BEFORE YOU GATHER
- Familiarize yourself with this Group Study Guide.
- If you missed it, CLICK HERE to watch the weekend sermon.
- Read Mark 4:1-8,14-20.
- 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.
RESOURCES FOR FURTHER GROWTH & DISCIPLESHIP
- (Video Resource) Read Scripture: Mark, The Bible Project
- (Video Resource) The Gospel According to Mark, The Bible Project
- (Commentary) Mark for Everyone, by N.T. Wright
- (Commentary) NIV Application Commentary, by David Garland
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.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to make us open with each other and brutally honest with ourselves. Pray that God would give us wisdom and courage to see what needs to change in order to bear fruit for the kingdom. Pray for God’s grace to help us through the process.
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 Mark 4:1-8,14-20. If everyone has a Bible, let's go there together.
- Jesus often spoke in parables, but not always. What were the usual circumstances that prompted Jesus to speak in a more cloaked, encoded way? If Jesus had spoken more plainly, how would people have responded to his words? What sort of storytelling traditions do we have today that are similar to parables?
- Jesus’ parable was about four kinds of soil, four kinds of responses to his message and mission:
- 1. Pathway soil has become hardened through trampling and is resistant to the word. When have you resisted God’s desire for your life?
- 2. Rocky soil is shallow and doesn’t persevere when trials come. If God is going to give you depth and endurance, what are some deep rocks that need to be removed from you?
- 3. Choking weeds come in different varieties:
- The first type of weed is the “worries of this life.” How do these worries distract you from what God is doing?
- The second type of weed is “the deceitfulness of wealth.” When has wealth deceived you? How can the lies of wealth be revealed?
- The last type of weed is “the desire for other things.” How has the pursuit of “more” choked out the life of God in you? Read Proverbs 30:7-9. How can we be content with what we already have?
- 4. The fourth soil is good, and yields an abundant return. Read Hosea 10:12 or Jeremiah 4:3. What needs to change so that you are receptive to what God wants to say and do in your life?
- Of the different types of soil in this passage, which one was God connecting to your life? What does your response need to be?
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.
Start off your time of prayer by imagining your life as a farmer’s field. Name the different things in the soil that need to be removed and changed. Thank God that He is patient with us and continues to cast the seed of his word in our lives. Thank God that He is the one who makes us new. Pray that He would soften us, remove the boulders, and pull the weeds. Thank God for his faithfulness to be with us and bring a harvest in our lives.