Community Group Discussion Questions

October 22th, 2017: BOTTOM RUNG

 OPENING

  • Describe a time when you felt like an outsider? Is there a time when you felt like an outsider specifically in the church?
  • What are some ways the church has made others feel like outsiders?

 DISCUSS & APPLY

Read Acts 15:1-20

  • Describe the conflict the early church was having. Why was it a challenge for non-Jews to be Christians?
  • Why do you think it can be difficult for a church to be focused both on people inside the church and on those outside the church? How have you experienced this tension? How do you think Grace experiences this tension? 
  • Why do you think it’s difficult to both empathize with sinners while also striving towards deepening your faith, holiness and truth? How do you experience this tension?
  • Eric defined an “Explanatory Comma” as a parenthetical explanation in the middle of speaking that gives some background on a potentially unknown social phenomenon. Can you give some examples of explanatory commas? What are some situations in which they are helpful, and when are they unhelpful? 
  • What are some ways that we unintentionally make it difficult for people to come to faith? What are some ways we can remove unnecessary difficulties?
  • What sins do you think must be stopped before someone could be considered a Christian? What ways must we be like Jesus to follow him?

FINAL APPLICATION

What is one thing you say or do that might make it more difficult for those far from Jesus to encounter his grace through you? What is one practical thing you can do to help instead of hinder them?

(pdf version)

 

October 15th, 2017: INSIDE OUT

OPENING

  • What was something from the sermon and interview that stuck out to you? What were some of your initial reactions?

DISCUSS & APPLY

Read Acts 11:19

  • By this point, how successfully had the early Christians done in fulfilling God’s commandment to them in Acts 1:8? Why do you think that was? What happened that changed their actions?
  • What do you think it would have felt like to be a Christian at that time? How does that compare to what it’s like to be a Christian now?
  • What significant experiences in your life have driven you to take your faith more seriously?
  • Do you associate more with the disciples before or after Stephen was killed?

Read Acts 11:20-21

  • What was significant about those men from Cyprus and Cyrene sharing the gospel with the Greeks in Antioch? What do you think compelled them to do that, especially in light of the persecution Christians were facing?
  • What do you think differentiates an “insider” from an “outsider”? Who is an “insider” and an “outsider” for you? Give an example.
  • Why do you think it’s challenging for insiders to care about outsiders? Why do you think God wants people on the inside to care about people on the outside?

Read Acts 11:22-26

  • What role do you think the grace of God plays in bringing people together across racial lines? What are some ways that racial unity shows the grace of God to the world?
  • What can we learn from Barnabas when it comes to reaching out to those that are on our “outside”?

FINAL APPLICATION

What is one thing that you can do to be intentional about reaching out to those on the outside?

(PDF Version)