Housegroup questions on Acts 8:26-40

holy-spirit

Philip was a man filled with the Holy Spirit, and wisdom, Duncan reminded us. (See Acts 6:3) Can you think of someone whom you would say this of?  What makes them stand out in your mind?

Philip was, Duncan pointed out, in touch with God. Have you ever had an experience when you felt God prompting you to share something with someone and it turn out to be just the right thing at the right time?

Duncan urged us to be a ‘listening’ church, open to hearing God’s nudges. How can we as individuals grow increasingly aware of the whispering of God? How can you discern whether a thought comes from God, or from your own heart?

Last time we met, we discussed some reasons why people don’t attend church.  Duncan mentioned thinking about imaginative ways to reach out to people.  Can you think of ways where you might ‘step out of your comfort zone’ and reach out to people differently?

In what ways might sharing the good news be different today from what it was 20 or 30 years ago?

Duncan said that in sharing the good news we should start where people are. How will we identify these ‘starting points’ when we are getting to know people?  Or to put it another way, in what ways does a hunger for God show up in the lives of those around us?

Duncan highlighted the fact that the Ethiopian, because of his sexuality, would have been excluded from aspects of Jewish worship, and would have rejoiced to hear that in Christ he was accepted. In what ways can we express the welcoming love of God to people who might feel ‘outsiders’, for whatever reason, among Christians?

Would anyone like to describe a time when they have been the outsider, and have been blessed in some way by the welcome of God’s love?

Would you like to describe the most joyful moments in your life? What would you say to someone who, hearing Duncan’s references to the joy which the folk Philip helped experienced (8:8, 39) admitted that Christian faith has brought them very little, if any joy?

How can we as individuals develop a sense of solidarity with Christians around the world who may be suffering for their faith? How will remembering that God’s saving project involves whole world broaden our vision?

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