LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of October 16, 2022
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
NORTH COAST MEN’S CONFERENCE – OCTOBER 28 & 29
This is a great opportunity for the guys in your Life Group to get connected at a new level. See the bottom of the homework 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, corn hole, pickle ball and disc golf tournaments. If you have something you like to donate for the raffle, please contact Vikki at [email protected].
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
ABOUT POLITICS IN LIFE GROUP – We believe it is important for Jesus followers to think through and process how they are going to vote and engage in politics. But due to the polarizing nature of our current political climate, we want to keep our Life Group meetings free of politics and focused on relationships with each other and God’s Word.
Presenting the Good News of Jesus’ saving grace to all, and the unity we have as believers is vitally important to us. In light of this, remember to keep politics completely out of your Life Group discussions. We exist to minister to everyone who wants to know Jesus. Every election cycle we have Christians who become divided over issues and can be deeply offended by comments, jokes, and even prayer requests. We do not want to send the message that people who vote a certain way or have differing political views are not welcome. If someone in your group starts to take things in a political direction (be it with humor, a rant or even a “prayer request” for a specific outcome), gently remind them that the body of Christ (and North Coast Church) is made up of followers of Jesus – some of whom are Republicans, Independents, Democrats, etc.
What stood out to you most from what you heard or read in this weekend’s message?
1. From the passage this weekend, we learned about the importance of God’s reputation to the world. When it comes to your own reputation, as you think toward the end of your life, is there a newspaper headline (or a phrase at your memorial service) that you would want to represent your reputation?
Note: This is future thinking about how we want to be known at the end of our life. The goal is to focus on thinking ahead to the impact our life makes on others for Christ. This is a fun question for everyone to answer.
2. This weekend, we learned about the importance of how we live and its impact on the world around us. As you reflect on your childhood, what was your experience of Christians you interacted with? How did this interaction impact your view of God and/or the church?
Note: This could swing in a positive or negative trend. As a facilitator, I might set up this question with, “Let’s not throw anyone under the bus…” or “this is not a time to trash someone…” The goal is to reflect on how others’ character and/or actions represented God and what impact that had on us (good or bad).
Discussion Note: Although you can use either “My Story” question, My Story #1 flows nicely into Digging Deeper #1 & My Story #2 flows into Digging Deeper #2.
1. This weekend, we saw the consequences of Saul’s disobedience toward the Gibeonites by not honoring the covenant of protection made by Joshua. As followers of Jesus, how we live and love those around us greatly impacts their view of who God is. Read 1 Peter 2:9-16 and notice the importance God puts on our Christian reputation and how He wants us to interact with those who don’t yet know Him.
1 Peter 2:9-16 New International Version (NIV)
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.
Note: This passage should connect nicely to Chris Brown’s message about living among the “pagans” (those who don’t know God).
Additional Verses: Matthew 5:13-16
- This passage is the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus talking about salt and light and a city on a hill. This could be a second passage to read. It would follow the same line of thought for discussion.
When you think about your workplace/family/hobbies/friend circles/neighborhood, make a list of some things that are accepted by our culture but go against God’s desires for how we live (i.e., win at all costs, how we use our words, alcohol overuse, turning a blind eye, etc.).
- Veteran Group Option: You may alter the question to focus on one section: workplace, family, hobbies, friend circles, or neighborhood. The focus would be based on the station of life your group is in. (i.e. If you are a Young Adult/ Jordan group, you may hone in on friend circles or classmates. If you are empty nesters: maybe, you hone in on family/grandkids.) * Is there an area above your group gravitates toward in discussion?
- You could facilitate this question as a group exercise, “Let’s make a list together.” Sometimes doing this together makes the conversation a little easier to share more vulnerably.
As you look at your list, what things are easy for you to go against culture on? Is there one that may be more of a challenge for you?
Note: If you ask the question above first and then follow up with this question, it helps make it easier for your group to be vulnerable.
For the item that may be a struggle, what are some ways we can overcome that struggle or temptation? Make a list as a group.
Note: There is power in choosing a topic and encouraging your group member to share methods that have helped them, not in a way to correct another group member, but in a collective way to hear some other methods of living out Christ-like character around others.
- Practically, how can we know the difference between living as “free people” and “using our freedom as a cover-up”?
- In the same way David keeps his oath to spare Mephibosheth, have you ever had to keep a commitment even when it cost you?
- Can you think of a time when you went back on your commitment? Was there a cost to that decision?
- Is there ever a time when it is ok to go back on a commitment you made? Is ok to break a commitment and then ask for forgiveness?
2. Chris taught this weekend that, as Christ followers, we are now the kingdom of priests and the temple of the Holy Spirit. As we have heard often in this series, the psalms are the soundtrack to the biblical story we have been studying. Read what David wrote in Psalm 15 about the character we are to represent to the world. Take note of how we are to live out the five areas of our lives below.
Discussion Note: Use My Story #2 to set this one up.
|Psalm 15 New International Version (NIV)
1 Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
|Areas of Our Lives
_____ Our integrity
_____ Our words
_____ Our attitude toward others
_____ Our commitments
_____ Our finances and business practices
- This passage was written by David and it is more of a practical look at the character God calls us to. The “Areas of Our Lives” portion directly corresponds to the Psalm 15 passage.
Based on the five areas above, how would you evaluate yourself on a scale of 1-5? (5 – an area of strength & 1 – an opportunity for growth)
Note: You can use the blanks next to the “Areas of Our Lives” to put your number rating.
Discussion Note: Have your group share why they rated what they did. You can focus on what was their highest or lowest ranked and why. (Either route)
Can you think of someone who, by their actions, has positively lived out one of the areas above in such a way that it had an impact on your faith? If yes, how so?
- In verse 4, we are called to honor those who fear the Lord. Who are some of the people you view as ‘heroes’ in your life? Are those heroes godly or godless?
- In the psalm above, we are called to walk blameless. Can you think of a time when someone you know did the right thing, even though it was hard? How did that impact you? Your faith?
- Our words are a big reflection of the righteousness God calls us to. He commands us to speak truthfully from the heart, and to not use our words as slander or slur toward others. When you think about how we are called to live versus what is culturally acceptable, what are some of the differences? Are there any similarities?
- Is there a friend/family member/ co-worker/ classmate who is a good example for you when it comes to using their words to represent God’s righteousness? How so?
- Is there something you either have learned or want to put into practice from them?
Can you think of someone God has placed in your life on whom you can have a positive impact for Christ?
Note: This is a great question to include in your prayer time. Have your group share a prayer request and the person they are praying to influence.
It’s back because the first year was incredible! Join us Friday evening, October 28 & Saturday morning, October 29, for the second North Coast Men’s Conference held at the Vista Campus! Come ready to recharge and refocus on God’s call for us with teaching led by pastors Chris Brown and Ricky Jenkins, along with worship, activities and tourneys! Register at northcoastchurch.com/mens-conference/