LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of November 3, 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
NO LIFE GROUPS OVER THANKSGIVING
Just a reminder that there will be no Life Groups held over Thanksgiving Week, November 24-30.
- Last Week of Life Group: December 1 – 7
- Winter Sign-Ups: January 4 & 5 and 11 & 12
- Winter Quarter: January 12 – March 14
Did you know you can listen to an audio version of this leader guide for more discussion suggestions? To listen, check the top of the leader guide post each week to play online, download the mp3 file, or subscribe to the podcast.
If you haven’t divided into smaller groups for prayer and application you may want to do that this week. Possibly divide into men-only / women-only groups. People’s willingness to share and open up can increase in a smaller group setting.
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?
- Can you think of any ways that your understanding of what it means to worship God (and how you worship Him) has changed over the course of your spiritual journey?
This is a good question to have everyone answer. Some younger people may not have seen any change in their understanding or experience, but those who have been Christians for a while will likely have lived through the “worship wars” in some other churches so they will have made adjustments to their thoughts on worship.
- Larry talked about four different perspectives of Jesus held by the people in Mark 14. If you were to come up with a different perspective for who people think He is today, what would that be?
- If an unchurched person were to ask you why God is so insecure that He needs praise and worship from us, how would you answer that question?
- This weekend Larry talked about house rules. In your home growing up, did your family have house rules? If so, what were one or two of them? Were these rules openly discussed in your family or just understood and not discussed?
This weekend we heard about the woman’s extravagant worship of Jesus. Worship can be defined as giving value or worth to something. In 1 Chronicles 16:7-36, King David gives instructions to the worship leaders of Israel for leading the people in worship. Read this passage and jot down the insights you see about the “how and why” of worship.
David wrote this hymn of thanksgiving as the Ark of the Covenant was being brought into Jerusalem. Verses 7-12 give us very specific directions in worship. Verses 13-22 recount the promises God kept with his people. Verses 23-36 give us a great example of taking time out to honor God as God Most High.
What stands out to you the most about worship from this passage?
What parts of this description of worship do you relate to the most? The least?
How does this passage help clarify, confirm or challenge how you view worship?
- What reasons does David give in this passage for praising God?
- Of those reasons, which ones do you think people focus on the most today?
- If our God is good and His love endures forever (verse 34), why would fear and trembling before Him be appropriate (verses 25 and 30)?
- Can you recall any times that you have not felt like worshiping and you went ahead and worshiped anyway? What was that experience like?
- Often people equate worship with singing. What do you learn about what praise and worship look like that doesn’t involve singing?
- Is there a song we sing or a thing we do at our church services that is particularly meaningful to you? What makes it meaningful?
Larry shared how God desires us to worship in spirit and in truth, which always involves obedience. While we are all called to obey the various commands found in the Bible, how we obey them could look very different because each of us has a unique relationship with God. In each of the passages below, identify the biblical command we’re all supposed to obey, then list two or three ways people could apply it differently in real life.
Note: Because each person is unique and we have a personal relationship with Jesus, how we live out our faith will look different. We don’t get to pick which commands we obey, but we do have to decide what each command looks like when it is obeyed in our unique situation. We’re not saying that the biblical commands are optional, just that how we apply truth will look different for different people.
Colossians 4:2 – Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
Devotion to prayer. Different ways to apply this could include journaling your prayers, using a book of common prayers, taking an extended prayer retreat, praying at the same time every day, keeping a prayer request log, and enlisting a prayer buddy.
Romans 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Different ways to carry this out could include memorizing verses, doing in-depth Bible Study, reading through the Bible in a year, reading five Psalms and a Proverb every day of the month (by doing this you’d read through all the Psalms and Proverbs in a month), and listening to sermons online.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 – 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Passing on Christian values and commands to children. Possible ways of doing this include family devotions, Christian videos, music, and books; parental involvement in a Life Group.
Proverbs 31:8-9 – 8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. 9 Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Caring for the poor and needy. Different ways to carry this out could include volunteering at a local homeless shelter, scheduling your Life Group to serve dinner at Bread of Life or other shelters, financially supporting a ministry that works with the poor and homeless or orphans, volunteering at a pregnancy resource center, becoming a foster family, and adopting a child currently in the foster system.
Additional Question: Which of the things that were mentioned have you tried? What was your experience with that way of applying the command?
Can you think of any factors that influence why people apply biblical commands in different ways?
Possible answers: family of origin; early Christian training; participation in a para-church group like InterVarsity or Cru, example of mentors in a person’s life, books, sermons, learning aptitude, theological understanding and personality.
Additional Question: What has influenced you the most in how you carry out biblical commands in the way you do?
People connect with God differently and He designed it that way. Below are some examples of various paths of connection with God. Read the statements below and check the two that seem to fit you best.
- I connect with God best outside in the middle of His creation. Everything He made points me to Him.
- I connect with God creatively. I appreciate a worship service that involves all of my senses.
- I connect with God by engaging my mind, studying and being stretched intellectually.
- I connect with God best in a more traditional setting. I love the rich meaning behind religious ceremony, symbols and unchanging structures.
- I connect with God best in solitude and simplicity. I like to draw away by myself.
- I connect with God by working hard to make the world a better place. Connection and service go hand in hand.
- I connect with God while I am caring for others and meeting needs.
- I connect with God in quiet moments where I can ponder things in my heart and just be still.
- I connect with God best when I celebrate what He has done in song. There is nothing better than His church singing His praises.
To learn more about spiritual pathways, or to take a spiritual pathways assessment, go to: northcoastchurch.com/study
(Based on Sacred Pathways: Discover Your Soul’s Path to God by Gary Thomas © 1996)
In light of your preferred pathways, can you think of any ways to incorporate either of them more into your life?
A good question to use as a lead into your prayer time.
If you were to try one of the pathways that you didn’t check, which one would you choose? Explain why.
Fun question to have everyone answer.
- What difference does it make if you understand what your spiritual pathway is?
- Looking back on your spiritual journey, can you see times when you’ve utilized your spiritual pathway? What was the result?
- In what ways do you think knowing your spiritual pathway could help you stay connected or grow your connection with Jesus?
Looking back at this week’s message and study, what’s most important for you to remember and why?