Community Group Leader’s Guide
For the week of September 9, 2018
- Drinks available
- Contact person responsible for this week’s snack/dessert
- Pray for spiritual growth and bonding between group members
- Encourage all members to collect a “grab-and-go” Saturate Tampa kit next Sunday
- Plan a date and time to do community service project, “Saturate Tampa” as a group
1. Have you ever experienced the blessing of someone’s unexpected generosity toward you? (What happened?)
(perhaps it was a monetary gift given when need arose, a meal served, good samaritan on the side of the road)
2. We live in a world of incredible technology. If you had to give up TWO of the technologies below for 24/7, which would they be and why?
(This question could easily become a fun debate and take up too much time. The purpose of this question is to prove how quick we are to know how we value these things, to the point that we may even spend more money on them than we do in our giving, which they will discover later on in the lesson. You may want to bring that up as well, ex) I have no problem paying for phone and internet but no money left over to tithe)
- Cell Phone
- TV / TV Streaming (Netflix, Hulu, ESPN, Apple tv etc.)
- Internet (w/o social networking)
- Social Media (snapchat, instagram, facebook, dating apps, etc.)
- All Digital Photography/Selfies & Mobile Music (MP3, Pandora, etc.)
If you could only keep one, which would it be and why?
3. Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, Giving Generously, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
- This week we learned that “Mammon” is a Hebrew word meaning ‘god of material things’ and that we cannot serve both Mammon and God. Jesus warns us about over-valuing our possessions in Luke 12:15. After reading this passage, describe the “abundance” of your life using Luke’s statements as your guide. Why is this important to consider when talking about finances?
(The literal meaning of abundance is defined as having over sufficient quantity or supply.)
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?”15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”(NIV)
2. Many people think if we made more money we would be more generous. But studies show this usually isn’t the case. How would understanding and applying the following verses help free you up to put into action the principles and practices from this week’s teaching?
(a few proofs of studies can be found here: https://www.businessinsider.com/lower-status-people-more-likely-to-share-wealth-than-higher-status-people-2018-6 https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/wealth/save/why-poor-people-tend-to-be-more-generous-than-the-rich/articleshow/65078320.cms This question is to point to the fact that there is no “magic number” of enough and in fact having more can make it harder to be generous. However, with a correct view of whose the money is in the first place, we are now free to give away more, knowing we have a generous Father who loves a generous giver)
1 Timothy 6:17
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.(NIV)
Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.(NIV)
11 Honest scales and balances belong to the Lord;
all the weights in the bag are of his making.
12 Kings detest wrongdoing,
for a throne is established through righteousness.(NIV)
Dishonest money dwindles away,
but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow. (NIV)
Whoever loves money never has money enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.
This too is meaningless.(NIV)
1 Chronicles 29:14-16
“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.  We are aliens and strangers in your sight, as were all our forefathers. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope.  O Lord our God, as for all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name, it comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you. (NIV)
Why do you think we forget so easily who is really is the giver of all our resources? What’s your response to the fact that all you have is actually God’s and how does that change your perspective of all “your” stuff?
(Ponder how our eternal perspective of everything; money, things, life itself, differs when in this high view rather than in the momentary on earth)
3. This weekend we heard that tithing “off the top/payday” ensures that God has our heart and not mammon. This kind of giving is both an act of thanking God for his current provision AND a way of trusting him for future provision. Unfortunately, throughout history many of God’s people have given to his work primarily out of what’s left over rather than off the top. What surprises you about God’s attitude toward this practice in Malachi 3:7-12?
(This verse is to lead us directly into our “Taking Home” section and can be re-read for that)
7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LordAlmighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ 8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the LordAlmighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.(NIV)
What are some of the biggest challenges people face when “giving off the top” instead of giving out of their leftovers?
TAKING IT HOME
1. Imagine our church taking God at His word for the next 30 days and instead of giving Him a tip, we all gave a full tithe of all our talents and income. Discuss what you think that would look like.
(For further discussion: Malachi 3:10 is just one of many verses that challenge us to test God and see if He is a promise keeper. Can you think of any other verses that support that God keeps His promises?)
2. Looking back at the notes from this week’s teaching, is there one thing you need to change regarding your finances?
Saturate Tampa Bay is an event starting this week to saturate almost 35,000 homes with the Gospel. As a Community Group you will have the opportunity to serve Tampa by distributing these packets door-to-door in a neighborhood your group chooses. We ask that Sunday, Sept 16, each person take one “grab-and-go” bag to use for this community service project. Your group can then decide best day/time to go out and hang the packets at each door in the area your group selected to go to. Simple!
Join us for a day focused on your parenting skills, complete with lunch and video teaching sessions from Dr. Paul Tripp’s new parenting seminar. In the seminar, he shares four principles intended to radically change the way you raise your children.STF’s One-Day Parenting Conference will take place Saturday, September 22 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Cost per adult: $10 (lunch included.) Childcare is provided upon request.
Night Of Gathering
Women of South Tampa Fellowship! This is your opportunity to learn more about the women’s ministry and upcoming women’s bible studies and conferences being offered at STF. Please join us, Sunday Sept 16, from 7:15-9:00pm at a home on Davis Island. Registration is required for this event. www.stfchurch.com/women/ to register.
There are many more events happening within our church! Check out all the options by going to our app or logging on to www.stfchurch.com/events