Community Group Leader’s Guide
For the week of March 10, 2019
- THERE IS NO AWANA NEXT WEEK. GROUPS THAT MEET ON WEDNESDAY NEED TO PLAN ACCORDINGLY.
- Complete study guide and pray for your group before they arrive
- Have refreshments available
- Plan your social!
1. When are you most likely to lose patience with little children?
2. If your house were on fire, what three items would you try to save?
3. Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there a particular point, verse or comment that caught your attention, challenged you or raised a question?
After reading the passage, discuss the following questions.
Mark 10:13-16 New International Version (NIV)
13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
1. What did Jesus mean when he said, “Let the little children come to me . . . for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these”?
Jesus’ command to “let the little children come to me” reveals several truths: 1) Children need to be blessed by the Lord. 2) The Lord wants to bless children. 3) Parents should be encouraged to bring their children to Jesus at an early age and teach them His ways. 4) Jesus has regard for the weakest and most vulnerable among us. 5) No matter how compassionate Jesus’ followers are, Jesus Himself is more compassionate still. 6) Those who come to Christ must do so in childlike humility, faith, and simplicity.
Like children who implicitly trust their parents, believers trust God. Faith is not about knowing everything or doing everything right. It is about knowing that, no matter what happens, our Father will take care of us. That trust in Him, even when life is terrifying and sad and makes no sense, is what makes a believer like a child. “All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away” (John 6:37). God loves His children.
2. Describe in your own words “childlike faith”. How often do you have this kind of faith?
Jesus wants each of us to possess child-like faith; that is, a pure, unassuming, and humble faith. This straightforward type of faith allows us to receive God’s gift of salvation without pretension or hypocrisy. It allows us to believe unswervingly that God is who He says He is. Like children who rely on their parents’ provision for daily needs, we should humbly depend on our Heavenly Father for provision in both the spiritual and physical realms. In Matthew 18:2 Jesus says that we must “become as little children” in order to enter the kingdom of God. The context of Jesus’ statement is the disciples’ question, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (verse 1). In response, Jesus “called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me’” (verses 2–5).
3. Every Community Group has been assigned a specific age group for our Vacation Bible School. How can we apply our call to be praying for our upcoming VBS to the passage above? What is something you and/or your Community Group could do to help bring children to Jesus? Are you willing to do whatever it is you suggest? Why or why not?
Mark 10:17-31 New International Version (NIV)
17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”
20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.Then come, follow me.”
22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is[a] to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
28 Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!”
29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
1. Why did the rich young man ask the question in verse 17? What might have been missing in his life?
What shall I “do”? He thought eternal life was a matter of earning and deserving, not of relationship. As he bowed down on his knees in front of Jesus, the mere closeness of that relationship made him closer to salvation than anything he could “do”. he didn’t want Jesus to be his Savior; he wanted Jesus to show him the way to be his own savior. This man also didn’t know who he himself was. He thought he was righteous and didn’t really know the kind of person he was. When you do’t know who Jesus really is, you probably don’t know who you are either. And knowing Jesus comes first.
2. What is the way into the kingdom? How do the children reflect this attitude better than the rich man?
Jesus provides a new perspective: the way “up” is “down.” Meekness is required (cf. Matthew 5:5). Jesus exhorts the disciples (and us) to seek to possess a childlike modesty in addition to their faith. Those who willingly take the lowest position are the greatest in heaven’s eyes. A young child is destitute of ambition, pride, and haughtiness and is therefore a good example for us. Children are characteristically humble and teachable. They aren’t prone to pride or hypocrisy. Humility is a virtue rewarded by God; as James says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10).
We know that it isn’t just humility that ushers a person into heaven; it is faith in the Son of God. A humble, unpretentious faith could rightly be called a “childlike faith.” When Jesus wanted to bless the children, He said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:14–15). How does a child receive a gift? With openness, honesty, and unbridled joy. That type of happy authenticity should be a hallmark of our faith as we receive God’s gift in Christ.
3. What would you do if Jesus asked you to sell everything you had and give the proceeds to the poor?
- have my hearing checked
- compute my net worth and think about it
- hold a garage sale
- give more to church
- other: _____________________________
4. In this passage, how are these four concepts connected: salvation, discipleship, entering the kingdom of heaven and inheriting eternal life?
Behind this good-works approach to salvation is a superficial view of sin, man, the Bible, Jesus Christ and salvation. Sin is rebellion against the holy God. It is not simply an action; it is an inward attitude that exalts man and defies God. Did this young man actually think that he could DO a few religious works and settle his account with the holy God? Jesus assured his disciples that no one who follows Him will ever lose what is really important, either in this life or in the life to come. God will reward each one. However we must be sure our motives are right. To the general public, the rich ruler stood first and the poor disciples stood last. But God saw things from the perspective of eternity – and those first became last and last became first! What an encouragement for true disciples.
TAKING IT HOME
- What are your top priorities in life right now? What would your internet history/social media profile/unlocked cell phone/financial statements reveal?
- having a good time
- a good marriage and family
- greater intimacy with God
- financial security
- developing my spiritual gifts
- good friendships
- acquiring nice things
2. Are you more like the rich young man or the children (vv. 13-16) in terms of the way you approach God?
3. What have you given up to follow Jesus? How is your life different as a result?
4. If Jesus were to evaluate your life, what would He say holds you back from being totally committed to God?
- family or friends
- habits or temptations
- fear of being labeled a fanatic
- burned out
- other: _______________________
5. How can this group support you in prayer this week?
Join us on our adventure Into The Wild? Click one of the buttons below to volunteer for VBS 2019.
- These registrations are for our BP Campus VBS.
MEN’S SOFTBALL OUTREACH
• It’s for men age 16 and older.
• Games will be played Friday evenings.
• The cost is $45 per player — includes jersey, bats, and balls.
• Our league will play against other churches in the Tampa Bay area
The opening game is March 29 at the field in Gadsden Park (6901 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa 33611.) Bring your family and friends, and invite your neighbors to come and be a part of the fellowship.
Spring Fling is coming! Spring Fling is a fun event for the whole family, filled with games, food trucks, and fellowship. We’ll meet in the field behind Ballast Point Elementary from 5-7 on Sunday, March 31.
Bring your favorite picnic gear, Frisbees, footballs, some cash for food – and be ready to eat and have a great time.
WAYS TO SERVE
About: This year STF will partner with GracePoint Church and support them as needed.
Date: last week April 29th – May 5th
Team Leader: Pastor JJ Johnson
Dominican Republic Men’s Softball Trip
About: The goal of this trip is to partner with missionary Kenneth Balootje to do softball outreach, preach the gospel, and work in the south of the Dominican near the Haiti border to help plant a church in the poorest and most unreached part of the DR.
Date: May 31st – June 6th
Team Leader: Adam Scheppes
REGISTER FOR A TRIP
Bless Every Home – This is the prayer ministry of STF. Sign up to receive daily updates about your neighbors and how you can effectively pray for them.
Created Tampa – Created is a local outreach and care ministry for local women and men involved in the prostitution and sex industry of Tampa. They need our help to visit with these individuals and share Christ with them.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.