Tuesday, July 12, 2016

2 Easy Steps To Become A Great Leader (Mark 9)


In your opinion, who is the greatest historical figure of the past 100 years? Why?
What do you think makes someone "great"? What makes someone a great leader?
What made Jesus great?
Read the following passages. After you read each passage, identify one or two principles about "greatness" or "leadership":
  • Read Mark 9:35
  • Matthew 20:25-28
  • Matthew 23:1-12
  • Luke 22:24-29
How would you describe Jesus' view on greatness and leadership?
What do you think Jesus meant when he said "the first shall be last"?
What do you think Jesus meant when he said leaders must first be "the servants of all"?
Who is someone you know that willingly puts them self last on a regular basis? Who is someone you know that is always serving other people? Do you consider those people to be great? Why or why not?
How did Jesus put Himself last? How did He serve others?
List three or four people that you can serve this week? What specifically can you do to help them?
What is one situation in your life where you can intentionally put other people ahead of you?
What are the challenges you think might keep you from placing yourself last or serving others? How can you overcome those challenges? How can others help you overcome those challenges?
If you spend a couple minutes in prayer every morning, how will you pray about these challenges? How will you pray for others? How would you like others to pray for you?
What is your goal for this week?

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

How Well Do You Listen To Jesus? (Mark 9)

 What is the best advice you been given in the past month? What is the best advice you have given to someone else in that time?

If Jesus was going to give you one piece of advice, what do you think He would say?

Read Mark 9:2-13. How do you think Peter, James and John felt at the end of this day? What would you have said to Jesus if you had been there?

If you had to choose one verse in this passage to memorize, which would you choose? Why?

In verse 7, a voice speaks from the cloud. The voice is God the Father. Why do you think He told the disciples to listen to Jesus?

How can we listen to Jesus?

What do you plan to do in the coming week in order to hear from Jesus?

Walk through the following "LISTEN" acronym and consider how your life should change as you listen to Jesus.

L- Love what Jesus would love. Who is a person (or people) in your life that needs to experience the love of Jesus? How can you show that love to them?

I- Invest where Jesus would invest. If Jesus managed your finances, what changes do you think He would make? If He owned your possessions, how do you think He would use them?

S- Serve how Jesus would serve. How the gifts God has given you be used to benefit those around you?

T- Take on what Jesus would take on. What is one habit or practice you think Jesus wants you to work on?

E- Eliminate what Jesus would eliminate. What is one habit or practice you think Jesus wants you to end?

N- Now! Why wait? Set a goal for yourself with a deadline and take the next step Jesus is calling you to take!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Anyone Can Lead A Small Group. Here's How.

I truly believe that almost anyone can lead a small group at your church (there are always exceptions). If someone is a disciple of Christ, they are called to make other disciples. With the right tools and equipping they can disciple others in a small group setting.

THIS IS FOR YOU

If you pastor a church with small groups, are in charge of small groups, train small group leaders, lead a small group, are in a small group, think small groups are a good thing or would just like to know a little more about small groups... I have something for you.


Below is a link to a kindle book which practically lays out the key steps anyone can take to effectively lead a small group (yes, anyone... almost). Even if you have no experience teaching, organizing or leading; the lists and charts in this book will empower you to launch and lead a group that grows together and ultimately serves together.

HERE'S WHAT YOU GET

In this book, I lay out the 4 KEY ELEMENTS every small group needs in order to facilitate long-term success. I also provide a six-week template covering every detail you'll need in order to get off to a great start.

As a freebie, I've included a couple resources I created several years ago. You'll get the 10 COMMANDMENTS OF LEADING DISCUSSION as well as a guide to AVOID THE 4 MOST COMMON COMMUNITY KILLERS.


NEED AN ALTERNATIVE?

If you aren't a Kindle-kind-of-person, and would like a hard copy, shoot me a message. I can get you a downloadable PDF.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Guard Your Heart (Proverbs 4)

When has your heart been glad? When has your heart been broken?

In the previous question, your “heart” is not the blood-pumping organ, it is the center of your thoughts, feelings, emotions and decisions.

What do you think it means that the heart is the “wellspring of life?”

Read Proverbs 4:23.  Rewrite this verse in your own words.

What do you think it means to “guard your heart?” What types of things do people need to guard their hearts agains? Why?

Give some examples of how everything in life flows from our hearts. When is this good? When is it not so good?

Read Proverbs 4:24-27. Which of these verses speaks most powerfully to you? Why?

These verses address how we speak, what we look at and where we go. How do each of these activities impact our heart?

If you regularly speak negative words, how will your heart be affected? If you regularly speak positive words, how will your heart be affected?

When are you most tempted to use negative words? How can you be aware of this temptation and overcome it?

What types of images (or anything we look at) can impact your heart negatively? How can you use your eyes to positively impact your heart?

When are you most tempted to look at unhealthy images? How can you be aware of this temptation and overcome it?

How can the places you go harm or help your heart?

When are you most tempted to go places that will hurt your heart? How can you be aware of this temptation and overcome it?

Make a list of three things you can do this week to guard your heart. Ask at least one other person to pray for you this week as you work on these items.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Following Jesus Means Embracing His Mission (Mark 5)

What is the best thing that has happened to you this week?

Read Psalm 9:1–2. Make a list of 3–5 things God has done for you this week.

How often do you spend time “recounting all of God’s wonderful deeds”? How do you think your life would be different if you kept in a prominent place a list of God’s wonderful deeds?

What is the most remarkable thing you’ve ever witnessed God do in your life or in someone else’s life?

Read Mark 5:1–20. What parts of this story stand out to you? Why?

How grateful do you think the healed man was? How do you think he felt about God? Have you ever felt this way about God?

Read Mark 5:18–20. Why did Jesus not let the man follow Him?

How would you describe the mission Jesus had for this man to accomplish?

If you were sent to “proclaim how much Jesus had done” for you, who would you go to? What would you tell them?

Rather than pulling us away from the world and into a “holy huddle” Jesus sends us to our family and friends to tell the story of how He has changed our lives.

Jesus didn’t let this man “follow him”, he sent him on a mission instead. How might our time spent at church get in the way of our ability to accomplish our mission? Can we truly “follow Jesus” and ignore our mission? Why or why not?

What will you do this week to participate in the mission to which Jesus has called you?

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Use Prayer To Prepare Your Heart and The Hearts of Others (Mark 4)

Read Mark 4:1-20.
Why do you think Jesus began by saying, "Listen!"? Why is listening important?
Read the following verses about listening. In each verse, identify one principle about how listening can help you grow.
Proverbs 16:20 Matthew 7:24 Luke 11:28 James 1:22
The story Jesus told in Mark 4 describes four different types of people and how they respond to God's truth. In your own words, describe each of the four types of people.
The good soil talked about by Jesus represents a person with a receptive heart. How would you describe a heart that is receptive to God?
How would you describe a heart that is hardened to God? Has there been a time in your life when you've felt a hardness of heart toward God? How did He soften you?
Jesus explained that some people receive the truth at first but then fall away. In your experience, what causes people to walk away from God?
Since listening to God is important, take a moment and think about what God wants to say to you. If He was going to speak to you about one area of your life, what would it be? What would He say to you?
What is one thing God wants you to give up? What is one thing He wants you to begin doing?
Write down the names of 3-5 people you know who haven't yet accepted the truth about Jesus.
What is one thing you can say to them this week that might help them think about what God wants from them? How can you say it in love?
Take some time and pray for each of the people on your list. Pray that:
  • God will soften their heart toward the truth
  • God will reveal to them how much He loves you
  • God will cause them to be curious about Jesus
  • God will use you or someone else to speak the truth to them
  • God will convict them of their sin and cause them to desire a new life
  • Finally, pray that they will give their life to Jesus and begin following Him.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Disappointed? Jesus Knows Exactly How You Feel

Read Hebrews 4:15 and Hebrews 2:18. How do these verses make you feel about Jesus?

Rewrite each of these verses in your own words.

What types of temptations did Jesus experience? How did Jesus suffer during His life?

When do you think Jesus experienced disappointment during His life? When do you think he experienced emotional hurt?

Why was Jesus willing to go through temptation, pain and disappointment?

Read or quote John 3:16. Why did God send His Son? Repeat the following statement to yourself a few times: “God loved me so much, He sent His Son.”

How have you experienced pain, disappointment or temptation recently? How did you respond?

Read James 1:2–4. How does God use our difficult times for good? How have you experienced this in the past?

How does it help you to know that Jesus has suffered in the same ways you do?

Take a moment and silently pray. Don’t ask for anything, simply tell Jesus about your struggles. Be confident that He is listening and He understands.

If Jesus is in control of your struggles, you can focus on doing good. What are the good things He wants you to do this week?