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Life Group Study Guides

God moves powerfully in community. The insights, support, and encouragement that we receive from living alongside and studying the Bible together is incredible.


Don't go through this Unimaginable journey alone. Below you'll find the study guides for every week of this series, as well the opportunity to sign up for a Life Group.


Life Groups are simply a small group of people that eat, celebrate, and study the Bible together. These groups are a core part of who First Christian is and we would love to connect you with one!

Week One

Series Big Idea: When Jerusalem’s city walls were crumbling and the hearts of the people were failing, God raised up a leader of unwavering faith and unshakable courage. Through Nehemiah’s story, we learn that it takes courage to embrace God-sized dreams and rest in his unfailing love,and the results are oftentimes unimaginable.


Pull Together. Tell each other about your first childhood chore and then your first paying job.Share one of the thoughts that caught your attention from the message on Sunday. Tell why that part stood out to you.


Reflect on the Biblical Story - Nehemiah 1:1 – 2:5

What elements of Nehemiah’s position and his responsibilities may have required courage? (Neh. 2:1-5)


As you review Nehemiah 1:2-4, describe how you can see Nehemiah’s heart expanding to new areas as he seeks to understand the condition of the Jewish people in Jerusalem.


Before Nehemiah can even express the specifics of his “God-sized” dream, what “God-sized challenge” does Nehemiah feel? (Neh. 1:4)


How does Nehemiah’s “steward’s heart” show up in this prayer in verses 1:5-11 (read “Understanding the steward’s role”)?


What do you learn about God from Nehemiah’s prayer?


Discuss together these implications:

• We have a responsibility to be good managers of the many resources God has given us. • Good management of God’s resources requires moments of great courage.

• Caring for God’s resources and partnering with him in h is work is an incredible privilege.


Responding to God’s Story

1. Do you see yourself as God’s trusted partner in the management of his resources? How would you increase your role in this partnership?


2. As you look at God’s mission here at First Christian, what dreams and challenges do you need to face with courage?


3. Pray that God will help you manage his resources to accomplish his great work.


Prayer:

Lord, open my eyes to the brokenness in the world around me. Open my heart to the fullness of your mission right around me. Open my hands to release my grip on the resources you have givenme. Captivate my life with your great mission to reflect your glory and goodness in my generation. I pray in Jesus’ name.


Week Two

Series Big Idea: When Jerusalem’s city walls were crumbling and the hearts of the people were failing, God raised up a leader who had an unwavering faith and a compassionate heart. ThroughNehemiah’s story, we learn that when we embrace God-sized dreams as a group of faith-filled people, the results are oftentimes unimaginable.


Pull TogetherImagine yourself as a partner in your father’s business. Your father owns the company but has made you and your siblings managers of it. In this partnership, each of you provides your best attention to using your abilities in cooperation with your siblings to achieve the company goals.


Now, imagine that your father has asked you to take on a new task that will challenge and stretch you. You understand that you cannot complete the strategy all by yourself. You and all of the siblings will need to work together to accomplish this! What attitudes and actions will be helpful as all of the siblings attempt to achieve the task?


Share one of the thoughts that caught your attention from the message on Sunday. Tell why that part stood out to you.


Reflect on the Biblical Story - Nehemiah 2:5-8, 11-18


Read Nehemiah 2:5-8 together to discover Nehemiah’s big task and big ask. What fears would

Nehemiah have felt in announcing these to the king?


Describe what the text means by recording, “the gracious hand of God was on me.” (2:8). Why isthis important when you accept a God-sized vision?


In the very first week of Nehemiah’s arrival in Jerusalem, he takes a late-night tour of the brokenwalls and gates of the city (Neh. 2:11-16). What might Nehemiah have been thinking as he did his inspection that night?


Why do you think Nehemiah kept his “God-sized dream” to himself for a while?


In verses 2:17-18, Nehemiah tells others about his vision to rebuild the walls and gates of this noble city. How did the others respond?


Discuss together these implications:

• God’s mission requires participation of many people.

• We have freedom to willingly add our gifts to the gifts of others to accomplish God’s tasks. • A team effort will magnify God’s power to accomplish things that seem impossible.

• Prayer is a great way for us to partner with a God-sized vision.


Responding to God’s Story

1. Where in our city do you see people who need help finding their way back to God? Howcan you join others to address that challenge?


2. Who is your ONE? Begin to pray daily for your ONE.


3. What will you do to address whatever is keeping you from fully engaging with others to accomplish God’s dreams for our church?.


Prayer:

Lord, I believe this city needs to see more of your glory so they can find their way back to you. I don’t want to be content with half-hearted engagement in your mission. Help me to elevate my part in your mission. I ask you to help_______________ trust and follow Jesus as their Savior and Lord.


Week Three

Series Big Idea: When Jerusalem’s city walls were crumbling and the hearts of the people were failing, God raised up a group of ordinary people. Through Nehemiah’s story, we learnthat when we embrace God-sized dreams and add our personal best, the results are oftentimes unimaginable.


Pull TogetherWhat is one of the most satisfying volunteer projects you have participated in? What part of the project was given to you? How did your responsibility stretch you?


Share one of the thoughts that you remember from Gene Appel’s message on Sunday. Tell why that part stood out to you.


Reflect on the Biblical Story - Nehemiah 3:1-12

In just the first 12 verses of this chapter, you can see the diversity of the people who collaboratedon the project to rebuild the walls and gates of Jerusalem. Talk about the variety of occupations, home towns, and people who worked side by side with each other on the project.

What would have motivated them to add their unique gifts (see Nehemiah 2:17-20)?


What kind of sacrifices did people have to make to participate in the wall-building project?


One of the most common phrases in chapter 3 is the word/phrase “next” or “next to”. Discuss whatit might have been like to work beside people like those mentioned in verses 3, 5, 8, 10, 12 and 20.


As you review this diary of collaboration, what do you believe added to the success of the total project?


Discuss together these implications:

  • We are invited to participate in God’s mission, but it is always our choice to respond.
  • We are ultimately accountable for our use of the resources entrusted to us.
  • Great achievements in God’s mission are the result of enthusiastic people working side by side with others.
  • No matter who you are or what you do, you can help with God’s project in some way. Everyone’s part makes a difference.


Responding to God’s Story

1. How has God supplied you with resources, vocation, talents, knowledge, and strength tohelp accomplish his mission of helping people find their way back to God?


2. What are ways that you can join in First Christian’s God-sized vision? Can you give, pray, serve, or invite people to discover the hope that Jesus can give them?


3. We dream of a Nehemiah 3 experience at First Christian. We desire for 100% of our church family to engage in this project. How do you feel when you become an active partner in a project that helps promote God’s great mission on earth?

Prayer:

Lord, I am grateful for all that you have given me. What I have may not seem like much in light of your whole grand dream. But, I am willing to add my part to the investment of others to see you do more than I can imagine.


Week Four

Series Big Idea: When Jerusalem’s city walls were crumbling and the hearts of the people were failing, God raised up a group of determined believers. Through Nehemiah’s story, we learnthat when we stay united on a mission with a spirit of endurance, the results are oftentimes unimaginable.


Pull TogetherEven the work of God faces obstacles. When you partner with God for his mission in our generation, don’t be surprised by how intense the challenges are. Tell the others about a time you nearly gave up in the face some great challenge but chose to persevere. Who encouraged you? What adjustments did you make to accomplish the task?


Reflect on the Biblical Story - Nehemiah 4:6-15

What do you learn about the workers in Nehemiah 4:6 as they reached the mid-way point of their work?


In what forms did the opposition seek to undermine the rebuilding of the walls and gates?


(See verses 4:1-3, 7-9, and 11.) How did Nehemiah respond to this challenge (see verses 4:4-5, 9)?


What adjustments were made to address the opposition (Neh. 4:9, 13)? What does this say about the leaders’ and people’s determination to complete the restoration of the walls?


What motivated the people to stay on task with the project in spite of opposition they faced (Neh. 4:14)?


Discuss together these implications:

  • Great projects will surely experience opposition from somewhere. Plan for opposition!
  • The significance of our investment in God’s work, whether financial or physical, is notdiminished by opposition. Hold on to the dream!
  • When opposition arises, a few wise adjustments can keep the dream on track. Embrace the adjustments!


Responding to God’s Story

1. What kind of motivation and encouragement is most beneficial to you when you are starting a project? What kind of motivation is most beneficial in the middle or end of a longproject?


2. Have you considered that your commitment to the God-sized dream should promptsacrifice at some level in your lifestyle as well as your bank account? How can you increase your sacrifice in an effort to complete God’s mission? Pray about making your bestpossible commitment.


3. How have you been responding to the opposition (from outside and inside) that is threatening your commitment to God’s mission?


Prayer: Lord, you are not discouraged or surprised by the opposition we face. Help me staycommitted to the mission of helping people find their way back to you, even when it is hard.Help us to make a courageous faith commitment to the mission you have for First Christian.

Week Five

Series Big Idea: When Jerusalem’s city walls were crumbling and the hearts of the people were failing, God raised up a group of people that accomplished the unimaginable. Through Nehemiah’s story, we learn that when partner together in God’s mission, the results are worth celebrating.


Pull TogetherTell a time in your life where you or someone you know experienced one of God’s unimaginable moments – a time when something amazing happened. How did you feel when you realized God’s amazing power was at work, or when you heard about his surprising work in someone else’s life?


Reflect on the Biblical Story Nehemiah 6:15-16

The people who committed to rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls faced hard work, long hours, and unrelenting opposition. Yet, they never gave up. Each day they returned to their work. Each nightthey dreamt of the finished product. Each new morning, they re-invested their strength andresources to see the wall completed.


Read Nehemiah 6:15. Soak in that statement. Describe how the leaders and laborers might havebeen feeling during the final week as the wall neared completion.


If the work in the middle of the project was described as “enthusiastic” (Nehemiah 4:6), describewhat the last day of work must have been like (Nehemiah 6:15)?


However, not everyone was celebrating enthusiastically. Read Nehemiah 6:16. What kind of impact did the amazing completion of the project have on those who opposed the project? What kind of impact do you imagine the completed project had on any who had refused to participate in it (recall Nehemiah 3:5)?


Who seems to get the attention and credit for the amazing accomplishment once the project is completed (v. 16)?


What does this story teach you about God? What do you learn about humans?


Discuss together these implications:

  • God’s greatest victories come in the midst of intense challenge.
  • Your greatest celebrations occur when you have invested great resources into the completion of worthwhile Kingdom goals.
  • Your enthusiastic and enduring contribution matters to the completion of God’s great mission.
  • Though your own fingerprints are on “the wall” of a great project, people shouldreally notice that God has been at work!


Responding to God’s Story

1. Describe how this past Sunday’s celebration impacted you. What kinds of celebrations will happen in First Christian’s new facility?


2. Can you identify expenditures in your lifestyle that could be reordered so you could giveto help more people find their way back to God?


3. What joys have you experienced through this Unimaginable initiative?


4. Describe one way that your lifestyle will be different because of what you learned in this initiative. How will you continue to partner with God in his mission?


Prayer: Lord, I praise you for the many ways you demonstrate your goodness and glory. You are able to do the unimaginable – even in our generation. Thank you for allowing us to add our part in the Unimaginable vision for First Christian. I long for my life, my voice, my heart, and my hands to befilled with these unimaginable stories so the world, within my reach, can find its way back to you.