Chances are high that you have had both good and bad encounters with Christians. Chances are even higher that you have been hurt by a Christian. Naturally, these encounters might affect how you feel about Jesus, both good and bad. But, how do you keep from believing that Jesus is the same as Jesus followers?

Start Talking

  • What’s the funniest encounter you have ever had with a “Christian”?
  • How do you remember feeling about Christians as a child?
  • Describe some positive encounters you have had with Christians?
  • Tell us about some difficult encounters with Christians you have had?

Think About It

  • In the culture you grew up in, how did people describe Christians?
  • What do you think about this statement that Jeff made? 

“The reason many people don’t follow Jesus is because of how they have been treated by Jesus followers.

  • What do you think about the idea that Jesus has been hurt by Jesus followers as well? If this is true, does it change how you feel about Jesus?

Look It Up

Read Mark 3: 13-20.

  • What stands out to you?
  • What do these verses show us about the people in Jesus’ life?
  • Jeff noted that in three of these verses we see these types of people around Jesus:
    • A friend who will betray Him
    • A family who wants to control Him
    • A community who seeks to discredit Him
    • Can you relate to having these types of people in your life?
  • Jesus was often hurt by people he loved dearly. In fact, they were people he invited into his life in a personal way. As a result, itts possible their actions felt very personal to him. But, how did he respond to them?  What was his encouragement to them? (Remember Mark 3:23-30)
  • Jesus was constantly pushing the people around him to discover Him for themselves. This was counter to the religious leaders (Pharisees) of the time who wanted to control everything. Jesus’s plan was always to have personal relational encounters with people. What is your favorite story of Jesus being personal in the Bible and why?
  • What is your plan to discover who Jesus is? How do you continue to discover Him

What Now?

  • If you’re a Jesus follower, Jesus described you as being like the light of the world. When you walk into school, the neighborhood, that Facebook group, that Tik Tok community, that classroom, everything should change for the better. Of the list Jeff mentioned on Sunday, which idea resonates with you most as an opportunity to represent Jesus well to those around you?
    • Take the High Road (especially on social media.) 
    • Remember who you represent.
    • Be generous. 
    • Practice humility.  (We serve a Servant.) Servant Leadership.
    • Smile more.  
    • Have someone in your life who knows what’s really going on.
    • Pray more. Talk less. 
    • Apologize quickly.
  • Perhaps you realize that you have negatively affected someone’s view of Jesus. Is there someone you need to apologize to?
    • Consider saying this: “I’m sorry. I’m sorry not only for what I did. I’m sorry if it hurt your relationship with Jesus because I am Jesus follower.”
  • What can you do this week as a follower of Jesus to help people understand what Christians are really like?

Remember This

“Don’t confuse Jesus with Jesus followers. Only one of them is perfect.” —Jeff Henderson

Additional Resources

When God Breaks Your Heart by Ed Underwood (Book)
Do you or someone in your group have questions about the Bible, God, Jesus, etc? We would love for you to join a
Starting point group!
Sin by Church of the City (Podcast)
Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (Book)