The salvation of your family, your workplace, and your city is not all on you. Jesus is the One who saves lives, who heals marriages, who sets people free from addictions, and who makes the impossible possible... We are neither the climax of the story, nor the main point. Jesus is the subject, and we are the storytellers. ~Hosanna Wong, From Chapter 1 of How (Not) to Save the World
1.When you first encountered God, what circumstances and people were involved?
2.How would your life be different if no one had helped you encounter or grow in your relationship with God?
3.On a scale of one to ten, how easy is it for you to talk about God with others
4.What are the biggest challenges or insecurities you face when sharing your faith?
Session 1 Video (18 minutes)
As you watch, take notes on anything that stands out to you.
~The first time you saw something broken that you wanted to fix
~We can talk about Jesus without fear of what the end results might be
~Lie: Only some people are called to share Jesus
~Jesus made friends first
~Our call is to be like Jesus, not to save, but to serve
~Mrs. Lee — make the invitation
Group Discussion Questions
Hosanna opens with a powerful story of feeling powerless to help someone. She confesses, “At an early age, I believed the lie that as a Jesus follower, it was my duty to save everyone.
But the truth is that it’s not any of our jobs to save. We are not created to carry the weight of everyone’s salvation on our shoulders. It’s actually amazing news that Jesus is the
savior and we’re not.”
1.In which areas of your life do you struggle most with having a savior complex that reinforces the idea that everything relies on you? Check all that apply.
- Providing financial stability
- Maintaining peace in relationships
- Making everyone happy
- Raising remarkable kids
- Finding the right partner
- Always volunteering when there’s a need
- Making your business thrive
- Keeping the lawn or house perfect
- Caring for an aging parent
2.Like Hosanna, can you identify a moment from your childhood that made you believe that everything depended on you? Share the circumstance or story with the group and discuss the effect it had on you.
3.All of us are susceptible to believing lies that hold us back from telling others about Jesus. Read through the list below and mark any of the following that have prevented you from sharing your faith.
- I need to be a perfect example of a Christian before I can share my faith.
- I need to have all the spiritual answers before I start the discussion.
- I’m afraid of being awkward, weird, or pushy.
- I’ve seen people share their faith using fear-based tactics and manipulation, and I don’t want to be part of that.
- I don’t have an impressive story of faith, so they won’t listen to me.
- My story is too different, so they won’t relate.
- My story is not different enough, so it won’t make an impact.
- I’ve tried to share my faith in the past and it didn’t work, so it won’t work now.
- Other people are called to this, not me.
- Other people are gifted in this, not me.
4.Which of these holds you back most from sharing your faith? Why?
5.What do you need to do to overcome your hesitation?
6.What is at risk if you don’t overcome some of the fears or whatever holds you back?
Bible Study Connection
Group leader, read the following comments to the group and then read the associated Bible passage aloud, followed by further discussion questions.
In believing these kinds of lies or holding on to bad experiences from the past, we can miss all God wants to do in and through us here and now.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus reached out to a tax collector. These people were the social pariahs, the snakes and snitches of their time, who took more money than they should from patrons. Some even over- taxed their own family members and betrayed friends to expand their financial gain. Yet, as we’ll discover, Jesus was constantly making friends with people . . . even before they changed their behaviors.
Before they chose Jesus, Jesus chose them.
1.Read Matthew 9:9–13.
How does Jesus invite and interact with Matthew and others like Him? (hint: v. 9–10)
What surprises you most about Jesus’ generosity toward those who don’t know Him?
How do the Pharisees respond to Jesus’ generosity? (hint: v. 11)
What surprises you most about Jesus’ response to the Pharisees? (hint: v. 12–13)
How would our lives look differently if we understood that the call that comes from Jesus is not a call to make people more religious, but a call to have more relationships?
Matthew wasn’t the only social scoundrel Jesus invited into relationship.
2.Read Luke 19:1–9.
What were the parallels in the way Jesus approached Zacchaeus and Matthew? (9:9–13)
What challenges you most about how Jesus reached out to others? What comes most naturally to you? What’s the most difficult to embrace from this passage?
What practical tips can you take from these passages to help you share your faith with others?
3.Hosanna tells the story of Mrs. Lee’s interaction with a vacuum salesman. Despite the rough and tumble background of the man, Mrs. Lee responded without shock or shame. Instead of highlighting the ways their lives differed, she focused on what they had in common. Then she shared what Jesus had done for her. That man came to know Jesus. Years later, the former vacuum salesman introduced Hosanna, his daughter, to Jesus.
In a nutshell, what has Jesus done in your life? If you were to paint the picture of your life before knowing Jesus and after knowing Jesus, how would you describe it?
4.Who are three people who are right in front of you — on your street, in your apartment building, at school pick up, in a nearby cubicle, in your family, on a walking path — whom you’ve overlooked and can begin building relationships with? Name them here. No need to share names with the group.
Discuss practical ways that you can make invitations, have conversations, and share your stories without fear of the result.
Call to Action
Team up with someone in your group (or online if you are doing this study virtually) and reveal the three names that you wrote in question Share a little about each person with your partner, and take a moment to pray for opportunities to deepen the connection and talk naturally about Jesus when the time comes.
Group leader, read aloud to the group to close your time together this week.
The people in our lives whom we encounter, know, and love, are looking for hope and peace, and they need to know where it can be found. Every day we can help others discover how deeply loved they are. And it all begins with an authentic relationship.
Jesus never called us to save the world. He’s already got that. Jesus calls us to serve the world. We can faithfully show up for people, develop real relationships, and naturally talk about our faith.
Select a volunteer to read the closing prayer over the group.
Free us from the lie that only some people are called to share the good news of Jesus. Help us see ourselves as your chosen vessels for the gospel to be heard by every person, everywhere. Give us opportunities to engage spiritually with people we
meet and those already in our lives. May Your Spirit spark conversations. Give us the grace to focus more on what we have in common than any differences. Stir our hearts with Your deep affection and holy expectation. Amen.
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What holds you back from sharing your faith? Who’s right around you?