Imago Dei: The Feminie Heart - Hurdles & Redemption

  1. Kaitlyn and Amy asked the question, "What does it mean to be a woman?" and they shared some of the ideas they have heard, what stood out to you and what do you believe it means to be a woman?

  2. Read Genesis 1:26-31 and then talk about how you see Women being created for Relationship, Leadership, and Responsibility?

  3. How do you see the roles of men and women being portrayed in our culture today and how does that align or not align with scripture?

  4. Read Genesis 2:18-31 and discuss what Nate described as the term "Helper" from the Hebrew word "ezer", what does this word mean and how do you see it working itself out in your life?

  5. Discuss how Genesis 3:1-16 caused brokenness in femininity through sin, what were the results of Eve's sin?

  6. Thinking about how God is redeeming femininity, reflect for a moment on Ephesians 2:1-5. How does this passage encourage you in your walk and as you views other in your life? 

  7. For Women: How can you embrace who God designed you to be in your life?

  8. For Men: How can you support the women in your life in the process of embracing God's design?

Imago Dei: The Masculine Heart - Hurdles & Redemption

What does it mean to be a man? Our culture is not really not clear today. And when does a boy become a man? Most cultures have had a mile-marker that highlight the moment that the tribe/family/community considers a boy to be a man, but not ours. Let's look to Scripture to see what God says about the meaning of being a man.

  1. In 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 Paul says to "act like men" assuming that we'll know what that means, but do we? Discuss some of the things culture says a man is and then reflect on how scripture sees what it means to be a man.
  2. In Genesis 1:26-28 we see mankind made in the image of God so the tell us a bit about the meaning and role of a man according to scripture.
    1. How do you see men as created for relationship in this text?
    2. How do you see men as created for leadership in this text?
    3. How do you see men as created for responsibility in this text?
  3. In Genesis 3:1-13 we see the unfolding of the fall of mankind.
    1. In verse 6 we see that Adam was with Eve. What do you think is the significance of this?
    2. In verse 12 we see Adam blaming Eve for his sin. How do you think these two events in v6 and v12 have affected the rest of mankind?
  4. Reflect for a moment on Ephesians 2:1-5. How does this passage encourage you in your walk and as you views other in your life? Is anyone beyond the reach of God?
  5. Pray 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 over the men in your group and that we would see the redemption of biblical manhood in our church and society.

 

Imago Dei: In His Image

Our culture is always shifting. Society tells us who we should be as men and women, but its message keeps changing. But, the Bible teaches us exactly who we are—men and women created equally but uniquely. God’s beautiful design for us is true and perfect, leading to joy and fulfillment.

Read Psalm 8:3-8, 139:13-16 & Genesis 1:26-28

  1. What spoke to you/stood out to you/resonated with you from today’s message? 
  2. Before today, when you heard “created in God’s image”, what did it mean to you? 
  3. Why is the creation of humanity different from the rest of God’s creation? What are some clues to this reality?
  4. What are some ways that our culture devalues or minimizes human life? Abortion, racism, classism, ageism, etc. Have you been personally involved or impacted by any of these? This could be with you as the object (the one being devalued) or the as the subject (the one doing the devaluing). 
  5. As a believer with a solid understanding of “Imago Dei”, how should this impact the way we live our lives? We would see and treat others as the valuable, beautiful creation of God, regardless of anything else (e.g. race, appearance, class, contribution, age, beliefs, etc.). 

The Unlikely | Samson: Selfish Grace

Today we close the series out with the story of Samson.  Unlike the other Judges, Samson was a likely leader.  Samson was graced with good looks, charisma, strength, and a supernatural calling to bring about God's purpose.  However, he used all of these things for his own purpose and glory.  Samson was the most likely Judge.  But the likely often make themselves king.  And when we become king we find out how unlikely we really are.  Lets learn today from Samson's negative example.  What does it take to live an unlikely life?


1.  As you read the story of Samson what stands out to you?  Does it surprise you to see him make so many mistakes?

2.  Why do you think God allowed him to continue and strengthened him for the fights?

3.  How was Samson blessed and how did he use those blessings?

4.  Read Titus 2:11-12

    What impact has God's grace had on your life?  Do you feel that it has produced holiness in your life?

5.  What is the difference between Grace being defined by it's benifits v.s. Grace being defined by it's great cost?

6.  How does the example of Saving Private Ryan compare to our response to God's grace?

7.  When we understand how unworthy we are of God's grace, when we understand the great cost of Amazing Grace, when we make our lives more about God and less about ourselves; then we begin to live an unlikely life.  What does it look like to live a life in response to God's grace?

The Unlikely | Gideon: Weakness Made Strong

  1.      God knows our weakness before He  ever calls us. Do you ever try to talk yourself out of usefulness for God? Where do you feel weak?
  2. Do you have something in your life where God is asking you to clean house? Be encouraged to deal with your sin courageously and trust God for the outcome. 
  3. Do you ever second guess God because you cannot see the outcome? Remember the battle is the Lords, He just asks you to show up.  

The Unlikely | Jephthah

 

  1. How are the people around you pushing you toward or away from an honest, life filled relationship with God?
  2. When you think about your leadership, what strengths would you like to build on?
  3. How have you written people off who have disappointed you and how can you begin to forgive again?

The Unlikely | Ehud & Eglon: God Uses the Unlikely

Have you ever shared your testimony with your family? Have you told them how you came to trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior? If not, maybe this week you can do that!

  1. Who did God use to show himself to you?
  2. How have you counted yourself out from being a part of his plan?
  3. What specifically can you do to become more open to being used by God?
  4. Are you limiting God by counting yourself out of his plan for your life?
  5. If you have chosen to follow Jesus, he desires to use you to help bring people back to him. Are you willing to allow yourself to be used by him or are you limiting God?

This week, I want to challenge you to ask yourself about where you have counted yourself out and tell a friend or a pastor about it, commit to yourself and more importantly to God that you will allow yourself to be an Unlikely, to be a person who is used by God.

The Unlikely | An Unlikely King

The Unlikely | An Unlikely King

  1. Who or what do you put your trust in?
  2. Who or what is the "Likely King" in your life? 
  3. How is Jesus an "Unlikely King?"
  4. How can you trust in Jesus more this week?  What will you do?

Joe's Playlist | Salvation

Today we wrap up our series, Joe's Playlist, in Genesis 46-50 with the theme of Salvation and we see this reinforced in a passage we've been referring back to in Acts 7:9-10 "  ...But God was with him and rescued him from all his troubles..." At the end of Joseph's story Gods wins and that is important for us to remember as well in the middle of our own story. 

 

  1. The road of life is long and winding but we have our hope in God and know that in the end he wins. What are ways you remind yourself of that and continue to live with integrity?
  2. In Genesis 50 Joseph's brothers become afraid of him after their father dies because they fear he may not have really forgiven them. Do you still hold on to unforgiveness? Is there someone in your life that may be afraid of your unforgiveness? 
  3. What fear do you have that keeps your eyes from seeing God working? Is it the political climate in our nation? Ask God to remind you that our human leaders are not more powerful than our good God and Father. 
  4. What are some ways you can live beyond yourself as a disciple is Jesus and encouragement to the world? 

Joe's Playlist | Reconciliation

Today we then ourselves going through 4 chapters in Jospeh's story, Genesis 41-45, and we see an over arching theme of overcoming betrayal. Joseph has been hurt deeply by his family but through Gods power he forgives and is restored to his family. No doubt you may have a lingering hurt and like Jospeh we are called to forgive. As people saved by grace we can recognize that God has a plan that is bigger than our pain. 

 

  1. Have you ever been betrayed? Have you struggled to trust again? 
  2. Can you trust God and let it go? Can you see that His plan is bigger than your pain? Gen. 45:5
  3. Can you trust God and let it go? Can you see recognition of sin/guilt? 
  4. It may feel safe to stay walled off but you been forgiven much by Jesus on the cross. Can you too forgive and look for reasons to trust? Do you believe people can change?

Joe's Playlist | Redemption

Read Genesis 41:1-57

  1. As we look at the life of Joseph we've seen "waiting rooms" or setbacks but with God a setback is a setup for a comeback. Do you feel like you're in a setback?
  2. What is God teaching you in this time?
  3. How are you serving in your current circumstances?
  4. Do you opportunities on the horizon?

Joe's Playlist | Doing Time

  1. God places us in "waiting rooms" in life often changing or slowing our plans but this enables character development. How do you tend to respond when God tells you to wait?
  2. Does your response show trust and faith in God?
  3. Read Genesis 39:19-40:23
  4. We see Joseph put into jail as a waiting room and Gods develops his character. How has God developed your character as a result of having been in a waiting room?
  5. Pray - This has been a hard week in our country and as we started off Sunday's message in a time of prayer it would be good to spend time in prayer as a community group. Whether it's hurts, fears or whatever you may be going through, spend in prayer and praying for each other.

Joe's Playlist | Hard Knock Life

  1. What specific areas is God allowed difficulty in your life to build your character?
  2. When you look back and see that God used difficulty in your life to grow you, do you have gratitude?
  3. Would you rather be more like Jacob or more like Joseph?
  4. When you review the 13 years of Joseph waiting on God, do you think He is waiting on God well?
  5. What dreams has God given you that you feel you are waiting on…

Joe's Playlist | Family Matters

Josephs' family was pretty messed up but there's always hope that God is still working in our circumstances. This week Pastor Nate took us through the story of Joseph's betrayal in Genesis 37:1-36 as his brothers sold him into slavery. Even when all seemed lost God we are reminded "But God..." in Acts 7:9-10. This week you may be reflecting on some family wounds that you have received during your life but as we'll see in Joseph's story God has a redemptive plan in all of it. 

 

Read GENESIS 37:1-36

  1. The story of Joseph teaches us many things but one key thing is that you can overcome imperfect parents (or siblings). What is one way that God's has worked in your life to help you overcome past family hurt?
  2. We may be in the middle of a hard circumstance that remind us of Josephs story. Are you able to remember that God is still at work and the story isn't over? What helps you remember that? 
  3. Read Acts 7:9-10 Even when we think all is lost we need to be reminded "But God..." to show us that there's hope. How can your community come around you to remind you God is still working?
  4. Spend time in prayer for one another that we would remember that we can have hope in God's power and process as He work in our lives.

Detours of Life

This week we are taking a detour from our message series on the life of Joseph as Pastor Joel Madson takes us to Acts 16:6-10 to talk about detours we experience in life.

 

Read Acts 16:6-10

  1. Sometimes when things don't go "our way" it is God putting a detour in our life. How do you recognize this and how do you respond?
  2. A family move, a job loss or maybe even a bad decision we've made is not wasted by God. How has something like this been used for God's kingdom purposes in you life?
  3. When we face detours in life we have a choice to make, do we see them as opportunities or delays? Do we see God in the process or our plan being thwarted?
  4. Pray for eyes to see God moving even when you feel frustrated but situations in your life.

Joe's Playlist | Dreams

Joe's Playlist | Dreams

This week we're starting a new message series called Joe's Playlist where we will be exploring the life of Joseph in Genesis 37-39 and today's talk was about dreams, but not dreams that you have while you're sleeping, more like dreams that are visions of/for your life. Joseph had a couple dreams and even though they were from God they got him into trouble. 

Have you had dreams that you believed were from God?

Use the questions below to aid in your group discussion as you study Joseph's story.

 

Read Genesis 37:1-11

  1. Have you ever had a dream for your life? Do you believe it was from God? If you feel comfortable, share your dream with the group.
  2.  Have you been able to discern if your dream is from God versus it being your personal ambition?
  3. During the message it was mentioned regarding our dreams that we often get the issue right but the timing wrong. Was the issue and timing right in your dream?
  4. Did God have something to develop in you before the dream could come to fruition?
  5. If God is having you wait it may be a time to focus on character growth while you wait. Is God bringing something to your mind? Ask for prayer while you wait and seek to be faithful during this time.