Not a Storybook Christmas (Week 2) - Distress

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SERIES BIG IDEA:

Jesus comes into the pain of my story to bring me hope, peace, and joy, because He loves me.

TEACHING BIG IDEA:

Jesus came so I can have peace with God and experience the peace of God in whatever I go through.

TEACHING SUMMARY:

Our Christmas experiences sometimes don’t match the storybook Christmases that are promoted through movies. The reality of the story of the Bible is that God created all things good. Everything existed in harmony and wholeness with God and each other. Initially there was peace because God was present with His creation, but the sin of Adam and Eve disrupted humanity’s peace with God and disconnected mankind from God. Jesus came to restore our peace with God and restore mankind back into a relationship with God. Individuals can have peace WITH God by trusting Jesus as Savior, thus restoring people to the place just-as-if they had never sinned. Furthermore, individuals can have the peace OF God by trusting Jesus as Lord and giving people confidence to embrace their pain and experience God’s peace in whatever they go through.

TALK IT OVER (Discuss One or More):

Explain any situations in your life that challenge you. What are struggles with your job? … with your family? … with your health? … with your finances?

Share a location that is peaceful to you. Why does it bring thoughts of peace to you?

Why do you think that the experience of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden was peaceful? Explain why the sin of Adam and Eve separated mankind from God. Explain how sin continues to disrupt our relationship with God.

How can trusting Jesus as your Savior lead to peace WITH God? How can this restore you to a right relationship with God, just-as-if you had never sinned? What is it that Jesus did on the cross?

How can trusting Jesus as your Lord lead to the peace OF God? How can this lead to confidence to go through the circumstances of life, even the pain and struggles? How did Jesus demonstrate His Lordship?

How is your salvation best understood as Jesus being your Savior AND Lord?

Other Scriptures to Read:

Colossians 3:15

Galatians 5:22-23

1 Peter 5:7

Romans 12:18

Not a Storybook Christmas (Week 1) - Hopeless

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SERIES BIG IDEA:

Jesus comes into the pain of my story to bring me hope, joy, and peace, because He loves me.

TEACHING BIG IDEA:

I can have hope in my pain because I am certain that God is with me.

TEACHING SUMMARY:

The season of Christmas often reminds us of our own pain and uncertainty, which can destroy hope, joy, and peace. Our actual experiences often don’t align with our ideas of what a storybook Christmas is. Jesus understands our pain and uncertainty because he was born into humanity and directly experienced the pain and uncertainty of being human. God came as Jesus to be one of us so He could be with us. As a result there is hope, even in pain, because we can be certain that God is with us. Embracing “God with me” means we have hope that God’s grace will sustain us, that God’s life defeats all death, and that God understands my reality. Truly, “God with me” is hope for me.

TALK IT OVER (Discuss One or More):

Share and briefly describe one of your favorite Christmas movies. Describe your idea of a “storybook” Christmas. How has your experience of past Christmases aligned (or not) with these storybook ideas?

What is your pain? What are current uncertainties in your life? How can the Christmas season contribute to pain and uncertainty?

How can God really understand our pain and uncertainty? What is the evidence that God understands?

How can you know that God is with you? Explain how knowing that God is with you can give you hope in areas of your life that you have experienced pain and uncertainly.

How can having confidence that God is with me give me hope that God’s grace will sustain me? … that God’s life defeats all death? … that God understands my reality?

Who can you share this hope with? Begin with Prayer; Listen to their pain and uncertainty; Eat with them; Serve them; and Share your Jesus Story with them. BLESS them! Share a name and pray for them now.

Other Scriptures to Read:

Matthew 28:19-20 (with a focus on the last line)

John 14:15-17

1 Corinthians 15:54-58

1 Peter 1:3-6

This Is What We Do (Week 5) - Impacting Our Community & World for Good

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SERIES BIG IDEA:

We are a gathering on Jesus’ mission to expand His kingdom by loving Jesus, becoming like Jesus, and sharing Jesus with people far from God.

TEACHING BIG IDEA:

We will impact our community and world for good by being good news as we BLESS others.

TEACHING SUMMARY:

Westside Family Church embraces the values of glorifying Jesus, reaching spiritual and physical orphans, making disciples, building strong families, and impacting our community and world for good. The final value of impacting our world and community for good will happen naturally if we are doing the first four. Jesus taught his disciples to be “salt” and “light.” We are salt that preserves and light that shows the way. We can be good news to others as we BLESS others by beginning with prayer, listening, eating, serving, and sharing our Jesus story. The church serves Jesus when is serves others.

TALK IT OVER (Discuss One or More):

What values do you have in your life? In your family? In your work? Where you play?

Explain how the first four Westside Family Church values naturally lead to the final value of impacting our community and world for good.

Salt preserves. How are we to be salt in our relationship with others? Light shines. How is being a light an illustration of how we impact our world?

What part of the BLESS strategy (Beginning with prayer, Listening, Eating, Serving, and sharing your Jesus Story) is the most important? Why or why not? What is the most challenging? How do listening, eating, and serving give a “gospel touch” to others that set up the good news of your Jesus story?

What people group is the most difficult for you to serve? Why is it hard for you to serve this group? Read Matthew 25:35-40. How is serving this challenging group serving Jesus?

How does embracing biblical generosity a way to impact others? What are examples of being generous? Explain the importance of being generous with the local church.

Other Scriptures to Read:

Matthew 25:34-40

Romans 12:13

Hebrews 10:24-25

Matthew 24:14

This Is What We Do (Week 4) - Building Strong Families

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SERIES BIG IDEA:

We are a gathering on Jesus’ mission to expand His kingdom by loving Jesus, becoming like Jesus, and sharing Jesus with people far from God.

TEACHING BIG IDEA:

My highest calling and greatest opportunity to make an impact for Christ is within my family.

TEACHING SUMMARY:

Westside Family Church embraces the values of glorifying Jesus, reaching spiritual and physical orphans, making disciples, building strong families, and impacting our community and world for good.  Our value of building strong families is reflected in our middle name of Westside Family Church. We believe that strong families are built, requiring individuals to leave their family of origin. Strong families also require love and respect, obedience and honor, and self-control. God has created our family of origin as well as the family of God. While we partner with parents, we build eternal families by seeing spiritual orphans become a member of God’s family. Truly, family is at the core of the Kingdom and to heal our society we must build strong families.

TALK IT OVER (Discuss One or More):

Share about your family of origin. What were the challenges? What were the blessings? What type of legacy or heritage did your receive?

Read Genesis 2:18-25. What can you learn about family from reading this passage? Why did God establish the family?  How is the husband and wife relationship primary? What is the place of parents?

How is Westside Family Church a family? How have you embraced this idea? Is there anything keeping you from going “all in” with being a part of the Westside Family Church family?

How is your family, both your physical family and your spiritual family, your greatest opportunity for making an impact for Christ?

How can building strong families “heal our society”?

Explain the temporary challenges of being in a family, while focusing on the eternal nature of families. How is God a family, within Himself?

Other Scriptures to Read:

1 Timothy 5:8

Ephesians 6:4

Exodus 20:12

Galatians 4:4

This Is What We Do (Week 3) - Making Disciples

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SERIES BIG IDEA:

We are a gathering on Jesus’ mission to expand His kingdom by loving Jesus, becoming like Jesus, and sharing Jesus with people far from God.

TEACHING BIG IDEA:

We are becoming the disciples we lead others to be.

TEACHING SUMMARY:

Being a disciple of Jesus starts with letting go of the control of our lives and deciding to follow Jesus; it means following the teachings of Jesus found in the Bible. A disciple’s life is characterized by love and is lived in grace while doing good works. Being a disciple of Jesus means that we make disciples of others; beginning with telling what we have seen and heard about Jesus. The power to be a witness for Jesus comes from the Holy Spirit. As we do this, we join Jesus’ mission to expand His kingdom.

TALK IT OVER (Discuss One or More):

What might hinder someone from choosing to follow Jesus’ words: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” Matthew 16:24 (NIV). What does it mean to ‘deny’ ourselves? Take up our cross? How have these words changed your life?

Why is it essential to know what Jesus’ teachings are? How do you recognize false teachings?

Respond to the statement: A disciples’ life is characterized by love.

Why is the Holy Spirit important in the life of Jesus’ followers? Can someone be a disciple without the power of the Holy Spirit? What would you attempt for God’s glory if you knew the Holy Spirit would enable you to do it?

What does this mean to you: To make disciples, we must be disciples.

Other Scriptures to Read:

Luke 18:29-30

James 1:25

John 16:13

Galatians 5:22-23

Ephesians 2:10

This Is What We Do (Week 2) - Reaching Physical & Spiritual Orphans

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SERIES BIG IDEA:

We are a gathering on Jesus’ mission to expand His kingdom by loving Jesus, becoming like Jesus, and sharing Jesus with people far from God.

TEACHING BIG IDEA:

We are reaching spiritual and physical orphans with the good news of Jesus.

TEACHING SUMMARY:

The message of Jesus’ kingdom is the gospel, which means “Good News”. This good news is for both spiritual orphans and for physical orphans. The good news of Jesus’ kingdom is that through His perfect life, death, and resurrection, Jesus is restoring and renewing all who trust in Him and follow Him. This is good news for those who see their brokenness in a world broken by sin. The curse of sin has left us all spiritual orphans. God’s heart is for orphans—He wants us all in His family. We enter His family when we trust in and follow Jesus.

TALK IT OVER (Discuss One or More):

Share a first-hand story of someone you know in your family or a friend’s family who was adopted.

How familiar are you with the idea of being a ‘spiritual orphan’? When did you first hear about God’s desire to adopt you into His family through Jesus?

How has the good news of who Jesus is and what He has done for you continually transformed you? What would you say is the biggest difference Jesus has made in your life?

How would you explain to someone what it means to be good news to the people where you live, work, and play?

Read Romans 8:38-39. What does this truth mean to you? What might it mean to a physical orphan? How frequently would you say that you lose sight of these words in your daily life? Share practical ways that might be helpful for you to keep this truth anchored in your mind.

What does it mean to BE the gospel? … to LIVE the gospel? … to TELL the gospel?

Other Scriptures to Read:

Luke 4:17-22

Romans 8:15

Romans 8:23

James 1:26-27

This Is What We Do (Week 1) - Glorifying Jesus

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SERIES BIG IDEA:

We are a gathering on Jesus’ mission to expand His kingdom by loving Jesus, becoming like Jesus, and sharing Jesus with people far from God.

TEACHING BIG IDEA:

We are glorifying Jesus by living on Jesus’ mission.

TEACHING SUMMARY:

Jesus established the church as a gathering of people to bring His kingdom to earth. It was based on the faith statement that Jesus is the Son of the living God sent to restore the relationship between God and man. Jesus’ kingdom is made up of all those who follow Him. His mission is to expand His kingdom. We join His mission by loving Jesus, becoming like Jesus, and sharing Jesus. We glorify Jesus by loving Jesus and living for Jesus, by becoming like Jesus and loving each other, and sharing Jesus and loving the world. Committing to live on mission with Jesus glorifies Jesus. Central to what the church does is glorifying Jesus.

TALK IT OVER (Discuss One or More):

Share a story of how you “fell in love” with someone. What was the attraction? Explain how the person you loved responded and how that response was important or not. What is something that has happened in your life that you were extremely excited about? How did you share with others about what happened?

Explain what the church is. In what ways do people think of it as a building? OR as a gathering of people?

Read Romans 5:8. In light of all of us being sinners, how could God love us?

Read Ephesians 2:8-10. Explain in your own words how you earn and receive the grace and love of God? How do you response to receiving God’s grace? How do we live for Jesus? How does this glorify Jesus?

Explain why we should want to become like Jesus. How does the Holy Spirit help us become like Jesus? What are ways that we love each other? How does becoming like Jesus & loving each other glorify Jesus?

What are ways you can share Jesus with those who are far from God? Where are people that we can share Jesus with? How do you respond when someone doesn’t respond to you sharing about Jesus? How should you respond? How does sharing Jesus with others glorify Jesus?

Other Scriptures to Read:

1 Peter 4:11

1 Corinthians 10:31

John 15:8

Mark 9:2-3

Exodus (Week 4) - Love

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SERIES BIG IDEA:

We are delivered to discover the only true God in Whom we can trust.

TEACHING BIG IDEA:

God’s love for the Israelites leads us to understand our need for the fullness of love found in Jesus.

TEACHING SUMMARY:

The stories from Exodus and the Old Testament show us truth regarding the character of God. God reveals his love for the Israelites by providing bread to eat, by healing them with a bronze snake, and by comforting them through his presence in the pillar of smoke and fire. These expressions of God’s love foreshadow the fullness of God’s love through Jesus. Jesus is the Bread of Life. Jesus heals through his death on the cross. Jesus comforts through giving His Holy Spirit. While God continues to provide, heal, and comfort people in miraculous and ordinary ways, God provides permanent provision, healing, and comfort through Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

TALK IT OVER (Discuss One or More):

Share stories from your life of when you were hungry, of when you needed healing, or of when you needed comfort. Share how those situations were resolved.

The Israelites grumbled when they felt like things were falling apart or not going their way. Explain how grumbling about a situation contributes (or doesn’t) to finding a solution.

Read Isaiah 53:3-7. How do prophecies work? Are there still prophecies? How did Jesus fulfill this prophecy by Isaiah? How is what is shared by Isaiah a demonstration of God’s love?

How does God provide, heal, and comfort people who are even far from Him? How does He do that with those who are following Jesus? What are the differences, if any?

What are ways that show you are trusting that Jesus provides for you?  What are ways that you can embrace the healing of Jesus when healing of illness or injury doesn’t happen in the way you really wanted?

Share how the Holy Spirit has provided comfort to you.

Other Scriptures to Read:

Romans 5:8

Galatians 2:20

1 John 4:7-8

Deuteronomy 7:9

Exodus (Week 3) - Good & Faithful

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SERIES BIG IDEA:

We are delivered to discover the only true God in Whom we can trust.

TEACHING BIG IDEA:

God will do what He says, and what God does is best.

TEACHING SUMMARY:

What we learn about God in Scripture is true about Him today because He never changes. We need to see God as good before we can trust in Him. God led the Israelites to dead ends so they would trust Him with the impossible; to dry holes so they would trust Him with disappointment; to deserts so they would trust Him with dissatisfaction; and detours so that they would trust Him when life doesn’t go as planned. In the same ways we are called to embrace God’s goodness and trust Him in all circumstances. We are challenged to examine ourselves … will we trust that God receiving glory in our lives, by itself, is good?

TALK IT OVER (Discuss One or More):

Read Hebrews 13:8. What does it mean to you that Jesus never changes? What does it mean that when we see Jesus, we see God?

What experiences have you had in your life with dead ends, dry holes, deserts, and detours? Explain how those experiences challenged your trust in God.

Have there been times when it has felt as if God had become distant? What do you think changed?

How would you explain to someone that we ‘trust by obeying’ God? What has it been like to trust that God will give you what you need, not necessarily what you want?

Read Romans 8:28. When have you seen these words lived out around you? What makes it difficult to believe the promise of this verse?

What does it mean to you for God to receive glory in your life? How does God receiving glory relate to the dead ends, dry holes, deserts, and detours in your life? Explain how it is good that God allows challenges in our lives?

Other Scriptures to Read:

James 1:17

Isaiah 55:8-11

Philippians 1:6

Romans 3:3

Exodus (Week 2) - Merciful & Just

SERIES BIG IDEA:

We are delivered to discover the only true God in Whom we can trust.

TEACHING BIG IDEA:

In a merciful act of justice against evil, Jesus has taken the punishment for the sins of all who trust in Him and follow Him.

TEACHING SUMMARY:

This teaching tackles the significant issue of evil in our world, addressing why God allows bad things to happen. The Ten Commandments allow mankind to become aware of what sin is and that sin is the evidence of evil. God reveals that punishment results when sin occurs. Sin results ultimately in death and happens when we don’t submit to God’s authority and supremacy. While God is just by punishing sin, He is merciful by patiently waiting for people to trust in Him. God’s justice means he must punish all sin, even our own. When Jesus first came, He satisfied the requirement for punishment of sin for all who trust Him and follow Him. Jesus will come again to judge the evil of all who don’t trust in Him.

TALK IT OVER (Discuss One or More):

What current events demonstrate that there is evil in the world? On a more personal level, what are ways that people demonstrate that they don’t submit to God’s authority and supremacy?

What things does God allow that could lead people to question His goodness? Why doesn’t God just eliminate evil? What would you do with evil if you were God for a day? What are the implications of God simply preventing evil from occurring?

How does God deal with evil in a merciful way? How does God deal with you in a merciful way? What are areas that we struggle with regarding how God deals with evil?

Jesus is coming again to judge evil. How should we then live and relate to others?

How can I trust that Jesus will one day deal justly with all evil?

How can I trust that Jesus justly took the punishment for my sins and that He gives me His righteousness?

Other Scriptures to Read:

Ecclesiastes 3:17

2 Peter 3:3-13

Romans 12:19

Hebrews 4:16

Exodus (Week 1) - Authority

SERIES BIG IDEA:

We are delivered to discover the only true God in Whom we can trust.

TEACHING BIG IDEA:

God will be second to none. He is the only God and I can trust that He is supreme and over everything.

TEACHING SUMMARY:

This teaching shows how God revealed Himself to the Israelites during the Exodus as recorded in the Old Testament. God showed complete and supreme authority over the Egyptian gods, each of the ten plagues showing mastery over their gods. As a result, the Israelites could know that God and only God was the supreme authority over everything. Jesus came and demonstrated His authority by defeating death. As a result, we can trust Jesus, as the Son of God, to also have supreme authority over everything in our lives.

TALK IT OVER (Discuss One or More):

What are the “god’s” in your life that you give your time, love, resources, etc. to?

After reading Psalm 115:3, do you trust God to do “all that he pleases”? What are current events in our world that challenge you to really know that God is on His throne? How can you reconcile the evil of the world with God being in control?

How necessary is it to really understand the sovereignty and authority of God to receive the promise of God recorded in Philippians 1:6? As you look back over your life what are events that you struggle to embrace knowing God was in control? As you look forward to the future, how can you be confident that God will perfect His work in you?

Read Ephesians 3:20. Explain what this verse means to you. What does it mean when the verse says that His power “is at work within us”?

Explain the importance of Jesus’ resurrection in how you trust and follow Jesus.

What are you not trusting Jesus to have supreme authority over?

Other Scriptures to Read:

Romans 8:28

Proverbs 16:9

Deuteronomy 4:39

Genesis 1:1

Arrows (Week 6) - Manager

SERIES BIG IDEA:

Raising children with eternity in mind brings clarity as to how we live toward the target.

TEACHING BIG IDEA:

We steward the next generation so they can fulfill the purpose for which God created them.

TEACHING SUMMARY:

This teaching starts with the foundational understanding that God owns everything and we are His stewards. Children belong to God and are best seen as gifts from God for us to steward. Our purpose as stewards of our children is so they can fulfill the purpose for which God created them. The way we steward our children involves at least four ways: we discern the path on which they are to go; we understand their uniqueness; we identify their strengths; and we call out of them what God sees in them.

TALK IT OVER (Discuss One or More):

What …  roles of your life / things that you own / relationships that you have … do you struggle with to release control of to God? What about releasing control of people to God that you are upset with?

What is your dream for the children who are in your life? How are your dreams consistent or inconsistent with God’s plans and path for them? What are ways you can release your dreams in order to embrace God’s dreams?

How do you compare the children in your life with children in other families? What are the challenges of understanding the uniqueness of children when their uniqueness directly challenges your own comfort?

When children seem to consistently fail, how can you identify the strengths of your children?

When you struggle with your own calling, how can you call out of children what God sees in them? What can you learn about this struggle after reading 2 Chronicles 1:7-12?

After reading the teaching big idea (see above) what are your thoughts regarding the purpose for which God created your children? What about your thoughts regarding the purpose for which God created you?

Other Scriptures to Read:

Matthew 25:29

Deuteronomy 4:9-10

Deuteronomy 6:5-9

Matthew 19:13-15

Arrows (Week 5) - Relentless

SERIES BIG IDEA:

Raising children with eternity in mind brings clarity as to how we live toward the target.

TEACHING BIG IDEA:

Building a legacy takes resolute faith and relentless hard work.

TEACHING SUMMARY:

This teaching focuses on the truth that it takes both committed faith and hard work to create a lasting legacy. Parents must join with Jesus in building a godly home or else they labor in vain. Marriage, communication, discipline, and modeling true faith are relentless hard work. Resolute faith comes from learning to trust God during our trials. We have all been given a heritage and we will all leave behind a legacy. It is never too late to change the legacy we will leave behind.

TALK IT OVER (Discuss One or More):

How would you describe the spiritual heritage that you were given by the adults who raised you? Who was the most influential person in forming your beliefs about God as you grew up? Why were they so impactful?

Read Deuteronomy 6:1-3. What do you hope the children under your influence will understand about what it means to ‘Fear the LORD’?

Read Deuteronomy 6:6-9. What might the children in your home point to as evidence of your faith? How have you been intentional about connecting symbols of God’s faithfulness in and around your house?

Respond to the statement: A faith that can’t be tested can’t be trusted.

Why might a parent be reluctant to share with a child his or her own story of struggle to trust during trials? How have you been encouraged by another’s account of God’s faithfulness?

Read James 2:18. How would you describe the tension in faith and works? Why is it important that children see both?

Other Scriptures to Read:

James 1:2-4

Romans 12:11

2 Thessalonians 3:13

Acts 3:19

Arrows (Week 4) - Watchmen

SERIES BIG IDEA:

Raising children with eternity in mind brings clarity as to how we live toward the target.

TEACHING BIG IDEA:

We are watchmen who resist the opposition by taking a stand.

TEACHING SUMMARY:

This teaching challenges all of us to understand that there are opponents who desire to keep us from raising children to know Jesus, trust Jesus, and follow Jesus. Raising godly children requires us to be watchmen who will stand with God to resist dangerous enemies. To have success in the battle we stand in God’s grace by faith, in prayer, against temptation, and with Jesus.  On our own we can’t -- but Jesus can, so we should join Jesus in this fight.

TALK IT OVER (Discuss One or More):

Read 1 Peter 5:8. What are ways that our enemy, the devil, tries to devour us in our homes?

How have sexual challenges for our children increased over the past 20 years? How can you protect your home from Internet pornography? From gluttony? From greed? From pride?

What does it mean to stand in God’s grace? How can prayer help? How can we join God in protecting our homes? Based on Ephesians 6:10-18 how can we make a stand for God and against our enemies?

Satan knows how to attack us as adults. How can our own struggles with sin influence our children? How can we resist Satan and take a stand against temptation? How can this impact our children?

How and when will we have victory over our spiritual enemies? How can being in community with others help? What is the place of reading, studying, and memorizing God’s word?

How can we trust God, relax in His peace, and still stand as watchmen for our children?

Other Scriptures to Read:

James 4:7

1 Corinthians 16:13

Joshua 1:9

Matthew 26:41

Arrows (Week 3) - Let Them Go

Series big Idea:

Raising children with eternity in mind brings clarity as to how we live toward the target.

Teaching BIG IDEA:

We train children to release them, then trust Jesus to oversee them.

TEACHING SUMMARY:

This teaching addresses how we raise children to be released into the world. Releasing children requires parents to have balance between protection and preparation as well as between restrictions and freedom. Parents should unconditionally love their children; establish boundaries; provide children the liberty to choose and fail; and lead and challenge their children. Training a child requires that parents release their children to God for His purpose and then trust God to oversee them.

Talk it over (DISCUSS ONE OR MORE):

Read Proverbs 22:6. How do you train up a child in the way they should go? What does it mean that children will not depart from the training even when they are old?

Respond to Kevin Leman’s quote: “An unhappy child is a healthy child.”

What behaviors in our children could challenge our unconditional love? What behaviors in us challenge our perception of God’s unconditional love toward us?

What type of boundaries did you have growing up? What boundaries do you need to establish for your children? How can those boundaries communicate your love for them?

How can allowing children to fail be good for them?

How do you communicate your expectations to your children? What are ways that you can challenge and lead children? How does Colossians 3:23 challenge parents in how we lead children?

Other Scriptures to Read:

Deuteronomy 11:19

Ephesians 5:31

Proverbs 29:15 & 17 / Proverbs 13:24

Arrows (Week 2) - Find the Cadance

TEACHING SUMMARY:

This teaching addresses the rhythms in our lives. God desires that we find a rhythm that gives us rest and peace. To achieve this we must seek first God’s priority in our relationships. When Jesus is our priority all our relationships will find their place. By having Jesus as our priority we will be intentional with our spouse, our children, and our family and friends. Having this rhythm and discipline, we will say “yes” to the main thing and say “no” to the many things.

Series big Idea:

Raising children with eternity in mind brings clarity as to how we live toward the target.

Teaching BIG IDEA:

Living in the rhythm that God intends for us is a discipline that leads to the rest God wants for us.

Talk it over (DISCUSS ONE OR MORE):

What are current rhythms that are in your life? Identify healthy and unhealthy rhythms.

As your reread Psalm 127, what additional insights come to you? What does it mean to you that God “grants sleep to those he loves”?

What are creative ways you can establish a regular date with your spouse? What are creative ways you can establish consistent time with your children?

What are ways you can model to your children and to others how to follow Jesus?

If Jesus comes first -- then your spouse, then your children, then others -- what are areas in your life that don’t reflect the priority and rhythm that God desires? How can you fix it?

What are things in my life that I need to say “no” to? What are things in my life that I need to say “yes” to?

Other Scriptures to Read:

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Mark 6:31

Luke 10:38-42

Arrows (Week 1) - Targets

TEACHING SUMMARY:

This teaching challenged us to raise children first and foremost as an expression of how we follow Jesus and become like Jesus. Children are a blessing and heritage from God leading us to bring them up in such a way that they are released from us to be used mightily by God, just like an arrow is released from the bow and goes toward the bullseye.  To aim for God’s bullseye with our children, we realize that our children are made in God’s image, that they are blessings (not burdens), and that they are diverse. The bullseye is that we aim to raise our children to follow Jesus.

Series big Idea:

Raising children with eternity in mind brings clarity as to how we live toward the target.

Teaching BULLSEYE:

We aim to raise our children to know Jesus, trust in Him, and follow Him.

Talk it over (DISCUSS ONE OR MORE):

What does our culture value as 'bulleyes' for parents to aim at? How do we define a 'successful' parent? What are specific challenges you have had in raising children?

How are our children made in the image of God? Why does it matter?

Brainstorm practical ways to flip the idea of children as 'burdens' into 'blessings’.

What are our responsibilities toward children who are not our own? How have you seen "It's never too late to influence the children around you" played out?

How can you lead your children/grandchildren to trust Jesus? How can I embrace following Jesus as my own bullseye in life?

How can you apply Matthew 6:33-34 in how you raise children?

Other Scriptures to Read:

Proverbs 22:6

Deuteronomy 6:6-7

 

Withdraw

TEACHING SUMMARY:

This teaching revealed some reasons people avoid community. The irony is we need biblical community for our faith – and lives – to thrive. But in order to thrive, we must understand what it means to belong together.

Teaching Big Idea:

To thrive in my faith, I must belong in a Jesus-centered community.

Talk it over (discuss one or more!):

What are other ways to define community? The teaching defined community as when at least two people regularly gather to love Jesus, become like Jesus, or share Jesus

What are reasons people (you?) use to NOT be a part of a Jesus-centered community?

What are reasons for you to be part of a Jesus-centered community?

Explain how important the truth found in Matthew 18:20 is for Jesus-centered communities.

What are ways 2 people can love Jesus OR become like Jesus OR share Jesus? What about 6 people? 20 people? 200 people?

Other Scriptures To Read:

Romans 12:3-5

Acts 2:46-47

 

Life Hacks - Pride and Prejudice -Week 5

Series Big Idea:  Following Jesus by obeying his teachings makes me better at life.

 

Teaching Big Idea:  I overcome my pride and prejudices by taking my place to serve.

 

Begin in prayer: Begin in praise and prayer for humility.

 

Talk It Over:  

Ice Breaker:  What are some of the places and ways in which you see pride?  

 

Questions:  What is pride? 

 

PRIDE TEST: 

  • How much do I dislike it when other people snub me, or refuse to take any 

notice of me, or show off?

  • The more irritated I get, the more pride I have.

 

How did you do?  Did the “test” make you uncomfortable?

 

To fear the LORD is to hate evil;  I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.

Proverbs 8:13

 

Is it easier to see it in yourself or others?

 

What is prejudice?

 

Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.   Leviticus 19:15

 

How does humility work against pride and prejudice?  How does serving?

 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.   John 3:16-17

 

Challenge:  Discuss how you can flip pride and prejudice to serving.  Who will you serve?

 

Conclude in Prayer:  Pray to see clearly how to flip pride to serving.

LIFE HACKS - CONFESSION AND ACCOUNTABILITY - WK4

Series Big Idea:  Following Jesus by obeying His teachings makes me better at life.

 

Teaching Big Idea: Tell God and be forgiven.  Tell a friend and be healed.

 

Begin in prayer:  Thank God for His faithfulness to forgive us and ask Him for courage to be honest with Him and with others.

 

Talk It Over:  

Ice Breaker:  Kids are creative at hiding their errors.  Share a childhood fault hiding story.

 

Scripture: When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. 

Genesis 3:8 (NLT)

 

Questions:

Do you agree or disagree that secrets change us?  Why?

How does hiding affect our relationship with God and others?  

Do you find it easier to fess up to God or to ‘man’? 

What makes it difficult for us to admit our guilt?

 

Scripture:  Admit your faults to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5:16 (LB)

 

Questions:

Basic accountability, we ask each other:  What is God telling you and what are you doing about it?

Take a moment and pray for the person to your right: Please Lord, give ______________ a trustworthy friend to share his/her faults with. 

Have you ever had an opportunity to pray right away with someone when they confessed a fault to you?  If yes, what happened?

 

Challenge:  

Commit to putting basic accountability into practice this week.  Who will you connect with? When? How?

 

Conclude in Prayer:  

Thank God for your time together asking Him to help you admit your faults quickly to Him and to one another…and courage to pray right away.