Title: The Defender – How Can We Manage Negative Influences
Series: Transformed to Influence
Text: Titus 3:9-15

We do not influence in a vacuum. If we want to influence people positively towards Christ, we have to be aware of negative influences that seek to draw people away from Him. How can a believer continue to influence in the face of different, perhaps even hostile, opinions?

General Questions:

  1. Recall some of the negative influences you have encountered. Perhaps you were a product of these negative influences before you became a Christian. What makes these negative influences powerful or irresistible?\

Perspective Questions:

  1. Negative influences can distract us from influencing the world for Christ. What are some examples of negative influences you can think of that could derail Christians from focusing on the Great Commission?

  2. Why do you think it is easy to get entangled in debates and controversies, especially on social media platforms? Why are such arguments and speculations unprofitable and useless to the Kingdom?

  3. If we should not get distracted by debates and controversies, what then should we focus on?

Application Questions:

  1. How do we differentiate people who are genuinely questioning from people who just want to create controversy for the sake of it? How would we respond to them differently? 

  2. What can we do for people in our faith community who are caught up in controversies and arguments? How can we lead them firmly but gently back to the truth?

  3. How can we work better as a team to advance the Kingdom together? 

Title: The Catalyst – How to Influence Others to Influence
Series: Transformed to Influence
Text: Titus 3:1-8

The church together as a whole is called to make an impact on the world. How can we disciple one another to be salt and light? 

General Questions:

  1. When it comes to influencing the world, more is more. In your opinion, what are the advantages of influencing others to be active influencers?

Perspective Questions:

  1. Note that Paul uses the verb “to be” five times in Titus 3:1-2. He is stressing not a set of behaviours, but a set of attitudes. How can living out these good attitudes allow Christians to influence the world?

  2. God’s people need constant reminders to be good. Why do you think this is so? What are some of the attitudes that we tend to forget? What do you think is at the core of our struggle to be good? 

  3. In Titus 3:8, Paul reminds Titus to stress “these things” to the church. “These things” refers to how we have been saved by Christ from a life of disobedience (vv3-7). Paul further says that Titus is to stress these things so that the believers will devote themselves to doing what is good (v8). How does God’s grace motivate believers to be the kind of people who are devoted to doing good?

Application Questions:

  1. How can we remind one another to be good? 

  2. What are some attitudes you would like your lifegroup to remind you about?

Title: The Impact – How to Influence Effectively
Series: Transformed to Influence
Text: Titus 2:1-15

When it comes to influencing, we do not just want to work hard. We also want to work wise so that we can be effective influencers.

General Questions:

  1. We sometimes think we are only effective in influencing others if we are capable or hold a certain high status or position in society. How does this understanding arise and in what ways does it affect your efforts at influencing others? How does knowing that our authority to influence comes from God impact our motivations and efforts in influencing others?

Perspective Questions:

  1. There is no one-size-fits-all method to influence. We need to discern what is appropriate for each group of people. How would understanding the unique needs of each group faces help us to influence them effectively?  

  2. In v10, Paul states the purpose of his instructions to the slaves: “…to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive”. Paul seems to suggest that the slaves’ willing submission to their masters will draw onlookers closer to God. In what ways does Paul’s teaching match up with / differ from our understanding of what it means to influence? While we may not be slaves, all of us have authorities in our lives that God has placed us under (e.g. bosses, teachers, parents). How would our willing submission to these authorities reflect Christlikeness and draw onlookers closer to God? What are the boundaries of submission?

  3. According to Paul, the grace of God that brings salvation and teaches the people on godly living (v11-12) provided them with a basis, motivation and enablement for the exhortations listed previously (v2-10). How does the grace of God enable the different groups of believers to say “no” to all that is not of God and “yes” to a life of living in line with God’s will?

  4. We do our best to plan, to strategise, and to influence, but only God’s grace can transform lives. How does this understanding affect the way we handle the outcomes of our efforts, either those that seem to fall short or those that seem to be productive? 

Application Questions:

  1. Think about your peers and/or the people in your sphere of influence. What are some of the challenges they face? With these in mind, in what ways can we influence them appropriately with sound doctrine? 

Title: The Substance – How to be a Credible Influence
Series: Transformed to Influence
Text: Titus 1:5-16

What does it take to be a credible influence? More than intelligence, talent or money, it takes substance.

General Questions:

  1. Think about some of the most credible people in your life. What makes you trust them?
  2. Share about an occasion where you misplaced your trust in someone. What did it teach you about the importance of credibility?
  3. What is the difference between personality and character? Which has more to do with credibility and why? How has social media changed the way we think about credibility?

Perspective Questions:

  1. To be a credible influence, we must put our relationships in order. Yet we often take the people closest to us for granted. What hinders us from prioritising our relationships?
  2. Which of the six virtues in Titus 1:8 do you think is most difficult to cultivate? What if we struggle in these areas? Can we still be a credible influence and why?
  3. Reflect on whether you have been walking the talk or practicing what you preach. What motivates or helps you to live with integrity?
  4. What do you think your family, workplace and even society will look like if every believer lives consistently with the biblical values they are taught?

Application Questions:

  1. Think about the relationships you may have placed in the backseat as you pursue other things in life. How can you prioritise them again?
  2. Reflect on how the Spirit has been sanctifying you and building your character. What is one thing you can give thanks to God for? 

  3. How can you deepen your understanding and improve your application of biblical values?

Title: The Basis – Why Are We to Influence
Series: Transformed to Influence
Text: Titus 1:1-4

Why do we want to influence? Is it because we feel for certain groups of people or because we desire to find a purpose for ourselves? These are not wrong, but there is a more important and more lasting motivation.

General Questions:

  1. Think about some of the commonly held ideas that people in your life station have about Christians exerting their influence. Share some examples and note – are there mostly positive or negative sentiments or a mix of both?
  2. What basis does the passage Titus 1:1-4 provide for Christians to choose to live out a life of influence? How does Paul’s life demonstrate this basis?

Perspective Questions:

  1. We influence our world because God has sent us and He promises that our work, when done on the foundation of the Gospel, will bear eternal fruit. Despite this fact, many believers do find it difficult to obey God to be salt and light to the world. Consider the possible reasons for this, and discuss in the group the validity of some of these reasons. What might help to mitigate some of these challenges?
  2. The hustle and bustle of daily life can lead us to live lives for the here and now, for the immediate needs and wants, while losing sense of the eternal perspective. Believers are not spared from this. Think about our current lives: What is the significance of eternity to us personally? How do we know that eternity still matters to us? How does living like eternity matters look like?
  3. Recount your personal Discipleship, Outreach, Care (DOC) story. Why and how did you get involved in DOC? What made you continue doing DOC despite the challenges along the way? Share specific incidents if you are comfortable.
  4. How can we know for sure that our work as influencers is based on the Gospel? What happens if something else beside the Gospel becomes our foundation?

Application Questions:

  1. Do a personal heart-check. Are we still involved in the Great Commission, and more importantly, are we involved out of obedience to Him? Conversely, if we are not participating in the Great Commission, is it due to reasons other than Him? Take some time to repent for our disobedience and seek God’s forgiveness.
  2. Some of us may be feeling weary of doing God’s work after some time. How can we remind and encourage one another that we are in it for the long haul? How can we  help one another to keep the right basis?

If we want to see the Gospel changing lives, we must become active influencers. In our five-week series on the book of Titus, examine how we can fulfil our calling to influence the world towards Christ.