DISCOVERY QUESTIONS

Series: Thrive
Sermon: Be Anxious for Nothing
Passage: Philippians 4:1-9

Main Idea: We combat anxiety through seeking God’s peace

Leader GuidePDF Version (Participant)PDF Version (Leader)

GROUP DISCUSSION

Lean In

Purpose: Introduce topic and get the group talking.

1. What is the most peaceful place you’ve ever visited?


Look Down

Purpose: Observe the passage and interact with the text

2. Read Philippians 4:1-9. What sticks out to you about Paul’s exhortations to the Philippians in this section of teaching?

3. According to this passage, how is it possible to “be anxious for nothing”?


Look Out

Purpose: Connect observations in God’s Word with observations in our world today.

4. Why do you think anxiety is on the rise in our culture?

5. What do people in our world use as coping strategies (both positive or negative) to deal with anxiousness?


Look In

Purpose: Internalize God’s Word and apply the truth to your personal life.

6. How does anxiety/stress typically take shape in your life? What do you do to deal with anxiety?

7. What do you think the relationship is between faith and anxiety?


Live It Out

Purpose: Spend time listening for God’s for direction and guidance as you seek to live out the truths of this passage in your everyday life.

8. Share with the group an area of your life right now that’s causing you to be anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed.

9. What did you hear or experience God saying to you? How might you take this into your week ahead?

LEADER GUIDE

Lean In

Purpose: Introduce topic and get the group talking.

1. What is the most peaceful place you’ve ever visited?


Look Down

Purpose: Observe the passage and interact with the text

2. Read Philippians 4:1-9. What sticks out to you about Paul’s exhortations to the Philippians in this section of teaching?

He is encouraging people to get along (vv. 1-3).
He wants them to rejoice always (v. 4).
He wants them to be gentle (v. 5).
He wants them to not be anxious (v. 6).
He is encouraging them to think on good and godly things (v. 8).

Through these verses, Paul is giving people strategies for navigating real life concerns such as anxiety, unity, relationships, etc. All of these responses/exhortations are only possible through the presence of God in their lives and community. Answering Question 3 will help the group understand how this type of living is actually possible.

3. According to this passage, how is it possible to “be anxious for nothing”?

Seek God in prayer/petition/worship (v. 6).
Think on the things of God – whatever is excellent or praiseworthy (vv. 8-9).
Put into practice the teachings of God (v. 9).

A phrase we’ve used before is “God IS peace and He BRINGS peace.” This might be a good phrase to share here, or to remind everyone of later on in the questions.


Look Out

Purpose: Connect observations in God’s Word with observations in our world today.

4. Why do you think anxiety is on the rise in our culture?

This question is supposed to help your group grapple with what this current time in our society is doing to our feelings of control and comfort. As things seem to spin more out of control, our levels of anxiety and stress go up.

5. What do people in our world use as coping strategies (both positive or negative) to deal with anxiousness?

Remember that there are healthy coping strategies as well as unhealthy ones. The answers for this question may include: distractions, bingeing (food, drink, tv, etc.), exercise, etc.


Look In

Purpose: Internalize God’s Word and apply the truth to your personal life.

6. How does anxiety/stress typically take shape in your life? What do you do to deal with anxiety?

With this question, really encourage the group to be real with what they run to for comfort or stress relief. Depending on the comfort level of your group, this may be a time of confession and repentance. Some answers give will most likely fall in one of these categories: Avoidance, worry, anger, withdrawal, sleep, reaching for comfort, escape.

As the leader, you can model vulnerability as well as grace in this question. Be prayerful about what to say, and how to model this well!

7. What do you think the relationship is between faith and anxiety?

This question is designed to lead the group into a discussion around where we lack faith, and if our anxiety/stress is tied to our faith in the sovereignty and peace of God. As with the previous question, leave plenty of space for people to express where they truly are – not as a way of judging the amount of faith someone has or exhibits.


Live It Out

Purpose: Spend time listening for God’s direction and guidance as you seek to live out the truths of this passage in your everyday life.

8. Share with the group an area of your life right now that’s causing you to be anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed.

Then play 1 or 2 worship songs on your phone for your group to listen to as you seek God’s peace and bring your burdens before him in prayer.

9. What did you hear or experience God saying to you? How might you take this into your week ahead?

Don’t use this time as a time to fix or give answers. Remember that the passage is directing you to seek God through prayer and petition. Gently remind the group of this truth, and keep the sharing to a shorter amount. It can be really easy to give advice for how to manage stress or anxiety, but we want to help people hear from God. Make sure to leave plenty of space at the end of the time for listening to God. At the end, focus on “what did God say” versus “what we think you should do.”

Tip for Virtual groups: Play a song from the host’s computer. As people are listening, encourage people to use the chat feature to share their prayers or what they are experiencing from God.