Community Group Leader’s Guide
For the week of November 11, 2018
- Be sure each individual knows what they are bringing to Friendsgiving
- Discuss if your group is meeting the week of Thanksgiving
- Consider having candid discussions/strategies to be prepared for upcoming holiday with family/friends that may trigger challenging conversations
- Consider practicing sharing the gospel with one another during the social
As we approach the holidays, we will most likely be spending time around the table with those we most love and possibly, the ones we know are spiritually lost. As much as it is fun to be with our family and friends, the holidays can also be a time of tension and stress. Community Groups this week will focus on how to best approach whose sitting at the table this holiday. We hope that this lesson before the holidays begin, will encourage you and give you the tools to have a peaceful season. Be sure to pray for one another as you live out your faith with the ones we love the most and yet sometimes, are the most challenging relationships in our lives.
- What is a “must have” to make your holiday season feel that its finally here?
- seasonal beverage
- specific scent
- particular decoration
- favorite food
- family tradition
- a destination
- What are your Thanksgiving plans? Are you hosting or going somewhere? Who is the one person that’s coming to dinner that makes you put your guard up or breaks your heart?
- Can you think of any ways you (or someone you know) have suffered rejection or opposition for being a Christian or talking about your faith?
- One of Paul’s strong motivations for what he was willing to endure was his understanding that people are spiritually lost without Christ. In Luke 15:1-10, Jesus tells two stories which give us some perspective on how God views people who are spiritually lost.
Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” 3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. 8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” [NIV]
What similarities do you see in these stories?
(Notice that Jesus wasn’t speaking to the ones who didn’t know God, He was addressing the well versed that had no mercy or grace towards the “others”. Rejoice in the fact you are in their presence)
What lessons do these stories teach us about spiritually lost people and God’s attitude towards them?
What do Luke 19:10 and 2 Peter 3:9 add to your understanding of how God wants us to view spiritually lost people?
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” [NIV]
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. [NIV]
- Colossians 4:2-6 does a good job of summing up our role in the calling to be lightto our family and friends. Read the passage and list any specific guidelines or tips that could help us be more effective in sharing the Gospel with people.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. [NIV]
Paul asked the Colossians to pray for an open door for the Gospel. How aware do you tend to be in recognizing a potential open door?
Often we think that the only way to capitalize on an open door is to share the Gospel with someone. Can you think of any other ways you might take advantage of an open door besides sharing the Gospel?
(If there is time for only one discussion question, this may be the one because sharing in words isn’t the only way to share the gospel effectively.)
- One effective means of sharing the Gospel with others is the“Roman Road.”Whether you are a new Christian, a long-time Christian, or still trying to understand Christianity, this tool can help us understand our need for salvation and how a relationship with Christ begins. Even though you may be familiar with these verses, it is critical that we constantly remind ourselves about our need for a Savior. As you read each verse, jot down what essential truth each passage communicates about your relationship with Christ.
(Suggestion: Try practicing this with one another if there is time)
Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. [NIV]
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11 As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”[NIV]
Looking back at the verses above, which one of them stands out to you most? Explain why.
TAKING IT HOME
- In your current circle of relationships, who would you most like to see take a step closer to Jesus? Is there anything you could do or say that might help that happen?
- What is one thing you can do at the table that may be more influential in how you act than what you say? Are you willing to do that thing?
(This may include refraining from alcohol, bringing up politics or preaching. This may mean asking for forgiveness from past interactions and making amends to handle future interactions with grace.)
Spend some time praying for the upcoming holiday and the specific people that you know will be at the table whom you love.