LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of October 14, 2018
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
About Politics in Life Group:
Remember to keep politics COMPLETELY out of your Life Group discussions during this election cycle. Despite the fact that there may seem to be a predominant political persuasion in our church and in your group, we exist to minister to everyone who wants to know Jesus. Every election cycle we have new Christians, seekers, and even long-time Christians who are deeply offended when comments, jokes, and even prayer requests send the message that people who vote their way are not welcome here.
If someone in your group starts to take things in a political direction (be it with humor, a rant, or even a “prayer request” for a specific outcome) gently remind them that the body of Christ (and North Coast Church) is made up of followers of Jesus – some of whom are Republican, Independents, Democrats, Tea Party etc.
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 end of this guide for more details.
Make sure you attend the Mid-Quarter Training session for Leaders and Hosts. You can RSVP online by clicking the links below.
Vista Campus Stations in Life:
(Other Campuses – please check with your Campus Life Group Pastor).
Arise – Oct. 25
Empty Nest – Oct. 28, 3 & 4
General – Oct. 21 & 27
Military – Oct. 21
Parents of Kids, K-6 – Oct. 28
Parents of Teens – Oct. 28, 3 & 4
Senior Adults – TBA
Singles – Oct. 20
Spanish Speaking – Oct. 27
Special Studies – Oct. 28, 3 & 4
Targeted – Oct. 28, 3 & 4
Young Families – Nov. 3 & 4
Young Marrieds – Nov. 3 & 4
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.
This weekend Chris mentioned 1 John, 2 John and 3 John are books written at the end of John’s life and are a summary of his most important points as someone who walked with Jesus. This week we’ll be focusing on the book of 1 John in the study questions as we continue to learn how God desires us to live and love differently as his followers. Take 5-10 minutes and read the entire book of 1 John (don’t worry, it’s short!). Underline anything that catches your attention. For an extra challenge, write a word or two in the margin next to each chapter that summarizes it.
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?
- As Chris mentioned, many of us wonder “why doesn’t God just show himself?” Yet others would say there are examples we can see. What’s your opinion?
For those who say God shows himself, examples could be in nature, in miracles, through loving relationships, recovery from injury, people placed in your life, etc.
Verse for context: Matthew 12:38-40
- Pick a few of your highlights that you underlined in reading 1 John and share why you highlighted them.
Attention! This is a great option you could choose to spend your entire group time discussing. Options could be to have everyone share a verse they underlined from each chapter, the group could share their top pick, or you could break into smaller groups with each group assigned to summarize a chapter.
1. Our “walk” with God has to do with how we live out our faith on a daily basis. Take a moment and read 2 John verse 6 and note how John stresses the importance of how we walk, telling readers to “walk” in obedience and love. How does 1 John 1:5-10 shed light on the following questions?
2 John 6 – 6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
1 John 1:5-10 – 5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
What are the consequences of not walking in obedience and love?
We don’t live in truth.
“Many Christians are not aware of their true condition. They know they are saved, and have experienced conversion and have repented at some time in their life. Yet they do not live in true fellowship with God.” – Guzik
What are the benefits of walking in obedience and love?
Fellowship with one another, sins are covered, forgiveness, purified from unrighteousness.
“The Christian life is described as walking, which implies activity. Christian life feeds upon contemplation, but it displays itself in action. “Walking” implies action, continuity, and progress. Since God is active and walking, if you have fellowship with Him, you will also be active and walking” – Guzik
Additional Verse: 1 John 4:7-12
Additional Question: According to 1 John 2:3-11, what does our obedience say about our faith? 1 John 1:5 talks about walking in the light; what do you think that means?
Can you think of any ways the consequences and benefits you wrote down have shown up in your own life?
Alternate Question: You can open this up by not limiting answers to what they wrote down in relation to the passage. Can you think of any consequences or benefits that have shown up in your own life?
2. As Chris mentioned this weekend, John’s messages became more and more centered on love towards the end of his life. 1 John 2:15-17 moves from how we love people, to how we love (or don’t love) this world and the culture we live in today. After reading through the passage, can you think of any examples in the following areas of what it looks like to love the world, versus loving God?
1 John 2:15-17 – 15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
|Loving the World||Loving God|
|Work||Work for achievement, gain, and prestige||Colossians 3:23 “work for the Lord”|
|Family/Friends||Self-serving, me-focused||Serve others, respect and honor family and friends|
|Marriage||Conditional love, main goal to be happy||Unconditional love and in marriage unconditional respect, main goal is to be holy in marriage|
|Money||Love of money, stingy||Generous, give to the needy|
Additional Question: Can you think of any times you’ve moved from “Loving God” back to “Loving the World”? What happened?
Additional Verse: Matthew 6:19-20
Context: “There is the flesh’s desire. This means far more than what we mean by sins of the flesh. To use that expression has to do exclusively with sexual sin. But in the New Testament the flesh is that part of our nature which, when it is without the grace of Jesus Christ, offers a bridgehead to sin. It includes the sins of the flesh but also all worldly ambitions and selfish aims. To be subject to the flesh’s desire is to judge everything in this world by purely material standards. It is to live a life dominated by the senses. It is to be gluttonous in food; effeminate in luxury; lavish in pleasure; lustful and lax in morals; selfish in the use of possessions; regardless of all the spiritual values; extravagant in the gratification of material desires. (ii) There is the eye’s desire. This, as C. H. Dodd puts it is “the tendency to be captivated by outward show.” It is the spirit which identifies lavish ostentation with real prosperity. It is the spirit which can see nothing without wishing to acquire it and which, having acquired it, flaunts it. It is the spirit which believes that happiness is to be found in the things which money can buy and the eye can see; it has no values other than the material.” — Barclay
“The idea behind “the pride of life” is someone who lives for superiority over others, mostly by impressing others through outward appearances – even if by deception.” – Guzik
What perspective does 1 John 5:1-5 give for those struggling with a “love the world” mindset?
1 John 5:1-5 – Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of Godovercomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
His commands are for our good. Everyone born of God overcomes the world.
Additional Question: God’s demands are burdensome. Agree or disagree?
Additional Verse: John 16:33
Additional Question: How would you summarize hope given in 1 John 3:1-6?
3. Because we don’t currently live in our eternal home we will have challenges while on earth. What warning does 1 John 2:20-27 give that is a warning for us today as we “walk” with Jesus?
We can easily be deceived by things that look and smell like truth. John warns us to be aware of those who would try to lead us astray.
Additional Verse: 1 John 4:4
Looking back at this week’s teaching, can you think of any ways you could love God better by being better at loving others?
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