Community Group Leader’s Guide
For the week of September 2, 2018
- Drinks available
- Contact person responsible for this week’s snack/dessert
- Have name tags prepared if necessary so all will feel comfortable
- Pray for the building of relationships and spiritual growth of the group
- Encourage members to help this upcoming Sunday Sept 6, to pack bags for Saturate Tampa
These questions were created to be fun and casual. Everyone need not answer. Be sure to ask question 3.
1. If you had to make an “ultimate mix tape” what bands or songs would be on your playlist? Alternatively, what bands or songs would you eliminate from history if you were given the choice?
2. Consider your typical 10 minutes before you walk into church. If you had to describe it using a musical theme, what would be the sound?
Examples may be “The Busy Bee”; Darth Vader’s musical entry; “Cheers” tv theme song
3. Looking back over your sermon notes, was there a particular point or passage of Scripture that challenged, confused or caught your attention?
1. To prepare us to be in the presence of the Lord God Almighty, its good for us to take time to consider who we are in relationship to Him. What insights do you see in this passage that could help you not take for granted what you have or get confused about how you got it?
This question was created to help us have the right sense of self. This removes us from our daily self-reliance to the need to enter into the “gates”(door) of church with a spirit of acknowledgement, thanksgiving, and a deep awareness of the need we each have for God in our moment to moment life choices.
6 Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. 7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; 8 a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; 9 a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills. 10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.[NIV]
How can you better incorporate remembering what God has provided and has done for you into your everyday life?
Possible answers may include journaling, praying aloud in the car with family members, listening/singing to worship music on purpose, and many others
2. The bigger our God is and the more we feel we can trust Him to meet our needs and to protect our interests, the easier it is to respond in worship to Him. As you read the descriptions of God listed below, write down what each one says about how big God is and then on a scale of 1-to-5 (5 being highest) rate how well it fits into your current perception of God.
The intent of this question is to lead members from a presence of self to a high view of God. When we consider the character of God it causes us to fall into a posture of worship and awe at who He is, especially considering He is willing to forgive us of all our sins and not just that, but to CLEANSE us; to call us by a new name and so much more.
But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. When he is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure his wrath. [NIV]
Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. [NIV]
You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you. [NIV]
The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. [NIV]
Is there one passage or principle that is more important than the others for you to remember?
3. Our worship of God is a response that makes sense when we really understand the sacrifice He made through His son, Jesus. Yet, when we forget the significance of the sacrifice Jesus made, we can make our worship more about what we do than what He did. To be reminded of the incredible sacrifice Jesus made for us, read Isaiah 53 and jot down anything that is a good reminder and can add to the significance of living a life of worship and obedience to our creator.
Recalling our “WHY” we worship is the purpose of this question. This passage creates a contrite heart and recognition of need of thankful heart for what Jesus did for us so that we could be made right with God.
1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.11 After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.[NIV]
4. Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible glorifying God and His word. Out of the 176 verses, 171 of them refer to God’s Word, laws, commands, statutes and precepts. The wonder at the immensity of these truths sung cause the author to end the passage with great crescendo. How does your response to God’s truths reflect that of this psalm?
Biblical scholars suggest that this chapter was written over a number of years as the author learned and grew in his relationship with God. The theme of the glory of Scripture is always in connection with God Himself. Every verse from 4 to the end is a prayer and ends with joy that the law of the Lord refreshes, informs, and nourishes the author and therefore he must praise The Lord for it.
171 May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees.
172 May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous.
173 May your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.
174 I long for your salvation, Lord, and your law gives me delight.
175 Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me.
176 I have strayed like a lost sheep.Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.[NIV]
TAKING IT HOME
1. The theme of the 100-year-old hymn “Count Your Blessings” chorus goes like this; “Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God hath done!” Take some time to do just that. Take out a pen and a piece of paper and count your blessings by writing down what you are thankful for.
Encourage members to share at least one thing that they can remember to show appreciation for this upcoming Sunday by showing up early, to find their seat and have a moment to prepare their heart for being in the house of the Lord.
2. Are there any specific situations in your life you need to respond to differently?
It is the prayer of STF staff that each member can enter into the gates with thanksgiving, the courts(sanctuary) with praise, and the house of the Lord with their whole self under the authority of God. He is worthy of our attention, our time, and our obedience.
STF THIS WEEK:
Packing for Saturate Tampa is Sunday, Sept 9. At BP campus it will be from 1:30p-5pm and at DI immediately after the service. Come when you can, go when you must. We need your help!
If you’re a regular attender, please consider giving up your usual seat in the Sunday morning service at BP to those who are unable, and come to the 6pm service instead! We especially encourage singles/young married/empty nesters to serve in the morning and worship in the evening.
Men’s Morning Bible Study is back! Wednesdays at BP 6:45-7:45am weekly.
Ladies Gathering, Mom’s Social, and Women’s Conference are upcoming soon! You do need to sign-up for these events.
Please go to https://stfchurch.com/events/ to find out and register for events happening this month a STF!