Philippians - Part 6

Discussion Questions:

  1. Can you see tangible expressions of peace & joy in your life? If not, look deeper & ask “where is Jesus”?

  2. In conflict, is your natural response “win at all cost” / “kill or be killed”? If so, ask “where is Jesus?”

  3. If you answer the question, “what things are the most ‘wrong’ in your life right now?” with all external things, where is your focus?

  4. If you answer the question “what brings you the most peace & joy?” with mostly external things, what role does Jesus actually play in your life?

  5. What are some specific ways you can deepen your closeness & intimacy with Jesus this week?

  6. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world in everyday life?

Philippians - Part 5

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are your thoughts on running? Why do you think Paul chose to use running as a central metaphor of our faith?

  2. For Paul’s audience, circumcision was a big legalistic distraction from truly knowing Jesus. What sort of distractions do you see today?

  3. Read Paul’s religious credentials in Philippians 3:4-6. What credentials could you use to prove you’re a “good” person? Put those on one side of a scale, then Jesus on the other side. How do they stack up?

  4. Read Philippians 3:13-14. What sort of things from your past do you need to “forget?” Are they the shame of failures, or the pride of accomplishments? What could happen if you don’t “forget” them?

  5. Can you truly say that knowing Jesus is the #1 priority, passion, calling in your life? Why or why not? What can you do about it?

  6. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world?

Philippians - Part 4

Discussion Questions

  1. When you hear the terms “trust in God” or “follow God’s plan in your life,” what’s the first thought that comes to your mind?

  2. Are there any times in your life that you’ve felt certain that plans are playing out according to God’s plan? What was that like?

  3. Do you find it easier to follow God in the long-term or short-term (everyday) life? Why is that? 

  4. Think of one or two painful experiences in life. Looking back, do you see God at work in or after that experience?

  5. Looking back over your life, do you see God working more “through” you or “in-spite of” you? Which would you rather have going forward?

  6. Looking forward, is there anything you think God is calling you (asking you) to do?

  7. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves 

    the world (lives on mission) in everyday life?


Philippians- Part 3

Discussion Questions:

  1. How does suffering build character?

  2. Why do we try so hard to eliminate any suffering/struggle in our lives? What could we be missing out on?

  3. What kind of a toll do selfishness & being appearance-driven have on relationships in the church?

  4. What does humility mean to you? Read Philippians 2:5-8. How does Jesus’ example of humility line up with our definition?

  5. “Selfishness can ruin a church, but a genuine humility can build it.” How have you seen examples of this?

  6. How can we grow together more in unity as a church? Any tangible ideas?

  7. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world?

Philippians - Part 2

Discussion Questions

  1. Finish this sentence as honestly as possible: “For me, to live is ________”

  2. Why do you think the Philippian believers took courage in the middle of their own suffering from Paul’s own suffering?

  3. What “costs” keep you from living out a life that’s on fire for making the Gospel “clear” to those around you?

  4. How do you feel about death? How about your own death?

  5. What do you think will happen to you after you die? How sure of this are you and why?

  6. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world in everyday life?

Philippians - Part 1

Verses:

Philippians 1:1-11

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Philippians 1:1-11. What are some tangible ways the Philippians partnered with Paul?

  2. How is it easy to cheapen the meaning of the words “partner” & “share”? What are some superficial examples of each of those words? What are some deep, meaningful examples of those words?

  3. Why do you think Paul connected love with moral discernment? Why is that an important, but easy-to-overlook part of Christianity?

  4. What are some tangible ways that you can truly partner together for the Gospel this week, month and year?

  5. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world in everyday life?

Feed the Dog - Part 6

Verses

Matthew 6:16-18 / Ephesians 3:16-19

Discussion Questions

  1. When you hear the word “fasting” - what comes to mind?

  2. What have you been taught about “fasting”? What kind of experience have you had with it?

  3. What kinds of things do you knowingly or even unknowingly rely on to give you sustenance, meaning, purpose, direction, identity, etc.? Are they fulfilling?

  4. What do you do when you’re hungry? How does/can this apply to your spiritual life?

  5. Abstain from eating food & drinking anything other than water for 2 meals. What “idols” were revealed to you?

  6. Read Ephesians 3:16-19. How does this help us understand fasting better?

  7. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world?

Feed the Dog - Part 5

Verses:

Luke 5:16 / Psalm 139:1-16, 23-24

Discussion Questions:

  1. When you hear the word “solitude” - what comes to mind?

  2. What have you been taught about “Sabbath”? What kind of experience have you had with it?

  3. Why is solitude so crucial for a healthy, intimate, on-going relationship with God?

  4. How does solitude help us both hear & know God better, but also lead us to deep levels of joy?

  5. What obstacles stand in the way between you and meaningful times of solitude & Sabbath?

  6. Who is someone you can lovingly encourage to practice solitude this week?

  7. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world?

Feed the Dog - Part 4

Verses:

Matthew 6:5-13  /  Luke 18:10-14  /  Jeremiah 29:12  /  James 5:13  /  Psalm 141:2  /  Philippians 4:6  /  1 Thessalonians 5:17  /  1 Timothy 2:1

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. How would you describe prayer? Is it simply talking with God, or is it something more complex?

  2. How comfortable are you with prayer?

  3. This might sound odd, but what does the regularity of your conversations with God reveal about your relationship with Him? (Example: If you only talk with your spouse or best friend once a month or once a year, what does that reveal about your relationship?)

  4. What are the biggest barriers in your prayer life with God? What can you do about them?

  5. How is prayer more than simply submitting your “wish/to-do list for God?

  6. How important is the “listening/receiving” aspect of prayer?

  7. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world (live on mission) in everyday life?

 

Tools for this week:

ACTS:

Adoration- Praises God for who He IS

Confession- Confess & deal with sin/brokenness in your life

Thankfulness- Thank God for all that He’s DONE

Supplication- Pray for the needs of others & yourself

Feed the Dog - Part 3

Verses:

John 1:1-5, 14, 18 / Psalm 119:9-11, 105 / 2 Timothy 3:15-17 / Hebrews 4:12-13 / John 17:17-18

Discussion Questions

  1. What have you been taught about the Bible? What role has it played in your life at a functional level?

  2. How can you see the Bible being “God-breathed, living & active”? Examples?

  3. How does the Bible help us know God, ourselves, each other, and live a life that is bigger than ourselves?

  4. What is a reasonable, yet challenging goal to set for yourself this week in regards to reading the Bible?

  5. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world (lives on mission) in everyday life?

Feed the Dog - Part 2

Verses:

Isaiah 55:8-9, 29:13 / 1 Chronicles 16:23-36 / Romans 12:1 / Hebrews 12:28-29

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is worship? Has your understanding of worship changed over the years?

  2. When it comes to worship in the form of singing, what has been your experience? Do you connect with it? Why/why not?

  3. What are some ways that you can worship other than by music/singing?

  4. Read Romans 12:1. What does it mean to offer your body as an act of worship?

  5. Read 1 Chronicles 16:23-31. What other ways to worship do you see in this passage?

  6. If worship doesn’t come naturally for you or if you’ve struggled with it, how can you search your heart for the answer of why?

  7. Dig even deeper - do you have a heart-changing, life-transforming relationship with God? If not, simply talk with God about this.

  8. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world (lives on mission) in everyday life?

Feed the Dog - Part 1

Verses:

Galatians 5:16:25 / Romans 7:15, 18-19

Discussion Questions:

  1. What comes to mind when you hear the word “discipline”? Why?

  2. Do you tend to see “spiritual disciplines” as duty or delight?

  3. How satisfied are you with your faith right now?

  4. Read Galatians 5:16-25. How would you compare the two lists of “fruit”? Which is more desirable? Which reflects your life more?

  5. How much more do you think about the “2 natures” that battle within you every second of every day? Which one is winning right now?

  6. How can you start to feed the right “dog” this week?

  7. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world?

Gather & Scatter - Part 14

Verses:
Acts 27-28

Discussion Questions:

  1. What comes to your mind when you hear the word “sovereign”?

  2. How important/central is the complete sovereignty of God to your theology & how does this impact your daily life?

  3. How would you define leadership? Do you feel like you are/could be a leader? Why/why not?

  4. How does Paul’s example of leadership help you to grow as a leader? (agent of hope, apply wisdom, practice integrity, servant’s heart, point people towards God)

  5. How “all-in” are you to a Christian community? What is holding you back? What can help you grow in this?

  6. If you are a follower of Jesus, do you view yourself as a legitimate “missionary”? Why/why not?

  7. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world (lives on mission) in everyday life?

Gather & Scatter - Part 13

Verses:

Acts 24-26 / Matthew 16:24-26 / Romans 5:3-5 / James 1:2-4 / Philippians 1:27-30, 12-14

Discussion Questions:

  1. How do you handle it when things go wrong in your life?

  2. Have you ever thought about a “theology of suffering”? If so, what would it be? If not, why not?

  3. How have you been taught to view and handle suffering? Has this been helpful or damaging in your life?

  4. What can both God’s incarnation & the cross of Jesus teach us about how God uses suffering?

  5. How would downplaying the role of suffering in discipleship be a short-term enticement, but ultimately lead to disillusionment?

  6. How can suffering help us know God & ourselves better, help us grow closer together in community and help spread the word about God’s love?

  7. How do these concepts help you grow as a disciple who loves God, loves people & serves the world?