PA RT I C I PA N T S G U I D E

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1 PARTICIPANT S GUIDE

2 (Un)Qualified: The Study CONTENTS WELCOME 3 WEEK 1: THE THIRD WORD 4 WEEK 2: EMBRACE TO REPLACE 11 WEEK 3: THE GOD OF JACOB 18 WEEK 4: REACHING = THE GOAL 25

3 WELCOME So you feel unqualified too, huh? Forgive us for taking the liberty of assuming that. But it s a pretty common feeling. It affects almost anyone who has a desire to step out and do anything for God. The Enemy can t defeat us, so he ll do everything he can to keep us from trying. If we accept the notion that we can t do it, or that God can t use us, we settle. But you want something more. You want to do big things for God. That s why you picked up this study. This study won t take away the feeling of being unqualified, but it will help you discover where that feeling comes from and how you can push through it. We ve built the next four weeks on repeating a few actions that, for the sake of simplicity, start with the letter R : Read. This is a given. Read the book. Read the Scriptures in each session. Reflect. Answer the questions in each session. It s the only way to uncover the things that are holding you back. Respond. Self-discovery is only helpful if you re willing to do something with it. Take each activity seriously and you ll get the most out of this study. Then, to tie it all together, there will be three sentences designed to help you personalize the topic of each session. Be real with yourself. Use these as a chance to push yourself to grow. And if you re feeling bold, post it to social media with the hashtag: #iamunqualified. We re excited to be on this journey with you. You may be unqualified, but that may also be the key to unlocking your calling. (Un)Qualified: The Study 3

4 WEEK 1 THE THIRD WORD

5 THE THIRD WORD I am. It seems easy enough to complete this sentence. That s where your name goes, right? The first two words are just there to set up that statement. I am Steven. Or Ezra. Or Christina. Or whatever your name happens to be. What if the third word, our name, isn t the sole focus of that sentence? The words, I AM, are the words God used in Exodus 3 when Moses asked Him what His name was. After giving Moses the unenviable assignment of becoming the leader of God s people, Moses wanted to know how to explain himself to Israel. God replied, This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I am has sent me to you. It turns out, God s name doesn t need a third word, because God is everything and everyone and everywhere that he needs to be in every moment. You and I need third words, though. We need to finish the I am sentence, and we do it all the time whether we realize it or not. Unfortunately, many times we fill in the blanks with our insufficiencies and limitations, while overlooking one very important question: What are God s third words for me? We are created in God s image and called to live for a specific purpose, but we cannot get there without first getting to know the Great I AM and allowing Him to define the third words that shape our identities. (Un)Qualified: The Study 5

6 READ Chapters 1-5 of (Un)Qualified. REFLECT God knows everything about you including the ugly parts, the broken parts, and the dysfunctional parts yet he still believes in you. List as many, I am, sentences as possible for each of these categories. Write anything that comes to mind, good or bad. For examples of each category, read pages of (Un)Qualified. Personality: Character: Conditions/Circumstances: Ability: Emotions: Physical Traits: Education: (Un)Qualified: The Study 6

7 Family: Ethnicity/Culture: Sexuality: Occupation: Spirituality: RESPOND Circle three statements you believe have held you back. Highlight three statements you believe help you the most. READ PSALM 139 (NLT) O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. 2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I m far away. 3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. 4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. 5 You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! (Un)Qualified: The Study 7

8 7 I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! 8 If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. 9 If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, 10 even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. 11 I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night 12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you. 13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother s womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous how well I know it. 15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. 16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. 17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! 18 I can t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me! 19 O God, if only you would destroy the wicked! Get out of my life, you murderers! 20 They blaspheme you; your enemies misuse your name. 21 O Lord, shouldn t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn t I despise those who oppose you? 22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. (Un)Qualified: The Study 8

9 REFLECT God wants to give us a revelation of who we are. He wants to show us our value now, and he wants to open our eyes to who we can become in Him. Some of the third words we use to describe ourselves don t line up with who God says we are in Him. Select a few of the I am statements you wrote on pages 5-6 that may conflict with who God says you are. Write them below. God wants to give you His name in your situation, in your weakness, and in your need. But you have to take it. Re-write each of the I am statements above based who God is and who He says you are. For help with this activity, read the section WDJSAM on pages in Chapter 5. #IAMUNQUALIFIED You are uniquely (Un)Qualified for the calling God has placed on your life. And that s the point. God wants to use you right where you are and He wants to lead you into a (Un)Qualified: The Study 9

10 greater sense of purpose and identity. After reading chapters 1-5 of (Un)Qualified and completing this week s activities, write your own sentences using the following as a guide: I am But, I know God is In Him, I believe I can be Post: Take a picture of a passage from this section that really helped you and post it to social media with the hashtag: #iamunqualified. Use the sentences above as your caption. (Un)Qualified: The Study 10

11 WEEK 2 EMBRACE TO REPLACE

12 EMBRACE TO REPLACE Our weaknesses aren t the end of the story. They can t be. Too often we take stock of our negative third words and give up in despair. We become all-too-familiar with why our dreams don t make sense, or at least with the idea that we re not the person cut out to fulfill those dreams. Deep down we know there has to be hope. But in order to realize those dreams, aspirations, and callings we ve got to do something about the weaknesses that seem to disqualify us from them. Do we embrace our weaknesses? Replace them with strengths? Perhaps it s a little bit of both. God made us, and He has a plan to use the weaknesses we often try to conceal from the world. But first, we have to identify them, understand them, and commit to the process of allowing God to use them. Our weaknesses are essential to the fulfillment of our potential. And it s our relationship with them that determines the extent of our growth. READ Chapters 6-8 of (Un)Qualified. (Un)Qualified: The Study 12

13 REFLECT We embrace who we are to become who we are meant to be. Back-stories matter. They create a platform upon which we can relate to other people, and a portal through which we can see God s work on display in our lives. Write your own back-story by briefly answering these ten questions: 1. Growing up, what were you good at? 2. Growing up, what were you not so good at? 3. What would you consider your life s biggest success so far? 4. What strength has this success revealed to you? 5. What would you consider your life s biggest setback or failure so far? 6. What weakness has this failure revealed to you? 7. At what point in your life did you realize you needed a relationship with Jesus? (Un)Qualified: The Study 13

14 8. Since you began your relationship with Jesus, what is one change you ve noticed in yourself? 9. Since you began your relationship with Jesus, what s one weakness you thought you d be done dealing with by now? 10. Who do you turn to when you re dealing with something difficult? RESPOND Ask three people who know you well: From your perspective, what is one of my strengths? From your perspective, what is one of my weaknesses? READ SOME OF THE BIBLE S HEROES WERE (UN)QUALIFIED TOO. MOSES Murderer/Deliverer JOSEPH Abandoned/Leader RAHAB Prostitute/Obedient GIDEON Coward/Might Warrior (Un)Qualified: The Study 14

15 DAVID Adulterer/Man After God s Own Heart PAUL Persecutor/Church Planter 2 CORINTHIANS 12:9-10 But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. HEBREWS 4:15-16 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. 2 CORINTHIANS 13:4 For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God s power we will live with him in our dealing with you. REFLECT In Jesus, our weakness is Heaven s secret weapon. What are some of your weaknesses? (Un)Qualified: The Study 15

16 Embrace/Replace/Surrender Every weakness is different. Some need to be embraced as part of who we are. Some are harmful and need to be replaced immediately. Some need to be replaced, but only through the process of being surrendered to God and continuing to circle them at different levels. Categorize the weaknesses you wrote down in the previous activity by placing them in one of these three categories: Embrace: Replace: Surrender: For help with this activity, read the section Uniquely Weak on pages in Chapter 6. #IAMUNQUALIFIED You are uniquely (Un)Qualified for the calling God has placed on your life. And that s the point. God wants to use you right where you are and He wants to lead you into a greater sense of purpose and identity. After reading chapters 6-8 of (Un)Qualified and completing this week s activities, write your own sentences using the following as a guide: There are some things I can t change about myself. I will always need Jesus because I know I am (Un)Qualified: The Study 16

17 But God has given me grace to replace some of my weaknesses. I have already seen Him change me by And I know He s not done with me yet. By faith, I believe He will continue to work through me as I work on my Post: Take a picture of a passage from this section that really helped you and post it to social media with the hashtag: #iamunqualified. Use the sentences above as your caption. (Un)Qualified: The Study 17

18 WEEK 3 THE GOD OF JACOB

19 THE GOD OF JACOB If there s one person in the Bible who epitomizes the theme of weakness and growth, of wrong third words and right third words, it would be Jacob. Jacob is part hero, part villain, part aggressor, and part victim. Like many of us, he spent much of his life trying to do things his way, on his time, until he learned to embrace himself and the process he was in. Jacob, the heel-grabber who connived his way into inheriting blessings that weren t rightfully his, is the poster-boy for God s willingness to use unqualified, if not disqualified, people. We ve explored our third words, right and wrong. We ve peeled away layers of our identities, uncovering our weaknesses. We ve examined our shortcomings and ourselves almost too well to believe that God can still use us. But God doesn t just love the picture of who we will be one day; He loves who we are right now. And He has a plan to use us right where we are. READ Chapters 9-11 of (Un)Qualified. REFLECT God can t bless who you pretend to be. One of the problems with embracing who we are in Christ is, at any given moment, there are at least three versions of ourselves that we have to navigate through: Frustrating, Future, and Fake. (Un)Qualified: The Study 19

20 Unmask each version of yourself by answering these questions: Frustrating: This is the you that you currently are. What personal flaws do you work hard not to let others see? Finish this sentence: Sometimes, I think God could use me more if I Future: This is the you that you wish you were. Who do you typically measure yourself against? Write down three qualities you don t have, but wish you had: (Un)Qualified: The Study 20

21 Fake: This is the you that you try to convince people you are. Growing up, what were some of the main characteristics you tried to portray to others? At this point in your life, what do you want to be known for? What traits do you feel you have to fake in order for others to see what you want to be known for? God is not in love with future you. He s in love with the true you, even the most frustrating parts. RESPOND Which version of yourself was the most difficult to reveal? What do you need to let go of so you can focus on being yourself? (Un)Qualified: The Study 21

22 READ JACOB: FROM TRICKSTER TO TRIUMPHANT (Un)Qualified: The Study 22

23 REFLECT True freedom in Christ comes when you realize you have nothing to prove to anyone, because in Christ, God fully approves of you. When we start from a new place, a place of completeness in Christ, everything changes. God s approval and calling qualify us to live a new kind of life where we re free to love, serve, and succeed at a new level. Write down a few ways you sought love before you came to know Jesus. What is one thing you do for God just because you re thankful for Him? What do you love the most about following Jesus? God has put you in a specific place and position so you can be His expression to others. Maturity comes from the ability to identify who those people are and who they are not. Whose approval have you wrongly prioritized throughout your life? Whose lives are you positioned to impact with the love of Jesus? For help with this activity, read the end of Chapter 11, from Full of It on page (Un)Qualified: The Study 23

24 #IAMUNQUALIFIED You are uniquely (Un)Qualified for the calling God has placed on your life. And that s the point. God wants to use you right where you are and He wants to lead you into a greater sense of purpose and identity. After reading chapters 9-11 of (Un)Qualified and completing this week s activities, write your own sentences using the following as a guide: Throughout my life, I ve tried to earn other people s approval by But through Jesus, I m realizing that God loves me and approves of me, just as I am. Because of this, I am free to No matter what I do, I want my sense of fulfillment and purpose to come from God alone. Right now, I feel full in Christ when I am Post: Take a picture of a passage from this section that really helped you and post it to social media with the hashtag: #iamunqualified. Use the sentences above as your caption. (Un)Qualified: The Study 24

25 WEEK 4 REACHING = THE GOAL

26 REACHING = THE GOAL #Goals is a social media trend that s meant to be playful, but is all too indicative of the shared struggle of how we react to a portrayal of goals we feel drastically unqualified to achieve. The example of this in the book is a picture of Jay-Z and Beyoncé flying in their Gulfstream 650, cuddled underneath a blanket made of organic zebra skin. It doesn t matter if you re thinking, yea, right or I wish, you comment: #goals. Like Jacob, we have a hard time handling the gap between who we are and who we want to be. So instead of charging into that gap and allowing God to grow us, we often shrink back into a proclivity for self-deprecation, using moments of jest to gently remind ourselves, You re just not cut out for that kind of life, anyway. The point of (Un)Qualified is to show you that you can charge into that gap. You can grow. God can use you. But to grow into the person God has called you to be, you have to identify the right goals and keep them fixed within your focus. And that s what grace is for. READ Chapter 12 of (Un)Qualified. (Un)Qualified: The Study 26

27 REFLECT A commitment to the wrong goals will create an illusion of progress, but it won t bring the reward of fulfillment. #GOALS: One of the keys to reaching your fullest potential is to not just identify a goal; but to prioritize the right goals. Write out one or two goals you currently have for yourself in each of these categories: Spiritual: Personal: Relational: Mental: Physical: (Un)Qualified: The Study 27

28 Financial: Occupational: RESPOND Highlight the three goals that are the most important to you. Do you feel unqualified to reach those goals? READ PHILIPPIANS 3 Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless. 7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Un)Qualified: The Study 28

29 15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained. 17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. REFLECT If you are a follower of Jesus, you already have everything you need to live a confident, fulfilled, and productive life. Reaching= The Goal: Life is a journey. And if we make our lives only about the destinations, we ll miss out on the journey itself. The goal of reaching for Jesus is a glorious, lifelong adventure with ups, downs, ebbs, and flows. But through this pursuit we develop the confidence that no matter what, He is with us. Reaching implies process, change, relationship, and dependency. Evaluate where you are in this journey as you complete this study: Process: What will you begin to do differently after this study? Change: What is one way you ve already seen God begin to change you through this study? Relationship: What is one shift you re making to prioritize your relationship with Jesus? (Un)Qualified: The Study 29

30 Dependency: What is one way this study has strengthened your dependency on Jesus? #IAMUNQUALIFIED You are uniquely (Un)Qualified for the calling God has placed on your life. And that s the point. God wants to use you right where you are and He wants to lead you into a greater sense of purpose and identity. After you ve finished the book, write out your biggest takeaways from the study, using the following as a guide to get started: God is leading me on this journey of faith and He has put me where I am right now to fulfill a purpose. I believe I am called to Along the way, I have faced and will face the feeling of being unqualified. I know that God will still work through my weakness to As I reach for my goals, I will hold onto Jesus. I m reaching for Him in everything I do because Post: You finished the study! It s time to celebrate! Find the passage that helped you the most throughout this study, snap a pic and post it to social media with the hashtag: #iamunqualified. Use the sentences above as your caption. (Un)Qualified: The Study 30

PA RT I C I PA N T S G U I D E

PA RT I C I PA N T S G U I D E PARTICIPANT S GUIDE (Un)Qualified: The Study CONTENTS WELCOME 3 WEEK 1: THE THIRD WORD 4 WEEK 2: EMBRACE TO REPLACE 11 WEEK 3: THE GOD OF JACOB 18 WEEK 4: REACHING = THE GOAL 25 WELCOME So you feel unqualified

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