Leader’s Community Group Leader Guide
For the week of November 1, 2020
This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion.
⇨ SHOEBOX MINISTRY – We have shoeboxes that need to be filled for children all over the world so that they may have gifts for Christmas. This would be an easy and great Community Group project to do together! Email email@example.com for more information or pick up your shoebox at the BP campus.
⇨ Community Service Projects – We have some high needs projects. Email our missions pastor, Marc, for COVID-SAFE options to serve: firstname.lastname@example.org
⇨ MEETING REMINDERS
Submit your group’s attendance by replying to the email you receive on the day of your meeting.
⇨ ONLINE GROUPS Discussion Tips
ABOUT POLITICS IN COMMUNITY GROUP – We believe it is important for Jesus followers to think through and process how they are going to vote and engage in politics. But due to the polarizing nature of our current political climate, we want to keep our Community Group meetings free of politics and focused on relationships with each other and God’s Word.
Presenting the Good News of Jesus’ saving grace to all, and the unity we have as believers is vitally important to us. In light of this, remember to keep politics completely out of your Community Group discussions. We exist to minister to everyone who wants to know Jesus. Every election cycle we have Christians who become divided over issues and can be deeply offended by comments, jokes, and even prayer requests. We do not want to send the message that people who vote a certain way or have differing political views are not welcome. If someone in your group starts to take things in a political direction (be it with humor, a rant or even a “prayer request” for a specific outcome), gently remind them that the body of Christ (and South Tampa Fellowship) is made up of followers of Jesus – some of whom are Republicans, Independents, Democrats, etc.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
1. It was said there are over 7,000 promises in Scripture! What is one of your favorite promises of God?
There are many, many promises of God in Scripture. In each promise, God pledges that something will (or will not) be done or given or come to pass. These are not flippant, casual promises such as we often make; these promises of God are rock-solid, unequivocal commitments made by God Himself. Because God is faithful, the recipients of the divine promises can have full assurance that what God has pledged will indeed be realized (Numbers 23:19).
2. The sermon mentioned that many believers act like “functional atheists.” They say they believe God but act as if his promises are untrue. This often happens because fear replaces our faith. Has this ever happened to you? Who or what helped you see the truth?
There is no place in the Bible where human beings are told, “Believe this, just because.” This misunderstanding is due to a mistaken definition of faith. The Bible’s view of faith is best described as “trust.” This is certainly different from “proof,” but faith is never presented as belief without evidence or against all evidence. In fact, the Bible consistently points to historical events as the basis for our faith (Numbers 14:11; John 14:11).God doesn’t ask us to follow Him blindly (1 Thessalonians 5:21) or ignorantly (Acts 17:11) or without doubts (Jude 1:22). Rather, Christianity offers reasons to believe: evidence in nature (Psalm 19:1), in science (Genesis 1:1), in logic (Isaiah 1:18), in history (Luke 1:1–4), and in human experience (Romans 1:20–21; 1 Peter 5:1).
Looking back over your sermon notes from this week’s sermon, which particular point or passage of Scripture most challenged, confused, or caught your attention?
There are three Digging Deeper questions this week. Feel free to pick and choose which question(s) work best for your group. (More questions = more choices to help personalize your group discussion)
1. Faith in God grows when you trust Him in specific ways based on what He has declared to be true. Read 2 Corinthians 1:20 and answer the following questions.
2 Corinthians 1:20 (New International Version)
20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
Your prospects are bright because God’s promises are true! Does your faith echo “yes” and “amen” to a specific promise in God’s Word?
What promise will you believe as you surrender your need to God and trust His timing to bring it to pass?
Consider how you can worship God in your current situation. How will you honor God’s worthiness and faithfulness in your life?
2. We heard this weekend how God is faithful to keep his promises. What is also true is that some of God’s promises come with an “if” clause, meaning there is something we need to do in order to experience the promise. In the following passages, identify the promise God is making and what our responsibility is to see the promise fulfilled.
John 15:5-8 (New International Version)
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
1 John 1:6-10 (New International Version)
6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[a] sin.8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
Matthew 11:28-30 (New International Version)
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Which of these responsibilities is the hardest for you to do?
Discussion Note: There is the potential for a group member to be vulnerable as they answer this question. Be sure to thank them for their vulnerability and courage to share. This is one of the best ways to show empathy as a leader and help foster a more vulnerable group discussion. This is not the time to try to solve someone’s issues. Be on the lookout for other group members who may want to offer their advice to someone.
3. Believers can experience genuine hope because of God’s unchanging faithfulness. God-given faith trusts His character, will, and Word. How will you trust God to faithfully care for you this week?
Responses to this question would be great prayer requests.
TAKING IT HOME
1. Waiting on God to bring the full answer to His promises develops your faith. What are you waiting for?
2. God takes us beyond the comfortable and familiar, sometimes removing all options except trusting Him. In those moments we exercise the muscles of faith and experience that God is faithful. How is God meeting you in your “new normal”?