Week 19 - Sent to Trust God
“Our behaviors are the tangible expression of our beliefs.”
- Jeff Vanderstelt, Gospel Fluency
(approx. time: 10 minutes)
Debrief - An important part of leading is debriefing ministry. Use this time to check-in and identify how your group is loving God and others. Consider how you can encourage or lovingly challenge those in your group.
Loving God: Invite the group to share what God is revealing to them through their study in the word. How has their experience of God been this week? What are some wins? What are some areas to grow?
Loving Others: Has anyone had an opportunity to have a spiritual conversation with someone recently? If so, how did it go? Who is someone you, or we, can serve this week?
(approx. time: 45 minutes)
Scripture - Allow time for the group to quietly read Acts 12:1-25, then have someone read the passage out loud.
Synopsis - Consider providing a brief summary that recaps the passage, sermon, and transitions to the questions below. Here is an example;
In this section, we learn about the persecution of the church through Herod Agrippa I, a grandson of Herod the Great. Herod was of Jewish descent and wanted to please those under his rule. In an attempt to do so he murders James who then becomes the first apostle to be martyred. Herod then puts Peter in prison with plans to kill him as well. God intervenes and frees Peter from captivity and the church continues to grow. In all, this is a significant point of transition for the early church and in the book of Acts. As persecution increases God's people will continue to move out further and further from Jerusalem.
Symposium - Use the following to initiate discussion and pursue the heart of those you lead;
Why do you think God allowed James to be killed, yet came to Peter’s rescue?
In response to Peter's imprisonment, the church gathered to pray earnestly and fervently. Does “earnest prayer” characterize a part of your life? Why or why not?
Where do you place your trust when you don't trust God? What person or situation do you need to trust God with today?
Acts 12 contains an amazing turnaround: At the beginning, James is dead, Peter is imprisoned, and Herod is prevailing; At the end, Herod is dead, Peter is free, and the word of God is victorious. In what way does this relate to God's work for us in the gospel?
(approx. time: 15 minutes)
Prayer - With the topic of prayer and trusting God, it seems appropriate to spend some time in prayer together. Consider having each person pair up or having the group break off into men and women for smaller groups of prayer. Rather than praying for each other, allow each person the opportunity to bring their praises, confessions or requests to God during this time.