LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of April 11, 2021
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
Reminder – If you have new people in your group, use name tags for at least the first three weeks of the quarter! .
HELP YOUR GROUP GET SIGNED UP FOR SERVE YOUR CITY
What to cover with your group:
#2 Register for a project by heading to northcoastchurch.com and clicking on “Serve Your City.”
#3 Pray for Serve Your City:
#4 Social this quarter
Online Social Ideas: https://lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/group-socials/
In-person Social Ideas: https://lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/suggestions-for-socials/
*Please adapt in-person social options to comply with County social distancing guidelines for COVID-19.
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?
Optional “Get to Know You” Question (for groups with new people) If you have new people in your group you may want to start with this one since it’s only the second week of the quarter: What Disney character are you most like and why? (If you have all married couples you could ask, “what character your spouse is most like?”)
Discussion Reminder: Our goal is to hear from everyone every time you meet and keep God’s Word at the center! Our goal is not to answer all the questions. Pick the questions that seem to fit your group the best. Make sure you get everyone involved in the discussion, and make sure you leave time for people to share personally and any needed prayer requests.
1. Can you think of a time when someone made a sacrifice to help you, serve you or meet a need you couldn’t meet on your own? If so, how did it feel and how did you respond?
Good question to start on, but everyone may not have an answer to this question.
2. When it comes to following Jesus, what do you think most people would say is the cost?
There will most likely be a variety of answers.
Have you noticed any changes in your view of the cost over time? If so, explain.
This would be a good question to have everyone answer. It should be interesting to hear a variety of answers.
1. When Jesus came on the scene, He turned upside down what it meant to be great – service and sacrifice for others (Matthew 20:26-28). As the title of this week’s message says, the Church and its people are “an army based on surrender.” It’s no secret that something worth much costs much. But all too often, we think of a sacrifice as being a big decision we make once and then move on. In reality, we are called to sacrifice in many small ways every day. What do you find challenging about making the sacrifices found in the following verses?
Discussion Tip: You can skip directly down to the sub question at the bottom and the additional question added. As people share, have them first read the verse that is catching their attention the most and explain why. There are also extra questions under the verses if you would like to dig into them further.
Matthew 20:26-28 New International Version (NIV)
26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Luke 6:27-31, 36 New International Version (NIV)
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Sacrifice Challenge: Believe, sacrifice for, pray for and see the value in those who are against you.
- Has anyone ever prayed for an enemy on a regular basis? If so, how did that go?
- How can this passage be taken out of context? It is not telling you to put yourself in situations that are abusive. But just as Jesus went the extra mile for us, we should do the same for others to help reach them.
- Why would Jesus expect this from Christians? It’s a reflection that Jesus has changed us, “we are the children of the Most High” 35.
Reasons more should be expected from Christians than others – Quzik
- They claim to have something that others do not have; they claim to be renewed, repentant, and redeemed by Jesus Christ.
- They do in fact have something that others do not have; they are in fact renewed, repentant, and redeemed by Jesus Christ.
- They have a power that others do not have; they can do all things through Christ who strengthens them.
- They have the Spirit of God dwelling within them.
- They have a better future than others do.
Colossians 3:23-25 New International Version (NIV)
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.
Sacrifice Challenge: No matter whom I work for or how they lead, I am called to do my best. (Colossians 3:22)
John 13:1-17 New International Version (NIV)
It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” 9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” 10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. 12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Sacrifice Challenge: Humbly serve those around you. How do you evaluate your humility? Put others first in line and conversation, admit your mistakes, ask for forgiveness, confess your sin. Things that can be mistaken for arrogance or lack of humility: self-confidence, being aware of your strengths, being outgoing, etc.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 New International Version (NIV)
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
Sacrifice Challenge: Give generously and cheerfully.
- How often do think of giving cheerfully? How familiar is that concept to you?
- If you are not cheerful, should you stop giving?
- What might be some reasons we find ourselves not cheerful in giving? (Tight on money, spending problem, overextended in debt, caught in the comparison trap, see myself as the owner of my possessions instead of God)
- What are some the challenges when it comes to sowing sparingly versus generously?
- How might you define generosity?
- When might a person be sowing too sparingly?
- Have you ever sacrificed and saved up for something you were very excited to get to later realize it didn’t bring the joy you thought it would?
Additional Verses on Generosity: 1 Timothy 6:17-19
Feeling trapped in your finances? Encourage your people to not be afraid to get help in managing their finances. We will be offering a financial peace class this summer.
- Make sure the ownership is “God’s,” not “mine.”
- Act like the manager, not the owner.
Can you think of any examples in your life where you sensed God’s presence or blessing while making a sacrifice like those from the verses above?
Everyone may not have an answer to this, but a question you can ask everyone is: Which verse catches your attention the most and why?
2. We are called to make both big and small sacrifices for Jesus. God helps us keep perspective in the midst of the sacrifices we make, and He promises to bless us as we obey Him. How do the following verses affirm and motivate you to know that the cost of following Jesus is well worth it?
Matthew 10:39 New International Version (NIV)
39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
When you committed your life to Jesus, did you feel like you found a new life? What has that looked like in your spiritual journey?
Mathew 11:28-30 New International Version (NIV)
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
God will partner with us in the burden and give us rest. (Philippians 4:6-7)
2 Corinthians 4:14-17 New International Version (NIV)
14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
My challenges are short compared to the eternal reward I will receive in Heaven.
Hebrews 10:32-39 New International Version (NIV)
32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” 38 And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
Persevere—your confidence will be rewarded.
Which two comments or concepts in the verses above are most motivating to you?
Additional Question: What might you tell a friend about why you are willing to continue to sacrifice your own desires to follow Jesus?
1. Which point from this weekend’s message or Life Group study is most important for you to remember?
2. SERVE YOUR CITY is about being the hands and feet of Jesus in our community by putting into action the service and sacrifice God has called us to. If you or your group would like to donate and/or sign up for a project, go to northcoastchurch.com and click on “Serve Your City.”
Prayer Transition and Optional Question: The number one 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?
– Prefer to pray silently instead of out loud
– Find my mind wandering when praying
– Like to write out prayers
– Look forward to time in prayer
– Don’t really know how to pray
|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.
PRAY FOR SERVE YOUR CITY
…for the many details needing to be finalized in these last two weeks
…that we will be effective in meeting needs in the community with the organizations we are working with
…for North Coast – that we may grow in our effectiveness in reaching our community for Jesus and be a place where people want to grow and bring their friends
…for yourself – that you may know how to serve others with the attitude of Christ and have opportunities to tell others about Him