H2O Participant's Guide

H2O Participant's Guide

by City on a Hill, Kyle Idleman

your life cuts from one scene to the next with hardly a moment to breathe. The
H20 DVD-based small group program is a 10-week video series that reflects your lifestyle and helps you know how to quench your thirst for life’s satisfaction.
Nothing drenches your


your life cuts from one scene to the next with hardly a moment to breathe. The
H20 DVD-based small group program is a 10-week video series that reflects your lifestyle and helps you know how to quench your thirst for life’s satisfaction.
Nothing drenches your soul like a life fulfilled by God. This small group program reflects this spiritual truth through carefully crafted storytelling and contemporary production values.

Product Details

Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

Read an Excerpt


Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2009 City on a Hill Productions, Inc.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4185-3392-2

Chapter One




1. Kyle defined thirst as an inner desire that demands satisfaction and said that people are thirsty for something that can't be satisfied with the stuff of this world.

* What are your feelings about Kyle's statement?

* If you feel people do experience that kind of deep thirst, how would you describe it?

* If you don't think there is such a thirst, then how do you explain so many people feeling as though there is?

2. Oxford scholar C. S. Lewis was quoted in the presentation.

Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water.... If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing.

-C. S. LEWIS, Mere Christianity, p. 120, MacMillan, NY,1979

Here are some other desires and their means of fulfillment:


thirst water knowledge information companionship people children procreation accomplishment success recognition awards

* Can you think of others to add to the list?


* Besides the deep-down thirst Kyle was talking about, can you think of a desire for which there is no fulfillment on earth?

3. Kyle suggested five ways we could view the possible fulfillment of our deepest thirst. As you approach this study, how would you describe your attitude? Would you say you are more cynical, skeptical, curious, settled, or satisfied?

Cynical-certain that pretty much everything is a scam Skeptical-suspicious of everything (politicians, preachers, even your own brother!) and need clear proof before trusting anything Curious-interested in finding truth and open to whatever it may be Settled-fairly content but knowing that your deepest longings are not being met Satisfied-certain you have found what you are looking for and, as a result, thoroughly fulfilled * Why do you say so?

4. Do you really believe Mandi lost her wedding ring in the ocean and then Vince and Kyle found it later with an underwater metal detector in near total darkness?

"No way! That has to be bogus." "It's doubtful. I'd have to see some convincing proof." "It's possible. I'd be interested in hearing more about it." "Who cares? What does it matter?" "I'm not sure, but I do know I've had equally thrilling experiences in my life."

If you said ...

"No way! What a fake," then you are probably a cynic. "It's doubtful. I'd have to see more proof," then you are probably a skeptic. "That's interesting. I'd like to hear more about it," then you are probably curious. "Who cares? What does it matter?" then you are probably someone who settles for what you have and doesn't look for more. "I'm not sure it's true, but I've had thrilling things happen in my life," then you are most likely learning to be satisfied. * Do you find this assessment to be an accurate gauge of your attitude toward new information in life?

5. What do you think is the likelihood that Jesus can fill a person's deepest thirst? What makes you think so?


These are optional thought questions to ponder or respond to in writing between sessions. You will not be asked to share your answers in the next session, but you may find it helpful to talk them over with a friend.

1. Is there anything you picked up from the DVD or group time that you would like to think more about or be sure to remember?

2. Try to describe your own deep thirst, if you feel you have one.

3. Do you experience this thirst at certain times more than others? If so, when are those times of intensified thirst?

4. Why might you feel this thirst more at these times?

5. What have you found to be the thirst-quenching ability of the items listed below? Circle your answers.

Money Zero Low Medium High Complete Possessions Zero Low Medium High Complete Success Zero Low Medium High Complete Relationships Zero Low Medium High Complete

6. When you do get thirsty in the deeper sense, what do you generally turn to in order to quench your thirst? Describe how well it works.

Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink." -JOHN 7:37

Chapter Two




1. Kyle used words like boring, outdated, and hypocritical to describe a lot of people's experience of church. What words would you use to describe your experience of church?

2. If you had to describe Jesus from your church experience alone, what would you say He is like? How close do you think this church view of Jesus is to the real Jesus?

3. When Kyle went door to door asking people why they didn't attend church, he found that most people didn't say things like, "I don't believe in God" or "I think the Bible is a bunch of fairy tales." Instead, he heard things like, "Church is boring" or "I don't understand what the preacher is talking about" or "I'm busy."

* When it comes to faith, would you say your primary problem is with Jesus and what He is like or with the church and what it is like? It could be with both, but if it is both, with which do you have a bigger struggle-Jesus or the church?

4. One of the perversions of Christianity is turning it into a bunch of rules. When Kyle was talking about this, he listed some old laws that were pretty funny.

* Which of these laws do you think should still be on the books?

FOR AGAINST A person may not wear cowboy boots unless he owns at least three cows.

Owners of homes with Christmas lights up past February 2 will be fined $250.

Gathering and consuming roadkill shall be illegal.

No more than five inoperable vehicles may occupy one piece of property at one time.

A woman may not buy a hat without her husband's permission.

Women should not be allowed to drive motorized vehicles unless a man precedes them waving a red flag to warn oncoming pedestrians or motorists.

5. There are a lot of dos and do nots in the Bible, and that is why a lot of people think being a Christian is all about following rules. But the Bible says that one reason God gave all these rules was to make it clear that people cannot follow all the rules-that perfect rule-based living is impossible.

Now do you see it? No one can ever be made right in God's sight by doing what the law commands. For the more we know of God's laws, the clearer it becomes that we aren't obeying them. -ROMANS 3:20 TLB

So what was the law for? It was given to show that the wrong things people do are against God's will.... In other words, the law was our guardian leading us to Christ. -GALATIANS 3:19, 24 NCV

* Would you agree that following all the right rules and doing everything perfectly is impossible? Why or why not?

6. Besides rule-based living, Kyle mentioned other distortions of Jesus' message. He talked about what one writer termed "Christianity and ________________"; that is, stuff added to Jesus like political and social agendas, or even personal opinions. He said such additions are like nasty ranchero sauce added to a good burrito.

* What have you seen added to the basic message of Jesus?

7. In the DVD, the minister reads Luke 15:1-2 from the Bible:

Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."

* The religious leaders of His day saw Jesus as a person who readily connected with those whom others viewed as immoral. How close is this description to your view of Jesus? Would you say pretty close? Or quite distant? Why?

8. Are you willing to consider Jesus on His own terms, apart from how today's church might represent Him?


1. Of the pollutants Kyle mentioned, which has particularly bothered you?

____ the boring, monotonous nature of so many churches

____ making following Jesus all about keeping certain rules

____ political or social agendas, and personal opinions added onto Jesus' message

____ the hypocrisy of those who claim to be following Him

____ the general weirdness of Christians

____ something else: __________________________________

2. If you had an important message to tell the world, but other people came along and twisted, polluted, and added to it, how would you feel?

3. What would you imagine to be Jesus' reaction to the abuses and misuses of His message?

4. The Bible actually tells us to not blindly trust people, especially those who claim to be communicating messages from God. That's because people will let us down. People will intentionally mislead. People are polluted. John, one of Jesus' closest followers, wrote:

My dear friends, don't believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world. -1 JOHN 4:1 MSG

* Try writing out your view of Jesus; that is, try to describe Him as you see Him.

5. Where did you get your information for what you just wrote? Check all that apply.

____ from accounts of Him recorded in the Bible

____ from what I've read in books or magazines

____ from how the church represents Him

____ from the way Christians act

____ from the attitudes of my parents, professors, friends, etc.

* Which aspects of your view came from eyewitness descriptions of Him like those found in the Bible? Circle them.

* Which came from less-than-reliable sources? Cross them out.

* Which came from ... well, you don't know where? Put a question mark beside those.

6. The preacher in the DVD described Jesus this way.

The love of Jesus is not conditional.

It isn't based on ulterior motives.

It has no hidden agendas.

There's nothing you can do to deserve it.

And there's nothing you can do to lose it.

It's free. It's powerful. It's pure.

* Are you willing to consider Jesus on His own terms, to see if He is like what this preacher described?

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. -HEBREWS 13:5

Chapter Three




1. Who did you find yourself identifying with, or resonating with, most: the Korean American girl, her mother, Kyle's daughter, or Kyle as the good dad?

2. What is your reaction to the fact that the most common descriptive name for God in the New Testament is "Father"?

3. Here are some descriptive words for God based on the Bible.

  •   Check those you believe are absolutely true of God.

    X Mark an X beside those you believe are NOT true of God.

    ? Place a question mark beside those about which you just aren't sure.

    __ living __ infinite __ eternal (alive) (no beginning or end) __ omnipotent __ omniscient __ omnipresent (all-powerful) (all-knowing) (present everywhere) __ holy (perfect) __ wise __ impartial __ loving __ patient __ compassionate __ forgiving __ faithful __ generous __ kind __ responsive __ personal

    Total checkmarks in shaded area: ____

    Total in unshaded area: ____

    4. One inaccurate view of God is that of an angry father. You may wonder why negative words such as angry are not on this list describing God. While anger may be a temporary reaction to evil, a reaction that flows out of God's holiness, anger is not an ongoing characteristic of God as He is in and of Himself. Look at the Scripture below:

    His anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime. -PSALM 30:5

    A good parent might sometimes get angry, but anger is not who he or she is. That's how the Bible describes God: He may get angry, but He is not angry in the same way He is loving or kind.

    * Do you think this distinction between what God sometimes does and what He is in and of Himself is valid? Why or why not?

    5. Mark a D at the place on each line that depicts how you experienced your dad when you were little, say, in elementary school. If you didn't have a dad, choose the closest person you had to a father figure.

    * Next put a G on each line at the place that represents how you see God these days.

    Gentle __ __ __ G __ D __ __ Stern Close __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Distant Talkative __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Silent Patient __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Explosive Joyful __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Somber Encouraging __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Critical Interested __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Apathetic Kind __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Harsh Honest __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Deceitful Consistent __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Erratic

    * How is your experience of your dad when you were a kid similar to how you see God now? What does this exercise show you, if anything?

    6. Would you welcome or resist the concept of a loving heavenly Father? Why?

    7. What impact would it make on your life if you did see God as a patient, loving, forgiving Father?


    1. During the group discussion, you were asked to mark which of the characteristics of God seem true to you, which seem false, and which you were unsure of. Look at them again, but this time think of them in terms of which ones you experience as you relate to God. For instance, you may think that God is kind, but you may not experience this kindness when you try to relate to Him.

    E Place an E beside those you experience personally B Place a B beside those you believe but do not experience

    __ living __ infinite __ eternal (alive) (no beginning or end) __ omnipotent __ omniscient __ omnipresent (all-powerful) (all-knowing) (present everywhere) __ holy (perfect) __ wise __ impartial __ loving __ patient __ compassionate __ forgiving __ faithful __ generous __ kind __ responsive __ personal

    * What did this exercise reveal to you, if anything?

    2. Here are some reasons a person may resist the idea of God being a loving Father. If you find yourself pushing away any thought of a loving heavenly Father, do any of these lie beneath that resistance?

    ____ I just don't believe it's possible that God is like that.

    ____ I feel so unworthy of that kind of love.

    ____ I used to believe it, but too many bad things have happened to me.

    ____ I've been burned too many times when I've trusted someone to be loving.

    ____ I don't want to believe in a God of any kind, because that would mean I have to do things His way.

    ____ I am uncomfortable with the experience or feeling of love. It's just too ... squishy!

    ____ Other: _____________________________________


    Excerpted from H2O A JOURNEY OF FAITH PARTICIPANT'S GUIDE Copyright © 2009 by City on a Hill Productions, Inc.. Excerpted by permission.
    All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
    Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

  • Meet the Author

    City on a Hill Productions is called to serve God's purpose through the gift of visual media. God has called City on a Hill to serve Him through three focuses: equipping churches, supporting ministries, and reaching out to the unchurched. They believe that media is a tool and a weapon that can be used in the fight to win people's hearts to Christ.

    Kyle Idleman is a pastor with Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY. After attending Ozark Christian College, Kyle interned at Southeast, then moved to Southern California to plant Real Life Church in 2000. He returned to Southeast in 2002.

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