LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of September 19, 2021
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
Check out this special video from Pastor Dave Enns!
This week we kick off our Fall Life Group Quarter. Your first gathering is designed to give you time to get acquainted, enjoy a meal together, connect with each other, as well as time to discuss how to make your Life Group meetings great! The study questions have been shortened this week to allow ample time to accomplish all of this. To prepare for your first meeting, take some time to focus on the questions below and be prepared to share your answers with the group.
As we start this new quarter of Life Groups, please help us continue to keep group members safe by staying home from group if you are not feeling well. We hope you have a great time together as you connect, encourage one another to grow and see how God might work!
Online Groups – If your group is meeting online, your leaders will be sending you the link for your group. Use this link for help on meeting with your group online: lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/pro-tips/
|GETTING READY FOR YOUR FIRST MEETING
Each week in this section you’ll find the most important information for your group.
Goals of the First Meeting
Items Needed for the First Meeting
Contact Your Group in Advance
Pro-Tips to Maximize the Online Groups Experience
1) Shorten meetings to 75 minutes or less.
* More how-to’s at this link: Pro-Tips & Facilitation Tips to maximize your Online Experience.
AGENDA FOR YOUR FIRST MEETING
Looking for more guidance on your first meeting? You can find the “First Night Agenda” on how to make your first night great on the Leader Tools page of our website. (lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/make-your-first-night-great/) You can also listen to the audio version of the leader guide here.
How We Measure our Success Week to Week: Hearing from everyone at every meeting and keeping God’s Word at the center.
Make sure you leave plenty of time to go over the Life Group Commitment Form with your group.
- Welcome & Eat – Potluck is a great option. Online groups can try a virtual dinner option if they would like.
- Group Sharing – Discussion Note: You can transition from the “Getting to Know You” section to the “Taking it Home” section.
- Study Questions Discussion (optional)
- Go over the Life Group Commitment Form – Use the last question in the Leader Guide to Study Questions below to transition into reviewing the Commitment Form.
- Close in prayer.
- Mingle afterward.
Discussion Note: Add these questions if you have new people in your group or a completely new group. If it hasn’t come up in conversation before the meeting officially starts, have everyone in the group share how long they have been attending North Coast, if they have been in a Life Group before and their favorite hobby.
Discussion Tips: These are effective for both in-person and online groups. Remember to set time limits to ensure everyone has an opportunity to answer the questions. Possibly use the “Tag— You’re It” method to ensure everyone can share. Once one person is finished sharing, they select the next person to share.
One of the great parts of being in a Life Group is getting to know others better. Take a moment to jot down your answers to the questions below and be ready to share with your group.
Have fun with this first question. Have everyone answer.
Would you rather …
… be chronically underdressed or overdressed?
… have all traffic lights you approach be green or never have to stand in line again?
… be able to teleport anywhere or be able to read minds?
How was your summer? It was nice to have a little bit of “normal” back this summer. What are one or two normal things you enjoyed this summer?
Good question to have everyone answer. You may want to transition from this question to the “Looking Ahead” section to ensure you have time to hear what each person is hoping to get out of your group time and to go over the Life Group Commitment Form.
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?
Based on time, you can decide if you want to ask this question. You can easily transition from this one to the “Looking Ahead” section also.
Discussion Note: Because of the extra time spent getting to know each other or re-connecting, make sure you have enough time to spend on the “Looking Ahead” section. You may not have time to cover the “Digging Deeper” section this week.
This weekend’s message gave us some great insight on the call as followers of Jesus to live out both truth and love. It’s no surprise balancing those can be tricky. What insight do the following verses give us on how to do this?
Another good question to have everyone answer if you have time.
John 13:35 New International Version (NIV)
35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17 New International Version (NIV)
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
1 Peter 3:15-16 New International Version (NIV)
15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
Ephesians 4:15 New International Version (NIV)
15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 New International Version (NIV)
13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.
When it comes to balancing truth and love, most of us find ourselves leaning one way more than the other. What would you say is your tendency? Which of the verses above helps you balance that out?
As a follower of Jesus, God’s Spirit compels us (2 Corinthians 5:14-21) to live out His truth and love, not only giving us purpose and meaning, but also helping others see God’s love through us. As you think about this, which one of the verses might be a good theme verse for you this next quarter?
You can use your group members’ answers here to transition into “Looking Ahead” section below.
Discussion Note: One option would be to make a list as a group and do a check-in on your group’s answers halfway through the quarter and at the end of the quarter, or to make it an ongoing check-in throughout the quarter.
Additional Verse: Use 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 above to dig in further on how God uses us as ambassadors for Him.
Life Groups meet every week to gain the encouragement and support we need in life as we follow Jesus. Take a moment to jot down some of the reasons you joined a group this fall, along with what you are looking forward to the most.
Important to question to hear from everyone.
Transition Statement to Life Group Commitment: “It’s great to hear what each of you has said about what you want to get out of your time in our group. One of the great benefits of being in a Life Group is the opportunity to have help from others as we seek to be strategic and intentional about our spiritual growth. The Life Group Commitment is designed to serve as intentional guidelines to help us make the most of our time together.”
Go over the Life Group Commitment Form with your group. See below, or you can download the Leader Guide to the Life Group Commitment. Use this as a guide to keep your group healthy in communicating and caring for one another each week. (The leader audio will give you more details on how to do this effectively.)
Close in prayer: If you have anyone new in your group and you don’t know them, it is recommended to close with your host or one person praying. Next week, the Study Questions will include an introduction to praying in a group, so if you have a new group or a lot of new members, it’s suggested that you wait until week two to do any group prayer.
Mingle with everyone after the meeting. Even if you’re online, stay on an extra 10 minutes to see if anyone wants to connect and hang out just like you would at an in-person meeting.
Life Groups exist to promote spiritual maturity and personal growth through meaningful Christian relationships and the study of God’s Word. (Romans 8:29 & Hebrews 10:24-25). Here’s how it will happen:
Each week we’ll take time to share what is happening in our lives. At first this sharing will include planned “sharing questions.” But after the first few weeks, it will become more informal and personal as we feel more comfortable.
Each week we’ll study a section from God’s Word that relates to the previous weekend’s sermon or an appropriate personal growth topic. Our goal is to learn how to live out our Christianity in everyday life.
Each week we’ll learn how to take care of one another as Christ commanded (John 15:9-13). This care can take many forms, such as prayer, encouragement, listening, challenging one another and meeting real needs.
Spiritual growth is fostered not only by what we gain through the support and input of others, but also through service to others. The role each of us fills is important to the health of the church and for us to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the community in which we live (Ephesians 4:11-16). Throughout the quarter, it is our hope that you can find and/or be affirmed in the ways God has designed you to serve and make a difference in God’s Kingdom.
Join us Friday, October 22 & Saturday, October 23 for the first ever North Coast Church Men’s Conference held at the Vista Campus! Come ready to relax, recharge and refocus on God’s call for us with teaching led by pastors Chris Brown and Mark Clark, along with worship and games! Register at northcoastchurch.com/2021-mens-conference/.