Community Group Leader’s Guide
For the week of October 22, 2018
- Warmly welcome any new comers. If you have anyone new, consider using name tags to help the new person
- Pass around dessert/snack sheet for the next 9 weeks so each member can have a turn
- At prayer time, seperate men and women.
- Contact anyone that has missed a meeting to let them know you missed them
GOALS for evening: continue to build relationships, discuss homework, and pray together
Habakkuk provides us one of the most remarkable sections in all of Scripture, as it contains an extended dialogue between him and God (Habakkuk 1–2). Most prophets speak on behalf of God to us; Habakkuk speaks on behalf of us to God, and he does it with honesty. The prophet initiated this conversation based on his distress about God’s “inaction” in the world. He wanted to see God do something more, particularly in the area of justice for evildoers. The book of Habakkuk pictures a frustrated prophet at a prideful people being humbled. It reminds us that while God may seem silent and uninvolved in our world, He always has a plan to deal with evil and always works out justice . . . eventually. Habakkuk encourages believers to wait on the Lord, expecting that He will indeed work out all things for our good (Romans 8:28). Habakkuk was an interesting man, and he has written a lovely book with real literary excellence. The final chapter is actually a song of psalm of praise and adoration to God, a very beautiful piece of literature.
Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
1. Do you notice any difference in your prayers when you are facing a major crisis as opposed to when things are going pretty smoothly?
(Are prayers generally self-focused, one-ended, about everyone but the one praying?)
In what circumstances is it easiest for you to pray? When is it the hardest?
2. When you call your best friend for help, what do you need most:
a. listening ear?
b. A certain voice?
c. A handout?
d. A detailed game plan?
1. How might the following verses help us remain faithful and patient even when God seems to be silent?
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.  Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.(NIV)
[7 ]Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.  Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!10] Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.  As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.(NIV)
2. According to Psalm 145:3, it’s impossible to become over-familiar with God. God already knows your heart and innermost thoughts. Habakkuk knew this and though he did not understand God or his answers, he did understand the character of God. What do the following passages say about the character of God that could help you have faith in the tough times?
 Blessed are you, Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord? He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword.
Your enemies will cower before you, and you will tread on their heights.”(NIV)
 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’(NIV)
 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”(NIV)
 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”(NIV)
What other passages do you look to in times of trouble to remind you of the incredible character of God? Be prepared to share at least two with your group members.
(As a leader, you should have several ready to share. One idea: have some of your personal favorites written on notecards for members to take with them; have members write their favorite go-to verse and share with someone in the group; use one of the verses for praying over needs during prayer time)
3. Compare Habakkuk 2:4 with Romans 1:16-18 and Galatians 3:10-14. What use does Paul make of this famous passage to speak a new word to a new generation? How is Paul’s emphasis like and unlike Habakkuk?
(What a beautiful phrase from the book of Habakkuk for Paul to reiterate! It is essential to understand exactly what the righteousness of God revealed by the gospel is. Simply, the gospel reveals the righteousness of God. This revelation of God’s righteousness comes to those with faith, fulfilling Habakkuk 2:4. The just – that is, the justified ones – shall live by faith. “If God justifies a sinner, it does not mean that he was right – far from it. It does not even mean, at this point, that he makes the sinner a good man. It means that God treats the sinner as if he had not been a sinner at all.” William Barclay)
 “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
but the righteous shall live by his faith.(NIV)
 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.(NIV)
 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”  But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.”  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—  so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.(NIV)
TAKE IT HOME
(If your members are not doing their homework before meeting, this is a good time to pause and discuss how this next section is meant for them as heart work, not homework. Encourage all members to use these questions during their personal quiet time. They do not need to share their answers aloud.)
1. Habakkuk moved from hopelessness to joy over the 3 chapters of this book. In what areas of your life would you like God to take you from hopelessness to joy?
(Follow up questions if time allows, What promise does 3:19 hold for your present situation, for your future?)
2. Doubt, discouragement, depression, and despair are things that can drag you away from a deep and meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ. What questions for God do you have in one of these areas that you need to express to Him today?
(Examples may include: God I just found out ____! Don’t you love me? God! Don’t you see the trouble I am in? God! My spouse is leaving me! Why won’t you stop this from happening!? God! I’ve asked you a hundred times to forgive me and I still feel guilty. Why won’t you forgive me? God! Why won’t you heal me?)
3. Write your own beginning to Habakkuk 3:17. Make a list of all the things that are going wrong in your life, and then look to heaven and say, “YET I will rejoice in God MY Savior!”
“Though_________________________ and there are no______________,
Though __________________________________ and the ______________________________. Though_______________ and no ____________________________YET I WILL REJOICE in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior!” (your name)10:2018
Separate men and women. Use index cards for members to write down their requests and exchange them with members so they can be prayed over daily. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16)
Share a yet-to-be-answered prayer with the group.
WOMEN’S FALL CONFERENCE
It’s FINALLY here!!!!! The conference will kick off Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. and conclude Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Need tickets? No problem! Register here:https://stfchurch.com/women/ Need financial assistance? No problem! Email Lauren Cordner at Lauren@stfchurch.com Not sure what to wear? You are on your own. Can’t wait to see you there!
QUARTERLY BUSINESS MEETING
We will vote on our new church budget and on committee members at our quarterly business meeting, 12:30 p.m., Sunday, October 28, in the East Worship Center at the BP Campus. You can download the Annual Report and names of proposed committee members below:
Enjoy a SAFE and FREE place to trick-or-treat! Cars will be decorated, there will be bounce houses, and candy will be everywhere! Get the word out to the kids in your community and come to enjoy some Trick or Treating in a family-friendly environment. Open up your trunks for treats! We need YOU to help! https://stfchurch.com/trunk/
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD
This year, for the first time, South Tampa Fellowship is a designated drop-off location for Operation Christmas Child. Churches from throughout our community will be bringing their filled shoe boxes to STF’s DI Campus during National Collection Week, Monday, November 12 through Monday, November 19. https://stfchurch.com/occ/