LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of October 28, 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
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 you don’t need to do all the questions. You may want to camp out at one question or you could spend your entire time talking through the section :”Living out my faith.”
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. Larry gave us three “dead-end detours” out of the book of Jude. Of the three, which do you think is the most common? Approaching God on my own terms, using God for my own gain, rejecting God’s chosen leaders. Good question to ask everyone.
Which is most tempting for you personally?
Additional Verses for context on Cain, Korah and Balaam:
Genesis 4:1-4; 1 John 3:12; Hebrews 11:14; Numbers 16:1-35; 2 Peter 2:12-16; Revelation 2:14
2. This weekend we were warned to never confuse the gospel with personal preferences, traditions and secondary issues (things the bible isn’t crystal clear about). Can you think of examples for any of these that you previously believed or thought were true?
Drinking, dating, kissing, gambling, smoking, clothing, music, movies, television, birth control, dancing, spending your money, home schooling, working moms, etc. Tattoos & body piercing, What entertainment is acceptable? What kind of music is okay? What can a Christian do or not do on Sunday? What about what you wear, what you eat and drink, or how you spend your free time?
Additional Verse: Romans 14
As we heard this weekend there will be people who want to deceive us, and often times these people appear to be friendly. One of the ways the bible tells us to protect ourselves from this threat is by being “rooted” in our faith. How do the following verses explain what being “rooted” does and how it impacts our faith?
Ephesians 3:16-19 – 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Being rooted and established in love and being able to understand how deep the love of God is.“Two expressions are used: ‘rooted,’ like a living tree which lays hold upon the soil, twists itself round the rocks, and cannot be upturned: ‘grounded,’ like a building which has been settled, as a whole, and will never show any cracks or flaws in the future through failures in the foundation.” (Spurgeon)
Colossians 1:21-23 – 21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
Hold firm to the hope in the gospel
Colossians 2:6-7 – 6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Being built up in him. Strengthened in the faith you were taught. Overflowing with thankfulness.
“It is not usual with the apostle to employ this double metaphor, taken partly from the growth of a tree and the increase of a building. They are to be rooted; as the good seed had been already sown, it is to take root, and the roots are to spread far, wide, and deep. They are to be grounded; as the foundation has already been laid, they are to build thereon. In the one case, they are to bear much fruit; in the other, they are to grow up to be a habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Clarke)
Jude 1:17-21 – 17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
There will be people who try to lead us astray. Build yourself up in your faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.
Can you think of any signs that someone has shallow roots in their faith? Any signs of deep faith roots?
Shallow roots: Fall to temptation easily, fall away from God, use God for own benefit, abandon faith when life gets hard.
Deep: Hold fast to biblical values, strong faith over years, service to others, shown in marriage, family, relationships.
What helps you sink spiritual roots?
Reading the Bible, consistent Bible study, fellowship with other believers, live out my faith.
Additional Questions: If you had to describe your current “root system” what would you say?
Can you think of any maintenance your roots need to stay healthy?
Additional Verses: Matthew 13:1-23
Jesus tells three parables about people looking for lost things to help us understand how God pursues lost people. What do we learn about God’s heart for lost people in Luke 15?
Context: Jesus is responding to the Pharisees and teachers of the law who should have been glad to see Jesus ministering to “sinner;” they weren’t.
Parable of the lost sheep – the Shepherd leaves the 99 behind to pursue the 1. When he finds it he joyfully puts it on his shoulders. He calls his friends and neighbors and says “rejoice with me.” “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
“Many rabbis of that time believed that God received the sinner who came to Him the right way. But in the parable of the shepherd and the sheep, Jesus taught that God actively seeks out the lost. He does not grudgingly receive the lost; instead, He searches after them. God finds the sinner more than the sinner does find God.” –Guzik
Parable of the lost coin – “there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
In a sense, the lost belong to God whether they know it or not. “The piece of silver was lost but still claimed. Observe that the woman called the money, ‘my piece which was lost.’ When she lost its possession she did not lose her right to it; it did not become somebody else’s when it slipped out of her hand and fell upon the floor.” Spurgeon
Parable of the lost son- “But while he was a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Bring him the best robe, put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet…bring the fattened calf.” “But we had to celebrate and be glad because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”
Additional Verse: Deuteronomy 21:15-21
How might Jesus’ pursuit of lost people help change or shape how we pursue lost people in our own lives? We can also make lost people a priority in our life.
Additional Questions: When you think of someone who is lost, who comes to mind? Would you ever consider yourself to be a lost person? How were you “found?”
How do these stories make you feel, knowing how much God values you?
Can you think of any people that were brought to faith by the kindness or compassion of someone?
What’s the closest you’ve come to hitting rock bottom like the prodigal son?
How might Romans 3:23-24 broaden your understanding of who a lost person is?
What might be a sign you aren’t viewing lost people the same way God does? Lack of compassion for marginalized people, avoid helping others or giving money, hatred.
Additional Verse: Romans 5:8
Larry gave us three ways to respond to those led astray. As you think through some of the people in your life who have been led astray, go back through each of the ways to respond and give examples of how you would put them into practice for the person/people you have in mind. [Note: If no one comes to mind, try to come up with examples of things you could do.]
The initials of a person I thought of who doubts are: _____
I can be merciful by: being understanding and patient with a doubting person
The initials of a person I thought of who is trapped in their sin are: _____
I can help them by: go to them, don’t judge, give compassion over judgment.
The initials of a person I thought of who is in high handed rebellion are: _____
I can mix mercy with fear by: speak the truth in love, be kind and gentle while also pointing out truth.
Looking back at the questions, are there any goals you’d like to work on in the next few days/weeks that could help you grow in the three areas below? Write out your answers beneath each option.
- Becoming rooted in faith:
- Understanding God’s pursuit of lost people:
- Helping those who have gone astray: