This week we’re talking about bravery. Go around the circle and share the name of someone you thought was brave when you were a kid (tv and book characters are acceptable answers). Give one reason for your confidence in their courage.
We said on Sunday that fear...
Keeps us from doing things we would have done
Makes us do things we wouldn’t have done
Have you ever let fear direct your course that way? Share a time when you let fear drive the bus (little or big). Maybe you’re letting fear get in your way right now. Is there something you’re doing or not doing because you’re afraid?
C.S. Lewis said, “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” What does that mean? Why is bravery so essential to the Christian way of life?
Justin said in the sermon, “Bravery is when fear takes a backseat to vision. Bravery is not an enigmatic feeling; It’s a logical equation.”
What does that mean?
How does what we have our eyes on shape our response to scary circumstances?
Why is bravery logical for the Christian?
Because bravery is so closely tied to where we’re looking, we can pursue bravery by changing our focus, primarily through these two behaviors:
How do truth and worship make us brave? Have you ever found truth or worship making you brave?
“Being courageous isn’t about being detached from reality, naive, or sticking your head in the sand. It’s about being confident that God really is here, that he’s really in control, and that he can be trusted to keep his promises.”
Bravery then is about trust. What can we do to shore up our trust in God?
If bravery is facing fear confident in the presence and power of God, share a time when you witnessed someone being brave.
What about you? Have you ever been brave? Share a moment when God empowered you to face your fears.
We began the sermon on Sunday with a story from Sandra Sibley about a time when God called Sandra to do something scary. Is there anyone in your group who feels like maybe God’s calling him or her to do something, maybe something scary? Maybe even something life-upending like adoption or mission work or extravagant giving? Give them a chance to share. Encourage the group to pray for bravery.
Read Matthew 14:22-33.
Put yourself in the story. How would you feel if you saw Jesus walking toward you on the water?
Would you have pulled a Peter and asked if you could walk on water, too? Why or why not?
Why do you think Peter has so much courage to start but ends up doubting?
What’s Peter’s downfall?
What does this story teach you about being brave?
Likely, over the course of your discussion, you’ve discovered a few ways in which your group members are struggling to be brave. Pray for each person who’s struggling.
You might also pray this adaptation of Psalm 27 together:
The Lord is our light and our salvation—
whom shall we fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of our lives—
of whom shall we be afraid?
Though an army besiege us,
our hearts will not fear;
though war break out against us,
even then we will be confident.
One thing we ask from the Lord,
this only do we seek:
that we may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of our lives,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
he will keep us safe in his dwelling;
he will hide us in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set us high upon a rock.
Be sure to repeat all our core behaviors this week. We want to be sure and memorize them as we go. You might give a candy prize to anyone who can name all three: Be a reason for someone to come home, Be changed (and changing), Be brave.