Friday, May 2, 2014

Jump Week 3- Growing in Faith

On Sunday night we wrapped up our series titled "JUMP" as we touched on what it means to Grow in Faith and how that process looks.  We identified 4 things that God uses to grow us.  Disclaimer:  Everybody is different and God grows their faith in different ways, so it is imperative that we understand, some may experience growth differently than others, but we can recognize that God's heart is that we have faith and that we grow in faith!
1. Our faith grows through the TRUTH-  Intentional time in God's word, in the presence of others speaking and discussing His word, and through prayer.  God reveals himself to us through the Bible!

2. Our faith grows through TRIALS-  These are not always fun, but James writes that they are there to grow us.  How do we look at our lives when things are tough?

3. Our faith grows through TIME- Life experience and time walking with Jesus will help us learn to depend on Him and we will see Him work in our lives and in others.  It isn't always instantaneous. 

4. Our faith grows through TOGETHERNESS-  The Bible tells us that as iron sharpens iron, one many sharpens another.  God created the community of believers called the Church in order for us to encourage one another and to grow in faith.

Here are some good discussion questions on the topic:

-What is something in life that I really want to do that requires me to grow up and mature?

-Why is growing up or maturing important?

-Would it be okay to be a junior higher forever mentally or physically?  What about being a Junior Higher in your faith?

-We discussed 4 primary ways that God uses to grow us in faith; through the truth, through trials, through time, and through togetherness.  Which one of these has impacted your faith the most?
-Which one of these areas has been hardest for you to grow in faith through?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Jump Week 2- Living by Faith

In week 2 of our series "JUMP" we took a look at what it means to live by faith.  We examined Matthew 14:22-33 and took a look at Jesus' interaction with Peter in the mist of a huge storm on the water.  Jesus called Peter to get out of the boat and walk on water.  One minute Peter had AMAZING Faith- after all, he was one of only two people in the history of the world that walked on water!  The next minute he was faithless and drowning.  Jesus lovingly reached out and helped Peter.  How often to we have these experiences in our lives.  Peter was not so different from us today.  The Bible tells us that it is possible for faith to move mountains.  We also struggle with doubt in the mist of trials like Peter.  Wherever you or your student find yourself today, there is hope- because just like in this story, Jesus reaches his hand out to us!  Here are some of the questions that we discussed.

-What are some examples of how you have faith in somebody or something each and every day?
-Has there ever been a time where you really questioned if God is really there to care and provide for you?
-If you put yourself in the shoes of Peter who we talked about tonight, what are the wind and the waves right now in your life that cause you to doubt that you can trust God?
-What are some promises in the Bible that God gives us about our relationship with Him that can reassure us of His love and care in times of hardship or doubt?
-How do you think that you could grow to trust God in a greater way?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Jump Week 1- What is Faith???

                 What is Faith???

We started a new series this week at Crossroads titled "JUMP" and we are focusing on the subject of Faith.  In week 1, we explored the topic and sought to answer the question- "What is Faith".  Here is the definition that we gave about biblical faith:

Faith- Believing in God's word and acting on it because God loves me and has his best in store for me.

Hebrews 11:6 tells us that "without faith it is impossible to please God".  Its important that we know what faith is and seek to live it out.  The three main teaching points that we highlighted from our main text (Hebrews 11:1-3) were that:

Faith is: Substance of Hope
Faith is: Evidence of the Unseen
Faith is: an Active Process

Here are the small group questions:

-What are some things that I really  hope will happen for others?

-What are some things that I really hope will happen in my own life?

-Is there any situation in life right now that you think could be too big for God to fix?  What is it?

-The concept of faith is hard to grasp, but even harder without first trusting in the person of Jesus Christ.  Do you believe in who Jesus was and what He did for you by faith?  If so, has this decision impacted your ability to have faith in other areas of life?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Why Jesus week 4- "Is Jesus the only way to Heaven?"

If you hadn't noticed by now, the Gospel Journey series and the Why Jesus series parallel each other very closely with many of the questions surrounding the Christian faith.  This week as students consider "What was Jesus Message" in Sunday School through Gospel Journey Maui, we will be discussing the question "Is Jesus the only way to Heaven?" at Crossroads.  These are prime opportunities to share what we believe about faith in Christ, to challenge our students to solidify their own belief, and then to pray for and seek opportunities to share this truth with others.  I hope that as we come closer each week to Easter, we will all be a little bit more bold about what we believe to be certain about Jesus and the message he shared while he walked the face of the earth.  The question's need to force us beyond simply a head knowledge about Jesus, but a lifestyle of action that supports what we say we believe.  Here are the questions for the Why Jesus series finale:

Is Jesus really the only way to heaven?

Read John 14:5-7

From Jesus’ own words… do you believe that Jesus is the way and the truth and the life… that no one comes to the Father except through Jesus?

Do you believe that a life lived apart from him, involves a serious consequence and that means eternal separation from him?

If you believe that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, are you willing to share it with your friends who don’t know or believe that truth?


Gospel Journey Week 9 Discussion Questions

This week's topic was "What is Jesus Message".  This portion of the series gets right at the heart to explain what Jesus said and why it is important that we consider His words.  Jesus can't simply be just a "nice guy".  As we explored before, He is either Lunatic, Liar, or Lord.  What did He have to say and what are the implications for us today.  Here are the corresponding discussion questions:
-If Jesus was born in our time, what would he need to do to prove He is God?
Read John 3:1-21
-What surprised you from this scripture passage?
.What is your reaction to Jonathan’s offended response at having to read the Bible?  How would you talk to a friend who felt the same way?
.Last week we asked Who is Jesus to you.  After you have considered that question, this week the question to wrestle with is this- What are you going to do with Jesus?
-Does knowing Jesus message motivate you to live differently?  How?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Why Jesus week 3- "Were Jesus' miracles just an illusion?"

We started off 2014 with a series titled "Incredible" and as a group we looked at several of the miracles that Jesus preformed while he was physically here on earth.  We have many instances of these miracles recorded in the Bible, while there are likely countless others that were simply just not written about.  Believe it or not, these miracles either draw people to believe in Jesus or create more skepticism about Him.  Some people seriously believe that many of the things that Jesus did were illusion.  In week 3 of our Why Jesus series, we look to dispel the idea that the miracles were just some crazy magic trick and that Jesus did these things to bring Glory to God, to heal those who were sick or oppressed and so that many would see or read about these things and put their faith in God.  Our hope is that remembering what Jesus did would just be fuel to the fire of our faith.  Here are the discussion questions from this week's portion of "Why Jesus"

Read Matthew 11:20-24
Why do you think people try to disprove or deny that Jesus’ miracles were authentic?

As we look at modern-day America , with our many churches, Christian TV and music, Christian schools, clubs, and camps– what are some parallels between America and Capernaum?

Are you at all like the city of Capernaum?  Have you heard over and over the good news of Jesus and still reject him in your own life?

Do you know anybody who’s in need of the miracle of forgiveness?  Would you care enough for that friend to bring them to Crossroads or tell them about Jesus?


Gospel Journey Week 8 Discussion Questions

This week's topic we will uncover is "Who is Jesus".  Many people have many responses to this question, in fact Jesus, not wanting to assume anything of his own disciples asked this question:
"Who do people say the son of man is?" followed by "But who do you say I am?" (Matt 16:13-17).  He wanted to be absolutely clear with his followers about who He was.  We want our students not just to verbalize who Jesus is as if they are only looking to get the "right answer", but we want them to understand and experience the truth and life changing power behind knowing who Jesus really is!
Here are the discussion questions from this week's video:

-How would you fill in this blank:  To me, Jesus is __________?

-Who do you say that Jesus is?

Read Matthew 16:13-17

-Has your answer about who Jesus is changed since we started watching this series?

-Is the idea that Jesus is the Son of God a human idea?  Why or why not?

-What did Jesus way would happen to those who don’t believe his claim of being God?  How does that effect how you believe?  What about how you live?