Small Group Questions

Discussion Questions

Discover What's At The Core - Week 3

How to use the Sermon Discussion Questions:

  1. Scripture is provided as a convenience to you and for those who may not have a bible.
  2. Excerpts are provided from Tom’s sermon to help the group remember the important parts of his message. Feel free to read these together as a group, or you may simply want to use them as a reminder to put in your own words. Don’t feel the need to read everything in this document as a group. Use what you need, skip what you don’t.


Scripture Passages:

Matthew 9:9-13 (NIV) 9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”


Acts 4:29-34 (NIV)

29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. 32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.


Warm Up:

In his message, Pastor Matt talked about the value and the characteristics of finding and building healthy community. Just for fun, what are some of your favorite ways or places to build community? (ex: joining a gym, attending sports events etc.)


Discussion:

1. Toward the beginning of his message, Pastor Matt shared the mission statement of ALIVE.

ALIVE exists to reach spiritually hungry people. Introduce them to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and…an active role in healthy Christian community!

What characteristics or images come to mind your mind when you think about a “healthy Christian community?” How might someone go about creating a community like that?


2. In his message, Pastor Matt talked about how community involves following Jesus with other people.

Excerpt from Pastor Matt’s message: Choosing to follow Jesus inevitably means following Him with other people. As soon as we start following, we bump into someone else who’s trying to do the same.

If you have been following Jesus for a while, think back to your first experiences of Christian community. What was that like? How did you start trying to follow Jesus with other people?

If you don’t consider yourself a Christ follower, can you think of another group of people who are pursuing the same goals and priorities as you? What does it look like for you to pursue those goals together?


3. Read Matthew 9:9-13. How is Jesus’ perspective different from the Pharisees perspective? Based on these few verses what might be some characteristics of healthy community?


4. Still looking at Matthew 9:9-13, what are some potential obstacles to building healthy community? How have you encountered these obstacles in your own life?


5. In Pastor Matt’s message he talks about the two groups that Jesus is interacting with that can be a part of a community. Excerpt from Matt’s message: On one end of the spectrum you have the sinners and tax collectors. On the other end you have the Pharisees.

How would you describe each of these two groups? What are some challenges these people may face when they try to relate to one another?


6. In his message, Pastor Matt talked about how Jesus called together this diverse group of Pharisees and sinners, and people somewhere in between to form the first Christian Community. Pastor Matt defined Christians Community as “a group centered on, focused on, defined by, and pursuing…Jesus Christ.”

What do you think it looks like for a community to be focused on pursuing Jesus? Based on Jesus’ example, how might a Christian community look different from other types of community?


7. Toward the end of his message Pastor Matt talked about how Jesus knows all people are sick and he wants to heal all of them in Christian community.

How might being involved in a community help someone find healing? Have you ever experienced healing in community? If so, what was that like?


8. Read Acts 4:29-34. What are some characteristics of the community in this chapter? Based on these verses, what might it look like for us to create a healthy community?


9. Have you ever been a part of a community like the one in Acts? If so what was that like? If not, what are some steps you can take to find or create a community like that?


Next Steps:

Just as important as what ALIVE offers, though, is the fact that you have opportunities every day to step into an ACTIVE role in HEALTHY, CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY.

- For some of us, our next step is to recognize that we need it. You aren’t designed for life alone.

- For some, our next step is choosing to follow Jesus.

- For some, it’s realizing that we’ve been trying to follow Jesus, and all these people keep getting in the way or screwing it up for us, our dream of our own faith, or of our community is actually getting in the way of loving the people around us. You might need to talk to God about that, and ask Him to help you see the people around you like He does. And, to help you see yourself like He does.

- For some of us, we’re allowing fear, shame, guilt, or something else keep us from risking. Like we just parked at the end of the on-ramp, worried we’re going to get hurt or screw it up.


As you read through this list above, which of these next steps connects with you the most? What is one thing you can do this week to step toward healthy Christian community?