NOTE: Following is a copy of the discussion guide that will be used in MoSt Church’s LIFE groups tomorrow, June 3. This guide will enable your follow-up of my sermon from John 15.12-17 (Friendship, As Jesus Would Have It). You’ll find these LIFE group discussion guides categorized each week here on my site under the category title “LIFE group guides.”
To consider afresh the meaning of being friends of, and in, Christ.
This is my commandment: love each other just as I have loved you. No one has greater love than to give up one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I don’t call you servants any longer, because servants don’t know what their master is doing. Instead, I call you friends, because everything I heard from my Father I have made known to you. You didn’t choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you could go and produce fruit and so that your fruit could last. As a result, whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. I give you these commandments so that you can love each other. (John 15.12-17 CEB)
Icebreaker questions are meant to help us all start talking. Choose one of the following to discuss as a group.
1. On scale of 1-10, rank how slow (1) or fast (10) you are to strike up friendship with someone new.
2. Is it easier or more difficult to make true friends today than it was in years gone by? Why?
3. If you’re on Facebook, what percentage of your “friends” would you say are truly friends?
These questions are meant to help us grapple with Scripture related to this morning’s sermon. Choose some.
1. “No one has greater love than to give up one’s life for one’s friends.” (vs. 13) In what ways was Jesus “daily dying” for his friends, the disciples, long before he died on the cross?
2. Why is our being friends with Christ contingent upon our keeping his commands to us (vs. 14) and how can any of us be his friend, seeing as how no one can perfectly keep his commands?
3. Why does Jesus call his disciples “friends” (vs. 15)?
4. How is bearing the fruit of Christ related to being a friend of Christ (vs. 16a)?
5. “… whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.” (vs. 16b). How does the context in which this statement appears shape its meaning?
6. What is the purpose of Jesus’ commandments (vs. 17)?
These questions facilitate our sharing what we sense God’s Spirit is doing with us thru his word. Choose some.
1. What do you perceive as the difference(s) between a close acquaintance and a good friend?
2. What quality do you most look for and appreciate in a friend? Why?
3. Complete this sentence: a true friend will not consistently ____________________.
4. For the sake of the health of the church, how critical is it that all Christians treat each and every Christian as a friend of Christ? For the sake of those yet to believe? For the sake of Christ’s name?
5. Friendship is risky because friends can wound each other deeply. When friendship is ruptured or wounded, what are some healthy steps to take toward reconciliation and healing?
6. A newcomer to MoSt Church asks you, “How can I make some real friends here?” What do you say?
7. As a group, pray for the friendships of all who are friends of Christ in our church family.