LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of October 11, 2020
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
FINALIZE PLANS FOR YOUR SOCIAL and / or SERVICE PROJECT
We now have COVID-SAFE service projects for your group. There is a need at some of our homeless shelters. Check out our website for more information and options: northcoastcommunityservice.org
Online Social Ideas: lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/group-socials/
In-person Social Ideas: lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/suggestions-for-socials/
*Please adapt in-person social options to comply with County social distancing guidelines for COVID-19.
We do believe it is important for Jesus followers to think through and process how they are going to vote and engage in politics. But due to the polarizing nature of our current political climate, we want to keep our Life Group meetings free of politics and focused on relationships with each other and Jesus/God’s Word.
Presenting the Good News of Jesus’ saving grace to all, and the unity we have as believers is vitally important to us. In light of this, remember to keep politics completely out of your Life Group discussions. We exist to minister to everyone who wants to know Jesus. Every election cycle we have Christians who become divided over issues and can be deeply offended by comments, jokes, and even prayer requests. We do not want to send the message that people who vote a certain way or have differing political views are not welcome. If someone in your group starts to take things in a political direction (be it with humor, a rant or even a “prayer request” for a specific outcome), gently remind them that the body of Christ (and North Coast Church) is made up of followers of Jesus – some of whom are Republicans, Independents, Democrats, etc.
Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything you heard for the first time or something that caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
While we provide two “My Story” questions and three “Digging Deeper” questions, there is no expectation that you cover all of them. We provide them so you have options to choose from to customize your Life Group session to your group members. We have always said that if you cover all of the questions in the session, you’re not going deep enough to find all the good stuff in the questions.
1. Larry talked about how we don’t need to be Bible scholars but we still need to have a regular intake of the Bible in our lives. Which of the following ways of accessing the Bible have you tried? (Check all that apply to you):
- Reading a daily devotional book (like Daily Bread)
- Inductive Bible study (Precepts or Bible Study Fellowship)
- Reading passages picked at random
- Reading a One-year Bible
- Scripture memorization
- Life Group study questions
- Listening to the Bible
- Bible study course (i.e. Beth Moore, Right Now Media)
- Other _______________________
What was your experience with those you’ve tried?
Which one has been the most helpful for you?
How has your attitude about the Bible and how you read/study/listen to it changed over the years?
Additional Question: Is there one of these you haven’t tried that you’d like to try?
Some in your group will have tried all these options while others only a few. This question is not designed to make it seem like those who have done more of the options are more mature.
2. The story of your own spiritual journey is one of the most powerful tools you have to tell others about Jesus. If someone were to ask you, “What has God done for you?” or “What difference has being a follower of Jesus made in your life?” what might you say regarding:
This is a great question for getting to know your group members better.
It would be great if you could hear from everyone on this and help them process it. Try to encourage people to be specific on their answers so they are able to give real life examples. This could be a rich time of sharing your stories and recognizing God’s work in your lives. The intent of the categories below is just to help people think through their story and God’s impact on their life. If you have someone in your group who isn’t a Christian, you probably are aware of that by now. This could be a good time for them to hear people talk about how Jesus has impacted them. This might be a challenging question for some people to answer, so be on the lookout for people who struggled to answer it. It may be easier for them to verbally answer the questions rather than writing down their answers.
… how you relate to and view others?
This would include spouse, children, co-workers, friends, etc.
… how you view what’s most important?
— valuing eternal things over temporal things
… how you view yourself?
— I’m sinful, yet forgiven. I am of great worth to God.
Additional Idea: See if you can come up with a verse that reflects what each person has been sharing about their lives.
1. When it comes to sharing our faith with others, how we live is just as important as the words we share. 1 Thessalonians 2:1-13 gives us a great picture of what sharing both our words and our life with others looks like. As you read through this passage…
- Circle / highlight any words or phrases describing Paul’s attitude or actions.
- Underline the portions that can be a challenge for you to live out (keep it to four or less).
- Put an X next to anything that confuses you.
1 Thessalonians 2:1-13 New International Version (NIV)
You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. 2 We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. 3 For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 4 On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. 5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. 6 We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. 7 Instead, we were like young children among you. Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, 8 so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 9 Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. 13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.
Take some time to explore the words and phrases people highlighted in the passage.
Additional Questions: What stood out to you about what Paul shared? What surprised you?
What would it look like for you to share both the Gospel and your life with the people you rub shoulders with the most?
What do you think Paul meant when he talked about sharing the Gospel?
What do you think he meant when he talked about sharing his life?
What are a couple of the character qualities Paul talks about that you’d like to see in your life?
2. This weekend we heard we don’t need to be eloquent or have all the answers to share our faith, but how we share “our answer” has a lot to do with the kind of influence we have on others. The Bible gives us some guidelines for the way we are to go about sharing and talking with others. What can we learn about how to talk and interact with others from the following passages?
2 Timothy 2:23-26 New International Version (NIV)
23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
— Foolish and stupid arguments only result in quarrels.
Additional Question: What’s the last foolish and stupid argument you had with someone? What was it about? What was the end result?
We’re called to not be quarrelsome and be kind to everyone.
What does kindness look like in the face of discussing issues that can produce controversy and arguments?
What do I need to do to be able to choose kindness when I get in conversations that turn to hot topics?
What does this passage say about who is responsible for someone coming to Christ? What is our role in this process?
Titus 3:1-2 New International Version (NIV)
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.
— Great reminder about how to respond to authority in these verses
The famous love chapter found in 1 Corinthians 13 easily applies to many of our conversations with others about hot topics in general and specifically when we talk with others about our Christian faith. Read verses 4-5 and replace the word “love” with “how I talk is.” How accurate does this describe the way you talk when it comes to areas of disagreement or talking about your faith in Jesus?
Idea: Have everyone read these two verses together in unison replacing the word “love” and “it” with “how I talk.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 New International Version (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Additional Passage: Matthew 9:35-38
One way to keep a loving attitude is to learn to view people the way Jesus did. In this passage we see His compassion for people who are like sheep without a shepherd.
Additional Question: What would it take for you to consistently see people as sheep without a shepherd?
3. The Bible plays a central role in helping us follow Jesus well, but we have to engage with it for it to help. What do you see in the following verses that could help motivate someone to spend more time interacting with God’s Word?
Psalm 1:1-3 New International Version (NIV)
1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.
— The benefit of a Word-filled life is described like a productive fruit tree.
Additional Question: What would it look like to prosper in this current situation?
Psalm 19:7-8; 11 New International Version (NIV)
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. 11 By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
— The Word refreshes, gives wisdom, provides joy, guides and gives great reward.
Additional Question: In what ways have you been rewarded by living a Word-filled life?
Psalm 119:105 New International Version (NIV)
105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
— Like a flashlight to a traveler on a dark night, the Word guides and reveals things that could trip us up.
Additional Question: Can you think of something you’ve avoided because of input from the Bible?
Psalm 119:98-100 New International Version (NIV)
98 Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies. 99 I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. 100 I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts.
— God’s Word gives us insight and wisdom to the nature of reality.
Additional Question: What benefits do you see in these passages?
Which of these benefits have you experienced in your own life?
Which of the benefits in these passages is most motivational for you?
What would it look like if someone were experiencing that benefit in their life?
Which of these benefits could you use the most right now?
1. Are there any adjustments you want to consider making to help you keep God’s Word at the center of your life?
- Spending a little more time reading or listening to the Bible, praying or memorizing Scripture
- More focus on or time thinking through the sermon or Life Group Study Questions
- Process what you’re reading, learning, being challenged with or questioning with a friend or your group
2. Looking back on this week’s sermon and study, what is most important for you to remember?
|Resources for Searching the Scriptures
Here are some websites and tools to help you grow in your desire and ability to study the Bible:
Community Service is a ministry of North Coast Church dedicated to being the hands and feet of Jesus and showing God’s love in tangible ways through service to the community. COVID-safe projects have been created for your group. For ideas, check out NorthCoastCommunityService.org
Find yourself suddenly teaching your kids at home? We have some help for you! Check out our interview with some educational specialists in distance learning to get some encouragement.