Leader Guide 2024: Spring Week 3


For the week of April 7, 2024
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.

Need help working out an isssue, trying to get everyone in your group to participate, have a dominator taking over, or anything else? If so, we’d love to help! Don’t hesitate to contact your Life Group Pastor to help you process and strategize to keep your group and you moving forward. lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/staff/

Begin to think about 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/

Check out our Tips and Tutorials for Online Groups here: lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/pro-tips/

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

White Water Vacation Adventure for Leaders/Hosts & their Life Group
June 22-26
Back by popular demand! 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, along with Kameron & Emily Drawhorn on staff at the San Marcos / Escondido campus. And this year we’ve added the opportunity to invite anyone in your Life Group. Enjoy nature, community, and a time to be refreshed and encouraged spiritually!  REGISTRATION NOW OPEN  lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/whitewater/

 Reminder – We know you know, but we’ll keep saying it, it’s that important. There are a number of great questions that can take your discussion this week in various directions. As a leader, you’re helping create a road map through the questions each week to get everyone involved. There’s a variety of routes through the questions, viewing each question as an option or route to take, remembering there is no way to go through all the routes offered.  

Note on ending your group time this week – You have the option to end your group time listening and worshiping to the song I Believe all our campuses closed the weekend services with. Also, if you haven’t already, make sure allow time to take prayer requests and time to prayer.  (see last week’s leader guide on prayer tips)

1. Gaius and Diotrephes were written about by name in the Bible. If there was a 4 John, what is one sentence you’d want to be written about you?

2. Chris asked us to consider the question, “How is your soul?” through the fruit of the Spirit. What was your immediate response to that question?

Additional Verses & Question: Fruit of Spirit Galatians 5:22, 23. Is there one you’ve seen God grow in you? Is there one, you sense being tested?  Are there certain situations you see them being tested?  

3. What point or idea have you remembered most since hearing this weekend’s message?

This could be a question you have everyone answer. Of course, some may say they haven’t thought of it, and that’s OK. That’s the great thing about Life Group, it helps us remember.

Discussion Tip: If you’re having the same person always start, set up the question by asking someone else to start, and then go around the circle from there.

1. Re-read 3 John and notice the character traits John calls out in Gaius and Diotrephes. Where do you see Christ in these traits? I.e., how did Jesus model or not model these?

Brainstorm with your group how Jesus’ modeled faithfulness, hospitality and generosity. 

Additional Verses:  John 1:14; John 13:1-20; Luke 22:42-44; Hebrews 12:2-3, Luke 6:35, 36    

2. Looking at those traits, what do you think that kind of life looked like for each of these men? How might they have carried themselves in their homes, jobs, or communities? What might it look like today if someone were described in this way?

Asking you to use your imagination a little bit. What does a faithful person do, etc., back then and today?

1. As you look at the traits of the two men, which one do you naturally tend to lean toward? Is there one you wish you leaned toward more?

Discussion Tip: You may want to add this statement to set this up by mentioning that “we all, at times, can lean the wrong way”. This kind of vulnerability or realization helps create safety for those in your group to share, and also for the more overconfident or lacking approachability to be more vulnerable and self-aware. 

  • When do you lean the wrong way? Can you think of what causes that or why you do it?
  • When do you find it hard to lean the right way?

2. Have you ever been the recipient of extreme hospitality like Gaius’ or extreme selfishness like Diotrephes’? If so, what did you learn from that example that you want to emulate or avoid in your life?

Be careful not to just talk poorly about a selfish person but rather to talk about what it made you want to do differently.

1. As we consider “our move,” what do you hope North Coast Church’s reputation will be to our surrounding communities? If you make up the church, what can you do in your day-to-day interactions with those around you to add to that reputation?

Additional Question: What do you think YOUR reputation is among the people you interact with?

2. Most of us find parts of culture difficult to understand or welcome with open arms. How do we prepare our hearts to be generous, hospitable, and welcoming as a church to reach people who may be different or push our buttons?

Additional Questions:

  • More directly: how do YOU need to prepare your heart?
  • Take an unbiased look at your life this last week. Did you tend to worry more about the name of Christ and representing His character or your own name? 
  • When do you find it difficult to love? How do you love and still disagree?

*We cannot hold those who don’t know Jesus to the same standard as our brothers and sister in Christ.   


Verses that help us love and live the truth:

Matthew 5:13-16

Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves”

James 1:19 “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry”

Ephesians 4:2 “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” 

Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”

Matthew 5:43-46 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor z and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?”

Note on Creating a Safe Environment in Your Group: 

This week, you may want to follow up on Chris’s mention of ensuring our groups are safe and have a place to share.  

“As Chris mentioned in this weekend’s message, we all want our group to be a safe place to share our struggles. This is why listening while someone is talking is always important, and not giving unsolicited advice is essential. We never know when someone wants to share a need or difficulty they are dealing with, and I, as a leader, want to help facilitate that. You may be more comfortable sharing one-on-one. I could also provide a referral to someone you can talk with. Please know I am also available for that as our group’s leader.” 

*There are various reasons why someone may or may not feel safe to share in your group. See below for more explanation.

Keeping Your Group Safe:  

Offering a safe and trustworthy group is essential to all of us to gain the support and encouragement we need to follow Jesus and do life. Some people may feel unsafe sharing in a group or with another person.This can take place for several reasons: 

1) Because a person doesn’t know the group well enough. Building trust and safety takes time. Some people find sharing easy and are willing to share their lives and situations with their Life Group. Some people don’t like to share or find sharing is difficult. With time, people know if their group will listen and understand or even be judged. 

2) The depth of what a person may want to disclose – we know not everything needs to be shared with the entire Life Group. The important part is that the people have a place to share, be it in your group or with other group individuals.  

3) The Group dynamics in your group.The way your group interacts may need some adjustments. Here are a few things that can help your group be a place where people can share their hurts and struggles safely.  

Group Dynamics: Building trust and safety takes time. These following characteristics help build trust over time. 

  • Ensure everyone in your group is allowed to participate in group activities every week and is paid attention to. This will include helping draw some out and setting time limits with others.
  • We are to accept one another – jokes, sarcasm, and judgmental comments about things we don’t prefer or disagree with can shut down conversation quickly and willingness to open up.
  • Openness to hear people share their lives without giving unsolicited advice. The goal of your group is not to solve people’s problems but to offer the support they need as they deal with them. When someone shares something, we should thank them for what was shared without giving advice. Let them know you’ll be praying for them.
  • For more context, ask these Four Q’s to get more context if appropriate:
  • How long has this been part of your life?
  • Who else have you shared this with?
  • Have you received any other counsel about this?
  • What would you like to do from here, and what would you like us to do? 

Life Group leader – If you need help creating a safe environment in your group, don’t hesitate to contact your Life Group pastor.   

Closing Time in Worship Option and Prayer

 I BELIEVE – similar to have we ended our services you can use this song to close your time to in worship –

Our Father everlasting
The all-creating One
God Almighty
Through your Holy Spirit
Conceiving Christ the Son
Jesus our Saviour

I believe in God our Father
I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit
Our God is three in One
I believe in the resurrection
That we will rise again
For I believe in the Name of Jesus

(lyrics continue)

Prayer Requests (if you have limited time for this, breaking into smaller groups can give people the time to share and prayer.)

Prayer is an important part of being in a Life Group. Over the years, we’ve found that group prayer goes better when we follow three simple guidelines.

WE PRAY FOR ONE TOPIC AT A TIME – Anyone in the group is free to introduce a prayer request, either before prayer begins or during the prayer time. Once a topic is introduced, the group focuses on that request alone. Once it’s covered, the group moves on to the next topic.

PRAY MORE THAN ONCE – Because the group is focusing on one topic at a time, each person is encouraged to pray several times during the prayer time for those topics they feel most led to pray about. No one is required to pray.

WE KEEP OUR PRAYERS SHORT AND SIMPLE – Group prayer goes better when members keep their prayers short and to the point. When someone prays for a long time, it’s hard for the other members to stay focused and long prayers tend to intimidate those who are just learning to pray out loud in a group. No one is required to pray out loud.