Weekly Belong Group Lesson
Spring Semester (January 15-June 24, 2020)
Title: Living Fearless
Icebreaker: Is there a difference between truth and fact? If so, how do you distinguish between the two?
This Sunday our Bishop addressed the fear that has swept over our nation in light of recent events. Although this is a stressful and unsettling time, it is the responsibility of the Church to represent Christ by confronting the things that try to destabilize our faith and stand against the Truth. God has not given us a spirit of fear, and we must guard our hearts and minds against every word of doubt that would try to shake us. Let's stand firm on the promises of God and learn to live fearless.
I. Our Greatest Enemy (2 Timothy 1:7)
a. Many people make the mistake of thinking our greatest enemy is the most obvious threat. We think that our enemy comes in plain clothing, announcing his attack, when that's not the case.
b. Our enemy seeks to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) our peace and purpose. By crippling us with fear of "what if," he can keep us from ever progressing in the things that God has for us.
c. Since it is our perception that shapes our experiences, if we can be deceived we can be destroyed. By projecting fear and doubt onto us, our enemy can easily hinder us if we aren't aware of his tactics.
Describe how you feel when you're afraid or worried: does your head start to hurt, or your stomach get upset?
How do you cope with these triggers and symptoms?
II. Two Kinds of Stress
a. Stress is a normal response to a threat; it is our response to this stress that makes the difference between moving in faith or being paralyzed by fear.
b. Natural stress produces a fight or flight response in your body; adrenaline and cortisol are released, your immune system is suppressed, your breathing and heartbeat speed up, and your body freezes for a moment while you decide whether to confront the perceived threat or flee from it.
c. Natural stress produces a short-lived response. Demonic-induced stress, however, is living in a consistent state of fear or anxiety. When this fight or flight system is constantly enacted, it weakens your body physically, and weakens you spiritually.
d. Being weakened by stress you experience symptoms of hopelessness and depression. It becomes harder to decipher truth from the fears that grip your mind. You become neutralized by this fear, unless you learn to combat it in faith...
When your immune system is suppressed how can you strengthen it?
Similarly, when your spirit is weakened how can you strengthen it?
III. Faith Overpowers Fear (John 16:33)
a. The Bible tells us that faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17). If faith comes by hearing, we can assume that our enemy would induce fear by hearing a word, as well.
b. So we combat fear by listening to faith. By guarding our eyes and ears, being intentional about the words we listen to, we can choose to strengthen our faith or feed our fears.
c. If we choose to strengthen our faith in the word of God, we find more resources for combating the fear that would try to neutralize us.
e. Ultimately, we learn that God guards us with his peace when we ask him to (Philippians 4:6-7). We can face our fears boldly as we spend time in the refuge of God's presence.
Read through Psalm 91 together as you end group. Describe the reassurance we can find in this passage and how we can use this to respond to fears that arise.
***Join Our One-on-One Campaign:
**God wants to use each of us individually to reach someone and connect them to the local church.
- As you spend intimate time with God, allow the Holy Spirit to identify someone for you to reach out to.
- Make intentional time to spend with this person. Show interest and involve yourself in their hobbies. Reach out at least once a week.
- Invite them to Sunday service and church events. Don't be discouraged if they decline the invitation; continue to be a friend and look for opportunities to connect them to the church. Remember, evangelism is a marathon, not a sprint.
- Look for opportunities to hangout with them and get them connected to others in the ministry. Once they do visit the church, be sure to get them connected to as many people as possible.
- Invite them to get personally involved in ministry and build community within the church. Don't stop reaching out after they come to church.
*If we all commit to doing this we will see the church more than double by the end of this year!
Grow Workshops: Remind everyone that Grow Workshops take place every Sunday at 10:30am in the Grow Quad. You can register for 1 or all 4 classes on the website under NEXT STEPS or here: Register for Grow Workshops Here.
Home Visitation Ministry: If you know anyone who is a member of City Church but is unable to attend Sunday services and needs a home visit from one of our pastors, please contact Pastor Andrew Benson at [email protected]
Membership: Invite those in your group that love City Church and would like to make City Church their home officially to sign up today simply by texting "Join" to 504-500-0809.
Invite: Invite those that attend your group to church if they do not have a church home as well as encourage your group to invite others to join you every Wednesday.
Prayer of 3: There are at least 3 people we are believing that will have an encounter with God and enter into a relationship with Jesus. We have a form that we will use to write down these names and keep them before us as we pray. We highly encourage you to print a copy of this sheet and give a copy to the members of your group as well. (Download "Prayer of Three" Form Here)
Upcoming Events: Keep up with other events on the City Church event calendar at citychurchnola.life to share with your group as it relates to your group members.
Belong Group Leader Prospects: Anyone can become a belong group leader. If you have anyone in your group that has potential or desires to have their own group, please email their contact information and target audience to [email protected]
Please do not wait until tomorrow to report your group - do it tonight.
Check your email for a meeting report email that you can submit quickly and easily.
Do not hesitate to call the church at (504) 246-5121 if you have any issues with reporting your group.
Have an amazing and spirit-filled group!
College & Young Adult Lesson
There will be no college lesson this week. Please follow along with the general lesson on Living Fearless, and have a powerful, spirit-filled group!