*Leaders: Many societies in the Western world expect their members to be self-sufficient/self-made and we can expect much of the Triangle to have this world-view as well. As we love each other where we are and encourage each other to grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ, feel free to alleviate any anxiety in talking about money by sharing some ground rules with the group:
- We’re looking at God’s principles, not each other’s bank statements. No one should ever feel pressured to share more than they are comfortable with and no one will be expected to share details about their finances.
- We can be lost with a little bit of money – and we can be lost with a whole lot of money. No one in this group is in the exact same place financially (or in any other part of our lives) and that’s ok! No matter where each person is, we’re all here to help each other grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ.
- God doesn’t want our finances, God want’s our heart. The one time Jesus asked for money (specifically one coin) he wasn’t trying to get people’s money, he was trying to keep people’s money from getting them! A bank account that is growing more healthy is great, but a growing relationship with Jesus Christ is invaluable.
Ice Breaker (optional – choose one below – taken from Questions in a Box)
- Why do we need good endings in movies?
- What is the riskiest thing you have ever done?
- What small act of kindness was done to you that you will never forget?
- What is the biggest change you have made in your life this past year?
We all want to experience financial peace, be generous people and trust God with our finances. But, fear of the unknown often prevents us from living this way. The solution to fear of the future is faith in God who knows what we need and is able to carry us when the bottom drops out.
What stood out to you from this weekend’s message?
How did the songs we sang this weekend relate to the message we heard? (Your Love Awakens Me, Yes & Amen, Good Good Father)
How have you seen money (too little or even too much!) cause someone to be anxious or fearful? Why do you think money can be so influential?
What does the Bible say?
- Every grain farmer faces two tensions: Do I plant these seeds for a future crop or do I turn them into bread? How is that challenge similar to the choice we face when deciding what to do with our money?
- When Paul uses the word “need,” do you think that is a “want” or an actual “need?” How does that affect how you understand God’s promise in these verses?
- Farming is certainly a risk, but why is a reasoned faith, a risk worth taking?
- Paul introduces a second benefit to generosity in addition to “needs” being met. What is that second benefit and how does it compare to the first?
- What does the word “Gift” in the verse 15 refer to?
- What (in addition to being “enriched in every way”) motivates the Corinthian church to do what Paul is encouraging them to do? How is this a motivator?
- Do you believe that these promises apply to believers today? Why or why not?
Apply the Message, Own the Mission
Generosity is an indisputable part of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Throughout scripture, we see God showering overwhelming generosity on those who love Him. As His people, we are to reflect His character and characteristics here on earth.
Spend some time talking through these questions as a group:
- Share with the group ways you’ve seen God bless you (spiritually, relationally, financially, etc.)
- How is your life different as a result of God’s love, blessing and provision?
- Share a time when being generous made you “cheerful.” What made that experience stand out to you?
On the drive or walk home:
- Reflect on the questions, “How has God blessed me – How much has God given me?” and in light of that;
- Decide “How much seed do I want to sow?”
When you get home: Do it!
***You may already be giving what you have “decided in your heart to give” and that’s great! God doesn’t care about your money nearly as much as he does about your heart. “Where your treasure is your heart will follow” (Matthew 6:21), is about involving God in our finances (rather than excluding Him), and being the people God calls us to be.