LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of November 7, 2021
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
NO LIFE GROUPS OVER THANKSGIVING
Just a reminder that there will be no Life Groups held over Thanksgiving Week, from November 21-27.
END OF THE QUARTER PLANNING – Last Week of Life Group is November 28 – December 4. Begin talking to your group about end of the quarter and confirming who is returning.
FEEDBACK FORMS COMING NEXT WEEK
Next week everyone in your group will receive an email with a link to the Feedback Form. Please take the time in your Life Group to fill out the form online together. More info next week.
COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECTS – See the bottom of the Study Questions for information about Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday serving opportunities. Check out our website for options to serve: northcoastcommunityservice.org
WINTER QUARTER DATES
- Winter Sign-Ups: January 8-16
- Winter Quarter: January 16 – March 19
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/
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?
1. In the message this weekend, we observed Abraham making his younger nephew Lot a generous offer that broke every cultural rule and protocol. Have you ever been the beneficiary of a very generous and gracious offer? (i.e., a position, an experience, or a financial gift)
Discussion Note: For the message and discussion, generosity includes finances but is much broader than finances. Try to encourage and think of examples outside of finances. Think: the three P’s from Pastor Larry’s message – Power, Prestige & Preferences. (i.e. time with a wise mentor, invite with a friend to an unexpected place, a financial gift that was unexpected, someone else letting you go first)
2. Pastor Larry guided us toward a path of generosity in response to the story of Abraham and Lot. Reflecting on the five items he mentioned, is there one you find more challenging? Is there one that comes more easily for you?
Discussion Note: Below is the path of generosity from Pastor Larry’s message. There is a lot of great Scripture passages below. If one or more of these resonate with your group, feel free to stop and read some of the passages. This could create great discussion.
The Path of Generosity
(1) It starts with the right PRIORITIES
Matthew 6:33/ Matthew 22:36-40/ Proverbs 23:4-5/ Proverbs 19:22
(2) It flows out of biblical HUMILITY
John 13:3-5/ Philippians 2:3/ Matthew 20:25-28
(3) It refuses to KEEP SCORE
(4) Start TODAY
(5) Do it for JESUS
- Is there someone in your life whom you have seen model the path to generosity? What stands out about how they model generosity in their life?
- Think of someone you really admire. Do they model any of the five steps of the path to generosity? How so?
- (Parents & grandparents) – How might you model some of these steps to your kids (grandkids)?
Note: For the message and discussion, generosity includes finances but is much broader than finances. Try to encourage and think of examples outside of finances.
1. Often when we hear the word “greed,” we instantly think about money. As we saw in the passage/story from this weekend, greed is far broader and deeper than how we handle our finances. It also includes how we leverage our power, prestige and preferences— and anything that is rightfully ours. Let’s look again at one of the key passages from this weekend’s message.
Discussion Note: This passage is the “so what” passage from Pastor Larry’s message. It helps us recognize what Jesus humbly did for us and how we can approach serving others.
Philippians 2:3-8 New International Version (NIV)
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
Practically, what might it look like to put the needs and interests of others first? Think of some specific examples from your own life situations and experiences.
Note: This question could be broken down into different relationship circles: friends, spouse, kids, grandkids, enemies, school/teacher/PTA, neighbors, co-workers/boss, etc. – what would it look like to put the needs and interests of my <insert example here> first? This first question is intended to be broader than the follow-up question below. If you feel they are too similar, just ask one of the two.
When we consider what Jesus humbly did for us, what are some ways we might leverage our finances, power, prestige and preferences for the good of others?
Discussion Note: You could start here by reading some of the additional verses above to model what Jesus humbly did in service for us (washing of the feet is a great example). You can also talk about Him sacrificing His life on a cross to offer forgiveness to us.
For this question, focus in on the finances, power, prestige and preferences portion of the answer – this is where Pastor Larry spent time in his message. Everyone might not have an answer for each one of these. Many people in your group may be good at one or more of these as well. Take a moment to ask what areas people may be having success. Sometimes hearing from others’ success helps us to gather ideas of how to apply it in our own life. (See additional questions below).
- When we consider what Jesus humbly did for us, what are some ways you have been able you to leverage your finances, power, prestige and preferences for the good of others?
- When you think about those you know and admire, is there someone who leverages their finances, power, prestige and preferences for the good of others? What impact has that had on you?
2. This weekend Pastor Larry mentioned that stinginess and greed are two sides of the same coin. Stinginess involves hoarding money, power, prestige or preferences, and greed involves pursuing them. Read the proverbs below and answer the corresponding questions.
Discussion Note: The proverbs are broken up into two categories: The Stingy & The Greedy. Then the questions follow the corresponding proverbs and category.
Proverbs 23:6-7 New International Version (NIV)
6 Do not eat the food of a begrudging host,
do not crave his delicacies;
7 for he is the kind of person
who is always thinking about the cost.
“Eat and drink,” he says to you,
but his heart is not with you.
Thinking about the stingy host from the passage above, how might someone appear generous, but really be influenced by stinginess?
Note: This could be a rapid fire, brainstorm question: “Let’s take the next 2 minutes to come up with a list of the different ways someone may appear generous, but really be influenced by stinginess.” Possible answers: overly cautious of time they give, motivated for selfish gain, using sarcasm to mask how they might really feel about their generous act, generous to someone else so that it helps them advance their power, prestige or preference
Can you think of a time when you encountered someone who made a generous offer, but you knew it was a begrudging offer due to their stinginess?
Note: This question would include personal examples from experience. Not everyone may have an answer here, but it can be helpful to hear from the experiences from the group. Be careful it doesn’t become a gossip session. You may say, “no need to share the name of the person.” A follow-up question may be: “What can we learn from that experience?”
Additional Question: Think of a time when you shared a generous act with someone. Were you tempted to be stingy?
Proverbs 21:20 New International Version (NIV)
20 The wise store up choice food and olive oil,
but fools gulp theirs down.
Proverbs 29:7 New International Version (NIV)
7 The righteous care about justice for the poor,
but the wicked have no such concern.
In addition to the command to not be greedy and stingy, it is also a biblical principal for the wise to store up. How might you describe the differences between being greedy/stingy, being a good steward of resources and “storing up choice food and oil for the future”?
Discussion Note: Often the difference starts with the posture of our heart. Being a good steward is more about wisely using your money, power, prestige and preferences. Storing up is about saving those same resources for the future. It could help to start with a specific example (i.e., is it stingy to say “no” to a round up donation at the grocery store checkout? Am I stingy if I don’t tip for the takeout for my food service? What if I tip 15%, 18%, 20%, 25%? What if I say “no” to someone who wants to meet with me about a mentoring opportunity?)
- Looking back at the passage from this weekend (Genesis 13:1-18), was Lot greedy for taking Abraham’s offer of first choice on the land? What is the difference between receiving a generous offer from someone else and greed?
Since greed is hardwired into our sin nature, the only solution is to pursue generosity because greed and generosity cannot coexist. As you reflect on your own life, which of the four below may be your biggest area of growth for generosity?
Note: This question can be a great take home question to self-reflect and apply the sermon in our lives. You could incorporate this into the prayer requests – “How can we pray for you this week? And what area of growth can we pray for you in this week?” Then have them share their area of growth and their prayer request together.
Great Holiday Serving Opportunities
Thanksgiving: Give a local family the chance to celebrate Thanksgiving by buying them a turkey or, better yet, an entire meal. We have partners in Fallbrook, Vista, Ramona & Poway.
Christmas: Adopt a family for Christmas via one of our partners: Fallbrook Food Pantry, North County Lifeline (Vista) or a North Coast family.