No Excuses Week 4 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
We should never be afraid to share the gospel. The power is always in God and God’s word, never us.

Discussion Starter:
Have you ever noticed a dandelion growing through the sidewalk? Or a sprig growing out of the stump of a tree? Or maybe some grass growing in the gutter of a roof? What’s the most determined plant you’ve ever seen growing, in the most unlikely of places?

Many people do not share the gospel because they think they require some special training, or that it has to be done some certain way. This is definitely not true; anyone can share the gospel.

Encounter God

Primary Scriptures:  Mark 4:3-20, Ephesians 2:8-9, Isaiah 55:9-11

Discussion Questions:

  1. In Mark 4, Jesus gives what is probably the most important parable in the New Testament. In verse 13, Jesus seems to say that understanding this parable is the key to understanding other parables! Notice the four kinds of ground where the sower sows. Discuss what those four reactions to the gospel have looked like in your experience.
  2. When you think of a gardener or farmer, do you typically think of a skilled old person, carefully dipping their hand into a bag of seed, gently and cautiously sowing the seed with measured spaces into furrows they have lovingly carved? Or do you think about the sower of verse 14 who is just hucking the seed literally everywhere, even on the street? You will notice that the growing power of the seed is in the seed, not in the sower. The dirt just provides a place for the seed to grow; the dirt does nothing to make the seed grow better. Read Ephesians 2:8-9 as a group and discuss the relationship between the two passages.
  3. God also makes His own set of promises about sharing the gospel of forgiveness. Read Isaiah 55:9-11 in your group. Discuss how God’s reminder that His ways are higher than our ways is related to the promise in verse 11. How does that promise relate to us sharing the gospel?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Mark 4:3-20 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.

Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into twos or threes for this section.

Not everyone has the same conversion experience. Talk with your group about when you began to believe in Christ. That is a story that everyone should want to hear!

Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:   Have you ever done a prayer walk? You can walk around your house, the mall, a neighborhood, a school, or even our campus worship centers and pray over every person who enter that area.

Engaging in Community and the World:   Many people are struggling with mental health during the pandemic. Isolation and loss of employment can lead to feelings of sadness or depression. Do you know anyone struggling? Are you missing people you used to see regularly at church or group? Reach out with a phone call or text. Meaningful connection doesn’t always have to be face-to-face.  Are you struggling? If you need help, Faith Promise has counselors on staff. They are even offering virtual visits at this time.

Expand God’s Kingdom

Have you created a prayer list of those in your life, where you live, work, shop, and play, who need to hear the gospel message? Create your list, then pray to the Holy Spirit for the right words and the right moment you can share your faith.

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.