Monday, April 06, 2020

Mark 15:1-24 Small Group Questions


Our church is currently studying the book of Mark. For twenty-eight weeks we're walking through the book and talking about the action-packed story of Jesus. Mark was more concerned with what Jesus did than what Jesus said. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone. If you missed the sermon you can find it at the end of this post.

Small Group Questions ::: Three Responses to Jesus ::: Mark 15:1-24

In Mark 15 we read about our Savior willingly going to the cross. As we read/study this chapter we must keep in mind that Jesus had been up all night. Jesus had been taken to an unfair, unjust, midnight courtroom. He was unfairly beat, unjustly tried, and now will be handed over to the Romans officials. The Jewish people had no legal ability to kill a person and therefore must involved the very government they find themselves subjected to. Mark does a great job at keeping our thoughts in a theological channel as we watch Jesus go to the cross for us. We must read these verses through the eyes of love; it was love that sent Jesus to the cross.

1) Neal started the sermon talking about how our world feels like we are waiting to experience a tsunami. Did this illustration resonate with you? How does the global pandemic feel to you right now?

2) The religious leaders took Jesus to Pilate (read Mark 15:1-5). Pilate sent Jesus to Herod to examine him (read Luke 23:6-12). Herod then send Jesus back to Pilate (Luke 23:13-18). How come no governing official was able to find any reason for Jesus to be put to death and yet Jesus was still crucified?

3) Read Mark 15:6-15. If Pilate was able to find no basis for a charge against Jesus, why did the religious leaders hand Jesus over to him? (read Isaiah 53:7-9 and John 18:33-40, and 1 Peter 2:21-24).

4) The Gospels tell us what happened to Jesus but not in graphic detail (read Matthew 27:27-31 & Mark 15:16-20). Discuss with your group about what Jesus went through to earn our salvation.

5) There is a theological term called: atonement- the work Christ did in His life and death to earn our salvation. (Read Romans 3:23, John 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:2, and 1 Timothy 2:5-6). Discuss how important atonement is to our salvation.

6) Mark tells us that Simon from Cyrene carried the cross for Jesus (read Mark 15:21). What would it have felt like to carry the 100 pound cross beam for the exhausted, beaten, dehydrated, hungry Lord?

7) The Bible invites us to a life of serving others (read Matthew 6:1-4, Mark 10:43-45, Acts 3:7, Acts 16:9, & 1 Thessalonians 5:14). How can you help others this week?

Close your time in prayer. Pray specifically for your Plus One at Easter

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Three Sundays Later

Here is a copy of what I sent to Coastline Bible Church yesterday. I'm sharing as it might be helpful for you. Maybe you want to see what I'm sharing. You might want to steal some ideas. You might need an encouragement too during this time!



Hey Coastline,

The last three weeks have been some of the wildest, most interesting, bizzare, confusing, and learning-filled weeks of my time as a pastor. I have thought a lot about discipleship, leadership, spiritual growth, leader empowerment,  prayer, and Bible reading. I’ve also prayed a lot for those in our community who have lost a job, are sick, are scared, and are fearful. My guess is that each of us have gone through a myriad of emotions the last several weeks.

My aim in this email message is a simple: “Thank you.”

Thank you for being so supportive as we’ve moved to Coastline Online only. I will be the first to admit that we’ve had some bumps along the way. Thank you for being patient with the different platforms we’ve used. We have found that going to our website has been the best way to get to our online worship gathering.

Thank you for giving to Coastline. The first two weeks of giving were a drastic reduction from our proposed budget need. Many of you have continued to give generously during this time. Some of you have just started giving. We see tithes/offerings trickle into the office on a daily basis. Thank you for giving online, via text, and mailing your gift to the church office.

I’ve had some requests to get the small group questions out for everyone. Here is a link for the questions from Mark 14:27-72. I’ve been posting all the small group questions on my personal blog. After Easter we will begin posting these questions on our website in the sermon section so that everyone can access them!

Let me leave you with an encouragement; my heart is that those who follow Jesus will grow in discipleship during this time. If you don’t have a Bible reading plan, I invite you to find one (You can reply to this email and I have some ideas to share with you). Grab a book to read and grow in your faith. Take a day/meal to pray and fast. Go on a prayer walk (if you are healthy). Sit in your favorite chair and pray. Let’s use this as a time to grow in our personal relationship with Jesus!

Let me end with this. In seminary I studied church history. The thing that surprised me the most was that the church grew during periods of suffering. We might be suffering here, but our brothers and sisters in Christ suffer too all over the world. We are the church! Let’s be the church no matter what happens!

Neal Benson | Lead Pastor
Coastline Bible Church

Monday, March 30, 2020

Mark 14:27-72 Small Group Questions


Our church is currently studying the book of Mark. For twenty-eight weeks we're walking through the book and talking about the action-packed story of Jesus. Mark was more concerned with what Jesus did than what Jesus said. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone. If you missed the sermon you can find it at the end of this post.

Small Group Questions ::: A Midnight Courtroom ::: Mark 14:27-72

What do you do when the strongest person in your life suddenly becomes weak? This happens when children find their parents sick, when teammates find players hurt, and when the disciples sat in the presence of Jesus before the crucifixion. After sharing the Passover meal, Jesus takes the disciples for a walk. They travel to the Garden of Gethsemane (Oil Press) where Jesus was pressed to pray. At this point Jesus is betrayed by a disciple and abandoned by the rest. He is unfairly arrested, and taken to an unjust courtroom. Jesus is beaten and mocked for crimes He never committed. Grab a Bible and study these questions to gain a deeper understanding of what Jesus did. 

1) Share a story about a time when you felt abandoned by your closest friends. Read Mark 14:27-31. Jesus knew the disciples would soon scatter from His presence. How do you think Jesus felt about knowing He would be abandoned? 

2) Jesus brought all the disciples to the garden by took His three closest companions with Him for prayer support (read Mark 14:32-42). Talk about how this experience for Jesus made it so He can relate to us (Psalm 42:11, Hebrews 5:8, and 1 Peter 4:16). 

3) While in the Garden, the disciples could not keep their eyes open. It was late at night and they were tired. Jesus encouraged them not to fall into temptation. What are some sins that have plagued you in the past? (Galatians 5:19-21, Ephesians 4:25-32 and1 Peter 2:1-3 help us see the depth of our sinful nature). 

4) Judas came to arrest Jesus with a small army. Neal said that Judas betrayed Him, the disciples abandoned Him, and the soldiers didn’t know what they were doing. Who do you resonate most with in your faith walk? 

5) Jesus was unfairly arrested and charged with crimes He never committed (read Mark 14:53-65). Why is it so important that there is more than one witness in a court of law? (read Deuteronomy 17:6, Psalm 18:2, & Titus 1:15)

6) The high priest called Jesus the Messiah. Jesus responded with an Old Testament inclination (read Exodus 3:14). Who do you say Jesus? Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God like He said? (Mark 1:1, John 1:1-4, Acts 9:1-19)

7) Our passage ends with Peter weeping for denying Jesus (read Mark 14:66-72). Have you repented of your sin & found freedom in Jesus? (Romans 3:23, 10:9-10).

Close your time in prayer. Pray specifically for your Plus One at Easter 

Friday, March 27, 2020

Mark 14:1-26 Small Group Questions


Our church is currently studying the book of Mark. For twenty-eight weeks we're walking through the book and talking about the action-packed story of Jesus. Mark was more concerned with what Jesus did than what Jesus said. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone. If you missed the sermon you can find it at the end of this post.

Small Group Questions ::: Sacrificial Love ::: Mark 14:1-26

The life of many can revolved around food. In some countries there is an abundance and in some countries there will never be enough. In Mark 14:1-26 we come upon two stories that revolved around a meal. The first meal took place at Simon the leper’s home. It is a meal where we see sacrificial love for Jesus expressed. The second meal is the Passover meal. The Passover meal was a reminder for God’s people that they had been freed from slavery and redeemed for the Lord. At this meal we will see sacrificial love for Jesus.

1) In the sermon Doug asked us how our life will be described by others. Take some time and share with each other how you see God working in the lives of each other. Now share an area you want to grow in so people will know you by that.

2) Read Mark 14:3-9. This woman came and anointed Jesus with a very expensive perfume. What is something costly that you can give to Jesus during this global pandemic? What is something you can give to others to show the love of Jesus?

3) Some think this woman is Mary, the sister of Lazarus (see John 12:3). This woman anointed Jesus out of thankfulness. Go around your small group and share some of the things you are thankful for your in life (Psalm 7:17, 106:1, 118:29).

4) Jesus encouraged generosity to the poor (read Deuteronomy 15:11). In Scripture we see the call for Christians to give (Psalm 82:3, Proverbs 14:31, Matthew 5:3, and Acts 9:36) What does Scripture teach us about caring for the poor? What holds you back from giving to others, neighbors, or the church?

5) Read Mark 14:12-16. The disciples gathered to share the passover meal together. Read Exodus 12 to gain an understanding of what the passover meal is. Discuss the similarity of the blood on the doorpost to the blood of Jesus being shed.

6) Jesus knew the cross awaited Him. Unlike the lamb in the Old Testament, Jesus knew what His fate would be. Read Mark 14:22-25. Talk about how Jesus was motivated by love to go to the cross. (You might want to Celebrate the Lord’s supper)

7) In our passage we see two acts motivated by love. Read what Jesus said in John 15:13. Talk about what Jesus did so we could have life.

Close your time in prayer. Pray specifically for your Plus One at Easter

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Mark 13 Small Group Questions


Our church is currently studying the book of Mark. For twenty-eight weeks we're walking through the book and talking about the action-packed story of Jesus. Mark was more concerned with what Jesus did than what Jesus said. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ::: End Times ::: Mark 13

As Jesus and the disciples are leaving the Temple, one disciple remarks of the beauty of the Temple. Historians have stated that the Temple was remarked as the most beautiful building in the entire world. The problem was that back in Mark 11, Jesus condemned the Temple and how it had become an example of Israel being inwardly corrupt. Jesus explains the upcoming destruction of the Temple that would happen in just a few decades. We must remember that Jesus shares about the destruction of the Temple and then moves to explain His second coming. We need to keep watch for the second coming of Christ and be ready for His return.

1) Given the current pandemic in our Nation, and world, what is something that scares you most about the spread of a virus that very little is known about? How has your response to the virus helped bring hope to others?

2) Read Mark 13:1-4. Jesus said that the Temple would be destroyed. What do you think was going through the disciples minds when He said these words? Take time to read 2 Chronicles 3 and get an understanding of the original Temple.

3) In Mark 13:5-13 we have false signs that the Temple will be destroyed. Jesus told the disciples to be on their guard. Read Acts 5:17-42, 7:54-8:1, and 12:1-18. How did these events in the life of the early church impact the spread of the Gospel?

4) Jesus spoke of ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ as a marker that destruction would come (Mark 13:14 & Matthew 24:15). How would this person’s actions impact the Temple and to Jews living in Jerusalem? (Read Daniel 9:27, 11:31, and 12:11)

5) When the Temple was destroyed, horrible acts were committed against God’s people. Read John 10:7-21, 14:1-7, and 21:15-23. What kind of life does Jesus want us to live?

6) The second coming of Jesus can often scare people. Read Mark 13:26-28, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, and Revelation 19:11-21. What does the Bible teach us about the second coming of Jesus?

7) Five separate times Jesus instructs us to: “Watch!” “Be ready” or “Be prepared” in Mark 13. How can we be ready to share the Gospel message with those around us? Read 2 Timothy 4:5 and 1 Peter 3:15 to help guide the conversation.

Close your time in prayer.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Mark 12:28-44 Small Group Questions

Our church is currently studying the book of Mark. For twenty-eight weeks we're walking through the book and talking about the action-packed story of Jesus. Mark was more concerned with what Jesus did than what Jesus said. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ::: Three Lessons from Jesus ::: Mark 12:28-44

Jesus continues His time in Jerusalem. He has been teaching in and around the Temple Courts and asked some thought provoking questions. The questions will continue to come His way when a teacher of the law asks Him about what is the greatest commandment. Seeing that Jesus silenced the religious leaders it not becomes His turn to ask more meaningful questions. Jesus wants the original audience, and you and I, to think about the Messiah coming to save us. Jesus longs for us to think thoughtfully, lovingly, and critically about Kingdom matters. These snippets of Jesus’ ministry can seem disconnected but in the whole we learn 

1) Pastor Neal started the sermon by talking about a new traffic pattern in Ventura. How do you respond to the changes going on in your life? How has Jesus created a new pattern for your: personal life, schooling, social life, marriage, or parenting? 

2) Read Mark 12:28-34. Jesus encouraged us to love God with our entire being. Some people can learn more intellectual or more emotion driven. What way is it easiest for you to love God? What way  do you want grow in? 

3) If we all followed the instruction of Jesus in Mark 12:31, most of the worlds problems would be eradicated. What hinders us from loving others? (see John 13:34-35). 

4) The teacher of the law affirmed Jesus’ answer (essentially devaluing the Temple). Read: Proverbs 21:3, Psalm 40:6, Hosea 6:6, and Matthew 9:13. What can we learn from the Scripture about being in right relationship with God

5) It was now Jesus’ turn to ask the questions (read Mark 12:35-37). Why is it of extreme importance to have a right understanding of who Jesus is? Read these verses: Romans 1:3-4, Psalm 110:1, Luke 23:3, Mark 1:1, and John 7:41-42

6) Jesus seems to be upset at how the religious leaders were taking advantage of people (read Mark 12:38-40). Talk about some practical ways that you can individually, and as a group, serve others (read Exodus 22:22, Psalm 10:12 & James 1:27 are some verses that talk about standing up for the oppressed). 

7) The chapter ends with Jesus offering a personal lesson to the disciples about giving (read Mark 12:41-44). This widow offers more than a tithe; she gives all she has in complete trust to God. What holds us back from trusting God with our finances? 

Close your time in prayer. 


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Mark 12:1-27 Small Group Questions


Our church is currently studying the book of Mark. For twenty-eight weeks we're walking through the book and talking about the action-packed story of Jesus. Mark was more concerned with what Jesus did than what Jesus said. I'm so thankful for Joey Ross preaching this week and writing these amazing questions. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ::: Power, Politics, and Prenups ::: Mark 12:1-27

Jesus now finds himself in an increasing hostile situation, he is in Jerusalem, surrounded by various religious parties all of whom are are out to get him.  Here Jesus tells a parable, one that is an indictment on them and the way they have stewarded the gift of leadership God has given them.  From this, they look to trap him every way they can, in order to arrest and eventually kill him.  Today this passage serves as a reminder to us that we are called to steward our gift from God, and in addition to hold everything in its rightful place.

1) Share a time where you held on to something a little to tightly and it was eventually taken from you.  Or to put it another way share about something that became an idol in your life.

2) Read Mark 12:1-27:  Share anything that stood out to you in this passage, a word, phrase, question or something that stood out to you from the from the sermon this week.

3) In Jesus' Parable of the Tenants, who does the vineyard builder represent? The vineyard (Isaiah 5)? The tenants? The son? (Mark 12:1-9).  What character do you most relate to in your life?

4) Read Mark 12:12 Why is this parable the tipping point for the religious leaders?  What about the parable upset them so much?  Have you ever met people who not only doesn’t/didn’t believe in God, but was hostile to God?  What was that like?

5) Christianity has always thrived most as a life-giving minority, not a political majority, however its hard to ignore that these two topics effect one another. Politics and religion have always been hot topic issues.  In Mark 12:13-17, how does Jesus put these topic in proper perspective?

6) What will be the state of marriage in heaven? How does Jesus demonstrate resurrection from God's words to Moses?

7) In Mark 12:18-27 Jesus is very straight forward with his feelings about the Sadducees and their understanding of Scripture, and what God is like.  He says at the end they are badly mistaken.  The truth for all of us is we are all mistaken on something we believe about God.  We just don’t know what it is.  How do you remain open to God’s correction in our understanding of him?

Close your time in prayer and ask God to reveal to beliefs or things in your life that need to be open to him correcting.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Mark 11:12-33 Small Group Questions


Our church is currently studying the book of Mark. For twenty-eight weeks we're walking through the book and talking about the action-packed story of Jesus. Mark was more concerned with what Jesus did than what Jesus said. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ::: The Authority of Jesus ::: Mark 11:12-33

Jesus has arrived in Jerusalem. Jesus knew that no prophet would be killed outside of Jerusalem (Luke 13:33). In this section of Scripture we see a unique thing take place. The Son of God clears out the Temple of God. Jesus was the only one with the power to do so… and the people allowed it to happen. They must have known what they were doing was inappropriate. Jesus was teaching Israel they had become fruitless and corrupt. It was also a time for Jesus teach about having faith in God and healed relationships. Jesus shows us that He is the true King.

1) Put yourself in the story of Jesus clearing out the Temple. What do you think the tone of the space was like? How do you think people responded? Why do you think people listened to Jesus and didn’t simply brush Him off?

2) Read Mark 11:12-14. In what way was the Israel of Jesus day fruitless? God gave instruction of Abraham about his role (Genesis 12:1-3). Israel was to be a blessing to all. Jeremiah spoke against the fruitlessness of Israel (read Jeremiah 8:13).

3) Read John 15:1-17. What kind of fruit is Jesus referring to in John 15:5? Where is God using your life to produce fruit for the Kingdom of God? How can you avoid a similar fate as fruitless Israel? How can you help others produce fruit?

4) Jesus was outraged that the temple had become a place of commerce rather than prayer and worship (read Mark 11:15-18 and Isaiah 56:7). How can we focus more on prayer and worship in our personal lives?

5) Jesus encouraged Peter to have faith in God. We need to believe in God for what we ask in prayer. We also need to learn to pray for God’s will. Read Matthew 7:7-8, John 15:7, & 1 John 5:14-15). What can we learn about praying God’s will?

6) Read Mark 11:25. Jesus was serious about not holding anything against a person when we are praying. Throughout Scripture this was a consistent message of being in right relationship (read Matthew 5:23-24, 18:21-22, & Romans 12:18). Do you need to make a relationship right to bring unity to the body (Colossians 2:2-3)?

7) Our passage ends with an interaction between Jesus and the religious leaders Mark 11:27-33). Why didn’t Jesus answer their question and tell them that He is the Son of God who came to take away the sins of the world?

Close your time in prayer.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Mark 11:1-11 Small Group Questions

Our church is currently studying the book of Mark. For twenty-eight weeks we're walking through the book and talking about the action-packed story of Jesus. Mark was more concerned with what Jesus did than what Jesus said. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ::: Here Comes the King ::: Mark 11:1-11

Since the beginning of Mark 9 we’ve seen that Jesus has turned His attention to Jerusalem. Much of Jesus’ ministry took place around the Sea of Galilee but now Jesus has moved His attention to Jerusalem (see Luke 13:33). Jesus entrance to Jerusalem is a spectacular event. Crowds lined the streets and praised the coming King. The same crowd that shouted HOSANNA will be the same crowd that shouts: “Crucify Him!” The world has praised many kings but Jesus reveals to us that He is the true King. Jesus is the one who is worthy of all praise and honor. Let’s about the coming King. 

1) Who are some people that are praised as a king? What is so important that our culture will willingly hand out this title, and address, people with this title? 

2) Read Mark 11:1-3. As Jesus approached Jerusalem He sent two of the disciples to find a colt that was tied up. Compare what Mark wrote with the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9. Do you think the Israelites made the connection? 

3) The disciples act in obedience to what Jesus asked them to do (read Mark 11:4-6). Throughout Scripture we see that God desires obedience from us (read John 15:14, Deuteronomy 11:1, & Micah 6:8). Where is God calling you to obedience?  

4) Why would Jesus ride a donkey (read Mark 11:7). In Ancient Israel, riding a donkey was a symbol of peace (Joshua 9:3-8, 1 Samuel 16:20, Isaiah 9:6). Where has Jesus brought peace to your life? 

5) Hosanna is a Hebrew expression meaning to: “Save!” The people cried for Jesus to save them. What did they need to be saved from? What is going on in your life that you need Jesus to save you from? 

6) The people who praised Jesus were quoting Psalm 118:25-26. The crowd was filled with: political activists, men, women, disciples, and people just joining the crowd to see what would happen. Where are you in your walk with Jesus?  

7) The Psalms teach us about worshiping the Lord (read Psalm 29:2, 96:9, & 100). The Bible is filled with different ways to worship the Lord: singing songs, giving, listening to songs, confession of sin, serving, and praising God’s name are just a few. How would you like to focus on worshipping the Lord this week? 

Close your time in prayer. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Mark 10:46-52 Small Group Questions


Our church is currently studying the book of Mark. For twenty-eight weeks we're walking through the book and talking about the action-packed story of Jesus. Mark was more concerned with what Jesus did than what Jesus said. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ::: Healing Faith ::: Mark 10:46-52

Mark let us know that Jesus is leading the way to Jerusalem. As He progresses towards His destination we see a unique interaction. Jesus ceases His forward progress to listen to the request of a blind beggar. Throughout the Gospel we’ve seen Jesus interact with the least of these all the way to the religious leaders. Jericho is the last city before Jesus heads to Jerusalem. Notice the details Mark provides in this interaction. The crowd is unreceptive to Bartimaeus until Jesus is receptive. Bartimaeus is obviously blind, but Jesus asks him a poignant question. Jesus shows up that everyone matters to God. Jesus teaches us that in Him we find the wholeness we desire.

1) Have you ever had a disease that limited your ability to function in life? Have you ever been hospitalized or been in a situation where the doctors didn’t know how to solve the ailments you experienced?

2) Bartimaeus addresses Jesus as; “The Son of David.” This is the first time in Mark we see that title associated with Jesus. Read Isaiah 11:1, Jeremiah 23:5-6, 2 Samuel 7:12-16. What does Scripture teach us about Jesus coming in the line of king David?

3) Read Mark 10:46-49. As Bartimaeus was shouting for Jesus the crowd rebuked Him. There will come times in our life that people want to hold us back from following Jesus. Read 1 Corinthians 15:33 and talk about how you can continue to pursue Jesus even when those around you discourage you from doing so.

4) Read Mark 10:48-49. The crowd rebuked Bartimaeus but when Jesus spoke up to Bartimaeus their attitude change. Read Matthew 25:31-46 and talk about how your group can treat the least of these in our community. Talk about serving with Coastline on Saturday February 24 and SurfRider.

5) Bartimaeus asked Jesus to show him mercy. The apostle Paul speaks of the mercy God showed to him (read 1 Timothy 1:13). How has God shown you mercy?

6) When Bartimaeus was face to face with Jesus he is asked what he wants (read Mark 10:50-51). What would you ask Jesus today?

7) In Mark 10 we see two different men with two different responses to Jesus. Read Mark 10:24 & 10:52. Compare the responses of these men and discus their actions. What held one back and gave the other freedom. How does each story close?

Close your time in prayer.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Mark 10:32-45 Small Group Questions


Our church is currently studying the book of Mark. For twenty-eight weeks we're walking through the book and talking about the action-packed story of Jesus. Mark was more concerned with what Jesus did than what Jesus said. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ::: Road Trip Conversations ::: Mark 10:32-45

As Mark continues to follow Jesus to Jerusalem we see a few very personal interactions between Jesus and the disciples. Throughout the Gospel of Mark we read that Jesus had a public teaching and then Jesus would give an explanation or a deeper teaching to the disciples. Staring in Mark 8 we read that Jesus told the disciples that He would be giving up His life. Now in Mark 10, we read that Jesus explains this will happen in Jerusalem. After that we see another example of the disciples not clearly understanding their role as servants in the Kingdom of God. Study these questions for to gain a better understanding of what is happening Mark.

1) Studies show that almost 40% of Americans are planning to take a road trip in the spring or the summer. Share about the most memorable road trip you’ve ever taken.

2) In Mark 10:32-34 we read about the third time, in the Gospel of Mark, that Jesus has talked about His upcoming death. The first two are in: Mark 8:31-32 & 9:30-32. Read the three passages and talk about how Jesus is preparing for the cross.

3) The Prophets wrote about the coming of the Messiah and what would take place (read Romans 1:2). Isaiah foretells the death of Jesus in Isaiah 52:13-53:12. What part of Jesus going to the cross sticks out most to you?

4) Read Mark 10:35-40. We read that James and John asked Jesus a selfish question. Where do you find yourself asking Jesus selfish questions that primary benefit your life? Ask the group to pray for you to grow in the areas that are shared.

5) Jesus told the disciples He would take the wrath of God while hanging on the cross. Jesus took the wrath so we could have salvation in Him (1 Thessalonians 5:9, Romans 5:9, & John 3:36). How have you seen Jesus save you from God’s wrath?

6) Although we see a selfish attitude in the disciples, Jesus knew they would mature. Read Acts 2:14-15, 42-47, and 3:1-10 see some of the ways the disciples began to serve the early church.  

7) Jesus commands the disciples to choose to serve others (read Mark 10:43-44). Where is God inviting you to serve in your home, community or at Coastline? What steps will you take to obey God in this or seek His desire for you to serve?

Close your time in prayer.

Monday, March 02, 2020

Mark 10:1-31 Small Group Questions


Our church is currently studying the book of Mark. For twenty-eight weeks we're walking through the book and talking about the action-packed story of Jesus. Mark was more concerned with what Jesus did than what Jesus said. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone

Small Group Questions ::: Household Matters ::: Mark 10:1-31

As Jesus continues making His way to Jerusalem, Mark shares several teaching moments of Jesus. In this passage we learn about household matters. There is a natural progression of marriage, to children, to whom we choose to worship. Things in the home impact how we view children, which stem from our commitment to Jesus. These verses might be some of the most difficult to study because of the toll that  divorce has on a person’s life. Take time to study these questions as a group and be sensitive to the working of the Holy Spirit in the time of your group. Someone might have areas of pain from their childhood or decisions that have left scars.

1) How would you describe our cultures current view on marriage and divorce? How is this impacting the family unit and young children?

2) God’s original intent for marriage was a lifetime commitment (read Genesis 2:24). Moses permitted the Israelites to divorce because their hearts were hard (read Deuteronomy 24:1-4). What was Jesus longing to see happen (read Mark 10:9)?

3) In a private teaching, Jesus taught the disciples about marriage (read Mark 10:1-12).  How do you think the importance of this teaching impacted the disciples? Look at Hebrews 13:4 in connection with this verse and talk more about marriage.

4) Jesus used a child to teach a lesson on humility (read Mark 9:35-37). Why do we so often try to avoid being as vulnerable as a little child? How come we have a hard time trusting that God will provide all our needs (read Proverbs 3:5-6).

5) For Jesus to embrace the little child and talk about welcoming children in His name is a big deal (Mark 10:13-16). Do you find yourself viewing children as a blessing or a burden? Where is God asking you to invest in the life of a younger believer?

6) The rich young ruler couldn’t loosen the grip that money had on his heart (read Mark 10:17-27). He might be the only person to leave Jesus’ presence worse off then when he came. What is an important lesson that you’ve learned about money? How can you use money to build God’s kingdom?  

7) Neal shared that we all have something in our life that can hold us back from following Jesus. If you were to fall at the feet of Jesus, what is the one thing He would ask you to leave so you can follow Him?

Close your time in prayer and pray for Bring a friend Sunday on February 2.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Mark 9:30-50 Small Group Questions


Our church is currently studying the book of Mark. For twenty-eight weeks we're walking through the book and talking about the action-packed story of Jesus. Mark was more concerned with what Jesus did than what Jesus said. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ::: Preparing for Eternity ::: Mark 9:30-50

Throughout the Gospel Jesus came with a teaching ministry. Some of it has been taught with words, and other times with action. At the end of Mark 8 we saw Jesus turn His focus to Jerusalem and the cross. Jesus will have a good economy of His time on earth and help the disciples focus on eternity. In this passage we see a series of events that all connected through the theme of eternity. Jesus begins by addressing His upcoming death, moves to settle a dispute among the disciples, helps John learn about church unity, and reminds us about character. Work through these questions and talk about how you are preparing for eternity.

1) If you had been invited to one of he private sessions Jesus had with the disciples, what question(s) would you ask Him?

2) Jesus came with the intention to teach people about the Kingdom of God and new thing He was doing (see Mark 1:21, 2:13, 3:23, & 4:1). As Jesus taught the disciples about His upcoming death they really didn’t understand (read Mark 9:30-32). What made it hard for them to understand it?

3) The disciples began arguing about who would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (read Mark 9:33-34 and Luke 9:46). How come it is so easy for us to turn to our selfish desires and ambitions? When have you seen the selfish behavior of people hinder where God was working?

4) Jesus used a child to teach a lesson on humility (read Mark 9:35-37). Why do we so often try to avoid being as vulnerable as a little child? How come we have a hard time trusting that God will provide all our needs (read Proverbs 3:5-6).

5) For Jesus to embrace the little child and talk about welcoming children in His name is a big deal. Do you find yourself viewing children as a blessing or a burden? Where is God asking you to invest in the life of a younger believer?

6) All too often local churches can perceive another church as an enemy (read Mark 9:38-41). Pastor Neal talked about Coastline being a church where we talk up other churches and rejoice in kingdom advancement. What does that look like in your life?  

7) Our passage ends with a teaching on character & avoiding sin (read Mark 9:42-50). What have you set up in your life to help you avoid sin? How is it working?

Close your time in prayer and ask God to transform your life for Him in 2020.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Mark 9:14-29 Small Group Questions


Our church is currently studying the book of Mark. For twenty-eight weeks we're walking through the book and talking about the action-packed story of Jesus. Mark was more concerned with what Jesus did than what Jesus said. A big "Thank you!" to Joey Ross for preaching this week and writing these questions for us. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ::: Stick-to-itiveness ::: Mark 9:14-29

Coming down from a mountain top experience is never easy, even for Jesus.  As Marks gospel continues to unfold, we get a glimpse into the events that have taken place with the 9 disciples left behind when Jesus was away.  And while there are many incredible characters and themes found in this passage, including one of the most relatable prayers in all of Scripture, the main point Mark seems to want to drive home is the need for any disciple of Jesus to continually devote themselves to doing life with Jesus, that nothing should become merely mechanical.  It severs as a reminder to us, that life with God is about living in continual reliance upon him. Open up to Mark 9:14-29 as you read the story unfolding

1) All of us go through stages in our relationship with God.  Typically it goes something like committing ourselves to Christ, a time of exciting growth with Jesus, serving Jesus, etc…  For many of us though there are ruts we fall into at some point in our journey.  Periods where things maybe seem stagnant, or where we just start going through the motions.  Have you ever had an experience like that?  Share a little bit of the challenges you have experienced.

2) Read Mark 9:14-29.  What stands out to you in this passage as you read it together.  Maybe there is a character you can relate to, phrase that stands out to you, or something that seems confusing.  If you want maybe, even share what stood out to you in the sermon this week that impacted your understanding of the passage.

3) Jesus is constantly surrounded by injustice, often times taking on the form of sick and demonically oppressed children (Mark 5:23; 6:56; 7:26 to name just a few).  In our culture, we hear about injustices all the time and as a result it is so easy to start to experience “empathy fatigue,” but that’s not the case with Jesus. How does Jesus show empathy in this passage?  What things does he not only do but say? (Hint read Mark 1:41; 6:34; 8:2)

4) Read Matthew 17:19-20 which is a parallel passage and Mark 9:23; 28-29.  Sadly these passages can be misinterpreted that healing is contingent on the size of our faith (Matthew 17:20 should be translated disbelief, not little faith), rather than the object of our faith (even in the smallest faith in Jesus is enough).  Discuss the difference, and any damages you have seen because of misuse of this passage.

5) One of Marks favorite words in his gospel is immediately, three times it is used in this passage alone.  The term doesn’t mean in a hurry (Jesus was never rushed like we tend to live) but it carries the idea of without thinking, second nature, subconsciously.    Take note of each time the word is used here.  What are the immediate reaction of the crowd, the demonic spirit, and the father?  What is the natural reaction of your heart when you encounter Jesus?  Fear? Wonder? Desperation? Excitement?

6) Jesus tells his disciples about his coming death and resurrection in 8:31-33 and again in 9:30-32. Sandwiched between these passages is the Mount of Transfiguration as well as the healing of a boy in which he eventually gets worse (appears dead) before he gets better and is lifted by Jesus to new life (resurrected).  Why do you think Mark places these stories between Jesus prediction?  What is Mark trying to tell us.

7) Reread Mark 9:28-29. Jesus says the disciples were unsuccessful because they didn’t pray, but ironically this passage doesn’t record any prayer by Jesus either.  It seems that Jesus is not pointing to a ritualistic, eyes closed, hands together prayer, but a lifestyle of prayer.  Think of it like a lifestyle of prayer. Where in your life do you find yourself becoming self-reliant instead of relying on God? What are some ways/practices you can put into your life in order to become more aware of Jesus in your everyday life and remain in contact with him?

Close your time in prayer and ask God to continue to transform your life for Him in 2020.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Mark 9:2-13 Small Group Questions


Our church is currently studying the book of Mark. For twenty-eight weeks we're walking through the book and talking about the action-packed story of Jesus. Mark was more concerned with what Jesus did than what Jesus said. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ||| A Life Changing Experience ||| Mark 9:2-13

As Mark continues to document the life and ministry of Jesus we experience a phenomenal event in time; the day Jesus was transformed. Many authors call it “The Transfiguration of Jesus” and rightly so. Jesus brings three of the disciples up a high mountain where He is transfigured right before their eyes. There is debate on what mountain this took place on, but the location is not a high priority. The priority is what happened on that mountain and what the men saw. This story gives us a glimpse into what Heaven will be like: saints who’ve passed away, those who love Jesus, and God will be present. Open your Bible to Mark 9:2 and study this amazing passage.

1) Share a time when you were transformed by the mighty power of God. What changed in your life because of that experience with God? As you look back on that event, how has the course of your life been altered?

2) The transformation of Jesus in Mark 9:2-8. is also found in Matthew 17:1-8 and Luke 9:28-36. Read all three accounts and talk about similarities and any differences that are provided. What sticks out most to you about the different accounts?

3) Neal mentioned that on the mount of transfiguration we get a glimpse into heaven. When you think about heaven, what has shaped your knowledge of it most? Have we allowed media or Scripture to shape our understanding of heaven? Turn to those passages in Scripture and talk about the greatness of Heaven.

4) Read Mark 9:7, Exodus 19:9 and 40:34. In both accounts we read that God came in a cloud. In Exodus God used the cloud to guide, protect, and speak to Israel. What is the significance of God speaking from the cloud in this passage?

5) On the mountain top Jesus was transformed in the presence of the disciples. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome and Corinth about the transforming work of God. Read 2 Corinthians 3:18 and Romans 12:1-2, then talk about the transforming work of Jesus that you see currently happening.

6) What are some areas that you would like to see the Gospel transform your life? Are they areas of relationship, goals, health, or spiritual transformation?

7) Near the end of our passage we read about a connection between Elijah and John the Baptist. Read 1 Kings 19:1-5 and Mark 6:21-25. Discuss the similarities.

Close your time in prayer and ask God to transform your life for Him in 2020.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Mark 8:22-9:1 Small Group Questions


Our church is currently studying the book of Mark. For twenty-eight weeks we're walking through the book and talking about the action-packed story of Jesus. Mark was more concerned with what Jesus did than what Jesus said. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ||| Who do you say Jesus is? ||| Mark 8:22-9:1

Mark 8 continues with a miraculous healing of a blind man. This is one of the seven recorded healings of a blind man in the Gospel accounts. From the Northern Shore of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus brings the Disciples to the base of Mount Hermon. The mountain region are where revolutions are formed. Jesus asks the disciples who the people say He is. Peter responds with a succinct answer about the Messiah. At this Jesus reveals that His ultimate plan is to give up His life so that humanity can find freedom. If Jesus will die, that also means the disciples will share a death for being His followings. Study Mark 8:22-9:1 to see how we can live for Jesus today.

1) The Gospels share about seven blind men who were healed. Study these three miraculous healings (read: Matthew 9:27-31, Mark 8:22-26, and Luke 18:35-43). What are the similarities and differences in these healings?

2) Jesus brought the disciples to a place where idol worship was prominent. What are some common idols of our day/century? How does this relate to the Old Testament Commandment not to have any gods before God? (see Exodus 20:3)

3) Mark tells us that the people in Israel related Jesus to some of the most famous Israelites (read Mark 8:27-30). Why do you think the people thought that Jesus was John the Baptist, Elijah, or Jeremiah (Matthew 16:14).

4) The disciples knew who the crowd said Jesus was. Then Jesus turned and asked them a bold question (read Mark 8:29-30). Who you say Jesus is? In light of trusting Jesus, how has that changed the way you live your life?

5) Jesus began to teach the disciples that He must suffer and die. Suffering is a common theme for those who follow Jesus. Read Acts 9:15-16, Romans 5:3-5, and 1 Peter 4:16). How do you feeling about suffering for Jesus?

6) If a neighbor or close friend asked you to explain why Jesus had to suffer and die, what would your response be? Substitutionary atonement is the theological truth that Jesus atoned for our sins when we couldn’t (Read Hebrews 10:1-10, 1 Timothy 2:5-6, and 2 Corinthians 5:21)

7) Jesus taught the crowd that if they lost their life for the Gospel they would find it (read Mark 8:34-38). What holds people back from finding life in Jesus?

Close your time in prayer

Monday, February 10, 2020

Church Rebuilding

Rebuilding a church is not for the faint of heart.

As my family began exploring the idea of coming to serve at Coastline we knew the church had been through a difficult season. I actually connected with a pastor in town and talked with him about the church. He told me the pain. Shared the division. I think he even said: "I wouldn't wish that church on my best friend." I know his best friend! But to me it sounded like a challenge that God was inviting us to take part in. The funny thing is he even said something to the effect of: "Now that I've said that, I'm sure you think it's a challenge."

Rebuilding a church has been one of the greatest challenges and greatest blessings in ministry. The people at Coastline have loved and embraced my family in such unique, special, and meaningful ways. The church walked with us through the loss of my dad, the loss of my stepdad, and the trails with my mom.

But rebuilding a church is not for the faint of heart.

In May of 2018 we had to try something new. The room we hold our worship services in can seat 350+ and we had been running around 200. We were testing a pilot version of two identical worship gatherings and needed something to get people sitting closer together. My ideas was to use ropes to require people to sit closer to the front of the room. It would help eliminate large gaps between people.

The decision wasn't rash. Our staff had talked through multiple ideas.
Our Elders processed the idea.
Our staff and elders helped me put up the ropes and try different versions of the idea.

Then we got this note in the offering


I will be the first to say that it was discouraging. But it was also encouraging.
Rub your eyes and read that line again, you heard me right.

How I read the note is this: "I hate your ropes. I'll be leaving the ch...."
It seems the person was so mad that they couldn't even finish the sentence. I knew we were doing something right though. We needed to not just physically move at Coastline, but we needed to spiritually move. Hate is not a fruit of the Spirit (please read Galatians 5). God was, and still is, doing a new thing at Coastline. He used the ropes to push us in different ways.

If God has called you to rebuild a church, keep rebuilding. Keep moving forward with the vision He has given you. It is your responsibility to follow that vision.

Thursday, February 06, 2020

Mark 8:1-21 Small Group Questions


Our church is currently studying the book of Mark. For twenty-eight weeks we're walking through the book and talking about the action-packed story of Jesus. Mark was more concerned with what Jesus did than what Jesus said. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ||| The Day Jesus Was Upset ||| Mark 8:1-21

As we reach the half way point in the Gospel of Mark we are going to see a miracle of provision. The feeding of the 4000 takes place in the region of the Decapolis. The area is a collection of ten cities that are just over the Golan Heights (to the east of the Sea of Galilee). The location is important for this feeding because it continues to show Jesus’ love for Gentile people and His desire for them to know God. In Mark 8 we see Jesus and disciples move from location to location. The feeding leads into a healthy lesson on understanding the truth of God and rejecting the false teaching of the Pharisees.

1) Read Mark 6:30-44 and 8:1-10. Discuss what are the main differences in the miraculous provision of Jesus in these accounts. Pastor Neal said that the first feeding was primarily to the Jews and the second primality to the Gentiles what is the significance in knowing that?

2) Read Mark 8:6. Why did Jesus look up to heaven when He gave thanks for the loaves of bread? Read John 6:35 and talk about Jesus’ bold statement about Him being the bread of life.

3) Pastor Neal asked us to choose one thing to focus on growing in this week. Did you choose: Compassion, removing harsh language, or having a thankful heart? How is it going working on growing in this area of your life?

4) The relationship between Jesus and Pharisees has been heating up. What made it so hard for them to understand that Jesus is the Messiah? Do you think the Pharisees neglected God’s heart for the Gentiles to be saved (read Isaiah 49:6)?

5) The Bible uses leaven as a picture of false doctrine (Galatians 5:1-9), unjudged sin in the church (1 Corinthians 5), and hypocrisy (Luke 12:1). Jesus warned the disciples about the teaching of the Pharisees. How can we avoid these things?

6) The Psalmist spoke about hiding God’s word in his heart (read Psalm 119:11). Where are you currently reading in your Bible and what is God teaching you?

7) Jesus made it a point to redeem down time for teaching time. He instructed the disciples while they traveled. Is there an area in your life where you can redeem some time and use it to build into the Kingdom of God?

Close your time in prayer

Monday, January 27, 2020

Mark 7 Small Group Questions


Our church is currently studying the book of Mark. For twenty-eight weeks we're walking through the book and talking about the action-packed story of Jesus. Mark was more concerned with what Jesus did than what Jesus said. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions || |An Inside Out Healing ||| Mark 7

In Mark 7 we see a beautifully crafted narrative of the work of Jesus. First, the Pharisees send a delegation to visit Jesus. The last time this occurred was back in Mark 2. They present a problem to Jesus that is all about tradition but cloaked in Scripture. Mark has created the tension between human tradition and God’s word. The very next account shows this lived out; Jesus interacts with a Gentile woman with a demon possessed daughter. We see the boldness of a parent and power of God in their interaction. Mark concludes the chapter by emphasizing how Jesus came to reach everyone. Open your small group in prayer and talk about the word of Jesus! 

1) The Pharisees brought a human tradition problem to Jesus presented as a Scriptural issue (read Mark 7:1-13). What are the positive and negative effects of longtime tradition? What are the benefits of Scripture over tradition? 

2) Jesus gives a short parable to explain His teaching (read Mark 7:14-19). Jesus addressed the internal condition of a person and freedom from the Law. Quickly look at Acts 10-11 and talk about how these stories emphasize Gentile inclusion in the Kingdom of God. 

3) Look at the list from Jesus in Mark 7:20-23 and look at what Paul wrote to the early church in Galatians 5:19-23. How come there is no law against the fruit of the Spirit? Ezekiel tells us that a person can experience the renovation of his/her through the power of God (Ezekiel 36:26). 

4) Read what Jesus said to the Greek woman in Mark 6:24-30. Jesus knew His role was to prepare Israel to spread the Gospel (Matthew 15:24). Read what Paul wrote in Romans 15:8-9. What is our role in spreading the message of Jesus? 

5) God’s plan is for people to become children of God. Study Romans 8:14-17 and talk about what are the benefits of being a child or God, what is required of being a child of God, and how does one become a child of God?

6) In the last part of Mark 7 we read about a man who was deaf and mute (read Mark 7:31-36). Read what Isaiah the prophet said about the miracles the Messiah would accomplish (Isaiah 35:5-6). Have you ever seen some miraculously healed?  

7) As we near the holiday season take some time to plan a date for your small group to get our and serve our community, help a friend of a friend, a single-parent, or someone who is need this season. 

Close your time in prayer 

Friday, January 24, 2020

Mark 6:30-56 Small Group Questions


Our church is currently studying the book of Mark. For twenty-eight weeks we're walking through the book and talking about the action-packed story of Jesus. Mark was more concerned with what Jesus did than what Jesus said. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ||| Don’t turn a blind eye ||| Mark 6:30-56

The Gospel of Mark has been an action packed story of the life of Jesus. In the first half of Mark 6 we read about three unique stories that Jesus experienced. In the middle of the chapter, Jesus sent the disciples out to preach the Gospel. The disciples return to give Jesus a report but are unable to do so because of a large crowd. Jesus multiples fish and loaves to feed 5000 men. This is a miracle of provision like has never been seen before. Then Jesus walks on water to meet the disciples in the middle of a storm. We learn about how Jesus loves people and has power over creation.

1) The overzealous crowd was unwilling to leave Jesus alone to heard the report from the disciples (read Mark 6:30-34). Compare and contrast how Jesus saw the crowd versus how the disciples saw the crowd.

2) The word used for “compassion” in Mark 6:34 is the same word used in Luke 10:33. What are some ways that Jesus calls Christians to live a life of compassion? Come up with a list of 10-20 ways your group can show compassion this week.

3) Jesus wanted to feed the crowd by instructing the disciples to give them something to eat (Mark 6:37). Make a list of what Jesus taught people about the nature of God by doing this. Where is Jesus asking you to give people spiritual food that will help them know the wild love of God?

4) Jesus had a practice of spending time with God on a regular basis (read Mark 1:35, 6:46, Luke 4:42). What can you eliminate from your life to spend more with God?

5) Think about the disciples rowing the boat against the wind in the middle of the lake. What is a storm you are are currently battling and you need Jesus to help you get through it? What does Mark teach us about the love of Jesus that He would walk through a storm to meet the disciples in their anguish?

6) When Jesus got into the boat the wind died down (read Mark 6:51). Think about other religions and the need to appease gods. What does this story teach us about the nature of Jesus and His power over creation (if you have time read Psalm 89:9, 107:25-30, and Matthew 21:18-22).

7) Mark gives us two examples of Jesus power over creation. What do these examples teach us about the love of God?

Close your time in prayer.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Mark 6:1-29 Small Group Questions


Our church is currently studying the book of Mark. For twenty-eight weeks we're walking through the book and talking about the action-packed story of Jesus. Mark was more concerned with what Jesus did than what Jesus said. For this series I volunteered to write the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions ||| A Snapshot of Ministry ||| Mark 6:1-29

The Gospel of Mark has been an action packed story of the life of Jesus. Mark chose to focus more on what Jesus did than what Jesus said. In the first half of Mark 6, we study three stories of Jesus encountering people. First, Jesus is rejected in His home. Second, Jesus sends out the disciples. Third, Jesus hears the news about John the Baptist being beheaded. These words in Scripture show us the compassion of Jesus, the leadership of Jesus, and the compassion of Jesus to help more people find the wild love of God. Study these questions together to grow in your faith.

1) What dynamics of a “hometown” would have made it difficult for Jesus to be  fully accepted in Nazareth (read Mark 6:1-6a)? What struggles do we encounter in our hometown that can make it tough to share the love of Jesus?

2) The people in Nazareth almost killed Jesus on His last visit (Luke 4:14-30). Mark tells us that Jesus was amazed at their lack of faith. What causes people to have such a lack of faith?

3) In Mark 3 Jesus called the Apostles. Then in Mark 5, Jesus modeled what they are to do. Now in Mark 6:6a-13 we read that Jesus sent them out. What would have been the most difficult part about being an Apostle?

4) Mark makes a note about the obedience of the Apostles. Pastor Neal told us that many people are “educated beyond their obedience.” Have you found that you know more about the love of Jesus than you put into practice or share with others?

5) One model of leadership has a five step process of teaching people how to do a job, task, or ministry. Is there an area of ministry you are currently serving in that you could find a person to come alongside you and raise them up to serve in that area?

6) The story of Herod and John the Baptist is a tragic account of a saint loosing his life. Share about the life of a saint, who has gone to be with Jesus, that radically impacted your life for the gospel.

7) Read Mark 6:14-29. Talk about the obvious sin and lack of leadership involved expressed in this story. What lessons do you learn (good or bad) that can help us as we seek to follow Jesus in our daily life?

Close your time in prayer. Be bold in asking for Jesus to restore you or others.