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building a community to reach a community

September 22-28, 2013

Downloadable Version

Community Group Facilitator’s Guide

Week of September 22– 28

For the Ultimate Journey sermon series, our discussion guides will focus on Looking Back at past Sunday’s sermon.  If group members ask about Looking Ahead and discussing the upcoming sermon, you can remind them that their bulletin lists questions and Bible passages that they can use to look ahead to the upcoming week’s sermon. 

This Sunday Tom talked about the different ways people mistake the Ultimate Journey for lesser goals and ambitions.  Rather than being lost on our own journeys, God offers us the Ultimate Journey of being changed by Christ and used by Christ.

Note: If you have added new members this week, then the first opening question is strongly recommended. If not, you can go to opening question #2.  

Opening Discussion Questions 

1.       Tell the group that we want to begin our time together by getting to know each other a little better.  You can have group members share introductions like: your name, names and ages of children (if you have kids), the different cities you have lived in, and what occupies your time most days.  

2.       Tell the group, “As a way of opening up our conversation this evening, gives us an example if you have or do not have a “green thumb.”

Bible Study Discussion

1.       Start your group off by reading the Parable of the Soils, Mark 4:3-20.  Have anyone in your group who has a Bible turn there with you and follow along.  To help group members know the story, have them help you rebuild the story in chronological order.  To do this, ask questions like: “So where does the story begin?”  “What were the four ways the seed fell?”  “What happened next?”  “What did Jesus tell them about the seed?”  “What happened to the different seed?”  “How does the story end?”

To setup discussion around how this passage connects with the Ultimate Journey, say to the group “This passage has some important things to teach us about the Ultimate Journey, but before we begin discussing the passage let’s talk more about some of the concepts in the sermon“

2.       Based upon Ecclesiastes 1-2 and Philippians 3:4-7, what are most people pursuing instead of the Ultimate Journey?  What are people confusing with the Ultimate Journey?

3.       What type of person does each of these soils represent?  What is the motivation for pursuing the Ultimate Journey for each of these people?  How would you describe the faith of each of these people?  Based upon the fourth soil, in your own words, describe what it means to be “fruitful.”

Wrap-up Question and Prayer

4.       Have each person share an answer to the following questions:

When you think of the ultimate journey, which descriptor best describes you:

1) confused  2)distracted  3)motivated  4)unmotivated  5)growing faith  6)diminishing faith 


What’s one thing you are taking away tonight that will help you move forward in the ultimate journey of being changed by Christ and used by Christ?

As the leader you can close the group in a brief prayer, focusing on how: each of us face challenges to following God on the ultimate journey, and that we need God’s help to be honest about these challenges and to be able to overcome them  by His power and grace.




The Ultimate Journey     

9.22.13  Tom Oyler, Lead Pastor


What It Is Not

(Ecclesiastes 1-2; Philippians 3:4-7)


What It Is

(Mark 4:3-120; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4; Ephesians 4:13-16)


The ultimate journey is

          being changed by Christ and


          being used by Christ.



The Ultimate Journey

An Introduction


“Who are you”? “What are you doing here”? Those are very valuable questions, aren’t they? The issue for us is how much we are willing to pay to find out the answers for ourselves? As we begin The Ultimate Journey, let’s pray for focus, courage and freedom for each other!


Thinking It Through


We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.                  

~Anais Nin


We are half-hearted creatures, fooling around with drink and sex and ambition, when infinite joy is offered to us. Like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea – we are far too easily pleased.              

~ C.S. Lewis


The future is that time when you’ll with you’d done what you aren’t doing now.

~ Unknown



Living It Out


1.       What is your personal reaction to the two questions of the Russian soldier?

2.       Which biblical references in the message has the greatest impact upon you and why?

3.       If the Ultimate Journey is my life being changed by Christ and used by Christ, what kind of journey are you currently on? Give this some significant thought.




The Ultimate Journey

Use a GPS

1 Corinthians 3:1-3


A GPS is a wonderful use of technology. Metaphorically, it is essential to the Ultimate Journey of My life being changed by Christ and used by Christ. Where are you in the journey? Could it be that some of you have not even begun? Or, you started a long time ago, but where are you now? In what direction are you headed? Interestingly, Paul’s letters serve as our GPS in the Ultimate Journey. Let’s turn it on!


Looking It Up


1.    The Corinthians were about 4-5 years into the faith when Paul wrote his first letter to them. What were some of their lingering problems according to 1:10-17?



2.    What different levels of spiritual life/maturity does Paul address in 2:14-3:3 and what are some of  their characteristics?



3.    In 13:11, Paul continues the metaphor human maturity. How does this help describe the ultimate journey?


4.    What can you find in the verses below about the nature of the ultimate journey?  


John 3:3



     1 Peter 2:2



     Hebrews 5:12ff



     Galatians 4:19/Colossians 1:28-29



     1 Thessalonians 2:7-12


5.       What is our definition of the ultimate journey and how do some of these verses relate?  (see opening paragraph)