Community Group Leader’s Guide
For the week of August 19, 2018
- Drinks available
- Name tags prepared for each member with their name already on them
- Review/print 1st Night agenda from email
- Pray that this launch of Connection groups church-wide will be received with excitement and gratitude as we become more of a family as a result.
- AIM of lesson: Spiritual growth is a process that takes time, often in brokenness, and done together with one another.
Community Group Homework
“This Is Us” Series – Grow Spiritually
For the week of August 19, 2018
Welcome to the Fall Quarter of Community Groups!
This week we kick off our Fall Community Group quarter. Your first meeting will include a potluck meal, time to get acquainted, as well as time to discuss your Community Group Covenant. The homework has been shortened this week to allow ample time to accomplish this.
To prepare for this week’s meeting, take some time to focus on the questions below and be prepared to share your answers with the group. Have a great first meeting as you come together to connect, encourage one another to grow and to see God change your lives from the inside out!
1. What’s something you did this past summer that was fun or enjoyable? (i.e. going to a concert, swimming, family gathering, vacation, barbecue, etc.)
2. What is a favorite pastime or hobby of yours – and when was the last time you were able to participate in it?
3. Who was your most memorable teacher in elementary school and what made him or her so memorable?
4. Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
1. It takes a regular commitment to put ourselves in a place where God can grow us. What do the following verses tell us about our role and God’s role in the process of spiritual transformation?
Isaiah 64:8 New International Version (NIV)
Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.
Philippians 3:12-16 New International Version (NIV)
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
2. We heard this week that spiritual growth doesn’t happen by accident. Yet at times we may feel like we don’t have what it takes to grow and succeed spiritually or really know what steps to take to continue to grow. How would you explain to someone else with similar concerns how 2 Peter 1:3-9 addresses these concerns?
2 Peter 1:3-9 New International Version (NIV)
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
As you read the passage above you saw that Peter gave some very intentional steps that anyone following Jesus can take to continue to grow and live out their faith. As you look at that list again are there any that you’ve specifically worked on in the past or been challenged to put into action? Is there one you think you need to be more intentional at putting into action moving forward?
3. Even though we can see the upside to growth, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. The process of maturing can be hard work. Paul often used the analogy of athletic competition to help Christians understand their part in growing to maturity. How do the following verses increase or affirm your understanding of what it takes to develop a spiritually mature perspective?
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 New International Version (NIV)
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
2 Timothy 2:4-5 New International Version (NIV)
4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.
Hebrews 12:1-2 New International Version (NIV)
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Have you experienced any of these benefits in your life? If so, how?
Which of these benefits could you use the most right now?
Be willing to share first if the group is slow to answer. “Thanks for being vulnerable” or “Thanks for sharing” are simple responses to those who do share.
TAKING IT HOME
In preparation for going over the Covenant in your group, take a moment to jot down some of the reasons why our church is adopting this sermon based, church-wide Community Group method. What are you looking forward to the most?
To create an environment in which we can have significant Christian relationships. We get beyond the topics of weather, work-outs, water-cooler chat and into real life in Christ.
THE PURPOSE OF COMMUNITY GROUPS
Community Groups exist to promote spiritual maturity and personal growth through meaningful Christian relationships and the study of God’s Word. (Romans 8:29 & Hebrews 10:24-25). Here’s how it will happen:
(This empowers the leaders to have set expectations by casually getting to know the members of the group. If you are not a new group, feel free to adapt the sharing exercises based on the number of new members. All groups are encouraged to do some of the “getting-to-know-you” questions listed in the MY STORY”)
Each week we’ll take time to share what is happening in our lives.
At first this sharing will include planned “sharing questions.” But after the first few weeks, it will become more informal and personal as we feel more comfortable.
It’s a holy moment when we interact our daily issues with God’s Holy Spirit through spending time with Him together as a group. Hebrews 10:24-25. Our goal is not to go through all the questions as much as it is to talk about real life as a result of the questions.
Each week we’ll study a section from God’s Word that relates to the previous weekend’s sermon or an appropriate personal growth topic. Our goal is to learn how to live out our Christianity in everyday life.
Each week we’ll learn how to take care of one another as Christ commanded (John 15:9-13). This care can take many forms, such as prayer, encouragement, listening, challenging one another and meeting real needs.
Spiritual growth is fostered not only by what we gain through the support and input of others, but also through service to others. The role each of us fills is important to the health of the church and for us to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the community in which we live (Ephesians 4:11-16). Throughout the quarter, it is our hope that you can find and/or be affirmed in the ways God has designed you to serve and make a difference in God’s Kingdom. During this Fall Quarter, we will be participating as a church, Saturate Tampa. There will be more information on this as we approach that appointed time.