“It’s a partnership.” Start your Life Group by giving the following hypothetical situation:
You are responsible for launching the next Fountains location in a new city. You can select any five people – staff, worship leader, or volunteer – to partner with you. Who are you taking and why?
INTRO: I’M UP FOR IT
1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts.
3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God,10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.11While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade.
12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go.
- Have you ever heard this passage preached or taught before?
- What new perspective did you gain from hearing it this weekend?
- Pastor Don gave four elements of the story in Acts 3 to show how our faith is stretched. Which resonated with you the most?
As your Life Group begins to share the different ways their faith has been stretched, ask a few follow-up questions to help them apply this week’s message to their lives.
1. THE PARTNERSHIP
- Pastor Don preached that for God’s purpose to expand, God’s people must be stretched. What events or seasons in your life do you believe have stretched your faith the most?
- When you need prayer or advice on something, who do you turn to? How is that person similar to you?
- Pastor Don preached that we can miss out on our potential when we are surrounding only by people who are just like us. Name someone in your life that is very different from you, but helps you stretch yourself?
- Serving God is a partnership. He stretches our faith by using what we can do and doing what only He can do. How do you serve at The Fountains? If you aren’t serving yet, how can you take your Next Step and begin to?
2. THE PATH
The man in Acts 3 was healed in part because of the path he positioned himself on. We’ve all been on paths that have both helped us and hurt us.
- When and where did you realize that God wanted you on a path that led you closer to Him?
- Who or what caused you to want to get involved at The Fountains?
- Do you ever feel like not coming to or serving at church? Why?
Give an example of how God has blessed the decisions you’ve made to come to church, even when you didn’t feel like it.
3. THE PRICE
Until we decide the progress is worth the price, we won’t grow.
- Give an example of something you’ve done to grow yourself—it can be anything—that was difficult, but worth it.
- Following Jesus comes with a price. What is something you had to give up as you decided to get serious about your faith?
- Peter and John were unashamed to credit their success to Jesus, even though it would get them arrested. In what places of your life is it difficult to talk about Jesus, for fear of how people might perceive you?
4. THE PROP
- The man in Acts 3 held onto Peter and John, even after he was healed and no longer needed them for support. Give a few examples of old habits you still wrestle with, even after you begin to follow Jesus.
- Even though the man didn’t need to hold onto Peter and John, God used him as a prop for Peter to preach and lead people to Jesus. Name someone you look to as an example of someone who has been radically changed by Jesus. What can you learn from them?
- Pastor Don preached that spiritual growth is as simple as holding onto the One who heals us. Talk about a challenging time in your life that you know you only made it through because of Jesus.
- If you were to meet someone tomorrow who is going through the same thing God has already delivered you from, what advice would you give them?
WHAT’S YOUR 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 make the stretch to take your first step into a new relationship with Jesus Christ. Stretch out to him, trust in Him and receive Him as your Savior your life
Are you living the full life Jesus promised? If not maybe you have become to complacent in your faith or being held back by old props. Your Next Step needs to be to ask God to remove your props and move you into the path of opportunities to stretch your faith beyond your own abilities. Only when we live life beyond our own abilities can we see God do his work.
Pray for you group, that God stretch us to be more than ordinary. Pray that we all will be able to turn loose of old props. Pray that we will have eyes to see the opportunities he is calling us to be stretch. Pray for boldness and courage to be willing to pay the price to be stretched.
Team Stretch. Close your discussion time with a time of prayer. Then, before your Life Group leaves, pick one person to share something with the Life Group the next time you meet. Ask them to prepare a 3-5-minute summary of how God is stretching their faith right now. They can reference how the previous week’s sermon spoke to them, share something they read in the Bible this week that helped them, or anything else they choose. They will share after the icebreaker of your next Life Group meeting.