Small Group Questions

Discussion Questions

Filters -- A New Perspective

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:

1 Samuel 17:4-7 (NLT) Then Goliath, a Philistine champion from Gath, came out of the Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was over nine feet tall! He wore a bronze helmet, and his bronze coat of mail weighed 125 pounds. He also wore bronze leg armor, and he carried a bronze javelin on his shoulder. The shaft of his spear was heavy and thick as a weaver’s beam, tipped with an iron spearhead that weighed 15 pounds. His armor bearer walked ahead of him carrying a shield. 

8-11 (NLT) Goliath stood and shouted a taunt across to the Israelites… I defy the armies of Israel today! Send me a man who will fight me! When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken.

Genesis 1:1 (NLT) In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Psalm 139:13-16 (NLT) You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed

Revelation 21:5 (NLT) And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!”

Galatians 3:26-27 (NLT) For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.

1 Samuel 17:26 (NLT) David asked the soldiers standing nearby, “What will a man get for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel? Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?”

1 Samuel 17:32 (NLT) “Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”

1 Samuel 17:37 (NLT) The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from the Philistine!” Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the Lord be with you!”

1 Samuel 17:47 (NLT) And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!"

Warm Up:

This week marks the start of our new series Filters. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word filter? What are some of your favorite filters to use on photos? How does a filter effect the story an image tells?


1) Pastor Tom introduced us to the concept of filters at the very beginning of his message. He mentions how life experiences impact our perspective and can shape how we view the world around us. 

What are some examples of life experiences that may cause us to view life through a particular filter or lens?

2) In the beginning of his message, Pastor Tom introduced the idea of his unholy trinity—or his grouping of filters that he sees life through. His unholy trinity is: control, insecurity, and angst. 

What might your unholy trinity of filters be? When do you see these filters being used the most? 

3) Think of your unholy trinity.

What filters does God offer you in comparison to your unholy trinity? (Ex. Control vs. Trust or Insecurity vs. Security) 

4) Pastor Tom said, “when my unholy trinity kicks in, fear begins to live in me and that is a problem. When fear becomes the filter, everything gets warped.”

How have you seen this truth in your own life? How have you seen this in the world around you? How might fear and your unholy trinity relate?

5) Read 1 Samuel 17:4-11.

How can you see the Israelite’s filter of fear triggering their unholy trinity? How might Goliath’s unholy trinity also be a result of the filter of fear? 

6) Three main holy filters from Pastor Tom:

God is Creator, God is your creator, God is your Father.

How might these filters change the way you see everything? Life, nature, relationships, marriage, family, yourself?

7) Read 1 Samuel 17:26-32.

How do David’s filters in this moment differ from those of the Israelites and Goliath? How might the result of the battle been different if David had been trusting in his unholy trinity?

Next Steps:

Excerpt from Pastor Tom:

If you have faith, Jesus died for your sins, was resurrected and lives forever so we might do the same, it means we are now a family of the most powerful entity known in all humanity! Jesus becomes the most powerful filter through which we now see everything… God the creator of all existence, crafted you on purpose, died and rose again, so you could call him Father. 

How might embracing this filter or reminding yourself of this filter change your perspective on every aspect of your life? How do your unholy filters compare to this God given filter?

Take some time as a group to pray for God to help us see the world around us through the filter of Jesus.