Leaders Community Group Study Guide
For the week of November 28, 2020
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
⇨STF Couples’ 30-Day Prayer Challenge Sign up to receive daily prayer prompts via email or text, and use them to pray together with your spouse/significant other. The Prayer Challenge runs from Sunday, November 22, through Monday, December 21, and you can register any time during the 30-day period. Register for Couples’ Prayer Challenge
⇨STFKids is back! On December 6, elementary children will re-gather at Ballast Point, for the 11 a.m. service only. And at the Davis Islands Campus, our kids will re-gather on December 13. We request that you pre-register your kids at the link below. Pre-Register for STFKids
⇨ On December 6, Tampa Bay Rays’ star Brett Phillips will be with us at South Tampa Fellowship to talk about baseball and his faith in Christ. Brett won the Major League Baseball Legendary Moment of the Year award for his outstanding performance in Game 4 of this year’s World Series. This will be a great Sunday to invite your friends!
⇨ Women’s Night of gathering, Dec 6 – Our gathering will include worship, a message from biblical counselor Michelle Horton, a Q & A session, and more. As in past years, we’ll be blessing one of our local schools by collecting donations for teenagers in the after-school program. If you would like to participate, please consider bringing a cash donation of any amount or one or more Walmart gift cards, valued at $5, $10, or $15. (This is completely optional.) Register
⇨ Because it is the last meeting of the Fall Quarter, this week will have an abbreviated study, time to reflect on your group’s experience and the celebration of Communion together. As we wrap up this quarter, we’d love your feedback. If you have not done so already, please fill out the feedback form that was emailed to you.
Submit your group’s attendance by replying to the email you receive on the day of your meeting.
Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything you heard for the first time or something that caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
1. With Christmas just around the corner, it can be fun to reflect and hear others’ thoughts and highlights on the Christmas season. Take turns in your group sharing your responses to the following questions:
- Favorite thing to do on Christmas Eve
- Favorite thing to do on Christmas Day
- Which Christmas movie would you most like to be part of?
- If you could become famous and wealthy for singing a Christmas song which song would it be?
- Favorite & least favorite food to eat at Christmas
2. This season we are studying the book of Ruth. What people or things get the most time, money, attention, affection, and imitation in your society?
We will be focusing on Ruth 1 this week for the Digging Deeper Questions. Read the chapter and answer the questions below.
1. What interests or surprises you most about the scene and interactions among Naomi, Orpah and Ruth?
2. Through tragedy and trials, God grows us in ways that easy times rarely do. What bitter things threaten your life or your joy?
3. In what ways do you see God doing good things in the midst of adversities in your life or in the lives of others?
REASON FOR THE SEASON
As followers of Christ, we are able to celebrate the Christmas season because of the amazing gift God has given us – the gift of his son Jesus, born that we might have life through his death and resurrection! Jesus is always knocking on our door to remind us that he brings us grace and life. Communion is about remembering just that. Your time together this week will conclude by taking Communion and remembering this great gift God has given us through his son Jesus.
To prepare for Communion, read Luke 2:1-7, Luke 22:19-20 and
John 15:12-17. What catches your attention in these verses as beneficial to remember as you take Communion in your group?
Luke 2:1-7 – In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
Luke 22:19-20 – 19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
John 15:12-17 – 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
1) Explain that we want to end the quarter by celebrating Christ and his death and resurrection by taking Communion. Communion is all about remembering the great love God has for us by sending his son Jesus to die that we might have life.
2) Read Luke 2:1-7 and Luke 22:19-20, John 15:12-17 and then give people a chance to reflect and share what they wrote down about what they are thankful for in regards to what Jesus has done for them based on this week’s study and teaching.
Alternatives for sharing what they are thankful for: Have them share their thanks through prayer or through doing advent together. You could suggest including their responses to the Digging Deeper questions.
Advent Options: Have 6 to 12 candles on the table in the middle of the group. Middle candle is lit as the Christ Candle. Before someone shares they take a candle and light it with the Christ Candle and then share what they are thankful for from this last quarter and/or thanks for what Jesus has done for them. All the candles lit represent the light of Christ we have in us and its impact to the world when we live out this thankfulness.
Other alternatives are, you could play or sing some Christmas Carols like “O Come All Ye Faithful” to add to the evening. Using the list of Christmas Carols and Scriptures below, sing the Christmas Carols taking turns reading the Scriptures between songs. End your time lighting the candles and sharing as suggested above.
Video/Music Option: You could also play this picture video of “O Come All Ye Faithful” or “O Holy Night” sung by Chris Tomlin while people take Communion and use for a time of reflection and worship.
O Come All Ye Faithful – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOGjtfygi14
O Holy Night – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vp0XkQfMJEM
3) Pass the bread, thank the Lord for it, and eat together. Pass the cup, thank the Lord for it, and drink together.
IDEAS: You may want to involve others by asking them to read Scripture and lead these prayers. The bread and juice can also be set on a table in the middle of the room and people take Communion after you read the Scripture and pray, or while the group sings or listens to a worship song. Due to Covid, we recommend you use some type of individually wrapped bread/crackers (saltines from a restaurant is an example) and disposable cups for each person.
4) Close your time in prayers of praise.