BEFORE YOU GATHER
- Familiarize yourself with this Group Study Guide.
- If you missed it, CLICK HERE to watch the weekend sermon.
- Read 1 Peter 5:1-7.
- CLICK HERE to see the overall structure of the biblical letter of 1 Peter.
- Sit in prayerful silence with God for a while, and ask the Holy Spirit if there is anything that he wants you to share during your group’s time together.
ABOUT THE LETTER TO THE EXILES
1 Peter gives persecuted Christians a powerful reminder that they have hope in the midst of their suffering. From the time of Abraham, God's people were a misunderstood minority and should expect to face hostility because they live under King Jesus' rule.
However, they are chosen by God, and their persecution is actually a gift because it offers them a chance to show others the surprising generosity and love of Jesus, which is fueled by hope in His return and victory over evil. Peter is hopeful that their imitation of Jesus and demonstration of His upside-down kingdom, which includes baptism and service, will give power to their words as they bear witness to God's mercy and show people the beautiful truth about Jesus.
1 PETER RESOURCES FOR FURTHER GROWTH & DISCIPLESHIP
- (Book) Disappearing Church: From Cultural Relevance to Gospel Resilience, by Mark Sayers
- (Web Article) On Creative Minorities, by Chief Rabbi Johnathan Sacks
- (Commentary) 1 Peter (The NIV Application Commentary), by Scot McKnight
- (Commentary) 1 & 2 Peter and Jude, by N.T. Wright
Opening Prayer: (1-5 minutes)
In light of what God is saying through this week’s message, here’s some suggestions of how your group can invite God into your time together.
As you open in prayer, ask God to help us to be open and honest with each other. May we be encouraging and supportive as we share experiences and the things God may be calling us to. Pray that Christ would be with us, guiding our conversation, and that His Presence would give us peace and safety.
Quick Connection: (5 minutes)
Have everyone take 30 seconds each to share a phrase or a moment from this weekend’s message that is still resonating with them. You also have the option to say “Pass.”
Large Group Discussion: (30 minutes)
This weekend’s message came from 1 Peter 5:1-7. If everyone has a Bible, let's go there together.
- 1 Peter 5:6 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.” Have you ever experienced this?
- Describe a time when pride got in the way of you succeeding in an area of your life. What did you learn from it?
- What does it mean to you that our God humbled Himself and leads us as our Good Shepherd? How does His example impact you?
- Do you have a “herd”? Who are they? In what are the ways you are being a shepherd to them?
- If you are not shepherding at the moment, what are some of reasons that have been keeping you from stepping up to lead?
- Pastor Steve encouraged us to step out to lead and then HE will make you into a strong, firm, and steadfast shepherd. Who is God perhaps calling you to lead?
CLOSING PRAYER (5-15 minutes):
In light of what God is saying through this week’s message, here’s some suggestions of what your group could talk about with God in prayer.
As you close in prayer, pray that God would expose areas where we may have struggling with pride. Ask God to help us clothe ourselves in humility and trust Him for the results. Pray that we would allow God to use us as shepherds to the people He wants us to lead.