- Can you think of a time you dropped or broke something important or valuable? Could you fix it or replace it?
- How would you define gentleness? How is it different from weakness or softness? Do you think someone with a tough exterior or a bold personality can be gentle? How are gentleness and manliness compatible?
- Read Isa 40:10-12; 21-26. How is God both infinitely powerful and perfectly gentle? Why do you think He restrains from unleashing His powerful wrath upon us, even though we deserve it? See Jonah 3:10-4:2; 2 Pet 3:9. Why is His gentleness necessary in our lives?
- Read John 4:7-18. How did Jesus display gentleness with the Samaritan woman? Why was this so shocking? See John 4:27-30. How should His gentleness challenge us when interacting with people we tend to judge or condemn? When do you find it most difficult to be gentle?
- Read John 3:16-17; Matt 11:28-30. How do these verses describe Jesus’ mission? Why does He not immediately condemn us in our sin, even though He could? How does He gently reach out to us despite our sin and baggage?
- Why is showing gentleness so important to the people in your life? What does that look like with unbelievers who don’t understand you? See 1 Pet 3:15-17. What does that look like when challenging a fellow believer? See Gal 6:1? How is our witness harmed when we’re not gentle? See Eph 4:1-2; Phil 4:4-5.
- Who was your most loyal friend growing up? In what ways did they stick by you and remain faithful?
- How would you define faithfulness? In what ways do we let our desire for personal convenience override our dependability to others? Why is faithfulness essential in any relationship? Why is this especially true with the Lord?
- Read Jonah 1:7-10. How did Jonah demonstrate that unfaithfulness is equal to disobedience and where did it lead him? In what ways was God faithful to him despite his unfaithfulness? See Jonah 2:2-10. How is God also faithful to us despite our unfaithfulness? Why is that a great comfort? See Lam 3:22-23; 2 Tim 2:11-13; 1 John 1:8-9
- Read 1 Sam 18:1-4; 20:30-34. How did Jonathan demonstrate great faithfulness to David? How was this at great cost to himself? Why does showing faithfulness to someone often involve humility on our part? How is standing by someone during the tough times a true test of faithfulness?
- Read Matt 25:14-23. Why is it so important to invest ourselves and our talents for God? What does He evaluate our lives on? What are examples of being faithful with the little that we’ve been given? Like the 3rd servant, what keeps us from being faithful? See Matt 25:24-27.
- In what ways does faithfulness lead to fruitfulness? Do you think we can be fruitful for the Lord without being faithful to Him? Why or why not? See John 15:1-4. How is great fruitfulness found in the small, everyday, mostly overlooked things? What are some examples?
- What do you love most about this time of year? If you could travel anywhere in the country for a fall getaway, where would you go?
- How would you define kindness? Why do we tend to equate it as just being nice and polite? Why do we think that waking up in a bad mood is a valid excuse for not showing kindness? Why shouldn’t this be the case? See Gal 5:22-23; Col 3:12; Eph 4:32.
- Read Titus 3:3-7; Phil 2:4-8. How would you describe the Lord’s kindness to us? How was He both aware of our needs and willing to do something about it? How should that same type of kindness be reflected in us? What keeps us from having an awareness of others and their needs?
- Read Luke 6:27-36. According to Jesus, why is doing good to those who do good to us nothing noteworthy or special? What are some examples of doing good to our enemies or being kind to those who are ungrateful? Why does this often seem too difficult or impossible? How does this reflect Christ to others?
- Read Eph 2:8-10. Why is it both comforting and challenging to know that God has prepared us for good works in advance? How should they be a part of our our everyday lives? How has your current job or role been an opportunity to do good works? See 1 Pet 4:10.
- Read Matt 5:14-16. How should our good works be the way that people see and praise God? How can you let your light shine brightly for Him? What happens when we wrongly want people to see and praise us for our good works?
- Who’s one of the most patient people you’ve ever met? Describe a time when you had to be really patient for something. How did it turn out?
- How would you define patience? Why is it more than just waiting for things? Why does patience require a long term perspective? How can developing patience be both a blessing and a challenge?
- Read Ps 40:1-5; 9-10. Why do you think David was able to wait patiently on the Lord while in a slimy pit? Why is remembering God’s past faithfulness to us important as we wait on Him in the present? See 1 Sam 17:37; Ps 100:5. What things blind us from seeing His past faithfulness?
- Read Ex 34:6; Jonah 4:2. How is God patient with us? How would you describe His steadfast love in your life? Why is it such a good thing that He’s slow to anger? What if He wasn’t?
- Read Matt 18:23-35. How would you describe the servant’s situation? What did the master do for him and why is his response to his fellow man so shocking? In what ways are we confronted with the same situation as the servant? How can our response to others be one of patience?
- Read 1 Tim 1:12-16. How did God show perfect patience to Paul? How does He show the same to us? Why do we often demand perfection from others instead of showing them patience? How can we change that to better reflect the gospel and what God’s done for us? See 1 Cor 13:4-7.
- When do you most feel at peace? Where’s the most peaceful place you’ve ever been? How would you define peace?
- Read Rom 1:18-25; 3:9-12, 20; 4:5; 5:1. In following the thread of Paul’s argument why is it so amazing that we can have peace with God? What is the basis of that peace? Why do you think so many people overlook the fact that as unbelievers we’re at war with God, not at peace?
- How does having peace with God lead to security and confidence in our relationship with Him? See Heb 10:19-23. What keeps us from experiencing God’s peace, especially during hard or difficult circumstances?
- Read Phil 4:4-7. How does the peace of God act like a guard over our hearts and minds? In what ways do you let worry and anxiety infiltrate your heart and steal that peace? How did Jesus find peace in the garden? See Mark 14:32-36. How can we have the same unwavering confidence in God’s will as He did?
- Read Rom 12:14-21. What does it mean to try and live peaceably with all (even those we struggle with)? How are repaying people for what they’ve done to us or seeking revenge polar opposites of pursuing peace? How do we fight that tendency and instead try to overcome evil with good?
- Read Col 3:12-15; John 16:33. How do we let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts? What attitudes do we need to remove for that to happen? How are bearing with others and forgiving others practical examples of peace? How can we better live out those things?
- If given a day to yourself, what’s something you would most enjoy doing? What’s something you’d avoid?
- Read Gal 5:22-23. Why is joy important? How would you respond to someone who said they can live the Christian life and obey God without being joyful? Is it possible to be a joyless Christian? Why or why not?
- Read Phil 2:17-18; 3:1; 4:4. Why is joy not based on our mood, circumstances, situations, the weather or what side of the bed we woke up on? Why do we tend to think it is? How is our joy dependent on our relationship with Christ? See Rom 8:28; 35-39; Ps. 95:1-3.
- Reread Phil 4:4; 1 Thess 5:16. Do you believe it’s possible to rejoice always? What does that look like, especially during times of struggle and difficulty? Share a time that you rejoiced during the midst of a hard or painful situation.
- Read Ps. 13:1-6. Why does joy require an eternal perspective? What distracts us from that? What happens if we only focus on the here and now? See 2 Cor 4:16-18.
- How is joy an emotion? Even though we can’t choose how we feel, why is it important to choose what our hearts and minds will focus on? See Eph 1:16-19. How does Jesus promise us fullness of joy? What does that look like in our daily lives? See John 15:11; Ps 16:11.
- What are some of the chores or tasks you most avoid? Are you someone who tackles the hard stuff first or do you opt for the easy things and procrastinate on the hard?
- Read Gal 5:22-23. How is love the most important and yet most difficult of the fruit of the Spirit? Why doesn’t it come naturally? What aspects of love make it so challenging to display?
- Read Matt 7:12; 22:37-39. Who’s someone in your life that’s loved you the way Jesus is describing? How did that bless you? Why is a love of self one of the greatest threats to loving others? What can we do about it? See 2 Cor 5:14-15.
- Read 1 John 4:7-10. How would you explain the phrase God is love? How did God demonstrate love to us at great cost to Himself? Do we tend to avoid love when there’s a cost to ourselves? Why?
- Read 1 John 4:11-12; John 13:34-35. Why should our love result in tangible actions and words, not simply remaining as feelings or emotions? What are some practical ways our love for others can reveal Christ? See 1 Cor 13:1-8. Which of these descriptions of love do you want to grow in most?
- Read 1 John 4:19; Eph 3:16-19; 5:1-2. Why is showing love not based on digging deep and mustering up the strength to love others, but instead thinking deeply about Jesus’ love for us? What distracts us from that? How does grasping the depth of His love enable us to love others?
- What’s one of your favorite books or films? Who was your favorite character in it? Why?
- Why is character so important in our spiritual lives? Read Gal 5:22-24. Why doesn’t the Fruit of the Spirit seem to come naturally? Which fruit(s) do you find the most challenging to display?
- Read Gal 5:16-18; Rom 7:15-21. Why do you think our old self is totally opposed to our new self in Christ? How do we battle this tendency of our old self that’s always trying to get in the way of spiritual growth?
- Read Phil 4:8; Col 3:1-3. Why can’t we drift towards godliness but must make an intentional choice to pursue it? Describe a time when you reacted to something in the moment instead of pausing to respond in a Christlike way. Why are our initial reactions usually not the godly way to respond?
- Read Gal 5:19-26. What does it mean to walk by the Spirit? What things keep us from that? In what ways can we make the Fruit of the Spirit performance-based? See Matt 6:1-2. Why should it be an authentic display of who we are?
- Read John 15:4-8. Why is producing fruit only possible by being connected to Jesus and abiding in Him? In what ways are we tempted to live like a lone branch? How can you encourage each other in your small group to abide in Him?
1. What was the best thing you did this summer? What are you most looking forward to this fall?
2. Why is church best described as a family? How has the Wellspring family been a blessing to you? How can your small group be praying for you this year?
3. Read Prov. 16:9; Ps. 46:10; 139:13-17; Jer. 29:11. Why is it a comfort to know that our lives are a biography written by God? Why do we tend to want to write our own story? What have been some of the best chapters of your life? What have been some of the most challenging?
4. Read Matt 11:28-30; Gal 2:20; Col 3:1-4. Why do we tend to define ourselves based on what we do or on our accomplishments? What is the basis of our identity? How should that impact the way we value things?
5. Read Gal 5:22-24; Eph 4:32. Why is it easy to agree with the ideas of grace and forgiveness but struggle with it in the context of real relationships? Why are we called to show this to one another? What happens if we don’t?
6. Why is an unchanged Christian something that doesn’t exist? Why is change not something that happens overnight but is a work in progress? See Rom 12:2; Phil 1:6. How can we encourage others instead of demanding perfection from them?