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12. Encouragement - Study Questions

This is the Study Guide for the Encouragement article by Ken Boa. Read it first.

Appendix: Study Guide for MEN7/52 Leadership Series

MEN 7/52 is a men's ministry of Our desire is to see all men become true followers of Jesus Christ 7 days a week/52 weeks a year.

The Men’s Bible Study Leadership Series is presented by to help you build and fortify men in preparation for their roles as leaders in their families, churches, communities, and workplaces.

It is a leadership series because no matter what age or station in life a man finds himself, he is called to lead. Leadership hates a vacuum. If a man of God doesn’t stand up and lead, then someone else will and the consequences can be drastic for generations.

It is also a discipleship series because building men’s leadership requires ongoing personal relationships with someone who will shepherd and mentor them over the long term. Just as Christ lived in a community of relationship with His disciples, preparing them to lead, so too must we if we are to grow and be effective.

There are sixteen lessons that are designed to be conducted over a thirty-two week period. Your group should meet weekly at a specific time and place. First, participants should be expected to read all of the Scripture verses thoroughly, on a daily basis, and be encouraged to meditate on them. Second, they should read the article carefully and look for aspects of it that impact them personally. Third, they should complete the discussion questions thoughtfully, completely, and honestly, and diligently address personal applications. Finally, they should be prepared to share their answers during your group sessions.

The articles used in this series are written by Dr. Kenneth Boa. Dr. Boa is engaged in a ministry of relational evangelism and discipleship, teaching, writing, and speaking. He holds a B.S. from Case Institute of Technology, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, a Ph.D. from New York University, and a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford in England.

By the time your group has finished this series, relationships and spiritual bonds should have formed. Authentic spiritual interdependence will be experienced, and men will know they are not alone in being who and what God wants them to be. It will be critical for the group to either stay together for the next series, or to stay in close touch weekly to continue the shepherding experience and forming true Christian brotherhood.

Lesson 16

Leadership Qualities: Encouragement
Encouraged by Barnabas, Paul grows in stature, strength, and significance.

Read “Leadership Qualities: Encouragement” by Ken Boa and listen to his audio message online.

1. What must people have in order to both live and survive?

2. When hope is gone, what evaporates?

3. What happens when we place our hope in the wrong things?

4. In the Old Testament, what does God always give His people after warning them of His judgment?

5. When we have hope in God, what do we never lose?

6. What does God normally use when encouraging His people?

7. What do men need when going through the peaks and valleys of life? Why?

Read Acts 4:32-37 and Acts 9:26-31.

Encouragement of others leads to their acceptance.

8. Why did the disciples initially reject Saul?

9. How did Barnabas defend Saul before the disciples?

10. What did Barnabas tell the disciples he saw in Saul?

11. Who do you know that needs to deepen his commitment in the Lord Jesus Christ?

12. What are you doing to encourage and support him in your church?

Read Acts 11:19-26.

Encouragement build’s Christ church with vibrancy and vitality.

13. Why was Barnabas the right man to be sent to Antioch?

14. What was his assignment?

15. Who did Barnabas eventually recruit to help him in Antioch?

16. What spiritual gift do you have that can be an encouragement to men?

17. How will you encourage men to grow deeper in their faith?

Read Acts 12:25 and Acts 13: 1-12.

Encouragement helps transform a man into a bold defender.

18. Describe Paul’s demeanor in his confrontation with Bar-Jesus.

19. What caused the proconsul to become a believer?

20. Who are you mentoring to be a courageous defender of the faith?

21. Who are you encouraging to stand against false teaching about Christ?

Read Acts 13:13-52.

Encouragement gives a man strength to stand firm in the face of rejection.

22. Why were Paul and Barnabas invited to return to the synagogue and preach on the following Sabbath?

23. What was Paul’s powerful message to them?

24. Who showed up when Paul and Barnabas returned to preach?

25. What was the reaction by the Jews and how did Paul answer them?

26. What happened to Paul and Barnabas?

27. Who do you encourage to speak out about Christ, even in the face of painful rejection?

Read Acts 14:1-20.

Encouragement motivates a man to sacrifice his life for Christ.

28. Why did the people of Lystra regard Paul and Barnabas as “gods”?

29. How did Paul and Barnabas respond to them? Be specific.

30. What was the crowd’s reaction?

31. Who came in and tried to win the people away from Paul and Barnabas?

32. What happened to Paul?

33. Are you prepared to give your life for Christ in spreading His word?

34. Who are you encouraging to be sacrificial in defending Christ?

35. Are you leading by example?

Read Acts 14:21-38 and Acts 15:1-35.

Encouragement brings groups together in their shared faithfulness to Christ.

36. What was at the crux of the debate regarding the Gentile believers in Antioch?

37. What did Paul and Barnabas tell the Jerusalem Council about their work with the Gentiles?

38. How was the debate settled?

39. Are there people or groups in your church that are divided over non-essentials of our faith?

40. What are you doing to unite them in Christ and to encourage them to be His Body?

Read Acts 15:36-41.

Encouragement leads men to encourage others, who will do likewise.

41. Describe the dispute between Paul and Barnabas.

42. Where did Barnabas go and whom did he take with him?

43. Where did Paul go and whom did he take with him?

44. What were John Mark and Silas each being prepared to do?

45. Who are you preparing to encourage, mentor, and shepherd other men?

Memory Verse: Acts 4:32

The group of those who believed were of one heart and mind, and no one said any of his possessions was his own, but held everything in common.

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