LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of March 6, 2022
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
PRAY FOR UKRAINE, THE CHURCH, OUR MISSIONARIES, AND OUR WORLD
- Pray for peace and reconciliation that the violence and war will be stopped, the loss of innocent lives ended and the protection of innocent victims of all involved.
- Pray for wisdom for all governmental leaders of Ukraine and our entire world on how to respond.
- Pray for the neighboring countries on how to care for the many Ukrainians leaving their country for safety.
- Pray for the Christians and the church in Ukraine and Russia that these brothers and sisters along with the many missionaries be kept safe and that they may be a help and light in an incredibly dark time
*For more info on how to pray and give to help the crisis in Ukraine see the front page of northcoastchurch.com
PLEASE MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO FINALIZE YOUR GROUP PLANS AND ROSTERS FOR THE SPRING QUARTER AT YOUR MEETING THIS WEEK We have a quicker turn around for than normal for Spring Sign-ups, which start March 19. If you have not already, please confirm changes to your group or indicate “NO CHANGES” when you submit your attendance this week. Thank you!
Spring Quarter Dates:
- Spring Sign-ups: March 19-27
- Spring Quarter: March 27- May 28
Goals for the Evening:
- Finalize Group Plans for Spring
- Pray for Ukraine and our World
- Discuss the Study Questions
- Pray together
New Leaders & Hosts: Do you know someone who would be great at leading or hosting a Life Group? If so, please let your Life Group Pastor know.
Make sure you attend the Mid-Quarter Training session for Leaders and Hosts (Vista Campus groups only, other campuses dates coming for next quarter). Click the link to RSVP: lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/mid-quarter-training
- Pray for Ukraine
- Take prayer requests
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. A big part of parenting is helping children learn to handle both freedom and responsibility. How much freedom did your parents or guardians allow you to exercise as you were growing up?
How well did you do showing your parents you were responsible enough to handle the freedom they gave you?
2. In the sermon, we heard about the real possibility of “generational sins,” where the poor choices of our family impact us. Do you feel like you’ve been impacted by “generational sins”?
Discussion Tip: Be gentle with this question. Some people have suffered greatly from generational sins, and some may be only now coming to grips with it. Hopefully people will feel safe enough to at least begin to explore this reality.
If so, have you done anything to counteract this pattern in your family?
Additional MY STORY Question: Larry introduced us to the term “fourth dimension truth.” How would you explain that concept to a friend of yours who hadn’t heard the sermon?
1. Larry talked about the sovereignty of God and how His decrees can’t be thwarted. With so much going on in our world, it’s good to focus on God’s sovereignty. Isaiah 40 is one of the best chapters in the Bible for gaining a perspective on this because it compares God’s power and control to things we can understand. As you read through the passage below, highlight or underline what it says about how big, powerful and in control God is.
Isaiah 40:10-18, 22-31
10 See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. 11 He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. 12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? 13 Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord, or instruct the Lord as his counselor? 14 Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding? 15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust. 16 Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires, nor its animals enough for burnt offerings. 17 Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing. 18 With whom, then, will you compare God? To what image will you liken him?
22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. 23 He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. 24 No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff. 25 “To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. 27 Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”? 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Discussion Tip: This passage can be very reassuring in troubled times because it shows that God is sovereign and in total control and nothing catches Him by surprise. Some of your group members may be experiencing a good deal of anxiety or fear in light of the Ukraine situation, so hopefully this passage will serve as a calming reminder that God is in control.
You may want to take time to read this passage out loud so people can simply listen to the words. Or find a good audio version and play that (any book always sounds better when read by someone with an accent).
See the Prayer Tip at the end for how to use the Isaiah 40 passage as a guide to help your group spend some time praising and thanking God for who He is.
- What are some of the common things God uses to show how big and powerful He is?
- What are some of the promises God makes about what He will do?
In what ways can a greater understanding of God’s absolute power help you to trust Him and His perfect timing more?
Looking back at what you underlined or highlighted, which statement or promise is most important for you to remember at this time?
Discussion Tip: Great question to have everyone answer.
- Is there someone you could share that statement or promise with or another one from this passage who could really benefit from hearing it?
- What could be some ways you could keep reminding yourself daily of this truth?
2. This weekend we heard that none of us is an island; we are all deeply interconnected, which is why our choices impact others. The Bible is filled with countless instructions for the kind of choices we’re to make so our impact on others is positive and helpful. Read the following six of more than 40 “one another” commands in the New Testament that are best carried out within a group that is small enough for close and accountable relationships. After reading each verse, define what each “one another” command means. (i.e., what does it mean to be devoted?)
Discussion Tip: You may want to ask different people in your group to give you their one sentence definition for each of the “one anothers” or, if you have the time, ask multiple people for their definition for each one.
Romans 12:10 New International Version (NIV) 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Romans 14:13 New International Version (NIV) 13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.
Romans 15:7 New International Version (NIV) 7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
Colossians 3:13 New International Version (NIV) 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Galatians 5:13 New International Version (NIV) 13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
Ephesians 4:2 New International Version (NIV) 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Additional Verses: Here are some of the other “one anothers” in the New Testament: John 13:34-35, Romans 12:16, 15:14, 1 Corinthians 12:25, Ephesians 4:32, 5:21, Colossians 3:9, 1 Thessalonians 5:15, Hebrews 3:13, 10:24-25, James 4:11, 5:16
Additional Question: As people give their definition, you can ask them, what would it look like to apply that in our family life, our employment, our social circle or our neighborhood?
Which of these “one another” verses would have the greatest impact on how you relate to people in your life if you were to give it more focus?
Additional Question: In what ways would that “one another” affect how you relate to others?
Can you think of any ways you’ve seen one or two of these “one another” statements being carried out in your Life Group?
Discussion Tip: This is a great question to spend some time allowing people to share their answers. It will be an encouragement to your group members as they hear how they’ve been able to impact others because they have made the choice to follow these “one anothers.”
- Is there any way you’d like to begin applying one of these “one anothers” to our Life Group?
- What would it be like for a Life Group if the members were consistently carrying out the “one anothers” with each other?
In what ways have you been impacted because someone has made the choice to follow one of these “one another” commands with you?
Prayer Tip: As part of your prayer time, you may want to spend some time praising God for how strong and powerful He is as revealed in the Isaiah 40 passage. Or you could take some time right after you discuss the passage to use it as a praise guide. An easy way to use a passage of Scripture as a praise guide is to invite your group members to read a phrase or verse from the passage and then express their praise or thanksgiving based on what the phrase tells us about God. Or they can turn a phrase into a prayer.
Here are a couple examples:
- “Father, I praise you that ‘You give strength to the weary and increase the power of the weak’ and that when we hope in You, you’ll renew our strength.”
- “Father, I praise and thank you that you are the good shepherd, and you gather us sheep in your arms, and you carry us close to your heart.”
- “Father, I praise you that you have complete control over the nations of the world and the leaders of the world. You can easily bring princes to naught and reduce the rulers of this world to nothing. Before you all the nations are like a drop in a bucket; and you regard them as dust on the scales.”
You also may want to take some time to pray for what’s going on in Ukraine. We have several missionaries from North Coast who are directly affected by the war – Christy Owen with Josiah Venture who is serving in Ukraine but is in the Czech Republic now, and Casey & Kristin Yorman who are serving in the Czech Republic.
Looking back on this week’s sermon and study, what’s most important for you to remember?
NORTH COAST CHURCH WOMEN’S CONFERENCE
Women of all ages and stages – this event is for YOU! Join the women of North Coast Church March 18 & 19 at the Vista Campus as we dig into the theme, Freedom in Christ. Enjoy worship, prayer, breakout sessions and many fun activities! For more details and to register, visit northcoastchurch.com/womens-conference/.