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Small Group Questions for Sermon Series Gospeler Week 1


Every session has a point—what each participant should walk away from the discussion knowing, feeling, and doing.


Main Idea: Since no one can trust Christ without knowing him, one of our primary callings is to tell others about him.


Head Change: To know that Jesus gave us the mission to share his good news.


Heart Change: To feel inspired to do our part in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.


Life Change: To start a conversation with someone about faith.


What is your favorite fresh food?


Whether it’s berries in summer, apples picked off the tree, or vegetables from your own garden, there is nothing like fresh food in its season. While we usually pick up fresh food from our local grocery, someone planted the seed that produced the food we love. Their attention to plant, nurture, weed, and cultivate these slow-growing gifts blesses us and our families.


In our first session of this series, author, CEO, and TV personality Willie Robertson compares the work of tending a garden to the process of making disciples. We all have a role to play in growing disciples.


Before viewing the session, here are a few important things to look for in Willie Robertson‘s teaching. As you watch, pay attention to how he answers the following questions.


What is a “gospeler”?


What are the two parts of Jesus’s last instructions (the Great Commission)?


Watch Session 1: Gospel Genealogy (8 minutes).


Willie opened with a list of things Christians are taught to do, such as attending church, praying, reading our Bibles, not sinning—but when we do, confessing—being joyful and loving, and so much more. A lot goes into the Christian life. But, he said, those practices can distract us from one critical element—sharing the message of Jesus with others. Which spiritual practice do you tend to focus on most? How often do you think about or actively participate in evangelism?


Willie focused on Jesus’s parting words to the disciples before he ascended because a person’s final words tend to be important. Read Matthew 28:19–20. Does Jesus’s final speech impact the way you prioritize sharing the gospel? What does it mean to you that, as a follower of Christ, you’ve been commissioned to tell others about Jesus?


Willie introduced an old word that is likely new to most of us—gospeler. Gospelers, he said, are people who share their faith in Christ either publicly or personally. Their mission is to obey the Great Commission from Matthew 28 and make Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection known. To what degree are you known as a gospeler?


Willie talked about his spiritual genealogy, which showed him how the gospel ultimately came to him. A gospeler shared the gospel with his father, which then impacted Willie, his children, and now his grandchildren. Each of us has a spiritual genealogy, too. What do you know about how faith in Christ started in your family?


The church is a family, and our spiritual heritage can be traced back to the twelve disciples and, ultimately, Jesus. Now, you can become part of someone else’s spiritual heritage. Whose spiritual family tree could you join by sharing the gospel with them?


Willie set part of his session in a bar like the one his father, Phil, had owned decades before. By obeying God’s call to drive over and talk to Phil, a preacher had gone where he was not expected or even accepted. Seeking people who don’t know Jesus means we will often find ourselves in unusual places. In your experience, when has sharing the gospel felt awkward or uncomfortable? In what ways can awkwardness or discomfort keep us from sharing the gospel?


Willie likened evangelism to a garden. Before we can harvest, seeds must first be sown. The preacher who found Phil planted the seed of the gospel in his mind. Others “watered” his faith until it grew, years later, into maturity. The gospel takes time to establish a strong root in our hearts. How would you describe your spiritual growth journey? Who sowed the seed (told you about Jesus)? Which others helped water your faith (encouraged and taught you)?


Sometimes when we act as a gospeler, we do not get to see the results. But sharing the gospel isn’t a contest—no one should be keeping score on how many souls they’ve converted. Willie reflected on how the preacher, Phil’s sister, and others all worked together to help Phil come to know and follow Jesus. Discipleship is a team effort powered by God’s Spirit. But it requires our participation. When you think of evangelism, do you think of it as planting a seed—something that can grow over time—or requiring an immediate decision concerning what a person believes? How might your approach to evangelism change if you saw yourself as a part of God’s process?


When Jesus gave his final instructions, known as the Great Commission, he ended with, “I will be with you always” (Matthew 28:20). He is the power behind our efforts to share his good news. How often do you remember to ask God for wisdom and courage when you have a chance to share the gospel? How does knowing he is with you help you engage more confidently in gospel conversations?


Jesus’s followers are excellent models of evangelism for us—they wasted no time in going out to spread the word about him and did so creatively. One great example is Philip, one of the church’s first deacons who earned the title “the Evangelist.” First, he was instrumental in Simon the Sorcerer’s conversion (Acts 8:9–13). Then God sent him south. Read Acts 8:26–40.


As the passage begins, we see an angel of God giving Philip a command to go somewhere specific. Philip obeyed anyway. We may not hear an audible voice, but God does guide our behavior. When have you felt God pointing you toward a decision? How did you respond?


Consider how God initiates Philip’s evangelism in this story. The angel of the Lord sent Philip to an unlikely place and the Spirit prompted him to approach a particular stranger. God will prompt us to do his work and empower us to do so. When you consider your opportunities to share the gospel, in what ways did God bring you to those places? How did you see God working to put you and the other person together?


God sent Philip to a road where an official for the queen of Ethiopia was traveling. But, obeying the Spirit’s instruction to join the man, Philip noticed him reading from the book of Isaiah, a signal that the man was interested in the Jewish faith. On the outside, the official seemed like an unusual or intimidating person to approach, but he was already asking the questions that would lead him to Jesus. We won’t know what questions people are asking about God unless we approach them. Do you enjoy meeting new people or is it a struggle for you? What challenges have you faced in conversing comfortably with someone new?


When he recognized the Scripture the eunuch was reading, Philip knew how to start the conversation. The better we know the Word of God, the more equipped we will be to talk about God when opportunities come along. How confident are you discussing or even teaching Scripture? What are you doing to learn and grow in your understanding? Who could help you improve your knowledge of the Bible?


In verses 30–31, the eunuch openly admitted he did not understand the passage from Isaiah. And he knew he would not understand without someone to guide him, “so he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.” Remember this eunuch was a high-ranking official in the government, in charge of the entire treasury (verse 27). He was used to being in charge, but here he demonstrated a deep humility. Asking for help with an unfamiliar concept shows wisdom. When you first began exploring your faith, did you seek others’ help or try to figure it out on your own? What benefits do you see to asking someone to come alongside you in your spiritual journey?


Philip understood that all of Scripture points to Jesus, and in verse 34 we see that he was able to show the eunuch the good news starting in Isaiah. How would you explain the good news using Scripture? What methods of evangelism have you been taught or used in the past?


In verse 39, Philip was whisked away while the eunuch continued “on his way rejoicing.” New believers have good reason to rejoice. Think of the last time you witnessed a baptism, a profession of faith, or a spiritual breakthrough. How could you celebrate someone who chooses Christ? In what ways could you share in their rejoicing?


Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch were brought together by God’s divine plan. God works in the same way today—every time we feel like we should share the good news of Jesus with someone, we can know that God is working to make that conversation happen. Whom is God prompting you to share the gospel with? If you can’t think of anyone specific, how are you making yourself available for God to use you to share the gospel?


Before he ascended, Jesus commanded his followers to go and make disciples. Our mission is to share the good news of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. Though sometimes we hesitate, feeling uncomfortable or ill-equipped, each of us is called to be a “gospeler”—a bringer of the good news. People all around us are waiting to hear about the savior they need. You could be the one to introduce them to Christ and change their spiritual heritage.


Read: Read the Introduction and Chapter 1, “Swamp Dweller,” from Willie Robertson’s book, Gospeler.


Write: Write down the names of people you know who have not yet heard the gospel. Then, broaden your scope to people you may not know well but regularly encounter during your routine (shopping, exercising, medical appointments, etc.). Commit to praying for them.


Study: Spend time in the Scriptures, studying passages that will help you communicate the gospel message. Here are a few passages you can start with: Romans 5:1–11, 1 Corinthians 15:1–8, and John 3:14–18.

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