Welcome to week one of our fall sermon series called A Doubter’s Guide to Jesus. This week our conversation will look at the choices available to us when the curve balls of life come our way, and how in each trial—there is an opportunity for spiritual growth.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.
Share Part of Your Story
Who was your favorite teacher growing up? What made them so special?
Many groups start meeting regularly again during the fall. As we meet, consider the commitments you need to make to your group. Review the Small Group Covenant. What are some commitments your group needs to make to each other to maintain a safe environment and get the most out of your group?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
What do you hope to learn as we enter this new series A Doubter’s Guide to Jesus?
Read together Matthew 7:24-28 aloud. What’s the main point? Who is Jesus speaking to? What is the setting of this teaching?
Teaching: A Major Priority
Due to the emphasis Jesus himself put on his teaching ministry, Pastor Jeff Manion said that one of the greatest things we can do to respond to Jesus’ love is to listen to what he said. What do you think this means? What’s the difference between simply hearing and truly listening?
How do you think people often misunderstand Jesus as teacher in our culture today? Where have you struggled to listen to Jesus and do what he taught in the past?
Teaching: An Expression of Compassion
This weekend we looked at how Jesus viewed his teaching as a way of extending compassion. How are compassion and teaching linked for Jesus? Why might this be significant?
Do you think people view Jesus’ teaching as an act of compassion? Why or why not?
Discuss the following statement as a group: We have a distorted image of God, a warped view of ourselves, and a twisted perspective on life. Where have you seen this in people’s lives around you? Where have you seen this in your own life?
Jesus’ teaching reveals the heart of God, helps us see ourselves, and identifies what God is restoring. Take turns reading aloud Matthew 6:16-34. How does Jesus answer the questions, “Who is God?” “Who am I?” and “What is God Restoring?” in this passage?
Jesus’ teachings tried to convey the heart of God the Father. Do you think our culture today understands God as a loving Father? Why or why not?
Collision of Wills
This week we looked at a passage of scripture where Jesus mentions two builders. One who listens and obeys, and one who doesn’t. Listening to the teaching of Jesus brings a collision of wills. What are the two wills that collide every time someone chooses whether or not they will listen and obey Jesus’ teaching?
Today people often want to hire Jesus as Savior, but fire Him as Lord of their life. What does this mean? Where do we see this in our culture, today? Have you ever wanted to fire God from being Lord over an area of your life? How did that go?
Describe someone you know that models genuine listening to Jesus? What are some things they do that inspire you to listen to Jesus more?
Today’s conversation was about Jesus as teacher. What is one area of your life where you need to take his teaching more seriously? What is one next step you can take this week to listen and obey Jesus in that area—allowing him to start transforming your heart?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
Discuss how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.
With the launch of A Doubter’s Guide to Jesus series, consider as a group if there is someone who needs what your group has? Maybe a friend, co-worker, or someone you volunteer with? Consider who you could invite to go through the fall series with your group.
Download a printable PDF here.