Sept 14/15 Choosing Joy

Sept 14/15 Choosing Joy

Sept 14/15 Choosing Joy



Hopefully, you have taken home a Strength for the Journey journal and finding ways to use it during the sermon, small group and in your Chair Time. Ask how your group is using it and see what ideas come up.


A safe environment is an essential element of every small group. Part of this is everyone being committed to the group. Ask your group to commit to being at every group meeting until Christmas so everyone can connect well and stay on the same page through this series.


Did you know we have a small group leader Facebook page? This is a great place to connect with other leaders, get great leading ideas and be encouraged. Join at


Welcome to the second week of our fall series, Strength for the Journey. This week’s conversation centers around several different encounters Paul and his team have in Philippi.

What’s your favorite city that you’ve visited? What is something unique that happened there?

Have a few people take turns reading Acts 16:8-40 aloud. Who are all of the characters? What are a couple of things that surprise you or that stand out in these stories?



What does the passage tell us about Lydia?

The text says Paul does something, Lydia does something and God does something in Acts 16:13-14. What do they all do? When have you experienced God moving in your heart like this?

Paul, Lydia and God all do something for Lydia’s life to change. How does that encourage us when talking with our friends? Do you know anyone who you think would like Lydia?

Lydia puts her resources at God’s disposal. What does her response provide for Paul and the team? How would most people respond today?



What does Luke record about the interaction between Paul and the slave girl?

How do you think Paul was able to stay on mission while the slave girl was saying those things? What are some things that you get annoyed by, and how have you learned to show patience?

What happens to Paul and Silas because of Paul casting the demon out of the slave girl?

How are Paul and Silas able to focus on God amid a pitch-dark prison pit? What truths about God do you feel like they might have focused on?

When have you ever experienced something difficult? Do you feel like you were able to praise God through it? Do you know anyone else who has done this?

How can we get our hearts prepared before something difficult so we can praise God while we are going through it? What are some things we can do daily to prepare our focus?



What happens after the earthquake?

The jailor’s story reminds us that there is absolutely nothing we need to “do” to be saved. What are some reasons people think there are things we have to “do” to earn God’s favor instead of simple belief?

Why do you think it is common for Christians to feel like they have to earn God’s favor? Where does our right standing with God come?

God meets all of us differently in our journeys, but has brought us into community together. Consider sharing with the group the story of when you first believed Jesus. What do all of our stories have in common?

Both Lydia and the jailor are baptized. What does baptism symbolize? Do you feel like God is prompting you to be baptized? 



We discussed several unique encounters Paul experienced. Which resonated with you the most? What is one thing you’ve been challenged with this week, and what’s a step you can take to grow in that area?

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