LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of May 12, 2019
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
These notes are designed to be a resource as you lead your Life Group each week.
END OF QUARTER / FALL QUARTER PLANS
After this week, there will be two remaining meetings left before the end of the quarter. If you know of potential changes in the leadership or hosting of your group for the fall, please begin to process that with your group this week. Also, make sure your Campus Pastor/Station-in-Life-Pastor knows about the changes.
DIGITAL FEEDBACK FORMS COMING NEXT WEEK
End of the quarter Feedback Forms will be emailed to each person in your group on Monday, May 20. Please have your group fill them out at one of your two final meetings for the quarter if they haven’t done so already on their own. Senior group Leaders and Hosts will be sent paper versions to give out at the meeting. If your group would prefer to use hard copies, you can access and print them here.
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 reminded us it always starts with giving him what we have. When you think about what you have and what you give, what comes to mind?
Note: This may be harder for some to answer.
Giving could be:
- Time: spending time with people
- Talents: using your strengths and abilities to help others
- Treasure: using your money to bless others
2. Where is gratitude expressed most clearly in your life? Can you think of any areas where gratitude is harder to see?
Alternate ways to ask the same question:
Areas of your life where you express thanks?
Areas of your life that you complain about?
3. This weekend we were reminded in our study of Mark that there are times where we need to rest and there are other times where we need to push through and work harder. As you think through the ministry* you’re doing, do you think you’re a person who needs more rest or a person who needs to work harder? Why?
*Ministry: Serving people directly or behind the scenes, taking care of sick family and friends, telling people about Jesus, allowing yourself to be interrupted by people, giving money, helping fix broken things or broken people.
Add on question to the one above:
Where would you put yourself on the spectrum below?
Rest————————————Working too hard
This weekend we heard the story of Jesus feeding the 5000. Another story that includes a miraculous feeding can be found in Exodus. As you read through both stories in Exodus 16 and Mark 6:30-44 write down a word or two that sums up each paragraph. (Feel free to write this in the margin of your Bible). Next, answer the following questions:
Mark 6:30-44 – 30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”
37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”
They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”
38 “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”
When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”
39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties.41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all.42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.
Challenge: Take the words you wrote in your margin and write a short summary of what you hear the passage saying.
Discussion Option: Read the account of the feeding of the 5000 in all four Gospels:
Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:31-44, Luke 9:12-17, John 6:1-14
What are some of the differences in each of the accounts?
What “messes” do the followers face in each story? Are there any similarities in their responses? Can you think of any times you had a similar response to God when facing a mess?
Mess in Exodus: The Israelites are hungry and starting to grumble
Mess in Mark: There are 5000 people to feed (the 5000 only counts men which means this number is much higher) and they only have 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish
Similarities: Lack of faith and doubt
Note: Not everyone will have an answer for the last question
Additional Questions: How does your approach to God change in good times vs. in hard times? Can you think of any lessons that came out of being in a mess? Can you think of any lessons learned in a mess that are vital in making you who you are today? Can you think of any times you’ve questioned God?
How does Deuteronomy 8:2-3 help explain Exodus 16?
Deuteronomy 8:2-3 – 2 Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
God wanted complete obedience from his people and brought them to a place where they had to completely depend on him.
“God tested Israel. It was not because He didn’t know their hearts, but because they didn’t know their hearts. We have to constantly be corrected of our over-estimation of ourselves.” – Guzik
“This statement is a command; but it is also a simple statement of fact: man shall not live by bread alone. You may exist by material things alone, but you will not live. Anyone thinking they live for bread alone is actually one of the living dead.” –Guzik
“Jesus pointed out that there are two kinds of food: food for the body, which is necessary but not the most important; and food for the inner man, the spirit, which is essential. What the people needed was not food but life and life is a gift. Food only sustains life, but Jesus gives eternal life. The words of Isaiah come to mind: “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy:” (Is. 55:2 NASB)” – Wiersbe
What might be a correlation between daily manna and our faith today?
Correlation: Dependence on God, daily dependence, requires complete obedience, God uses daily obedience to shape us, God desires humility and gratitude in both.
Additional Question: How does your day look different when you are completely dependent on God? What are some of the first signs you aren’t walking daily with God?
How might Exodus 16 be different if the Israelites were thankful for what God provided? Do you think you’re typically aware of when God provides for you? If so, how do you express your thankfulness?
A lot less wandering for the Israelites. They may have accomplished a lot more. This list could really go on and on.
Additional Question: Are there any people you know that will tell you the truth about whether you’ve been grateful or not? Who do you go to when you need honest feedback about you?
After reading the prior passages in Exodus and Mark it would be easy to think God’s provision is about meeting our needs for food or even shelter. Because of that, it’s easy to doubt God’s goodness when God doesn’t provide in our timeline or the way we want him to. How could John 6:25-40 help us in our doubt and shed light on what God’s provision really looks like?
God is less concerned with feeding our body and more concerned with feeding our soul. God understood that we will never be satisfied with material possessions, food, etc. It is only God that can truly satisfy. Jesus explains that those who come to him will be satisfied.
How does God’s provision for you impact how you view your relationship with him?
Looking back on this week’s sermon and study, what’s most important for you to remember?