LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of October 27, 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?
Discussion Note: The purpose of these questions is to give everyone the opportunity to share at the beginning of the group time. Each week, the questions help us get to know the stories of the members of the group.
- Even though the temple Jesus referred to in this weekend’s passage was destroyed in 70 AD, the site still remains extremely important to the Jewish people. Have you ever visited a historical building or monument in the U.S. or abroad? (i.e. the Washington Monument, Big Ben, the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids, etc.)
What did your experience reveal to you about that country’s culture?
The goal here is to make a connection between our own experience of the building or monument and what it tells us about culture. For example, the large, beautiful churches in London show the weaving of government and religion in that culture.
- When you hear someone talking about the end times, what is your typical response?
You can prompt their responses: do you lean in, tune out, or run away?
- This weekend Christopher mentioned that we often view the temple through the lens of a 21st century American, and we think of the temple as a church. However, the temple had far greater depth of meaning than simply being a church. In fact, it gives us a window into how God relates to His people. In order to help us better understand the historical significance of the temple and how God relates to His people over time, read the passages below and write down the action words you find.
Covenant: Genesis 17:3-8 – 3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”
This is God establishing His Covenant with Abraham and announcing He will be their God. See also Genesis 15 for the covenant with Abram.
Tabernacle: Exodus 25:8 – “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.
This verse is immediately following where Moses is on top of Mount Sinai (see Exodus 24) where God reaffirms the Covenant with Israel (see above with Abram). The tabernacle (or tent) has the purpose of being a dwelling place of God for the people. It is not an exclusive place but it was a specific place. The word “sanctuary” was meant to be a “holy” or a “holy place”. Gods of other cultures at this time were distant gods and you never knew where you stood. The tabernacle was designed to show the Israelites that their God was a god that desired to be present with His people.
Temple: 1 Kings 6:11-13 – 11 The word of the Lord came to Solomon: 12 “As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, observe my laws and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father. 13 And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.”
This verse is the command from God to Solomon about building the temple which reaffirmed God’s promises to Israel. This would create a special place for God’s people to meet Him and for God’s presence to dwell among the people.
Jesus: John 1:14 – The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Now Jesus is on the scene and His “dwelling is among us.” Jesus is the full expression of God and His presence is among us.
Holy Spirit: 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 – 16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.
Paul is announcing that after Jesus’ death, He left us with a gift of the Holy Spirit. Our bodies are now the temple that the Holy Spirit “dwells.” It’s exciting to think that one day our bodies (these temporary temples) will die and in heaven God’s presence will dwell with us forever, as His purposes are made complete.
Discussion Note: As we read, it is important to keep in mind that although the Bible has many authors, was written in multiple languages and over a couple thousand years, it is revealing a larger story of God’s love and redemption for His children. These verses are connected together with the intent of showing a progression of how God relates to His people over time; from the Old Testament, to the Gospels and to the rest of the New Testament. The hope would be that we can see that at each stage God conveys to His people that He wants to be a personal and relational God.
What might these verses tell you about how God relates to us? What do they reveal about the character of God?
These passages are intended to chronologically reveal God’s desire to “dwell” among His people. This concept of a God who dwells among His people is an important theme in the Bible because it shows His desire to know us personally.
How is the character quality you chose above important for us today as followers of Jesus?
The answers here can vary depending on the answers to previous question. For example, having a relationship with a living, personal God can help shape my prayer life because it is a two-way conversation where I talk and listen. It helps me to better understand His word when I read/listen or I am taught the Bible because it’s a God that wants a personal relationship with me.
- In this weekend’s message, Jesus predicted the fall of the temple. As we just read in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, our bodies become a new temple and a home for the Holy Spirit. Do you ever struggle with seeing your body as a temple where the Holy Spirit lives? Or does this concept come easy to you?
This question is a jumping off point headed toward our interaction with the Holy Spirit. I would build on the 1 Corinthians passage (from the previous question). Seeing our bodies as a vessel for the Holy Spirit might be helpful for members of your group that with body image. Taking a moment to reflect on this question might also help the Holy Spirit to not seem like a “ghost” or some weird, supernatural thing.
It’s no small thing to comprehend that God now lives in us. In order to better understand what that means, read John 14:15-27 where Jesus describes what we can expect. As you read, write down what Jesus commands of us and what He promises us.
John 14:15-27 – 15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” 22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. 25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
- Commands us
- Promises us
You can shorten the text to John 14:15-20, 26-27 which will focus on the verses about the Holy Spirit. This passage is intended to help us see the Holy Spirit as a gift to us. Jesus encourages us that when he is no longer physically with us, we will have God’s presence with us to help us.
Additional Passage: John 16:5-15
Jesus gave several names for this new helper. How might someone experience the Holy Spirit as a Counselor, the Spirit of Truth or
Hopefully this discussion can help people share how they can interact with the Holy Spirit. Depending on which version on NIV you have, you might get “Counselor” or “Advocate”. The word counselor might carry some baggage for some because of how we use the term counselor in our modern culture, but it is intended “to help or to guide” in the right direction.
- As we discussed this weekend, the end times are coming. At the end of Jesus’ ministry, He gives us what is often called the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:18-20. This can be intimidating, especially if we think we have do it on our own. Fortunately, we have a Great Counselor to help us. What role do you think the Holy Spirit might play in helping us live out these commands?
Matthew 28:18-20 – 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Note: This might be a good question if you feel like talking about making disciples. You could look at what it means to be salt and light or a city on a hill (Matthew 5:13-16), some “one another’s,” or other New Testament commands (see verses below). As you look at the passages, discuss the role the Holy Spirit plays in helping do these things.
Is there a friend, family member, co-worker, classmate or neighbor that you might want to reach out to this week?
Additional Question: After looking at any of the passages above, is there an area that we can put the Holy Spirit into action?
Looking back at this week’s message and study, what’s most important for you to remember and why?