Small Group Notes

Small Group Notes

Small group notes for Feb 10

Welcome: what is the most generous thing anyone has ever done for you?

Worship: sing or listen to Blessed be your name

Word. 2 Corinthians 8:1-9

1.       (2 Corinthians 8:1‐5) Why is it so difficult to give when we are stressed by circumstances and bills and pressures? What can we learn from the example of the Macedonians and the poor widow? How will this lesson affect your own giving?

 

2.       The Macedonian churches are set as an example of how Christians should approach generosity. Using verses 1-5 make a list of how Paul describes the Macedonian churches’ circumstances at this time. What from your list was the most important factor for their generosity?

 

3.       Using the list you made from question #2, what was motivating the radical generosity of the Macedonian churches that we observe in this passage?

 

4.       Giving is referred to as “grace” five places in our text: Verse 4 Verse 7 Verse 8 Verse 9. What does grace have to do with giving? What does giving look like when it isn’t accompanied by grace? What does it look like when grace prompts your giving?

 

5.       Looking at verses 6-7, why is it important to grow as a complete disciple, not neglecting any one aspect?

 

6.       (2 Corinthians 8:9) What riches did Christ have according to this verse? How did he become poor? In what way were we poor? In what way have we become rich?

 

7.       Notice how the work of Jesus (v. 9) is used as our example and our fuel to give. How does a proper understanding of the gospel actually increase our love for God and people while decreasing our love for self and possessions?

 

8.       As we stated above, the ultimate goal of our generosity is not first to supply a need but to glorify God. Why is it important for you, as an individual Christian and the church (as a collective body) to be generous as a means to give God glory?

 

9.       In this passage the Macedonians, Paul and Jesus all reflect a very different attitude, demonstrating enormous love and willingly enduring enormous sacrifice for the sake of others whom (presumably) they had never met. Is the grace of God equally evident in the way that we think of those in our own congregation?

 

10.   How about in our attitude to believers in other parts of the world? Are they out of sight and out of mind, or do we find ourselves begging for the privilege of alleviating their afflictions? This is a question of attitude, and therefore the application extends beyond donations, to prayer, and solidarity – are there other resources that we could share with our brothers and sisters around the world?

Witness:

Think about how you and your family practise generosity. What typically motivates your giving? Guilt, duty, expectations of God’s blessing, response to circumstances, thankfulness, love?

 

Tim Keller has said that when people are committing adultery, they know they are doing it. Hardly anyone who loves money too much knows that is the case. How can our small group help keep one another accountable toward living a life of generosity?

 

Small group notes for Feb 17

Welcome: what is your experience of “Fake news”?

Worship:listen to this song by Chris Tomlin Nobody loves me like you  (preferably  show the lovely You Tube video if you can)

Word: Corinthians 11:1-15, The False Apostles:

1.       In what sense do you feel Christ might be a husband to Christians?

2.       (2 Corinthians 11:1‐5) What does it feel like when a congregation loses its pure devotion to Jesus Christ, and instead takes on other motivations for its religious observance?

3.        In what ways is this like the church at Ephesus losing its “first love” (Revelation 2:4)? How can this purity of devotion be restored?

4.       How was Paul was able to refuse financial compensation from the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 9:12b)? See Philippians 4:15‐16 and also Acts 18:2-3 and 2 Thessalonians 3:8.

5.       (2 Corinthians 11:7‐9) Why do you think Paul refused to require the Corinthians to support him?

6.       How did this help his ministry? How did it contribute to them taking him for granted?

7.       How can we honour Christian workers, clergy and lay, who give of their time sacrificially to minister for Christ? How will Christ honour them?

8.       What “false versions of Jesus” or “false gospels” pervade our culture today?

9.       What responsibility and what help do Paul’s warnings in this chapter give us in discerning which spiritual leaders today are deceitful false teachers? (see also Matt 7:15-23)

Witness: pray for those who are being led astray by false teachers.

Small group notes for Feb24

Welcome :- When someone asks, “How are you?” What is your normal response?

How honest do we tend to be? Why?

Worship: sing or listen to Christ alone Cornerstone

Word: 2 Corinthians 12: 1-10

 v1-7

1. What great experience had Paul had?

 (You might need to help the group to see that Paul is actually referring to himself ( v6 helps here).)

2. If we had had that experience how would we have tempted to respond?

3. How does Paul view this experience? Why?

 v7-10

4. God had given Paul a supernatural experience. What else had God given him?

Why?

5. How did God answer Paul’s prayer?

(Not as he wanted! Make sure your group see that God does answer the prayer, it’s just not the answer Paul was expecting or hoping for.)

6. Why is Paul prepared to be honest about his weakness?

What had he grasped about God’s power?

What had he grasped about being a Christian?

7. When we try to hide our weaknesses and present ourselves as sorted and strong what have we forgotten about Jesus and the gospel?

8. How does God’s promise in v9 encourage you?

How does it help you view your struggles and weaknesses?

How does it help you to be more honest with your struggles and weaknesses?

Witness:  Practically what could we as a group do so that we were more honest with each other about our weaknesses? Does anyone have a good question that we can ask to find out how someone really is?

Make sure that you leave time to pray for one another at the end of this study. This study may well have raised issues and struggles so let’s pray for one another. Let’s also pray for ourselves as a groups that we’d be honest with each other and then be good at loving carrying one another’s burdens. Let’s pray that Christ’s power would be seen more and more in us.

 


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