LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of May 14, 2023
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
DISCUSS PLANS FOR THE FALL & NEXT WEEK
Next week is the last meeting of the quarter. Find out from your group if they know their Life Group plans for the fall. They can indicate their plans on the Feedback Forms, too. Also, don’t forget to let us know of any roster updates that you know of, or changes to your meeting day, time or location for the Fall Quarter.
PRAYER FOR NEW FALL LIFE GROUP LEADERS & HOSTS
Take some time to pray for new Leaders and Hosts to launch new Life Groups in the Fall.
SUMMER CONNECTION IDEAS
- Over the summer, you may want to consider planning a social with your group at the beach, having a game night, going out to dinner, attending one of our summer events/classes or meeting for guys-only/girls-only breakfast once or twice.
- You may also consider sending out prayer requests via email, text or mail; this is a great way to keep people connected.
- Fall Life Group Signups: September 2-17
- Fall Life Group Quarter: September 17 – December 2
ONLINE FEEDBACK FORMS COMING NEXT WEEK
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
Pastor Chris shared some simply profound truths about light this weekend. As you look back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything you heard for the first time, something that caught your attention, challenged how you will live your life going forward or confused you?
1. Can you think of a time when you found yourself in darkness and needed some light? What did you do? Did you find a light?
Everyone should be able to think of an example of this. Needing a flashlight during a power outage, a camping trip needing to look for your lantern in the middle of the night, etc. Hopefully, some fun stories come out of this question.
2. Pastor Chris reminds us that the cross changes everything – our past, our identity and our future. Then he used three stark contrasts about the changes from guilt to grace, sinner to saint, and death to life. Which of these three resonated the most with you?
Additional Questions: What is the hardest one for you to receive or process? Why do you think it’s a difficult one to accept?
1. In the message, Pastor Chris touched on the passage Ephesians 5:8-16. Grab a pen and a highlighter. Highlight anything you find encouraging since we are no longer in darkness. Circle the “don’t dos” and underline the “dos” from the passage below.
Ephesians 5:8-16 New International Version (NIV)
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Paul’s instructions to the church in Ephesus are applicable to us today as we walk in the light of the cross. Is there a particular “don’t do” that stuck out to you? Is there a “do” that you want to spend some time focusing on this coming week?
This passage has the potential to stir up some good conversation, especially around foolish decisions, sins, regret, etc. Be prepared for something heavy to come up. Be ready to encourage that even though there may have been some unwise life choices, there is redemption and forgiveness through confession and turning from our sin. It’s not until sin is brought to the light that healing can begin. You may even want to encourage your group that if there is something that has not been brought into the light (even something that may seems small) to share it with a trusted friend, spouse, life group leader, or pastor. The passage ends with a sweet encouragement to be filled with the Spirit and give God thanks.
Additional Questions: What does it look like in our daily lives to “make the most of every opportunity” (vs 6)? After reading this passage and doing this exercise, could there be something you would like to ask God to help you with? Or, is there something you would like to thank Him for providing?
2. Pastor Chris ended with the powerful truth that God’s game plan involves us! His childhood realization that the moon was not producing light, but reflecting light from the sun is an incredible picture of what we get to do. We are to be men and women who reflect the Son. What a privilege that we are called, and get to be the light of the world representing Christ. Read verses Philippians 2:12-16, Matthew 5:15-16 and 1 Peter 2:11-12. What new insights or reminders do you see that are helpful as we reflect the Son and walk in our spiritual mandate to be the light of the world?
Philippians 2:12-16 New International Version (NIV)
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.
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.
1 Peter 2:11-12 New International Version (NIV)
11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
Is there anything about this calling that excites you? Is there anything about this calling that scares you? What fears or pressures might come with the knowledge that we are to be the light of the world? Where do you find encouragement as you live out this calling?
Additional Questions: For some it may seem like too much pressure to live as the light of the world. Others pick up their swords and head to war. Can you think of a person who takes this calling and uses these verses to the extreme, by turning into a “jerk for Jesus” or hiding their light because they are too afraid to be a bad witness?
Additional Verse: Acts 4:32-35
Looking back over the message notes and study questions, what is the one truth you want to focus on incorporating into your life this week?