LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of April 10, 2022
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
Need help working out an isssue, trying to get everyone in your group to participate, have a dominator taking over, or anything else? If so, we’d love to help! Don’t hesitate to contact your Life Group Pastor to help you process and strategize to keep your group and you moving forward. lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/staff/
FINALIZE PLANS FOR YOUR SOCIAL or SERVICE PROJECT
Begin to think about what service project you would like to do. Check our website for some options: northcoastcommunityservice.org
Online Social Ideas: lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/group-socials/
In-person Social Ideas: lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/suggestions-for-socials/
ATTENDANCESubmit 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. Larry talked this weekend about how great failures don’t guarantee a tragic ending. Can you think of someone who failed but God redeemed the end of their story? What principles from this weekend’s message do you see evident in their story?
2. This weekend, we heard that if we won’t listen to God, He won’t listen to us. Listening is also very important in our relationships with others. Can you think of a time you didn’t feel listened to? How did it impact your relationship with the person/people who didn’t listen to you at the time and long-term?
- Do you think God feels the way we feel when someone doesn’t listen to us? How do you imagine God feels when we don’t listen to Him?
- On the flip side, have you ever been accused of not listening to someone and/or realized you were not listening? How did the person receive it? How did you re-engage with the person?
1. An important part of listening to God and obeying the obvious is knowing what He has said in His Word. Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible, and in it, God’s Word is referred to over 150 times. As you read the following verses, underline anything that describes the psalmist’s attitude and appetite toward God’s Word.
Psalm 119:9-16, 20, 24, 47, 72, 97, 103, 105
9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to you, Lord;
teach me your decrees.
13 With my lips I recount
all the laws that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on your precepts
and consider your ways.
16 I delight in your decrees;
I will not neglect your word.
20 My soul is consumed with longing
for your laws at all times.
24 Your statutes are my delight;
they are my counselors.
47 for I delight in your commands
because I love them.
72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me
than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.
97 Oh, how I love your law!
I meditate on it all day long.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
105 Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.
How might the psalmist’s attitude toward Scripture keep the light from growing dim in someone’s life as Larry described this weekend?
Additional Question: How would you describe the power of God’s Word for helping keep the light from growing dim in someone’s life as Larry described this weekend?
How do you relate to the psalmist’s desire for God’s Word? Does it challenge, confuse, intimidate and/or inspire you in any way? Explain.
- The author of this psalm delights in the Word of God. What do you think it means or does not mean to delight in God’s Word?
- Have you ever thirsted for God’s Word? Why or why not?
If you were to write a short prayer or psalm of your own about your relationship with God’s Word, what would it say? Has what you would write changed over time?
- Would it be different than what you would want it to say?
- How have you seen your attitude and appetite for engaging with God’s Word change over your lifetime? What has impacted your attitude and appetite?
When you think about the ways you best or most frequently engage with God’s Word (reading, listening, reading Bible commentaries/studies, hearing it taught by others, meditating, memorizing, etc.), have you seen these help cultivate a desire for and delight in God? If so, explain.
- How do you best learn the Bible and get the Word of God in your life?
- Which of these ways to engage with God’s Word (listed in the question) have you tried? What are your top three?
- How has engaging with God’s Word impacted your relationship with God?
- Can you delight in God without delighting in His Word? Can you delight in God’s Word without delighting in Him?
Search the Scriptures Take Home Challenge Option: Ask everyone in the group, “What is something you feel God calling you to grow in or learn more about right now?” After everyone has answered, challenge the group to go home this week and search the Scriptures for what the Bible says about that thing. (I.e., if someone says they feel the Lord calling them to let go of control more, what does the Bible say about that? If someone says they feel God calling them to rest, what does the Bible say about rest?) Then, have everyone share the Scripture they found in group next week.
Other Take Home Challenge Options:
- The group can collectively pick a chapter or short book of the Bible to read through or listen to this week and come back with thoughts to discuss next week. You can use group messaging throughout the week for accountability—what verses stood out to you today and why?
- The group can pick a portion of Psalm 119 (or other Scripture) to memorize this week and make it a challenge with a fun prize or reward!
2. This weekend, we heard that when we mess up, we can either blame others and make excuses like Saul or take responsibility and make changes like David, who consistently models repentance after his mistakes. Repentance is more than mere regret or a broken spirit (like David’s in Psalm 51), however, those play an important role as well. As you read 2 Corinthians 7:8-11, what do you notice about the relationship between conviction, remorse and repentance?
2 Corinthians 7:8-11 New International Version (NIV)
8 Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— 9 yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. 10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 11 See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.
- What is the relationship/difference between remorse and repentance?
- Can you think of any situations where remorse did not lead to someone taking responsibility and making changes (i.e., feeling without action)?
- Why is it important to have both feeling and action when it comes to repentance?
- David wrote Psalm 51 after one of his biggest mistakes. As you read his words in the psalm, what are one or two things you notice about his heart posture? What does it help you learn about repentance?
- Why do you think Scripture calls David a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14) despite his many mistakes?
What are some benefits of repentance as laid out by these verses and the message we heard this weekend?
Additional Question: Can you think of a time you were repentant as these verses describe and you saw a change in your story? If so, explain.
How would you describe in your own words what it means to repent or “take responsibility and make changes”?
- What are some situations where it is hardest for people to take responsibility and make changes?
- When is it hardest for you to take responsibility and make changes?
- Is there an area in your life where you feel called to “take responsibility and make changes?”
1. Are there any steps you can take to better learn and engage with God’s Word and hear His voice well through Scripture?
2. Looking back on this week’s sermon and study, what’s most important for you to remember?