Week of 1/31/16 - One Person Can Make a Difference

SERIES OVERVIEW

We all need change. Whether it’s in discipline, faith, finances or relationships, making changes can often seem impossible. But all change starts with a simple step. In this series, we will talk about what needs to happen in order for us to change and how we can experience the joy that comes with making changes in our lives.

SESSION 5 - One Person can make a Difference

SESSION OVERVIEW

God did not only save us to have a relationship with Him, but also to make a difference in the life of others. Today, we will see how one man who was changed by Jesus and then took his story of change to “his” world. This one person sharing his story about Jesus made a difference in the lives of many. This lesson is true for us. If we will take our story and tell it whenever we can, God will use it to change the lives of others. It is not a matter of what we know about the bible, but simply sharing our story. We may never know the difference we make, but if we are faithful to share, God is faithful to use us as He see fit to change “our World”.

KEY PASSAGES

Mark 5:2-5 & 18-20
Mark 6:53-56
Mark 7:31-37

GOAL FOR THIS SESSION

We want our group to understand that they have a story to tell. That story is what God can use to change those around them. It is not a matter of what we don’t know, such as bible verse and deep theology, but taking what we do know, our story, and telling it whenever we have the opportunity. When we take the opportunity, we give God the opportunity to do His work, and He uses us to make an eternal difference in the lives of others.

KEY POINTS

1. Jesus takes a risk and goes where others had told Him it wasn't right, wasn't important, and even dangerous to go.

When Jesus visits the country of Gadarnes, it isn’t without risk. The area wasn’t friendly to the Jews. But Jesus modeled the “whatever it take” idea to get out the Gospel.

Mark 5:1 -Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes.

2. Jesus works in the mans life, and instead of inviting the man to come follow Him, He tells him to "go and tell." God used this man's story to spread the gospel in an entire country and the miracle was multiplied.

Jesus casts the demons out of this man with a purpose just beyond the man himself. The miracle comes with mission. The mission "stay where you are and tell your story of the difference the Lord makes." The man took Jesus at His word and did just that. When Jesus returns, many recognize Him and flock to Him because of this mans story.

Mark 5:18-19 - And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. However, Jesus did not permit him… but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.”
Mark 5:20 - And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled.
Mark 6:53-56 - When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret and anchored there. And when they came out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, ran through that whole surrounding region, and began to carry about on beds those who were sick to wherever they heard He was. Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well.

3. You and I can make a huge difference.

Mark 7:31-37 - Again, departing from the region of Tyre and Sidon, He came through the midst of the region of Decapolis to the Sea of Galilee. Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him. And He took him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue. 34 Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”
Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly. Then He commanded them that they should tell no one; but the more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it. And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”

God used one man, who didn’t know anything about the bible, in an awesome way. God can do the same thing with you and me. Jesus always leads us to the right place. He makes the appointment; we must make our story known.

LEADERSHIP 101

Many look at sharing their faith as spouting scripture and being able to debate theology. God has never called us to that. What He has said is "go and tell" our story. Today, help people to understand the power in their story comes from God using it as we tell it. Not in or ability but His. We must be faithful to share and give God the opportunity to work.

Session 5 - One Person Can Make a Difference

REFRESH

Review the sermon.

DISCUSSION

Use these questions to help facilitate your group’s discussion and application of the Sunday Sermon.

GET GOING

* What famous movie identifies most with your story? Why?

GET DEEP

Read Mark 5:1

* How does Jesus show us the “whatever it takes” strategy of sharing the gospel in this passage?

* From the message today, what risk does Jesus take by going to Gardarenes?

Point 1 - Jesus took a risk and went were others had told him it wants right, important and even dangerous to go.

Read Mark 5:18-19

* Jesus had spent most of His ministry gathering followers. Why did He not allow this man to go with Him? (Because He had another purpose for this mans life.)

* Why would Jesus not take this man and disciple Him so that he could share His faith properly?

* How does Jesus tell this man to go make a difference? (Go and Tell his story,)

* When Jesus returned to Gardarnes, how do people recognize him?

Point 2 - Jesus does the work in the man's life and instead of inviting the man to "come follow me" He tells him "go and tell." God used this man's story to spread the gospel in an entire country and the miracle was multiplied.

Read Mark 7:31-37

* What difference does this one mans story make?

* Do we sometimes feel like we are not smart enough or trained well enough to make a difference in someone’s life?

* What’s your story? Have a few people share how they came to Christ.

Here is s simple way to share your story by completing these 3 statements:

  1. My life before Christ was...
  2. I came to Christ...
  3. The difference Christ has made in my life is...

Have them practice taking turns sharing their story as you read out the statements. Repeat the process until everyone has had a chance to share their story.

Say "People can argue theology all day long but they can never argue with your story because it is your story."

* Every time we share our story, God is given the opportunity to work. Do you take advantage of opportunities to share your story?

Say "God’s power combined with our story allows God to do his work in others lives. Your story can make a difference."

Point 3: You and I can make a huge difference.

NEXT STEP

Help your Group identify and take their next steps with Jesus. Pray with them and for them. Ask them about their next steps later this week.

Are you a 100% sure there you will spend eternity?

Today may be the day you need to take your first step in beginning your story by giving your heart to Christ.

Can you tell your story? Your Next Step maybe to take a moment using the three statements and become comfortable in sharing your story.

PRAY

Pray for you group, that they will be willing to share their story. Pray that they will be able to see the opportunity when it comes and be bold to share their story as God gives them the opportunity.