Community Group Discussion Questions

February 18th 2018: LINING UP

 Opening

  • What was the most unpleasant thing you’ve ever eaten?

Discussion

Read Mark 11:12-14. 

  • Why do you think we put on an appearance?
  • Do you ever feel like there’s a disconnect between how you appear to others (your leaves) and what you’re like on the inside (your fruit)? Explain.
  • Why do you think Jesus got so upset when he discovered that the fig tree didn’t have any fruit? Why do you think God gets so upset when he witnesses hypocrisy?
  • What kind of fruit does God want to see from our lives? What’s the difference between appearing “fruitful” and actually bearing fruit?
  • Does God condemn us if we have hypocrisy in our lives?

Read Mark 11:15-19.

  • Have you ever had an experience with a church that seemed to care more about money than about prayer? Explain.
  • What do you learn about what kind of guy Jesus was like from these verses?
  • What similarities are there between the money-changers and the fig tree?
  • Do these verses imply that we should not sell anything in the church?
  • Why were the merchants in the temple area in the first place? What is the significance of what they were selling? What are some examples in the church today where good intentions become self-serving?

Final Application

  • When inconsistencies in your life are pointed out, do you tend to react with guilt or anger?
  • Break up into groups of 2-4 of the same gender, then discuss: what area of your life isn’t as good as everyone thinks it is? Then pray for God’s forgiving and transforming grace in those areas of each other’s lives.

(PDF Version)

 

February 11th 2018: UNITY

Opening

  • How do you feel about Valentine’s Day? Do you have any particularly crazy Valentine’s Day stories?

Discussion

  • Read Matthew 22:36-38. Why do you think loving God is the greatest commandment? What comes to your mind when you think about loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind?
  • Read Matthew 22:39-40. What about the second commandment is “like” the first commandment? Why do you think Jesus would add this on, even though he was only asked about “the great” commandment” in the law?
  • Read Matthew 25:31-40. What is God’s perspective on how we treat others? How does loving God lead us to love other people? How does loving other people lead us to love God?
  • Read Ephesians 2:10. Could the good works that God has prepared for one person be different than those he prepared for another? What kinds of good works do you think God has prepared for you to do?
  • Read Ephesians 2:11-12. Describe a time when you were excluded by others. When have you felt separated from Christ and from his people?
  • What are some similarities between the tensions between the Jews and Gentiles of that time, and between different races in America today?
  • Read twice Ephesians 2:13-22. What did God do to destroy the hostility and create peace between the Gentiles and Jews? According to verses 19-22, what are some characteristics of this peace?
  • How can the death and resurrection of Jesus bring racial reconciliation to America today? How can we be sure that God wants his church to be racially diverse?

Final Application

Jesus was willing to die to bring peace and unity to the church and to the world. It’s that important.

  • During 2 minutes of silent prayer, ask the Lord to show you what new good works that he might want for you to do. Ask if there is anything in your heart stopping you from zealously pursuing peace and unity. Then ask for God’s grace in this area of your life, asking to become more like Christ. 
  • Then, collectively as a group, pray for God to not only bring peace and racial unity to your community, but ask that God would use your community group to bring it! Ask for the wisdom, courage, and faith to step into the good works that God has prepared for you to do.

(PDF Version)