Go therefore and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28.19)
Like every gospel driven church, we believe that Jesus has commissioned us to make disciples. We strive to make disciples who are developing the mind of Christ, who are obeying the commands of Christ, who are being transformed into the image of Christ, and who are participating in the mission of Christ.
We believe that each disciple needs to be sinking deep roots in the marvelous grace of Christ in order to grow eternal fruit. We grow in our faith by practicing the spiritual disciples of corporate worship, daily bible reading, meditation, scripture memory, and conversational and intentional prayer. To encourage the development of these disciplines, we challenge each member to be part of a Discipleship Group (D-Group)
D-Groups are groups of three to five people who meet weekly for the express purpose of becoming disciples who are making disciples.
D-Group Reading Plan - Fall 2022
Matthew 1-4, Psalm 1
Matthew 5-8, Psalm 2
Matthew 9-12, Psalm 8
Matthew 13-16, Psalm 13
Matthew 17-20, Psalm 19
Matthew 21-24, Psalm 22
Matthew 25-28, Psalm 30
Ruth 1-4, Psalm 46
1 Timothy 1-4, Psalm 34
1 Timothy 5-6, 2 Timothy 1, Proverbs 1, Psalm 42
2 Timothy 2-4, Proverbs 6, Psalm 51
Titus 1-3, Philemon 1, Psalm 91
Discussion Questions - Fall 2022
Week 1 (Matthew 1-4, Psalm 1)
Matthew wrote his Gospel to a Jewish audience. Why do you think he started with the genealogy of Jesus? What significance did Jewish genealogy play in the covenants? When you read scripture are you quick to skip over sections of scripture that contain genealogy? Why or why not?
When Jesus was baptized in Matthew 3:16-17, we see all three members of the trinity. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all present. Discuss the significance of this at Jesus' baptism.
According to Matthew 4:1 who led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted? What is the connection between the temptation of Jesus and the temptation of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden? Read Romans 5:12-19 as a group. Discuss what Adam's one act produced verses what Christ's one act produced according to these versus in Romans.
The Rabbis who were teaching in the synagogue during this time were able to see the best and brightest minds and those students who had the most passion for scripture and learning. To make it to be a Rabbi the student would ask his Rabbi if they could study and learn under them to be like them. The Rabbi would then observe the student to see if they had what it took and then decide if the student was worthy. Jesus however, went to ordinary people, who obviously weren't good enough to continue in learning at the synagogue, and said, "follow me" (Matthew 4:19) Jesus saw ordinary men and said come, I think you can be like me. How profound is Jesus calling ordinary people like you and me to follow him because he believes we can be like him? Discuss as a group why knowing this the disciples were so quick to immediately leave their jobs and follow Jesus.
Week 2 (Matthew 5-8, Psalm 2)
Which of the beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12) do you need to be reminded of on a daily basis and why?
Jesus addressed two sins in Matthew 5, anger and lust. Jesus taught if you sin in your heart even if you haven’t acted it out you are guilty. Why did Jesus teach this and why do we need to be reminded of this today? Why is our heart so important to God? Do you struggle with sin issues of the heart and if so do you need to confess sin of the heart to your D-group?
Matthew 6 recounts Jesus' famous Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Jesus teaches how to give, how to pray, and how to fast. He repeats this phrase “and when you _____” for all three words; giving (Matthew 6:2), praying (Matthew 6:5), and fasting (Matthew 6:16). What does this say about Jesus' expectations of what we are to do as followers? Do you find it interesting that Jesus taught how to give, pray, and fast and then taught about anxiety? Why or why not? What role do you think giving, praying, and fasting have in removing our anxiety in life?
Often Matthew 7:1-3 is used as a reason against judging others. What is the significance of what Jesus states in Matthew 7:5? What changes from helping a person with a speck in their eye when you don’t have a log in your eye? If you don’t have a log in your eye (you are free from that sin) what is your responsibility and/or method for dealing with the speck in another believers eye? This might seem like a silly question, but doesn’t God want the speck and logs out of our eyes so we can see clearly? Discuss.
In light of Matthew 7:21, which is often said to be the scariest verse in the bible. Why is doing the word of God so important versus hearing the word of God? What are some ways that you practice “doing the word of God” so you don’t just hear the word of God? What one practice from someone in your D-group do you like and want to implement in your own life? Why is application of God’s word foundationional to our lives as believers?
Week 3 (Matthew 9-12, Psalm 8)
Matthew 9:35-38 speaks of the harvest and the laborers. Jesus says the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Do you see it this way? Or do you think the harvest is few and the laborers are plentiful? Why? How can you make a habit to “pray fervently” for the laborers of the harvest? Why is prayer so important to the harvest?
Jesus told his disciples that persecution will come. For many believers around the world, they still experience this persecution. When persecution one day comes to this country, how can you “be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” in your life (Matthew 10:16)? What does persecution do for those watching according to Matthew 10:18? In places where persecution happens, the Gospel spreads like wildfire. Often we pray against persecution, should we be praying for persecution? Why or why not? Is it more dangerous for a believer to live a comfortable life free of persecution or a life of persecution?
We read in week 1 (Matthew 4:18-22) Jesus calling the disciples to follow him. Jesus called ordinary people to follow him. In light of that passage and what you learned about Jewish culture, how profound of a statement is Matthew 10:25? Jesus believed that those who followed him could be like him. Do you believe that Jesus can make you like himself? Why or why not? Do Christians want to be like Jesus? Why or why not? Why is living Christlike so hard in this life?
Discuss Matthew 10:34 and what Jesus is trying to tell us in that verse. What does the sword do or represent? Why does the sword not bring peace? Do you see this in the relationships with your family members?
In Matthew 11 we see John the Baptist, who was in prison, send his disciples to ask if Jesus was the one to come or was there another. John seems to doubt here compared to Matthew 3:11. Why? What role do you think him being in prison and the Jews not fully embracing Jesus as Messiah played in that doubt? Do you feel like you doubt more when your circumstances aren’t going the way you think they should? Why or why not? What did Jesus’s response in Matthew 11:11 say about what Jesus thought of John the Baptist?
We see Matthew record Jesus' quote of Hosea 6:6 for the second time (Matthew 9:13, 12:7) while talking to the Pharisees. If mercy refers to steadfast love and sacrifice refers to a spiritual ritual, why does Jesus keep telling them that he desires mercy and not sacrifice? In what way(s) do you try to offer God a sacrifice and not mercy? Why is mercy harder than a sacrifice?
Week 4 (Matthew 13-16, Psalm 13)
Jesus spoke in parables to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 6:9-10, which he quotes in Matthew 13:14-15. Parables appear to be a confusing way for Jesus to teach, even his disciples struggled with their meaning. It is often more difficult today to understand the parables because we no longer live in the same context (i.e farming) as they did when Jesus taught them. What role does the text of Isaiah 6:9-10 still play today as we teach parables? Hebrews 11:6 says “without faith it is impossible to please him (God)” but Romans 10:17 says “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” How do we reconcile faith and believing Jesus with believing the words that he spoke?
Matthew 13:58 is a sad but true reality here in the United States. It is common to hear of miracles and mighty works God is doing in other countries, often where persecution is taking place. Do you think we miss out on God’s mighty works here because of our unbelief? In what ways do you struggle with believing he can do what seems impossible? What are some ways we can strengthen our faith to believe that God is able to do many more mighty works here in our lives? How can we better celebrate the mighty works that he does for the purpose of encouraging others in their faith?
Jesus in the gospels talks extensively about faith. When Peter tried to follow Jesus out on the water in Matthew 14, he started to sink. Jesus in Matthew 14:31 says, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” What caused Peter to doubt and not have faith? In what ways do you look at the storm around you and doubt the power and authority of Jesus?
Why was the faith of the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:21-28 so amazing to Jesus? Verse 26 seems like a harsh response from Jesus. Do you think he was testing her faith in that moment? What did her faith say about what she knew about scripture and believed about Jesus?
Peter makes this amazing confession to who Jesus is in Matthew 16:16, only to have Jesus rebuke him in verse 23. How can we make bold confessions about who Jesus is and what he can do, yet still look at life from a human-centered perspective? What role does renewing your mind in Romans 12:2 have in looking at life from a kingdom perspective? Why does Jesus want our focus on the kingdom of heaven?
Week 5 (Matthew 17-20, Psalm 19)
In Matthew 18:7-9 Jesus speaks of the radical measures we should take in removing temptation from our lives. Guardrails are a common metaphor for guarding your temptation to sin. The guardrails keep you on the road and from wrecking your life in the ditch of sin. Do you take radical measures to guard yourself from temptation to sin? What are some practical guardrails you can put up in your life to keep you out of the ditch? In what ways do we need to guard against causing others to be tempted to sin?
Jesus speaks of your brother sinning against you in Matthew 18:15-20. He lists the three steps you take to seek to restore your brother. Verses 18-20 are often quoted but not in context of 15-17. What is Jesus saying in 18-20 as it relates to restoring a brother who has sinned against you?
Jesus continues in Matthew 18:21-35 of telling the parable of the unforgiving servant. After just speaking of seeking to restore a brother who has sinned against you, he tells the parable of the servant who was forgiven much but turned around and would not forgive. Verse 35 is this powerful statement Jesus makes. Why is our forgiveness of each other so important as it relates to our relationship with God?
Week 6 (Matthew 21-24, Psalm 22)
The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem contains an interesting account of the fulfillment of a prophecy when Jesus sends two disciples to go fetch a colt from the town. Often our faith walk is like this task. Think of the request of Jesus from the view of the disciples. Do you trust that God can see things ahead of you and that they are part of his big plan? Do you think they spoke with the owner of the animals and had to answer “The Lord needs them”? Why or why not? Do you look at your obedience to what God calls you to do as playing a part in God’s plan? Why or why not?
Jesus cleansed the temple by removing the money-changers and commerce that was taking place outside the temple. Most scholars believe that Jesus did this twice in his life, once at the beginning of his ministry in John 2:13-17 and once at the end of his ministry as recorded here in Matthew 21:12-13. This area of the temple would be where the Gentiles, non Jews, would go to worship. What does this act say about what Jesus thought about Gentiles? Read Acts 8:26-40. Is it amazing that Jesus cared about the area that people like the Ethiopian eunuch would go to worship? What hindrances to people coming to worship Jesus today do we have in the church?
Why were the wedding guests rejected by the king in Matthew 22:1-14? What does the wedding garment represent?
Do you read any of the seven woes to the scribe and Pharisees in Matthew 23 and feel convicted? If so, why? Which of the seven woes do you feel the church as a whole struggles with? Why?
Jesus speaks of the coming signs of the close of the age in Matthew 24:3-14. In verse 8 he says, “All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.” Jesus is speaking of the suffering that will come before the birth or coming of the new kingdom. Childbirth pain must come, because of sin (Genesis 3:16), before new life comes. Do you look at the pain and suffering of this life as a reminder of the new life to come? Why or why not? Why is it so easy to focus on the pain and suffering in the moment and forget about the hope of eternal life? Jesus reminds us of the importance of endurance till the end. What are some ways that you practice endurance to finish the race set before you?
Week 7 (Matthew 25-28, Psalm 30)
Does the parable of the talents in Matthew 25 speak of money or does the talent represent something else? Why? Who is the master and who are the servants in this parable?
What does the prayer of Jesus in Matthew 26:36-46 show us about Jesus? Why did he go to God three times about the same thing in the same day? What can we learn from the example Jesus gave in regard to prayer?
In Matthew 28:8 we see Mary Magdalene and the other Mary’s response to hearing the angel say that Jesus has risen. With “fear and great joy” they go and tell his disciples. How is fear and joy compatible?
Many unusual phenomena happened after Jesus died; there was darkness on the earth from noon until 3pm, earthquakes, the temple curtain was torn in two, and tombs opened and saints raised. What phenomenon that happened after the death of Jesus is the most powerful to you and why? How do you think you would have reacted if you were there that day?
Which verse in Psalm 30 spoke to you the most? Why?
Week 8 (Ruth 1-4, Psalm 46)
In Ruth Chapter 1 we see three men die leaving three widowed women. The Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth, have to make a decision during a famine to stay in Moab or to return to Bethlehem where Naomi had heard that the “Lord had visited his people and given them food.” What sticks out to you in verses 14-16 about the response of the two Moabite women to their mother in law? What did this decision say about Ruth’s character?
The name change from Naomi, which means “pleasant”, to Mara meaning “bitter” is done solely by Naomi. Often in the bible when someone is renamed it is God giving them a new name with purpose and meaning behind it. What did this show us about Naomi and do you think she was right to rename herself? Why or why not?
The book of Ruth ends with the genealogy of her son, Obed, that she had with her husband Boaz. Obed was the grandfather of David. We see Obed’s name mentioned in the lineage of Jesus in Matthew 1:5. Boaz is referred to as the kinsman redeemer in the story of Ruth. The kinsman redeemer was a close relative who had the responsibility and privilege to care for and protect the person in need or danger. In what ways do you see the Gospel in the book of Ruth? In what ways is Jesus our kinsman redeemer? Did Ruth find rest at the feet or her redeemer and in what ways do we find rest at the feet or our redeemer?
How does the tragedy (famine) and death (Elimelech, Mahlon, and Chilion) that start the book of Ruth turn to joy (redemption, restoration) and birth (Obed, lineage of Jesus) at the end of the book? What does the book of Ruth show us about the sovereignty of God in the decisions we make? How did God use Ruth’s loyalty in this story? How does God use your loyalty to him now to accomplish his will?
Week 9 (1 Timothy 1-4, Psalm 34)
Paul’s charge to Timothy in chapter one is that Timothy battle false teaching happening in Ephesus. Paul says that false teaching creates “speculation” (verse 4) and “vain discussion” (verse 6) while the charge of the Gospel is love that flows from a “pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith”. Why is speculation and vain discussion opposed to the Gospel and what we know about God? In what ways do you see Christians falling into the traps of false doctrine today in our culture?
Paul urged Timothy that we pray for all people (including kings in high places) through “supplications, prayer, intercessions, and thanksgivings” so that “we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” In our current culture with politics, family, co-workers, and friends, do you feel that we as Christians seek “supplications, prayer, intercessions, and thanksgivings” first? Or do you feel like we seek to fix and change culture on our own with the result being that we don’t live peaceful, quiet, dignified lives? How can we as a body of believers strive to change this mindset through some practical steps?
Paul lists the qualifications for overseers and deacons in 1 Timothy 3. Is it wrong that we just hold this standard of qualifications exclusively to overseers and deacons? Is this list a good standard for what we should hold each other accountable to as believers? Why or why not?
Recently Pastor Todd has been leading the church through scripture talking about the gifts of the Spirit. Spiritual gifts are given to every believer for a purpose of strengthening the body. Paul warns Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:14 “do not neglect the gift you have.” Why after hearing Pastor Todd’s sermons on spiritual gifts and their purpose do we need reminding to not neglect them? What role does not knowing your gift(s) play in neglecting to use them?
Which verse of Psalm 34 spoke to you the most? Why?
Week 10 (1 Timothy 5-6, 2 Timothy 1, Proverbs 1, Psalm 42)
Throughout scripture we see that God values intergenerational fellowship and relationships. Often churches struggle with how to connect generations together with the purpose of exhortation. Paul urges Timothy in 1 Timothy 5:1-2 to encourage older men as fathers and younger men as brothers, and older women as mothers and younger women as sisters, in purity. Why is this important to the church? In what ways can you take this instruction to encourage both older and younger generations in purity?
Paul charges Timothy at the end of his first letter to “guard the deposit entrusted to you.” He repeats this phrase in his second letter to Timothy as well (2 Timothy 1:14). What is the deposit that Paul is talking about? What are some practical ways you can guard the deposit? How can we make sure as a church we guard the deposit?
Paul mentions the word ashamed three times in his second letter to Timothy (2 Timothy 1:8,12,16). What role does shame play in hindering the Gospel?
What speaks to you the most from Proverbs 1? Why?
What verse stood out to you in Psalm 42? Why?
Week 11 (2 Timothy 2-4, Proverbs 6, Psalm 51)
Paul gives instruction to Timothy in chapter 2 verse 2 of multiplication in discipleship. Paul taught Timothy and commanded Timothy to teach others who will in turn teach others. We see four generations or four lines of believers impacted through discipleship. Do you view your Christain life in this way? Do you recognize those who have discipled you and your role in disciplining those after you? How can we be strong through the grace of God in Christ Jesus to faithfully carry this out in our church?
2 Timothy 3:1-5 is Paul’s warning about godlessness in the last days. While it is common to feel that every new generation is getting worse as it pertains to godlessness, what description from this section sticks out to you about the world we live in today? Why?
After reading 2 Timothy 3:16-17, why is it important that we place such a high view and importance on scripture? What is the danger of straying from staying rooted in scripture? Why does it say ALL scripture? What value does the Old Testament play in profiting the church today?
Discuss as a group this charge in 2 Timothy 4:5. Go through each charge (being sober-minded, suffering, evangelism, and fulfilling your call in ministry) and what it means for you as an individual and us as a church.
Proverbs 6:16-19 list six things that the Lord hates with the seventh being an abomination to the Lord. Prideful eyes, lying tongues, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that makes wicked plans, feet that run toward evil, and a false witness are what God hates. However, the last one is the one that is an abomination to the Lord. Why does God hate those who sow discord among brothers so much? What sins do you think we rank higher than discord among brothers today in the church? Should we hate these seven sins as well and / or should this list out of love for God remind us of the things we shouldn’t do?
What verse stood out to you in Psalm 51? Why?
Week 12 (Titus 1-3, Philemon 1, Psalm 91)
In Titus 1:16, Paul describes people who profess to know Christ, yet deny him by how they live their lives. Why is how we live our life such a powerful testimony? How has the life of Christians hurt how the world sees the church? How do you guard the testimony of your life as a witness to others? What role does seeking to glorify God in everything you do plan in how you live your life?
Paul tells Philemon in verse 20 to “refresh my heart in Christ.” Paul says this because he wants Philemon to show forgiveness to Onesimus who is now a believer in Jesus. Forgiveness is a powerful testimony when we give it that we have tasted the forgiveness of God. Do you see the work of God in the lives of others as refreshing? Discuss a time that God has moved in someone else's life that encouraged you in your faith.
What verse stood out to you in Psalm 91? Why?