LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of October 20, 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.
Things to Remember:
- Drinks when people arrive
- Contact anyone that has missed a meeting to let them know you missed them
Goals for the Evening:
- Continue to build relationships
- Discuss the homework together
- Pray together
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, or that caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
- We’ve all received gifts over the years. We may have known some were coming, while others were a total surprise. Can you remember a gift that was a complete surprise and you greatly appreciated? If so, explain.
Additional Question: What was your response to the person that surprised you?
- Talking about money can quickly become uncomfortable especially in a public setting. What do you think was the first thought most people had when Christopher introduced the topic? How about your first thoughts?
Additional Question: Did what you thought or how you felt about the message change at all during the message or afterwards?
- Understanding what it means to give joyfully, generously and sacrificially is no small challenge. What do we learn from Paul’s words about the Macedonian church’s approach to giving? How were they able to put all three of these character qualities into action? As you read about the Macedonian church in 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 use the following prompts:
- 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.
And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. 6 So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
10 And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.
13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”
Discussion Note: Your group may prefer to focus on just sharing the highlights and what they underlined. The questions below are designed to add more discussion and application if needed.
How would you summarize Paul’s perspective on giving in this passage?
Good question to have everyone answer.
What do you think it looks like to excel in the grace of giving?
Paul was urging the Corinthians to catch the vision of giving; not under compulsion, but as a result of the grace God had given them, and to continue with the commitment they had made earlier (see vs.6 & 1 Corinthians 16:1-3).
Gizuk helps us understand this kind of “grace of giving” this way: “Our giving should be like God’s giving of grace to us: giving freely, generously, because we want to give. When God gives to us out of grace, the motive for His giving is in Him, not based in the one who receives. That is how we should give – because the motive of the love and generosity of God is so big in our heart that we simply must give.”
“Once you see the matter of giving is centered in this lovely word grace, it lifts the whole act away from mechanics, from pressure and duty, from obligation and mere legalism. It lifts us up into the most lovely atmosphere of an activity which seeks by giving to convey to others all that is lovely, all that is beautiful, all that is good, and all that is glorious. What a lovely word this word is… For there is no area in the Christian life in which grace shines out so much, so beautifully, so delightfully, and so happily as when giving comes from the background of poverty.” (Redpath) – Guzik – enduringword.com
- How do you relate to the statement, “God is so big in our hearts that we simply must give?” Are there times you have felt this, while other people you know have not? If so why?
- How do you evaluate if you’re giving sacrificially?
What in this passage are you most challenged by or encouraged to put into action?
Good question to have everyone answer. You could easily use this one to close your time together and move to prayer requests or the next question.
Additional Question: How does giving/generosity test the sincerity of our love?
- One of the keys to building generosity into our lives is learning to be content with what we have. As most of us know, this kind of contentment can be a challenge. What insight and hope does Paul give us in moving toward this kind of contentment?
Philippians 4:10-13 – 10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Note that Paul speaks of how he “learned” to be content, meaning he has not always been content.
Additional Questions: Have you ever met a financial or professional goal to later realize it did not bring you contentment? If so explain.
Can you think of times that you have been content? If so, what has helped bring that about? What do verses 4-9 have to do with this contentment?
How can the principles in Matthew 6:25-27, 33-34 help us grow in our ability to be content with either much or little?
Matthew 6:25-27, 33-34 – 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
When do you find yourself being challenged to find contentment with what you have?
Good question to have everyone answer. You may want to use this question in the Taking It Home Section.
- Comparing yourself to others
- Thinking you should work harder
- Thinking you deserve more
- Not appreciating what you have
Looking back at this week’s message and study, what’s most important for you to remember and why?
We’re on week six of meeting in your group. Make sure you’re getting time to share prayer requests and following up on any issues that people are dealing with. Also, if you have not recently divided into men-only/women-only groups, try doing that this week to give your group some variety of who you’re interacting with.
RESOURCES TO HELP YOU
This weekend we heard it’s not about what God wants FROM us, but rather what He wants FOR us. So where do you start?
Proverbs 3:9-10 is explains “giving off the top” which is both an act of thanking God for his current provision AND a way of trusting Him for future provision. When it comes to giving, we’re all at different places. Here are some steps to help you start and continue to move forward:
Go from nothing to something,
… from something to systematic,
… from systematic to tithing,
… from tithing to sacrifice.
- Giving Off The Top – Ways to Give at North Coast Church
- Online & Automatic Withdrawal
Go to northcoastchurch.com/give. No registration or account needed. One-time or repeat giving.
- Online & Automatic Withdrawal
- FINANCIAL PEACE UNIVERSITY
Need resources to better manage your money? Watch for classes coming this Winter and Spring. This 9-week DVD-series will be facilitated by financial coaches as you learn techniques for squashing debt and living within your budget.
- OTHER ONLINE FINANCIAL RESOURCES
Dave Ramsey – daveramsey.com/category/tools/