Describe a time when you saw someone do something courageous. Where did their courage come from? What are some things worth being courageous for? (Intent: This ice breaker prepares the group for discussing the boldness and courageousness of disciples. It reminds us that there are many things worth being courageous for, but none worthier than the Gospel. If you use this ice breaker, consider jumping to question two right away.)
- What stood out to you from Sunday’s message? Did God lay anything specific on your heart? Were you prompted to any specific action? (Intent: A simple way to start the discussion. Leave time for everyone to give input.)
- Where do Peter and John get their courage and boldness? Is this power available for us today? Is there a specific area of your life where you feel like God is wanting you to step out in courage? (Intent: The text emphasizes that Peter and John are bold because of the Holy Spirit. Other answers can include that they had just performed a miracle and they were eyewitnesses of the resurrection. The same power of the Spirit is available today, and we need it to share the Gospel effectively. This conversation on courage is a great chance to ask how God is challenging the people in your group.)
- Acts 4:12 says that Jesus is “the only name” by which we can be saved.
- Why might that kind of exclusive claim be hard to embrace? (think empathetically through the lens of your unbelieving friends) (Intent: Our culture often teaches there are multiple ways to be saved. Across the world there are other religions who teach other ways to be saved. That means there are a lot of people who are facing eternal judgment. This is an obstacle to sharing the Gospel that we do well to prepare for.)
- Why is that kind of exclusive claim crucial for the church to hold on to? (Intent: Despite the offensiveness of an exclusive claim, if it is true it must be fought for.)
- Acts 4:13 says the disciples were uneducated and untrained men, but they do not let that be an obstacle to sharing the Gospel. What obstacles keep you from sharing the Gospel? How can the power of the Spirit help you to overcome them? (Intent: Most people have obstacles that keep them from sharing the Gospel. Anxiety, fear that they will not know how to answer questions, etc. This is a chance to empathize with those struggles, while pointing people to the power of the Holy Spirit.)
- The disciples are able to use the present circumstance as well as what they had seen from Jesus to preach the Gospel. What circumstances are there in your life that can be used to share the Gospel? What have you seen Jesus do for you that you can share with someone else? (Intent: We may not have all witnessed miracles like Peter and John but God has done amazing things in our lives. Simply telling people what Jesus has done for us is a powerful way to share the Gospel.)
Reflect on how God is challenging you to be bold. Whatever that challenge is, step into it through the power of the Holy Spirit and not through your own power.
Father, we praise you for giving us a Spirit of boldness, not timidity. We confess to you that we have often acted out of fear instead of living by the power of the Spirit. Today we ask that you reveal to us the areas of our lives that we need to live in boldness and courage. Strengthen us by your Spirit to take our next step to living boldly and courageously for you. Amen.