LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of November 29, 2020
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
DISCUSS PLANS FOR THE WINTER QUARTER!
LET YOUR GROUP KNOW NEXT QUARTER’S DATES
PRAYER FOR NEW WINTER LIFE GROUP LEADERS & HOSTS
REMEMBER TO GET COMMUNION SUPPLIES FOR THE LAST MEETING (OPTIONAL).
ONLINE FEEDBACK FORMS:
NOTE ABOUT THIS WEEK’S STUDY: This week’s Study Questions celebrate how God has worked this past quarter. Most of your time should be spent in the My Story and Remembering sections. Listen to the Leader Podcast for more details.
1. The Christmas season is upon us. Whether you’re an early decorator or a last-minute shopper, here are some fun questions to help get you in the Christmas mood.
Have fun with these questions and have everyone respond.
- What Christmas movie or show have you seen far more than any other? Are there any you must watch every year?
- Which one or two Christmas characters listed below are you most like? What do you think those closest to you would say?
Buddy the Elf / Ralphie (The Christmas Story) / Charlie Brown / Mrs. Claus / Santa / The Grinch / Cindy Lou Who / Frosty the Snowman / George Bailey (It’s a Wonderful Life) / Clark Griswold (Christmas Vacation) / Kevin McCallister (Home Alone) / Lucy Moderatz (While You Were Sleeping) / Other?
- As a kid, what was an ultimate, fun, dream present you hoped to receive? (Note – this can include something you received or wanted badly but never got!)
2. 2020 has been a crazy year. Yet, as followers of Jesus, our hope remains that God is alive and at work in our lives (Philippians 1:6). As you look back on this quarter (and year), what is something in your own life and your Life Group experience you are thankful for? (It can be a specific way God encouraged you, time spent together in your group, how your group has helped you to continue living your life for Jesus, something new you learned, a service project, spiritual breakthrough, growth, challenge, etc.)
Discussion Note & Transition: Have everyone share what they are thankful for from this past quarter. To ensure you have plenty of time, you may want to transition directly to the “Remembering” section about Communion.
Discussion Option: Have each person include their answer to the sub-questions in the “Hope We Have” section.
Quick Review – Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything new you learned or anything that caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
What we hope for and trust in has been challenged and tested on many levels in 2020. Yet, our hope can remain in the truth that our God is faithful! Take a moment to read through and reflect on the following passages, asking God to speak to you about the hope we have in Jesus. Jot down anything that catches your attention regarding the hope and power of who Jesus is and what God has done for us.
If you have time, use this section to set up your time in Communion.
1 Peter 1:3-7 New International Version (NIV)
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Romans 15:13 New International Version (NIV)
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 33:18–22 New International Version (NIV)
18 But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
20 We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.
Looking back at what you wrote above, what is the best reminder to help you keep your hope in Jesus alive during this Christmas season?
Have everyone share, and then transition into Communion.
As followers of Jesus, we are able to have hope no matter what life throws at us because of the amazing gift God has given us – the gift of His son Jesus, born that we might have life through His death and resurrection! Communion is about remembering these truths! Your time together this week will conclude by taking Communion and remembering this great gift God has given us through His son Jesus.
To prepare for Communion, read Luke 2:1-7, Luke 22:19-20 & John 15:12-17. What catches your attention in these verses as helpful to remember as you take Communion in your group?
See notes below to guide your through Communion, or listen to the podcast for more specifics.
Option – Listen to these songs by our North Coast Worship Team while you’re reading these verses to help you reflect on the passages.
IDEAS: You may want to involve others by asking them to read Scriptures. The bread and juice can also be set on a table in the middle of the room, and people can take Communion after you read the Scripture and pray, or while the group sings or listens to a worship song. Note the Advent candle option referred to below.
- PURPOSE: Introduce Communion by sharing that it’s all about being intentional in remembering the great love God has for us by sending His son Jesus to die that we might have life.
- READ: Luke 2:1-7, Luke 22:19-20 and John 15:12-17, and then give people a chance to reflect and share what they are thankful for in regard to what Jesus has done for them.
Option: Advent Candle lighting: Have six to twelve candles on the table in the middle of the group. Have the middle candle lit as the Christ Candle. Before someone shares, they take a candle and light it with the Christ Candle and then share what they are thankful for from this last quarter and/or what Jesus has done for them. All the candles lit represent the light of Christ we have in us and the impact it has on the world when we live from this place of thankfulness.
- DISTRIBUTE: As a leader / host team you may want to serve each person as a symbol of Christ’s love and service to us. Pass the bread, thank the Lord for it and eat together. Pass the cup, thank the Lord for it and drink together.
Music / Worship Option – Use the same link referred to above to lead you into Communion. You can play it while you pass out the Communion supplies or while you take Communion for a time of reflection.
- PRAY: Move into prayer time, thanking Jesus for His commitment to love us and how He is working in our lives. Close your time in prayers of praise.
Luke 2:1-7 New International Version (NIV)
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
Luke 22:19-20 New International Version (NIV)
19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
John 15:12-17 New International Version (NIV)
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
Celebrating Advent: Video from Chris Brown about How We’re Celebrating Advent
Follow along with us in our four-week Advent series this Christmas season to celebrate the birth of Christ. Our Food for Thought questions each week in December will correspond to the sermon to help you personally engage in celebrating Advent. Here are some additional resources for you to explore further:
Christmas is our annual opportunity to bless those in need. This year, instead of choosing ornaments, we’ve made it easy for you to help by displaying all options on our website. Here you will find three different ways to give back through: giving a gift, purchasing a gift card or making a direct donation to one of our non-profit partners. Drop off gifts on Dec. 13 to your campus. Check the website for complete details and more information regarding drop off times. northcoastchurch.com