Fresh Wind Week 4 – Discussion Guide
Main Idea: Many people say they “want to have revival,” but really what they want is for God to work in the hearts of everyone else around them; they do not want to change (or even feel like they need to). We all play a part in the work of revival that God is doing—whether for good or for bad. We need to examine ourselves, and make sure we aren’t hindering any work God is doing.
Introduction: God has never stopped building His church. Amazingly, God wants us to join in. He could have said “you’re all a gigantic disaster; just sit in the corner and don’t talk while I do this.” He could have said “The angels will do a good job, so just stay out of the way.” But that is not what God said. Instead, God chooses to let us be a part of the work, using people from literally every walk of life. But when we look at what God has said, what does the Bible teach us about how God works? What does it say about when God stops and starts working? About when God will and will not do something? These questions and passages will hopefully help lead you to examine these issues more deeply on your own.
Discussion Starter: What is the biggest, most elaborate, or most impressive “team project” you’ve ever been a part of? Were you a part of building a massive building? Maybe making a huge holiday meal? Perhaps a concert? Was it a good experience, or a bad one? Did it end well, or did it fall apart? Share your experience with the group!
Primary Scriptures: Matthew 13:53-58, James 4:1-3, 1 John 5:14-15
- Read Matthew 13:53-58. Why would their unbelief even be a factor in the number of miracles Jesus would perform? And why would that make Jesus do fewer, not more, miracles? (For a possible key to answering this question, consider Luke 16:31.)
- In the letter of James, he tells us “you don’t have, because you don’t ask.” Take a moment and think about the things you’ve been asking God for; what you really want from God, and what you want God to do. Try to number the top three, if you can. Then, consider what James says in the next verse (James 4:3). Have you been asking God for things that would mostly make you feel good, or feel happy, or feel comfortable?
- In the first letter of John (5:14-15, to be precise), there is an amazing promise about praying to God. That is, if we ask anything according to His will, God hears us. So, how much do we know about what God wants? And, are we asking along those lines? Are we asking for God to clean up our own lust-stained hearts, or are we asking God to let us win the lottery? Are we asking God to forgive those who have treated us wrongly, or are we asking God to let us get through traffic faster so we can get to watching Netflix faster? As a follow-up question, can you think of any parts of the Bible that explicitly say what God’s will is?
Discovery Bible Method: For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read James 4:1-17 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.
Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into twos or threes for this section.
If your group is really interested in being raw and real, have everyone in your small group share what they have been praying for. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if we are asking for things selfishly or not. If we are honest with each other, we can get to know each other and help each other, too.
Engage the World Around Us
Engaging at Faith Promise: Some people are still isolated from our greater community. While many of us have been able to get back to normal, others are still sheltering themselves in real concern for the immunocompromised. Those people haven’t been able to come to church or engage like normal for a very long time. Try to seek out and make sure that the people you used to see are still doing okay; if nothing else, they will surely be glad to hear from a fellow Promiser.
Engaging in Our Community and the World: School is scheduled to start again soon, and there is some tension in the world about government regulations, required vaccines and mask-wearing, and other high-emotion issues. Regardless of our own stances and decisions about these worldly issues, we can all show the people around us how much we love them regardless of their stances and decisions on those same issues.
Expand God’s Kingdom
This whole “Fresh Wind” series is about expanding God’s kingdom. With that in mind, think about what fresh approaches to reaching people you might have seen since this series started. Don’t be shy about talking to others in your small group, either. The people who love God will be glad to talk about those sorts of things, so don’t be afraid to bring up any ideas you might have!
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 the development and multiplication of disciple-makers, possibly to lead more groups at Faith Promise.