Leader Guide 2024: Winter Week 6


For the week of February 18, 2024
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.


  • 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.
  • Hear from everyone every time you meet! Setting time limits can help make this happen.

Begin to think about what service project you would like to do. Check our website for some options: northcoastcommunityservice.org  


Community Service Options: northcoastcommunityservice.org 
Online Social Ideas: lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/group-socials/
In-person Social Ideas: lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/suggestions-for-socials/


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 (and friends in 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!  CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS!

Quick Review

What was your favorite part of the message this weekend? Was there anything that challenged or confused you?

My story

1. Chris talked about prayer as connecting to the one we’re talking to. Who is your favorite person to talk to and hang out with? Why do you like talking to them?

Additional Question: As you think about why you enjoy talking to them, do you see any similarities between talking with this person and talking with God?

2. In the verses we read this weekend, John wants believers to be sure and confident in Christ. Baseball players have a walk-up song that gives them confidence when they go up to bat. If you could pick a song that gives you confidence, what would it be?

Have fun with this one!

John gives us the answers for how we know we are in Christ. Read 1 John 3:19-24 and write down any observations or questions you have.

1 John 3:19-24 New International Version (NIV)
19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

Note: Question 1 and the questions that follow have to do with prayer, and Question 2 and the questions that follow have to do with guilt and shame and how God views us. You may want to ask your group which topic resonates with them the most and pick one of the two topics to focus your discussion on.

1. Verses 21-22 can bring up questions for those of us who love God and still have prayers He hasn’t answered or things we’ve asked for and haven’t received. Chris gave us three points about prayer. What was your response to hearing those? Did any of them resonate with you? Were any of them hard to hear? Explain.

Additional Questions:

  • Are there any questions you still have or are wrestling with when it comes to unanswered prayer, even after hearing these points?
  • If you were to try to explain to someone why God seems to answer some prayers and not answer others, what would you say?

Additional Verses:

Take a moment to think about your prayer life and the things you ask God for most. What does it look like to trust or desire God’s will in those things even if it doesn’t match your will?

Try to think of specific examples on this if you can. What does it look like in your job, your housing, your relationships, your family’s lives, etc. for the specific things you’re praying for? i.e., I am praying for _______________ but if that’s not God’s will, I will ______________________.

Additional Question: What can we learn from the example of Jesus praying for God’s will in Luke 22:39-44?

Have you experienced God changing you through prayer even when He didn’t change your life or circumstances? If so, what was that like?

Everyone may not have an answer for this, but some could have a powerful testimony to share of how God worked through unanswered prayers. Or it could be as simple as “it stretched my faith and grew my relationship with God.” Sometimes unanswered prayers or troubling times are the greatest catalyst for a deepening friendship with God.  

How do you or can you remember to think of prayer as connecting with God even as you bring Him your wants and requests?

Additional Question: Sometimes unanswered prayers bring up frustration, disappointment, and confusion in our relationship with God. Scripture also shows us plenty of people who have been frustrated, disappointed or confused by God. Psalm 22 is just one example. What does it look like to continue connecting with God in prayer even if you feel these things?

2. Sometimes we can still struggle with feeling condemned or feeling guilt and shame, even though God does not find us guilty in Christ. Read God’s view of condemnation (or a guilty verdict) for the Christian in Romans 8:1-4, note any observations, and answer the following questions.

Romans 8:1-4 New International Version (NIV)
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 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, 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.

Guilt is the feeling that I’ve done something wrong, and shame is the feeling that I am wrong. What are some common “yeah, but…” reasons we come up with when we are struggling with guilt and shame or just not feeling sure about how God views us? (Example: Yeah, but you don’t know what I’ve done.)

You can brainstorm a list together as a group. This doesn’t have to be personal to you but can include reasons you’ve heard or seen.

More examples:

  • Yeah, but I turned my back on God, and I don’t know if He wants me back.
  • Yeah, but God loves everybody, that doesn’t say anything about me.
  • Yeah, but I’ll never be as strong in my faith or as good as that person.
  • Yeah, but this is who I am, and I don’t know how to change.
  • Yeah, but I don’t know enough, I’m not enough, etc.

You can also split into smaller groups or groups of men and women to come up with lists together and then come back together as a group.

How would you respond to those “yeah, but…” statements if it were someone you love and you wanted to encourage them with what you know about God or these verses?

You can select specific “yeah, but” statements from your previous answer to respond to, and once again, brainstorm responses as a group or splitting into smaller groups.

Is there a “yeah, but…” you have struggled with or are still struggling with? Write it down on a piece of paper and find a way to physically and permanently get rid of it (i.e., burn it, shred it, dig a hole and bury it, etc.), then share your experience with your group.

Everyone may not have done this activity, and that’s okay. You can decide as a group to do it in the next week and come back and share next week.

Is there one thing you would like to focus on from this week’s teaching or need prayer for?