skill you possess that no one in the group would know about?
  4. In what way are you serving the church at this time?

 

Going Deeper

  1. List the spiritual gifts in I Corinthians 12.
  2. For what purpose are they given? (v. 7)
  3. Look at Romans 12 and Ephesians 4. What additional gifts are listed?  What gifts are listed in more than one gift? 
  4. Which of the gifts have you observed in our congregation? How have they been expressed?
  5. What are your observations of the more spectacular gifts: speaking in tongues, healing,  miracles?  Have you ever witnessed one of these gifts?  Have you ever known anyone who expressed these gifts outside the context of a church? 
  6. There are spiritual “gifts”—and there are spiritual “fruits.” See Galatians 5:22,23.  What is the difference?  The Holy Spirit is the Giver of spiritual gifts.  What is the shared knowledge in the group that describes or defines the Holy Spirit? 
  7. What would be the consequences of not living out your spiritual gift?
  8. What would you consider to be the primary gifts that are expressed in our church culture?

 

Take it home

  1. Take a spiritual gifts assessment. Go to umc.org/what-we-believe/spiritualgifts-assessment.
  2. Consider your spiritual gift(s). How could you “live out” this gift/these gifts within the ministry of the church, the body of Christ? 
  3. Another way to think about spiritual gifts: What is your passion for Christ and the church?  What burden do you carry for the church/the kingdom?
  4. How many hours per week/month would you want to serve if it was in an area of giftedness?
  5. We don’t always serve out of a gifted area—how else can God use you, based not on your gift, but the needs of the church, the body of Christ?  


Growth Group Homework – Spring 2016 – Week 1

This Sunday’s message was from Nehemiah, Chapter 12.

 

Getting to Know You

What’s your idea of a musical extravaganza?  Half-time at the Super Bowl?  100-piece orchestra?  Jazz band?  Mormon Tabernacle choir?  Rock the Desert?

How do you express your joy when you finish a project?  What’s your favorite way of celebrating?  What styles of worship have you experienced?

Be prepared to share your experience if you have ever climbed the walls of a city, or on top of a city wall.
 

Digging Deeper

 

  1. What specific actions did the priests, Levites, and singers take?
  2. What was the purpose of the procession?  Who was included in each group?  Who led each group?  How is this different from chapter 1 when Nehemiah circled the city at night?
  3. If you were there, what would you see, hear, feel, smell, touch?
  4. What steps of appreciation do the people take to ensure that those who serve at the temple are cared for?
  5. Scanning the book of Nehemiah, what themes do you pick up?  What/Who stands in the way of the rebuilding of the wall?
  6. Can you recall a time when a project was so big that it could be completed only with the help of God?  Was the rebuilding of the wall more of God’s doing—or of Nehemiah’s doing? 
  7. Ezra and Nehemiah are together one story.  See Nehemiah 8:1  What was the impact of hearing the scriptures read from the Books of Moses?

Take it Home.

What situation/experience/event are you celebrating today?

 What “mood” do you bring to our worship services?  Would it be good to have more of that kind of a “mood”?—or less?

When you attend worship this week, look for elements in the service that express praise to God. 

What is God calling you to lead for His people?



Growth Group Homework Week 2 of November

Week 2 of November

Getting to Know You

  1. Do you think Edward Snowden is a traitor?  Does it matter that he believed he was helping his country?  Would you ever trust him again?  What would you have done in his position?   Is treason ever justified?
  2. What is the greatest act of betrayal you have ever known?  
  3. What is the hardest thing you have ever forgiven?
  4. Does forgiving someone free you from the pain of betrayal or make you venerable again?    

Digging Deeper

Read Matthew 26:31-35 and then 69-74

Verses 26:31-35

  1. Why would He declare they are going to betray Him?  What was Jesus’ aim for warning the Disciples?  What is Peter’s reaction? Is he being sincere?
  2. What does Jesus think about Peter’s declaration? 
  3. What do you think God feels about promises we make that He knows we will never keep?

Verses 26:69-74

  1. Why does Peter lose his nerve in front of the servant girls? What good could he have done?
  2. Were Jesus’ words about the rooster helpful? Were they meant to be?

 

Read John 21:4-19

  1. Where have the Disciples gone?  What does that mean?
  2. What is Jesus doing on the shore?  Why would that be important?
  3. What does Jesus ask Peter?  Why does Jesus ask three times?
  4. What is Peter to do?  How?
  5. Where was Judas?  Would Jesus have asked him the same questions?

Take It Home

If you had been Jesus would you have forgiven Peter?  Who was the real Peter?  The Peter who denied Jesus or the one who spread the Gospel?  What difference did Jesus’ forgiveness make in Peter’s life?  What difference does it make in yours?



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