LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of February 7, 2021
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
Goals for the Meeting:
- Continue to build relationships.
- Pray together.
- Finalize plans for your social.
- Talk about service project options.
LEADERSHIP COMMUNITY MEETINGS / MID-QUARTER TRAINING
Watch for dates coming in the next week. These sessions are designed to build on your leadership skills and provide valuable information and tips as you lead your group. Make sure you check the schedule and plan to attend the training for your Station in Life or Campus. Watch for updates at this link.
FINALIZE PLANS FOR YOUR SOCIAL & SERVICE PROJECT
Confirm with your group 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/
*Please adapt in-person social options to comply with County social distancing guidelines for COVID-19.
- Remember you don’t have to answer every question!
- Choose questions best suited to your group.
- Listen to the Audio Guide/Podcast for more discussion suggestions.
- Hear from everyone every time you meet!
- Take prayer requests.
- If you haven’t divided into male/female groups already, you may want to do so for the “Taking it Home” section and prayer.
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?
1. When you hear the phrase, “We need to talk,” what is your first response when it comes from your:
- spouse/significant other?
- close friend?
Discussion Note: This opener connects to the sermon. Answers may vary, or someone’s answer might be the same for all categories. Feel free to add any additional bullets: i.e. children, financial advisor, pastor or any others that may fit into your group.
2. As we heard this weekend, sometimes we go too far by trying to win at all costs. Can you think of a time when you went a little too far while trying to win something? (i.e., youth sports, game night with friends, Halloween costume contest)
Discussion Note: Have a lot of fun here. This does not have to go toward the serious side of an argument/crucial conversation with another person. How you set this up and the examples you give will set the tone of the answers. Encourage your group to have fun with it— you may learn something new about your group members.
Discussion Note: In our new leader Essentials training, we talk about the small-to-large group principle. This principle encourages the use of one-to-one discussion, three- or four-person discussion and whole-group discussion as a way to involve everyone. Whether you’re meeting in person or virtually, we encourage you to make use of this principle on a regular basis to keep things fresh and to help keep people engaged. Any of this week’s study questions would be suitable to use with smaller sub-groups during your meeting.
If your group is meeting virtually, making use of the Zoom breakout rooms is a way to do this. We would suggest you make use of the breakout rooms at least once a meeting, if not more often. When you go to the breakout room, be sure to clearly spell out what you want them to discuss and the amount of time they will have to talk. For more information on using Zoom breakout rooms, please view the tutorial at lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/pro-tips/ or talk to your Campus/Life Group pastor.
This week our “Digging Deeper” questions will focus on the life of David. David had many highs and failures. Fortunately, he was usually surrounded by people who were willing to do the right thing, the right way. This week we will take a look at a couple of those people.
1. We heard this weekend about some common ways we do the right thing the wrong way. One of the refreshing things about the Bible is how human the characters are and how they respond in both good and bad ways. In 1 Samuel 25:2-35, some characters responded in the right way and some in the wrong way. Using the principles from Christopher’s sermon, fill in the chart below.
Note: Feel free to read through the end of 1 Samuel 25:36-44, to see how the story ends. The story illustrates multiple points of view. See the notes in the boxes; observations may vary. Commentary: enduringword.com/bible-commentary/1-samuel-25/
|Characters||Observations about their response|
|Nabal||Nabal – may have been justified in not wanting to serve David, who is on the run from King Saul. But his response is harsh, and later we find out his harshness is a pattern (v.17). Speaking truth without God’s love.|
|Abigail||Abigail – her humility and gentleness save Nabal from being murdered by David and his men. She is a great example of someone who does the right thing in the right way, including asking for forgiveness for Nabal. Take note of how she responds.|
|David||David – he almost does the wrong thing by murdering Nabal but has a change of heart because of Abigail’s response. Confrontation without biblical guidelines – wanting to murder.|
Based on the passage above, was there a specific observation that stood out to you the most?
Discussion Note: Use this time to dive into the specific responses by the characters. Feel free to compare and contrast. Take a look at how Nabal’s response impacts David and how Abigail’s response impacts David. Contrast the implications of the responses. Feel free to bring in the “common ways we do the right thing the wrong way” from Christopher’s sermon.
Like Abigail did with David, can you think of a time when someone addressed a potentially difficult topic with you and handled it the “right” way?
Note: Try to get your group members to share some specific examples. The examples will help drive more specificity in the conversation (vs generality) and should lead to more meaningful dialogue. One of the best tools for shared learning is real world examples. If someone shares a meaningful example, feel free to ask a follow-up question (i.e., what can we learn from this person?).
Have you ever initiated a conversation with someone about the right topic but approached it the wrong way?
Note: This is more self-focused on how we have done the right thing in the wrong way. Depending on the length of time your group has been together and your level of vulnerability, this may have varying results. When trying to increase vulnerability, it may be helpful for the leader/facilitator to go first. The level of vulnerability the leader shares usually is the trajectory of the vulnerability of the conversation from the rest of the group. As the saying goes, “Speed of the leader, speed of the team.”
Alternative Question: Think of a time when you initiated a conversation with someone about the right topic but approached it the wrong way. (Don’t have them share— just think of it)… Then ask the question below. (See next sub question.)
Note: This might help spark good conversation without having to share a very vulnerable situation.
If you had to do the conversation over again, what would you do differently?
Note: Great question to have some reflection and shared learning.
Additional Question: Can you think of a time when you responded similarly to Nabal, Abigail or David from the passage above?
2. Oftentimes God uses people in our lives to speak truth and help us reconcile our relationships with both Him and others. After David committed adultery with Bathsheba and then murdered her husband Uriah to cover it up, God sent Nathan the prophet to rebuke him. Read the passage below and take note of Nathan’s timing, tact and tone.
Note: Nathan is one the best examples of someone who did the right thing the right way. Focus in on the point from Christopher’s sermon: “Speaking truth without God’s love— timing/tact/tone.” Commentary: enduringword.com/bible-commentary/2-samuel-12/
2 Samuel 12:1-13 New International Version (NIV)
The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. 4 “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.” 5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.” 7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’ 11 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’” 13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.
Approaching a king to rebuke his actions can be a dangerous proposition. What can we learn from Nathan in his approach with David?
Discussion Note: Possibly set this question up with some ideas about what it would be like to approach a person in power to tell them they are wrong.
Possible Answers: Nathan is direct and confident; it is obvious he is close to God as he is speaking for Him. His approach is gentle and comes from the angle of a story David can resonate with. He calls David to repentance and reminds him of God’s eternal grace (taking away sin) but not the consequences.
Thinking about Nathan, is there someone you know whom you allow to speak truth into your life? What characteristics does this person possess that you desire to have?
Discussion Note: This focuses in on having people in our lives to speak truth and grace.
Additional Question: As a group, make a list of the characteristics of a person whom we would allow to speak truth into our lives.
Have you played the role of Nathan in someone’s life? What was that experience like?
Discussion Note: This is the inverse of the question above, now focusing in on how we can each be the kind of person who speaks truth in love and grace—someone who does the right thing, the right way.
Additional Verses: Psalm 51
Additional Question: This weekend, we were encouraged to “change behavior by seeking to change the heart.” After Nathan spoke the truth in love to David, we see David’s response in Psalm 51. What do we notice about the change in David’s heart after Nathan’s rebuke?
Note: Psalm 51 is David’s response, an incredible heart change. One option might be to have your group close their eyes and have one person read the Psalm. This might help everyone focus on and imagine in their minds the heart change in David.
Discussion Note: This week’s “Taking it Home” section contains more pointed questions for application. This could be something shared with the group, or you could simply give everyone a minute or two to self-reflect and write. You could break up into smaller groups (on Zoom or in person) for prayer time and potentially have each person share their answer to one of the questions below during prayer time.
1. As you reflect back on this week’s sermon and discussion, is there a conversation you now realize you handled wrong and need to go back and ask for forgiveness?
2. Is there a conversation you may need to approach with a new perspective?
3. Is there someone close to you for whom you need to go play the role of Nathan and speak the truth in love?
4. Is there someone you need to ask to speak truth into your own life?