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Big Church – Pork-the other white meat – 5.21.17 – Rob Pilant

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Sometimes it’s easy for life to feel like the same old, same old. Most of us need a breakthrough in our worlds, and for the Jesus follower, we probably need a breakthrough in our walk with God. But how do you get a breakthrough? God took Peter on a journey that led to one of the greatest breakthroughs in not only his life but the Jewish world. We can learn a lot from this story of how God transformed Peter’s perspective with “Pork- the other white meat.”

Small Group Questions

  1. What are some the breakthrough moments in your life? How did you make the breakthrough? How long has it been since you have experienced a breakthrough with God? Share that breakthrough with the group.
  2. Read Acts 10. What stands out to you? When reading about Peter’s journey to this breakthrough, which parts of the journey do you think were the hardest for him? Why?
  3. When thinking about the steps God led Peter down to lead him to this breakthrough, which steps are principles you can apply to your life? Which one is the hardest step for you? Why?
  4. God did not create us to arrive at a place and be satisfied with our knowledge and growth. He created us curious to understand. What can you do to reawaken that curiosity about God? What step can you personally take to experience another God breakthrough?

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Big Church – Nothing’s Free – 5.14.17 – Rob Pilant

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We’re walking with Peter as he figures out what it means to walk with Jesus. Peter is just like us, and if we can figure out how he did it, we will see how we can do it too!

Small Group Questions

  1. What are choices people make that it is obvious they did not count the cost beforehand? Why do people not naturally count the cost of a decision beforehand?
  2. Read Acts 5:12-42. What stands out to you? What feelings do you think the disciples had as they sat in prison the first time? What must it have felt like to be freed from prison by the angel? How much courage would it have taken to go right back out and continue proclaiming the good news of Jesus?
  3.  Have you seen someone’s heart soften to the good news of Jesus over time? If so, share the story. How did your heart soften to the good news of Jesus?
  4. The disciples decided it was worth dying if they had to to follow Jesus. Are you willing to make that decision? Why or why not? What step could you take to get a little closer to making that decision with your life? It is a big decision with a high cost, but it’s the only way to live. Pray for one another as take steps to follow Jesus more completely.

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Big Church – Be Bold – 5.7.17 – Lance Hagenbeck

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Have you ever wondered how the Church ever made it out of the first century? It’s incredible to think that the message of a Jewish carpenter, raised in Judea, would survive the test of time and make an impact on billions of people. In fact, just a few weeks ago, nearly one third of the earth’s population gathered to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. We talked about a characteristic that the early church prayed for and incorporated into their lives that carried the message of Jesus from a small gathering in an upper room in Jerusalem to the corners of the earth.

Small Group Questions

  1. Share a time when you went out of your way to meet the tangible need of someone else?
  2. What is the boldest prayer you’ve ever prayed? What happened as a result of that prayer?
  3. Why is it easier to practice “safe” Christianity? How do you know when being “bold” becomes over-the-top?
  4. In what situations could you be bolder in saying something when it would be easier to say nothing at all?
  5. In what situations could you be bolder in taking advantage of existing opportunities?

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Big Church – It Begins – 4.30.17 – Rob Pilant

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We looked at the difference between what many churches and have become and what Jesus designed it to be. Could it be that the thing we crave most the church was supposed to deliver to us?

Small Group Questions

  1. When you think of “church” what comes to mind? How would people you know define the church? How do you define the church?
  2. Read Acts 2:1-41. What about the “birth” of the church surprises you? What was Peter thinking during this whole experience? How much courage do you think Peter had to muster to stand up and say what he said?
  3. Read Acts 2:42-47. What components of life do you see represented in the life of the church? Which components stand out to you? Which components might be lacking in your world? What can you do to help today’s church better emulate the original church?
  4. Where is God calling you to make a courageous step of faith? What is keeping you from taking that step of faith? How can your group support you in taking that step? What do you need from God to take that step?

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Big Church – The Waiting Game – 4.23.17 – Rob Pilant

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We’ve been following this guy Peter who Jesus said was going to be the foundation stone upon which He would build His church. Peter has just been forgiven but what now. Jesus tells Peter to wait. No one likes to wait, especially not Peter. But we can learn a lot from how Peter waited for Jesus’ signal for Peter’s ministry to really get started.

Small Group Questions

  1. Where are some places that you have to wait to get in? What emotions are stirred up in you when you have to wait? Why is waiting so hard?
  2. Read Acts 1:1-9. What emotions welled up in the hearts of the disciples when Jesus ascended into heaven? How would you have handled Jesus leaving seemingly again?
  3. What are some things people are “waiting” on from God? Are you waiting on anything from God? Why do you believe He will give that to you? Has He promised to do that for you? If no, on what basis then do you believe He will give it to you? If yes, how are you handling the waiting?
  4. What steps can you take in this “waiting” time to be ready when God fulfills His promise? Peter displayed a life that was filled with community, prayer and preparedness. In which area are you lacking? What can you change?

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This Changes Everything – Beyond Imagination– 4.16.17 – Rob Pilant

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Easter is amazing because we celebrate the Resurrection Power of Jesus! This Changes Everything! But how? Because Jesus’s resurrection brings us forgiveness. Each and everyone of us has baggage. Through Jesus’ resurrection we are freed from the junk that ways us down.

Small Group Questions

  • What did Easter mean to you when you were growing up? What does it mean to you now? In a society that seems to be drifting away from church, why do so many show up for Christmas and Easter services? Is there a deeper reason?
  • Read John 21:1-17. What parts of this story leap off the page for you? What was going through Jesus mind and heart when He set up this scenario? What was going through Peter’s heart and mind when He discerned that it was Jesus?
  • What was the tone of voice Jesus used when He asked Peter to feed His sheep? What did those questions of “do you love me?” do to Peter? What affect did Jesus’ words “Feed my sheep” have on Peter?
  • If Jesus wasn’t done with Peter, He’s not done with you. In fact, He’s only just begun. How hard is that for you to embrace? What if it’s true? How would that change your life? How should it change your life? What steps can you take to start believing that?

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christian – it’s time to be prepared– 4.2.17 – Rob Pilant

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No one really likes surprises…okay, a surprise birthday party or something like that is okay, but most of the time surprises are not a good thing. Surprise, you’re getting audited! Surprise, we’re downsizing. Surprise, we’re pregnant…again. When it comes to successfully living this life Jesus has called us to, too many of us are living in a way where we aren’t ready for what’s coming. This week Paul teaches us how to be prepared. Sunday, we looked at Ephesians 6:13-24.

Small Group Questions

  1. What are some of the great surprises in life? What are some of the worst? How does being prepared help you face some of those rough “surprises”?
  2. Read Ephesians 6:13-24. Who are we not supposed to be at war with? Who are we supposed to be at war with? Identify each portion of the “Christian’s” armor? What does each piece represent?
  3. Which aspect of the armor of God is hardest for you to understand? Why? Which aspect of the armor is hardest to embrace for you? Why?
  4. What steps can you take to strengthen your armor? Pick one piece of the armor to focus your energies on shoring up. If you are willing, please share with the group so they can be praying for you in this journey.

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christian – don’t get sidetracked– 3.26.17 – Rob Pilant

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As we have been answering the question of what a Christian should be, one concept that comes up is how “we” Christians tend to get caught up on some of the craziest things. Things that don’t seem to matter to anyone…except us, sort of. Why does this happen, and what can we do about it? Because if we are going to change people’s perceptions of who we are, “we” can’t get caught up in “First World” Christian junk.

Small Group Questions

  1. When you think of the comment “first world problems”, what things come to mind? Do Christians have “Christian first world problems”? Why do you think we have these? Are they wrong? Why or why not?
  2. Read Ephesians 6:10-13. What does it mean to you to be “strong in the Lord and in his mighty power”? The passage speaks of preparing for war. Who or what are we (Christians) supposed to go to war against? Who or what are we not supposed to go to war against?
  3. Who is Satan? What power does he have? Is he our only enemy? How can we be our greatest enemy?
  4. In what aspects of your life are you at “war” with the wrong things? What could you change to redirect those efforts in the right place? How does Ephesians 5:21 play into this redirecting of our efforts? How would this redirection help change how the community views Christians?

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christian – make it mean something– 3.19.17 – Rob Pilant

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Whenever you think of the word generic, it usually brings to mind something boring, water-down and lacking. Sure, it’s fine for your medicine and maybe some groceries, but is that how you want someone’s love for you described? Unfortunately, generic is a word that has become a valid description of many Christians’ love. This is not the kind of love God has in mind. This is not the kind of love we want to be know for. We must do better! Watch how as we take on this important topic from Ephesians 5:21.

Small Group Questions

  1. Why do we have people in our lives? What is your reason for having people in your life? How has God being in your “picture” effected your viewpoint of people in your life?
  2. Read Ephesians 5:21-6:9 and explain what it teaches us. What does it mean to submit? How would someone submit to you? How would you submit to someone else? How would that play out in your day-to-day living?
  3. Of the three relationships mentioned in these passages, which one do you think causes the most struggle? Why? Explain to the group how submission works in each of these relationships from your perspective.
  4. Which aspect of your life needs some “submission” attention or where in your world are you struggling with submitting to someone’s needs? What practical step can you make this week to enhance that relationship? Take time to pray for one another as you take these steps to enhance the relationships in which God has intentionally placed you.

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