Dark Materials Week 1 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: Joy is our weapon against the weakness we feel in tough times.


Click on the picture below to watch with your group:

Discussion Starter:  Why do we not choose joy? Can you think of a time when joy has helped you get through a difficult circumstance? Discuss with your group.

Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: ‭Nehemiah 8:10, 1 Thessalonians 1:6, Hebrews 12:2, John 16:19-22

Discussion Questions:

  1. Joy is a focus, not a feeling. With all the social media in today’s world, we have a lot of pressure to be “happy.” Pleasure and joy are not the same.  Happiness can give you good feelings but joy (biblical joy) is so much more than a feeling.  Read Hebrews 12:2. What was Jesus’ focus?  Or to ask in another way, what was set before Him that allowed Him to endure the suffering?
  2. Joy is not a product of what people say about you. Read John 16:19-22 and 1 Thessalonians 1:6. Where do we get our joy?
  3. Where should we focus to gain strength for endurance?  Read Nehemiah 8:10.
  4. Read Luke 15:7. What brings the Lord joy?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Nehemiah 8:10, 1 Thessalonians 1:6, Hebrews 12:2, or John 16:19-22 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.

Embrace Others

Break into groups of two or three and discuss how your understanding of joy has expanded and what this means for you. Read Acts 2:46 and pray with one another as you set out this week with a new focus.

Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  Many groups are starting the Freedom curriculum. This material is amazing and will not always be easy. If you are in a Freedom group, discuss how you will focus on God and the outcomes which will bring you closer to Him as you go through the next few weeks.  Who have you thought about inviting who might benefit from the Freedom curriculum? Invite them next week!

Engaging in Community and the World: Serving is one of the best ways to see God’s work in people.  Have you volunteered with any of the community organizations that Faith Promise supports? Check out https://faithpromise.org/love-local for more information.

Expand God’s Kingdom

Think about all the places you exist – work, church, home, child’s school, etc.  Whom have you seen who looks like they could use more godly joy? Pray that God opens your eyes and heart up to be able to speak into their life. Invite them to Faith Promise!

Leader’s Notes

ALL groups at Faith Promise should follow Jesus Christ and lead others to do the same. Below are the marks of a growing follower and disciple of Jesus.

– A follower of Jesus desires to encounter God through the deeper study and application of God’s Word.

– A follower of Jesus embraces people and values relationships on a deeper level so everyone can grow together.

– A follower of Jesus engages and serves the world around them and in their community, through local partners or God-directed opportunities.

– A follower of Jesus expands God’s Kingdom through development and multiplication of disciple-makers, possibly to lead more groups at Faith Promise.