LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of October 21, 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
- Contact anyone that has missed a meeting to let them know you missed them
Goals for the Evening:
- Continue to build relationships
- Discuss the homework together
- Pray together
⇨ 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).
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.
Discussion reminder: Remember, every night you want to hear from everyone in your group. Think through how you’re going to ask questions so this happens – ask various individuals what they think, go around the circle, set time limits on answers so you have time to hear from everyone.
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?
1. This weekend’s message was about the false understandings people have about the definition of church. Growing up, when you thought about church, what image came to mind or what feeling did you experience?
Good question to have everyone answer.
What had the biggest impact on your image or feeling about church?
2. Christopher referred to giving money to the church as an essential act of worship. What do you think your friends and family who don’t attend church think about the idea of giving money to a church?
- In light of your friends’ reactions, how would you explain to them why you give money to the church?
- How has your attitude about giving changed over the years?
1. Christopher encouraged us to not be consumers who come to church simply to get what we can. Instead, he suggested we consider ourselves contributors and servants. What do you learn about what it means to be a servant (and what we can expect when we serve) from each of these passages?
- Have you ever been treated like a servant? If so, how did it feel and how did you respond?
- What do you think it’s like to be treated like a servant?
Note: If you have people in your group who have been, or currently are waiters or waitresses then they should have some great stories about being treated like a servant.
Matthew 20:20-28 – 20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.
21 “What is it you want?” he asked.
She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”
22 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”
“We can,” they answered.
23 Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”
24 When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus is addressing a common misunderstanding in that culture – that those with the most servants are the the most important. Jesus says that to be a leader means to serve others. He uses himself as the chief example of this principle.
Luke 17:7-10 – 7 “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9 Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”
Additional Question: How do these verses address the expectations people can have about what being a servant is all about?
What do you find most challenging about the attitude expressed in these verses?
How could understanding what it means to be a servant help someone serve with a positive attitude?
People who understand what it means to be a servant don’t have false expectations of being praised and thanked. They know that serving is often thankless and a good job goes unnoticed. Their motivation to serve is something other than praise and recognition.
2. A good example of someone who could have had a critical spirit and not honored his leadership is David when King Saul was searching for him to kill him. Obviously our struggle with a critical spirit is far different than what David faced, but how he responded to a situation he didn’t like can offer helpful insights for us. How could David’s attitude and actions found in 1 Samuel 24:1-13 help someone who is tempted towards having a critical spirit about things they don’t like at a church?
- Why was David reluctant to kill Saul even when he could have easily done so?
- How did David’s attitude towards Saul differ from his men’s attitude?
Can you think of any ways David’s attitude toward Saul could have affected his relationship with his men?
As David’s men saw how he honored Saul because he knew it was what God wanted him to do, I’m sure that impacted how they viewed David. My guess is that they knew they could trust him because he was “a man after God’s own heart.”
3. Being a contributor in a church instead of a consumer means we need to figure out how we can invest our time, talent and treasures in the church. The two passages below talk about serving in a church (called the “body of Christ” in these passages). How could these verses help us appreciate the differences in our roles and clarify the importance and purpose of carrying out our assignments?
Romans 12:3-8 – 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
God is the one who has distributed the gifts and abilities. We need to exercise our gifts with humility. We are not individuals, but part of a body where we are needed.
1 Corinthians 12:12-20 – 12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
We all have a different role to play and everyone is valuable and needed.
- How can we avoid gift envy (wishing we had someone else’s gifts or abilities)?
- How can we avoid gift projection (expecting everyone else to have the same gifts and abilities I do).
- How much do you struggle with gift envy or gift projection?
- Do you struggle with gift ignorance (not knowing what your gifts and abilities are)?
- If you don’t know your gifts or abilities, who could you talk to to help you figure those out?
- What does this passage say about how unity and diversity can occur at the same time in the body of Christ?
Have you ever found yourself serving in a role that didn’t fit you? What happened?
Not everyone will have an answer for this question, but if someone in your group has had this experience it would be really good to hear from them.
- What are some things that could happen when someone serves in a role that is not a good fit?
- At what point can thinking a role doesn’t fit become a cop-out for an unwillingness to serve?
- How can you balance serving in an area of need with serving in an area of giftedness?
What could happen if someone wasn’t playing their part?
- What could happen if a lot of people didn’t play their part?
- What could happen if most people in a church were playing their part?
Can you think of any benefits we get from sharing our gifts and abilities with others?
Serving isn’t just to help others. We benefit by being blessed to help others and contribute to their growth. We also grow when we step out in faith and serve. There is a sense of fulfillment we get from using our gifts to serve others.
Ephesians 2:10 – 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Philippians 1:6 – 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
As you think about making a contribution, are there any abilities and gifts you have that you could possibly use at church?
This would be a good question to talk about when you break down into men’s and women’s time.
Note: If your group knows each other well, you might want to take some time to talk about what gifts and abilities you see in each other and brainstorm how people could use those gifts to serve God and other people.
1. Looking back on this week’s sermon and study, what’s most important for you to remember?
2. One of the best ways to find out what your gifts and abilities are is to start serving. Below is just a sampling of the many ministries within the church where you could use your abilities. Are there any new service opportunities that you need to consider (or reconsider) as a result of this weekend’s teaching?
- Nursery or Children’s Ministries
- Student Ministries
- Adult Ministries
- Care / Concern / Connection Ministry
- Tech., Facilities, Administrative Ministries
- Community Service (Check out: northcoastchurch.com/service)
To get information on these and many other serving opportunities go to northcoastchurch.com/volunteers
Note: You may want to spend a few minutes finding out what ministries people in your group are involved in both inside and outside North Coast.
If you haven’t divided into smaller groups for prayer and application you may want to do that this week. Possibly divide into men-only / women-only groups. People’s willingness to share and open up can increase in a smaller group setting.