Last week we talked about the core mission of our church, to make disciples. It’s always going to be tempting to make church about everything but this core mission. This week we’re going to look at something vital both for personal growth and church growth. For small group discussion, read Matthew 14:22-30, the story of Peter walking on water. Notice that Peter hears Jesus’ voice, and then discerns it: “if it is you …” Think of this as a metaphor for growing in a relationship with God: constantly discerning in prayer, and keeping our eyes and ears open to Jesus’ call, his direction. From time to time, all of us will be called to step out of our comfort zones – Jesus is going to ask us sometimes to risk things that may not make logical sense in the moment. To be disciples of Jesus, both individually and as a church, we need to have the faith and trust in Jesus to listen and follow. As a church, there will be moments when we are going to be called to “get out of the boat,” and to have faith. Notice that when Peter took his eyes off Jesus, that’s when he started sinking. The opposite is true: when we focus on Jesus, our problems become smaller; our problems or “storms” are nothing in comparison to our great God. Where is Jesus calling you to get out of the boat and step out into a sea of uncertainty? When we step out of the boat, that’s when we walk on water – when we trust Jesus, discern his voice, keeping our eyes on him, doing what he says – that’s when we accomplish things that we previously thought impossible. Questions for small groups:
Read aloud Matthew 14:28-30. What do you imagine taking place in the scene?
When in your life have you taken a step of faith and seen God provide for you?
Why is stepping out in faith throughout life vital to becoming a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ? Why do we get tempted to stop moving?
Peter got out of the boat because he recognized Jesus calling him. How is your current prayer time? Are you spending enough time with Jesus to hear his voice?
Where do you believe God is calling you to get out of the boat right now? What are the waves and the wind that discourage you from stepping out in faith?
How can this group encourage you to make a move?