Small groups are at the center of what we do at Bethany. We know that getting connected with other people in a small group community might be one of the most important parts of feeling like Bethany Church is your church home. We want to help make it an easy process for you to find the right Grow Group. 
 
Each week, we get together and dive deeper into the sermon and God’s Word using these questions as a guide. Check out the questions below, organized by each week.
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Grow Group Questions • Psalm 82 • Through The Valley

  1. What’s one thing from last weekend’s sermon that you hope we talk about as a group?
  2. Read Psalm 82 as a group in a few different translations. Did anything in these passages capture your attention? If so, what and why?
  3. Psalm 82:1 talks about God placing judgment in his court. How do you feel about the word “judgment”? How do you feel about God placing judgment?
  4. Pastor Billy shared on Sunday that the context of this Psalm is actually about the fallen spiritual beings that were given dominion or that it could mean human judges that lived during that period. Which context do you think is right and why?
  5. Micah 6:8 talks about God caring for those being unjustly treated, and using us, his people, as instruments of his justice and mercy. Do you think of justice and mercy as being a part of your daily calling as a Christian?
      1. When you think of God enacting his justice and mercy on the earth, do you think of yourself as being a primary tool that he might use? Why or why not?
      2. How can we change our perspective and think of ourselves in this way; as God’s instruments of justice and mercy?
      3. Why do you think the enemy would want to keep you from fulfilling this role?
  6. This week, we want to take extra time in our Grow Groups to pray about the Mercy Justice team, and where God is leading Bethany Church as a whole, and the individuals within it to accomplish its mission. Here are some topics to pray for as a group:
      1. Thank God that he has been gracious in his adoption of us into his family.
      2. Praise God for being completely just in his actions and merciful towards us.
      3. Pray that God would show us how to use the gifts that he’s given us to love the people who are desperate for them.
      4. Pray that God would use Bethany Church to protect and uplift the abused children in our community, and hear their cries to Him.
      5. Pray for other people groups that are in need of mercy and justice in our community.
      6. Pray that God would show each individual in the church what their role should be in this, and bless them with the resources and skills to complete his task.
      7. Pray that we would give all of these things into God’s hands as he has complete control over everything.
  7. Between Billy’s sermon on Sunday, and since we last talked about the Mercy Justice Team, have you felt any stirring in your heart towards those foster care, adoption and helping the oppressed? If so, what?

 

Senior Pastor Search Team Prayer Prompt

Praise God for his sovereignty and leading. God has been faithful through the whole search process and continues to show his faithfulness. Let us rejoice in Him!
 
Psalm 32:8 ESV “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”
 
Psalms 119:90 ESV “Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.”
 
Exodus 34:6 ESV “Then the LORD passed by in front of him (Moses) and proclaimed, “the LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.”

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Grow Group Questions • Psalm 11 • Through The Valley

  1. Icebreaker: What are some of the worst pieces of advice you’ve received or given? (bonus points for funny consequences)
  2. Read Psalm 11 in a few translations. What did you like about these verses? Did anything bother you? Why?
  3. In Psalm 11:1-3, we can see King David’s friends doing their best to give him advice and care for him. What are some things you think might have been motivating their advice?
      1. Do you think King David would have been sinning if he had followed their advice, and ran away? Why or why not?
      2. Do you think it’s sinful to trust in our own ability to control? Why or why not?
      3. Do you think there is a difference between running away in faith in God and running away in faith in our own control? Why or why not?
      4. In situations where it can be murky how other’s opinions might be motivated, or whether they are right or wrong, how can we find what God’s will is? Is it always important to know exactly what God’s will is for a specific situation? How do humility and trust play into this?
  4. In Psalm 11:4-7, we see King David’s answer to his friend’s advice. Why do you think he chose to answer them in this way? Does anything stand out to you about his answer? 
      1. Why is it important that we realize that God has ultimate control over everything? How does that affect our day-to-day lives?
      2. Do you find comfort in our world of chaos that God is still on His throne, and in complete control?
  5. When do you find yourself most tempted to “take control” of your own life? Are you struggling with that now?What actions can we take to trust in God’s plan and sovereignty? What do you think it practically means for us to meet with God “in His temple”?
 

Senior Pastor Search Team Prayer Request

Pray for Unity of Mind and Spirit as we continue to seek God’s leading of this process through this unprecedented time. Let us Rejoice that He is sovereign and active in this!
 
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
Philippians 2:1-3 ESV
 
“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities- all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
Colossians 1:16-17 ESV
 
“I (Paul) therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Ephesians 4:1-3 ESV

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Grow Group Questions • Psalm 23 • Through The Valley

  1. As we’re beginning a short series in the Psalms focusing on calling out to God, are there any Psalms or worship songs that you’ve used as a prayer to God? Or one that has helped draw you closer to him? Why does that one, in particular, stand out to you? 
  2. Read Psalm 23 in a few different translations as a group (NLT, ESV, CSB). What stands out to you about this Psalm? Is there anything you find challenging about it?
    1. How do you think King David growing up as a shepherd affected his view of God? 
    2. Pastor David shared on Sunday that to King David, “God is not a distant Shepherd that stands on a hill overlooking all of his many many sheep. As he writes this, we get the picture of King David’s close relationship, even intimate relationship with HIS shepherd.” Before going into the message on Sunday,  did you view God being our “shepherd” as being that intimate and close? Why or why not?
    3. Read John 10:11-18. How does Jesus affirm this idea of himself being a “good shepherd”?
  3. King David paints a picture of a God who both leads him to “green pastures” and “through the darkest valley”. Do you believe God leads us to “dark valleys”? Why or why not? 
    1. Why do you think God does that?
    2. King David speaks of God actually leading him through the darkest valley. How is God leading us through a “dark valley” different from a dark time in our lives caused by our own sin? Why is the distinction important?
  4. To King David, “dwelling in the house of the Lord forever” meant having a true intimacy and worship of his God. Do you view your times of worship, either on Sunday or otherwise, with the same level of reverence and importance? Is setting apart time to worship God an important part of your Christian life? Why or why not?
        1. Should it be? 
        2. On Sunday, Pastor David called us to not just sing about God, but TO Him. Do you find that easy to do? What do you do to keep your focus on Him in worship? Is this any harder to do watching service at home? Why do you think that is?
  5. How do you feel about your current level of closeness with your shepherd? How can we get to a place where we feel comforted by Him, and trust that he is with us?

 

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Senior Pastor Search Team Prayer Prompt

Pray for a heart of renewal as we look forward to what God is doing through this search and this season of our church! That our hearts would sing with the promises of His word! Looking not back at who we were but forward to what he has in store for us!
 
“to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Ephesians 4:22-24 (ESV)
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
Psalm 51:10 (ESV)
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!……. “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path”.
Psalm 119: 103;105 (NIV)

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Grow Group Questions • 1 Peter 5:10-14

  1. As we close out our series in 1 Peter that we began back in January, is there anything that has stuck with you through the series or the book of 1 Peter?
      1. How would you define what it means to be “Chosen to be Set Apart”?
  2. Read 1 Peter 5:10-14. What stands out to you about this section?
      1. What does it tell us about the character of God?
      2. What does it tell us about humanity/us?
  3. In verse 9, Peter reminds his readers about the suffering of Christians throughout the world. How can this reminder be a source of strength to Christians as they struggle?
      1. What do you think Peter means by “a little while” when he talks about Christian suffering?
      2. How does a reminder about the length of suffering versus the length of glory strengthen a Christian who is under attack?
  4. What does it mean to be restored? Confirmed? Strengthened? Established?
      1. Which of those promises of God above resonates with you the most?
      2. This is our 9th week of having church from home. How have you seen God moving through these promises at this time in your life?
  5. What promises of God in scripture do you know of? Who is that promise for, and when is it fulfilled? See Romans 5:1-5, Romans 8:31-39, 1 John 1:9, Romans 8:28, Psalm 9:9-10, Matthew 6:31-33 for some ideas.
      1. Do we have a part to play in any of these promises in order to receive them?
  6. Pastor David ended with a call from Peter to live differently from those around us since we are God’s chosen people. Are there areas you are struggling with living differently from the world around us and being God’s light? How might God be calling you to live Chosen and Set Apart in a different way for the world to see?
 

 Senior Pastor Search Team Prayer Request

Pray for wisdom and discernment for our Overseers and Pastors as they seek the leading and confirmation of the Holy Spirit in regards to the Applicant they have been interviewing. Pray that the Lord’s leading would be clear.
 
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
 
“Trust in the LORD with all your hear, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
James 3:17 NIV
 
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Matthew 6:33 NASB

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Grow Group Questions • 1 Peter 5:8-11 • Chosen To Be Set Apart

  1. How often do you think of our world having a spiritual war that we can’t see? What were your thoughts on spiritual warfare going into the sermon? 
  2. Read 1 Peter 5:8-9. What did you like about these verses? Did anything bother you? Why?
  3. Read Luke 22:31-31. How do you think Peter learning from Jesus that Satan “demanded to have him” affected his view of spiritual warfare?
      1. Do you think this only applied to Peter, or is this something we have to be aware of? Why?
      2. How can we keep our minds aware of this spiritual battle, and not be afraid of it?
  4. Read Ephesians 6:10-18. How do we resist the enemy as believers? 
      1. Why do you think God chose to list truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, the Word of God, and prayer as our tools against the schemes of the devil? Discuss why each one might be important.
      2. Which part(s) of the “Armor of God” do you find yourself needing the most growth in right now?
  5. In the sermon on Sunday, Pastor David shared that admitting we have sin to ourselves, and confessing it to God and others is an important part of resisting the enemy. How could hidden sin be used by the enemy against us? 
      1. How does confessing sin help us resist? See James 5:16, 1 John 1:9, Psalm 32:1-7, Acts 3:19, James 4:7-8
      2. Do you find it challenging to confess your sins to others? Do you feel like you have a safe person or group of people to confess to? How can we as a grow group facilitate that for each other?
  6. In Matthew 4:1-11, we see Satan tempting Jesus in a vulnerable time of suffering. How do we see Jesus resisting temptation? How can we apply Jesus’ example to our own lives?
      1. How are you doing at resisting the enemy? How is the battleground of your mind? How is your faith? Take some time to share and pray about this as a group.

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Chosen To Be Set Apart • 1 Peter 1:22-2:3

  • Read 1 Peter 1:22-2:3. What stood out to you about this passage or the message on Sunday? What was your main point or takeaway?
  • How does lowering ourselves to being less important than those around us allow us to truly love our brothers and sisters?
  • Peter used two different Greek words for love in verse 22. Philadelphia (brotherly affection) and Agape (unconditional). Why do you think it’s important to distinguish between the two?
      • Why does Peter say to love “since you have been born again”?
      • Peter gives examples of what love doesn’t look like in 1 Peter 2:1. What are some words we might use to describe the new type of love he describes and how can we practice them?
  • What does spiritual death entail, and why is being born again such a necessity?
      • Why is it important that the seed we have been born again into is “imperishable”? 
  • In 1 Peter 2:2-3 it says to “taste that the Lord is good”? What does that mean? See Psalm 34:8, Psalm 119:101-104, Proverbs 24:14-15
      • Read see 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, Hebrews 5:12-14. What do you think “spiritual milk” is? Who needs it the most? 
      • How does tasting and seeing that Lord is good and spiritual milk work together to help us “grow up into salvation”?
      • Why is it important for a believer to move past being reliant on “spiritual milk”? 
      • What do you think this practically looks like in your life?
  • Parker shared on Sunday that the imperishable seed in us is meant to grow God’s imperishable fruit. Looking at Galatians 5:22-23, which of these fruits of the spirit are you struggling with most right now? Take some time to pray about this as a group.

 

 

 

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Chosen To Be Set Apart • 1 Peter 5:1-7 • Grow Group Questions

  • Now that we are at least a week past Easter, have you felt connected to the story or meaning of Easter since then? How can we continue to connect with what Jesus did for us on the cross past Easter?
    • Read 1 Peter 5:1-7 as a group. Did anything in this passage capture your attention? Why? 
    • In his sermon on Sunday, Wade pointed out how much Peter had changed from when he walked with Jesus to when he was writing this letter. What stands out to you most about his transformation?
    • What can we learn from Peter’s transformation in the 30 years between the gospels and writing 1 Peter? Why is it important that he changed?
    • Can you identify the ways that God has changed and sanctified you through your time believing in him? What are the ways he’s still sanctifying and changing you now?
  • In verse 5, Peter asks all of us to clothe ourselves in humility for one another. How can we as non-elders and elders show humility towards each other?
      • Read Luke 22:24-27. How should we apply Jesus’ approach to servant leadership in our own lives?
      • How’s it going at home with your families with being humble to each other during our stay-at-home isolation?
  • Read Matthew 14:22-33. How do you see fear affecting Peter in this story?
      • What was Jesus’ immediate reaction to Peter sinking? Why does this matter?
      • How do anxiety and doubt go hand in hand?
  • Read Philippians 2:3-5 and Philippians 4:6-9.
      • Do you think there is a relationship between anxiety and humility? Why or why not? If yes, what is it?
      • Are you finding yourself having difficulty humbling yourself before others, humbling yourself before God, or casting your anxieties on Him during this crisis? Take some time to pray as a group for each other on this.

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