Community Group Leader Guide April 25, 2021 PDF Version
Community Group Leader Guide
For the week of April 25, 2021
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
Discussion Reminder: As always, remember that the purpose of multiple questions in the homework is to offer a variety of discussion options (kind of like a smorgasbord), as groups often vary when it comes to where they would like to focus. Answering all the questions oftentimes means you’re not taking the time to hear from everyone, digging into the question or taking the time to catch-up and hear how everyone is doing.
This week, make sure you take time to focus on the action steps in “Digging Deeper” It is our hope you and your people are encouraged to take those next steps to show God’s love to those He has brought into your life. Be aware that depending on when in the week your group meets, some people may have put something into action already and some may not have yet. If people have done so already, you can take some time to talk about how it went, and if they haven’t yet, you can help brainstorm, encourage and keep them accountable by following up throughout the week.
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?
Think of a person in your life who loves others well. What about them or their actions demonstrates love?
What impact has this person had on your life?
Note: This can be a powerful way to identify how loving others impacts people. How have you been impacted by this person’s love? How might you being loving to others impact them? Even small things can make a difference in a person’s life.
1 John 4:7-21 describes the connection between God’s love and our love for others. What words or phrases in this passage do you find most motivating for you to love others?
1 John 4:7-21 New International Version (NIV)
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
Additional Verses: 1 John 3:11-24
After reading the verses, why do you think God’s love for us and our love for others are so closely tied together?
How does our love represent Jesus to others?
How will others know we are loving them with God’s love?
What are some possible hurdles that might keep you from engaging in Compassion International or in this Love Week Challenge (listed below)?
As you think about the community around you (family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc.), is there someone in your life or on your path who might benefit from an intentional act of love this week?
Note: This is the most important part of your discussion. Be aware that depending on when in the week your group meets, some people may have put something into action already and some may not have yet. If people have done so already, you can take some time to talk about how it went, and if they haven’t yet, you can help brainstorm, encourage and keep them accountable by following up throughout the week or next week in group to check in and ask how it went. You may also want to create a text chain to remind each other, etc.
What are some practical ways you might be able to give of yourself or your time for someone else this week? (See ideas at the end of the Study Questions for inspiration.)
Finding a simple, easy way to love someone is good—do it! Is there something that would also stretch you more and have a bigger impact?
Note: There is nothing wrong with a simple act of love or kindness—oftentimes things that are so easy for us to do can bless someone else more than we know. This question is an opportunity to think of something that might just be one step harder for you to do but would take the challenge to the next level. (For example, calling up a difficult family member to ask how they’re doing might be more challenging for you than surprising your coworker with coffee. Would you be willing to try both this week?)
TAKING IT HOME
As we round out our three weeks in the sermon series, “Compassion”, with focusing on intentionally loving others this week, what has been your biggest takeaway from the Faith, Hope or Love weeks?
Which of the three has been most challenging or exciting for you to take part in?
Have there been any moments in which you have seen God move or have been encouraged?
LOVE WEEK IDEAS
To give you some inspiration and ideas, here is a list of possible ways you can intentionally love someone around you this week.
Write a letter or an email encouraging someone. Include a verse that gives encouragement.
Reach out to a new neighbor and invite them to dinner or coffee.
Share your story with someone about how you came to a relationship with Jesus. Tip: Share more if they’re interested and less if they’re not.
Surprise a friend with a gift on their doorstep.
Invite someone to church or send them the sermon.
Ask your husband or wife how you can be praying for them. If unmarried, offer to pray for a coworker or friend. Follow up with them a few days later!
Donate a meal to a homeless shelter or meal train.
Leave a Post-it note with words of affirmation for your co-worker or someone in your household that says “You are_____.”
Buy a meal for someone who is asking for money.
Spend time mending a relationship that could use a little work.
Stop for someone on the side of the road (always be safe). Ask about their story while you help.
Take on a major task for someone at work or in your household.
Give your time to a grandparent. Ask them about their life. If the opportunity presents itself, ask them about their faith.