Leader Guide 2020: Winter Week 9


For the week of March 8, 2020
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.

Follow us @ncclifegroupleaders on Instagram for encouragement, news, and information about leading your group.


URGENT – If you have not finalized your roster for spring quarter contact us IMMEDIATELY. Call or email your Life Group Central Admin or Station-in-Life Pastor. Find the contacts here: lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/staff. You can also let us know of any changes to your group or indicate “NO CHANGES” when you submit your attendance.

During Winter Quarter we typically ask only the new groups to give feedback on their last night of the quarter. Watch for an email from Life Group Central on completing the forms.

Be a part of an extraordinary event that will make you an even better leader. It is the largest, one-day simulcast leadership event on the planet, with more than 100,000 current visionaries and future world-changers attending each year. It’s set for the first week in May. Watch for more info in the weeks to come.

Things to Remember:

  • Spring Sign-Ups: March 21-29
  • Spring Quarter:  March 29- May 30

Goals for the Evening:

  • Discuss the study questions
  • Pray together
  • Communion Option


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, or changes to your group details.

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?

This week is the final meeting of our Winter Quarter. We’ll take a two-week break. The Spring Quarter begins the week of March 29 and runs through May 29. To wrap up the quarter, we’ll spend some time looking back at our study in Acts and have the option of taking Communion.

1. This weekend we learned about repentance in our relationship with God. When we live that out in our relationships, it leads to apologizing and asking for forgiveness. Think of a time when you asked someone for forgiveness. How did you feel prior to approaching that person? How about after?

Additional Question:

  • Has someone ever asked you for forgiveness? What was your response? How did you feel toward that person after?

2. Christopher shared the poem, “My life in 5 chapters” as a way to illustrate how repentance establishes a new direction. Can you think of a time when you needed a new direction in your life?

Discussion Note: The purpose of Christopher using the story “My Life in 5 Chapters” (link provided) is to illustrate that behavior modification or changing our behavior isn’t enough. We need to take the next step of taking a new direction.

Digging Deeper question #1 is geared toward reflection for the Winter Quarter with highlights from the messages we discussed. Digging Deeper question #2 is directed at this week’s message. Question #1 under the “Remembering” section is focused on setting up Communion.

1. As we started this life group quarter, we wrapped up our study of Mark and started Acts. As we close this quarter, we want to take a look at how God has challenged us and/or encouraged us these past 9 weeks. Take a moment to think back on what you have learned about the themes we have covered (some are below). Take note of any that stand out to you, and give a brief explanation of why they meant something to you.

Some highlights from Mark

  • “Pick 3 people and pray for their salvation, an opportunity to share and the courage and words when the door opens.”
  • “The Bible has the power to transform lives.”

Some highlights so far from Acts

  • “The Spirit is living, the church is moving, and we are invited to play our part in it.”
  • “Acts isn’t a story about superstar Christians; it’s a story of Jesus building His church.”
  • “Every Christian has been given the Holy Spirit and gifts.”
  • “The sweet spot of every Christian is to be used by the Creator for what we were created to do.”
  • “Instead of asking God to bless our agenda, let’s start praying for His agenda.”

Discussion Note: Good question for everyone to answer. Take time on this so people can reflect on what they’ve learned and experienced this year in your group. This question may flow best by having people share how the group has helped them. Then you can refocus on taking Communion (Remembering section) and thanking God for all he has done this quarter both in the group and personally; this might increase the meaning, purpose and impact.

In what ways has your life group helped you apply any of the teachings/verses/principles above?

Discussion Note: This is an opportunity to highlight any stories that God is currently writing in and through your group. This can help unify your group and the reality of connecting with and learning from each other.

2. True Biblical repentance is not only a call to stop sinning by changing our behavior, but the call to turn toward God. One of the best illustrations of repentance is the story of Zacchaeus, the tax collector. Read Luke 19:1-10, and write down anything that stands out to you.

Luke 19:1-10 – Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Discussion Note: Although the word repentance or repent is not used in this story, we get to see the change of heart and the actions that follow. Then in verses 9-10 we see Jesus’ response.

When we repent in our relationship with God, it often leads to changes in how we interact with others. What do you think it would have been like for Zacchaeus to approach those he wronged to ask forgiveness and pay back those he cheated?

Note: Great opportunity to discuss the emotions and thoughts that Zacchaeus would have experienced.

Additional Questions:

  • How long did it take him to make reparations to all those he cheated? This could spring off into discussing the fear of approaching people to ask forgiveness.
  • You could ask how far back do we need to go?
  • When is it appropriate or not appropriate to approach someone from your past about a wrong you committed?

 In the story above, Zacchaeus was a new follower of Jesus, and we see repentance displayed in his life. Would you agree or disagree with the following statement? “The longer a person follows Jesus, the less they need to repent.”

Note: This could generate good discussion. It could be said that as we follow Jesus we sin less, but it could also be said that the Spirit reveals more.  

Additional Questions:

  • Have you ever asked someone for forgiveness? What was that conversation like?
  • Is there a difference between forgiving someone and trusting them? Can you think of an example in your own life?
  • Do you have someone that you can confess to in your own life?
  • Read James 5:16. What does that look like in the life of a Jesus follower? How might this play out in your Life Group or your personal life?
  • James 5:16 – Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

1. This weekend we looked at the need for Biblical repentance. We receive the gift of forgiveness resulting from repentance because of what Jesus accomplished through His life, death and resurrection. It is through His sacrifice that we have the opportunity to repent and turn to God to receive His gifts of grace and mercy.

This week your life group will conclude by following the example of the early church and taking communion together. To prepare for communion, read the verses below and reflect on the access God gives us to Him through repentance.

COMMUNION: (Listen to the Leader Audio/Podcast for more details.)

  1. Explain that we want to end the quarter by remembering and celebrating Christ’s life, death and resurrection.
  2. Read all or some of the verses below. You can ask for people to comment or you can comment yourself. Use the 1 Corinthians passage to take you into Communion.

Proverbs 28:13 – Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

Note: the power of confessing here – close tie to repentance

Luke 15: 8-10 – “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Note: This parable illustrates God’s deep desire for all of us to repent. Turning to Him is cause for joy and celebration.

Hebrews 4:14-16 – Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Note: Great reminder of what Jesus went through to offer us the opportunity to repent and turn toward Him.

1 John 1:9-10 – If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

Note: Reminder that God puts the ball in our court to ask Him for forgiveness and to repent.

 Additional Verses:

  • 2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
  • James 5:16 – Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

1 Corinthians 11:23-26 – 23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Discussion Note: Let the 1 Corinthians passage lead you to Communion.


  1. Pass the bread, pray to thank God and eat together. Pass the cup, pray to thank God for it, and drink together.

Worship Option: Below are some possible worship songs you can use on a laptop, iPad or TV for a time of worship and reflection. (Click each link for the lyric video).

  1. Prayer: Move into prayer time, thanking Jesus for His commitment to love us and how He is working in our lives, as people have shared in your group.

Finalizing Spring Quarter Plans: Reminder to confirm who is returning to your group and let them know the specific date, time and any potluck plans for your first meeting back for the Spring Quarter.

Spring Quarter Meeting Dates: March 29-May 29
Spring Sign-up Weekend Dates: March 21/22 and 28/29

Looking back at this week’s teaching and study, what is most important for you to remember and why?

Community Service Impact

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. There are many options for you to serve. For ideas, check out NorthCoastCommunityService.org