July 1st- July 6th Life Group Notes

The Joy of Hope

James 1:2-18

LEADERS - Take attendance in the TLC app.

Open in Prayer 
  • Welcome/Introductions/Cast Vision – Remind the Life Group of the Guidelines– See bottom of page.

  •  Doing the Mission: Did anyone share Jesus or last week’s passage?  

  • Does anyone have a God story? An undeniable encounter or experience with God that creates an impact or breakthrough in your day-to-day life. These moments can be extraordinary or very humble, but always personally powerful. 

  • Opening Question: Share a time where all you could was cling to Jesus in hope. What happened?

  • Share background for the passage:  James writes to Jewish believers who have been scattered around the Roman Empire and often persecuted on how to live righteously and maintain their joy while battling temptations, trials, and selfish desires.
  • Thought/Focus: James says we can choose joy by believing that God is doing something good through our times of testing (hanging on to hope).
  • Have someone read this week’s passage:  James 1:2-18

Discuss these questions: Go deeper as led. Remember Head, Heart, Hands.
  1. What does James say that the testing of our faith produces?
  2. What does James say is the ultimate outcome of letting God produce this in us?
  3. When we don't know what to do next or how to do what's next what does James say we can do (vs. 5)?
  4. How important is trusting God (having hope in His promises) to our prayer life?
  5. Why should we find glory in humbling ourselves or being humbled by God?
  6. What kind of person does James call "blessed" in verse 12?
  7. Where does James say that our temptation comes from?
  8. How does verse 16-17 offer hope to people struggling with temptations or other trials?

 
Next week’s passage/story: TBD
  • Dismiss in Prayer   

Life Group Guidelines

This needs to be a place where people feel comfortable opening up and sharing with one another. Below are some group guidelines that will help create a safe environment.
CONFIDENTIALITY: What is said in the group  stays in the group.
 
LISTEN: Let’s value one another during the  discussions by really listening to what is  being shared. Try to avoid thinking about  how you are going to respond or what you  are going to say next.
 
PAUSE: Allow a pause in conversation after  someone shares. Give the person sharing a  chance to finish and the group the  opportunity to consider what was just  shared before responding.

NO “CROSS TALK”: Be considerate of others  as they are sharing- no side conversations.

NO FIXING: We are not here to fix each  other. Jesus does that part. Speak truth is love, give  
encouragement, empathize,  point to Jesus.  You may share  solutions God has led you through. The  other person should never feel shame or  failure, but rather connection & hope.

NO HIJACKING of shared stories.

NO RESCUING: When people are sharing  something deeply personal, there can be a  tendency to try to make them feel better  about themselves or the situation by  providing immediate condolences. This will  often cause them to stop sharing. Resist the  temptation to rescue people.
 
SHARING: Be sensitive about the amount of time  you share.
 
SILENCE: It is important to allow silence in the  group as it provides an opportunity for someone  else to share and for members in the group to  process the topic or question being considered.

BE SELF-AWARE: Be self-aware of how you are  personally affecting the environment through your  words, actions, and non-verbal communication.
 
“I” STATEMENTS: It’s easy to talk about the issues  of others, but for our purposes, we want you to put  yourself on the table. Try to use “I” statements rather than “them”, "they", "you", “the church”, “us”, “we”, etc.
 
FIGHT FOR RELATIONSHIP: We will commit to resolve conflict  biblically. When conflict or sin issues arise between  group members, we want to make sure that  we are honoring God and each other in the way we  deal with these issues. We will fight for  relationship.  I will discuss the struggle with the person I am in conflict with first, & if not resolved, seek wise advice. The following are a few key Scriptures  in this regard (there are many others.)
  • If someone sins against you: Mat. 18:15-20
  • Restoring someone in sin: Gal. 6:1-5 
  • Forgive a sinner: Col. 3: 12-13 
  • Reconciling differences: Mat. 5:23-24, Mat. 7:1-5