LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of September 30, 2018
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
These notes are designed to be a resource as you lead your Life Group each week.
Things to Remember:
- Drinks when people arrive
Goals for the Evening:
- Continue to build relationships
- Pray together
- Finalize plans for your social
- Talk about service project options
⇨ REAL MAN WEEKEND – OCTOBER 26-28
This is a great opportunity for the guys in your Life Group to get connected. Getting away for an entire weekend together facilitates connections that typically take months to realize. See the back of the homework for more details.
Remember to turn in your signed Life Group Covenants. Email it to your Life Group Admin, turn it in by mail, or drop it off at the office or at the Info Booth on your campus by Sun, Oct. 7.
- Remind the group of the reason why we are doing these exercises: in order to get to know one another better.
- Be prepared to give sample responses.
- If you want to split up into groups of four to six people remember:
1. Consider making up groups ahead of time
2. Appoint a leader
3. Give a time guideline
4. Give a time warning a few minutes before time is up
The “Getting To Know You” questions are a great way to spend time breaking the ice with a new group or new members in an existing group. Feel free to add any fun questions you think would get dialogue going.
Start group with the game “Two Truths and a Lie” where each member of the group has to write down two truthful things about themselves and one lie, and then have the rest of the group guess what is the truth and what is a lie.
Submit your group’s attendance online through the Leader Toolbox here: members.northcoastchurch.com. If you’re not sure how to post attendance, click here for step-by-step instructions. Use the Leader’s comment box to share with us the most significant events of your Life Group meetings. You can also list any changes made in your group.
- What is a hobby you enjoy that you use to do, are currently doing or hope to pursue in the future? Why does that hobby interest you?
This week we only have one Getting To Know You question. Feel free to use it or not. If you do use this question, it would be a good question to have everyone answer.
- Can you think of a time in your life when you failed at something you were trying to do? Perhaps it was a class in school, a big test, a try out for a sports team or trying a new hobby. How did you respond to the failure?
How did those around you, who knew of your failure, respond?
Note: Often times we are harder on ourselves than other people are on us when we fail.
- Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything you heard for the first time or that caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
Note: This question will return to its normal place as our Quick Review question next week. If someone shares something that relates to one of the Digging Deeper questions, you might want to skip directly to that question.
1. This weekend Larry unpacked the three steps we need to take if we want to fly again after we’ve sinned. Larry mentioned that one of these steps (#2) shows up in Psalm 51, which David wrote after being confronted by Nathan about his adultery with Bathsheba. As you read the psalm, look for where you think the other two steps Larry mentioned also show up.
Here’s a link to a short video that helps dramatizes the story of Nathan confronting David. https://youtu.be/8NHBgWfBNW0
What stands out to you about how David views sin and God?
Which part of David’s prayer and confession do you relate to the most?
- What changes when we acknowledge our sins and ask for forgiveness?
- How should we treat others as a result of the freedom and forgiveness God has shared with us? See verse 13.
- How would you define “repentance?” Do you think most people in our community think much about repentance?
- How do you know if repentance is real? What is the result of genuine repentance?
- Which attributes of God does David count on in his request for forgiveness? How had David experienced these characteristics of God before?
- In these verses, David prays for spiritual renewal. Why is renewal important after forgiveness? How do David’s requests in these verses contribute to spiritual renewal?
- How do past sins impact a person’s sense of value and ability to serve God?
- What does David mean in stating that it was only against God he had sinned, when others were clearly hurt?
- Can you think of any modern-day examples of how we confuse sacrifice (religious duty) with a broken or contrite spirit as seen in verses 16 & 17?
2. We heard this weekend that, just like David, when we mess up and sin God forgives and even provides us with a Plan “B”. This forgiveness and new start is made possible because of God’s grace. Grace is a rich theological term that can be defined as “unmerited favor” and God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.
Ephesians 2:1-10 is one of the greatest passages in the Bible about grace. What does it teach us about why grace is needed and what grace makes available to us?
- What does this passage teach us about the condition of humans?
- What attributes of God do you see mentioned in this passage?
- After reading verses 1-3 how do you feel when you read the words “But …God” in verse 4? What would the world be like without those words?
- What does this passage teach us about sin and its consequences for us?
- What is your “but God” moment? The moment when everything changed spiritually for you? (If you use this question, it’s probably better to let people volunteer to answer rather than have everyone answer as some in your group may not have had a “but God” moment yet.)
How do you see the two definitions of grace supported by this passage?
This passage clearly states that grace is free and can’t be earned yet many people still struggle with this truth. Can you think of any subtle ways that people try to earn God’s grace, even though they know it can’t be earned?
Additional Question: Is there one of these ways of trying to earn God’s grace that you’ve used more than the others?
The significance of grace can be seen in a story involving the Christian author C. S. Lewis. During a British conference on comparative religions, experts from around the world were discussing whether any one belief was unique to the Christian faith. The debate went on for some time until C. S. Lewis wandered into the room. When he heard that his colleagues were discussing Christianity’s unique contribution among world religions, he responded, “Oh, that’s easy. It’s grace.” Philip Yancey in “What’s So Amazing About Grace?”
Why do you think Lewis chose grace over all the other potential Christian beliefs?
3. It is great news that God offers us forgiveness and a plan “B” when we confess and genuinely repent from our sin. However, avoiding sin is still a much better way to live. How could the following passages help us resist temptation and choose obedience so we can avoid experiencing the consequences of sin?
Galatians 6:7-8 – 7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
What can we learn from the farming process that helps us understand how our actions have consequences?
– There is a time lapse between planting and sowing. We don’t reap immediately after we sow.
– We sow what we reap. If you plant carrot seeds you get carrots. You don’t plant one seed and have another fruit or vegetable come up.
– If you don’t sow, you don’t reap. But for humans, there is no such thing as not sowing. All our actions have consequences.
Proverbs 27:12 – 12 The prudent see danger and take refuge,
but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
Note: This is such an important principle for all areas of life, not just for avoiding sin. The difference between the prudent and the simple is not what they see but what they do about what they see.
Additional Question: Can you think of any examples in your life when you saw danger and avoided it or you kept going and ended up paying the penalty? In other people’s lives?
Romans 6:11-14 – 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
1 Corinthians 10:13 – 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
Additional Question: Too often Christians try to avoid sin using just their own power rather than relying on God’s power. How could John 15:4-5 help us to rely on God’s strength rather than our own?
John 15:4-5 – 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Why do you think we still find ourselves struggling with sin even though we know the consequences, and we know what it cost Christ to provide us with forgiveness?
1. For personal reflection only. Is there any sin in your life that you’ve become aware of from this week’s sermon or study questions? If so, what is the next step you need to take in dealing with it?
Note: This is not a question to be asked during the group. It’s for personal reflection only.
2. Looking back on this week’s sermon and study, what’s most important for you to remember?
Lookin’ for some crazy guy stuff to do? Want to kick back or get refocused on God? Join us for another epic men’s weekend that will get you recharged and refreshed as our speakers lead us into a look at what a real man is and isn’t! The weekend will also include plenty of “man” event options like paintball, high ropes course, skeet shooting, archery, zipline, horseback riding, etc. Space is limited so don’t delay!
Register online at northcoastchurch.com/real-man-weekend