Worship

How to Overcome You

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

It’s hard to do the right thing sometimes. Sure – in a vacuum, we can usually determine what God’s way is in any situation, and we’d like to think that’s the decision we would make. Real life doesn’t happen in a vacuum, though, and in the heat of the moment, our sin-nature sometimes wins out over our God-nature. The struggle is real.

1. Discussion 

Romans 8:5-6 [ESV] “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”

Q . Have you ever set your mind to do the right thing, and then changed and did the wrong thing in the moment? What made you change?

Q . What are one or two battlegrounds in your life where you wrestle often between doing things God’s way and doing things your way? 

Why do you think it’s such a challenge?

2. Challenge

Galatians 5:22-24 [NLT] “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

When we devote ourselves to studying the Bible and listening to the Holy Spirit’s direction, we strengthen the push for God’s way in our mind and weaken the push for self and sin.

Q . In the struggle to do right, do you normally focus on pushing the sin-nature down or building the God-nature up? Which should it be?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for His Word and the work of the Holy Spirit in you to teach you a better way. Ask the Holy Spirit to grow His outlook and attitudes in you so you can win more and more of the struggles in life.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

How To Be A Faithful Follower

1. Power Verse

Matthew 16:24 (ESV) “…If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.”

What’s Up: I Will Follow God With All Of My Heart!”

This week, we start a brand new series called, “Elisha: God’s Powerful Prophet.” From the amazing life of Elisha, we learn how to be faithful followers of God! In this lesson, we learn some valuable lessons from the story of Elisha being called to follow the prophet, Elijah. If Elisha had not learned to be a good, faithful follower, he never would have become the powerful, godly leader that he became.

2. Read

1 Kings 19:19-21; 2 Kings 2 (NIRV)  Elisha was plowing in a field. Elijah went up to him. He threw his coat around him. He ran after Elijah. Then he started to follow Elijah. He became Elijah’s servant. The Lord was going to use a strong wind to take Elijah up to heaven. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here. The Lord has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “I won’t leave you. And that’s just as sure as the Lord and you are alive.” There was a group of prophets at Bethel. They came out to where Elisha was. They asked him, “Do you know what the Lord is going to do? He’s going to take your master away from you today.” “Yes, I know,” Elisha replied. “So be quiet.” So the two of them walked on. Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan River.  Elijah rolled up his coat. Then he struck the water with it. The water parted to the right and to the left. The two of them went across the river on dry ground. After they had gone across, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me. What can I do for you before I’m taken away from you?” “Please give me a double share of your spirit,” Elisha replied.“You have asked me for something that’s very hard to do,” Elijah said. “But suppose you see me when I’m taken away from you. Then you will receive what you have asked for.” They kept walking together. Suddenly there appeared a chariot and horses made of fire. Then Elijah went up to heaven in a strong wind. Elisha saw it and cried out to Elijah, “My father! You are like a father to me! You, Elijah, are the true chariots and horsemen of Israel!” Elisha didn’t see Elijah anymore. Then Elisha took hold of his own garment and tore it in two. He picked up the coat that had fallen from Elijah. He went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan River. Then he struck the water with Elijah’s coat. “Where is the power of the Lord?” he asked. “Where is the power of the God of Elijah?” When Elisha struck the water, it parted to the right and to the left. He went across the river.

3. Discussion

Q. Who showed up and put his cloak around Elisha, saying, “Follow me”? What did Elisha ask for when Elijah was about to ascend into Heaven?

Before we can be a good leader, we first have to learn to be a good follower. Of whom in your life should you decide to be a good follower?

4. Prayer Focus

Pray your children will be faithful followers. Challenge them to be humble, and to be committed to God even through the tough times.

Faith Like a Child

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

In this life we’re all coming out of a hardship, in the middle of one, or about to go through one. When we were kids we didn’t have a care in the world because we knew our parents would take care of us. Like a child has trust in their parents, God wants us to know Him well enough that we have child like faith in Him.

1. Discussion 

Proverbs 3:5 [NIV] “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;”

We all know that we need to trust in the Lord but putting that into practice is hard. We are hardwired to try to take care of things ourselves or try to fix the issue on our own. Jesus wants us to give it to Him.

Take a moment to discuss a time that you trusted in God to take care of a situation and a time that you didn’t.

Q. What was the difference between the two situations?

Q. Do you feel that you grew closer to God more in one than the other?

2. Challenge

Luke 18:15-17 [ESV] “Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”’

The disciples were too concerned about what position they would have in Jesus’ Kingdom and missed His teachings.

Q. Have you ever placed your circumstances at a higher priority than your relationship with Jesus?

Sometimes we think that we can handle our situation better than God, when all He is really asking is for us to give it to Him.

3. Prayer Focus

Pray that all of us, no matter how young or old, will know that God is always there, taking care of us, no matter what situation we are in.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you trust God more and more so that we will worry less and less!


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Faith Like a Child

1. Power Verse

Luke 18:17 (ESV) “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

What’s Up: “I will trust in God and stay strong in Him!”

This week, we celebrated “Family Sunday” and learn together with our family in big church.  Most of the time  we learn things from people who are older than us, but there are times that the kids can teach the adults some things about faith in God.

2. Read

Luke 18:15–17 (NIRV)  “People were also bringing babies to Jesus. They wanted him to place his hands on the babies. When the disciples saw this, they told the people to stop. But Jesus asked the children to come to him. ‘Let the little children come to me,’ he said. ‘Don’t keep them away. God’s kingdom belongs to people like them. What I’m about to tell you is true. Anyone who will not receive God’s kingdom like a little child will never enter it.’”

3. Discussion

Q. Why do you think the parents wanted Jesus to touch their babies?

The disciples became upset that people were bringing children to Jesus.  Why do you think the disciples thought that the parents shouldn’t bother Jesus?

Jesus told the disciples to let the kids come to Him.  He enjoyed having them near Him.  

Q. What do you think it would have been like to meet Jesus while he was walking with His disciples? What are some things that you would have said to Him?

Sometimes adults have a harder time trusting God than kids do.  

Q. Why do you think that is?

As we grow older, we often start to worry more and more about things like money, our health, our relationships, and important decisions.  

We often spend more time worrying, than praying and trusting God.

Q. What are some steps we can take to keep our faith strong?

4. Prayer Focus

Pray that all of us, no matter how young or old, will know that God is always there, taking care of us, no matter what situation we are in.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help us trust God more and more so that we will worry less and less!

What do you know?

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

Knowing the Bible is a great thing – the more were read, study and memorize, the better! Knowing about God won’t do us any good, though, if it’s just knowledge. God wants us to know Him intimately – in a way that changes us fundamentally.

1. Discussion 

Philippians 3:8-11 [ESV] “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”

Paul knew the Old Testament a lot better than you do – he devoted his early life to studying it; but that head knowledge was nothing compared to the relationship he developed with Jesus.

Q . On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your biblical knowledge?

Q . On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the intimacy of your relationship with God?

Q . How could raising one of those numbers help raise the other?

2. Challenge

Luke 7:39 [NLT] “When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this (the woman washing Jesus’ feet), he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!’”

Simon the Pharisee knew the Scriptures like Paul did, yet he didn’t recognize the Savior who was sitting at his table. 

Q. What was the difference between these two? Which do you associate with more? What made the difference for you?

As you consider your role in teaching the next generation to know God, Bible knowledge is clearly important, but there’s more needed than that. 

Q. What else can you do to guide people to knowing God, not just knowing about Him?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for reaching out to know you personally, not just to enlist you as a servant. Ask the Holy Spirit to use the knowledge about God that you gain to help you get to know Him better.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

In Prison For Good

1. Power Verse

Romans 8:28 “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.”

What’s Up: “God Can Use My Prison To Change Someone’s Life!”

This week, we continue our series called, “Prison Break.” In this lesson, we will learn that God can use the bad for good. If we are faithful to God during the bad times, others may be blessed!

2. Read

Acts 16:25-34 “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying. They were also singing hymns to God. The other prisoners were listening to them.  Suddenly there was a powerful earthquake. It shook the prison from top to bottom. All at once the prison doors flew open. Everyone’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up. He saw that the prison doors were open. He pulled out his sword and was going to kill himself. He thought the prisoners had escaped. “Don’t harm yourself!” Paul shouted. “We are all here!” The jailer called out for some lights. He rushed in, shaking with fear. He fell down in front of Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out. He asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus. Then you and everyone living in your house will be saved.” They spoke the word of the Lord to him. They also spoke to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night, the jailer took Paul and Silas and washed their wounds. Right away he and everyone who lived with him were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house. He set a meal in front of them. He and everyone who lived with him were filled with joy. They had become believers in God.”

3. Discussion

Q. What happened after the earthquake? Did Paul and Silas leave the jail?

Q. What happened to the jailer? 

Q. Did Paul and Silas help him to become a Christian or not?

Q. Who else became a Christian after the earthquake? Sometimes, bad things happen – even for Christians. 

Sometimes a bad situation can be really bad – and we feel like there is NOTHING good that can come from it. We feel like we’re in a prison and there is no hope for good to come out of it. 

 Q. Has there been a time that God has used your bad to help others?

 Q. Has there been a time that God helped you because of someone else’s bad?

 Q. Have you faced something that seemed too bad to ever be used for good?

 

4. Prayer Focus

Pray that your children would see that God can use the bad for good. Pray that they would see the reason for their prison and stay faithful to God, no matter what. Pray that others would be blessed because of their faithfulness in the bad times.

Connect to Community

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

“Changing the world” is a popular idea in America – from childhood, we were told we could change the world if we try hard enough. Of course, we learned early on that this wasn’t meant to be taken literally. No one person could actually make the entire world better, right? As representatives of God, that’s exactly what we’re called to do. Make our world better, one community at a time.

1. Discussion 

Matthew 5:14-16 [ESV] “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

God’s plan for Christians is for us – collectively – to shine light & truth into the dark world around us.

Q. When you read these verses, do you normally hear the “you” as singular, or plural?

Q. Which problems in your community do you take an active role in trying to address? Which problems do you passively accept?

Q. What are 2 or 3 problems in your community that would improve if the people involved began living God’s way?

2. Challenge

Matthew 5:3-9 [ESV] “Blessed are the poor in spirit… Blessed are those who mourn… Blessed are the meek… Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness… Blessed are the merciful… Blessed are the pure in heart… Blessed are the peacemakers.”

We impact our community by living with God’s character as our driving force. When we live a transformed life as a connected, active part of our community, we bring the creative, life-giving power of the Holy Spirit to every area, and with it, the greatest hope for change that the world has ever seen.

Q . When you edit your thoughts and actions to line up with God’s way, do you do it for the sake of God’s relationship with you, or His mission to reach the people around you?

Q . The brokenness of your community can be healed when people see the example of God’s power in your life. How does that impact the importance you put on living God’s way?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for filling your life with importance by making you part of His work to bring light to the world. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to live His way in the context of community.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Who Are You Chained To?

1. Power Verse

Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”

What’s Up: “I Will Choose Friends Who Will Lift Me Up!”

This week, we continue our series called, “Prison Break.”  In this lesson, we learn from the example of Paul and Silas.  We learn that each of us must be careful who we connect ourselves with.  We need friends who will be willing to “sing” with us even in the darkest hours of our lives.

2. Discussion

Acts 16:25-26 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying. They were also singing hymns to God. The other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a powerful earthquake. It shook the prison from top to bottom. All at once the prison doors flew open. Everyone’s chains came loose.”

Q. What did Paul and Silas do while in prison?  Were they sad and upset?

Q. What happened to Paul and Silas while they were in jail? 

Q. What did the earthquake cause to happen?

Each one of us have days where nothing seems to be going right.  The car won’t start, traffic is backed up and makes you late for work, and you get in trouble with your boss.  Those days are very tough.  It’s easy for us to get down in the dumps and feel like we are all alone.  It’s in those moments that true godly friends can step in to lift our spirits and remind us that God is in control.

3. Challenge

Q. Do you have godly friends to help you in tough times?

Q. Have you ever faced a situation where you needed godly friends?  

Q. Did you have friends there for you?

Q. Are there any friends in your life that aren’t godly influences?

4. Prayer Focus

Pray for your children that God would lead them to godly people.  Pray for them to pick the right friends that will direct them to God, not away from God.  Pray for them if they feel like they are in bad relationships that need to change.

Connect to People

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

Ever try to pull a large TV out of the box, set up a tent, or hang a ceiling fan by yourself? Some things in life are just easier with help from someone else. God created humans as social beings, and if we want to experience the full life He has for us, we need to experience it in community.

1. Discussion 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”

The enemy of your soul doesn’t take a summer vacation. Life can be a constant struggle, especially when you’re walking against the grain of culture to follow God’s ways. You need people around you to pick you up when you stumble – and you need to be there for them in the same way.

Q . Who are the people in your life who pick you up when you need help? Who are the people you help?

Q . If you had a larger support group, would living for God be easier or harder? How?

2. Challenge

Ecclesiastes 4:8 [ESV] “…one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, ‘For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?’ This also is vanity and an unhappy business.”

Because we were created to live in community, part of our sense of purpose and enjoyment in life is doing things to benefit others. When we isolate ourselves, we cut ourselves off from that sense of meaning and value in life.

Q . Think of a time when you did something selfless to benefit someone else, how did it make you feel in the moment? At the end of that day, did you feel a sense of purpose, or was it meaningless? 

Q . Do you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions in life, without any overarching direction? How do you think engaging in community to help others might change that feeling?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for the people in your life that you can lean on when times are hard. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you connect to people, not only to find help, but to find purpose.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Singing In The Dark!

1. Power Verse

Psalm 34:1 “I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises.”

What’s Up: “No Matter What I’m Going Through – I Will Praise The Lord!”

This week, we continue our series called, “Prison Break.” In this lesson, we learn that even in our darkest times, we should worship God! In our Bible Story, we see a great example of this when the Apostle Paul and Silas find themselves in the middle of a very BAD day! They were taken to the authorities, beaten badly, and thrown in a dark prison! But that didn’t stop them from worshiping! They knew God would take care of them, so they began singing songs of praise to God!

2. Discussion

Acts 16:16-25 One day we were going to the place of prayer. On the way we were met by a female slave. She had a spirit that helped her tell people what was going to happen. She earned a lot of money for her owners by doing this. She followed Paul and the rest of us around. She shouted, “These men serve the Most High God. They are telling you how to be saved.” She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became upset. Turning around, he spoke to the spirit that was in her. “In the name of Jesus Christ,” he said, “I command you to come out of her!” At that very moment the spirit left the woman. Her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone. So they grabbed Paul and Silas. They dragged them into the market place to face the authorities. They brought them to the judges. “These men are Jews,” her owners said. “They are making trouble in our city. They are suggesting practices that are against Roman law. These are practices we can’t accept or take part in.” The crowd joined the attack against Paul and Silas. The judges ordered that Paul and Silas be stripped and beaten with rods. They were whipped without mercy. Then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was commanded to guard them carefully.  When he received these orders, he put Paul and Silas deep inside the prison. He fastened their feet so they couldn’t get away. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying. They were also singing hymns to God. The other prisoners were listening to them.

Q. What were Paul and Silas doing? Who was following them?

Q. What did Paul & Silas do after the slave girl kept following them? What happened next? What happened to Paul & Silas?

Q. What did Paul and Silas do while they were in their dark prison cell?

3. Challenge

Troubled times are expected in life – even for Christians! Jesus said,“In this world you will have trouble.” But there’s no reason to quit when we face hard times. Jesus also said,“Take heart! I have overcome the world!” That’s a reason to celebrate! That’s a reason to praise God and worship Him for helping us, even in our darkest times!

Q. Have you ever had a really, really bad day? What happened? 

Q. When you’re facing tough times, what should you do? 

Q. How should you respond?

Q. Why should we worship God during our darkest times?

4. Prayer Focus

Pray that your children won’t be surprised when troubles come, but that instead they will be ready. Pray that they will decide not to quit and to worship God, even in their darkest times. Spend some time in worship and thanking God together!

Connect to God

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

Jesus didn’t come to the earth, live as a human for 33 years, and die a brutal death so we could experience a “pretty good” life – He came so we could experience it abundantly! God wants the best for us, and that starts when we connect to our Creator.

1. Discussion 

John 1:4 [ESV] “In him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

From the very beginning, the very source of life has been a connection between God and humankind. That divine connection was lost when sin entered the world, but a loving God has made a way for us to regain purpose and vitality in every part of life – even though our physical bodies are still decaying under the curse of sin.

Q . When are the times you feel the most “connected” to God? When are the times you feel least “connected?”

Q . Do you think God’s plan is for you to experience his light in some parts of life, or in all?

Q . If God’s light is relegated to a few areas in your life, who do you think put up the boundaries – you or Him?

2. Challenge

John 14:16–17 [ESV] “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”

More than just being near God, He sent His Holy Spirit so He could be in us, bringing His perspective and growing His character from the inside out.

Q . What are some ways that the Holy Spirit influences your life?

Q . What’s one area of your life that would improve if the Holy Spirit became more involved in it?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for reaching out to reconnect with you. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring His perspective and character into more areas of your lives.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

Breaking Free!

1. Power Verse

John 8:36 “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.”

What’s Up: “I Know God Can Set Me FREE!”

This week, we continue our series called, “Prison Break.” In this week’s lesson, we learn that God is able to set us free from any prison that we are in. Even when it seems like God has forgotten us, He will always come through – right on time!

2. Discussion

Acts 12 About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him.  When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is his angel!” But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed.” 

Q. Did the religious leaders like that Peter was preaching and teaching about Jesus? What did they do to Peter?

Q. What happened while Peter was sleeping? What did the angel help Peter do?

Q. Where did Peter go when he got out of prison?

3. Challenge

Prisons come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Sometimes they are prisons of circumstances that are forced on us. Other times, they are prisons of our own making. No matter what kind of prison we find ourselves in, we can rest assured that God is able to set us free! All we must do is call on God, and He will provide a way of escape. He may not come in the exact way or time that we want, but God will always come through.

Q. Has there ever been a time you felt like you were in a “prison”? Did you rely on God to set you free?

4. Prayer Focus

Pray for your children if they are going through a “prison” in their life. Pray that they will have God’s peace. Pray that they will trust God’s timing. Pray that God will set them FREE from their prison, today. Pray that they will trust in God in future “prisons” they go through.

 

Spiritual Leadership

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Adult & Teen Discussion Guide

The God-life is a journey, and we’re all traveling it together. Everyone needs spiritual leadership along the way. Are you seasoned in your relationship with God? Be a spiritual father for those following behind you.

1. Discussion 

1 John 3:1 [NIV] “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”

It’s God’s love as a Father that sets the example for us, and as the Holy Spirit changes us more and more into His image, we should live out that love as an example to those following us in this God-journey.

Q . Who in your life best exemplifies God’s love put into practice?

Q . What are some actions – visible in your life – that reflect God’s love to others? 

2. Challenge

2 Timothy 2:1-2 [NLT] “Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.”

Spiritual fathers are responsible for instructing and even disciplining, those who follow them along the way. It’s not just a job for pastors, it’s a job for every believer.

Q . Have you been through the NEXT discipleship process, either as a student or a mentor? If not, why not?

Q . What would our church look like if every mature believer invested in one person to mentor spiritually? How might that change the spiritual strength of Abundant Life?  How might that impact our community?

3. Prayer Focus

Take a few minutes as a family: thank God for the spiritual father(s) who helped you to the point where you are now in your relationship with God. Ask the Holy Spirit to connect you with people you can look up to, and with people who can learn from your example.


Family with Small Children Discussion Guide

The God-Father

1. Power Verse

Joshua 1:5 “For I will not leave you. . . I will not fail you or abandon you.”

What’s Up: “God The Father Will Never Fail!”

As a family, write down a list of things that the “perfect” father would be or do. Write everything down, even if you know that what your child suggests may not really be what a perfect father would do (for example, “A perfect father would give me everything I want”).

2. Discussion

Once the list is completed, go back through it and discuss each item. Ask your children if the item really is something a perfect father should do. Some of the things they include should definitely stay on the list, such “a perfect father will always provide for his children.” Some things, though, should be removed. 

Q. Why did you include these items?

Q. Is there such thing as a “perfect” father?

God, as our Father in Heaven, is all of the things a perfect father should be and even more. Earthly dads have limitations, but God doesn’t.

Read the following scriptures that describe some of the characteristics of our Heavenly Father.

Matthew 28:20 “Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end.”

Jeremiah 29:11 “‘I know the plans I have for you,’ announces the Lord. ‘I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come.’”

Psalm 121:3-4 “He won’t let your foot slip. He who watches over you won’t get tired. In fact, he who watches over Israel won’t get tired or go to sleep.”

Psalm 24:1 “The earth belongs to the Lord. And so does everything in it. The world belongs to him. And so do all those who live in it.”

Job 42:2 “I know that you can do anything.  No one can keep you from doing what you plan to do.”

Matthew 19:26 “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With people, this is impossible. But with God, all things are possible.’”

3. Challenge

Even though earthly dads aren’t perfect and may sometimes fail us, God will always do what’s best and right for us, and He will never fail us.

4. Prayer Focus

Pray that God will surround your family with godly people who will reflect the characteristics of our Heavenly Father to your children.