LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of March 10, 2019
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
Welcome to the Spring Quarter of Life Groups!
This week we kick off our Spring Life Group Quarter. Your first meeting will most likely include a potluck dinner, time to get acquainted with any new members, as well as time to discuss the Life Group Covenant. The study questions have been shortened this week to allow ample time to accomplish each of these.
To prepare for this week’s meeting, take some time to focus on the questions below and be prepared to share your answers with the group. Have a great first meeting as you come together to connect and encourage one another to grow and see God change our lives from the inside out!
These notes are designed to be a resource as you lead your Life Group each week.
LEADERCAST IS BACK!
Be a part of an extraordinary event that will make you an even better leader. It is the largest, one-day simulcast leadership event on the planet, with more than 100,000 current visionaries and future world-changers attending each year. As a Life Group Leader or Host we’d like to honor you and provide you with a special ticket rate. Here are the details:
Date: Friday, May 10
Location: LIVE- Vista Campus
Cost: Special price for Life Group Leaders and Hosts only- $69 per ticket ($10 off regular price)
Link to Register: northcoastchurch.com/leadercast
Use access code: LGLEADER to unlock your special rate!
- The basic agenda for your first night is below. For more details and important specifics, check out the First Night Agenda
- Covenants & the First Night Agenda were all mailed to your meeting location.
- How We Measure our Success Week to Week: Hearing from everyone at every meeting and keeping God’s Word at the center.
- Make sure you leave plenty of time to answer the questions in the “Taking It Home” section and spend time going over the Covenant with your group.
— Welcome and Eat – Potluck
— Group Sharing / Homework Discussion
— Go over the Covenant – See the Leaders Guide to Covenant: Use the last question in this Leader’s Guide and transition into reviewing the Covenant.
* Note to long-time groups with no new people – If you have no one new in your group and your group has been together for some time, you may want to do an abbreviated version of going over the Covenant. We still recommend going over the key essentials to help keep your group headed in the right direction. It’s a key time to address any lingering issues in your group, or to notice if people are becoming lax in doing the things that keep your group engaged. Examples might be: the importance of completing the study questions ahead of time, how to get more out of the homework, prayer time, attendance or being on time. Listen to the Leader Audio Guide / Podcast for more tips and ideas.
— Close in prayer
— Eat (more) dessert
Discussion Tips/Ideas for the First Night:
- If you have new people in your group – Have everyone in the group share how long they’ve been coming to North Coast, if they have been in a Life Group before, and a favorite hobby or pastime, etc.
- If you’re tight on time – You can answer the three questions below and then jump to the “Taking it Home” Section.
- If you have time – Digging Deeper #1 is a good question to get into.
1. In three of the four parables we looked at this weekend, Jesus used farming as the teaching point. In keeping with this agricultural theme, what would you say is your favorite plant, flower or tree?
This question is designed to help get to know the new people in your group. If you don’t have any new people, you can skip this question or use it to get to know your returning group members better.
2. Larry talked about ‘four things every Jesus follower needs to know.’ Which of the four points is the most important for you to remember? Explain why.
Good question to have everyone answer.
3. Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything you heard for the first time or something that caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
Discussion Tip: If you’re limited on time go directly to the “Taking It Home” section after answering this question.
1. This weekend Larry talked about how a fast start doesn’t guarantee a good finish. The Old Testament king named Uzziah is a sobering example of someone who crashed and burned after a great start. After reading about him in 2 Chronicles 26:1-22, answer the following question.
What stands out to you about Uzziah’s life in the first 15 verses of this chapter?
- What do you notice about Uzziah’s leadership?
- What do you notice about his relationship with God?
- What was the result of his leadership?
In verse 16 we read about Uzziah’s downfall. What thoughts could you imagine might have gone through his head that contributed to his downfall?
- If you found yourself in a similar leadership position as Uzziah and had the same successes, what are some of the things you’d be tempted to think about yourself?
- If you had the same successes as Uzziah did, how difficult do you think it would be for you to avoid falling into the same pride trap as Uzziah did?
In what ways does Uzziah’s downfall resemble the points Larry made in the sermon related to the rocky and thorny soils?
Additional Question: What role do you think the worries of this world, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desires for other things, played in Uzziah’s downfall?
Can you think of some reasons that success can lead us away from God?
Additional Question: Has there been a time in your life when success or wealth, or the desire for other things impacted your relationship with Jesus?
How could Isaiah 57:15 and 66:1-2 help a person avoid falling prey to pride?
Isaiah 57:15 –
15 For this is what the high and exalted One says—
he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
“I live in a high and holy place,
but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and to revive the heart of the contrite.
Isaiah 66:1-2 –
This is what the Lord says:
“Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
Where is the house you will build for me?
Where will my resting place be?
2 Has not my hand made all these things,
and so they came into being?”
declares the Lord.
“These are the ones I look on with favor:
those who are humble and contrite in spirit,
and who tremble at my word.
- Why do you think God is so opposed to pride?
- In 1 Peter 5:6, we’re instructed to humble ourselves. How do you think we can go about doing that?
2. We heard this weekend that the Bible makes it clear we have some responsibility for the condition of our hearts because the heart of the hearer determines the fruit of the message. How could the following passages help us continue to cultivate a heart that is responsive to God and his Word?
Ephesians 4:1-3 – As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Psalm 1:1-3 – 1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
Luke 18:9-14 – 9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
- What stands out to you most in these passages?
- What’s most important for you to remember from these passages in order to keep your heart as good soil?
Looking back on this week’s sermon and study, what’s most important for you to remember?
Every quarter a group meets it’s interesting to see how God works as you get to know each other better, apply God’s Word and encourage each other to grow. What are you looking forward to in your Life Group this quarter?
- Transition Statement to Covenant – “One of the great benefits of being in a Life Group is the opportunity to have help from others as we seek to be strategic and intentional about our spiritual growth. The Life Group Covenant is designed to serve as intentional guidelines to help us make the most of our time together.” Pass out Covenants and go over them with your group. (See the Leaders Guide to the Life Group Covenant online – it was also included in your packet).
- Close in prayer
- Eat dessert – Mingle with everyone
Life Groups exist to promote spiritual maturity and personal growth through meaningful Christian relationships and the study of God’s Word. (Romans 8:29 & Hebrews 10:24-25). Here’s how it will happen:
Each week we’ll take time to share what is happening in our lives.
At first this sharing will include planned “sharing questions.” But after the first few weeks, it will become more informal and personal as we feel more comfortable.
Each week we’ll study a section from God’s Word that relates to the previous weekend’s sermon or an appropriate personal growth topic. Our goal is to learn how to live out our Christianity in everyday life.
Each week we’ll learn how to take care of one another as Christ commanded (John 15:9-13). This care can take many forms, such as prayer, encouragement, listening, challenging one another and meeting real needs.
Spiritual growth is fostered not only by what we gain through the support and input of others, but also through service to others. The role each of us fills is important to the health of the church and for us to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the community in which we live (Ephesians 4:11-16). Throughout the quarter, it is our hope that you can find and/or be affirmed in the ways God has designed you to serve and make a difference in God’s Kingdom.