1. How have you sensed the Holy Spirit working in your life in the past? Present?
2. How did Scott Fedyski’s testimony about the Holy Spirit affect you?
3. How would you describe the person/nature of the Holy Spirit?
4. From what you’ve read in scripture and/or heard in the sermon, what is the role of the Holy Spirit in your life?
5. What does John 16:1-15 say about the relationship between the Holy Spirit and humanity?
6. What is one thing you can regularly do to celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit?
7. What are one or two ways you intend to increase your dependence on the Holy Spirit?
8. What are the benefits of an increased celebration of, and dependence on, the Holy Spirit in our church and community?
1. How did saying the Nicaean Creed affect you?
2. Describe a time you took a risk and sensed the Holy Spirit empowering you to participate in what God was doing?
3. How can you relate to the question the disciples asked Jesus in Acts 1:6?
4. In your own words, what was Jesus reply to the disciples in verses 7 and 8?
5. Compare and contrast the subject of the disciples’ question to the subject of Jesus’ answer.
6. What areas do you think the Holy Spirit works in our lives?
7. What may be a risk God is asking you to take? What obstacles are between you and responding with a “Yes” to the Spirit empowering you?
1. What parts of Tim March’s testimony connected with you? How is his experience similar/dissimilar to yours?
2. What was your reaction to Kelly’s dream about his son? Have you ever had a dream or vision that you wondered if it was from the Holy Spirit? How did you respond to the dream or vision?
3. Based on scripture and the sermon, how would you define “the flesh”? What has been your experience “setting your mind on what the flesh desires”?
4. Compare Romans 8:1-17 to Galatians 5:13-25. What appears to be similar between the two passages and what seems to be different?
5. Related to the flesh and the spirit, how might the lives of the original audience be similar and/or different than our own?
6. What do the above passages offer as help to you in saying “Yes” to the Spirit?
7. Describe a time you’ve said “No” to the flesh?
8. If you began to say “Yes” to the Spirit more often, in what parts of life would you experience change?
Romans 12:6-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:8-10
1. What tool (e.g. hammer, wrench, pencil, computer, etc.) do you feel the most competent using? How long did it take for you to achieve that level of competence? What are the benefits you receive by using this tool?
2. Based on the text of Romans 12:6-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, what gifts do you see as active in the Church? Based on these passages, what purposes do you see listed for the Spirit giving gifts?
3. How might each of the gifts listed in the above passages be used to establish God’s kingdom outside the walls of a church building?
4. What have been your past experiences observing others exercise their spiritual gifts? How do you manage the tension between the abuse of some gifts without dismissing them outright?
5. What are your spiritual gifts? How have you exercised your spiritual gifts in the past? What is one new way you can exercise your gifts in the next month?
Please reach out to Grant Armstrong (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in further exploring your gifts.
1 Corinthians 13
1. What specific activities of our church do you think make the most significant impact on the community around us? Why do these actions make the impact they do?
2. What do you find yourself naturally agreeing with in 1 Corinthians 13? What do you find yourself resisting or surprised by in the same passage?
3. How do Matthew 7:22-3 and Matthew 22:37-40 compliment the text of 1 Corinthians 13?
4. Reflect on your past and describe the differences between a time you served primarily out of guilt and/or obligation versus when you served out of love.
5. In your own life, what ways do you think you help display God’s love for all people?
6. Finish this thought and share with your group: Imagine if we all responded to the Spirit’s promptings and practiced our spiritual gifts with love…
7. What practical steps can you take to grow in acting out of love, instead of obligation?
1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the current state of your prayer life? What factors are fueling or hindering your current prayer life?
2. What has disappointed you about prayer? How have you dealt with unanswered prayers or prayers that seemed to be answered with a “No” by God? Has that changed the way you decided to pray?
3. What domains of life do you spend your time praying about? What domains do you tend to leave out of prayer?
4. When and where do you pray? How can you create space for secret prayer that allows for undivided attention?
5. What have you experienced as the “reward” of time alone with God? What do you anticipate as the outcome of more alone time with God?
6. Does cultivating a deep life of prayer sound like water in the desert or an extra brick to carry in your already heavy backpack? Has your perspective on prayer affected your habits of prayer?
1. What most frequently causes you to pray? What internal and external outcomes have you observed as you chose to pray?
2. Just as John shared that his desire to live practically and efficiently can sometimes undermine his habits of prayer, what parts of your personality have influenced your prayer life? How has that been positive or negative?
3. Matthew 6:7-8 discusses prayer and God’s “all-knowing” character, what reasons are given for us to choose prayer? What other scripture or biblical ideas can we draw upon for reasons to pray?
4. In the same way humans have developmental stages with observable attributes, what markers do you connect to your prayer life growing and maturing?
5. As you’ve grown in your faith, has your prayer life grown at a similar pace?
6. Based on the sermon, how has your understanding of prayer changed? What impact does that have on your practice of prayer moving forward?
1. Considering the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-15) as a model, what other models of prayer, from scripture or other sources, have you found helpful?
2. What parts of your prayer life have reflected Jesus’ model in Matthew 6:9-15? How have your prayers been different than Jesus’ example?
3. Write out, in your own words, the Lord’s Prayer. Share with others what each line means to you and the impact those words might have on other people when prayed.
4. Describe your experience joining God’s work through prayer, in somebody else’s life. Describe your experience as an observer of God working in somebody’s life, as they prayed. Compare the two experiences and share some of the reasons we choose different levels of involvement.
5. What do you most often find yourself doing when you don’t know how to pray for yourself or somebody else? In what ways has the sermon and Jesus’ example helped with this struggle?
6. As you think about Kelly’s invitation to pray as a community, what are some specific examples of changes you’d like to make in your prayer life?
7. What positive changes can you imagine for our church and our community because of an increased practice of communal prayer?
Matthew 6:16-18, 4:1-4
1. How would you describe your current spiritual hunger?
2. Describe your past experiences with fasting? How have you benefitted from spiritually motivated fasting?
3. How might fasting from food teach you something that you are unable to learn otherwise? Why do you think Jesus assumed we would fast as a part of our spiritual life?
4. Why do you think the author of the gospel of Matthew included the section on fasting immediately following Jesus’ teaching on prayer? How do you understand prayer and fasting fitting together?
5. Review some of the following passages and list out the various purposes connected to fasting:
a. Acts 9:9
b. Acts 13:3
c. Acts 14:23
d. Jonah 3:5
e. Psalm 35:13
f. Matthew 4:11
g. Matthew 9:14-15
6. Based on the sermon and some of the above passages, how do you anticipate implementing the practice of fasting in your life?
1. How did Jill Baer’s testimony impact you?
2. Historically, what did you believe about how God reacted when he heard your prayers?
3. Luke 11:5-13 describes both a friend and a father. Compare and contrast these two characters and their attitudes with one another. How do you imagine these images representing God and his response to your prayers?
4. How would you describe your posture as you approach God and make petitions? Is it more like the “doubt” described in James 1:5-7 or the “audacity” in Luke 11:8?
5. What are requests you feel confident praying about? What are some items that you lack confidence or struggle to voice to God?
6. How do you respond when you don’t seem to be hearing from God or receive an answer that is different that you were hoping for? How do you resolve the tension with the disappointment and God promising to give bread and not a snake to your requests?