Leader Guide DRIVEN JEFF SIMMONS

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1 Leader Guide DRIVEN JEFF SIMMONS

2 Leader Guide DRIVEN JEFF SIMMONS LifeWay Press Nashville, Tennessee

3 2013 LifeWay Press No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, except as may be expressly permitted in writing by the publisher. Requests for permission should be addressed in writing to LifeWay Press, One LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN ISBN: Item Number: Dewey Decimal Classification Number: Subject Heading: SERMON ON THE MOUNT \ CHRISTIAN LIFE \ DISCIPLESHIP Printed in the United States of America Student Ministry Publishing LifeWay Church Resources One LifeWay Plaza Nashville, TN We believe that the Bible has God for its author; salvation for its end; and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter and that all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. To review LifeWay s doctinal guideline, please visit All Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible Copyright 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission.

4 Contents About the Writer... 4 About This Product Related Products... 5 Getting Started... 5 Session 1: Driven to Be Different... 6 Session 2: Driven to Perfection...14 Session 3: Driven to Focus Session 4: Driven to Action...30 Session 5: Driven to Share...38 Plan of Salvation...46

5 Driven, Leader Guide About the Writer JEFF SIMMONS is the founding pastor at Rolling Hills Community Church. Over the past 10 years, the church has grown from 15 people meeting in an apartment clubhouse to 1,000 people meeting on a weekly basis. Jeff is also president of Justice and Mercy International, Inc., a nonprofit ministry established in 2008 to serve the needs of the underprivileged throughout the world. Prior to founding Rolling Hills, he served as minister to students at First Baptist Church, Nashville, Tennessee, for seven years and Student Ministry Associate at First Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas, for four years. Jeff has a BBA in Finance and Marketing from Baylor University and a master s degree in Christian Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with his wife, Lisa, and their three daughters Grace, Mabry, and Kate. About This Product Driven dives into Matthew 5-7 and explores Jesus expectations for His followers laying and building a foundation for the Christian life. Jesus words from the Sermon on the Mount are loving yet challenging, empowering yet convicting. As counter-cultural today as it was then, the Sermon on the Mount describes what should be the character, attitudes, and actions of those who live as Christ s disciples. This book is designed for use during a discipleship event or small group study. There are five sessions to guide you through your group discussion. Each session has five sections: 1. Get Started will introduce the topic and connect your students to key passages. 2. Think About It will look at why these areas are important through introducing and discussing relevant Scripture and facts. 4

6 Driven, Leader Guide 3. Diagnose will look at how well students are currently living, according to the truths introduced in each session. 4. Move will challenge students to apply these truths to daily life in order to make an impact on others. 5. Pray will help you guide students to talk with God about what they have learned about themselves and God s love for all of us. These sessions are designed to last about 45 minutes. Your goal as you move through the material should be to keep students talking and engaged. There will be discussion questions to help with this task in this leader guide and in the student book. The left-hand page of each session in this leader guide contains the leader material, while the right-hand page reflects the student book material including answers to fill-in-the-blank activities as well as to some of the questions pointing back to the Scripture passages for that session. You will also find multiple note pages in the back of the student book that can be used for large group messages or as additional space for small group sessions. Related Products There are student books containing questions and other activities for students to complete during the Bible study sessions, as well as prayer suggestions for follow-up. Getting Started Share that this study s theme is Driven and the five sessions to follow are based on Matthew 5-7 (Jesus Sermon on the Mount). Explain that the life Jesus calls us to live is one that is driven to glorify God in our words, attitudes and actions. This kind of life is radically different from the world we live in. Note that during this study, we will be challenged live a life defined by God s Kingdom rather than one defined by the world s standards. 5

7 Driven, Leader Guide SESSION ONE DRIVEN TO BE DIFFERENT 1 GET STARTED Guide students to complete the activity in the student book. Encourage them to describe their personality by choosing a car that best represents them reiterate that they are to describe themselves as they are now, not who they want to become. Once they have had a chance to complete the activity, instruct students to write down their chosen vehicle on a sticky note and hand it to you without letting anyone else see it. Place these sticky notes on the wall and let the group try to match the vehicle description to the right person. Debrief by talking through the importance of understanding others perceptions of us. How do you think people perceive your faith? Do they know what you believe and where you stand? Explain. THINK ABOUT IT Discuss the spiritual application of the activity in the student book. What do we do when a check engine light comes on in our vehicle? What about when warning lights go off in our spiritual lives? Do we handle those with the same urgency? 6

8 SESSION ONE 1 DRIVEN TO BE DIFFERENT GET STARTED Describe your personality by choosing a vehicle that best represents you (for example: convertible I am fun and love to be the center of attention; sedan I am dependable; jeep I love adventure; etc.). Be as specific as possible in describing yourself. THINK ABOUT IT See if you can determine the meaning of each warning light based on the illustration. Write your answer under each symbol. Low Fuel Oil Change Overheating Tire Pressure Low Now think about your own life. What possible spiritual applications could be made from those same symbols? Low Fuel=running on empty spiritually Oil Change= slow, apathetic, not running on all cylinders THINKSTOCK Overheating= stressed out, angry Low Tire Pressure= discouraged 5

9 Driven, Leader Guide 1 CHECK THE CONDITION Just as an owner s manual in a car tells how the vehicle is designed to run, the Bible tells us how we should live. Scripture is relevant to every aspect of our lives and holds the key to living with purpose and passion. The focus of our study through all five sessions is a sermon where Jesus gives clear instructions on how to live. Encourage a student to read Matthew 5:3-12. What does the word blessed mean? Happy is the closest translation of the word that we have, but blessed means so much more than just happy. Happiness is often an emotion based on circumstances, but blessed refers to the greater spiritual joy. Discuss the examples students listed in the student book. 2 Jesus is concerned with more than just our outward actions. He also cares about the condition of our hearts and minds. He wants us to be driven by a desire to please Him and to be set apart for His glory. CHECK THE DIRECTION Walk through the Beatitudes and apply them to students lives. Ask for a volunteer to read verse 3 again. What do you think it means to be poor in spirit? Explain that Jesus is contrasting the poor in spirit with those who are spiritually arrogant. The kingdom of heaven is not something that is earned. Rather, it is a gift from God to those who accept Christ. Guide students to rewrite this Beatitude in the student book based on today s culture. Examples are written on adjoining page, if needed to guide students through this exercise. 8

10 Driven 1 CHECK THE CONDITION Just as an owner s manual in a car tells how the vehicle is designed to run, the Bible tells us how we should live. Scripture is relevant to every aspect of our lives and holds the key to living with purpose and passion. The focus of our study through all five sessions will be a sermon where Jesus gives clear instruction on how to live. Read Matthew 5:3-12. Circle blessed every time you see it. Write down examples of times when we can be blessed but not necessarily happy as the world would define that emotion. 2 CHECK THE DIRECTION Matthew 5:3, The poor in spirit are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Ņ Jesus message is vastly different from the culture we live in. Rewrite the Beatitude according to the perspective of our world today. Ex: Blessed are the arrogant for they will always feel entitled and enlightened. Matthew 5:4, Those who mourn are blessed, for they will be comforted. Ņ Rewrite the Beatitude according to the perspective of our world today. Ex: Blessed are those whoe blame everyone else for their problems, for they will never admit fault. Matthew 5:5, The gentle are blessed, for they will inherit the earth. Ņ Rewrite the Beatitude according to the perspective of our world today. Ex: Blessed are those who never show weakness, for they will earn respect. 6

11 Driven, Leader Guide Call on a volunteer to read verse 4 again. Seeing the depths of our sin and realizing we have offended God should make us truly sorrowful. Those who mourn over sin will be comforted by God s forgiveness. Guide students to rewrite this Beatitude based on today s culture. Ask a student to read verse 5 again. What do you think of when you hear the word gentle? Another way to define gentleness is meekness. This is not weakness as the world might characterize it, but more accurately, strength under control. Guide students to rewrite this Beatitude based on today s culture. Call on a student to read verse 6 again. What is the promise to those who live this Beatitude? Those who seek God with their whole heart will find Him. Guide students to rewrite this Beatitude based on today s culture. Ask a volunteer to read verse 7 again. What makes it so hard to be merciful? As we seek God, He begins to transform our lives. We become people who love and forgive others, just as we are loved and forgiven. Additionally, as we have received mercy, we become people who graciously give mercy to others. Guide students to rewrite this Beatitude based on today s culture. Call on a volunteer to read verse 8 again. This verse focuses on the condition of our hearts. When our hearts are pure and not darkened by sin, we can see God more clearly. A pure heart sees life through the lens of forgiveness and grace. 10

12 SESSION ONE Matthew 5:6, Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed, for they will be filled. Rewrite the Beatitude according to the perspective of our world today. Ex: Blessed are those who strive for success, for they will achieve great things and always want more. Matthew 5:7, The merciful are blessed, for they will be shown mercy. Rewrite the Beatitude according to the perspective of our world today. Ex: Blessed are those who show no mercy to people who wrong them, for they will feel justified. Matthew 5:8, The pure in heart are blessed, for they will see God. Rewrite the Beatitude according to the perspective of our world today. Ex: Blessed are those who have ulterior motives, for they will always find a way to get what they want. Matthew 5:9, The peacemakers are blessed, for they will be called sons of God. Rewrite the Beatitude according to the perspective of our world today. Ex: Blessed are those who tolerate everyone, for they will be popular. Read Matthew 5: List types of persecution believers face today as a result of their faith. Consider any and all types of persecution, not just those who are physically persecuted. 7

13 Driven, Leader Guide Guide students to rewrite this Beatitude based on today s culture. Ask a student to read verse 9 again. As God fills our hearts, we become people of peace. Not only are we able to exhibit lives of peace in the midst of all the conflict in the world, we also become peacemakers as we share the love of God with others. Guide students to rewrite this Beatitude based on today s culture. Ask a volunteer to read verses again, then instruct students to get into groups. Guide them to discuss these verses and complete the activity in the student book. Allow students to share their lists. DIAGNOSIS Direct students to the student book, then discuss the verses they matched with each Beatitude. MOVE Lead students to consider how different their lives are from the world around them. Direct them to answers the questions in the student book. PRAY Guide students in this prayer time. Instruct them to pray for the person on their right to be open to God s voice over the course of this study. Pray for the person on their left to be driven to live like Jesus calls us to in the Beatitudes. 12

14 Driven DIAGNOSIS The verses listed below connect with a specific Beatitude. Match these verses with the Beatitude that it most closely relates to: Ņ Psalm 37:11 hunger/thirst for righteousness Ņ Matthew 5:43-48 those who mourn Ņ James 4:8 gentle/meek Ņ Matthew 6:14-15 peacemakers Ņ Ephesians 2:8-9 pure in heart Ņ Isaiah 61:1-3 poor in spirit Ņ 2 Tim. 3:12 & 2 Cor. 4:8-10 merciful Ņ Psalm 42:1 & Proverbs 8:17 persecuted MOVE God wants to develop our character, thus He has given us a blueprint for our lives. God s way is always different from the world s way. We see that clearly in the Beatitudes, which are counter to anything our culture tells us to do. In what areas of your life have you been seeking the things of God and seeing spiritual growth? What has been the result of living diff erently than the world around you? In what areas of your life have you been seeking the things of this world rather than the things of God (relationships, sports, popularity, etc.)? PRAY Who are the people in your life that pray for you often? Do you pray consistently for others? Look around you and take time to pray for the others in your group. 8

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