LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of September 22, 2019
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
These notes are designed to be a resource as you lead your Life Group each week.
REAL MAN WEEKEND – October 25-27
This is a great opportunity for the guys in your Life Group to get connected. Getting away for an entire weekend together facilitates connections that typically take months to realize. You can sign up online using your credit card, mail in your registration, or drop it off at the church office with your deposit during the week. Just write “Attention: Men’s Weekend” on your envelope. Cost ranges from $155-$199, depending on which rooms are chosen. There are also two special discounts on standard rooms: a “4 Friends” option and a “Father/Son” option. Chris Brown will be our speaker.
BEGIN TO MAKE PLANS FOR YOUR SOCIAL & SERVICE PROJECT
Begin to think about what project you would like to do. Check our website for some options: northcoastcommunityservice.org
Go over the Covenant with anyone who missed the first week. Remind anyone who hasn’t signed the Covenant to do so. Email it to your Life Group Admin, turn it in by mail, or drop it off at the office or Life Group box at the Info Booth on your campus by Sun, Oct. 6.
SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT WEEK #2
Remember we’re on week #2 with your group. People are still acclimating, especially any new people. Lead your group through the questions according to how well everyone knows each other. There are plenty of questions in this guide to take you deeper. And remember, as a leader your goal each night is to lead your group in such a way that you hear from everyone and use the Bible as your guide. Know that if you do this each week the people in your group will grow! Remember you don’t need to cover all questions. Great conversation is far more important than covering all the questions.
Check out the Tips on Group Prayer at the end of this Leader’s Guide. If you have new people in your group, please make sure you go over this. And NEVER make someone pray. Group prayer is similar to public speaking, which is the #1 fear people have. More than once we’ve had people tell us they quit Life Groups because a well-intentioned person required everyone to pray.
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.
Remember to keep politics COMPLETELY out of your Life Group discussions during this election cycle. Despite the fact that there may seem to be a predominant political persuasion in our church and in your group, we exist to minister to everyone who wants to know Jesus. Every election cycle we have new Christians, seekers, and even long-time Christians who are deeply offended when comments, jokes and even prayer requests send the message that people who vote a certain way are not welcome here. If someone in your group starts to take things in a political direction (be it with humor, a rant, or even a “prayer request” for a specific outcome) gently remind them that the body of Christ (and North Coast Church) is made up of followers of Jesus – some of whom are Republican, Independents, Democrats, Tea Party, etc.
Depending on time, you may only want to answer one or two questions in this section. Have fun with the first two below. They’re meant to be light-hearted and engaging for everyone. It’s recommended to definitely ask the Quick Review question.
Discussion Tip: Go around the circle and have everyone answer, or open it up to the group and ask someone who doesn’t talk much to answer. Remember, giving the group time limits helps keep one person from dominating the discussion.
- If you could witness any event of the past not involving Jesus, what would it be and why?
Good question to hear from everyone.
- What’s one thing you hope to do, see, experience or accomplish in your lifetime?
Good question to hear from everyone.
- 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?
Make sure you ask this question this week. It gives people the opportunity to discuss questions or issues that come up beyond the written questions. People’s responses can often lead into one of the questions in the “Digging Deeper” section. Some weeks this question will result in a lot of discussion, other weeks, not so much.
Discussion Reminder: If you are hearing from everyone in your group, chances are you won’t have the time to discuss every question. You may start with one that catches your attention so you don’t run out of time. For example, it’s not odd to start with question #2, then go to #3 and if you have time come back to #1.
1. This weekend we heard how Jesus was questioned about who He was and by what authority He was making His claims. These same kinds of questions continue today as people seek Jesus and try to understand Him. Paul also wrote in Colossians what could be seen as a “mini theology” or definition of Jesus. He wrote it to combat false teaching about Jesus. As you read Colossians 1:15-20, “highlight/circle/underline” and jot down everything it says about who Jesus is and what He has done.
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.*
*Personal Bible Suggestion: You many want to have people make a notation, or put a square around all of these verses in their bibles stating, “Jesus is God / His Authority” confirmed for easy reference in the future!
Text / Study Note: Reading text like this may bring up some questions on what certain word mean. Here’s David Quzik’s Commentary that might help with some definitions: enduringword.com/bible-commentary/colossians-1
Also, reading in another translation can bring more understanding: Here’s The Message translation of the same passage:
We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body. He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.
Additional Verses on who Jesus says He is:
- Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
- Luke 22:27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.
- John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.
- John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
- John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
- John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
- John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
- John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Looking back at what you just marked and wrote, what are the top two or three points for you to remember who Jesus is and what He has done for you?
Great question to have everyone answer. You may want to have your group members list their top three points in order of importance to them, and compare and contrast responses in your discussion.
Additional Questions: What’s your story in understanding who Jesus is? Was there a point when you didn’t believe He was God? Has your understanding changed over time? These are great questions to use as an opportunity to learn more about your group and where they are in their faith as you move forward with your group.
2. In the parable of the vineyard, we saw how the renters lost sight of who the real owner of the vineyard was. It’s easy for us to do the same with the things we have. What principles do you see in 1 Chronicles 29:10-17 that could help you remember who the real owner is of everything you have?
Discussion Note: Many will have the same answers. Some will have more answers here than others here. Set it up so people share one thought at time.
1 Chronicles 29:10-17 – 10 David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying,
“Praise be to you, Lord,
the God of our father Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
11 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all.
12 Wealth and honor come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.
13 Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name.
14 “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. 15 We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. 16 Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you. 17 I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.
How does 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 expand the idea of ownership and what God ultimately wants us to do with what He has given us?
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
We’re bought with a price, and we’re all precious to him.
Additional Question: “What’s your initial response to the idea of God being the owner; does it take off the pressure, add pressure, other?” For some that idea of ownership will be uncomfortable; it’s a good opportunity to discuss God’s grace as we fall short of our own standards in “ownership.”
Can you think of any examples of how your life could be different when you consistently remember who the owner is? If so, explain.
Good question to have everyone answer. Yet, be careful, some may find this challenging to answer so make sure they know it’s OK not to.
*120 Second Thank You Competition – One of the keys to remembering the true owner of all you have is remembering what He has done for you. Set your timer for 120 seconds, and as fast as possible, write down everything you can think of that you are thankful God has done for you and given you.
Have fun with this. You may want to compile a list for your whole group and keep it on record. Can also use it as prayer guide to close your meeting or in the future some time. Or use it as prayer text thanks chain dividing what was written into seven groupings and sending out on group each day.
Which point from this weekend’s message or Life Group study is most important for you to remember?
Prayer Transition and Optional Question: The #1 fear most people have is speaking in public. Group prayer would fall into this category. If you have new people in your group, going over “Tips on Group Prayer” (below) is crucial. In most cases it’s also a good reminder for returning groups. More than once, we’ve had people tell us they quit a Life Group or didn’t join a group because they had to pray out loud.
Additional Question (an important one for new groups): Prayer is an amazing avenue God has given us to communicate with him and he with us. But we also come to it with a lot of different thoughts and feelings. Which of the following statements are most true for you?
- Prefer to pray silently instead of out loud
- Find my mind wandering when praying
- Like to write out prayers
- Look forward to time in prayer
- Don’t really know how to pray
Prayer is an important part of being in a Life Group. Over the years we’ve found that group prayer goes better when we follow three simple guidelines.
WE PRAY FOR ONE TOPIC AT A TIME – Anyone in the group is free to introduce a prayer request either before prayer begins or during the prayer time. Once a topic is introduced, the group focuses on that request alone. Once it’s covered, the group moves on to the next topic.
PRAY MORE THAN ONCE – Because the group is focusing on one topic at a time, each person is encouraged to pray several times during the prayer time for those topics they feel most led to pray about. No one is required to pray.
WE KEEP OUR PRAYERS SHORT AND SIMPLE – Group prayer goes better when members keep their prayers short and to the point. When someone prays for a long time, it’s hard for the other members to stay focused and long prayers tend to intimidate those who are just learning to pray out loud in a group. No one is required to pray out loud.
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 Chris Brown 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! Room Options: $155-$199 Register online at northcoastchurch.com/real-man-weekend