LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of February 2, 2020
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.
MID-QUARTER TRAINING -Vista Campus Based Groups
Vista Campus Mid-Quarter Training for Leaders and Hosts: These sessions are designed to build on your leadership skills and provide valuable information and tips as you lead your group. Make sure you check the schedule and plan to attend the training for your Station in Life. Click on this link for more info, dates and to RSVP.
MAKE PLANS FOR YOUR SOCIAL & SERVICE PROJECT
Check our Community Service website for some options: northcoastcommunityservice.org You can also check out the Leader Tools page for social ideas. lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/suggestions-for-socials/
THE ACTS CHALLENGE
Do you want to get more out of Acts than just hearing it during the weekend services? There are 28 chapters in Acts. Try reading or listening to a chapter a day for 28 days and see how it will grow your understanding in our Acts series. You can use each day in February to indicate which chapter to read. There are many apps that offer audio to listen to and text to read besides the one offered at the end of the this week’s homework. The YouVersion Holy Bible is another great app to use for this.
FINALIZE PLANS FOR YOUR SOCIAL & SERVICE PROJECT
Confirm with your group what project you would like to do. Check our website for some options: northcoastcommunityservice.org. You can also check out the Leader Tools page for social ideas. lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/suggestions-for-socials/
– Remember you don’t have to answer every question!
– Choose questions best suited to your group.
– Listen to the Audio Guide/Podcast for more discussion suggestions.
– Take prayer requests
– If you haven’t divided into male/female groups already, you may want to do so for the Taking it Home section and prayer.
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?
1. We have all had different experiences and influences that affect our view of how God’s Spirit works. As you look back in years past, how would you describe your understanding of the Holy Spirit? Has it changed over time? If so, explain.
Good question to have everyone answer.
2. Can you think of a place or situation where you typically seem most tuned-in to God’s Spirit guiding, speaking or encouraging you? (Examples: time alone, listening to a sermon, personal study, talking or processing with others, etc.)
Everyone may not have an answer for this one. Know that some people will be much more conscious of God’s Spirit working and moving in their lives than others. Know that this does not necessarily make them “more spiritual” or “in tune” with God. Some of it has to do with personality processing more easily in the abstract. We also know those who are way over the top on this, thinking the Spirit gets them the parking spot they need, saying “God told me” etc. and you wonder how that could be true. With all that said, God does speak in different ways to people. The Digger Deeper Questions below will add to what you have already learned from the message this weekend about how to discern the Spirit’s leading, power, conviction, and if you’re silencing Him in the process.
Additional question – On the scale of 1 to 10 (1 being never and 10 being all the time) How aware are you of the Holy Spirit leading and guiding you?
Discusson Reminder/ Tip – You won’t have time to answer all of these questions. Decide ahead of time which one you want to cover. You could have your group vote on which one they want to make sure your group digs into.
1. This weekend we heard how the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives to mature and grow us. Galatians 5:13-26 adds to this picture of the Holy Spirit at work in the church of Galatia and in our lives. As you read the passage in regard to the Holy Spirit at work …
- 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.
Start by finding out what observations people had on the passage.
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Looking back at the fruit of the Spirit, which one is most challenging for you to put into action? Is there a specific environment or relationship that makes it more challenging?
Discussion Starter Tip: To help people interact and understand the Holy Spirit is active in small but significant ways, you as a leader can share first on how you’ve been challenged or prompted by the Spirit to have patience or kindness (or any of the other fruits) in your own life. It could be a challenge you encounter every day. The goal here isn’t to share how you’re great at something, but how the Holy Spirit is growing you.
Is there one area you have grown in more than the others?
Additional question: Can you think of anything specific the Holy Spirit has used to help that area in your life grow?
Is there one area that comes more easily than the others?
The word “area” is referring to “fruit” of the Spirit.
What’s your response to this quote?
This could create some interesting discussion. The fruit of the Spirit is an example of God’s Spirit at work, not us willing it to happen.
“I believe there is a reason Paul listed these virtues and moved on. They aren’t given to us as goals to pursue. Why? Because you and I cannot produce fruit…That’s not our responsibility. The Holy Spirit is the producer. We are merely the bearers. The fruit of the Spirit was never intended to be a demonstration of our dedication and resolve. It is the evidence of our dependency on and sensitivity to the promptings of the Spirit.”
Charles Stanley in The Wonderful Spirit-Filled Life
Additional Question: If this is true, how do you balance the Spirit growing you and you working on it yourself?
Additional Verses: See 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 in the next question and Philppians 2:12-13 to understand this balance.
Philippians 2:12-13 – Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
2. Since God’s Spirit is at work in our lives, we want to make sure we are staying in tune with how He wants to work. As you read the passages below, how do they help you understand and remind you of how the Holy Spirit works in your life?
John 16:12-15 – “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
– convict sin, understand righteousness & judgment, guide in truth, offers us all that Jesus had of the Spirit v.15
1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 11-13 – There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. — 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. 12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
– giver of different gifts, but same Spirit, goal is common good, creates unity in diversity – interesting that the Spirit unifies
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 – Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
– brings freedom, transforms us, helps us to be like Jesus
Additional questions – When you think of the Holy Spirit working in your life, do you tend to think of more freedom or another thing I need to work on? How does this passage address this kind of thinking?
Acts 9:31 – Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
– strengthens and encourages us
Additional question – How does this line up with your experience of the Holy Spirit in your life?
Romans 8:26-27 – In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
– helps in our weakness, intercedes for us to God
Is there one of these verses you need to be more aware of than others when it comes to understanding the Holy Spirit’s guidance in your life?
Additional question – is there one you tend to forget?
Good question to have everyone answer.
As mentioned in past weeks, mixing up how you end your meeting can help with focus. Dividing in men / women only groups, smaller groups, etc. may help with this. If you haven’t divided up yet this quarter, this may be a good week to start.
1. Sin or lack of paying attention to how the Spirit is leading can cause us to misread, not be aware of, or even blatantly reject the Spirit’s guidance. Is there anything in the following verses you want to put extra focus on in order to ensure you’re following the Spirit as He leads?
Everyone may not have a response to this.
Acts 17:11 – Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true
Add 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
– God’s Word is our guide. His leading will not contradict it.
1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 – Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.
– know that our disobedience or self proclaiming of “This is what God told me” may in reality be what’s blocking God’s Spirit from clearly speaking to you.
Psalm 139:23-24 – Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
– examine yourself
– Additional Question – How often do you pray this prayer? Could you pray this too much, too little?
2. Is there anything specific you sense the Holy Spirit wanting you to grow in, guide you toward or people you hope to reach? If so, explain.
Everyone may not have an answer.