LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of October 3, 2021
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
CONTINUE TO MAKE PLANS FOR YOUR SOCIAL & SERVICE PROJECT
Begin to think about what service project you would like to do. Check our website for some options: northcoastcommunityservice.org
Online Social Ideas: https://lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/group-socials/
In-person Social Ideas: https://lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/suggestions-for-socials/
NORTH COAST MEN’S CONFERENCE – OCTOBER 22 & 23
This is a great opportunity for the guys in your Life Group to get connected at a new level. See below for details. We’ll be raising money once again for one of the women’s resource centers in our community that helps women and families in distress. There will be multiple ways to contribute including raffles for prizes (Big Screen TV, BBQ’s, etc.) along with various tournaments and activities including poker, cornhole and disc golf tournaments. If you have something you like to donate for the raffle, please contact Vikki at [email protected]. See the bottom of the Study Questions for more details.
WOMEN’S GATHERING at North Coast Leadership Conference – October 18, 6-9pm at the Vista Campus – see the bottom of the Study Questions for more details.
NEED HELP WORKING OUT HOW YOUR GROUP IS MEETING?
No matter how your group is meeting whether it’s online, in-person, or hybrid, we realize people’s preferences or comfort in how your group is meeting could change. Due to Covid they may feel less comfortable meeting in-person or the opposite could happen, they no longer want to meet only online. We want to give grace to anyone experiencing this. Remember to be flexible with people if this occurs in your group. We trust you as leaders to navigate through this. Yet, if this is happening, please let you’re your Life Group Pastor know about it and know they are there to help. We want to make sure everyone is being cared for and you’re getting the help you need.
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
This is the last week we’ll include a “Getting to Know You” question that is simply designed to learn something new about the people in your group. Next week we’ll return to all “My Story” questions, which focus on the topic of the sermon (like questions 2 and 3 below).
1. Of all our senses, smell seems to be the one that is best at bringing back memories. Our sense of smell can instantaneously trigger memories of events, places or people from our past. Can you think of one or two smells that trigger good memories from your childhood?
If you have a new group or a lot of new members, this is a good question to get to know them better. If your group has been together a while, you may want to skip this question and move on to the other two “Getting to Know You” questions.
2. Which one of the six ways Chris mentioned for how to fight for the faith do you think is most important for you to remember?
This question asked them to evaluate the six ways and determine which one they think is most important.
Which is most challenging for you to put into action?
They might have the same answer for this question as the last question, but it could be different.
3. We heard this weekend about Jude’s desire for Christians to experience mercy, grace and love. Take a minute to write a definition for each of those terms in your own words.
Facilitation Idea: To control how much time you spend on this question, you could split your group into smaller subgroups and have each person in the subgroup share their definitions or stay all together and have each person only share one of their definitions.
Additional Question: If someone simply parrots back the definition Chris shared, you can say, “That’s a great recital of the definition Chris gave, but how would you express that in your own words?”
Which of them is hardest for you to experience in your life? Which is the one you most need to see in abundance in your life?
Again, the answer to both questions might be the same or different.
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?
This is a chance for people to comment on anything they heard in the sermon.
1. The focus of the sermon this weekend was the importance of how we go about reaching out in a winsome way to help rescue people. In John 1:17, we see Jesus described as having a combination of both grace and truth, which influenced all of His interactions with people. How do you see both of these being lived out in Jesus’ interaction with the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11?
John 8:1-11 New International Version (NIV)
1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Some people may think that Jesus let the woman off easy. But when you consider the cultural shaming she endured, His response to her had to come across as life-giving.
Additional Question: If you were in the place of that woman, how would you feel after hearing what Jesus said to you?
What would your experience be if you were interacting with someone who focused almost solely on grace? How about someone who focused almost solely on truth?
- How would you define grace and truth?
- If you were forced to be with a person who was either all grace or all truth, which person would you choose?
- Can you think of someone in your life who comes across as all grace or all truth?
- What does a grace-only person seem to be concerned about the most? How about a truth-only person?
Why do you think it’s so hard to consistently balance grace and truth in our interactions with others?
- Most of us fall on either one side or the other of the grace and truth continuum. Which side do you tend to fall on?
- Are you consistently on that side or are their certain relationships where you switch to the opposite side of the continuum?
Is there someone you know who has a good balance of both grace and truth? What is it like for you to be around them?
A balance of grace and truth affects more than just how a person talks. Their whole demeanor and how they carry themselves is impacted by it.
Additional Question: What are some ways we could become more balanced?
2. A big part of how we fight for the faith involves how we talk to people. Our words can have great impact on others both positively and negatively. What can you learn about effective communication from the Proverbs below?
Fighting for the faith doesn’t mean we have to be aggressive, confrontational, insulting, sarcastic or intimidating. In fact, these things tend to make communication much harder and much less effective.
Proverbs 10:19 New International Version (NIV)
19 Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is say nothing.
Proverbs 12:18 New International Version (NIV)
18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
We can either wound or heal with our words. The choice is ours.
Proverbs 15:1 New International Version (NIV)
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Our words can either calm people or agitate them.
Proverbs 15:23 New International Version (NIV)
23 A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word!
Speaking in ways that provide help for people can be very enjoyable.
Proverbs 18:2 New International Version (NIV)
2 Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.
A fool only wants to tell people what to do instead of seeking to understand.
Proverbs 18:13 New International Version (NIV)
13 To answer before listening— that is folly and shame.
Listening is almost always better than talking.
Facilitation Tip: You may want to make a master list of all the principles people come up with. Remember, the focus of the sermon was on fighting for the faith, so try to keep the discussion focused on our communication with people outside the faith.
Additional Question: Which of these principles is most challenging for you to carry out?
Can you think of a time when you had good intentions entering a conversation, but your choice of words, tone of voice or lack of listening caused the conversation to derail? If so, in light of the above verses, what could you do differently to accomplish a better outcome?
Not everyone will be able to think of a situation, but hopefully a few will so you can discuss this question.
Additional Question: When you do run into trouble in your conversations, is there a communication mistake you tend to make repeatedly?
In what ways might these principles of communication positively affect one of your current relationships with someone who isn’t a part of God’s family yet?
The person they think of could become part of what you pray for at the end of your group.
Looking back on this week’s sermon and study, what’s most important for you to remember?
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/.
WOMEN’S GATHERING – North Coast Leadership Conference
Join us Monday, October 18, 6-9pm at the Vista Campus and be equipped to lead no matter what role you serve in — as a student, single woman, wife, mom or in the marketplace. Visit northcoastchurch.com/womens-gathering-event/