LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of October 10, 2021
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
FINALIZE PLANS FOR YOUR SOCIAL & SERVICE PROJECT
Finalize plans for 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 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
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?
Facilitation Tip: There may be someone in your group who is very interested and well versed in end times prophecy. It would be easy for them to go on and on about what they believe will happen. If you have such a person, it would be wise to think through in advance how you want to deal with their participation. The goal would be to encourage them to participate without dominating. Perhaps talking to them in advance and affirming their knowledge while at the same time helping them see the focus of the discussion is not on what will happen in the end but how we live in the time before the end. You could also encourage them to let others share their answers.
1. When you hear someone talking about the end times and speculating about Jesus’ return, what is your typical response?
Additional Question: How much time do you spending thinking about Jesus’ return?
How has your interest in and/or understanding of the return of Christ changed as you’ve gotten older?
This question will help you learn about people’s background and biblical knowledge.
- Where did your knowledge of the end times come from?
- Was there ever a time you followed the teachings of someone who predicted when Christ’s return would be?
2. James 5:7 tells us to be patient as we wait for the return of Jesus. Most people aren’t very good at patiently waiting for anything. What is something that is hard for you to wait for?
Good question to have everyone answer.
Have you developed any ways to help you be patient when you’re in a situation requiring waiting?
Additional Question: If you have a new group or a group with a lot of new members, here’s another Getting to Know You/My Story question you can use to help you get to know the people in your group better.
- Prophecy deals with what is coming in the future. If you could know certain things about your future (like when you’re going to die, who you will marry, what your kids will do in the future, major illnesses you’ll have, etc.), would you want to know that information? What would be some benefits and drawbacks from knowing that information?
1. Revelation is not the only place in the New Testament that talks about the last days and the return of Jesus. At least 12 of the New Testament books refer to it. One of the longer passages is found in 2 Peter 3. As you read through this passage…
- Circle / highlight any words or phrases talking about how we are to live in the last days in light of the future.
- Underline the portions that describe what will happen when the day of the Lord arrives (Jesus returns).
- Put an X next to anything that confuses you.
2 Peter 3:3-14, 17-18
3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 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.
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.
17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
To understand how we are to live, we can look at the commands that Peter gives us in this passage. There are six of them:
v. 3 – understand that scoffers will come
v. 8 – don’t forget that God’s calendar is not like ours
v. 11- live a holy and godly life
v. 14 – make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with God
v. 17 – be on our guard and do not get carried away
v. 18 – grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ
- Which of these is most important for you to apply in your life right now?
- How could a better understanding of what is going to happen when Christ returns help us live as Christians in the 21st century?
- Are there any motivations you see in this passage for living out this lifestyle?
- What could be some of the benefits to yourself and others for living this kind of life?
Additional Passages: While we want to avoid speculating about the end times, there are a number of future events that are clearly spelled out in Scripture, even if we don’t understand all the details about them.
- What are the events yet to happen that each passage identifies?
- Does reading these passages bring you a sense of hope, fear, a desire to change or something else?
What sticks out to you about how we’re supposed to live in light of what will happen when Christ returns?
This should elicit a variety of answers.
Knowing how everything will turn out in the end, what differences could this make in how we live out our faith?
v. 11 – Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?
We’ll live out our faith as people who understand we are not citizens of this world and this world is only temporary. We’ll make decisions about all areas of our lives – relationships, work, money, family – based on the fact that Christ is coming back, and this world will not be the same when He does.
How does 2 Corinthians 4:18 influence your answer?
2 Corinthians 4:18 New International Version (NIV)
18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Pretty much everything we can see and touch will be done away with or changed when Christ returns. Hopefully this causes us to be constantly evaluating how we relate to and handle the physical world in light of the fact the unseen world is the eternal world.
2. The Book of Revelation was written to seven churches located in modern day Turkey. In chapters 2 and 3, John recorded a message from God for each of these seven churches with the first one being to the church at Ephesus. If you had to sum up God’s assessment of the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2:1-7, what would you say?
Revelation 2:1-7 New International Version (NIV)
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. 6 But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
The church got a lot of things right but missed on the most important ingredient – love. The “love you had at first” could mean love for God or love for people or, most likely, both.
If God were to make a similar assessment of your life like He did with the church at Ephesus, what do you think He would commend you for and what would He say needs some attention?
Facilitation Tip: This is a fairly personal question, so it would be good not to just call on somebody to answer it. You may want to go first to set the tone.
Additional Question: What are some steps you could take to address the area that needs some attention?
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/.