Growth Group Week 10

How do we apply these principles?

  1. Are these the last days? The last days began with the coming of Jesus, according to Hebrews 1:2. Why does Paul link his “vice list” (vv. 2-5) with the last days? How is this both a warning and an encouragement? See also 1 John 2:18; 4:3.


  1. Where does outward evil begin? Notice that Paul begins and ends this list with what people love or don’t love. Why is this important? List the qualities these people lack. How do these deficiencies contribute to the breakdown of a culture? Can you list some parallels with Israel’s downfall in 2 Chronicles 36:11-16?


  1. How do false teachers work? Why do you think Paul points out that a key target of the false teachers are “weak women burdened with sins”? (No, he is not defaming women.) Why does he say these teachers are “creeping into houses”? What is it about our sins that make us easy prey for heretics and false teachers? Why does he say that, like the magicians, they will not get far?


  1. How does Truth reveal itself? Paul reminds Timothy not only of Scripture that he knew but the lives that he had seen living that truth. Why and how can conduct of the faithful become an encouragement to Timothy (and us)? What does Paul mean when he says that Scripture is “God breathed”? What descriptive words and phrases does he use to indicate that Scripture is a sufficient resource for Timothy? How sufficient is it?


Growth Group Week 9

How do we apply these principles?

1. Do we take grace for granted? We are so used
to “grace” that we may miss its necessity and reality in
everyday life. What are the implications of Paul telling Timothy to be “strengthened by the grace that is in Christ
Jesus”? What are some other “resources” for strength? That is, where do we turn for strength when we don’t look
to His grace? Ephesians 1:3-14
2. Do we outsource discipleship? Before following Jesus became “Christianity” and all of its institutions,
churches were training centers for leaders, pastors, and teachers. Why aren’t they now? Why do we assume that
Bible colleges and seminaries should do all of the training for men in ministry? What are some advantages to
church-based training? How can these institutions partner with local churches in mutually beneficial, meaningful
3. What about these three images? Paul uses the analogies of soldiering, farming, and athletic competition
in helping Timothy to relate to his tasks. List at least two implications of each of these pictures for leaders and
would-be leaders.
4. God’s Sovereignty or Man’s Responsibility?
We tend to make these mutually exclusive categories, but
Paul works hard so that “the elect” might be saved! Why is
it so important to believe and apply BOTH? And how do God’s CERTAIN glory and plan motivate us to be faithful
and responsible?

Growth Group Week 7

How do we apply these principles?


  1. Saints and Sinners Humans tend either to worship their leaders or demonize them. Paul calls for leaders to be both honored and held accountable, but that requires a ruthless objectivity which is often cast aside under pressure or intimidation. Why is it so difficult for people to be objective about leaders? How do these guidelines dovetail with elder qualifications listed in 3:1-6? What might tempt a church just to cover up the sin of its leaders? What happens when it does? What does it imply that some sins appear quickly, others over time? Why does choosing leaders take time?


  1. Honor and Double Honor What does “double honor” imply? How does Paul use the Old Testament quotations in v. 18? Some have suggested that to support a pastor (elder) monetarily is wrong because it places him above the people as privileged. How would you answer them? Why are some elders “paid” and other not? How can this privilege be abused? 1 Peter 5:1-5


  1. Slaves and Masters As we study the book of Philemon, along with the rest of the New Testament, it is clear that the kind of slavery referenced is quite different from that of the USA in pre-Civil War days. How would you paraphrase Paul’s message to slaves? How does that principle apply to employees today? Why is there an implied message to masters as well? How would you paraphrase it for today? Why the reminder that our faith must extend to the marketplace? Col. 3:22–4:1

Growth Group Week 6

  1. Family or Foe? Paul’s instruction to Timothy about treating church members in age and gender-appropriate ways clearly is sage advice. What pitfalls can Timothy avoid by not rebuking an elder, but entreating him as a father (or grandfather)? Why should Timothy treat older women as he would his mother? Why treat younger women as sisters? This does not mean there are never conflicts, but that they are resolved in loving and helpful ways. Who is your family? Mark 3:20, 21, 31-35; Romans 2:28, 29


  1. Family or Church? The care of widows is primarily the responsibility of their own families (5:4, 8, 16), and only then, the church’s. What are the reasons Paul gives for this principle? In our culture of social programs and “senior living” centers, how should these principles be applied? If a family is not taking care of an elderly parent or grandparent, should the church intervene? If so, how should that be done? James 2:14-17; 1 John 3:16-18


  1. Faith and Works Paul’s words to Timothy are serious ones. What does he say is at stake (vv. 4, 8) if a family does not care for their widows? Why does he say this? And what is at stake if a widow (one who had been “enrolled” as a servant to the church in those days) abandons her promises? What does it mean to turn aside after Satan? Are there any parallels today of the “enrolled” widows of the first century church?

Growth Group Week 5

How do we apply these principles?


  • Me? A Role Model? Paul urged Timothy to be a good role model. Who are some of your role models/mentors and why did you look up to them? What are some ways that you can be a better role model today?


  • Run from suffering or run to suffering? Suffering is uncomfortable and you probably try to avoid it. However, being a Christian is an invitation to suffer for the gospel. What should you remember as you persevere through suffering? What is the fruit of suffering?


  • Who’s your companion? Companionship is not just for church leaders, even though they are to model it. How

can church leaders demonstrate the importance of relationships in the body of Christ? How have people encouraged and refreshed you? What is the danger of

not having a companion?


“God does not call the qualified,

He qualifies the called.”

Growth Group Week 4

Growth Group Questions for the week of 3/24/19


  • In 1 Timothy 6:3-4, Paul tells Timothy If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, they are conceited and understand nothing.


The leaders of a church have the primary responsibility for ensuring that “sound instruction” is being given. Do non-leaders have any role in this? What can those who are not in leadership do to help ensure that the teaching that is being offered is in line with the truth of God’s word? What would be the appropriate thing to do if you believed that our church was no longer teaching the truth?




  • In 1 Timothy 6: 6-10, Paul shares, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

You have likely heard the phrase, “Have an attitude of gratitude”. What does having gratitude have to do with contentment? What steps do you take to help you to be thankful and content with your life? How should we view God in the midst of these considerations?

How can a believer guard against falling in love with money? Is it wrong for Christians to have a lot of money? Why or why not? How can a person who is rich glorify God with their money?




  • Paul charged Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:13-16 13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

Why is it important for a church to remember that all they do is “in the sight of God”? What problems could develop if they don’t? Read Revelation Chapter 3:14-18. The church in Laodicea had a view of themselves that was much different than how Jesus saw them. What were the differences? Generally speaking, is there any way that a church can guard against having such a distorted view of itself?  

Growth Group Week 3

Have you ever had a missionary in your home? Do you know a missionary or missionary family well? How do you stay current in praying for them?        


Why do you think many church goers have little interest in spreading the gospel to the nations? What might they think the church’s purpose is?


What are some ways in which we might better know our missionaries

             and how to help and pray for them and their children?


 What are some ways in which we can help our children to be “Glocal” in their attitudes and actions?


List some practical things that you can begin doing in order to partner actively with one of our missionaries. How can our church help you in your efforts?

Growth Groups Week 2

How do we apply these principles?


  1. Wrong, or just a difference of opinion? While God leaves many things God to our own choices, sound doctrine is not one of them. Called “the truth,” “the deposit,” and here, “the faith,” God’s word is to be a church’s focus (1 Tim. 1:3, 4; 2 Tim. 4:1-5; Titus 1:10, 11). What are the things Paul lists that are drawing people away from truth? Why is Paul so passionate about all of this? Are these teachers naive, or purposefully deceptive? How can you tell? Why would the false teachers be targeting marriage and dietary laws?


  1. For or Against? Though Paul warns against false doctrines, that is not the emphasis. We are to teach what God is FOR, such as grace, mercy, and love, which He pours out freely in the gospel and which overflows into the lives of others. Why do so many think of godliness as deprivation (as in “diet”) rather than richness (think “nutrition”). If Jesus came to give us abundant life (John 10:10), why are we so tempted by the “junk food” of sin to turn away from the full spiritual nourishment at His blessed table (Eph. 1:3-12)? Is Jesus truly our “Bread of Life”? Are we satisfied in Him? John 6:35


  1. Consistency or Convenience? At least a dozen imperatives dot this passage, Life is not a game, nor a vacation, nor a spa. It is a boot camp where we learn the discipline of discipleship. How is this different from salvation by works, or earning God’s favor by working? What are some practical things Paul lists for spiritually staying on track? Hebrews 12:1-17

Growth Groups Week 1

Nurturing God’s Family  Planting, Establishing, and Leading                            Local Churches       Practical Principles from The Pastoral Letters                                                    “Recognize, train, and follow godly leaders.”                                                                                                       1 Timothy 3:1-16                                                 Even a cursory reading of our Old Testament reveals that na-tions and institutions rise and fall in accordance to how they are led and governed. Local churches are no different. Everything depends upon leaders and how closely they are attuned to God’s heart and order. Read more…