Sunday, October 20, 2019

Week 8- LEADER HUDDLE


Anything you want to eat!!  Shoot me an email or comment below, and RSVP for your leader, co-leader, host, and admin.  It's gonna be a fun time together.

Where: HQ at REVO South Fork
When: Sunday, November 17th from 6pm-8pm
Who: existing leaders, co-leaders, admins, and hosts, and POTENTIAL NEW LEADERS
What: Recap of season 3, looking forward to season 1 of 2020, eating a good meal and learning from each other.

Esther Week 1- CHANCES

Recap:
God had a purpose and a plan for Esther's life, and she was given chances to take and opportunities to seize in her journey to become the woman that God had called her to be.

You and I are no different; we were created with a purpose, God has a plan for our lives, and we will have God opportunities placed in front of us along our journey in becoming a godly man/woman.  Do you know how to identify the opportunities that God is placing in front of you?  Do you know how to distinguish between a good idea and a God idea?



Icebreaker:
1- Describe the most extravagant party you have ever been to. Does it compare to the gala Xerxes is throwing in Chapter 1?


2- What’s one of your biggest regrets about an opportunity that you let pass you by?

Transition:
God is orchestrating every opportunity for the good of those who love Him. Sometimes those opportunities seem like obstacles or can be seen as coincidental, unimportant, or maybe downright risky. Regardless, the chances we are presented with each and every day matter. They might have been sent from heaven to orchestrate life change in you and/or people around you. Let’s look at the story of Esther to see how God presented a few seemingly insignificant people a chance to make a significant impact on the history of His people.

Study:
3- Before this series, what did you know about Esther?  
In what way does the fact that the book of Esther has a woman as the central character affect your perspective on studying this book?

4- Read Esther 1:11-12.  
Why do you think Queen Vashti refused to appear before the king?  
Do you think she had any idea of the consequences of that refusal?  
Would you say her situation was "lose-lose"?  
What lose-lose situations have you ever been confronted with and how did you deal with them?

5- Unless you knew God was working in the background, it would appear that Esther's life (and everything around her) was totally out of her control. In what ways have events occurred in your life that are out of your control?

6- What are some examples of difficult circumstances in your life that have arisen over the past year or two and how have they shaped your view of God? 

READ Esther 2:5-7

OPPORTUNITIES FROM GOD SOMETIMES LOOK LIKE OBSTACLES

7- Mordecai and Esther were taken captive by the Babylonians before this story takes place. Most people would view that as a defeat; yet, God had other plans. Discuss a time in your life or the life of someone you know that seemed like an obstacle but was actually an opportunity from God.

8- Do you tend to embrace obstacles and see them as a chance for growth and forward momentum?  
Or are you easily frustrated and discouraged by obstacles in life?

READ Esther 2:8-9

OPPORTUNITIES FROM GOD COME THROUGH PEOPLE

9- God used people throughout Esther's life to provide her with the opportunities to be the woman she was created to be.  Who has God used in your life to help you become the man/woman that He has called you to be?
Has God ever used you in a powerful way to be that voice in the life of someone else?

10- When you look for opportunities from God, what do you look for specifically?  
How has God revealed these "God Opportunities" to you in the past?  (through the study of the Word, prayer, encouraging words from others, God speaking through a message or song)

READ Esther 2:16-18

OPPORTUNITIES FROM GOD OFTENTIMES COME AFTER PREPARATION

11- Time passed doesn't mean that the promise from God is dead.  Have you ever given up too early on something you felt like God wanted you to do?  
Is it too late now, or can you recommit to obedience and faithfulness this week to see God use you in a powerful way in that specific situation?

Next Steps:
12- Mordecai realized that while this opportunity may not be best suited for him, it could change the life of someone around him. So, he followed his cousin to meet the King. Leverage the obstacles in your life as opportunities for others to meet the true King Jesus!

13- Make out a list of things that you need to prepare in your spiritual life in order to be ready for the opportunities that God has for you moving forward.

14- Instead of focusing on what has happened in the PAST, trust God for what He has planned for your future.

Additional Study:
Timeline of Events leading up to Esther: 
  • Many Jewish people in Judah were besieged and eventually sent into captivity at three separate times (~605 BCE, ~587 BCE, and ~581 BCE). During this time, the prophet Jeremiah was given the words we read in Jeremiah 29. 
    • Read Jeremiah 29:1-14
    • Mordecai’s great grandfather Kish was most likely among those referenced in verse 1 as exiled in Babylon. 
  • In 539 BCE, King Cyrus allowed Jews to return to their land fulfilling the promise found in 29:10. These Jews finished building a new temple in 512. 
  • The story of Esther takes place in 486 BCE. So, while many Jews returned to their homeland and to the rebuilt temple, Mordecai and Esther chose to stay in Babylon.


15- Think about Mordecai and Esther staying in Babylon. What are situations in your life that you choose to view as an opportunity from God despite the difficulty of it? How could you trust God to work behind the scenes in your personal ‘Babylon’ like He did for Esther and Mordecai?  (Leader note: Difficult situations can range from workplace struggles, to estranged family relationships, to fighting negative thoughts).


16- Jeremiah 29:7 says to “seek the peace and prosperity” of the place where you are in exile. In those same difficult situations we just discussed, how can you seek peace and prosperity for those involved? 


17- Many of us love the words of Jeremiah 29:11. How does understanding it within the historical context of the Babylonian Captivity give deeper meaning to the plans of the Lord and His perfect timing? (e.g. It may take much longer than we want or expect, but God’s timing is perfect. In this scenario, God orchestrates the opportunity for a young woman to become Queen and save the lives of her people!)



Sunday, October 13, 2019

Week 7- LEADER HUDDLE



DATES:
October 26th from 10a-1p
November 8th from 9a-12p


LOCATION:
Activity Building across from the back parking lot at the REVO South Fork Campus


CONTACT INFO:
email: chester.o.david@gmail.com


TYPES OF JOBS:
Cleaning Bikes
Adjusting bolts on seats and handlebars
Changing flat tires and replacing tubes
Filling up all tires with air

Make Room- Week 6

CONTENTMENT

Recap:
One of the big reasons why we lack margin and haven't been able to Make Room for the most important things in our lives is because we are in a lifelong battle for contentment, and it has proven to be very elusive.

Because so many people are lacking true contentment in life, we tend to jam our schedules to find it, put strain on our relationships seeking it, and buy things that we think will obtain it.  Yet here we are: strapped, stressed, strained, overwhelmed, overworked, overbooked, and STILL not content.

Ice Breaker:
1- When you go to a restaurant, do you ask other people what they are going to order before you tell the server what you want?  (I want to make sure that what others are ordering isn't something that I want too!)

2- When's the last time you saw something that someone else had and you really, really wanted it?  (maybe a house, car, cell phone, a picture of something you saw on social media).


Transition:
Contentment is "enjoying what you have right now instead of waiting on something that you don't have to be happy."  Contentment isn't a magic pill, and you won't obtain it overnight.  It's a path to walk in life, and Paul lays out the steps in Philippians 4.


READ Philippians 4:10-11.  Paul start with GRATITUDE FIRST.

3- Gratitude cuts down on worry, discontentment, and getting caught up in the comparison trap in life.  What are ways that you express your gratitude to others every day?

4- How do you as a Christian express your gratitude to God?

5- Take a few minutes and share with the group 2-3 things you are grateful for in your life right now.


READ vs 12.  Paul helps us see that MORE Won't Make You Content.

6-   Most people in our culture think contentment can be earned, worked for, or obtained as a result of something else.  But Paul says that contentment is LEARNED.

7- Why is it so much easier to complain about the things we DON'T have and so unnatural to take time and tell people how thankful and grateful we are for what we DO have?

8- Contentment isn't found in your circumstances or your situations in life.  It's not found in being rich, powerful, or popular.  So if someone asked you the secret to contentment, what answer would you give them?


READ vs 13

9- Most athletes say that Philippians 4:13 is their "life verse."  In our culture, it has come to mean that God can give anyone an MVP, Championship trophy, or a personal record at any competition.  Did you know that this verse is rooted in the context of contentment in life?  How does that change the way you read or process this popular verse?


READ vs 14-19.  Contentment is connected to our ability to maintain an ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE in life.

10- Focusing on the short term will wear you out, make you worry, stress you out, and make you overcommit.  What does is mean to have an eternal perspective in the following areas:

A- Marriage/Relationships
B- Job
C- Finances
D- Calendar
E- Personal Evangelism
F- Serving the Community around you


Next Steps:
11- Do something DAILY to show your gratitude in 3 major areas: 1- To God;  2- To family;  3- To friends/coworkers.  Commit to learning the discipline of gratitude by practicing it daily.

12- Carve some time out daily/weekly to take stock of the ways that God is blessing you and moving around you.  Paul stopped and called out specific people (Epaphradities and the Church of Philippi) and specific blessings (financial partnerships and gifts). Who are your people and blessings in life?


Additional Study:
13- Read Matthew 6:25-34

A- Anxiety has become a big part of our society. What does Jesus say about being anxious?
B- How does God's provision for seemingly insignificant parts of His creation encourage you?
C- When Jesus says, "all these things will be added to you" what things is he talking about? (Jesus is saying we should not worry about our basic needs, not that all of the extra luxuries are guaranteed in life.)


14- Read Philippians 4:4-9

A. How do you think peace and contentment relate to each other? Are they the same?  If not, what's the difference?
B. What are the steps Paul gives to receive peace?
C. How do these steps to peace look similar to the steps towards contentment?

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Week 6- LEADER HUDDLE


Make Room- Week 5

It's Bigger Than You


RECAP:
Making Room isn’t just about you!  The decisions that you make concerning your time, your relationships, your resources, and your spiritual life have a broad affect on your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors.


ICEBREAKER:
1- If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have 3 things from your house with you, what would they be?

2- What 3 people would you want to be on the island with you?


Transition: Jesus thought very carefully about the people he chose to be on his team for ministry.  Let’s take a deeper look at how Jesus invited Simon to be a part of his work while on earth, and how Jesus is inviting us to Make Room for opportunities of life change in us and through us as well.


Study
3- What is an area of your life that has been positively impacted by the decisions of someone else?  How about negatively impacted?

4- In Luke 5:3, Jesus asks Simon to use his boat so that more people could gather on the shore to hear his teaching. Put yourself in Simon’s position: if Jesus asked to use what you based your entire livelihood on, how would you respond?

5- You’re not a fishermen with a boat, so what would it look like in your life and profession for Jesus to use what you have to impact others?  How would Luke 5 unfold if the setting of the story was your life?

6- When Jesus was done using his boat, he told Simon to go fishing again. We’ve all been through seasons in life where we felt like our wheels were spinning while getting very few results. What things has God asked you to do in your life that seem to be yielding low results?

7- Simon responded with, “because you say so, I will let down the nets.” A few weeks ago we talked about saying yes to the best things.  What excuses do we oftentimes give God instead of acting in obedience like Simon did?

8- Seeing Jesus do a miracle with his fishing nets caused Simon to fall on his knees. Let’s brag on God! Share a story of when God did something big in your life or the life of you someone you know that caused you to worship!

9- In verse 9, the fisherman were astonished at how big the catch of fish was when Jesus came aboard. Let’s look toward the future: what areas of your life right now do you want Jesus to get involved in and surpass your expectations?


Next Steps:
10- Jesus was purposeful in his partnerships for ministry. What areas of your life could you leverage for purposeful sharing of the Gospel?

11- Followers of Jesus are meant to fish for people. What is a practical next step that you can take this week to become a “fisher of men”? If you have had success with making disciples in the past, share some strategies/suggestions with the group.

12- Write down 1-2 names of people in your life in which you are unsure of their spiritual life or relationship with Jesus.  Would you commit to the group that you’ll have a conversation this week with them and at least start the process of learning about their life and telling them your faith story?