Small Group Notes

 

 

Small Group Notes

Small group notes June 17

Welcome: Jesus uses the mystery of seed germination as an illustration in today’s passage. What hidden natural process most fascinates you?

Worship: sing or listen to some songs about the Kingdom of God. For example: Build your Kingdom here

Word: Mark 4:26-34

1.       What different aspects of planting do these two parables (verses 1-20, 26-29) emphasise?

2.       What do we learn about God's Word from this story?

3.       Who does the “man” represent? The “seed”? The “ground”? The sleeping and rising of the man who does not work the land plus the seed sprouting on its own? The soil with seed in it producing fruit? The “blade,” then the “ear,” and then the “full grain”? The “harvest” being ready? The “sickle”?

4.       When will the sickle be used? Revelation 14:15

5.       How can the verses found in Isaiah 55:10-11 help us in the understanding of this parable?

6.       What does this parable tell us about the power of God’s Word?

7.       Compare this first parable in verses 26-29 to the parable taught in Matthew 13:24-30. What are the similarities? What are the differences? How do they fit together?

8.       Why doesn’t the farmer know how the seeds sprout and grow?

9.       Tell us of a time that God’s Word was working on you “night and day”, as Jesus says here.

10.   How does the parable of the mustard seed illustrate the kingdom of God?

11.   How does the size of the seed give churches a ray of hope?

12.   Who are all the other garden plants?

13.   What do the large branches symbolise? See Ezekiel 17:23; 31:6; Daniel 4:17–19.

14.   Why do you suppose that Jesus only spoke to the crowd in parables? Do 4:11-12 and Isaiah 6:10 explain it?

15.   How can this parable encourage and direct our evangelism?

However fruitless our efforts may seem, we never know what life-giving action is happening underground. Currently, Christ's message was receiving a cold reception – from Pharisees and even family. But Jesus wanted the disciples, and us, to know that what is observable on the surface may not be an accurate measure of the final outcome.

We should be sure to get beyond peripheral issues in our witness, and spread the good seed – the stuff that can really sprout. That is, we've got to share the good news of the gospel, and if possible, bring our pre-Christian friend in contact with the Scriptures.

After sowing our seed, we can relax, knowing it's not our job to convert people. As verse 27 says, "whether [the sower] sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how." The Holy Spirit speaks life into hearts through the Word.

Isn't it amazing the changes a plant spontaneously undergoes? As Jesus said in verse 28: "All by itself the soil produces grain – first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head." A little sprout appears… little leaves grow… every part matures until it flowers and bears fruit. Likewise, God plans to grow you until He finishes what He started in you.

 Witness: Look back on your Christian life and reflect on how you've grown. How are you different now than when your Christian life first sprouted?

As we go to prayer, let's praise God for the mysterious power His Word has to grow our faith and bring new life to those we share it with.

 

Small group notes for June 24

Welcome: Which current world leaders do you admire and why?

Worship: As a change from singing how about saying a short Psalm together? You may need to print it out to be consistent as to version though!

Eg

“LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” “You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honour. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

Psalm 8

Word: 2 Corinthians 6: 1-13

1.      Why did Paul try to persuade the Corinthians to respond to God’s Word? (6:1)

2.      What does it mean to receive God's grace in vain?

3.      Why should we listen carefully to the message about Christ? (6:1-2)

4.      What is the connection between the credibility of Christianity and the people who call themselves Christians? (6:3)

5.      Whose authority did Paul claim? (6:4)

6.      What does this passage say about Paul’s attitude toward the ministry of sharing the gospel? (6:4)

7.      What does this passage say about the cost of being Christ’s disciple? (6:4-10)

8.       What price did Paul pay for following Christ? (6:4-10) What does your ministry cost you?

9.      What kind of weapons did Paul use? (6:7)

10.  How did the accusations against Paul differ from the reality Paul experienced as an ambassador for Christ? (6:9-10)

11.   In what way was Paul poor yet rich? (6:10)

12.   To what lengths did Paul go to show his love for the Corinthians? (6:11-13)

Witness:

  1. What stumbling blocks might there be in a given ministry hindering some from coming to true faith in Christ?
  2. How are we communicating our conviction when we present the gospel?
  3. Is there a basis upon which people might question you as to what you get out of it?
  4. How can you get others to be open with you?

 

 


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