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Community Group Leader’s Guide

For the week of August 5, 2018

Discussion Note: This lesson allows for you to do communion together as a small group.  You will need to have the bread and juice prepared ahead of time for this exercise.  Please read all of your notes well ahead of time so that you are properly prepared for your communion time.

MY STORY

  1. From the Eucharist to the Lord’s Supper, many of us have had different experiences with Communion.  How would you best describe your past Communion experience?

This will help you know how familiar your members are with communion and the purpose of it.

  • It’s changed over time
  • Meaningful and reflective
  • Associated with weird religious rituals
  • Intimidating
  • Confusing
  • Uplifting
  • Impersonal
  • Never done it
  • __________

2. Passover was the start of “rewriting our calendar”, and that as Christians the coming of Christ was a “total game changer.”  Is there an experience or period in time where you realized God did a “total game change” in you?

This is an opportunity to get past scratching the surface of knowing a member to learn their history.  Be sure to affirm each person who shares.

3.  Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?

This question is asked each week.  So many topics are brought up that this question always invites the member to ask the question that they may be most afraid or least understood.

DIGGING DEEPER

1. Jesus’ sacrifice was necessary as payment for our sins and paved the way for our relationship with God.  While we are no longer called to sacrifice in the same way today, there are still sacrifices we can make for God.  As you read through the verses below, which one poses the biggest challenge for you in being “sacrificial” today?

1 John 3:16-18 New International Version (NIV)

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Romans 12:1 New International Version (NIV)
A Living Sacrifice

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Ephesians 5:1-2 New International Version (NIV)

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Hebrews 13:15 New International Version (NIV)

15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.

Can you think of any changes that would come into your life if you were to put these verses into practice?

Allow time to answer and possibly be vulnerable yourself.

2.   The leaven or yeast represents leaving behind anything that would keep us from fully obeying God.  While times have changed, the same principle is true in that even seemingly small sins can keep us from moving forward in our relationship with God.  How could the following verses help someone who’s tempted to justify what they may feel is a “small” sin?

James 4:17 New International Version (NIV)

17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

Proverbs 28:13 New International Version (NIV)

13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

1 John 1:7-9 New International Version (NIV)

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 sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

What are some reasons why people have a hard time or avoid confessing sin?

3.  An important part of taking Communion is recognizing and reflecting on just how important God’s sacrifice for us was.  How do the following verses further expand our understanding of why God would sacrifice for us and how does that impact your view of Communion?

2 Corinthians 5:21 New International Version (NIV)

21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Galatians 3:13 New International Version (NIV)

13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”

Romans 3:25 New International Version (NIV)

25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—

Romans 4:25 New International Version (NIV)

25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

After understanding what God did for us and why, how might you answer someone who says “all gods are pretty much the same”?

TAKING IT HOME

1.  In 1 Corinthians 11:23-29, we’re told to examine ourselves in preparation for taking Communion.  This doesn’t mean we’re perfect, but it does mean we look to see if we’re striving to live a life pleasing to the Lord.  Take some time to examine your life in the following areas:

Allow time for everyone to share.

Any attitude or action you need to confess?

Any person you need to forgive or love?

Any blessing you need to thank God for?

2.  On the previous page, Digging Deeper Question #2 is about small compromises that lead to sin.  Is there an area in which you’ve begun to make small compromises?  If so, what do you need to do to stop your slide down the slippery slope of compromise?

Prayer Requests:

 

Communion

Read the verses below. You can ask for people’s responses to them, or just comment on them yourself. Use the 1 Corinthians passage to take you into Communion.

1 Peter 2:22-25 

22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 25 For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Romans 5:7-11 

Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

3. Pass the bread, give a prayer of thanks to God for it, and eat together. Pass the cup, thank God for it, and drink together.

Worship Option: Below are some possible worship songs you can use on a laptop, iPad or TV for a time of worship and reflection. (Click each link for the lyric video).

4. Move into prayer time, thanking Jesus for his commitment to love us and how he is working in our lives, as people have shared in your group.