- For the elections on March 7th. The country will vote for new representatives – MPs, mayors, councillors, district council chairs and of course, a president who will determine their future for the next five years. Please pray for this process to be honest and democratic. Also that Christians will become more prominent in the ruling positions in Sierra Leone;
- that those in leadership positions will be given wisdom and a discerning spirit as they lead the Connexional Churches;
- for Rev. Alex Dixon as he works with Theophilus in promoting the gospel through the Connexional Churches in Sierra Leone.
- that he will have a good partnership with Esther Tommy;
- that he will be given strength to fulfil his church commitments and support his wife Victoria in her illness;
- that the church at Lady Selina will be of one mind concerning the development of the roof space;
- for the Annual Sierra Leone Conference as it takes place this month. Pray for a sense of oneness and a spirit of love and concern.
A study based on the sermon: Called to bring the roof down!
- In verse 1 it says Jesus came home, but Jesus home was in Nazareth; why does Mark say this?
- Verse 2: What was Jesus preaching to the people? What should we preach to people and what happens if we preach something different?
- Verses 3&4: discuss the faith these men had and the effect their faith had on the different people around i.e. the paralysed man, Jesus, the four friends, the religious leaders, others in the house.
- How should this impact our own faith and our own approach to bringing people to Jesus?
- Verse 5: Jesus forgives the man’s sin – what does that mean?
- Verses 6-12: Jesus proves His authority, what do His words and actions prove? How should that impact our lives?
A Study on Mark 1:21-45 based on the sermon: Authority!
- Imagine the scene in the in the Synagogue as Jesus joins the regular crowd. What was different about the way He taught?
- Discuss Demons, being possessed and what that means. Are Christians possessed? Discuss your answers.
- Why don’t we hear of people being possessed today?
- We see Jesus healing many people. Does He still heal today? If so why isn’t everyone healed?
- Talk through the lepers request, Jesus response and the Lepers response to being healed.
If you missed the sermon, here’s the link: Don’t Mend Your Nets!
Reading Mark 1:1-20.
- What do we know about Mark, who was he, why was he writing and who to, when was he writing?
- What was John the Baptist doing and why? Discuss what it must have been like to have been around with him?
- Why was Jesus baptised? Discussed what happened when He was.
- Mark hardly mentions the temptations, but He mentions enough to tell us the important facts – what are they and what difference does it make to our understanding of Jesus?
- What does it mean to follow Jesus, and what might be stopping us from following Him more obediently (what kind of nets might we be mending?)
A Study based on our verses for the year (Hebrews 10:23-25) and this Sermon: Your Church Needs You!
- Take the passage and use it as a ‘sounding board’ to answer the following:
- What is Christian hope and how does it differ from the way hope is often used?
- The passage doesn’t talk about us doing what we want or getting what we want but focuses on other brothers and sisters in our church, why is that and what difference should that make to the way we relate to each other as a church?
- Sometimes we get restless as individuals and decide that we want something else, maybe a different style or more going on, a bigger church or a smaller church. Why is acting on what we want almost certainly the wrong thing? (if there are any brave characters in the group they might share about past occasions when they have left churches for personal preference rather than because they were called for a purpose);
- How can we motivate, encourage, and provoke (in a positive way) one another? And how might we demotivate, discourage and provoke (in a negative way) one another?
- Should we expect Christ’s return soon?
A study based on Proverbs 17:24
If you missed the sermon you cam pick it up here: Is that terribly wise?
- How would you describe wisdom? Can anyone have wisdom or is it a gift for some?
- What characterises a fool?
- Can the group recall any other times wisdom and foolishness are mentioned in the Bible? Discuss what God is saying through each example.
- How can we get wisdom?
- Discussion on things like this can be a bit disconnected from real life. in the sermon we looked at a number of ways that we could and should apply this passage to our lives. Discuss those further as a group, and consider how we might encourage and challenge each other in this.
A study based on Misha’s sermon: Which Star Are You Following?
- What lessons can we learn from the Magi and their persistence to find Jesus. (matt 2 v 9)
- How can Simeon and Anna be an example to us today. ( Luke 3 v 25-38)
- Why is important to be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit and to be in fellowship with God and each other. (matt 25 v 1 -12)
- How can we convey the true meaning of Nativity to our unsaved loved ones and friends .
- Discuss as a group how Jesus second coming will have much in common with His first, the state of the world, Godlessness and other situations we see in the world at this time.
A study on Isaiah 60:1-6 based on the sermon Rise and Shine
- When you think of Advent, what do you think…? Discuss this as a group.
- Compare Isaiah 5:20 with Isaiah 60:2. How does that help us understand what kind of darkness is meant here?
- [This is a question that will take some time] The New Testament is scattered with talk of light and dark, turn some up (Hint: Matthew, John, Ephesians, 1 John, Revelation) and see how they relate to our reading, and talk through how they should impact the Christian life.
- How can Christ’s light shine through us, to enable others to see the truth, and what, in our lives, might be a hindrance to that?
The main issue in Sierra Leone at the moment involves the contents of the 40 foot container which arrived at Bethesda two weeks ago.
- That God will stir the hearts of folk in the Connexion to help with the massive distribution of goods.
- That Magnus, Daniel and others involved in the organisation will be given wisdom in the distribution of the shoe bags and other items.
- That transport might be available to deliver the goods to outlying villages.
- That those involved in this work will be strengthened and stay healthy throughout. That God will keep them safe on the roads.
- That the children receiving the shoe bags will also receive the love of Jesus.
- That the street children will accept the sleeping bags knowing that God loves them.
- That Christmas will be a blessed time for all our friends in the Connexional Churches.
- That Christmas will be celebrated by the children at Bethesda as a time of happiness.
A study based on Acts 12:1-11
If you missed the sermon you can pick it up here: Powerful Prayers & Powerful Answers
- Read the passage and as you work your way through it, stop at after each new character is introduced and discuss what the group know about them;
- Peter slept, talk through how you might feel in a comparative situation and also why was Peter able to sleep? What can we learn form this and how can we apply it to our lives today?
- Discus verse 8 and consider how the miraculous is almost always missed with the practical when Go intervenes in our lives;
- Going back to verse 5, we read that the people prayed earnestly, what might that kind of prayer be like?
- Discuss as a group how you can practically help each other to be encouraged and helped to develop in your personal prayer lives and also be more engaged in the church’s collective prayer life.