LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of September 26, 2021
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
BEGIN TO MAKE PLANS FOR YOUR SOCIAL & SERVICE PROJECT
Online Social Ideas: https://lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/group-socials/
In-person Social Ideas: https://lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/suggestions-for-socials/
It typically works well to plan your social for the same time your group meets.
Begin to think about what service project you would like to do. Check the website for some options: northcoastcommunityservice.org
LIFE GROUP COMMITMENT FORM
Go over the Commitment Form with anyone who missed the first week.
SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT WEEK #2
Remember we’re on week two of the quarter. People are still acclimating, especially any new people. Lead your group through the questions according to how well everyone knows each other. There are plenty of questions in this guide to take you deeper. And remember, as a leader, your goal each night is to lead your group in such a way that you hear from everyone and use the Bible as your guide. Know that if you do this each week, the people in your group will grow! Remember you don’t need to cover all the questions. Great conversation and connection are far more important than covering all the questions.
Check out the Tips on Group Prayer at the end of this Leader’s Guide. If you have new people in your group, please make sure you go over this. And NEVER make someone pray. Group prayer is similar to public speaking, which is the #1 fear people have. More than once, we’ve had people tell us they quit a Life Group because a well-intentioned person required everyone to pray.
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: lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/how-to-post-attendance
Check out our Tips and Tutorials for Online Groups here: lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/pro-tips/
Have fun with the first two questions below. They are meant to be light-hearted and engaging for everyone. It’s recommended to definitely ask #3 and the Quick Review question. Remember, you most likely will not have time to answer all the questions. Pick your preference and don’t miss taking time to go over tips on group prayer at the end.
Group Discussion Tip: Go around the circle and have everyone answer, or open it up to the group and ask someone who doesn’t talk much to answer. Remember, giving the group time limits helps keep one person from dominating the discussion.
1. You’ve just been given three all-expense paid vacations to three different locations—one for three days, another for one week and the other for three weeks. Where do you go for each one and in what order do you take these vacations?
Good question to have everyone answer.
2. If you could become an expert overnight in one of the following areas, which one would you choose and why?
- speak two other languages
- have a photographic memory of whatever you read
- become extraordinarily athletic and skilled in three sports
Good question to have everyone answer.
3. This week, we learned about four signs of well-intentioned but failed leadership. Can you think of a leader you knew personally who had a positive effect on you? If so, what were two of their greatest character qualities that impacted you?
Some people may not have an answer to this.
Quick Review: 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?
Make sure you ask this question this week. It gives people the opportunity to discuss questions or issues that come up beyond the written questions. People’s responses can often lead into one of the questions in the “Digging Deeper” section. Some weeks, this question will result in a lot of discussion, while other weeks, there can be very little.
1. None of us want to find ourselves failing to live out our faith, influence and leadership opportunities like Diotrephes. Yet, we know we can find this challenging at times, and so did the disciples. As you read Luke 9:46-48, how did Jesus redefine what it meant to have influence?
Luke 9:46-48 New International Version (NIV)
46 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. 47 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 48 Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”
Jesus is redefining what it means to be great and have influence and lead. The disciples are arguing about who is greatest. Jesus is not telling them to not desire to be great, but rather redefining how we define greatness – our desire should be to be great at serving others and lifting them up, not lifting up ourselves or pointing out we are the ones accomplishing this.
Additional Question: When you think of someone you know who truly serves others, what words, actions or character qualities would you use to describe them?
The result of this kind of life – 1 Peter 2:12, 15
Romans 12:3, 9-18 adds even greater insight for us as to what it means to be great at serving our God and others in life and leadership. Take a few minutes and read through the verses. Then, go back and read it again, underlining or highlighting two or three statements that are good reminders for you as you follow Jesus and interact with others. Jot them down below. Be ready to share your answers.
Romans 12:3, 9-18 New International Version (NIV)
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
As the leader, jot down everyone’s answer and possibly use it as a prayer list for your group this next week. Each action in verses 9-18 is a result of God’s spirit and sacrificial love in action resulting in our commitment to follow Him.
See the Message version of this passage to help give your group more perspective:Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality. Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody. Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” – The Message
Improving Your Serve Option – Here are a couple options you may want to try with our group this week. To love and serve others unconditionally can be incredibly impactful. It is consistently going the extra mile and doing the small, unexpected acts of service repeatedly over time that adds up to significant impact. The goal isn’t to get noticed, in fact, the preference is not to be noticed and just serve as much as possible. Here are a couple ideas of how to put this in action this week:
Idea #1 Have each person individually brainstorm three small specific acts of service they can do five out of seven days this next week in each of the categories. Possibly have them set up a buddy system to remind each other throughout the week. Report back next week.
- At home
- At school
- At work
Idea #2 Set up a contest to see who can do the “most subtle acts of service” each day this week. The goal is not to get noticed, but to serve as much as possible. Have fun with this.
Additional Question on Verse 3: What does it means to think more highly of yourself than you ought? When would you say someone is thinking more highly of themselves than they should? Or too lowly of themselves? How do these verses help us answer this question? Genesis 1:26-27, Romans 3:23, Romans 5:6-8
2. Humility, which means to have an accurate view of ourselves, allows us to combat pride so we are able to serve, lead and have influence the way God created us to. What do we learn about the process of developing humility from the following passages?
Luke 14:7-11 New International Version (NIV)
7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Put others in place of honor above myself
1 Peter 5:5-6 New International Version (NIV)
5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
Humble yourself toward others. Include verses 7-10. True humility is shown by our ability to cast our cares upon God.
John 15:13-15 New International Version (NIV)
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.
Our humility puts us in relationship with Jesus.
Additional Question: Jesus is not just our friend; He continues to be God. How do you respond to Jesus being called your friend? Note the context, Jesus is having a personal conversation with the disciples.
Galatians 5:13-15 New International Version (NIV)
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.
Humility in action is loving and putting others first.
Can you think of anything in your life that has helped you learn humility?
Not everyone will have an answer to this.
How would you rank these verses in order of being most helpful to you?
Have everyone share their ratings and why they list their top one as #1. Include your top verse as part of your group prayer you created in the previous question.
Looking at the Four Signs of Failed Leadership from this weekend’s message:
You may want to break down into small groups or even men/women only for discussion on this. You may want to have the conversation about prayer below before you break into groups. You can also skip this section if you’d like and spend time on the next section asking your group how they view prayer and then praying together.
How are you doing? What are you doing well?
Is there one you’ve seen more growth in than the others? Is there one you would like to grow in? If so, explain.
Prayer Transition and Optional Question: The #1 fear most people have is speaking in public. Group prayer would fall into this category. If you have new people in your group, going over “Tips on Group Prayer” (below) is crucial. In most cases, it’s also a good reminder for returning group members. More than once, we’ve had people tell us they quit a Life Group or didn’t join a group because they had to pray out loud.
Additional Question (An important one for new groups): Prayer is an amazing avenue God has given us to communicate with Him and He with us, but we also come to it with a lot of different thoughts and feelings. Which of the following statements are most true for you?
|TIPS ON GROUP PRAYER
|Prayer is an important part of being in Life Group. Over the years we’ve found that group prayer goes better when we follow three simple guidelines.
WE PRAY FOR ONE TOPIC AT A TIME – Anyone in the group is free to introduce a prayer request either before prayer begins or during the prayer time. Once a topic is introduced, the group focuses on that request alone. Once it’s covered, the group moves on to the next topic.
PRAY MORE THAN ONCE – Because the group is focusing on one topic at a time, each person is encouraged to pray several times during the prayer time for those topics they feel most led to pray about. No one is required to pray.
WE KEEP OUR PRAYERS SHORT AND SIMPLE – Group prayer goes better when members keep their prayers short and to the point. When someone prays for a long time, it’s hard for the other members to stay focused and long prayers tend to intimidate those who are just learning to pray out loud in a group. No one is required to pray out loud.
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/.