LEADERS COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY GUIDE
FOR THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 5, 2021
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
END OF THE QUARTER PLANNING – Last Week of Community Group is November 28 – December 4.
LEADERS KICKOFF: Friday, January 7th
Join us for delicious dinner around the camp fire, be encouraged by sharing God’s activity in your group from first quarter and expect some training to help you as we enter into the new season.
WiINTER SIGN-UPS January 9-16
FEEDBACK FORMS THIS NEXT WEEK
⇨ CANDY CANE TRAIN
December 19, 5:00 – 7:00pm
All aboard! The Candy Cane Train is coming to South Tampa Fellowship on Sunday for a time of fun for the whole family! You can take a ride around the Christmas Tree Trail, listen to live music, take pictures with Santa, enjoy free food trucks, and more. Our very own SHINE choir will even be performing! So, invite your neighbors and help us spread the Christmas cheer.
Because this is the last meeting of the Fall Quarter, the Community Group Study Guide is shorter than normal. As usual, your final meeting will include a look back on how God has worked this past quarter and doing communion as a group. You will also take some time to fill out an online Feedback Form about your group experience and your plans for the fall. The form will be emailed to you. The Winter Community Group Quarter will begin the week of January 16, 2022. Have a great few weeks off celebrating the birth of our Lord! Merry Christmas!
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?
- With Christmas just around the corner, it can be fun to reflect and hear others’ thoughts and highlights on the Christmas season. Take turns in your group sharing your responses to the following questions.
- Favorite Christmas Song
- Favorite thing to do on Christmas Eve
- Favorite thing to do on Christmas Day
- Favorite food to eat at Christmas
2. This new series, Coming Home For Christmas, we got to think about how homes are our sanctuary, our safe place where we feel completely comfortable. What is your favorite room in the house? Why?
1. God is continually at work in our lives as followers of Jesus (Philippians 1:6). As you look back on this quarter, what are some things you’re thankful for in your own life and your Community Group experience? (It can be a specific way God encouraged you, time spent together in your group, how your group has helped you to continue to live your life for Jesus, something new you learned, a service project, spiritual breakthrough, challenged you to grow or anything else.)
Philippians 1:6 New International Version (NIV)
6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
2. We were challenged to invite someone to come “home for Christmas”. How we tell people about Jesus will have a direct effect on how open people are to hearing about him. What practical advice do the following verses give in being tactful when we share with others?
Colossians 4:6 (NIV)
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
THE REASON FOR THE SEASON
IDEAS: You may want to involve others by asking them to read Scriptures. The bread and juice can also be set on a table in the middle of the room, and people can take Communion after you read the Scripture and pray, or while the group sings or listens to a worship song. Note the Advent candle option referred to below.
- PURPOSE: Introduce Communion by sharing that it’s all about being intentional in remembering the great love God has for us by sending His son Jesus to die that we might have life.
- READ: Luke 2:1-7, Luke 22:19-20 and John 15:12-17. You can have others read it or you as the leader. You could insert the sub question above here and have people reflect on what they are thankful for about God regarding what Jesus has done for them.
Option: Advent Candle lighting: Have six to twelve candles on the table in the middle of the group. Have the middle candle lit as the Christ Candle. Before someone shares, they take a candle and light it with the Christ Candle and then share what they are thankful for from this last quarter and/or what Jesus has done for them. All the candles lit represent the light of Christ we have in us and the impact it has on the world when we live from this place of thankfulness.
- DISTRIBUTE: As a leader / host team, you may want to serve each person as a symbol of Christ’s love and service to us. Pass the bread, thank the Lord for it and eat together. Pass the cup, thank the Lord for it and drink together.
Music / Worship Option –. You can play a pre-selected song from your phone while you pass out the Communion supplies or while you take Communion for a time of reflection.
- PRAY: Move into prayer time, thanking Jesus for His commitment to love us and how He is working in our lives. Close your time in prayers of praise.
As followers of Christ, we are able to celebrate the Christmas season because of the amazing gift God has given us – the gift of his son Jesus, born that we might have life through his death and resurrection! Jesus is always knocking on our door to remind us that he brings us grace and life. Communion is about remembering just that. Your time together this week will conclude by taking Communion and remembering this great gift God has given us through his son Jesus.
To prepare for Communion, read Luke 2:1-7, Luke 22:19-20 and John 15:12-17. What catches your attention in these verses as beneficial to remember as you take Communion in your group?
Luke 2:1-7 New International Version (NIV)
The Birth of Jesus
2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
Luke 22:19-20 New International Version (NIV)
19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
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.