LIFE GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of May 19, 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.
ONLINE FEEDBACK FORMS THIS WEEK
We’d like to have your group fill out Feedback Forms this week. Let your group know how important their honest feedback is for you as Leaders and Hosts.
Here’s how the online forms work:
- Everyone in your group will receive their own personal email with a link to their Feedback Form on Monday of this week. (Look for “Tell us about your Life Group!” in the subject.)
- Each unique email link is designed for that specific person and isn’t meant to be shared.
- 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
- Please take the time in your Life Group to have everyone complete the form if they have not already done so on their own.
- It’s just a couple of questions and should take less than 2 minutes to complete.
- We will be emailing you the results of your group’s feedback in the coming weeks.
DISCUSS PLANS FOR THE FALL & NEXT WEEK
Next week is the last meeting of the quarter. Find out from your group if they know their plans for 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 that you know of, or changes to your meeting day, time or location for the Fall quarter when you submit your attendance.
PRAYER FOR NEW FALL LIFE GROUP LEADERS & HOSTS
Take some time to pray for new Leaders and Hosts to launch new Life Groups in the Fall.
EVENTS & CLASSES COMING THIS SUMMER
Check out northcoastchurch.com/classes to see what’s coming this summer. You may want to consider making one of these events a summer social for your group!
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. Don’t forget to let us know of any roster updates that you know of, or changes to your meeting day, time or location for the Fall quarter when you submit your attendance.
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. At this point in the book of Mark, what was your first response to Chris’s statement about the kind of example the disciples are to us? Were there any changes to what you thought about this as he continued on in the message?
We seldom think of the disciples as a bad example so there may be a variety of responses.
Additional Question: Was it good news or bad news when you heard it? It may be good news to some, since we so often put the disciples on a pedestal thinking none of us could even measure up to their commitment.
2. The disciples thought they were just fine in how they were following Jesus, but they really weren’t. Can you think of any situations in your life that were similar? Or the opposite – where you thought you weren’t good with Jesus, but actually were? If so, explain.
This question could be a good transition from the one above. Everyone may not have an answer. You also could use it as a question to close your meeting with by dividing into men-only / women-only groups.
This weekend we heard how the disciples thought all was well by being in the boat with Jesus, but ironically they were still missing what it meant to honor Jesus and follow him. As you read Paul’s words to us in Philippians 3:4-17 on how to honor Jesus and make him your purpose, indicate what he says will help and/or cause a problem.
Find out from everyone what they marked up. And don’t miss what they think would help.
- Circle / highlight any words or phrases that catch your attention.
- Underline the verse(s) you see as most important for you to remember.
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.
As you can see, Paul was not only dealing with his past but with all he had accomplished. Similarly, our past accomplishments or failures can be what keep us thinking we need to be in charge or that we don’t deserve to have him in our lives. Which one would you say you deal with more? Explain.
Good question to have everyone answer. The point of this is that some of us may be holding onto what we’ve accomplished and the affirmation that it brings, and not let go and let Jesus take charge. This lends itself to pride and/or arrogance. That does not mean we shouldn’t want to succeed and be proud of our accomplishments. We’re designed to appreciate what we accomplish. It just can’t be our ultimate goal. The other side is those who are experiencing ongoing regret from past sin and failure, feeling they could never live up to or gain Jesus’ acceptance.
As a follower of Jesus, none of us want to become unaware of developing a “hardened heart” or blind to not keeping Jesus in the “driver seat.” Unfortunately, most of us have seen others and/or experienced ourselves slipping away from what’s most important when it comes to following him. How could the following verses help keep Jesus as the priority of your life?
Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…
Do I realize my sinfulness and that I need God’s forgiveness as much as anyone?
James 5:16 – Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Confession to others takes willingness to be humble. But also note that those who are willing to be vulnerable and own up to their stuff are usually more trusted.
Additional Question: Rate yourself from 1 to 5: How willing are you to admit you’re wrong or have made a mistake?
Note: The focus of this verse is on the aspect of confession more than prayer even though humility is definitely fundamental to prayer.
Additional Questions: Why do you think God tells us to confess our sins to others? Do you think it’s healthy to confess our sins to others? Do you invite criticism?
Psalm 139:23-24 – 23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Am I willing to ask God to search my intentions? Am I willing to look at my intentions?
Proverbs 27:5-6 – 5 Better is open rebuke than hidden love. 6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
Wounds from friends are faithful. Are you allowing others in your life to really interact on what’s going on?
Proverbs 12:15 – The way of fools seems right to them,
but the wise listen to advice.
Do you listen to advice? Are you open to the feedback that comes your way?
2 Timothy 2:4-5 – 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.
Are my priorities tangled up in the wrong things?
Which of the verses above do you think you do best? Which one do you need to work on?
Good question to have everyone answer.
Looking back on this week’s sermon and study, what’s most important for you to remember?