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Finding your place in the great story of God and His people. 

This year we are beginning a journey through the book of Acts. We will approach the long letter in ‘seasons’.

Outline (according to Patrick Schreiner):

SEASON 1 — 1-2:47

SEASON 2 — 3:1-8:3

SEASON 3 — 8:4-12:25 

SEASON 4 — 13:1-21:14

SEASON 5 — 21:15-28:31

Framework for discussions


After having a general catch up, there are two approaches you can take to Life Group discussions. 

  1. Passage-based questions
  2. Discovery Bible Study
 

1. Passage-based questions – these are questions that are designed to prompt people to explore the Book of Acts and how what we’re learning can be applied to our day-to-day lives. 

Please note: these conversations are not aimed at ‘getting the right answer’, but rather to get everyone talking. We want to explore faith together and encourage one another through meaningful discussions.  


2. Discovery Bible Study – see below for more information. 


 

General catch up questions

Since last time we met, what has God done that you are thankful for?

Over the last week what has caused you stress or pain?


QUESTIONS FOR ACTS 1-2

Basic information: Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts.

  • Read Acts 1:1-11
  • Go back and look at the end of Luke’s gospel, after Jesus rose from the dead.
  • What events and situations does Luke tell us about?
  • How do these connect with the start of Acts?
 
  • In Acts 1:1, Luke makes the point that in the Gospel of Luke he wrote about “all that Jesus began to do and teach.” What does that phrase imply about the content of Acts?
  • How might it affect our perception of reality to think that Jesus continues to do and teach things in our world today? How does that work?
  • What has Jesus been doing in your life and teaching you recently?

Understanding Acts 1:8:

What is the significance of Jesus’ command in Acts 1:8 for the disciples and, by extension, for us today?
How does this verse set the stage for the mission and purpose of the early Church?

Reflecting on Personal Witnessing:

Share a personal experience where you felt empowered to be a witness for Christ. How did it impact you, and what did you learn from the experience?

Consider moments when you hesitated to share your faith. What factors influenced your decision, and how can Acts 1:8 inspire a change in your approach? How can Acts 1:8 encourage you that it’s possible to overcome such barriers?

Applying Acts 1:8 in Daily Life:

How can you practically apply Acts 1:8 in your workplace, community, or social circles?

The Role of the Holy Spirit:

How does the presence of the Holy Spirit, as mentioned in Acts 1:8, impact the effectiveness of our witness?
Share instances where you’ve sensed the Holy Spirit guiding and empowering you to share the message of Christ. What lessons did you learn from those experiences?

Setting Personal Witnessing Goals:

Based on Acts 1:8, what goals can you set for yourself in terms of personal witnessing and sharing the message of Christ?
How can your Life Group support and help you to make this a regular characteristic of your life?

Here are some resources to help your group ‘join with’ the early church in Acts 1:14 to pray for God to move in His mission.

IMB Prayer Guide

These questions are based on the first part of Acts chapter 1.

These disciples were in and out of prayer times together for 9-10 days.

Imagine and describe how the disciples might have been feeling while they were waiting in the upper room, before Pentecost.

As a group, name some examples, from the Bible, of people needing to wait for God to act. 

  • In each of these occasions list a variety of things these people might have been tempted to do, rather than wait.

 

Go round the group and ask people if they’re willing to share one story of how they’ve needed to wait or tarry for God to act. 

What is significant about waiting for God?

Why is waiting for God sometimes the bravest thing someone can do?

How do you know when it is time to stop waiting?

Which fruit of the Spirit are especially necessary when it comes to waiting? 

Pray for one another, especially in areas where extra endurance and patience is required.

Read through Acts 2:1-12. As you will see, the private prayer meeting somehow goes public and a crowd starts to form around the disciples.

In 2:12 the people ask ‘What does this mean?’ What are they referring to?

Have you ever seen or had an experience of God that astounded or surprised you?

Peter needs to explain what is happening, which suggests that manifestations of the Holy Spirit are not always clearly understandable.

In the book of Acts, God rarely ‘speaks from the clouds’ (directly to people in an audible way). He usually entrusts others to speak on His behalf. Why might this be? What does it require from those who are doing the speaking?

Wind and fire are all signs of God’s creative presence. Here He is breathing life into His new creation, His Church.

Why might some people describe the origins of the church as messy? Is that necessarily a good or bad thing? 

Reading through the whole sermon in Acts 2:14-36, list 5 of the main points that you observe Peter making. Do this in smaller groups and then compare notes all together. 

What is the ‘new perspective on Jesus that Peter wants his hearers to have?’ I.e. what does he want them to realise about Jesus that they had got wrong?

  • How does that relate to our own conversations with the people God has put in our lives?

What does Peter say about God’s plans and human plans? How do they overlap?

How does ‘the Trinity’ (Father, Son and Spirit) feature in Peter’s sermon?

Personal reflections:

Can you remember a time when you had to rethink something about Jesus because of what the Bible says about Him?

Spend some time discussing how you are trying to help the people around you rethink their view of Jesus. Share ideas and give time for prayer.

The disciples were gathering and praying together in Jerusalem because they expected the Holy Spirit to come. 

Why did they expect the Holy Spirit to come? What Scriptures or teachings (from Jesus) do you imagine they were thinking about during that time?

When the Holy Spirit came, the disciples seemed to understand what was happening (evidenced by Peter’s explanation and each of them proclaiming the mighty works of God), but the Jewish crowd did not. Some were open to hearing Peter’s explanation, but others had already come to their own conclusions (“they’re drunk!”). 

Do you find that the people around you are open to hearing about God, or closed to it? Have you seen this change recently or stay the same?

Why do you think people ‘put God in a box’ and explain away His ‘mighty works’ without listening to Biblical ideas? 

We are no longer ‘waiting for Pentecost’, but we can still anticipate God acting in response to our prayers.

How do we balance expecting God to work (waiting for Him to answer our prayers) and not restricting Him to work exactly in line with our expectations? (i.e. not putting Him in a box).

Time for prayer:

What are some promises from the Bible that reassure you most at the moment? 

  • Use these as inspiration for prayer. 

Inspired by Acts 2:21, this session is dedicated to hearing one anothers’ stories of when we ‘called on the name of the Lord’ to be saved. 

Depending on how many people are in the room, you might want to ask everyone to share for 3-5mins to the whole group or break into smaller gatherings to share.

One-by-one, ask people to share their stories of conversion, or when God has responded to a moment when they asked Him for help and He answered.

Let this session be full of gratitude for what God has done and also prayer for others who we are currently in contact with, who haven’t yet accepted the invitation to ‘call on the name of Jesus’.

Read Acts 2:37-41, twice in two different translations. 

Verses 37 describes the experience of people coming under a deep conviction of sin. Do you think this is expected to be a regular experience for people? Have you felt ‘cut to the heart’ in a significant way before? (people should feel free to share as much or as little as they are comfortable).

These Jews in the crowd have been on a ‘spiritual journey’, from attending an traditional annual festival, to seeing an unusual manifestation of God, asking ‘what’s going on?’, to hearing Peter’s sermon, then feeling ‘cut to the heart’, responding in repentance and faith and being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Do you think these various elements of the journey are in everyone’s spiritual journey? How similar or different does this sound to your own spiritual journey?

The Holy Spirit is sometimes called ‘the comforter’ but in this situation He is clearly making people feel uncomfortable. In our relationship with God, what do you think we should feel comfortable about and what should we feel uncomfortable about?

Look at Peter’s response in verse 38. How do we know that we are forgiven of our sins? 

Peter also tells people to be baptised. Why is baptism so important for a follower of Jesus? How is it more than simply a religious ritual?

DISCOVERY BIBLE STUDY

 

This approach can be used with any passage of Scripture that you choose to look at. The key aim of these is for people to come away with specific actions they would like to put into practice in coming weeks and for the group to catch up about these in future weeks. The main questions are always the same and the ‘roles’ should be shared across the group on the night. 

This style of discussion requires no preparation and no prior knowledge of the passage.

SUGGESTION: On the night assign people different roles depending on their confidence levels.

Role 1 – Someone asks around the group, ‘How have you been able to put into practice what we’ve learned together recently?’

Role 2 – Someone read the passage

Role 3 – Someone else read it again in 1 or 2 other translations (try NIV, NLT, CSB, ESV, KJV).

Role 4 – Someone restate the passage, from memory, in their own words.

Role 5 – Someone else asks these basic questions:

  • What does this passage teach us about God?
  • What do we learn from this about ourselves?
  • How are these truths relevant to your life right now?
  • What could you do to be changed by this truth (this week)?
  • Who would you like to share this truth with?

 

Role 6 – Someone writes down what people would like to commit to do in the near future, for further discussion next week.

 


 

Extra resources