LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of September 15, 2019
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
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This week we kick off our Fall Life Group Quarter. Your first meeting will include a potluck dinner, time to get acquainted, as well as time to discuss your Life Group Covenant. The study questions have been shortened this week to allow ample time to accomplish all of this.
To prepare for your first meeting, take some time to focus on the questions below and be prepared to share your answers with the group. Have a great meeting as you come together to connect, encourage one another to grow and see how God might work!
These notes are designed to be a resource as you lead your Life Group each week.
Getting Ready for your First Meeting
Each week in this section you’ll find the most important information for your group.
Goals of the First Meeting
- Rekindle relationships and meet new members
- Clarify your group’s direction / expectations / commitments using the Covenant
- Briefly discuss the sermon topic (if there is time – see Leader Guide above)
- Pray for the building of relationships and spiritual growth of the group
Items Needed for the First Meeting
- Dinner / dessert plans decided
- Life Group Covenants – small ones to handout and a large one for everyone to sign (these were mailed to you last week in your leader packet, and can also be found online here.
- Name-tags (host should write them out ahead of time)
Life Group Covenants
- Covenants & Leaders Guide were all mailed to your meeting location or get them online.
- Go over Covenant – use last question in homework to transition into this. (See Leaders’ Guide to Covenant for more info / or Listen to audio).
Contact Your Group in Advance
- Contact all members one week before the first meeting to welcome them to the group. You can check your roster online to see all the member of your group and their contact information. You can find instructions on how to check your roster here.
- Inform them of the location and time of your group, as well as any entrees to bring for dinner
Looking for more guidance on your first meeting? You can find the “First Night Agenda” on how to make your first night great on the Leader Tools page of our website.
How We Measure our Success Week to Week: Hearing from everyone at every meeting and keeping God’s Word at the center.
Make sure you leave plenty of time to answer the question in the “Looking Ahead” section and spend time going over the Covenant with your group.
- Welcome and Eat – Potluck
- Group Sharing – Discussion Note: You can transition from Getting to Know You section to the Looking Ahead section.
- Study Questions Discussion (optional)
- Go over the Covenant – Use the last question in the Leader’s Guide to Study Questions below and transition into reviewing the Covenant.
- Try to get to the “Looking Ahead” section with 45 minutes left in your meeting so you have plenty of time to have everyone answer and go over the Covenant.
- Close in prayer
- Eat (more) dessert
Submit your group’s attendance online at northcoastchurch.com/attendance. If you’re not sure how to post attendance, you can check out the guide here. Don’t forget to let us know of any roster updates that you know of, or changes to your meeting day, time or location for the Fall quarter when you submit your attendance.
Add these questions if you have new people in your group or a completely new group. If it hasn’t happened while eating dinner, have everyone in the group share how long they have been attending North Coast, if they have been in a Life Group before, and their occupation. Note: You’ll probably only have time to do two of these questions at most, so choose accordingly.
As you look back on the summer months, what were one or two of your highlights (i.e. going to a concert, swimming, family gathering, vacation, barbecue, etc.)?
Good question to have everyone answer. At least one of the following are also fun questions to ask.
- We all have different preferences. How would you answer the following:
- What’s the best way to start the day?
- What’s the best day of the week?
- What’s worth spending more on to get the best?
- Would you rather …
- … for your birthday, receive cash or gifts?
- … go to a movie alone or to dinner alone?
- … hear the good news or the bad news first?
- … be given a lifetime supply of delicious food or books?
- … watch the big game at home or live at the stadium?
QUICK REVIEW: Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything you heard for the first time or that caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
Discussion Note: You can transition from “Getting to Know You” section to the “Looking Ahead” section.
Because of the potluck, make sure you have plenty of time to spend on the “Looking Ahead” section below. You may not have time to cover this question this week.
Talking about God’s judgement isn’t typically an easy conversation. Yet, this weekend we were given some insight in how God’s judgement actually helps us know what it means to follow him. The ultimate good news is that as a follower of Jesus, we are saved by grace. Take a moment and read through Ephesians 2:1-10 and jot down all it says about God’s grace, judgement, and how the Spirit works in the life of a Jesus follower.
This question gives you chance to focus on the amazing grace our God offers us.
Ephesians 2:1-10 – As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
How might what you wrote above reflect and/or add to the message we heard this weekend?
Looking back at the message this weekend and the Ephesians passage, what is one of the most important things to remember?
Option #1 Discussion Suggestion & Possible Group Theme for the quarter: You could us your groups responses above to help set up a theme for your group this next quarter.
Option #2 Another idea is to ask your group to brainstorm what it means to them to live to live out Ephesians 2:8-9 along with Ephesians 2:10. You could use this as a possible theme for the quarter: To live by grace and know that Christ has done the work that will make a difference.
In preparation for going over the Covenant in your Life Group, take a moment to jot down some of the reasons you joined a group this fall. What are you looking forward to the most?
Important question to have everyone answer.
Transition Statement to Covenant: “One of the great benefits of being in a Life Group is the opportunity to have help from others as we seek to be strategic and intentional about our spiritual growth. The Life Group Covenant is designed to serve as intentional guidelines to help us make the most of our time together.” Pass out Covenants and go over them with your group. You can download the Leaders Guide to the Life Group Covenant, by going to northcoastchurch.com/groups and clicking on “Leader Tools.”
Close in prayer: Next week the Study Questions will include an introduction to praying in a group so if you have a new group or a lot of new members, it’s suggested that you wait until week two to do any group prayer.
Eat dessert: Mingle with everyone.
Life Groups exist to promote spiritual maturity and personal growth through meaningful Christian relationships and the study of God’s Word (Hebrews 10:24-25). Here’s how it will happen:
Each week we’ll take time to share what is happening in our lives.
At first this sharing will include planned “sharing questions.” But after the first few weeks, it will become more informal and personal as we feel more comfortable.
Each week we’ll study a section from God’s Word that relates to the previous weekend’s sermon or an appropriate personal growth topic. Our goal is to learn how to live out our Christianity in everyday life.
Each week we’ll learn how to take care of one another as Christ commanded (John 15:9-13). This care can take many forms, such as prayer, encouragement, listening, challenging one another and meeting real needs.
Spiritual growth is fostered not only by what we gain through the support and input of others, but also through service to others. The role each of us fills is important to the health of the church and for us to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the community in which we live (Ephesians 4:11-16). Throughout the quarter, it is our hope that you can find and/or be affirmed in the ways God has designed you to serve and make a difference in God’s Kingdom.
REAL MAN WEEKEND – “The Palomar Experience”- Oct. 25-27
Lookin’ for some crazy guy stuff to do? Want to kick back or get refocused on God? Join us for another epic men’s weekend that will get you recharged and refreshed as our speakers lead us into a look at what a real man is and isn’t! The weekend will also include plenty of “man” event options like paintball, high ropes course, skeet shooting, archery, zipline, horseback riding, etc. Space is limited so don’t delay!
Register online at northcoastchurch.com/real-man-weekend