LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of January 16, 2022
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
COVID NOTE TO LEADERS: We trust you in continuing to be safe, aware and ready to flex with the needs of your group. We have the same guidelines we have had this past year and at our weekend services. Anyone who is sick or has recently tested positive with COVID should not attend your group. If the majority of people in your group are sick or not comfortable attending, you may want to consider delaying the start of your group for a week or provide a zoom option. Please know your Life Group Pastoral Team is ready to help navigate, if needed.
This week we kick off our Winter Life Group Quarter. Your first gathering is designed to give you time to get acquainted, enjoy a meal together and connect with each other, as well as time to discuss how to make your Life Group meetings great! The study questions have been shortened this week to allow ample time to accomplish all of this. To prepare for your first meeting, take some time to focus on the questions below and be prepared to share your answers with the group.
As we start this new quarter of Life Groups, please help us continue to keep group members safe by staying home from group if you are not feeling well. We hope you have a great time together as you connect, encourage one another to grow and see how God might work!
Online Groups – If your group is meeting online, your leaders will be sending you the link for your group. Use this link for tips on meeting with your group online: lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/pro-tips/
|GETTING READY FOR YOUR FIRST MEETING
Each week in this section you’ll find the most important information for your group. Goals of the First Meeting
Items Needed for the First Meeting
Contact Your Group in Advance
Pro-Tips to Maximize the Online Groups Experience
1) Shorten meetings to 75 minutes or less. Also be on 10 minutes early and available 10-20 minute after if people want to connect.
* More how-to’s at this link: Pro-Tips & Facilitation Tips to maximize your Online Experience.
AGENDA FOR YOUR FIRST MEETING
Looking for more guidance on your first meeting? You can find the “First Night Agenda” on how to make your first night great on the Leader Tools page of our website. (lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/make-your-first-night-great/) You can also listen to the audio version of the leader guide here.
How We Measure Success Week to Week: Hearing from everyone at every meeting and keeping God’s Word at the center.
Make sure you leave plenty of time to go over the Life Group Commitment Form with your group.
- Welcome & Eat – Potluck is a great option. Online groups can try a virtual dinner option if they would like.
- Group Sharing – Discussion Note: You can transition from the “Getting to Know You” section to the “Looking Ahead” section.
- Study Questions Discussion (optional – we do encourage you to spend time on the “Honoring” question that has Colossians 3:12-17)
- Go over the Life Group Commitment Form – Use the last question in the Leader Guide to Study Questions below to transition into reviewing the Commitment Form.
- Close in prayer.
- Mingle afterward.
Discussion Note: Add these questions if you have new people in your group or a completely new group. If it hasn’t come up in conversation before the meeting officially starts, have everyone in the group share how long they have been attending North Coast, if they have been in a Life Group before and their favorite hobby.
Discussion Tips: These are effective for both in-person and online groups. Remember to set time limits to ensure everyone has an opportunity to answer the questions. Possibly use the “Tag— You’re It” method to ensure everyone can share. Once one person is finished sharing, they select the next person to share.
- Tell us a little about yourself…
Have fun with this question.
- Would you rather be super strong or have super speed?
- What is your favorite road trip snack?
- If you had to work at an amusement park or a famous landmark for the rest of your life, which place would you choose?
- As we start the new year, what are one or two things you’re looking forward to in 2022?
Great question to have everyone answer. You may want to have them answer the two questions in the “Looking Ahead” section also and then transition into going over the Commitment.
- 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?
Discussion Note: Because of the potluck, make sure you have enough time to spend on the “Looking Ahead” section below.
This weekend we heard how the story of David and Goliath is not just a story about a giant being killed, but more importantly a turning point for Israel – for 16 chapters, Israel has not been honoring God, and that is a needed change. But what does it look like as a follower of Jesus to depend on God’s power and honor Him? Colossians 3:12-17 offers us some great insight into what living this way looks like. As you read through these verses, circle two or three statements that are catching your attention and jot down any thoughts on how they may help you depend on God, see Him work and honor Him in all you do in 2022.
(If your group has extra time, feel free to look at the entire chapter.)
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
One of the key reasons we meet in Life Groups every week is to gain the encouragement and support we each need to honor God in all we do and keep our focus on Jesus. Before you go over the Life Group Commitment in your group, take a moment and write down your responses to the questions below:
What are you looking forward to in your Life Group this quarter?
Looking back at what you circled in Colossians 3:12-17, which one or two would you like to see God sustain and/or grow in you this next quarter?
Memory Verse Challenge Option – Have everyone memorize Colossians 3:17.
Is there anything specific you need prayer for, or is there any other focus you would like to have in order to grow this next quarter?
Use this question as an option if it flows well with your group.
Transition Statement to Life Group Commitment: “It’s great to hear what each of you has said about what you want to get out of your time in our group. One of the great benefits of being in a Life Group is the opportunity to have help from others as we seek to be strategic and intentional about our spiritual growth. The Life Group Commitment is designed to serve as intentional guidelines to help us make the most of our time together.”
Go over the Life Group Commitment Form with your group. See below, or you can download the Leader Guide to the Life Group Commitment. Use this as a guide to keep your group healthy in communicating and caring for one another each week. (The leader audio will give you more details on how to do this effectively.)
Close in prayer: If you have anyone new in your group and you don’t know them, it is recommended to close with your host or one person praying. Next week, the Study Questions will include an introduction to praying in a group, so if you have a new group or a lot of new members, it’s suggested that you wait until week two to do any group prayer.
Mingle with everyone after the meeting. Even if you’re online, stay on an extra 10 minutes to see if anyone wants to connect and hang out just like you would at an in-person meeting.
Life Groups exist to promote spiritual maturity and personal growth through meaningful Christian relationships and the study of God’s Word (Romans 8:29 & Hebrews 10:24-25). Here’s how it will happen:
Each week we’ll take time to share what is happening in our lives. At first this sharing will include planned “sharing questions.” But after the first few weeks, it will become more informal and personal as we feel more comfortable.
Each week we’ll study a section from God’s Word that relates to the previous weekend’s sermon or an appropriate personal growth topic. Our goal is to learn how to live out our Christianity in everyday life.
Each week we’ll learn how to take care of one another as Christ commanded (John 15:9-13). This care can take many forms, such as prayer, encouragement, listening, challenging one another and meeting real needs.
Spiritual growth is fostered not only by what we gain through the support and input of others, but also through service to others. The role each of us fills is important to the health of the church and for us to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the community in which we live (Ephesians 4:11-16). Throughout the quarter, it is our hope that you can find and/or be affirmed in the ways God has designed you to serve and make a difference in God’s Kingdom.
Mondays beginning January 31 (9 weeks), 7-9pm
We all need a plan for our money. Financial Peace University (FPU) is that plan! FPU presents practical steps to help you get rid of debt, manage your money, spend and save wisely and much more! Register at northcoastchurch.com/classes.