Small Group Questions

Discussion Questions

Punched! - Week 1 - GROWING UP

Scripture Passages:         

Matthew 16:21-23 (NIV84) 21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

 

1 Corinthians 2:16 (NIV84) 16“For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

 

2 Peter 1:4 (NIV84) 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

 

Hebrews 12:10 (NIV84) 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.

 

John 12:27–28 (NIV84) 27 “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say?

‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

 

Romans 8:28–29 (NLT) 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son . ..

 

James 1:4 (NIV84) 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

 

Warm Up

How did you track growth in your home growing up? Just for fun who is the tallest and who is the shortest person in your family?

 

Discussion


1.     Pastor Tom opened up his message, by posing this question: How do we know if we are growing as believers?

What are some ways that you know if you are growing as a believer? What are some measures that you use to track growth in your faith, spirituality etc.?

 

2.     Excerpt from Pastor Tom’s message: For most people, growth does not come from what we planned, but from managing events and circumstances that we didn’t plan.

What are some of your reactions to this statement? Does this ring true in your experience? How might circumstances and events impact our growth?

 

3.     Read Matthew 16:21-23.

What is happening in this situation? How do Jesus’ and Peter’s perspective contrast with one another here? What can we learn about humanity’s perspective from this example? 

 

4.     In his message, Pastor Tom talked about the idea of holiness – becoming Christ-like.

What come to your mind when you think about holiness? What have you been taught about holiness? And what questions do you have? How might a deeper understanding of holiness impact the way you live and relate to God?

 

5.     Read 1 Corinthians 2:16, 2 Peter 1:4, Hebrews 12:10.

What can we learn about the process of transformation from these verses? What can we learn about the potential for transformation in these passages?

 

6.     Excerpt from Pastor Tom’s message:

I fear the gospel of the modern church is devoid of miracle or mystery and we default to a philosophy or way of thinking that is undermining spiritual growth in our lives.

How might a belief in miracles impact the way we understand spiritual growth? How might denying miracles affect the way we understand and relate to God?

 

7.     Read John 12:27-28.

What two responses to suffering does Jesus model for us in these verses? What might it look like to invite God to glorify his name in a challenge in your own life?

 

8.     Toward the end of his message, Pastor Tom shared this short story about Mother Theresa:

Ethicist, John Kavanaugh, visited Mother Teresa to seek advice on how he should spend the rest of his life. When she asked him what he wanted her to pray for, Kavanaugh already knew the answer, “Pray that I have clarity.” Mother Teresa smiled and said, “No, I will not do that. Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.” Kavanaugh responded, “But you always seem to have such clarity.” This time she laughed, “I have never had clarity, but I always had trust. So, I will pray that you learn to trust.”

What might it look like to live life out of trust rather than clarity? How might this impact your relationship with Jesus to live out of trust?

 

 

Next Steps:

What if God is actually trying to teach you a lesson in trust because he desires a deeper, more intimate relationship with you? Maybe your crisis has an intentionality to it. What if every crisis we go through is actually a lesson in spiritual maturity?

 

Romans 8:28–29 (NLT) 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son . ..

 

James 1:4 (NIV84) 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

 

What ways have you seen God transforming you through your circumstances? Take some time this week to ask God, what are you teaching me? How can I look more like you as I walk through this situation?