LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of May 24, 2020
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
IMPORTANT SET UP FOR THE LAST MEETING OF THE QUARTER:
Three months ago, we had no idea we would end up with a “stay at home” order and transition to meeting with our Life Groups online. It will be a time none of us will forget. This week we’re going to take a moment to look back and see how God has worked during this crazy time in history. Please make sure you take time to think through the questions for what we believe could be a unique and memorable meeting with your group.
Because it is the last meeting of the Spring Quarter, this week will have an abbreviated study, time to reflect on your group’s experience and the celebration of Communion together. As we wrap up this quarter, we’d love your feedback. If you have not done so already, please fill out the feedback form that was emailed to you last week.
|SUMMER LIFE GROUP PLAN: Whether your group decides to take a break, continue meeting, meet socially or gather in person for a sermon watch party (once that is allowed), our hope for the summer is that each of you will stay connected and care for each other. Check out the end of this week’s Life Group Questions for other suggestions to stay connected and grow this summer. We are planning the next official Fall Life Group Quarter to begin September 20, but we know that could potentially change if needed.|
DISCUSSION GUIDE TIPS: How you wrap up your last meeting is especially important this year. Please make sure you allow plenty of time to go through the “Looking Back and Looking Ahead” and “Remembering” sections. Feel free to spend your entire meeting there, allowing everyone time to connect and not just focus on the questions. To ensure you have enough time, plan 15 minutes for Communion.
BEFORE YOUR MEETING THIS WEEK – Send out an email or text to your group regarding My Story Question #1 – See below.
Note: There is a video from Chris Brown and the North Coast Worship Team you can use for Communion. See the last section of the study questions called “Remembering” with the link for more explanation.
SUMMER CONNECTION – DISCUSS THE SUMMER PLANS FOR YOUR GROUP
- Your people need to be cared for. Continue to stay in touch with your group members and find out what their needs are during the summer.
- Whether your group decides to take a break, continue meeting, meet socially or gather in person for a sermon watch party (once that is allowed), our hope for the summer is that each of you will stay connected and care for each other.
- Check out the end of this week’s Life Group questions for other suggestions about staying connected and growing this summer. You may also consider sending out prayer requests via email, text or regular mail; this is a great way to keep people connected. Note the last homework question, which is meant to help us think about our spiritual focus, as well as how to pray for each other this summer.
- The Life Group team will write “Food for Thought,” which historically has been written as a personal devotion, however, this summer the questions will be more discussion driven for any groups wanting a discussion guide for the summer.
- We are planning the next official Fall Life Group Quarter to begin September 20, but we know that could potentially change if needed.
FALL QUARTER PLANS
Generally speaking, we expect most groups in the fall to meet at the day and time they have been currently meeting. At this point, that is how we’re planning to proceed for the Fall Quarter. Of course, we don’t know if that will be face to face or online. Please still discuss with your group members whether they plan on being part of the group in the fall. They can indicate their plans on the Feedback Forms. Also, let us know of any roster updates you are aware of or changes to your meeting day, time or location for the Fall Quarter when you submit your attendance.
ONLINE FEEDBACK FORMS
If you did not do Feedback Forms last week, please make sure to have your group complete them this week. In the event that someone in your group can’t find the email, you may share the generic link listed here with them. lifegroups.northcoastchurch.com/feedback
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
This week we would like to add a physical element to your virtual meeting. There are two things we want you to bring with you. One is for the end of your meeting. The other represents you personally. Check out the details below to know what they are:
Important: We recommend you email your group this question ahead of time to make sure they bring these to your group time this week.
#1 Juice and crackers for a virtual Communion at the end of your meeting. There is a video option your Leader and Host may use to help guide you through this part of the meeting.
#2 Find something in your house that represents you and your past two months during COVID-19. Be ready to talk about this with your group. Feel free to have fun with this, while also sharing why it is meaningful.
Have fun with this, but also know it could be a time of significant reflection and sharing for your group. Make sure everyone shares.
Discussion Tip: Use this question only if you are sure you have plenty of time to answer the questions in the next section. You can group this with question #1 in the next section, “Looking Back and Looking Ahead.”
This weekend we heard the great news that God is not finished with us yet! In the verses below, what catches your attention about the hope we have that God is working in our lives?
John 10:10 New International Version (NIV)
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Ephesians 3:14-21 New International Version (NIV)
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 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. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
As you look back at what caught your attention for those verses, what is most important for you to remember during your summer break from your Life Group?
If you use this question, you can easily group it with question #2 in the next section “Looking Back and Looking Ahead” to be part of how you pray for them this summer.
Discussion Tip: You may want to group these two questions together and have each person share their answers to both at the same time. These two questions can set up Communion and how part of taking Communion is also being thankful for how God is at work.
1. The great news and hope we have no matter what life throws at us is that God is good and He’s at work in our lives! Looking back at this past quarter, what are one or two of the most important things God has taught you or that you want to thank Him for?
Good question to have everyone answer. Take your time on this one so people can reflect on what they’ve learned and experienced this year in your group.
2. Obviously we don’t have a normal summer ahead as there are many unknowns, but God is still at work. How can your Life Group best pray for you this summer?
Important question to have everyone answer. Summer Connection Idea: Write everyone’s answer down and make it part of a prayer chain or connection point throughout the summer.
Jesus wants us to remember what He has done for us; and He is here to walk through life with us. That’s why Jesus told the disciples at the Last Supper to repeatedly come together and take Communion. Taking Communion is about remembering all Christ accomplished through His death on the cross and resurrection. It is through this sacrifice that Jesus’ grace and mercy are made available to us.
This week, your Life Group will conclude by taking Communion together as the disciples did. To prepare for this, read the following verses and reflect on Jesus’ commitment and work in your life as you follow Him.
1 Peter 2:22-25 New International Version (NIV)
22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 25 For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
1 Corinthians 11:23-28 New International Version (NIV)
23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.
John 15:12-17 New International Version (NIV)
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
What catches your attention as beneficial to remember as you take Communion with your group?
If you have time, have your group share their answers. This will set up how you lead them through Communion.
COMMUNION: (Listen to the Leader Guide Audio for more details)
1. Have everyone get their Communion elements ready.
2. Explain that we want to end the Life Group year by remembering and celebrating Christ’s death and resurrection. You can use the video by Chris Brown and our Worship Team or lead your group in Communion yourself as the leader.
- Communion Video / Worship Option – Video of Chris Brown followed by a worship song (it is 12 minutes long): Chris sets up the Communion setting using 1 Corinthians 11:23-28 above. It then transitions into a short worship song by one of our North Coast Worship teams allowing people to reflect on the passage. Chris comes back to lead your group through Communion, closing in prayer. Make sure to preview the video.
- Leader-Led Communion
- Read 1 Corinthians 11:23-26: 23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
- Have everyone eat and drink their Communion elements.
- Worship option while people take Communion – Rock of Ages / King of My Heart – North Coast Worship Team
- Close in prayer – Group prayer or leader closes
* How to watch video online with your group – Zoom allows you to share a screen. If the platform your group is using does not allow this, you can have people listen to it on their own device at home, then come back to your group together.
3. Prayer option after the video – Group prayer or Leader/Host closes
4. Meeting Wrap-up – Remind your group how you’ll connect this summer and to let you know of any changes for the fall as the summer progresses.
Here are some ways to stay connected and continue growing this summer. Check our website for updates as more details will be added in the weeks to come. https://www.northcoastchurch.com/
Summer Study Series
We have three incredible virtual events lined up this summer by each of our teaching pastors: Chris Brown, Larry Osborne and Christopher Hilken! More details coming soon.
We are putting together a great collection of virtual classes and webinars on a variety of topics that will be offered throughout the summer, including Financial Peace University, United in Marriage, and more. More details coming soon. https://www.northcoastchurch.com/classes
Summer Connection Intro Life Groups
New to North Coast or never been in a Life Group? Curious what being part of a Life Group is all about? Intro Life Groups meet for two to three weeks and are a great opportunity to find out what Life Groups are like with minimum commitment. More details coming soon.
Summer Sermon Watch Parties
When and if the stay-at-home orders are lifted, and we are able to meet in groups of 10-12, we encourage you to gather with your friends, family, Life Group, neighbors, etc. to watch the sermon together. We will be adding some additional questions to our Food for Thought during the summer in order to help guide discussion in groups and sermon watch parties.