WARNING: These question pages may seem to be a lot of work (lots of questions), so if needed, you might focus on only the section from which the pastor preached this past Sunday.
Here is a quick list of what you can do with for Decentralized Life Groups this week:
- Attend worship and take notes on the pastor’s message.
- Sunday afternoon or evening, go to this webpage and select the proper page of questions (choose by book, then chapter or section of chapter).
- Print the questions to have handy throughout the week, perhaps leaving the page near the family dinner table.
- At a meal (for example) intentionally read the Bible passage, and then ask several questions to have a discussion with your spouse or family.
- You might have a question in mind to ask someone during the day (perhaps at school, at work, or in the neighborhood).
- Bible knowledge is one thing, but strive to discover the “take away” of this weekend’s passage, asking, “How can I apply this truth to my life?”
Personal Responsibility Questions:
While there is not a list of DO’s and DON’Ts (because salvation is based on our relationship with Jesus), we desire to do good works because of our love for God and others, and God has designed us for good works (Ephesians 2:10).
The goal is to allow Jesus to live through you so that your life reflects the character and priorities of Jesus. When you fall short, confess it to God and ask him to conform you into the image of his Son (Romans 8:29). Don’t forget to pray for and encourage fellow followers of Jesus.
Here is a challenge: Examine yourself weekly by answering these questions…
- Am I consistently spending quality time with God?
- Am I taking care of my health through proper eating, sleeping, and exercise habits?
- This past week, for what am I most thankful?
- Of the spiritual fruit God is producing in my life (Galatians 5:22-23), which are appearing most consistently?
- What was the last time I talked to a someone about Jesus?
- How have I hurt someone this week with my thoughts, words, actions (or lack thereof)? How did I make amends?
- How am I allowing God’s Spirit to lead my life, or am I trying to live by my own power?
- How am I showing genuine interest in others? Through questions, listening, offering encouragement?
- How am I using my life for God’s glory? (abilities, money, time, decisions, teaching others)
- In which specific areas do I need God to change me? (pride, anger, selfishness, thoughts, bitterness, gossip, apathy, being on time, speech, other…)
Why have you presented this Information?
Application is so important when it comes to reading and studying God’s Word. Think about how often you may have thought about the sermon last Sunday. Many people don’t even remember the topic of last week’s sermon, much less the chapter that was preached, so you can imagine that application of that passage is likely non-existent. Rather than just hand someone a devotional book for the rest of the week, which brings in a totally different “truth unit,” this process will allow us to expand on an existing truth unit from last Sunday’s sermon.
What am I supposed to do to be involved?
Grab a brochure from the church information center to get started. The brochure explains what this Initiative is all about, and gives you the direct link to the library of questions for every chapter of the Bible. Go to the Internet, type in the web address for the questions, find the book and then chapter to open the PDF document. Print it out so that you can refer to it all week, asking the questions and seeking answers.
Can I ask these questions in a small group setting?
Of course. It is always a benefit to ask spiritual questions to fellow believers, and seek to understand Scripture together, and also hold each other accountable to follow through on applying the teaching. If in a group, you don’t need a separate leader, because you are allowing the Holy Spirit to guide your discussion and application. If ever you have a question that needs further research, a GREAT place to go online is www.GotQuestions.org. As always, if you have other questions, you can phone a friend, or even talk to Scott Chafee!
What other study tools do you recommend?
Remember that the purpose of this process is to apply the Bible to life! You might consider using other tools like www.BibleStudyTools.com or www.BlueLetterBible.org (click on the STUDY tab at the top).
Why are Life Groups effective?
Anytime you have a simple, easy-to-reproduce model that includes God’s Word, God’s Spirit, and God’s people working together, growth will take place. This is not personality driven. These groups create a laser-focused approach to personal discipleship with a built-in goal of spiritual reproduction within 6-12 months. This is the multiplication component from the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).
How do I start or join a group? Who leads the group?
Simply invite 1-2 other people (same gender or couples) into he group with you. No one person is necessarily the leader; groups are led by God’s Spirit using God’s Word. God will change your life and use you to reach other people who may never be attracted to coming to our church.
What happens when the group grows beyond 8-10 people?
When a person comes to faith in Christ and receives God’s free gift of salvation, God makes them a new creation (spiritually, 2 Corinthians 5:17). It is very important that they have a safe place to learn and grow. It is the responsibility of believers to support them, teach them the Bible, and to model for them what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
When your group grows too large, it should divide and birth a new group. This is the start of the multiplication process. Each new group will seek others to join them, and continue the process of reaching and teaching people. Reproduction is not to be forced but will happen supernaturally when the group catches the mission and purpose of small groups.
Why are Decentralized Life Groups limited to 8-10 people?
The answer may be obvious when the group meets in a home. But a good reason is… the best context for life change and multiplication is a SMALL group. This is rare in churches today; that people would join and be committed to a small group of fellow believers. It seems Americans love the anonymity of larger crowds.
But if we want to see God change lives, we have to get personally involved, with other people; relying on God’s power and process, using God’s Word. This small group will create a safe environment where mutual trust, encouragement, and transparency are core values.