Cypress Groups

 

Group Norms

 

Be courageous, compassionate and connected
Be a listener
Eliminate judgement, advice giving, and interrupting
It’s okay to say “pass” on a question
Honor time. Time frame is about 45 minutes (give or take 15). Anything more is “meeting after the meeting”. 

"54 Hertz"

Sunday, May 15

Thoughts From Sunday’s Teaching (select 2 or 3)

Think about a time you were in a situation where you didn’t understand the language or conversation around you. What was the experience like? (It may have been English, but the topic and vocabulary was not familiar.)

Has there ever been a time in your life when you were  in a church or with Christian’s and you had no idea what they were talking about? What was that like?

What reasons have you heard people give that they are not interested in going to church?

On Sunday, we talked about the loneliest whale on the planet who only hears at 52 hertz, while every other whale hears at 15-25 hertz. How can we communicate the grace of God to a culture who seems to speak at a different frequency than most churches?

Who in your relational world would you like to come to know Jesus as you have come to know Him?

Living Out the Big Two

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, And the 2nd is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.” -Jesus (Matthew 22:34-39) 
What is one way you lived out love God and/or others this week?
What is one way you stepped back from loving God and/or others this week?

Prayer

Where do you see or want to see God working in your life and how can we pray with you about it?

Download:

"Cat-fished"

Sunday, May 8

Conversation Starter

What was a highlight of your week?

Thoughts From Sunday’s Teaching (select 2 or 3)

Have you ever been “cat-fished”? (Lead to believe one thing then later only to discover it wasn’t so.) What did it feel like?

Read 1 Corinthians 13 then make observations and comments, or ask questions it raises for you.

The apostle says that when it’s all been said and done faith, hope and love remain. What does this mean for our lives today?

Has there ever been a time or season in your life when you were motived by something other than faith, hope, love? How did it play out in the end?

How do you hope to be remembered?

Living Out the Big Two

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, And the 2nd is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.” -Jesus (Matthew 22:34-39) 
What is one way you lived out love God and/or others this week?
What is one way you stepped back from loving God and/or others this week?

Prayer

Where do you see or want to see God working in your life and how can we pray with you about it?

Download:

Step Into It

Sunday, May 1

Conversation Starter

What was a highlight of the last week?

Thoughts From Sunday’s Teaching (select 2 or 3)

What does faith look like to you?

Hebrews 11:6 reads: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Sit with this scripture and make observations and comments about these words.

Tell us about your journey of faith to and with God

What experiences, what practices, what can you point to: that has served to deepen and hone your faith?

Where, if anywhere in your life right now do you sense God may be saying to you: “Trust Me”?

Living Out the Big Two

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, And the 2nd is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.” -Jesus (Matthew 22:34-39) 
What is one way you lived out love God and/or others this week?
What is one way you stepped back from loving God and/or others this week?

Prayer

Where do you see or want to see God working in your life and how can we pray with you about it?

Download:

Get Up Next to It

Sunday, April 24

Conversation Starter

When you think of “hope” what does it look like to you?

Thoughts From Sunday’s Teaching (select 2 or 3)

Tell us about a time you either lost hope, or just about lost hope. How did it impact you?

Read Romans 5:1-8 and then summarize what it is saying in a sentence.

How does suffering produce perseverance? And perseverance produce character? And character produce hope? How have you seen this progression play out in your life?

Where, if anywhere, in your life right now could you use a dose of good old fashioned hope?

Living Out the Big Two

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, And the 2nd is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.” -Jesus (Matthew 22:34-39) 
What is one way you lived out love God and/or others this week?
What is one way you stepped back from loving God and/or others this week?

Prayer

Where do you see or want to see God working in your life and how can we pray with you about it?

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Make a Run for It

Sunday, April 17

Conversation Starter

What is one of the last things you ran from or to?

Thoughts From Sunday’s Teaching (select 2 or 3)

Read John 20:1-9 and make observations and comments

John refers to himself as “the one Jesus loved”. What is life like when you don’t feel very lovable or maybe unloved?

How does being loved effect you emotionally, psychological-ly and otherwise?

What does it mean when the scriptures say God is love?  

Tell us about a time in sunk deep into your soul that God loves you…just as you are and just as you “ain’t”.

 Bonus Q: How should God love for others translate into how we view and deal with others?

Living Out the Big Two

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, And the 2nd is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.” -Jesus (Matthew 22:34-39) 
What is one way you lived out love God and/or others this week?
What is one way you stepped back from loving God and/or others this week?

Prayer

Where do you see or want to see God working in your life and how can we pray with you about it?

Download:

If you hear your name called…

Sunday, April 10

Conversation Starter

What is one of the bigger or best parades you have either witnessed or participated in? What was the occasion?

Thoughts From Sunday’s Teaching (select 2 or 3)

Read John 12:9-19. What observations, questions or comments come to your mind?

Of all the choices Jesus had for a ride that day, why do you suppose He choose to ride on a young donkey? And why does John say this is a fulfillment of prophecy?

Lazarus was “dead-dead” four days in the tomb. Jesus called his name and he came forth alive. Can you think of a time that you believe Jesus called your name?

The crowds shouted “Hosanna!” in praise and thanks to Jesus and all He had done for them. Tell us about different times for which you owe Jesus praise and thanks.

Living Out the Big Two

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, And the 2nd is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.” -Jesus (Matthew 22:34-39) 
What is one way you lived out love God and/or others this week?
What is one way you stepped back from loving God and/or others this week?

Prayer

Where do you see or want to see God working in your life and how can we pray with you about it?

Download:

And That’s Why We Call Grace Amazing

Sunday, April 3

Conversation Starter

What is one of your more favorite sayings or definitions of the word: Grace

Thoughts From Sunday’s Teaching (select 2 or 3)

Read the narrative of John 8:1-11. What things do you note or maybe what grabs you in this narrative?

Why do you suppose the “older ones” exited first? And why did they file away one at a time?

What lessons should we take away from this example of Jesus and apply to our lives and relationships?

With what person or people groups in your life do you think Jesus would have you lead with or respond to with more grace?

Living Out the Big Two

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, And the 2nd is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.” -Jesus (Matthew 22:34-39) 
What is one way you lived out love God and/or others this week?
What is one way you stepped back from loving God and/or others this week?

Prayer

Where do you see or want to see God working in your life and how can we pray with you about it?

Download:

On a Walk to…God knows Where:

Remember

Sunday, Mar. 27

Conversation Starter

You win! And the prize is…you get to spend the day with any person of your choice in the whole world. Who do you choose and why?

Thoughts From Sunday’s Teaching (select 2 or 3)

Read John 1:35-39. If you had joined this group and spent the day with Jesus, what would you have wanted that day to look like and be about.

When Jesus speaks of His presence with us after His ascension into heaven He said things like: “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me.” -John 14:18, 19. And “Surely I am with you always to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:20. What does this mean and how is He “with us”? 

Tell us about a time you were acutely aware of God’s presence and the effect it had on you.

If Jesus is with us always, then what does it look like to be aware of His presence and do your day with Him (ie…eat your meals, drive, run errands, watch TV, work, ect…)?

Living Out the Big Two

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, And the 2nd is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.” -Jesus (Matthew 22:34-39) 
What is one way you lived out love God and/or others this week?
What is one way you stepped back from loving God and/or others this week?

Prayer

Where do you see or want to see God working in your life and how can we pray with you about it?

On a Walk to…God knows Where:

Implicitly

Sunday, Mar. 20

Conversation Starter

What does it mean to trust someone “implicitly”, and what determines if you give someone that level of trust?

Thoughts From Sunday’s Teaching (select 2 or 3)

Tell us about a time someone “broke trust” with you. What kind of effect did it have on you?

Read Luke 5:1-11. Make observations and comments. What does this narrative teach us about trust and a relationship with Jesus?

Where in your life right now might Jesus be saying to you “Follow me on this one…you can trust me.”?

Living Out the Big Two

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, And the 2nd is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.” -Jesus (Matthew 22:34-39) 
What is one way you lived out love God and/or others this week?
What is one way you stepped back from loving God and/or others this week?

Prayer

Where do you see or want to see God working in your life and how can we pray with you about it?

On a Walk to…God knows Where:

Distinctive

Sunday, Mar. 13

Conversation Starter

What or who comes to mind when your hear these words: Redneck, Scientist, Thug, you name a category.

Thoughts From Sunday’s Teaching (select 2 or 3)

Tell about a time you made some evaluations about a person based on their appearance that proved to be wrong once you got to know them.

Has anybody ever judged you wrongly based on your appearance or associations?

What are some of the stereotypes that our culture has of Christians?

Read Matthew 11:2-19. What do these verses say about the uniqueness and diversity of Christ followers?

Read John 13:34-35. What does Jesus say his to be the distinguishing characteristic of his followers? And what does this look like? 

Living Out the Big Two

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, And the 2nd is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.” -Jesus (Matthew 22:34-39) 
What is one way you lived out love God and/or others this week?
What is one way you stepped back from loving God and/or others this week?

Prayer

Where do you see or want to see God working in your life and how can we pray with you about it?

On a Walk to…God knows Where:

Disrupting the Narrative

with Stefan Van Voorst

Sunday, Mar. 6

Conversation Starter

How do the narratives we listen to shape our values, how we view others, and live our lives?

Thoughts From Sunday’s Teaching (select 2 or 3)

What are some of the narratives that you were raised with about other people groups?

Can you think of a time when one of those narratives was disrupted?

Think about the Joe Martin and Cassius Clary (Mohammed Ali) story. Have you ever had such an experience? What keeps coming up in your life that might be a narrative that you can disrupt and be like Joe Martin?

What was one of your take aways from Stefan's teaching?

Living Out the Big Two

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, And the 2nd is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.” -Jesus (Matthew 22:34-39) 
What is one way you lived out love God and/or others this week?
What is one way you stepped back from loving God and/or others this week?

Prayer

Where do you see or want to see God working in your life and how can we pray with you about it?

On a Walk to…God knows Where:

Unexpected

Sunday, Feb. 27

Conversation Starter

Recall a time God met you in an unexpected way or place.

 

Can you think of a time that the “fear of failure” kept you from something?

Scripture

The Faith of a Gentile Woman
Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.”
But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.”
Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.”
But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me!”
Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”
She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.”
“Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.

Matthew 15:21-28

 

Read Matthew 15:21-28 and then make observations and comments. What is your “take-away” from this narrative.

Thoughts From Sunday’s Teaching (select 2 or 3)

There was hostility between the Jews and the Canaanites. Canaanites were labeled “dogs” and treated with distain. How does Jesus use this moment to reveal to the disciples that something is out of whack inside of them both in their view of God and in their view of Canaanites?

How does God reveal to you that something is “out of whack” in you?

Where in your life are you in a place that is challenging you or maybe a place you didn’t expect to be? What might God be saying to you about you in this moment?

Living Out the Big Two

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, And the 2nd is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.” -Jesus (Matthew 22:34-39) 
What is one way you lived out love God and/or others this week?
What is one way you stepped back from loving God and/or others this week?

Prayer

Where do you see or want to see God working in your life and how can we pray with you about it?

On a Walk to…God knows Where:

Failure is Overrated

Sunday, Feb. 20

Conversation Starter

Let’s be real…tell us about one of your more epic failures. And how did it leave you feeling about you?

 

Can you think of a time that the “fear of failure” kept you from something?

Scripture

Jesus Walks on Water
Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone. Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 
About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” 
Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
 “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed. Matthew 14:22-33


Read the narrative of Jesus and Peter walking on water and make some observations and comments.

Thoughts From Sunday’s Teaching (select 2 or 3)

What lessons have you learned about life and your relationship with Jesus from your failures? 

 

Let’s be real again…is there somewhere you are holding back because of the fear of failure?

Living Out the Big Two

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, And the 2nd is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.” -Jesus (Matthew 22:34-39) 
What is one way you lived out love God and/or others this week?
What is one way you stepped back from loving God and/or others this week?

Prayer

Where do you see or want to see God working in your life and how can we pray with you about it?

On a Walk to…God knows Where:

You Put You in the Game

Sunday, Feb. 13

Conversation Starter

Who is one of more famous people you have ever been up next to?

Scripture

Jesus Feeds Five Thousand
After this, Jesus crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick. Then Jesus climbed a hill and sat down with his disciples around him. (It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration.) Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do. Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!” Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?” “Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves. John 6:1-13


Read John 6:1-13. What do you think this moment was like for the boy with the first century Happy Meal?

Thoughts From Sunday’s Teaching (select 2 or 3)

Tell us about a time you un-expectantly experienced something good or wonderful simply because you showed up or the opposite, you passed on an opportunity and lived to regret it

 

Can you think of a time you experienced God in an unexpected way or place simply because you showed up, and what lessons did you learn?

What does it mean to put yourself in a place where you are more likely to hear God’s voice and/or experience His work in and through your life?

Living Out the Big Two

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, And the 2nd is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.” -Jesus (Matthew 22:34-39) 
What is one way you lived out love God and/or others this week?
What is one way you stepped back from loving God and/or others this week?

Prayer

Where do you see or want to see God working in your life and how can we pray with you about it?

On a Walk to…God knows Where:

It Would Have Been Wonderful

Sunday, Feb. 6

Conversation Starter

What are some of the better or some of the lamest excuses you have ever used or heard? (If you get stumped just Google “Best Excuses Ever”)

Scripture

The Cost of Following Jesus
As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Luke 9:57-62

 

How would you capture the message of this narrative in a sentence?

Thoughts From Sunday’s Teaching (select 2 or 3)

Tell us about an opportunity you once took a pass on and now wish you had chosen differently. What factored into your decision at the time?

Someone asks you, “Tell me what it means to follow Jesus and give me an example of what it has looked like in your life”. How do you respond?

Where, if any place, in your life right now are you finding it a bit challenging to “follow Jesus”?

Living Out the Big Two

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, And the 2nd is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.” -Jesus (Matthew 22:34-39) 
What is one way you lived out love God and/or others this week?
What is one way you stepped back from loving God and/or others this week?

Prayer

Where do you see or want to see God working in your life and how can we pray with you about it?

Welcome 2022: Echoes of a Voice

Sunday, Jan. 30

Conversation Starter

What are some of the things that fascinate you about the universe?

Scripture

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light”, and there was light. Genesis 1:1-3

Thoughts From Sunday’s Teaching (select 2 or 3)

Psalm 19:1-2 says: “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His Hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.” When you think of creation what does it tell you about God the creator?

If you could ask God a question or two about creation or the universe…what would you inquire of Him?

King David after contemplating the universe once said: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place. What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you would care for him?” (Psalm 8:3,4). Why did he say this, what does it mean, and what does it say about how God views you?

Consider the universe (it’s unfathomable bigness and it’s unimaginable smallness) how should this knowledge factor into how we should pray, live, and relate to God?

Living Out the Big Two

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, And the 2nd is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.” -Jesus (Matthew 22:34-39) 
What is one way you lived out love God and/or others this week?
What is one way you stepped back from loving God and/or others this week?

Prayer

Where do you see or want to see God working in your life and how can we pray with you about it?

Welcome 2022: Step 1

Sunday, Jan. 23

Conversation Starter

 If you could a piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Scripture

By this time it was late in the day, so His disciples came to Him.  “This is a remote place”, they said, “and it’s already very late,   Mark 6:35

 

“Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”   Mark 6:36

 

“But He answered, “You give them something to eat.”   Mark 6:37

 

He said this only to test them, for He already had in mind what He was going to do.   John 6:6

 

Philip answered Him, “Eight months wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”   John 6:7

 

Another of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up.   John 6:8

 

Here is a  boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish but how far will they go among so many?  John 6:9

 

Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass.  Mark 6:39

 

So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties.  Mark 6:40

 

Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke the loaves.  Then He game them to His disciples to set before the people.  He also divided the two fish among them all.  Mark 6:41

 

When they had all had enough to eat, He said to His disciples, “ Gather the pieces that are left over.  Let nothing be wasted.”  John 6:12

 

So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.  John 6:13

Thoughts From Sunday’s Teaching (select 2 or 3)

Read the scripture narrative of Jesus feeding the multitude of people from a boy’s happy meal of 5 loaves and 2 fish.

What stands out to you or what things do you take note of from the scripture narrative?

Tell us about a time you had a “what" you were hoping or aspiring to but you didn’t really know “how” it would become a reality. How did it effect you?

Why do we humans want to know “how” things will play out before taking step one?

What things are you hoping for or aspiring to in 2022?

What is a “step one” or maybe the “next step” for you in some area of your life and why haven’t you taken it yet?

Living Out the Big Two

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, And the 2nd is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.” -Jesus (Matthew 22:34-39) 
What is one way you lived out love God and/or others this week?
What is one way you stepped back from loving God and/or others this week?

Prayer

Where do you see or want to see God working in your life and how can we pray with you about it?