LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of November 6, 2022
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
NO LIFE GROUPS OVER THANKSGIVING
END OF THE QUARTER PLANNING – Last Week of Life Group is November 27 – December 3. Begin talking to your group about end of the quarter and confirming who is returning.
FEEDBACK FORMS COMING NEXT WEEK
WINTER QUARTER DATES
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?
Encouragement: Don’t skip this one! Groups have been having great discussion around this question. It’s a great open-ended opportunity to get a feel for how your group received and processed the weekend sermon.
1. Since we learned this weekend that knowing who we are is key to living out our unique purpose, what are three words you would use to describe yourself to a stranger?
This should be a question that everyone can answer. We are looking for three good adjectives (descriptive words) from people. Hopefully this is fun, and the answers give opportunities to know one another better.
2. This weekend, Pastor Chris talked about starting with the end in mind, much like completing a puzzle using the image on the box. Grab a blank piece of paper. Create a picture of what you hope your life looks like at the end. Who are the characters? What is the setting? What are the important components of your life? Share your illustration with your group and explain.
Your artistic/creative group members are going to be excited for this question. While some may come to group with this question already complete, others may not. Bring some paper and pens, (maybe even markers and crayons) and give your group some time to do this together. It is not intended to be difficult or stressful, just another way to process the sermon. Encourage everyone to give it their best shot, even if that means stick figures. They can also just explain what they would draw. Have FUN with this one!
1. In his message, Pastor Chris encouraged us in our unique callings. In Ephesians 4:1-8, 11-13, Paul does the same as he writes to the church in Ephesus from prison with a charge to live out their callings. As you read through the passage, highlight in one color what we are called to be, and use another color to highlight what we are called to do.
Ephesians 4:1-8, 11-13 New International Version (NIV)
4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.”
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
After the calling to “be,” we are then called and equipped with gifts for works to build up the body of Christ (vs. 11-13). As you look back over your life, are there any personality traits, gifts or passions that have been consistent in your life? How might you be able to use these to minister to others?
For this question, you may need to help people see how their personality/gifts/passions can be used by God for ministry. For example, if I am a gifted/skilled general contractor, there may be an opportunity to help a single mom or elderly neighbor with some home needs. Another example could be someone passionate about the outdoors who loves hiking— they might organize the Life Group social event and get the group into the great outdoors.
- Is there one area from the verses above that comes easily or more naturally to you?
- Is there one area from the verses above that is more of a challenge for you to live out?
In addition to the ways God equips His people with gifts, He also equips us with experiences. Is there a specific experience or hardship from your life that has uniquely equipped you to be able to help others or show empathy or Jesus to them?
Experiences can be ANYTHING and might include things like running a business, having children, switching your major in college three times, navigating anxiety or depression, loving someone with an addiction, job loss… there could be so many answers to this question. Be ready for group members to be able to name the experience or hardship, but maybe not see a way that it can help others or show Jesus to them. As the leader, be ready to answer this one with a good example in your own life. This is an opportunity to be authentic and share something you may not have shared yet with your group.
2. As we consider our callings as followers of Jesus to make a kingdom impact in the lives of others, read Matthew 5:13-16 and answer the questions that follow about how to live out these verses in your daily life.
Matthew 5:13-16 New International Version (NIV)
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
When you think of opportunities to be salt and light, where has God uniquely placed you to influence others? Who are the people you interact with in your daily rhythms of life? Fill out this table with the most common places you go and the people you interact with.
Your group might want to spend time defining salt and light and what it means for the Christian to “be” salt and light. If you don’t sense a need to do this, just jump right in, but it may be helpful.
Do you ever find yourself hiding your light? In other words, are there certain people, places or spaces where you are hesitant to make it known that you are a Christ follower? What are some of the reasons you might do that? Is it ever ok to be hesitant?
Hopefully, most of your group will answer this question.
It can be easy to go about our day and miss opportunities because we are not paying attention. What are some ways you can be more intentional with the relationships you have and the people God puts in your path?
- How might you be a light in the places you listed above?
- Is there something that keeps you from seeing the opportunities God is giving you? (Example: For this one, I think of the cell phone. It’s hard to get to know the other parent at soccer practice if we are scrolling.)
Of the names you listed, is there one or two you could choose to pray for specifically this week and ask God to give you opportunities to minister to them? Write the name(s) in a place where you will see it often to remind you to pray and ask God for opportunities to be salt and light.
For this one, you could provide a small 3×5 card or post-it notes for your group to do this on the spot.
Ideas for common places:
- Bathroom mirror, dry erase pens work or glass
- White Board
- Phone/Lock Screen/Screen Saver
ARE YOU A TRADE PROFESSIONAL? LET US KNOW!
The Community Service Team is looking to recruit skilled leaders for our next Serve Your City in April 2023. If you have professional skills in areas such as construction, landscaping, or plumbing – CLICK HERE to let us know!
For questions, email Brittany at [email protected]