CG Leader’s Guide, #AnyoneListening for the week of March 27, 2022
Click the link above for the PDF version!!!
COMMUNITY GROUP LEADER GUIDE
For the week of March 27, 2022
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
⇨ WOMEN’S GATHERING Spring Women’s Conference – April 1-2, at the Ballast Point Campus. “The Women of the Bible Speak” on Friday and Saturday, April 1 – 2! We are thrilled to have Shannon Bream, anchor of Fox News@Night and Chief Legal Correspondent for the Fox News Channel, Leanna Crawford, a Nashville singer-songwriter, and our own worship leader Shannon Estee.
The conference kicks off Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. at the Ballast Point Campus and concludes Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Tickets are $49 ($20 for high school/college students), which includes lunch on Saturday.
Visit https://stfchurch.com/women/ to register.
⇨ MEETING REMINDERS
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?
1. What food could you eat everyday?
2. How does it feel to know that God wants to provide for all your needs? (What if that included manna pancakes and quail casserole everyday? *Exodus 16)
1. For many of us, the idea of the presence of God is hard to connect with on a daily basis. We may think it is something we only experience at church or that it is reserved for feelers or charismatic believers. Yet, Scripture tells us every believer has the Spirit of God dwelling inside of them. As you read the verses below, what words or phrases stand out about what it means to have the presence of God with you?
Galatians 2:20 New International Version (NIV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
John 14:16-17 New International Version (NIV)
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
Ephesians 3:16-17 New International Version (NIV)
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…
Think for a moment about the differences between driving in the car with a friend versus by yourself. How is that experience different with another person present? How might knowing God’s presence lives in us at all times change a person’s experience of something?
Possible Examples: When driving with a friend, I am most likely talking to or listening to them. I might ask what music they want to listen to, if the air conditioning is a good temperature for them, if they can navigate directions, etc. On a road trip, I might ask if they want snacks or to stop for anything. In general, I am attentive to the other person because they are with me. When I am by myself, I handle those (music, a/c, snacks, directions) as I please. When I remember God is with me, I am attentive to Him, His thoughts and desires.
2. Brother Lawrence says in The Practice of the Presence of God, “There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with GOD…” What do you think he means by continual conversation with God?
Note: This may look different for each person. This question gives you permission to have a different answer than Brother Lawrence for what practicing the presence of God looks like.
- How could this idea be taken to the extreme?
- How do I know if I am doing this enough or not?
- When do you sense God’s presence most clearly or feel most connected to Him?
Can you think of any distractions or obstacles that make it difficult for us to remember God’s presence is with us?
- What is one of the biggest obstacles or distractions keeping you from remembering God’s presence?
- Can you think of a time in your life you struggled to remember God was with you in trying time? What did you learn from that experience in hindsight?
- Can you think of times you very clearly remembered God was with you? What made it easier to remember during that time?
Make a list of any practical ways a person can remember to turn their attention toward God throughout their day.
Be creative with this. Feel free to brainstorm as a group. (Possible ideas: leave sticky notes with Scripture or a reminder to talk to God; set a reminder on your phone every day; have an accountability partner ask you about it; every time you think about a specific topic or person, talk to God about it.)
3. Many Christians tend to struggle with how to build a relationship with God. An important part of building and continuing any relationship is conversation. So, it makes sense that knowing and being with God involves talking with Him. Praying, or talking to God, is something Paul instructed believers about repeatedly. How do these verses speak to engaging in dialogue with God?
Romans 12:12 New International Version (NIV)
12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 New International Version (NIV)
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6 New International Version (NIV)
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Ephesians 6:18 New International Version (NIV)
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
What do you think it means (or doesn’t mean) to pray continually, without ceasing and on all occasions as Paul talks about in the verses?
- How could this idea be taken to the extreme?
- How do I know if I am praying enough or not?
What are three things you talk to God about most frequently?
Looking at the three things you wrote, do they tend to involve:
- thanking God?
- asking God for something you need or desire?
- confessing or repenting?
- seeking wisdom for a decision you are making?
- asking God about something you want to learn or grow in?
- other: ________________________________
From the list above, is there an aspect of prayer you would like to focus on more when talking to God?
- A common acronym for prayer is A.C.T.S. (Adoration for God, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication- asking God for something). How do you see these elements of prayer reflected in your prayer life?
- How often do you talk to God without asking for something?
- How would you describe your comfort level in talking to God?
- What is hardest for you about talking to God?
- What possible ideas could make it easier?
- How would you describe your prayer life?
TAKING IT HOME
Facilitation Tip: Use any one or all of these questions to end your time and lead into prayer. This would be a good time to break into smaller groups to discuss.
1. Looking back on this week’s sermon and study, what’s most important for you to remember?
2. Are there any simple ways you want to remember to practice the presence of God more in your life?
3. Is there a conversation with God you want to have this week?