LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of April 19, 2020
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
Meeting Online Reminders & MORE “PRO TIPS”
- Resend your meeting link to everyone in your group.
- Continue to log on early if some are arriving a bit early. Welcome people in. All of this should become a bit easier. Some connection problems may still exist at times.
- Discussion Tips
- BREAKOUT ROOM PRO-TIP Break into small groups to ensure you’re hearing from everyone! Zoom offers a breakout room option, but don’t worry if you’re using a platform that doesn’t give you that option; we have a work-around below.
- Breakout room work-around for other platforms – Even if the platform you’re using doesn’t have the breakout room option, you can still do it by having another person in your group host and create an additional meeting at the same time on the platform of you’re using. Send the link to who you want in the other room, and now you have two rooms to meet in.
- What to do in the room – Before you break into smaller groups, remember to give the questions you want your group to answer, a general length of time they will be in the room and when they are coming back to meet with the group as whole. You can use room time to discuss a question and then join back together, divide into smaller groups for prayer time or divide into men / women only groups.
SOCIAL and/or SERVICE PROJECT Plans
Yes, you can do a social online and make an impact in our community even when you’re “Stay @ Home!” We’ll have some fun ways to connect and play games by next week to use for your social. By then your group should be flowing well as an online group Check out northcoastcommunityservice.org for ways to impact our community during this crisis.
Submit your group’s attendance online at northcoastchurch.com/attendance. If you’re not sure how to post attendance, you can check out the guide here: lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/how-to-post-attendance
LEADER NOTE ON THIS WEEK’S TOPIC:
In the coming weeks, there are going to continue to be differing opinions on what a person should and shouldn’t doing in dealing with the Coronavirus. How we disagree as Christians is actually more important than exactly what we agree on regarding that topic. Make sure you get some time to work through the questions in the “Taking it Home” section.
TALKING ABOUT POLITICS IN LIFE GROUP:
While this week’s sermon talked about how to respond to governmental authority, as always, avoid any conversations or debates on specific political persuasions or preferences. The focus should be on how we, as followers of Jesus, represent Him as we speak with people about things we’re passionate about, or where we disagree. If the discussion takes a political turn, gently remind your group that we exist to minister to everyone who wants to know Jesus, regardless of political party.
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?
You may want to ask this after the “My Story” Questions.
1. We have all experienced the angst of dealing with a difficult boss, teacher or public official at some point in our lives. What’s your first impulse when you encounter an unreasonable authority figure (circle any that apply)?
Good question to have everyone answer.
Run Freeze Problem solver
Fight Argue Panic
Get defensive Stubbornness Other
Listen Passive aggressive
2. When you were growing up, how was authority and submission to authority lived out in your household? What was good? Is there anything you wish was different?
Additional Questions: What lessons did your parents teach you about submitting to authority when growing up? (Examples: Respect your elders; things always need to be fair; don’t submit to anyone; submission is for the weak; submit to others in all things.)
What’s your typical method of dealing with conflict or difficult situations in your marriage or with your family? Can you think of any lessons you learned (good or bad) from how your parents dealt with authority? How has your response to conflict hindered or helped you in significant relationships?
Discussion Note in Digging Deeper Section – As usual, especially in the meeting online context, chances are you won’t have time to cover both of these questions if you are getting everyone to participate. Start with the one you want to make sure you have time to discuss.
1. We heard this weekend that we are free to express our opinions, but we need to be careful to do so in a way that is respectful and loving. How could the following verses help shape the way we communicate with those we disagree with in authority… and also those we live and work closely with?
- Circle / highlight any words or phrases that catch your attention.
- Underline the portions that can be a challenge for you to live out (keep it to four or less).
- Put an X next to anything that confuses you.
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” n says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” o
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
As you look back at what you highlighted and/or underlined, which items would you like to prioritize putting into action as you live out your love and respect toward authority?
Good question to have everyone answer. Have them start by sharing their overall underlines and highlights with their explanation. You may want to include their answer to this question with the next set of sub questions. This could take some time, so you may even want to break into groups here and come back towards the end of your meeting.
The key question we need to ask is, “What are we known for as followers of Jesus?”
If you asked a friend or family member the following questions based on the passage above, what do you think they might say?
Good questions to have everyone answer.
Discussion Tip/Possibly Break into Groups: You could divide into smaller groups or men / women only in this section, and then have them move to the “Taking It Home” Section at the end of their smaller groups session, closing in prayer together in that context.
- What two things do I reflect the most?
Some may have a hard time answering this question. Encourage people to come up with at least one.
- What one or two things could I use some work on?
This one may be easier or more difficult for people to answer than the one above. We do want to be careful of focusing here. The last thing you want is a person to leave your group time thinking they don’t measure up. Of course, focusing on your strengths is most important. We shouldn’t focus on what we can’t do. But not realizing your weaknesses may be causing you to not see how you can grow, how you’re getting tripped up or frustrating others, or how you can engage others who do have that strength.
Additional Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12
Short Article by Michael Hyatt on Understanding our Strengths and Weaknesses
- It keeps you from engaging in activities where you can’t make much impact.
- It provides an opportunity for others—people with the very strengths you’re missing— to contribute. This strengthens your team.
- It keeps you from frustrating yourself and others.
How might authority figures in your life respond to the two questions above (including those you struggle with)?
This answer may be the similar to those above. Could it be just as effective or even more effective to ask an authority you struggle with? A person needs to be careful with this one. If the authority is a complete loose cannon, there is no need to go under that kind of attack intentionally. But also, know that those who are not as gentle may be more truthful. It is also important to remember we all have different tolerances as to what is effective feedback.
2. Daniel is a great example of someone who lived his life in such a way that people noticed a difference in him. He was a foreigner in a land where the society, government and ruler were completely opposed to God. As you read part of Daniel’s story in Daniel 6:1-5, what stands out to you about the way he lived his life in this hostile environment?
Most will have similar answers here. The sub questions are where you want to focus.
Daniel 6:1-5 – It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, 2 with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. 3 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. 4 At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. 5 Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”
What would be most challenging to you if you found yourself in a situation similar to Daniel’s?
Additional Question: What do you find most challenging about living for Jesus like this in your current situation?
Can you think of what it would look like for a person to have influence like Daniel in a workplace, school or home that is closed off to God and His plan?
This is a good opportunity to discuss what this really looks like.
Additional Verses– How do Ephesians 4:29 and Galatians 5:19-26 help us answer this question?
- Ephesians 4:29 – Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
- Galatians 5:19-26 – The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Discussion Suggestion – Come up with as many examples as possible of having influence like Daniel and have people write them down. (Examples: not blaming others, taking responsibility for your own actions or mistakes, etc.)
Additional Questions – Do you know someone like this? If so, what did they do to distinguish themselves in this way? When is this challenging to do?
Are there any significant character-building lessons you’ve learned in the past when having to deal with a difficult authority figure?
Everyone may not have an answer, but this is a good question to ask.
In the coming weeks, there are going to continue to be differing opinions on what a person should and shouldn’t doing in dealing with the Coronavirus. How we disagree as Christians is actually more important than exactly what we agree on regarding that topic. Make sure you take some time to work through this section. You may want to break into groups here to provide the time. If you do, remind your group to allow time for everyone to talk and let them how you’ll be ending your time together.
Respecting and Praying for Authority:
Is there anything you need to change regarding the way you talk about, or respond to, people in authority that you disagree with?
Additional question and verses: Are any of these verses important for you to pay attention to when dealing with authority (or anyone else) you disagree with?
- Proverbs 12:17-18 An honest witness tells the truth, but a false witness tells lies. The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
- Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
- Proverbs 15:14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.
- Proverbs 17:27-28 The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.
Pray for our Governing Leaders – Pray for wisdom, insight and teamwork as they navigate our state, country and world in dealing with the Coronavirus.
Pray for Followers of Jesus – That we will represent Christ in all we do.
You as an ambassador – Looking back at Digging Deeper #2, is there anything you specifically would like your group to pray for you to stop, start or change in your home environment during our “stay-at-home” quarantine?
RESOURCES DURING QUARANTINE: Check out these links, also available on our homepage: northcoastchurch.com.