A Small Group Bible Study
We are so excited you are joining us to study the book of Acts! This fall will be different for all of us in ways we could have never expected. Work, school, and community all look different than they did a year ago. And yet, for us as a church, this fall might actually be closer to who we were in the very beginning. This year, North Way will turn forty. And although North Way, by God’s grace, is now many campuses all across the Pittsburgh region, it began small and simply with nine young couples meeting in a basement. These couples gathered together for prayer and Bible study and to dream about what a church in today’s culture could look like if built around the foundational principles of the early church. Any time these young couples were unsure how to move forward, they would return to the book of Acts to seek God’s wisdom and design for the church.
Our prayer is that as we unite together through the book of Acts, this would be a time for us to remember our roots, to meet in homes, to meditate on God’s word with our families and small groups, to pray and fast as one, and to once again dream and consider who we are called to be as one church united across the Pittsburgh region.
Each week there will be a section of reading assigned from the book of Acts. During the week leading up to your small group discussion, read through the assigned reading at least 3-4 times. Ideally, each read-through would be on a different day. This will help you see different facets of the passage and get you ready for a deeper discussion in your group. Before you start, take a moment to ask God to speak to you. As we prayerfully approach the study of His word, God shows up! As you read, take time to make notes of anything you observe, sections that stick out to you, or questions that arise. It might be helpful to dedicate a specific notebook to your studies or use a Bible that has margins for notetaking.
The discussion questions for each week will never change. They are:
Think through these questions as you read. Our goal is to begin to observe everything that is happening in the text so we can come to a faithful interpretation – and then – to allow that interpretation to transform us to become more like Christ.
You’ll also notice a section each week titled “Going Deeper.” This is an opportunity for you to go outside of your reading for the week and take your study a little further. Sometimes this will be another section of Scripture that correlates to that week’s reading while other times it might be a short video or story for you to consider.
Each week we’ll provide a 10-15 minute teaching from a North Way leader that will align with that week’s reading for you to watch together with your small group. These teachings will provide context for your readings and help answer some of the questions that might come up. We really encourage you to complete your own work before watching. We understand how appealing it might be to want to go directly towards the weekly teaching, especially during the most difficult passages. However, we believe that doing this work independently first, with the help of the Holy Spirit, will help equip us with Bible study skills that will last a lifetime.
Some weeks you’ll notice there is an invitation to an extra gathering happening either at your campus or online. These gatherings go along with your Acts study and work to supplement what you’re learning in new and creative ways. While your entire group is invited to come to these together, you don’t need your group in order to take part. We’d love to have you join us for as many of these as you can!
*The Invitation dates listed above are for gatherings designed for all campuses to participate together in.
We believe that a child’s family plays a crucial role in developing children who have a deeper faith, make wise choices, and build strong relationships both inside and outside of the home. So each week, North Way Kids has highlighted a smaller chunk of that week’s Acts reading for you to go through with your children. Also provided are an activity and prompting questions designed to help your family grow in faith together in a meaningful way.Then take what your family learned into the rest of your week by focusing on the week’s “bottom line” and how it impacts each of you.You’ll find that studying God’s Word with your family can be simple, engaging, and fun for all of you!
Read: Acts 2:1-13 and John 14:26
Activity: Flashlight Tag –Choose one family member to be “it.” Then run away as fast as you can as “it” tries to tag you by shining their light on you with a flashlight. If you’re tagged, either switch who is “it” or join them by being another “it” with a second flashlight. You can do this either outside under the stars or inside with all the lights off!
Prompting Questions: How is the Holy Spirit like the flashlight from our game of tag? How does the Holy Spirit help us?
Bottom Line: God will send us the help we need.
Read: Acts 3:42-47 and Acts 4:32-36
Activity: The Snowball Effect –Set up dominoes to create a chain reaction. For an extra challenge, see how many you can set up or create fun patterns. If you don’t have dominoes,try usingbooksor cereal boxes.
Prompting Questions: How are the dominoes like the people who believed in Jesus from Acts? Who or what caused the first “domino”to fall from what we read? What do you want God to say someday about the way you treated others?
Bottom Line: We have the power to love others.
Read: Acts 6:8-15 and 7:51-60
Activity: Trust Fall –Timber! Ask your child to stand facingaway from you as you stand behind them. Ask them to fall backward. And even though it may be scary,ask them totrust you to catch them.
Prompting Questions: How did it feel doing the trust fall? From what we read, how do you think Stephen felt? Why do you think he stood up for what he believed, even when it was dangerous?
Bottom Line: We can trust God no matter what.