Fifty Shades of They – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
Who are THEY? Show me your friends and I will show you your future. Surrounding yourself with the wrong “they” can pull you down. But there can be immeasurable growth and success when you surround yourself with the right they.

Discussion Starter:
Who are the 5 people in your life who you go to when you have a problem?

God wants us to get the most out of every relationship we have. But this does not happen without intentionality. We have to actively surround ourselves with the right THEY.

Watch this short video with your group.

Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: Proverbs 13:20, Proverbs 14:7, 2 Corinthians 6:14, 2nd Timothy 2:22, Galatians 6:2, 1 Corinthians 5:11

Discussion Questions:

  1. If you think back to your five friends that you would go to if you needed help, think now if there is anyone else who can be in your “circle of influence.” Who do you call at 2 AM when there is a problem? In other words, who is your “they”?
  2. Pastor Young spoke about relationships we can “walk to” (become more engaged in) and those we may need to “walk from” (become less engaged in). Read Proverbs 14:7 and 2 Timothy 2:22 as you think about those currently in your life and those you can intentionally place in your life.
  3. Read 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. What does this mean about your current friendships or work relationships with nonbelievers? How are we to live in the world and share the gospel and yet still be “separate”?
  4. Read 1 Corinthians 5:11. Would this have any impact on your relationships with people who call themselves believers?
  5. Read Proverbs 27:19 and Proverbs 9:9. How can both of these verses be played out in your life?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.

Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into twos or threes here.

Getting to know each other:  Read Proverbs 12:25 and Galatians 6:2. What anxieties can you share in order to lessen the weight on your heart?

Getting to know Him:  God’s heart is one that delights in opportunities for us to know Him better. How can your group prepare to know God in a deeper way? Consider putting together your Personal Spiritual Growth Plan that you can begin and share with your group January 1.

Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:   What gift has God given you that you can use to serve at Faith Promise?

Engaging in Community:  Does your group have plans to serve somewhere in your community before the end of the year? If not, consider serving at All Is Bright or Christmas Spectacular.

Engaging the World:  Moving into the Christmas season, there are many opportunities to pray for our Missionary partners. Most of our missionary families are away from their families. Pray for a peace this holiday season as they commit to God’s work around the world.

Expand God’s Kingdom

Expanding God’s Kingdom by pouring into the discipleship journey of others requires commitment and preparation. How can you prepare to help someone grow in their discipleship?

Leader’s Notes

The discussion starter and questions may be fun for some people, but extremely unpleasant and painful for others. But this can be an excellent opportunity for the leader of the group to lead.

The Bible predicted that narcissism would rise, and that even natural family relations would, for some people, be impossible (2 Timothy 3:2-4). Many people do not even have one person to turn to, and these questions can make it painfully apparent to them. If your group is full of genuine Christ-followers, then be prepared to emphasize that you can be called on in time of need.

Many people have horrendous, emotionally abusive family relationships, and feel that “the Christian thing to do” is to accept the abuse and be a doormat. As a leader, the only thing you might see is someone being very quiet and a little disengaged. You must be prepared to reach out to these people and make serious effort that might even be resisted at first.

The people who are truly sad and hurting are not usually very vocal about it. And they may be ashamed that they don’t have people, which causes them to withdraw even more. These questions might expose very sensitive areas for people, but that can be a great way to show the love of Christ, and for you and your group to build real relationships.

Remember, when the Bible talks about us being “the household of God” and “brothers and sisters in Christ,” this might form a beautiful Norman Rockwell picture in most minds that hear it. But increasingly, hearing about how ‘believers are a big family’ may not give some people warm fuzzy feelings. Their family may be full of conflict, emotional or physical abuse, addiction, or other troubles. Why should they believe that God’s family is different? We have to show them! As believers, we should be redefining what a family is.

So as leaders, we should be ready to look for and actually reach out to people who are hurting; they will not always speak up about their needs. They often think nobody cares. But you, and others in your group, might be in the perfect place to prove to them that God does, and that others do, too. But you may have to notice, and reach out.