A Holding Pattern

Discussion Guide

Conversation Starters

  • Who’s a hero of yours you wish you could meet?
  • Would you rather take a 10-hour trip in a car, plane, bus, or train?
  • You’re stuck in a holding pattern on a plane — what do you do to pass the time?


Ask eGroup members to share their favorite points from the sermon, what spoke to them, a phrase or moment from the sermon they related to the most, or questions they have. If members have a hard time recalling the sermon, talk through your notes and share your favorite points.

Make It Personal

  • How would you define a “holding pattern” in life? Give some examples. (e.g., waiting for a promotion, trying to find a spouse, looking for a house, etc.)
  • Share about a holding pattern you experienced in the past. What emotions and frustrations did you deal with? How did you get out of it?
  • What’s a holding pattern you’re in now? Tell the group about something you can see that you want to get to, but you can’t get there.
  • Read Genesis 16:1-6. Abram and Sarai were in a holding pattern — they were waiting for God to fulfill His promise to give them children. (They had been waiting over 10 years by this point.) Do you identify with their decision to do things their way to get out of their holding pattern? What are some ways that being in a holding pattern can affect our focus?
    • What have you been doing to try to get out of your holding pattern? (Help your group narrow this down to things they’ve been physically doing — not just praying or waiting on God. Ask follow-up questions to gauge if what they’ve been doing has helped, hurt, caused more frustration, etc.)
  • Read Ephesians 2:10. What are some examples of “good works”? (e.g., buying groceries for someone, driving a friend who needs a ride, giving to the church, spending time with a family member in the hospital, etc.) When you’re in a holding pattern, do you focus more on trying to get out of it, or on doing good while you’re stuck in it?
    • Why is it hard to focus on doing good works instead of getting out of your holding pattern? What are some things or patterns in your life affecting your focus? (Our perspective is a product of our connections. Are your connections helping you focus on yourself, or get outside yourself?)
  • Pastor Levi talked about not stopping short of doing the good works God has placed in us. What are some ways we stop short? (e.g., praying for someone but not practically helping them, going to church but not serving or giving, wanting to be a better friend/spouse/parent but not doing anything to improve, etc.) Are there any ways you’ve stopped short?
  • Read Acts 9:36-43.  Dorcas did three things: she gave what she could, she gave while she could, and she received more than she gave. (Share your notes from the sermon on these three points if your group doesn’t remember them.) How do those challenge or inspire your perspective about doing good works?
  • Pastor Levi challenged us to use what’s in our hand if we want to see God unlock what’s in our heart. What’s in your hand that you can use? What steps can you take to start using it? (Who is someone you know or someone in the Bible who can be a pattern for you to follow?)

Act On It

This week, be a Dorcas. Be intentional about doing good works, and trust God to get you out of your holding pattern. What are 2-3 good works you can do this week?


Ask eGroup members to share any prayer requests they have. Record any notes or prayer requests to pray for members during the week.
Father, thank You for putting good works inside us for us to do. We want to put our focus on being available to You — show us where we’ve stopped short of doing and using what You’ve placed in us, and help us be like Dorcas and always do good. In Jesus’ name, amen.