Ice Breaker (optional – choose one below)

  • Is there a meal that you’re especially good at making? What is it?
  • How would this country change if fathers were the only ones allowed to vote?
  • What’s your favorite “dad joke?” (If you don’t know any, google one or two)

Main Idea

Everyone has at least one thing in common – we all had a dad. Our dad’s left a thumbprint on us that will never be erased (for better or worse) yet, we all have an opportunity to “eat the meat and spit out the bones” as we think about the impression we leave on those around us.

Discuss

What stood out to you from this weekend’s message?

Everyone has a dad and everyone’s relationship with their dad is unique. What is one part of your relationship with your dad that you appreciate (or appreciated)?

God describes himself as a “heavenly Father” for anyone who is connected to Him through faith in Jesus Christ. (Luke 11:13; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:16) How might that “raise the stakes” for earthly fathers?

What does the Bible say?

Read 1 Thessalonians 2:1-7 first to get a gist of the context and then let someone else read 1 Thessalonians 2:8-12 (the focus of this week’s study).

This week we focused on five attributes from 1 Thessalonians 2:8-12 that characterize a faithful father. As a group, pick 2-3 that seem most counter-cultural (don’t try to do all of them) and discuss the below questions:

  1. Fond Affection
  2. Imparting a life, not just words
  3. An example of hard work and unselfishness
  4. Spiritual leadership
  5. Authentic positive influence
  1. Fond Affection – Because we loved you so much…
    • How have you seen the effect of a “fond affection” in your own life?
    • Why do you think we only hug the little kids?
    • What could it look like for your family to have “fond affection” to a greater degree?
  2. Imparting a life, not just words – Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only gospel of God but our lives as well.
    • “Values are not taught to our children; they are caught by them” Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?
    • Have you ever done the right thing with the wrong attitude? Were there practical consequences for your attitude?
    • How does someone learn a new attitude?
  3. Modeling hard work and unselfishness – Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.
    • What does “hard work” mean for you?
    • What attitude do you have when you “work hard?”
    • There’s a saying, “a woman’s work is never done.” What does that reveal about how many people think of a “man’s work?” Do you think that’s how God designed “man’s work?”
  4. Spiritual leadership – Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.
    • What is spiritual leadership?
    • What one male spiritual leader you most look up to?
    • What would change in the Triangle if fathers led their families like Christ leads the church?
  5. Authentic positive influence – You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.
    • How can an admission of mistakes strengthen our confidence in someone?
    • The average parent in the United States has 10 negative comments for every one positive comment directed towards their children. Do you break the mold and what’s your secret?

Apply the Message, Own the Mission

For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting, and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. –1 Thessalonians 2:11-12

  • Fathers: What is one way you can intentionally encourage, comfort or urge your children towards living a life worthy of God this week? Share your plan with the group!
  • Notfathers: What is one way you can intentionally encourage, comfort or urge a father to live a life worth of God this week? Share your plan with the group!

Tweet this: Leadership in the home is initiation, not domination. #ICanRelate @get_hope   (click here to tweet this!)

Tweet this: Everyone has at least one thing in common – we all had a dad. #ICanRelate @get_hope (click here to tweet this!)

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