BEFORE YOU GATHER
- Familiarize yourself with this Group Study Guide.
- If you missed it, CLICK HERE to watch the weekend sermon.
- Read Mark 9:42-48.
- 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 courage and honesty as you share about areas of your life that still need to be surrendered to Jesus. Pray for God to strengthen your faith as you discuss what concrete steps you need to take in order to entrust these areas of your life over to Him. Pray that God would use your community group as a source of strength and encouragement.
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 9:42-48. If everyone has a Bible, let's go there together.
- One important point from this weekend’s message was: “How you live your life matters.” Who in your life - past or present - lives in such a way that their life provides you with a clear portrait of Jesus? What are some specific aspects of their life that inspires and challenges you in your faith?
- Even if a non-Christians hasn't read the Bible, they will “read” Christians to formulate their opinion about Jesus. What kind of example are you setting with your life? (At home, at your workplace, with your relatives, friends, and colleagues?)
- Are you someone who affects and influences your surroundings in a way that leaves a positive impression of Christianity? What specific area(s) of your life do you need to repent over, pray over, and commit to making change in so that the watching world would see a more accurate picture of Christ?
- Read James 5:16. (There is power in confession! Encourage your group to be as specific as possible when answering this question.) When it comes to what you view, what you do, and where you go, what are the things that are inconsistent with your confession of faith in Christ, and need to be cut from your life? (Instead of saying something vague like “I shouldn’t be going to certain places after work” or “I need to cut out certain television shows,” encourage fellow group members to be specific).
- Based on what was shared by the group, discuss some ways that the community group can help keep each other accountable. Brainstorm ways and safeguards to help root out sinful behaviors - not as a way to manage sin, but as a way to give the Holy Spirit an opportunity to genuinely renew and transform you from within, one day at a time.
- Missionary Jim Elliot said, “He is no fool to give up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” What do you need to give up now, for something greater later?
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.
Based on what was shared by the group, take time to pray for each other (i.e., in pairs, as a group, split up guys and girls if that’s appropriate).
Thank God for giving us the opportunity to examine our lives closely, and to be vulnerable with our community group family. Thank God that He has our eternity in mind when he challenges us to give up something now for something even greater later. Ask God to continue walking with us as we strive to be more like Jesus in every aspect of our lives.