“In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” 1 Peter 3:15

Last week Peter put hope to work, deploying us as a “royal priesthood.” This week, hope goes global. A virus can spread death and destruction around the world in a matter of weeks. Hope is greater, more powerful and more infectious. In this study we discuss how God has chosen to attach His hope to us. We will confront our honest fears and concerns about witnessing our faith, and we will prepare ourselves to spread hope to the world.

Checking In

1. What have you read or viewed this week that made an impression on you? What specifically made it memorable?


St. Paul’s Lutheran (Des Peres) H.I.S. Puppeteers have produced a video puppet show to compliment this study. Youth and adults will enjoy watching it. Before you turn on the video, read aloud 1 Peter 3:15 at the top of this study. Then click here to watch the video.

2. Talk about the boy’s plan to have a “Hope Parade.” You might discuss some of the following:

a) What was motivation for the parade?
b) What could such a parade look like?
c) In what simple ways did the boy share his hope with his friend?

3. In what ways have you celebrated your hope recently?

a) How did you do that? Was it spontaneous? Was it planned?

b) Who did you invite to the parade?

Preparing for the Word

Whether realized or not, there’s a lot witnessing going from the very beginning of this study exercise. The stories we recall and retell are acts of witnessing. The conversations we share give witness to our values and beliefs. The skills we exercise witness to the training we have received. The behaviors we exhibit witness to the character of our family and faith. Whether intentional or not, witnessing is a daily activity. Let’s be honest, when it comes to intentional witnessing of our faith, we all have some concerns.

4. What are some of your concerns, questions and fears when it comes to witnessing to the hope that is within you? (Trust one another with this activity. Write down what you share. Avoid dismissing or explaining away what is shared. Simply identify what we are up against so that God’s love and Spirit can address the issues.)

Read: 1 Peter 3:13-22

5. What specific words and phrases speak to your fears?

6. What does it mean to give your witness with “gentleness and respect”? Recall some good and not-so-good examples and how these may speak to witnessing concerns.

7. Who is the ultimate audience of your witness? How does this focus help address witnessing concerns?

8. Peter tells us people will “ask” us to share the hope within us. How have you seen that taken place? In what ways might we miss these opportunities or get ahead of them?

9. Verses 18-22 describe what we confess in the creeds, “He descended into Hell.” This passage can be confusing, but focus on the larger context of your witness. Jesus proclaims the message even to those who rejected God.

a) How does Jesus proclaiming even to those who “disobeyed” embolden your witness?

b) How has God attached His hope to you in baptism?

c) How do these verses give confidence to your witness?

Home Activity

Review: Last week’s activity explored giving offerings joyfully as one way we put our hope into action. Click here to review last week's activity. You were to identify one discretionary expense that you would sacrifice and turn into an offering.

• What did you choose to sacrifice and what do you do with the offering?
• What joys did you witness from the experience?
• How did the experience add meaning to other offerings you give?
• How can giving financial offerings be a witness to your faith?
• How can offerings be given in a way that witnesses gentleness and respect?


Peter teaches us to prepare for those occasions where we will be asked to share the hope within us. Here’s a short exercise to PREP for FRANK. Each person should complete the exercise individually writing down the following. You can also help children do this exercise. After you have finished share what you prepared.

PREP are the steps of putting God’s grace in your life down on paper in an organized way that your comfortable speaking. It stands for…
• Practicing hope (write specific reasons you have hope in Jesus)
• Recalling Bible promises (write 1-2 short, simple, Bible verses meaningful to you)
• Experiencing your story (write one personal story where you saw God’s grace.)
• Praying for opportunities (make an appointment to pray for someone to ask you to share your hope)

Thoughts for MY PREP

Bible promises

my story

for opportunities

FRANK are the likely people God will send your way asking for hope. Everyone has FRANKs in their lives. Identify at least one in each category who may ask for hope.

The People I Know Who May Ask for My Hope

Prayer Journal

This week’s prayer journal is about praying for your FRANK.

• Take the PREP items and form them into a prayer of love and thanks for the grace God has given to you.

• Take the people you named as your “FRANK” and pray specifically for each person according their needs. This may be the things you know about them, but it could also be the things God needs to prepare in you so that you will listen more closely to their needs.


If you haven’t done so already, make use of the Daily Reading and Reflections provided with this study to help you listen to the Bible more. Click here to read Week 5's Daily Reading and Reflections. It will help you grow deeper in your hope, a hope freed to serve.

Close by taking turns using 1 Peter 3:15 bless one another. An example of how you can modify it to be a blessing might go like this:

{Name} Jesus is your hope!
In your heart honor Christ the Lord as holy,
always being prepared
to make a defense to anyone who asks you
for a reason for the hope that is in you;
yet do it with gentleness and respect.