Breakaway Study Guide

Breakaway Study Guide

by Andy Stanley

Paperback(Study Guid)

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Everywhere You Go, There You Are

When you were young, you were told, “You are special!” and were encouraged to become anything you wanted. The future held unlimited options. But then life happened. And now you look around feeling, thinking, looking, and acting basically the same as the next guy. You can’t help but feel trapped and hemmed in. Unfortunately, many try to break out of the suffocating sameness by making the same bad decisions over and over again. This Breakaway DVD and study guide are designed to renovate your thinking by illustrating four core beliefs that dictate the decisions shaping the outcome of your life. This study will help you break out of the crowd and away from bad patterns for good! Break out of the crowd.

None of us sets out to be like everybody else, but it happens. Life begins to squeeze us into a mold until one day we wake up feeling trapped and hemmed in. Unfortunately many people think that the answer is to run away, but they only end up making the same bad decisions over and over again. So how do you break the cycle and break out of the crowd?

In this six-session companion study guide to the Breakaway DVD, Andy Stanley will expose you to four core beliefs that have the power to renovate your thinking and change the trajectory of your life. Intended for use in a personal study or in small groups, Breakaway will illustrate how our core beliefs dictate our decisions which dictate the outcomes of our lives.

This study guide is complete with a leader’s guide and six lessons, including conversation-starting exercises, discussion questions, and application steps.

Story Behind the Book

Andy Stanley is the senior pastor of three North Point Ministries campuses, with a cumulative congregation of more than twenty thousand. Much of the brokenness he sees in the lives of his congregants results from the herd mentality that makes them feel completely blah. He often hears comments like, “Life is just more of the same, only with more candles on my birthday cake,” and, “Even my problems are the same as everyone else’s—from dealing with debt to my marital problems. There’s nothing unique about me.” Culture has shaped and molded the zest out of life, and this DVD and study guide are designed to open the door to freedom!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590526637
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/03/2006
Series: Northpoint Resources Series
Edition description: Study Guid
Pages: 112
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Communicator, author, and pastor, Andy Stanley founded Atlanta-based North Point Ministries in 1995. Today, NPM is comprised of six churches in the Atlanta area and a network of ninety churches around the globe collectively serving nearly 185,000 people weekly. As host of Your Move with Andy Stanley, with over seven million messages consumed each month through television and podcasts, and author of more than twenty books, including The New Rules for Love, Sex & DatingAsk It, How to Be Rich, Deep & Wide, Visioneering, and Next Generation Leader, he is considered one of the most influential pastors in America. Andy and his wife, Sandra, have three grown children and live near Atlanta.

Read an Excerpt


Study Guide

Multnomah Publishers

Copyright © 2006 North Point Ministries, Inc.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1-59052-663-5

Chapter One

Session One

A Way Out

None of us begins life hoping to be just like everyone else. In fact, most of us have a distinct fear of being ordinary. We all know what it's like to dream big. As children and teenagers and maybe even young adults, our dreams were larger than life. And that's what made us unique.

But before we knew what was happening, we had jobs, families, and a Palm Pilot filled with long to-do lists. There were homes to buy, cars to wash, and lawns to mow. Little by little, our lives were starting to resemble everyone else's. And our big dreams were nowhere in sight. It's this awareness of the sameness of our lives that can leave us feeling trapped. That's when many of us become deluded by a common misconception. And unless we wake up to reality, we can make the mistake of a lifetime.

In this session, we'll expose a common myth that has been the destroyer of many lives. Just as running away is a bad idea for teenagers, it doesn't work for adults either. If what we ultimately desire is a genuinely fulfilling life, there is a better way. And as we're about to see, it's not so much about changing our circumstances, but renovating the internal belief system that has been driving our decisions.


Did you ever attempt to or contemplate running away as a kid? What is it you wanted to run away from? What did you want to run to? In retrospect, why would it have been a very bad idea to run away?


(Read This or Watch Session 1 of the DVD)

Culture offers an alternative to the sameness in which we find ourselves. Run away! We are sold the message that in order for my life to be better, richer, and more breathtaking, I need to run. I need to break all the rules because it is the rules that are hemming me in. I need to leave my wife, quit my job, move to Vegas.

But ask those who have tried it. At the end of the day, running away only makes life more complicated. Nothing has really changed. You still aren't a rock star, professional athlete, actress, or a super model. You are just you with a bigger pile of regret.

The reason is that although running away might change your surroundings, there is still a common denominator-you. You are where you are because of decisions you made. You believed something at the time of your decisions that led you to think they were either good decisions or bad decisions whose outcomes you could manage. When we get fed up with our outcomes, we assume that if we can just go back and remake some decisions, we will have more pleasant outcomes. But if you alter what you do without altering what you think/believe you will get a similar outcome. This is why second marriages have a higher failure rate than first ones. Deciding different isn't always a solution. If your beliefs about marriage are the same, your choices won't be that different. Changing jobs, husbands, schools, boyfriends, houses, neighborhoods, won't do you any good. A different life outcome is not just a matter of deciding better. It is the outcome of thinking and believing differently.

So in this study we are going to begin the process of renovating our thinking (Romans 12:2), because breakaway thinking leads to breakaway living, which leads to breakaway outcomes. Over the next five weeks we will focus on four core beliefs that, once embraced, have the power to change the trajectory of your life. But before we get to these four core beliefs, we need to take the time up front to examine our current beliefs, decisions, and outcomes.

{"The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live." -Flora Whittemore}


_______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________


Take a few moments to discuss your answers to these questions with the group.

1. What were your dreams in childhood?

2. What are some of the most significant decisions that shaped the outcome of your life?

3. What were the deeply held beliefs behind your decisions?

4. When have you attempted to run away from the outcomes of your decisions? What was the result?

5. If you could change one outcome now, what would it be?

6. Renovating your thinking begins with getting rid of the old. What beliefs do you need to reexamine in order to breakaway in this area?


* As much as we like to think otherwise, our lives have a sameness that can be stifling and leave us feeling hemmed in and trapped. * If I am wondering how my life became the way it is, it is because of the decisions I have made. My decisions are a result of my beliefs. * In order to breakaway from the monotony, to rekindle our dreams, we must have breakaway beliefs.


Think about an area of your life that is a source of discontentment right now. Have you been tempted to run away? How have your personal decisions gotten you here? What belief was behind those decisions? You may even want to write out the following progression.

My belief that __________________ led me to decide to __________________________ and now the outcome is _______________________. If change begins at the point of our belief, what brand-new belief needs to replace the old in this scenario?


Often we make decisions we know to be wrong because we believe we can manage the outcome. Think of a time you have done that. How did it work? Whether it works every time or not, what assumptions are we making when we do the wrong thing and hope it will somehow turn out right anyway?


God's Word is the only reliable source from which we can obtain solid truth to fuel a renovated belief system. The breakaway life begins here. You can start by meditating on the following verse this week.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will."

Romans 12:2


To help you prepare for session two, use these suggested devotions throughout the week leading up to your small group meeting.

Day One

Read Romans 12:1-2. Breakaway living begins with breakaway thinking-transforming your mind. Pray today that God would transform your mind over the next several weeks.

Day Two

Read Proverbs 3:5. The concept of trust in this culture carried the idea of lying helplessly face down. It is a picture of relying on someone else for security. Why is this often hard for us to do? Evaluate how much you trust God through the day.

Day Three

Read Proverbs 3:5 again. Solomon contrasts trusting in God with leaning on our own understanding. Today, observe how often you take things into your own hands rather than trusting God.

Day Four

Read Proverbs 3:6. "Ways" encompasses every arena of life-business, marriage, relationships, conflict management, parenting, money management, etc. Everywhere else in the Old Testament, "acknowledge" is used to signify submission. So in other words, acknowledge His right to rule, say yes to His instruction in every arena. In what areas of your life do you need to acknowledge God. Pick one and focus on submitting to God in that area today.

Day Five

Read Proverbs 3:6 again. Trusting in God will lead you to a lifestyle characterized by good decision-making and positive outcomes. Today, focus on the paths God can lead you to, if you would trust in Him.

Last week ...

We learned that the circumstances (or outcomes) of our lives are shaped by our decisions, and our decisions are ultimately shaped by what we believe. We learned that to live a truly breakaway life, we need to allow God to renovate our beliefs.


Excerpted from BREAKAWAY by ANDY STANLEY Copyright © 2006 by North Point Ministries, 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.

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