LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of October 13, 2019
Click here for a full archive.
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 and Trent Jenkins will be our speakers.
FINALIZE PLANS FOR YOUR SOCIAL & SERVICE PROJECT
Confirm with your group what project you would like to do. Check our website for some options: northcoastcommunityservice.org. You can also check out the Leader Tools page for social ideas. lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/suggestions-for-socials/
- If you need support for your group, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Life Group Pastor – we’re here to help! Find a list of who to contact online at northcoastchurch.com/staff
- Don’t forget to have drinks or coffee out when people arrive – create a warm welcome!
- It’s ok to have some weeks that focus more on discussion, and some more on prayer! If you haven’t taken the opportunity to break into men-only/women-only groups, try it this week.
Make sure you attend the Mid Quarter Training session for Leaders and Hosts (Vista Campus based-groups only). Click the link to RSVP: lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/mid-quarter-training
Arise – Oct 24 (details will be emailed)
Empty Nest – Oct 20, Oct 26 & 27
General – Oct 27 & Nov 2
Grupos de habla hispana – Oct 20
Military – None scheduled
Parents of Kids, K-6 – Oct 20
Parents of Teens – Oct 20, Oct 26 & 27
Senior Adults – Oct 28
Singles – Oct 13
Special Studies – Oct 20, Oct 26 & 27
Union 2535 – None Scheduled
Targeted – Oct 20, Oct 26 & 27
Young Families – Nov 2 & 3
Young Marrieds – Nov 2 & 3
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.
Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything you heard for the first time, caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
- Larry talked about using the Bible to hammer other Christians. Have you ever been on the receiving end of someone using the Bible as a hammer? How did that feel?
Some people won’t have an answer for this question, but some will want to share every detail of their experience so be prepared to limit the discussion on this question.
Of the six wrong ways Larry mentioned we can use the Bible, which of them would be easiest for you to fall into?
Great question to have everyone answer.
Additional Question: How easy is it for you to fall into that wrong way?
- How has your attitude about the Bible and how you read/study/listen to it changed over the years?
Another good question to have everyone answer because their answers will help you get to know them better.
- What happened to change your attitude about the Bible or your Bible reading plan?
- If you could pick one or two verses that you only had to take as suggestions, which would you pick?
- Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible and 171 of its 176 verses contain a reference to God’s Word. This Psalm gives us an inside look at how the writer, King David, used the Scriptures to stay connected with God in the midst of chaotic life circumstances. As you read through the various sections of this Psalm:
- Circle / highlight any words or phrases that catch your attention.
- Underline what you think is important to remember.
- Put an X next to anything that confuses you.
Note: We are looking at only 24 of the 176 verses in Psalm 119. Feel free to expand your discussion to include more sections. While David circled back to talking about a lot of the same things, he does include more attitudes and actions in the other verses.
vs. 1-8 1 Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. 2 Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart— 3 they do no wrong but follow his ways. 4 You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed. 5 Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! 6 Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands. 7 I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws.8 I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me.
vs. 9-16 9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. 12 Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees. 13 With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. 14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. 15 I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. 16 I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.
vs. 65-72 65 Do good to your servant according to your word, Lord. 66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands. 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. 68 You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees. 69 Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart. 70 Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law. 71 It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. 72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.
Note: You can start the discussion of this question simply by asking people to share the things they circled, highlighted and underlined. The best follow up question is to ask why they picked that word or phrase if they don’t say that when they first shared.
What attitudes and actions do you see David maintaining to keep God’s Word active in his life?
Which of David’s attitudes toward God’s Word can you relate to the most? Which is most foreign to you?
A good question to have everyone answer.
- What benefits from obeying the Word do you see in these verses?
- Can you think of a time when you’ve experienced one of the benefits David mentions come from obeying God’s Word?
- Which of these benefits could you use the most right now?
- Which of the benefits talked about in these passages have you experienced in your life?
- Which of these benefits of interacting with and obeying the Bible is most motivational to you?
- What changes could you make to experience even more of these benefits?
- Despite all these benefits, why do you think many Christians still don’t make Bible intake a consistent part of their lives?
- Was there been a time in your life where you had a great hunger to read and study the Bible? What was it that prompted that hunger? What was it that brought that season to a close?
Note: Another passage with lots of benefits is Psalm 19:7-11
Looking back at what you wrote, are there any of these actions or attitudes you might want to consider adopting when it comes to keeping Scripture an active part of your life?
A good question to have everyone answer.
- What is most challenging to you about finding consistent time for intake of the Bible?
- What things have helped you deal with those challenges?
- Has there been a time in your life when you were more consistent in the intake of the Bible? What changed from then to now?
- Humility is a very important character trait for helping us stay teachable and less likely to use the Bible in “bad” ways. When we are proud we do the opposite. What do you learn about pride and humility from the following passages?
Proverbs 11:2 – When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Romans 12:3 – For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
The verse doesn’t say to downplay your strengths and abilities, but not to think more highly of them. This would include acknowledging where those strengths and abilities came from.
- Despite all these warnings, why do you think it’s so easy for us to still get caught up in pride?
- Even though pride has so many negative consequences, it seems like the arrogant can still prosper. What light does Isaiah 2:11-12 shed on this dilemma?
1 Peter 5:5-7 – 5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Additional Passage: 2 Corinthians 12:6-10 talks about Paul’s thorn in the flesh which was given him to help him stay humble and keep him relying on God instead of his gifts and abilities. Colossians 3:12; Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 16
Looking back at each of the six ways the Bible can go bad, how would each of these particular “ways” be impacted by humility?
Humility is often defined as an accurate view of ourselves – including our strengths, weaknesses and limitations. Do you think humility in our interactions with others is similar or different from humility in our relationship with God?
- Are some people naturally more humble than others?
- If a person you didn’t know walked into the room and spoke about a great accomplishment they had just achieved, would you tend to think they are humble yet confident or arrogant?
Take a moment to evaluate the level of attention you’ve been giving the Bible and how you’re getting it into your life regularly. Are there any changes you need to make?
- Someone has said, “You are the only Bible many people will ever read.” How could this quote impact how motivated a person is to be a doer of the Word and not just a hearer? What are the implications of this statement on how we live our lives?
- What do you do when reading the Bible becomes boring or doesn’t seem to be providing any benefit?
Possible Challenge: One option is to ask if anyone wants to take on the challenge of trying something different for 3 weeks that they don’t normally do – memorize Scripture, journal, add some extra study resources, text each other a verse a day, etc.
Additional Question: Doing the Life Group study questions is designed to be one way for people to read their Bibles. What do you do to get the most out of the Life Group homework? You may want to have your group share what they do to maximize their time spent in preparation.
Note to Leaders: The Life Group homework is designed to be completed in about 20 minutes. But, know that you can take much longer if you like to dig in. You can look up the many references in the sermon that we don’t get to read. There are also a number of free online resources and apps that you can use for further study of the Scriptures used in our weekly homework questions.
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 and Trent Jenkins 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
Whether you’re at the start of your journey with Jesus, or a long time follower, Scripture is God’s communication and gift to us. Here’s another way to keep God’s Word in your life. The Read Scripture App and The Bible Project both offer a reading plan along with engaging and accessible videos that help us see how the Bible is a unified story leading to Jesus.