Childlike- The obstacle of the banal

Ice Breaker

1.     This week Pastor Josh talked about the obstacle of the banal or another way to say it, the obstacle of everyone is doing it.  Throughout the years we’ve all gotten caught up in fads that everyone is doing.  Share about one of the things you wore or bought that looking back you can’t believe you did.

Diving In

2.     We all struggle with taking our cues in life from what everyone else is doing, values or thinks.  3 guys had those things become hurdles that kept them from following Jesus.  Discuss these 3 men and their responses from Luke 9:57-62.  Who’s excuses do you most relate to?  How do these hurdles trip you up?

a.     57-58- Finding your security in yourself or your things vs God.

b.     59-60- Finding your joy in stuff and status vs God.

c.      61-62- Finding your approval from others vs God.

3.     What step could you take this week to start the process of living out childlike faith and finding your security, joy, and approval in Him?

Childlike- The obstacle of predictability

Ice Breaker

1.     This week we talked about the obstacle of predictability.  Some people love predictability and others hate it.  Where do you fall?  Are you super predictable or love the unpredictable?

Diving In

2.     In regards to predictability and God we often put God in a box, never allowing him to surprise us, challenge us, or show us something new, thus stifling the creativity of God.  Why can a predictable God sometimes sound better? 

3.     In a culture that scientifically can “know” so much.  How does this mindset push back on the grandeur of God?  Ps. 145:3/ Ps. 139:6, 17/ 1 Cor. 2:10-12/ Is. 55:8-9/ Rom 11:33

4.     In Mark 6:44-52 you see the disciples experience the power of Christ once again in their lives.  Yet Jesus is trying to get them to not box the power of God into a single format as you see in vs 51-52.  How were the loaves intended to set them up for the challenge on the lake?

5.     Discuss this statement:  We can embrace the NATURE of God as predictable while the ACTIONS of God can remain unpredictable.

Powerpoint Slides

Childlike: the obstacle of the dream stealers

Ice Breaker

1.     This week we looked at our dreams in life.  Share one dream thing in your life…dream job, dream car, dream vacation, dream place to live, dream skill/ ability.

Diving In

2.     This week we looked at Zacchaeus. (We’ll call him Zac for short)  Luke 19:1-10.  Pastor Josh talked about some of his life dreams culturally as a Jew that had been lost.  What was most interesting or impactful when thinking about Zac and the life and job he chose?

3.     As a tax collector Zac had turned his back on his family, his community, his God.  He let go of the Jewish dream of being a respected member of the community.  Are there dreams you’ve turned your back on either in the past or recently, and why?  Are there any you wonder if God will ever bring to the surface again?

4.     Zac’s promise in verse 8 to repay anyone who he’s stolen from and to give to the poor is a big statement which demonstrates him sprinting back toward the dream of living respectable and an honorable life.  Have you ever been desperate for a dream to be restored?  How did your desperation come out?  How do we practically sprint to Jesus with our dreams?

5.     Not only is the dream restored for Zac but Zac himself is also restored.  Discuss the statement “God not only restores dreams he restores dreamers.” 

Childlike- Destoying Dullness of the Gospel

Ice Breaker

1.     This week we launched into a new series called Childlike.  What was one of your childhood dreams?  To be, to do, to have, to go?

Diving In

2.     Jesus said in Mark 10:15 that anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.  Where have you lost child-likeness in your faith journey?

3.     This week we focus on seeing the Good News through the eyes of a child.  Discuss each of the elements of the gospel and how we can lose childlike wonder, gravity, and appreciation.

a.     We were made for Him.  Rom. 11:36/ Col. 1:16

b.     Sin separated us from Him.  Rom. 3:23, 6:23,

c.      Christ paid the price for us. Rom. 5:6-8, 2 Cor. 5:21

d.     We can receive the gift of grace.  Eph 2:8-9

4.     What happened to the kind of Christians who were filled with passion and gratitude, and who every day were unable to get over the grace of God?  How can we be “dangerous” to a dull and boring religion?

Awakening Hope- The Great Exchange

Ice Breaker

1.     If you could exchange a gift from Christmas, which would it have been and for what?

Diving In

2.     This week we looked at Isaiah 61:3.  It’s a beautiful list of exchanges that Lord has for His people.  Discuss these 3 main topics Pastor Josh talked about.  What exchanges need to be made in your life in these areas?  How do you practically do that?

a.     His Beauty- be On you

b.     His Joy- be In you

c.      His Praise- Come Out of you

3.     The people are called oaks of righteousness.  What do you often call yourself in your mind?  What does God call you?

4.     We are a planting for the display of His splendor…where do you think God is using you to be a display of His splendor?

Awakening Hope- For the mourners

Ice Breaker

1.     This week Pastor Josh talked about those who mourn or grieve.  Share a time when you cried in a movie that you can’t believe/ or were embarrassed you cried at.

Diving In

2.     Isaiah 61:2-3 describes how Christ came to comfort those who mourn.  When have you experienced His comfort in a time of grief or mourning?

3.     What do we learn about His comfort and how He uses our times of grief for others in 2 Cor. 1:3-6?

4.     Not only does he comfort us, he also gives us direction toward hope.  The Hebrew word Suwm means to direct us toward.  How has God provided direction for you when facing grief in the past?

5.     How did you grow up handling sadness?  Discuss the fact that sadness is not eliminated nor is it sinful.  Jesus too wept.  Has your view of how you engage  grief been impacted?

Awakening Hope- For the captives and prisoners

Ice Breaker

1.     This week we’re talking about living free.  Most of us have had a run in with the cops that shook us up but we were let off the hook.  Share one of those times.

Diving In

2.     Isaiah 61:1 describes a few attributes of the coming messiah.  This week we looked at liberty for the captives and freedom for those in prison.  When you think about being a captive, this is about being caught.  We sometimes find ourselves getting caught in the grips of sin.  We see Joseph set a good model of what to do when sin is trying to grab you.  (Gen 39:12)  The Hebrew word in Isaiah 61 translated liberty also means to run.  What are practical ways to run when you’re in the grips of sin?  (running is different for different temptations like pride, selfishness, gossip, sexual temptation, etc)

3.     Pastor Josh talked about when we run we don’t just run from…we run to.  (2 Tim 2:22)  Discuss how you can practically run toward the things described in 2 Timothy.

4.     Freedom for the prisoners is literally about the prisoners eyes being opened.  Pastor Josh talked about 2 steps in our eyes being opened.  Discuss each of these steps and the scripture associated with them.

a.     Step 1- open your eyes to the reality that the prison gates are open.  Rom. 8:1-2.

b.     Step 2- open your eyes to who He says you are.  2 Cor. 3:17-18. 

Awakening Hope- For the brokenhearted

Ice Breaker

1.     We’ve all experienced heartbreak or having broken someone’s heart.  Share a worst/ funny/ or awkward heartbreak.

Diving In

2.     Isaiah 61:1 has the promise that the messiah will bind up the brokenhearted.  This word bind up is Chabash-which also can be translated to saddle.  How are our hearts sometimes wild like a horse?  How does the picture of him saddling our wild hearts impact you?

3.     Proverbs 4:23-27 gives us instruction of ways to guard our hearts from being hurt.  Discuss these 4 critical steps to guard the heart.  How have you fallen prey to not guarding your heart in these areas?  How can you grow in these areas?

a.     Vs 24- Put Perversity and corrupt talk away from your lips.

b.     Vs 25- Let your eyes look straight ahead…what is getting your attention?

c.      Vs 26- Make levels paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm.

d.     Vs 27- Do not swerve (or bend) to the right or left, keep your foot from evil.

4.     Are there places in your life that you’re still trying to control that you need to trust God with your heart and allow him to saddle it?

Awakening Hope- For those needing a miracle

Ice Breaker

1.     If you could ask God for a miracle…what would you ask for?

Diving In

2.     Pastor Josh talked about that while we will all face times in our lives when we turn our faces to heaven to ask God for a miracle there are 2 underlying needs within man’s heart which we long to have answered (regardless of the outcome of the requested miracle).  1.  To know God is with us.  2.  To know God is for us.  How does a miracle communicate those things?

3.     Read John 14:16-17.  How do you know God is with you?  How has He revealed his presence to you in your past times of need?

4.     Read Romans 8:28.  How do you know God is for you and for your good?  There are times when we can’t see God’s goodness in our lives in the middle of our situation, but when we get to the other side of it we can clearly see His goodness.  If you have a testimony to share like that, share it with the group.

5.     How can we walk in faith that God is a miracle worker even when the miracle doesn’t happen as we would hope at times?

Refresh- People of Peace

Ice Breaker

1.     In our crazy busy lives where do you experience a bit of peace?

Diving In

2.     Reread Luke 10:1-11.  What observations do you see in the person who brings peace?  The person who can receive it?  What can you learn about being rejected when we offer peace?

3.     In John 14:26-27 Jesus offers a peace that the world can’t offer.  In Phil 4:7 the apostle Paul describes Kingdom peace.  Have you experienced Kingdom peace before?  Discuss the dynamics of this Kingdom commodity.

4.     Read John 16:33.  Discuss this idea…He doesn’t promise a painless life, just a peace filled life.

5.     Pastor Josh talked about how our lives can be at war with the peace He offers.  Are there ways you’re actually living hostile toward His kingdom peace?

6.     With Refresh is there a practical way to bring peace to someone in your life and bless them through REFRESH?

Winning Week 6 - Winning with your Family

Ice Breaker

Go around the circle and talk about one of your favorite memories with your family.

Diving In

1. Are you looking forward to the holiday season and possibly seeing your family or extended family? Why or Why not?

2. Is there a relationship you wish you could hit the reset button on and just start over? 

3. Read Genesis 50:15-21 . What stands out as you read it? How do you thing you would have responded if you were in Joseph's shoes?

4. Pastor Buck asked us to fight for our Families in 3 ways:

  1. Believe God's plan is bigger than your pain.
  2. Release your right to be right
  3. Reassure through kind words

Which of these do you feel like God is asking your to work on? Which one do you find the hardest to practice? Which one of these do you feel like you need from someone else?


Winning- Week 5- In Who We Are Made To Be

Ice Breaker

1.     This week we are talking about Winning in who you are made to be.  Go around the room and have others share 3 things they love most about your personality.

Diving In

2.     This week we looked at the life of Moses.  When God called him to the life of leading the Israelites he came up with 4 arguments of why he couldn’t do it.  Discuss how we fall into these same ruts and sometimes miss God’s call for us.

a.     Who am I?  Ex. 3:11(my view of me is too small)

b.     Who should I say is sending me?  Ex. 3:13 (my view of God is too small)

c.      What if they don’t believe me?  Ex. 4:1 (my view of others is too big)

d.     I can’t speak well.  Ex. 4:10 (my faults are all I see…to big)

3.     Aaron becomes a coping mechanism for Moses’ faults/ weaknesses (Ex. 4:13-16).  What are some coping mechanisms you’ve created for yourself in life?

4.     Eventually Moses’ 4 arguments start being reversed.  (His view of himself and God- Ex. 14:12-14/ His view of others and his faults/ weaknesses- Ex. 32: 19-21, 25-26)  How have you seen your false views of yourself, God, or others reversed in your life?

5.     What often happens is that in our flesh we highjack the person we were created to be and end up creating a false or broken version of God’s design for us.  As you look at your personality, do you have some false or broken elements within your personality that you’d like to see God get a hold of?  What are they?

Winning- Week 4- In The Church

Ice Breaker

1.     We’ve all had a church experience when we’ve walked away saying “that was a waste of time” due to how distracted we were, funny or obnoxious things that happened, etc…describe one of those times in your life.

Diving In

2.     This week Pastor Josh addressed the Big 3.  These are the Big 3 activities that Lakeland hopes we’ll each be able to participate in.  Yet we can participate in these and still feel like we’re losing in church/ our walk with God.  Discuss these 3, the scripture associated, why they are important, and how you’ve found you can win or lose in each.

a.     Services- Heb. 10:24-25, Acts 2:41-42, Jer. 29:13.  The Win is found in personal pursuit.

b.     Groups- Acts 2:42-26, Prov. 27:17.  The Win is found in personal vulnerability and investment.

c.      Volunteering- 1 Cor 12:11-20.  The Win is found in finding your sweet spot.

3.     Of the Big 3 where do you intend on bringing greater purpose or intentionality to see God win in and through it?

Winning, Week 3 - Winning Through Doubts & Difficulties

Ice Breaker

Pastor Rich asks us to celebrate some wins/victories. What have you been celebrating this week?


  1. Pastor Lorin spoke about the doubts and difficulties that come as the result of the devils strategies. Share a time when you experienced the devil at work.
  2. Which aspect of God, his’ perspective, passion or plan, is most helpful to you when you are going through hard time? Why?
  3. Of the truths that Pastor Lorin reminded you, there is a purpose in the pain, I can do all things through him, I can find rest, I don’t need to worry, is hardest to make real in your life? How can you and/or your group apply these truths in your life?
  4. What is one doubt/difficulty that you or someone close to you is dealing with? How could you/they approach it differently? How can you pray for each other?

Winning, Week 2 - Living as Winners

Ice Breaker

Take some time and share names of people you know personally that are living as winners.  Explain what you see in them that makes them a winner.

Diving In

  1. Pastor Rich talked about how we live as losers even though God has declared us to be winners in Christ.  He described how winning daily requires a game plan.  That game plan is outlined for us throughout the scriptures.   Discuss the quote he made “…Progress toward winning hinders unbelief.”  How did this relate to the Israelites in the wilderness?  To us as believers?
  2. Practice is often hard, painful, frustrating and exhausting.  Joshua had to practice engaging his faith even in the most foolish and trying situations with the children of God in the desert. Joshua 1:7-8 Practice can feel and look like defeat sometimes, but it is an opportunity to make adjustments, build stamina and hone our skills.  What are ways you are practicing to win in life?  Spiritually?  How often do you practice?  What are the difficulties or dislikes you face that make you want to just quit?
  3. Part of practicing well is using the right equipment.  Do we know how to use the equipment God has given us to win?  Name each of the garments represented in the Spiritual Armor of God - Ephesians 6:10-18.  Describe ways they were meant to be used in our daily lives.  What pieces do you need to practice more with to develop your faith?  Which pieces are you most efficient with and why?
  4. No matter how hard and long we practice, eventually we have to get in the game and play.  We have to take that first step just as the Israelites had to take the first step into the water to cross the Jordan River to enter the promise land - Joshua 3:14-17.  What is the first step you need to take to move from practicing to playing?  First steps require commitment.  What do you need to commit to?  What will others see in you as you play to win?   
  5. Every win deserves a celebration.  As the children of Israel walked in faith and in silence around the wall of Jericho there was a shout of victory brewing within them - Joshua 6:15-21.  When was the last time you celebrated a victory?  How did it feel to let out exaltation to God for what He had achieved in you?  What can you celebrate today?  Right now? 

Winning, Week 1 - We're Made To Win

Ice Breaker

This week as we start our new series Winning, share something with your group that you always seem to win at.

Diving In

  1. Pastor Josh walked us through the big story of winning and losing from Genesis with Adam and Eve prior to sin.  They were made to rule everything.  (Gen 1:26-28)…and God had given the keys to the earth to mankind, so to speak. (Ps 115:16)  When Adam and Eve sinned and lost the keys to Satan, how does mankind start losing?  In relationship to God, with one another, with the planet, etc?
  2. When Jesus comes to redeem mankind, Satan, in his 3rd temptation seems to try to offer Jesus a short cut to His plan?  (Matt. 4:1-11)  Why is getting back the keys to the earth a critical part to God’s plan?
  3. After Christ death and resurrection, He has won back the keys to the planet and sets up His followers to be winners.  At the Great Commission, Christ claims this authority and then sends his followers with this same authority (as we are in Christ…Col 1:27-29/Eph 2:13/ Eph 5:8/ 1 Cor. 6:11) to accomplish the commission.  Why is us having the keys to the planet so important for us to accomplish the commission?
  4. In Romans 8:31-37 Paul gives a description of the things we may face, yet Christ’s love will always find us and overwhelming victory is ours.  How do you struggle to live a winning life?  What holds you back?  How does Christ victory function as our victory even in the perceived losses of life?
  5. Discuss this statement Pastor Josh made.  You must beware of ever being over-impressed or overwhelmed by the power and work of the Devil, lest you lose sight of the power and promises of God.

Refresh- Kindness

Ice Breaker

1.     What’s the greatest random act of kindness someone’s ever done for/shown to you?

Diving In

2.     This week Pastor Josh launched Lakeland into the Refresh county-wide movement.  The fall challenge is around Kindness.  We looked at ways in which God has shown his kindness to us.  Discuss each of the ways God shows his kindness.  How have you overlooked these in the past?  Why?  How is His kindness bigger than you thought?

a.     General Provision- Acts 14:17

b.     Patience in Judgment- Rom. 2:4

c.      Undeserving Grace- Eph 2:1-7

3.     It is in God’s kindness that He gives us everything necessary to be able to live like those mentioned in 2 Cor. 6:4-10.  How are these attitudes possible in Christ?

4.     This cooperative movement of area wide churches is taking its first steps by showing random acts of kindness.  In what way do you hope to show random acts of kindness?  Where/ who will you target in getting these refresh cards to?

#ICNU- Week 3- Let's Practice

Ice Breaker

1.     If you could speak ICNU into yourself and have any ability (you can be as silly as you want with this question) what would you speak into yourself?

Diving In

2.     The Apostle Paul practices 3 different types of ICNU over Timothy, discuss each of the following types and why they are important to speak into others.

a.     Who you are (these are personality traits at your core).   1 Tim 1:18-19/ 4:12-16.

b.     Where I can see it play out or bring impact (these are the places where your giftings can be used).  1 Tim. 2:1-2

c.      What you got (these are special abilities or opportunities that you have access to).   1 Tim. 4:6-7, 2 Tim. 1:5-7, 4:1-2.

3.     Take some time to go around the group and speak ICNU into others in your group.  Who are they at their core?  Where could they bring impact?  What do they have?

#ICNU- Week 2- Jesus' Model

Ice Breaker

1.     This week in ICNU Pastor Josh started by talking about the dream of every young Jewish boy to be a rabbi.  When you were young what was one of your dreams to someday become?

Diving In

2.     As Pastor Josh described the original calling of the disciples, those words “come follow me” were really words saying “I see in you the ability to someday  do what I do and replace me.”   How has the idea of being a Jesus follower shifted from his view of what that looked like to today?  How has it changed?  Why has it changed?

3.     At the feeding of the 5000 Jesus challenges the disciples to feed the people.  Check it out in Mark 6:36-37.  He believes they having everything necessary to accomplish the task.  What’s their response and why does that hinder them?  How do we sometimes respond in similarity to the disciples?

4.     Pastor Josh talked through a few ICNU moments between Jesus and Peter.  What sticks out to you in each of these occasions?  1.  Matt. 16:15-18- Jesus calls Peter a rock.   2.  John 21:15-19- Jesus calls Peter to care for his sheep and follow him once again.

5.     In the great commandment Matt 28:18-20, Jesus says go and make disciples…or Talmidin…people who do what Jesus did.  Also read John 14:12.  What’s your definition of a disciple?

6.     Living out and doing the things that Jesus did require time in the “quiet places”.  Mark 6:31, Luke 5:16, Mark 1:35.  Discuss the statement:  You win the battles in the quiet place in order to enforce the victories in the public place.    

#ICNU- Week 1- God's View of You

Ice Breaker

1.     During this week in ICNU Pastor Josh talked about a time when someone said “you are better than you think.”  Share something that you discovered you were better at it than you originally thought.

Diving In

2.     This week we are looking at what God sees in us as Christ followers.  Discuss why and how these elements that God sees in us matter.

a.     ICNUfamily- Eph. 2:13, 18, Rom. 8:15-16

b.     ICNUreconciled- Rom. 5:1-2, 10-11

c.      ICNUfreedomfromthepowerofsin- Rom. 8:1-2

d.     ICNUlight- Rom. 5:8-11

e.     ICNUareflectionofGod- 1 Pet. 2:9-12

3.     Rom. 12:2 talks about the renewing of the mind.  How do you practice renewing your mind in how God sees you? 

4.     What lies have you bought into in the past that created natural strongholds for the enemy in your life?  These lies were ultimately not in line with how God saw/sees you.

5.     What area in your life do you need to start actively practicing and believing how God sees you?