Leader’s Guide to Growth Group Homework

For the week of September 17, 2017
(This guide is designed to give helpful hints in preparing & leading your group in discussion)

Welcome to the Fall Quarter of Growth Groups!

This week we kick off our Fall Growth Group quarter. Your first meeting will include a potluck dinner, time to get acquainted, as well as time to discuss your Growth Group Covenant. The homework has been shortened this week to allow ample time to accomplish all of this.

To prepare for your first meeting, take some time to focus on the questions below and be prepared to share your answers with the group. Have a great meeting as you come together to connect, encourage one another to grow, and to see how God might want to change your lives from the inside out this quarter! 

AGENDA

Please refer to your Leader Notes for important specifics to this agenda. 

Make sure you leave plenty of time to answer the question in the “Taking It Home” section and spend time to go over the covenant with your group.

  • Potluck
  • Group Sharing/Homework Discussion (if you have time)
  • Go over the covenant –  use last question below to transition
  • Try to get to the “Taking It Home” section by 8:15 so you can have plenty of time to go over the covenant
  • Close in prayer
  • Eat (more) dessert

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

Add these questions if you have new people in your group or a completely new group – If it hasn’t happened while eating dinner, have everyone in the group share how long they have been coming to North Coast, if they have been in a Growth Group before, and their occupation.

Note: You’ll probably only have time to do at most two of these questions, so choose accordingly.

 

1. What’s something you did this past summer that was fun or enjoyable (i.e. going to a concert, swimming, family gathering, vacation, barbeque, etc.)?

Good question to have everyone answer.

 

 2. What was your first job where you earned a paycheck? How did you get the job and how long did it last? 


3. What is a favorite pastime or hobby of yours - and when was the last time you were able to participate in it?

  

4. Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything you heard for the first time or that caught your attention, challenged or confused you?

DIGGING DEEPER

Because of the potluck and everything else going on, you’ll probably only have time to answer one of the “Digging Deeper” questions this week.

1. We learned this weekend that an essential part of loving others is putting their needs in front of our own. Read Mark 14:1-9 and John 13:1-5, then answer the questions below.

 

Why do you think these people were willing to put aside some of their own wants or needs and help others? 

Mary – She had a deep devotion to Jesus. She wanted to show Jesus love for him loving her.  

Jesus –He wanted to show love to his disciples right up to his death.  

“To the end means a love that reaches to the fullest extent. Some translations have "He loved them to the uttermost. " Jesus poured out the cup of his love to the bottom for us.” –David Guzik at enduringword.com 

“This was an extreme act of servanthood. According to the Jewish laws and traditions regarding the relationship between a teacher and his disciples, a teacher had no right to demand or expect that his disciples would wash his feet. How much more unthinkable was it that the Master would wash his disciple's feet?” –Guzik 

 

What did it cost them to put their love into action? 

Mary –The value of the perfume is estimated currently between $40,000 to $80,000. The perfume was a family heirloom.
Jesus –He made himself least in order to serve his disciples. It cost him position. Jesus was to die in less than 24 hours so this as another example of Christ’s love and sacrifice until the very end. 

What might it cost someone to follow their example?

Money, time, pride, energy, position

2. Good communication is an important part of any healthy relationship and miscommunication is an integral part of most unhealthy relationships. What principles about communication can you learn from each of the following passages?

Proverbs 15:23
A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—
    and how good is a timely word!

Timing is everything

Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Are my words helpful to building them up?
Additional Questions: What does “building up” mean? How can our words build up another person according to their needs? In what ways can our words benefit others?

James 1:19
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…

I need to focus on listening and understanding what’s going on in the situation.  What we think is said and meant may be completely different than what’s really going on or intended.  As the saying goes, nothing is meaningful without context.

James 3:3-12

3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Our tongues are very powerful and we need to be careful of how we use them. Our speech should be a reflection of our maturity.

Take a minute and think about your pattern of communication with a spouse, family member or friend. What would it look like for you to apply any of the above principles in that relationship?

Good question to hear from everyone.

 

Transition Statement to Covenant – “One of the great benefits of being in a Growth Group is the opportunity to have help from others as we seek to be strategic and intentional about our spiritual growth. The Growth Group Covenant is designed to serve as intentional guidelines to help us make the most of our time together.” Pass out covenants and go over them with your group – see Leaders Guide Growth Group Covenant – under “Leader Tools” at: mygrowthgroup.org/leader-tools/leader-documents/

TAKING IT HOME

In preparation for going over the Covenant in your Growth Group, take a moment to jot down some of the reasons you joined a group this quarter. What are you looking forward to the most?

Close in prayer – next week the homework will include an introduction to praying in a group so if you have a new group or a lot of new members it’s suggested that you wait until week 2 to do any group prayer.

Eat dessert – Mingle with everyone

THE PURPOSE OF GROWTH GROUPS

Growth 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:

SHARE
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. 

STUDY
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.

SUPPORT
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. 

SERVE
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.

REAL MAN WEEKEND
“The Palomar Experience”- Oct. 27-29

Lookin’ for some crazy guy stuff to do? Want to kick back or get refocused on God? Join us for another epic man’s weekend that will get you recharged and refreshed as Chris Brown leads us into a look at what a real man is and isn't! The weekend will also include plenty of man event options like paintball, high ropes course, skeet shooting, archery, zipline, horseback riding, etc. Space is limited so don’t delay! Register online today!