GROWTH GROUPS

In our digital age, you can connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime. But relationships take more than just a status update or awesome selfie. Relationships take time, space, and commitment. We believe that one of the primary ways we grow in Christ is through community. Come grow in community with our brothers and sisters here at First Pres Hayward!



Our Philosophy

People grow best when they are connected in healthy small groups. We were never intended to live life alone, but we were created for relationships.

We are a community who want to follow Jesus. We would love you to come and be amongst us!

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Exodus 20 & Deuteronomy 5

  1. Our worship this week connected us to our religion’s Jewish roots. What are some of the similarities between the Jewish way of worship and ours?
  2. As you read these Commandments, what do you see? How do you feel?
  3. What stood out to you this week or this weekend as we fellowshipped with Congregation Shir Ami?
  4. Pastor Jakes preached that these commandments are given for our freedom. What do you think?
  5. Why do you think this is the first commandment?
  6. How are the idols in your life formed? How do you stop them from being formed? How do you tear them down?
  7. What/who have you started to let be God/first in your life? Job/retirement plan/kids/spouse/money?
  8. What steps are you taking to put God first and not let anything share his throne?

 

 

Tim Keller, in his book Counterfeit Gods, lists just some of the other ‘gods’ we may have in our lives. This list includes, but I’m sure is not limited to, money, sex, power, and even family. Anything that takes the place that only God should occupy in our lives. There are so many distractions, each vying for our time, prevalent in our current society, that oftentimes we have a difficult time focusing our attention on God. Stay focused! God will not share his throne with anything or anybody.

Exodus 20:4-6 & Deuteronomy 5:8-10

 

John Calvin said, “The human heart is an idol factory.” We often search for peace or identity through relationships, substances, money, or entertainment.

 

  1. What is the difference between the first and second commandments?
  2. Name some ways in which the second commandment is broken.
  3. What idols are you serving? (self, money, addiction, relationship, goals)
  4. What are some the consequences of serving these other things?
  5. What are the consequences to keeping the idols? (generational curse/blessing)
  6. How do we let the holy spirit do the guide us?

 

Remember:  Your idols don’t love you- they lead to death

Only God loves you- He wants you to have life more abundantly.

Exodus 20:7

 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”

 

  1. Pastor Jake said, “it’s possible to take that Lord’s name in vain by how we live.” What do you think about that?
  2. What story of Jesus are we communicating by how we live?
  3. Is the church saying things that God isn’t saying?
  4. In what ways do we misuse the Lord’s name as a country, as a community, and personally?
  5. What and how do we change?

 

Proverbs 18:10 – “The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”

Week 4:

Exodus 20:8-11

 

  1. What does Sabbath mean to you?

 

  1. How do you OBSERVE the Sabbath?

 

  1. How do you GUARD your Sabbath?

 

  1. How do you get refreshed?

 

Quote of the Week

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you.”

 

Prayer of Brokenness/Confession 

Holy One, we confess that we are not always at our best. We are tired and burned out.
We wear down.
We overextend ourselves.

We sometimes are short-tempered, snapping at others easily.
We allow anger to bubble up and explode rather than calmly responding. We confess that at times we are downright rude to others because we haven’t taken out time to rest and reconnect with you. Forgive us of our temper tantrums.
Forgive us of our short-sightedness.
Forgive us for conflating busyness with holiness.

Call us back into Your rhythm of life, which calls for a day of rest, a Sabbath practice that honors You
and reconnects us with you and your creation.

Amen.

 

Blessing 

We are renewed by the Spirit of God when we take time out to rest and refresh.
We are renewed by the Spirit of God when we study the Scriptures without distraction. We are renewed by the Spirit of God when we set aside time for prayer and reflection. We are renewed by the Spirit of God when we enjoy the beautiful earth that God has created for us, and spend time with family and friends who nourish us. May you find time today, and each day, for God, and find your spirits renewed. Go in peace. Amen.

Week 5:

Exodus 20:12

Ephesians 6:1-3

Psalms 139:13-14

1.What have been the great things about your parents/family?

2.What have been the hard things about parents/family?

3.If you are a parent the office you carry is not easy, what’s been hard for you?

4.What are you giving yourself to?

5.Jake said, “the biggest temptation is to captain our own ship,” how have you done this?

 

Align your view of yourself with God’s view of you

God uses various metaphors to describe His love and care for us, that of a nursing mother, a loving father, a shepherd, etc. Here are some verses to meditate on:

Week 6:

  • Thou Shalt Not Murder – Exodus 20:13Not all killing is murder. The 6th commandment does not prohibit killing as punishment for crimes, or a soldier killing the enemy in war. Two different Hebrew words are used for the taking of life—kill (harag) and murder (ratsach). The word used in the 6th commandment is ratsach and implies the premeditated taking of human life, typically out of malice.
    1. Do you see a difference between murder and killing? What’s the difference?

     

    1. Have you just looked over the the list and thought, “Well I don’t murder”?

     

    1. What do you think is the heart of murder?

     

    1. What do you feel about the video of the prison inmate that was played?

     

    1. How do you handle your anger, hate, jealousy?

     

    1. What do you feel about God being the author of (all) Life?

Week 7:                      “You shall not commit adultery.”

Exodus 20:14

 

Covenant is the way in which the Bible describes and defines relationship: first our relationship with God, and then our relationship with everyone else.

 

In the beginning, when we lived in perfect union with God, the only thing necessary was to maintain the “oneness” that God had already created. Sadly, the story tells us that human beings became alienated from God. However, the story also tells us that time and again God took a gracious initiative toward them. Beginning with Abraham and Sarah, God reconnects with humankind. In the New Testament, we see that Jesus reveals his relationship with his Father. He invites his followers into a depth of covenant relationship not seen before. He invited them to experience the same depth of relationship that he enjoyed with his Father.

 

Matt. 5:27,28

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’  But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

 

S.I.N.

Selfish

Independent

Nature

 

  1. Why is “you shall not commit adultery’ in the Ten Commandments?

 

  1. Is it possible for a Christian to commit spiritual adultery against God?

 

  1. What did God mean by “committing adultery of the heart?”

 

  1. Aisea sang a song, “Run down the Aisle,” how did you hear this song?

 

  1. How is something or someone being spiritual emotionally or physically replacing God in your life? Is He your first love? Have you lost your love for Him?

 

“Little moments of unmet expectation of unrealized pain or of an unmet need, that’s not being communicated.” – Pastor Jake

Week 8 “You must not steal”

Exodus 20:15

 

 

Therefore, I counsel you who are conscious that you have heretofore wronged your neighbor, either by fraud, or oppression, or unfaithfulness, or stealing, whether lately or formerly, though it may have been a great while ago, speedily to go and make restitution for all the wrong your neighbor has suffered at your hands. that it was done long ago, doth not quit you from obligation to restore. This is a duty with which you must comply; you cannot be acquitted without it. As long as you neglect it, it will be unreasonable in you to expect any forgiveness of god. For what ground can you have to think that God will pardon you, as long as you willfully continue in the same wrong, and wrong the same many still every day, by detaining from him that which is his? you in your prayers ask of God ,that he would forgive all your sins; but your very prayers are mockery, if you still willfully continue in those sins .-indeed ,if you go and confess your faults to your neighbor ,and he will freely acquit you from making restitution, you will be acquitted from the obligation. For in so doing, your neighbor gives you what before was his. -Johnathan Edwards-

 

Romans 2:17-24

1.we are all not ok.

2.we are all thieves.

3.we are all able to get out and get through.

 

Stealing is acquiring property by any unjust means. What systems have allowed this to happen? Discuss why these patterns continue?

What systems do we(you) participate with that are robbing people? How do you feel about that?

What do you do now base on that information?

How do you get a “new heart” (regeneration)?

What Does a fearless moral inventory look like to you?

You work to share. You produce to give. If you do steal you are supposed to give restitution.

What does restitution look like for you? For this church?