LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of February 12, 2023
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
|Need help with anything? We’re here to help! Don’t hesitate to contact your life group pastor if you need some extra help leading the discussion, or addressing a specific topic or personal issue that has surfaced in your group.
Begin to FINALIZE PLANS FOR YOUR SOCIAL and/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: https://lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/group-socials/
In-person Social Ideas: https://lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/suggestions-for-socials/
COMING SOON: SERVE YOUR CITY
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
Check out our Tips and Tutorials for Online Groups here: https://lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/pro-tips/
White Water Vacation Adventure for Leaders & Hosts! July 19-23!Join us for an adventure of a lifetime whitewater rafting down the Klamath River! Led by Life Group Pastor Dave Enns and his wife Koreena, enjoy nature, community, and a time to be refreshed and encouraged spiritually! Click HERE for more info.
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. What was your first response when you heard Chris say that Jesus is the answer to every question? If you told that to someone else, what are some responses you think people might have?
Sometimes this can feel like a really poorly thought-out answer to some really hard questions. It can feel this way because we say it void of the care and compassion that Jesus Himself calls us to.
2. John 3:16 is quite possibly the most well-known verse in the Bible. Have you ever seen the words or reference of John 3:16 posted or displayed outside of a church setting? If so, what is the most creative way you have seen it? Has your perspective changed on this very familiar verse after hearing this weekend’s sermon?
This Sunday was the Super Bowl! You may ask if anyone who watched it saw it referenced there.
We heard this weekend about the good news of Jesus and how it changes everything. At times, we can fall into thinking it is only about personal salvation and getting to heaven, but it is so much more. It deals with our sin in far greater ways than we realize. Sin isn’t just an action we struggle to control but a power that distorts our relationship with God. He doesn’t just save us; He also transforms us. Let’s dig into Romans 8 and see how.
1. Sometimes we can get stuck in an area and believe there is no hope of change for us. Read Romans 8:1-4 and note the ways the gospel has changed us.
Romans 8:1-4 New International Version (NIV)
8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
We are no longer condemned, free from sin and death, made righteous, given the Spirit.
We can fall into thinking that because we sin, we are still sinners, but the gospel changes that. What aspect of the above passage is most difficult for you to believe about yourself?
This can be one of the most difficult things to believe about the Gospel, that we are made new. We no longer are sinners but are a new creation. Feel free to help your group see that they do not need to identify with their past, but can step into a new identity.
Can you think of any ways a new identity in Christ could change the way you think about areas of struggle in life?
Let this be an uplifting conversation. Allowing people to reflect on this could be really powerful and encouraging. Some people may not have anything to share, while others may share about a current struggle where this could be a massive shift for them in their thinking.
Additional Question: How does the concept of freedom play out in your commitment to follow Jesus?
2. As you read Romans 8:5-17 write down two lists: one with everything you see the Spirit offers us and the other with the difficulties we struggle against.
Romans 8:5-17 New International Version (NIV)
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. 12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Additional Question: The reason for Romans 8 is in response to Romans 7:14-25. It gives us a glimpse into Paul’s mind as he struggles with sin in his life and offers us the solution. Have you ever felt like there are certain areas in life that no matter what you do things won’t get better?
As you look at each list, pick one that catches your attention the most and explain why.
In order to allow more people to share, this could be one of those questions you break off into smaller groups for.
Have you ever seen anyone in your life work through an area of sin well? If so, what did they do that stuck with you?
Has there ever been a moment when you suddenly realized that something you were doing was sinful? How have you seen the Spirit guide you through that area in your life?
Sometimes we can be surprised by sin in our lives. It could be a rude comment, for example— the hope is that we don’t stay in those places but allow the Spirit to grow us past it.
Is there a question you’ve been wrestling with lately? How can you apply the answer “Jesus” to that question this week?
Reinforce that this question is for us to ask ourselves personally, it isn’t the answer we give to other people. We don’t want to give “fluffy” answers to someone who may be dealing with difficult things, but for us in the context of this week’s sermon and homework, we want to process how looking through the lens of what Jesus has done for us can meet us in whatever question we may be asking. *Listen to the leader guide audio for more
Friday, March 3 – Saturday, March 4
Join the women of North Coast Church for this two-day event hosted at the Vista Campus. The conference will dig into the theme of being Made New with special guest speakers Hosanna Wong and Jada Edwards. Cost is $79/person. (Price increases beginning Feb. 16.) Register today at northcoastchurch.com/womens-conference/