Small Group guide /Sermon notes Sept. 20th

Back to the Basics: Building Small Group Foundations


Welcome back to the last week of this series! If you are in a small group, go around introducing yourself and share your feelings about math. (This could range from dread and fear to joy and mastery)


Ask a math whiz to read John 15:1-17

Lets review the last three weeks:

Goal: Be Connected: “Abide in Me, as I abide in you” (John 15:4)

Key thought: Loneliness is a spiritual condition. Connection is the spiritual solution.

?: Who are you connected to? How will you become more connected?


Goal: Be Loved: “As the Father has loved Me, so I have loved you” (John 15:9)

Key thought: Love is our great purpose and goal.

?: How loved do you feel? What does love look like to you?


Goal: Have Growth: “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit” (John 15:8)

Key thought: Growth is the divine result of a healthy creation

?: What “fruit” is your life bearing? How is it giving God glory?


This week’s Goal: Multiply: “the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47)

Key thought: Spiritual Multiplication is growth that reaches other people.

?: How will you respond to God’s call to you to invite, teach, encourage, or evangelize?


3 Action Steps: Add 1 name and number to your address book. Go to the church website. Spend 5 minutes in prayer for a specific ministry.

Additional Scripture to read (go around the group) - how do they match to each goal?: Genesis 1:27-28, Matthew 13:1-9, Timothy 4:8-10, Hebrews 10:25, 1 Corinthians 12:7, 1 Corinthians 13, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18


DON’T MISS NEXT WEEK: Pastor Gary Frost

See bio at

IN 2 WEEKS: October 4 - November 8 “The Full Armor of God”

Designed for Small Groups to go deeper!


Sermon Notes for Sept. 6th - Love

  • is the essence of who God is (1 John 4:7-12)
  • is the reason God sent us Jesus (John 3:16; 1 John 4:9)
  • is the highest command our Lord gave us (Matt. 22:37-40)
  • is the mark of true disciples (John 13; 1 John 1:9-11) and the greatest of Christian virtues (1 Cor. 13:13)

Natural Love
  • is a transative verb! – it has an object (the beloved)
  • thus, love by nature is something done and experienced in relationships
  • desires, enjoys, & pursues the beloved (Psalm 63)
  • admires & celebrates the beloved
  • grows in knowledge (Psalm 139)
  • invites a response (doesn’t demand (Matt. 7:7-8)
  • is a pre-requisite for connection

Supernatural Love
  • definition: godly action (1 John 3:18), rooted in godly knowledge, thoughts, & feelings.
  • is self-less (Phil. 2:3)
  • is sacrificail (John 15:13)
  • wills & works for the good of the beloved (αγαπη)
  • is guided and directed by truth
  • is expressed in obedience  – faithful action on behalf of the beloved (John 14:23-24)
  • is first experienced, then learned, then shared

How to Experience and Give Love
  • Open Up
  • Pursue Others 
  • Express fondness, interest, & admiration

  • Feeling lonely is the opposite of feeling loved. What do you think makes people feel lonely? What advice would you give them to help them feel more loved?

  • How are you practicing supernatural love? Refer to the section above and reflect on each trait.

             Sermon Notes for August 30th

Opening Introduction: Share your name and whether you have ever had a garden – or even a houseplant. Share about your “green thumb” (or lack thereof) and limit yourself to 2 minutes (this is a Bible study – not “Gardener’s World”).

Choose the person who grew the biggest tomato to read: John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 (a) Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. (b)No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.

5 points of the sermon and topics for discussion:

Metaphor of Creation (reread vs. 1): Did your gardening teach you any spiritual or life lessons? Choose someone to read Genesis 2:8-18 (clap for them with every name they read in 10-14 – we all need some encouragement). What does Genesis 2:18 teach us about being alone? Why might be feel more alone today?

Motivation of Correction (reread verse 2): What bad habit do you want to stop (procrastination, anger, denial of bad habits)? Name a group that helps people stop bad habits? What do these groups offer? *Transformation BONUS!! Find one person this week (maybe someone from your group) to trust to share your struggle to give up that bad habit. 

Magnitude of Christ’s absolution (reread verse 3): Choose someone who wears glasses read 2 Peter 1:8-10. Share anything you remember from the last 7 weeks in church. How do we remember that Christ has made us clean according to these verses? How does that change our attitude and actions?

Mutuality of Cooperation (reread verse 4a): Name and explain something that requires “cooperation”. How is Christ dependent on you to work in you? How (in practical ways) do you depend on Christ?

Mission of Connection (reread verse 4b): Ask one of the gardeners in the group, “How do you know when something is ready to pick?” Ask 3 people who ate watermelon this month to read Matthew 7:16-20, Galatians 5:22-23, Colossians 1:9-14. What might the Bible include as a definition of “fruit”? How could you bear more?

Share prayer requests and have the person who talked most to close in prayer! (Sincere thanks for being willing to share and verbalize – you are appreciated!) See you next week!

         Sermon Notes  for Aug 23rd


Remember 2 Peter 1:5-7 talks about adding to our faith: goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection and love. 


 2 Peter1: 8-11:  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election.  For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The blessings that follow in 2 Peter 1:8-11

Blessing 1- Godly maturity that accompanies your developing maturity.

Blessing 2-Growing productivity (v 8)-“For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Blessing 3-Greater clarity (v 9)-“But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind

Blessing 4-Grateful memory (v 9)-“forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins”

Blessing 5-Genuine stability (v 10)-“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election.”

Blessing 6-Guaranteed security (v 10)-“For if you do these things, you will never stumble”

Blessing 7-Glorious eternity (v 11)-“you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”


But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever, Amen.”

-2 Peter 3:18

Glorify God by continuing to grow!!!