COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY GUIDE
For the week of April 24, 2022
⇨ May 1 at the Ballast Point campus Business Meeting; 12:45 p.m. during First Sunday Lunch.
1) Vote to approve the Personnel Committee’s unanimous recommendation to hire a pastoral position for STF Kids.
2) If this position is approved, we will vote on the search committee. The nomination committee has unanimously selected the following candidates for the pending committee: Pastor Chris Dotson, Jan Barna, Chris Weihe, Steve Picket, Courtney Desisto, and Kaitlyn McClean. We invite all church members to join us.
⇨ Church-wide Survey
We want to hear from you! To get to know our congregation better, we’ve formulated this survey that will help us tailor our services and programming to what you need from your church leaders. You can fill out the survey by clicking the button below.
You are invited to a two week class on how to build boundaries and avoid destructive relationships, based on Dr. Henry Cloud’s work on boundaries. The class will be facilitated by STF member, Amber Johansen who has spoken extensively on this subject. The class is open to everyone 16 years old and over, and registration is required. You can register for this class by clicking on the link below.
1. Words are powerful and their impact can stick with us long after the actual words were said. Can you think of any conversations from the past that still have power in your life for good or for bad?
2. If you could go back in time and use your words to encourage someone, who would it be and what would you say to them?
Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything you heard for the first time or something that caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
1. The Apostle Peter is a great case study on the use and abuse of words. Through his words he benefited many and, at other times, did some serious damage to himself and others. Read the following passages and make a note of any lessons you can learn from Peter’s successes, failures and his teachings about our speech.
Matthew 16:13-23 NIV
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.  And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”  Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.
 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
Matthew 26:69-75 NIV
Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said.
 But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.
 Then he went out to the gateway, where another girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
 He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!”
 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them, for your accent gives you away.”
 Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!”
Immediately a rooster crowed.  Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Acts 2:36-41 NIV
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”  Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
1 Peter 3:8-18 NIV
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.  Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.  For,
“Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from deceitful speech.
 He must turn from evil and do good;
he must seek peace and pursue it.
 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?  But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.”  But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,  keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.  It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.  For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,
How did Peter’s awareness of the impact of his words change over time? What hope does that give us? And what do you think it takes to become truly aware of the impact of our words?
Jesus exposed Peter’s rough edges, restored him when he blew it and worked through him in many ways. When it comes to your speech and communication, are you aware of any rough edges or areas where you need to make some changes? What would they be?
2. These Proverbs give us great Biblical wisdom on how to know who to listen to. Read the following and answer the questions below.
Proverbs 2:6 New International Version (NIV)
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Proverbs 3:5-6 New International Version (NIV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 11:14 New International Version (NIV)
14 For lack of guidance a nation falls,
but victory is won through many advisers.
Proverbs 12:15 New International Version (NIV)
15 The way of fools seems right to them,
but the wise listen to advice.
Proverbs 15:22 New International Version (NIV)
22 Plans fail for lack of counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed.
Do you have someone you would lean on for wise counsel? Is it the same person in every area of your life, or do you have different people for different areas of your life?
Make a list of the characteristics you would look for in someone whom you would consider wise.
Is there a characteristic you listed above that you most want to work on to become wise counsel in someone else’s life?
3. God cares deeply about the way we speak to each other. But He is also concerned about the way we communicate with Him! Read Ecclesiastes 5:1-7 and write down as many guidelines as you can find about our communication with God.
Ecclesiastes 5:1-7 NIV
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.
 Do not be quick with your mouth,
do not be hasty in your heart
to utter anything before God.
God is in heaven
and you are on earth,
so let your words be few.
 As a dream comes when there are many cares,
so the speech of a fool when there are many words.
 When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.  It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it.  Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands?  Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.
Why do you think we are told to let our words be few?
TAKING IT HOME
As you think of the people you regularly interact with (family, friends, social media, co-workers/boss, neighbors, etc.), is there an area of your life where you want to adjust how you have responded or will respond in the future?
Looking for the PDF Version of this lesson? Here ya go! CG Study Guide, WORDS, April 24, 2022