Take time to catch up on the past week (over drinks or snacks if possible). Then ask group members to:
Over this term, we’re exploring the theme of moving. Many of us will have changes and moves ahead: this series allows us to look to God’s word for wisdom.
Ask for a volunteer to read Acts 8:1-8 to the group, praying a short prayer that, however much they’ve come to know God, they’d know him better as a result of your time together.
Download this video to watch offline.
Suggested questions to help your discussion.
Across the world, there are many Christians who are currently on the move because of persecution.
The ‘Philip’ we read about here is not the Apostle Philip, but a different man entirely. This Philip was one of seven ‘deacons’ appointed to help the apostles serve with practical jobs in Jerusalem (Acts 6:5), including the distribution of food to widows. Philip probably did not have a public preaching ministry before the occasion we read about here in Acts 8.
Now, with the apostles remaining in Jerusalem, Philip and others like him seem to have taken a ministry of public evangelism upon themselves. Later on, Philip settled in Caesarea where – some 25 years later – he and his daughters offered hospitality to Paul (Acts 21:8-9).
Samaria was a region to the north of Jerusalem and Judea, between Judea and Galilee. Those who lived there were descendants of spiritually corrupt Israelites who had intermarried with foreigners who worshipped other gods. They had created a religion that the Jews considered heretical.
For this reason, Jews viewed Samaritans as impure and unclean. This led to a deep hatred between the two groups. It makes Philip’s preaching to the Samaritans even more remarkable.
One in seven Christians worldwide face persecution because of their faith. Millions of people choose to follow Jesus, despite knowing that they may have to sacrifice their home, their freedom, their job – even their life.
Open Doors tell the story of Nabi, a Christian woman forced to leave Afghanistan after the Taliban retook power in 2021. If you like, you can watch her story here (2 minutes):
Nabi’s ultimate hope is an eternal home with Jesus. We share this hope of a future home.
Ask each group member to take out their phone and follow @ifesworld on Instagram.
This account features weekly updates from Christian Union movements across the world, and often includes stories of students facing persecution.
Split into pairs and threes, and spend time in prayer. Encourage those who are less used to praying that we are simply talking to God about our concerns. You might like to pray:
Pray that each of them would remain faithful to Jesus whatever they are facing. Pray too for your own present needs.
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