I started reading Friend of Sinners with a student from my small group. I have come to really love this book as an introduction to Christianity and Christ’s message.
I originally purchased the Friend of Sinners study guide that goes along with the video series. But the questions are really better suited for adults and older teens. Middle school students fall into a really unique content category. I think it is important to create questions that hit them where they are: not children but not budding adults. Middle schoolers think about things differently than high schoolers and definitely are in a different category than adults.
Note: some questions are pulled directly from the study guide.
Also to note: you know your group! If a question doesn’t hit home with you or your group, skip it! I also don’t require everyone to answer every question, especially on the nights when we are a group of 10. However, I will pick on the quiet ones sometimes if I feel like they aren’t being heard or would benefit from discussing a particular question.
Questions for Every session
Below are the questions I ask in every single session.
1. What did you think of the chapter? / Did you have any questions about what you read?
2. Was there anything in the chapter that was new to you? Did you learn anything?
3. Can someone summarize the chapter for us?
I always include this question, JUST in case someone hasn’t read for session. Remember that this time is for discussion. And we don’t want someone to drop out of attending just because they aren’t reading every week.
Chapter 1: Missed Message
1. what does grace mean to you?
2. How would you describe the message of Jesus?
3. What do you think was the main thing he came to teach?
4. Reread Matthew 9:9 – 13 out loud. Do you think the Pharisees would have said they were sinners?
5. What do you think God thinks about the Pharisees?
6. Why do you think Jesus spent more time with people who were considered bad or sinners instead of with people who were religious?
Luke 7: 36 – 50
7. Do you think that you (or others) have to behave a certain way to have a relationship with Jesus?
8. Why do you think people reduce Jesus to a list of things you should or shouldn’t do?
9. Based on what we read, what does Jesus require of us to have a relationship with him?
10. Think about your own friends. Do you have the same requirements that Jesus has? Or do you filter your friends based on their behavior, background or associations.
11. If you identify as a Christian, how has Jesus’ message changed you personally?
1. read Mark 10:17 – 31 outloud. What was wrong with the young man’s understanding of Jesus’s message? or Why was his question the wrong question?
2. What is a better way to rephrase the young man’s question?
3. Why is it impossible to be “good enough” to please God?
4. How do you tend to relate to God? Is it about rules or trust or fear?
5. What do you think people thought of Jesus when he walked on earth?
6. Is there anything you think is too big for god to cover?
7. Do you think that it is possible to overestimate Jesus?
8. Are there people in your life you have trouble showing gracez to?
Chapter 3: Weight Shift
1. Do you understand what the author means when he says “carrying too much weight can have a negative impact on our souls”?
2. What burden do you regularly carry around that is heavy and weights on you? or what do you worry about the most?
3. What are some practical ways that we can lean on Jesus and give him our burden?
4. Reread Mathew 11. What do you think it means to take “Jesus’s yoke”?
To walk his path. To trust that you are going in the right direction. To share your burdens with the body of Christ.
1. Do you tend to be quick to judge others by their mistakes?
2. Think of a time when you were shown grace by someone.
3. What effect has grace had on your life?
4. What effect do you think it has when you show grace to others?
Chapter 5: Lost and Found
1. Read Luke 15
2. How did the sinners and Pharisees each see Jesus?
3. What does the parable of the lost sheep tell you about God’s heart?
4. What does the parable of the lost coin tell you about the value of people?
5. In the story of the prodigal son, which one do you relate with more?
6. Which story of the three do you connect with more?
7. Are you passionate about lost people? What can practical thing can you do to help others?
Chapter 6: He Sees You
1. If God is always near, what can we do to seek out God’s love when we feel abandoned?
2. Do you know how you best connect with God? What is it?
3. What do you think it means to “evangelize”?
HAVE Friend of Sinners DISCUSSION QUESTIONS TO ADD?
Please leave a comment below and I will update this post with more Girl Wash Your Face discussion questions.