June Sermon Discussion Questions

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Here are the discussion questions from the sermon series on Jonah. Groups Ministry will take a break from posting sermon discussion questions until September. If your home group continues to meet during the summer, please take the opportunity to go through some spiritual reflection exercises, which you can find in the Documents section of this website.

Have a great summer!


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This is our last month in the book of Colossians. You can print out the handouts for your home group by clicking this link or looking in the Documents section of this blog.

If you have any questions, feel free to send an email to Pastor Ryan or Sarah.

October Sermon Discussion Questions

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Some of you have just finished or are about finish the Gather to Scatter study, so we wanted to have sermon discussion questions available for when you need them. Click this link or click on the Documents page of this site to download and print the pdf file that has the first four lessons of the Colossians sermon series.

When you have time, Pastor Ryan would LOVE to hear your feedback about Gather to Scatter. Please give him a call or send him an email when you have a chance. Thank you!

Survival Guide for the Soul: How to Flourish Spiritually in a World that Pressures Us to Achieve


It was no accident that this book, written by Ken Shigematsu (Senior Pastor of Tenth Church in Vancouver, BC), was mailed to me to read before it’s officially released next week on August 7th. Recently, I had a meeting with Pastor Art and he gracefully pointed out several obvious examples of how I’ve tried to earn value (i.e. love) through achievement (i.e. work). The embarrassing thing is that this wasn’t the first time someone has pointed that out to me.

In my heart I know that I am loved by my Heavenly Father and that His love is the only love that will fulfill me. But in my head, I somehow convince myself that if I just get one more hour of work done, one more household chore, teach my kids one more skill, impress my husband with an amazing feat… I will be overcome with an everlasting feeling of accomplishment. But that never happens. I just wear myself out and flop into bed at the end of the day feeling overly tired and defeated.

So what did I learn from this book? In two words: a lot! I’ll let you read the book for yourself to get the complete story, but here are the top three lessons I learned:

Rest is best. As I stated earlier, I constantly push myself to get one more thing done. In this book I loved this reminder: “According to the Genesis poem, God rested on the seventh day. This means that our first full day on the planet as the human race was a day off. We began our existence on the Sabbath. God created us to rest before we work. If we violate this order, we damage ourselves and deprive those we love.”

Friendship is essential. And most importantly, a friendship with Jesus. “As we deepen our friendships with Jesus Christ, we become the kind of friend our hearts long for and receive the friends God has for us.” We weren’t meant to live our lives alone, but we must be careful that we surround ourselves with friends who will positively influence us. “God can use our friends to transform our desires, so that we aren’t ambitious for ambition itself, but rather ambitious to serve a higher calling.”

I must surrender. “Surrendering our lives to Christ not only radically recalibrates our desires, it also brings us into a more – not less – fulfilled life. When we look back, we find that God’s ways are far better than our own.” In the final pages of the book, the author writes about a passage of scripture he is drawn to at the end of John, after Jesus’ resurrection, when Jesus is walking on the beach talking to Peter (John 21:18-22). Ken Shigematsu writes “When I am tempted to compare myself to someone who is more successful than I am, who seems to have an easier path, I hear Jesus saying, “What is that to you? You follow me.” This really resonates with me, and I sense that I will be reminded of this same passage repeatedly as I learn and continue to fully surrender.

If you’d like to get your hands on a copy of the book, visit www.survivalguideforthesoul.com. When you pre-order the book, you’ll receive a sneak peek plus a free study guide for individual or small group use.

#survivalguideforthesoul #kenshigematsu

Book Review by Sarah Biggerstaff

Saving Truth Book Review

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Last week RZIM’s Abdu Murray (author of Grand Central Question) released a new book called Saving Truth: Finding Meaning & Clarity in a Post-Truth World. If you’re like me and often wonder how our society got to the point of teaching students about gender fluidity, among other hot topics, and how to stand firm in the truth of your faith while expressing compassion, this book is for you.

I warn you, this is not a light, easy read; but the message is profound. The seduction of a post-truth mindset in the areas of gender, human dignity, science, freedom and religion are laid out with explanations about how freedom of choice has been confused with autonomy. As I read through the book, I was moved by these five quotes:

  • Now is the time for compassionate, yet uncompromisingly expressed, truth.
  • If Christians are to meaningfully contribute to the cultural conversation through social media, they must do so with integrity.
  • We confuse engaging in argument with quarreling. We confuse disagreeing with someone’s beliefs with disrespecting the person. In fact, we’ve confused the difference between people and ideas altogether…
  • Our preferences have not given us the sure footing of clarity’s dry land, only the wobbly buoyancy of confusion’s river.
  • A post-truth culture that elevates feelings over facts gives us only half the picture. And in being half-right, it’s all wrong.

If you’d like to read the first chapter of the book for free, visit www.AbduMurray.com. For home groups that might consider going through this book together, there are bonus deals available right now including free study guides and online access to the teaching videos when purchasing single or multiple copies of the book. Visit www.AbduMurray.com for more information.

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Book Review by Sarah Biggerstaff

Even In Our Darkness


Next weekend, Group Leaders will gather together to discuss spiritual warfare. More about that in a minute, but first I want to tell you about a book I was invited to read before it was published called Even In Our Darkness, written by former pastor and theologian Dr. Jack Deere.

I had never heard of the author before, but the description of the book pulled me in: “A powerful memoir of finding beauty and friendship through the pain of loss, tragedy, and brokenness, Even In Our Darkness explores what it means to know God and be known by him.”

Before I began reading the book, I had was convinced that I would be reading about someone who had what I like to call “pastor problems,” not someone who had experienced real pain, loss, tragedy and brokenness, because pastors are favored by God to shepherd those of us with the real problems. Am I right? No. In fact, I couldn’t be more wrong.

This book left me speechless. At first, reading through his teen years, I thought, well that’s the difference of growing up in the south. But as I continued reading, my heart broke for Dr. Jack Deere. These are not “pastor problems.” This is real, hard, ugly, life. But through it all, Jesus was by his side, and Deere clung to that.

I hope that you join us next weekend for Pastor Ryan’s gathering. Click here to link to the post with more information about that.

For more information about Even In Our Darkness, visit the website www.eveninourdarkness.com.

Book Review by Sarah Biggerstaff

February Sermon Discussion Questions

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This weekend we’re starting a new sermon series on 2 Timothy. Sermon discussion questions for the first three messages of this series are available in a printable PDF file that you can download by clicking here.

The fourth weekend of February is a Milestone Weekend, and please save the date for Monday, February 26th to attend the Annual Meeting where members will have the opportunity to vote to affirm Pastor Brandon Sales as Senior Pastor. To read more about the pastoral transition at Lighthouse, visit www.lighthousehome.org/transition.

Also, if you haven’t done so already, please RSVP to attend the group leader gathering called “Standing Firm” on Saturday, March 10th. Pastor Ryan will share about himself as well as a message on Spiritual Warfare. RSVP by clicking here.

September Sermon Discussion Questions


Welcome Back to home group season! As you kick-off the new year I want to make sure that you have everything you need to get started.

  • Sermon discussion questions for September are available here, and in the documents section of this blog.
  • At times, the weekend messages aren’t part of a series and sermon discussion questions aren’t provided (such as Milestone Weekends and special topic). During those weeks, we suggest going through the Spiritual Self Assessment or another faith exercise together. Email me for handouts if you’re interested.
  • If you need suggestions for studies to go through or access to RightNow Media, please let me know.
  • If there is a conflict or other issue needing pastoral attention that arises in your home group, please contact me and I will arrange for a pastor to meet with you.

Lastly, if you attended Group Connect and have people to follow up with, please do that as soon as possible. Many of the attendees were very excited and eager to get started.

Thank you Group Leaders for all that you do!


I know what you’re thinking. “Sarah, we’re Group Leaders. We ARE in charge.”

Good point.

But hear me out. As Group Leaders, we’re in charge to a certain extent, but really, we’re serving a ministry of Lighthouse, and ultimately, we’re serving Jesus.

So how do we lead well when we’re not in charge? I was given the privilege of reading an advance copy of the book How To Lead When You’re Not In Charge by Clay Scroggins, the lead pastor of North Point Community Church (yes, you’re reading that correctly, the same North Point as Andy Stanley, he’s Clay’s boss). It was both helpful and humorous, which is a great combination, especially when reading non-fiction.


Here are three lessons I learned from the book that apply to all of us as Group Leaders:

  1. Lead Yourself. Truly great leaders, no matter how successful they become, maintain a learning curve as steep as when they first begin their careers. So make a plan. Know where you currently are. Have a vision for where you want to go. Develop the discipline and accountability to do what it takes to stay on track. And go all-in.
  2. Choose Positivity. Leaders who bring a trust-fueled, hope-filled, forward-thinking attitude every day can change any team dynamic. Positivity is a character trait that is developed over time, and more often than not, character is developed when things are difficult. Throughout history, God has put specific people into particular positions for definitive reasons. There is a confidence that comes from believing that God has you where he wants you.
  3. Effective Leaders Are Inclusive. The best way to be the type of leader people want to celebrate is to care deeply about the people you work with. Inclusive leaders don’t isolate themselves as authority figures, they include themselves in the discussion as influential innovators. Take a look at Jesus. He surrounded himself with disciples so he could prepare them to carry on the momentum of his ministry. He didn’t just send them out and hope for the best. He equipped them by telling them where to go, what to say, what to do, and even what to take (Matt 10:6-10). He was forcing them to live up to their potential. That’s what we’re called to do as leaders, and that’s something we can do whether we’re in charge or not.

I enjoyed this book so much and the more I thought, prayed and talked about it, the more I realized that this book would be helpful for many of the Group Leaders I’m honored to serve with. This Friday at Group Connect, leaders will receive a copy of this book as a gift from the Groups Ministry at Lighthouse. If you won’t be at Group Connect but are interested in the book, please send me an email at sarah@lighthousehome.org.

Lastly, for full disclosure purposes, in exchange for the advance copy of the book, I was asked to write a review (which you can read here). I chose to share lessons from the book on this blog, in addition to what I was asked, for the reasons mentioned above. I pray that it is as helpful to you as it has been to me.

For more information, visit ClayScroggins.com/Resources.

Book Review by Sarah Biggerstaff