LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of October 15, 2023
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
NORTH COAST MEN’S CONFERENCE – OCTOBER 27 & 28
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, cornhole, pickleball and disc golf tournaments. If you have something you like to donate for the raffle, please contact Vikki at [email protected].
FINALIZE PLANS FOR YOUR SOCIAL and / or SERVICE PROJECT
Finalize plans for 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/
- Remember you don’t have to answer every question!
- Choose questions best suited to your group.
- Listen to the Audio Guide/Podcast for more discussion suggestions.
- Take prayer requests
- If you haven’t divided into male/female groups already, you may want to do so for prayer.
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
We just concluded Jesus’ prayer for US! 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. Have you ever heard that Jesus prayed for you specifically before? What was your response to knowing Jesus had you on His mind? Encouraged, surprised, a little nervous, other?
Discussion Note: Many people may never have known that Jesus had them on his mind and prayed for them before! How rad is that!
2. Is there a place or person where you feel more known and comfortable? If so, what is it about that place or person that allows you to feel so comfortable? If not, what would it take for you to feel comfortable?
Discussion Note: If someone doesn’t have a person, maybe they have a space. Try to unpack what it is that allows them to feel safe, or what they would need in order to feel like they could be comfortable.
Oftentimes in life we look at what makes us different from others instead of what we share in common. The beauty of the gospel is that we stand on the common ground of Christ’s gift of grace, mercy, and salvation, and submit to His authority above all else.
This week, we saw in Christ’s prayer for us, that He prays we would truly be marked by His character and reflect His love. As we dig deeper in Romans 12 this week, would we consider not how “others” need to respond, but how we as individuals submit to God’s Word with our minds and our behavior.
1. As you read Romans 12:1-2, you’ll notice God desires that we would know His will and do it. Looking closer at verses 3-8, circle reasons why we shouldn’t be measuring ourselves against other followers of Jesus.
Romans 12:1-8 New International Version (NIV)
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Discussion Note: We are all in this together as far as Jesus is concerned. We become family, and members of the same body like Chris unpacked this weekend. Each one of us has something to add which benefits everyone else. No one is better than the other, just different. Also note that this list in not exhaustive.
Lastly, if there are questions about prophecy a simple definition would be to make known the truths of God. We can sometimes be confused in thinking of prophecy as predicting the future. One way to think of it was before we had the Bible, prophets would speak the truths of God, now we have teachers, who declare the truths of God from His Word. It’s not just teachers only, but the purpose is always to build up and encourage others in their faith.
Additional Verse: 1 Corinthians 14:3
- If we are prone to drift into the world’s way of thinking, how can we renew our minds to discern God’s will?
- Look at Philippians 4:8-9 and Colossians 3:1-2. What do they encourage us in and how could we apply that to our lives this week?
Did you notice that the list mentioned in verses 6-8 is overwhelmingly positive and for the betterment of the whole? What are some things you notice about the way God made you that can help others in their faith? Think of two or three things you’re good at and you enjoy.
Discussion Note: Allow people time to think if they haven’t gotten around to it yet. If you are a group that has been together awhile, speak into each other’s lives from what you may have noticed about one another at this point too. Sometimes someone might not know that they bring a lot to the group or community and so telling them can be a really neat encouragement.
If you have a newer group, take some time brainstorming together what might be a neat ability God’s given someone and how they could use it to help others.
Can you think of any ways God can use your abilities or gifts?
2. Read Romans 12:9-21 and make a list of ways we are to respond to one another.
Romans 12:9-21 New International Version (NIV)
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Make the list together as a group if you want. Sometimes it can be easy to look at this list and drill down on one or two that we really have an issue with or feel like this is the most important thing mentioned. Instead, encourage your group to look at the list as a whole and what is says about what we are to look like.
None of us could say we fulfill the above list completely, and that is okay— that is why Christ came. He did it perfectly. Now He invites us to be imitators of Him (Ephesians 5:1-2) and, with the gift of the Holy Spirit, to live in a way that is different from the world. Circle your top two you believe you do well. Then, circle your bottom two you struggle with.
Why do you think your top two come easily, but your bottom two are difficult? Is there a context in which you are more likely to be in line with the characteristics of this list? What about a context in which it becomes more difficult?
Additional Verses: Matthew 5:43-44
Jesus doesn’t always change our hearts in certain contexts. Sometimes I have heard or even prayed myself that God would give me a heart of love for someone I struggle with, however, Jesus calls me to love that person in the midst of the struggle, not that it would miraculously no longer be a struggle for me.
Have you ever seen a follower of Jesus disagree with someone and yet still display Jesus’ love well? What did that person do or not do that allowed Christ to shine brightly? How do you think the person on the other end of the conversation felt afterwards?
Sometimes the beauty is beheld in what someone doesn’t do or say that really communicates Christ’s love. Look at how Jesus responds in John 8:1-11 with the woman caught in adultery.
Additional Question: Looking just at Romans 12:19-21, why do you think allowing God to be the judge allows us to display grace so much more generously?
When we can really be freed up in trusting that God is going to take care of the judgement piece, we can be more kind and compassionate to those who are lost and hurting in the world, even when their worldview stands in drastic difference to ours.
How could you use the unique ways God made you to help create a safe space in your Life Group this week?
Pray for Israel and the Gaza Strip:
1. Pray for a miraculous de-escalation of this conflict and peace between Israel and Palestine.
2. Pray for those grieving the sudden loss of loved ones and the humanitarian needs of the many displaced.
3. Pray the hostages would be returned to their families and no harm brought upon them.
4. Pray for godly wisdom for the leadership of Israel and the other world leaders to effectively bring about peace.
5. Pray for the followers of Jesus that are there that they may be a beacon of God’s hope, help, and strength.
6. Pray for God’s Sovereignty and His will to be carried out in the Middle East.
Join us Friday evening, October 27 & Saturday morning, October 28, for the North Coast Men’s Conference held at the Vista Campus! Come enjoy teaching led by pastors Chris Brown and Ricky Jenkins, along with worship, activities and competitions!
Register at northcoastchurch.com/mens-conference/