Community Groups Summer Break

Community Groups Summer Break: June - August 

Announcements :

* PRAYER: Please pray for all of the students who will be participating in the Student Missions Camp - "Unleashed" this summer. That they would grow in their love for the Lord. 

* Baptism Celebration:  On Sun. July 16th we will be celebrating Baptism church-wide! WOOHOO!! Be sure to encourage your group members to join us after each service to celebrate and lift up those who take this step of faith!

Hey Everyone,

I pray that you have a fantastic summer. Not only in enjoying the blessings of family and friends but in remembering the One who gives us the privilege to do so .... to Him, Jesus, all praise and love is due.

"Thank you, Lord, for your protection and provision ... may you continue to guard the way of your people, strengthen their hearts and build their spirits. Move them, Father, to be diligent to draw the hearts of their families closer to you, that they might all grow as Mathetes! ... that ultimately we might be refreshed by your love and encouraged by your grace as we walk in your ways! Thank you for loving us the way you do...  in Jesus beautiful name I pray! "

You Are Loved,

Pastor Frank   

Community Groups Week of May 28th

Community Groups Week of May 28th

Announcements :

* PRAYER: Please pray for all of the students who will be participating in the Student Missions Camp - "Unleashed" this summer. That they would grow in their love for the Lord. 

* Community Group Break:  Groups close on June 3rd. Let's stay in touch over the summer! 

Very Important: Please view the Leader video below for week #6:

 

Main Text:   1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Sermon Title:  Love Is, Part 2: You before Me! 

SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

(Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

HIGH/LOW:  What was the high point of your week and the low point?

Please read:  1 Corinthians 13:1-7

REFLECT:  The scriptures present and look at love very differently than people often do. However, God gives us a powerful and pointed pictured of the Love that He calls us too, a love of preference! The scriptures cut deep here, as Paul cries out for a genuine love of preference, "You over me!" In your marriage is it, "ME over you" or "YOU over me?"  

  • How would you define the kind of love that Paul is referring too? (Focus on vs. 4-5)

  • How can marriage illustrate the AGAPE love (love of preference) that is vital to success?

  • Why do you think Paul, the author of 1 Corinthians, writes so much about what love is NOT?

  • How are you rude to your husband/ wife? 

  • What area of your life are you most likely not seeking the input of your spouse? Do they know that?  

  • How does the Gospel help to overcome these marriage killers?

  • What does John 3:16 tell us about the love of God?

  • In what ways can you go out of your way this week to show "You before me" (love) to your spouse? 

Theme/Quote:

  • We say we love so many things. The world has overused and undervalued this word “Love.” The scriptures present and look at love very differently than people often do. In fact, the world has a dysfunctional view of love, and God help us, many of us have a self-centered view of it. By telling us what love is not, the Apostle Paul unfolds for us a clear and crisp view of the kind of love that is “others-centered”. God’s view of love is always a preference for the other person! Paul’s strong letter to the Corinthian church is an appeal for this kind of love. However, Paul’s words pierce time and space to show you and me today the kind of love which is to mark our marriages and illustrate our lives.  

  • Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

Community Groups Week of May 21st

Community Groups Week of May 21st

Announcements :

* PRAYER:  Please pray for the West Pines Staff as they will be engaged in planning and growing for 2 days this week in a "Staff Retreat".  

* PRAYER: Please pray for all of the students who will be participating in the Student Missions Camp - "Unleashed" this summer. That they would grow in their love for the Lord. 

* Community Group Break:  Groups close on June 3rd. Let's stay in touch over the summer! 

Very Important: Please view the Leader video below for week #4:

 

Main Text:   1 Corinthians 13:1-4

Sermon Title:  Love Is, Part 1: Central

SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

(Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

HIGH/LOW:  What was the high point of your week and the low point?

Please read:  1 Corinthians 13:1-4

REFLECT:  The idea that "All we need is love" is central to a marriage is accepted in our culture. However, what do we mean by "love?" How do we define this thing called love? Is it the light, fluffy, chubby baby angel that inevitably shoots us with his bow and arrow or is it something more, something greater? Perhaps a better question is, what does God say about it ... how does God define it? This thing called love is much more crucial and profound than we might think! 

  • How would you define the concept of love in a marriage?

  • How do you think our culture misunderstands love?

  • According to the Apostle Paul what does real love, genuine love demand? (LEADERS: focus on beginning of vs. 4) 

  • Why do you think Paul, the author of 1 Corinthians, starts off his description of love with patience and kindness?

  • What does the display of true kindness look like in your marriage? (LEADER: think "day by day" kindness)

  • Are we the most kind to the ones we do life with? What prevents us from being that way? 

  • "Love is long-suffering" (another word for patience) ... How does your marriage reflect the sacrifice that this kind of love represents? 

  • What makes patience and kindness in marriage so difficult? (Those unmarried should reflect on the marriages you see daily) 

  • Love that is genuine and real is not always neat and tidy, it's actually often gritty and tough! Reflect on that statement.

Theme/Quote:

  • What is the most important thing to make a thriving marriage? Some believe it is compatibility. If they find the right person who fits them, they will be happy. There are many other good contenders like friendship, communication, and trust. But according to the Bible, the single most important attribute someone can have is love. This is something that doesn’t sound strange to us. Our culture has produced many voices that have said love is the most important thing in a relationship. The problem is that rarely love is defined. Is it a passionate emotion that overcomes everything else? Is it a powerful feeling that strikes us without warning? There is a foundational chapter in the Bible that clearly defines love. The vitality of your marriage or future marriage hinges on whether we understand how God explains love.

     Don't forget to post your attendance after group.  

Community Groups Week of May 14th

Community Groups Week of May 14th

Announcements :

* "FEEDING SOUTH FLORIDA" -  Community Group serving Opportunity - On May 20th ALL community groups will be serving at "Feeding South Florida" - Review handout for details. Let us know if you have any questions. 

* "Family Dedication" THIS Sunday!! - Sunday, May 21st we will be celebrating Family Dedication. This is the time where families with young children will be presenting their children and dedicating to raise them in a Godly Home. Contact church office with any questions you may have! 

Very Important: Please view the Leader video below for week #4:

Main Text:   2 Kings 5:15-27

Sermon Title:  Identity, Part 4: Insiders?

SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

(Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

HIGH/LOW:  What was the high point of your week and the low point?

Please read:   2 Kings 5:15-27

REFLECT:  The story of Naaman's conversion is an account of not simply an external transformation but an internal conversion! That is his NEW identity! How we identify ourselves is a key part about us!

  • How is what happened externally to Naaman a picture of what was happening internally?

  • Are there ways in which, or areas that, you are still trying to earn acceptance or approval from people (work, family?)? From God?? 

  • What is surprising about a Syrian general getting healed of leprosy, and Elisha’s servant contracting it?

  • Self-righteousness lingers in the heart of men/ women ... what are some ways we tend not to see it at work in our lives? 

  • How is self-righteousness the opposite of the Gospel? How does the Gospel message repel self-righteousness? 

  • How do we maintain our true identity built on the Gospel?

    • This is who we are!  LEADER: READ Ephesians 1: 11-14 , Colossians 2: 13-15
  • If you are an "outsider", how does the Gospel speak to you? If you are an "insider" how does it speak to you? 

Theme/Quote:

  • Insiders. Those that are in the right groups, have the right status, or know the right people. Almost every sphere of life has them. But what does someone who’s on the “inside” look like when it comes to spiritual things? Maybe spiritual insiders are those who know a lot about their faith. They are well read and can answer people’s questions. Maybe it’s the people who are really loving and hospitable and generous. They sacrifice a lot for others. Maybe it’s the person who has a religious position. They are a leader in their church or faith group. Interestingly, the story of Naaman pushes our conventional thinking about who is an insider. What does it take to be accepted by God? It may surprise you what the Bible says about what an insider looks like.

Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

Community Groups Week of May 7th

Community Groups Week of May 7th

Announcements :

* "FEEDING SOUTH FLORIDA" -  Community Group serving Opportunity - On May 20th ALL community groups will be serving at "Feeding South Florida" - Review handout for details. SIGN UP TODAY!!

 Mother's Day: Next Sunday (5/14) is the one day of the year that you can ask your whole family to come to church with you. And guess what? They’ll come...because you're pretty awesome and they can’t deny you.  So, make sure to get your Mom's, Grandmother's and your neighbors! 

Very Important: Please view the Leader video below for week #3:

 

Main Text:   2 Kings 5:1-7

Sermon Title:  Identity, Part 3: The Core Question

SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

(Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

HIGH/LOW:  What was the high point of your week and the low point?

Please read:   2 Kings 5:1-7

  • What do you think were some of the emotions running through Naaman when he was healed in the Jordan?

  • Ultimately, what does Naaman come to know?    (Leader: What does he learn? )

  • In what ways does this miracle shift Naaman’s spirituality?

  • How does your life show that it's built on your own perceived control? 

  • What is harder for you to give up: control or glory?

  • We all love praise and attention, but how does Elijah's treatment of Naaman demonstrate that God gets the praise? 

  • Why are we running after control and glory when time after time we see God is the one in control? 

    • Cross Reference:  Proverbs 19:21 , Psalm 33: 10-11 , Ecclesiastes 7:29 ,  Proverbs 21:30, Isaiah 46:10

  • What would be different in your life if you gave control and glory exclusively to God?

  • As you reflect on your own life, how can you give the glory, surrender the control to Jesus that He deserves? 

  • How have you given God the credit for the favor He has shown you?

Theme/Quote:

  • Control. That is a tough thing to give up. It’s not just “control freaks” that want control. We all do. Some could say it’s the hardest thing to give up. But what about glory? Glory is hard to pass up. Deflecting recognition or praise for something is not our instinct. What about letting someone else get credit when you deserve some too? That’s not easy. But which is harder? Would you be happier giving up control to get glory or giving up glory to get control? But maybe that’s not the real question. What if surrendering control AND glory would actually make us the happiest? The story of Naaman once again turns the world upside down, and shows us how our instincts often need to be reprogramed.

Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

Community Groups Week of April 30th

Community Groups Week of April 30th

Announcements :

* "FEEDING SOUTH FLORIDA" -  Community Group serving Opportunity - On May 20th ALL community groups will be serving at "Feeding South Florida" - Review handout for details. SIGN UP TODAY!! 

* STUDENT CAMP: UNLEASHED MISSIONS Camp mobilizes middle and high-school students to serve their community. DATES: July 10th- 14th 2017  

Very Important: Please click on the link below for the week # 2 Leader video:

Main Text:   2 Kings 5:1-15

Sermon Title:  Identity, Part 2: The Trajectory of                                                                 Greatness

SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

(Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

HIGH/LOW:  What was the high point of your week and the low point?

Please read:   2 Kings 5: 1-15

  • In your own words, how would you describe Naaman’s worldly status?

  • What are some signs that you are trying to prove your own status (value), as opposed to recognizing the value God has already given you?

  • Take a moment .... let your identity sink in: Ephesians 2: 4-6  (LEADERS READ) .

  • List some of the ways God humbled Naaman through this story?

  • How did Jesus have an opposite trajectory of greatness than the rest of the world’s trajectory?

  • How has God established your value? And what does that mean for your life? 

  • Take an honest inventory of your life. What are some spheres of your life that you need to reprogram yourself to a trajectory of serving?

  • Can you name some direct results of your identity found in Jesus? (LEADERS: like Generosity, humility, serving).

  •  

    Theme/Quote:

  • Think about the idiom “climb the ladder.” We use it in a couple different spheres of life: “climb the corporate ladder,” or “climb the social ladder,” or just “climb the ladder of success.” In our culture, we intend to desire a generally upward trajectory. We even use the phrase “upwardly mobile,” to communicate someone improving their general situation economically or socially. It is interesting that it is so instinctual for our society to see the “up” direction as superior. We say I want to be “over” more responsibility, “above” people on the chain of command, and have a “higher” position of responsibility. Upward seems like the natural trajectory. But how does that square with the trajectory of Jesus? What if with Jesus everything changes? When you have Jesus everything is turned upside down.

Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

Community Groups Week of April 23rd

Community Groups Week of April 23rd

Announcements :

* "FEEDING SOUTH FLORIDA" -  Community Group serving Opportunity - On May 20th ALL community groups will be serving at "Feeding South Florida" - Review handout for details. SIGN UP TODAY!! 

* STUDENT CAMP: UNLEASHED MISSIONS Camp mobilizes middle and high-school students to serve their community. DATES: July 10th- 14th 2017  

Very Important: Please click on the link below for the week # 1 Leader video:

 

Main Text:   2 Kings 5:1-12

Sermon Title: Identity, Part 1: Identity Inventory

SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

(Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

HIGH/LOW:  What was the high point of your week and the low point?

Please read:   2 Kings 5:1-12

  • What are the different ways Naaman tried to display his significance?

  • How do people do the same types of things today?

  • How does our attitude change when our resources, our wisdom, or our status have little relevance to our identity? 

  • How do we wrap our identity in the superficial, in the temporary? 

  • If you are honest with yourself, which of those categories do you most find your significance in?

  • This past week, what was something you tried to "prove" about yourself? In other words, "I hope people see me as _________?"

  • Why do you think you tend to do that?

  • *** What does God say about our identity? How does God define us? ***

    • Leaders: Push people to see themselves as God seems them! See below: 

      • I belong to God- 1 Cor. 6:20

      • Citizen of Heaven- Phil. 3:20

      • Adopted as God's child - Eph. 1:5

      • Redeemed and forgiven - Col. 1:14

      • Hidden with Christ in God - Col. 3:3

      • Complete in Christ- Col. 2:10

Theme/Quote:

  • He had everything you could want out of his life. Wealth? He had boatloads. Connections? He rubbed shoulders with the most significant people of the time. Power? He was a war hero, that now had armies at his command. He even made a splash in the fashion world. There was one major problem... he had leprosy. But the sickness in his heart was actually worse than the disease on his skin. Despite all he had, he spent his life trying to prove his significance and find his identity. But God took this man on a journey to brokenness. And when he got there he found restoration he could have only hoped to be possible. Let us introduce you to a man named Naaman.

Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

    Community Group Break

    Community Groups Break

    Hey Everyone, 

    I just wanted to take a moment and say thank you to all of you for a great 1st quarter of the year. I'm especially excited by how you made serving a priority of your group life. So many of you sent pictures and shared some of the great serving projects you were a part of ... and there are some happening in the next 2 weeks! Well done leaders!! 

    Last, I wanted to share some important details of the upcoming Community Groups quarter with you. I am very excited as the Lord continues to provide direction and clarity as we grow to impact the community around us.

    Please note some important dates:

    •  Community Group Leader Training:  Wed. April 19th

    • "Next Steps" classSun. April 23rd

    • Community Groups Opening:  Week of April 23rd

    • Community Groups Close: Last day June 3rd   (6 week season)

    I look forward to sharing with you soon the new groups that are being added, our focus on outreach and some great people jumping in to serve by leading. As always, please don't hesitate to call or email with any questions or concerns. I'm so excited for our upcoming quarter!

    You Are Loved,

    Pastor Frank

    Community Group Week of March 26th

    Community Groups Week of March 26th

    Announcements :

    • Serve this Easter:

      • Another way you can be mobilized is to serve with us on Easter Sunday. Ask about one of the many of serving opportunities we have available.

    * Very Important: Please click on the link below for the week # 6 Leader video:

    Click here for video: 

    Main Text:   Luke 18:9-14

    Sermon Title: In The Ring, Part 3:  Religion vs. Gospel

    Sermon Topic: (Not to be read or e-mailed to your group … this is for the leader’s review and recollection)

    • One of the greatest challenges facing us all is an overestimation of who we are and an underestimation of who God is.

    • Both Christians and non-Christians often struggle with faith, or conversations with others about our faith, because they don't have a firm grasp of the core message that Jesus declared by His words and His life. Both groups may struggle because there is a fundamental lack of understanding on what Jesus message is. It is something completely and utterly different from what the culture thinks.

    • The Gospel is the remedy here. The message of Jesus is simply and profoundly that God, out of His grace, has done something for us! We work and live like we must do “something” to be accepted by God, that God is more pleased with us the more we perform for Him. That is performance based religion, not the gospel.

    • God loves us with an everlasting love, He peruses man with His grace and love, that’s what the gospel declares. Jesus came and died for sinners because God loves sinners and wants them to trust in Him. Religion says, “Look what I have done for you!” but the Gospel says, “Look, I have come for you!”

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    HIGH/LOW:  What was the high point of your week and the low point?

    Please read:  Luke 18: 9-14

    • What are some ways in which we act like we should be accepted because of what we have done rather than what Jesus has done for us?

    • If the message of Jesus is not more “religion,” how is it different?

    • What does it mean to be “justified by faith?”

    • Can you explain how your self-worth, identity and hope doesn't come from religion it comes from the Gospel?

    • Read verse 9. Why do the self-righteous treat others with contempt?

    • The sin of self-righteousness is described by Christ as exalting oneself. What does Christ say is the opposite of that?  ( Leader see verse 14)

    • What does it mean to humble oneself before God? How did Christ humble himself before God? (Leader see Php 2:8)

    • Leader REFLECT on this with your group:   (READ in advance)  

      The lesson is that obedience to rules or "the law" as a means of obtaining salvation is religion; it is self-righteousness. Ultimately it is oppressive since deep down we know our self-righteousness is insufficient. It breeds self-loathing and contempt of others.
      On the other hand, humble obedience as a response to the free gift of salvation brings appreciation and joy as we lean on the Gospel for our identity, not our own works. 

      Remember - Religion asks, "How good are you?" The Gospel asks, "How good is Christ?"

    Theme/Quote:

    • You know, Christians and non-Christians alike have heard of Jesus. Many know some facts and even some stories, but do they really get the message that Jesus brought with Him? It’s amazing to see how easy it is to think we are in “control,” and overestimate just about everything about ourselves. But Jesus has a unique message that strikes at the heart of who we think we are and what we think we can do. Jesus teaches a parable comparing the approaches of two very different men, to God. Therein lies the true picture of the heart that God shows grace to and the one that He resists. That picture comes to vivid life in the Gospel. It is the Gospel that puts in proper perspective the position of man and the position of God. It is the Gospel that displays man in desperate need of God, and God desiring to give grace to man. You see, religion says, “Look what I have done for you!” but the Gospel says, “Look, I have come for you!” The Gospel is the remedy to self-righteousness and shows us a picture of God’s work for us!      

    Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

    Community Groups Blog Week of March 19th

    Community Groups Week of March 19th

    Announcements :

    MISSIONS :  Last week we announced that we have 3 incredible mission trips planned for 2017 and we are excited to invite you to find out more about them.

    • This year we’ll be going to Haiti, Guatemala and our Student Ministry is doing a student and family trip to the Bahamas.
      • If you are interested in missions, then we’d love to encourage you to contact the church office and/ or Pastor Josias and we’ll send you some more information this week.

    • STUDENT CAMP: UNLEASHED MISSIONS Camp mobilizes middle and hight-school students to serve their community. DATES: July 10th- 14th 2017  /  PRICE: $219.00 before April 1st.  

    * Very Important: Please click on the link below for the week # 6 Leader video:

    Click Here for video: 

    Main Text:   John 4: 7-26

    Sermon Title: In The Ring, Part 2:  Love vs. Truth

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    HIGH/LOW:  What was the high point of your week and the low point?

    Please read:   John 4: 7-26

    • When have you been in a circumstance that you felt like you had to chose between love and truth? Have you ever kept them at odd's? 

    • How does Jesus' compassion impact the woman at the well? How does it impact you?

    • Jesus, lovingly, is revealing how this woman is trying to satisfy a longing ... what is the longing of your heart that Jesus wants to satisfy? 

    • Compare how Jesus' treats this woman with the Apostle Pauls words in Ephesians 4:15. (Leader: Jesus was acting out (Doing!) what Paul was teaching..)

    • What does it look like to speak the truth with love vs. without love?

    • Which is more your tendency to be loving without the truth or be truthful without love?

    • What is one situation in your life right now that requires love and truth? How are you going to handle it?
    • If truth and love go hand in hand why do we so often separate them? 

    Theme/Quote:

    • There are two good friends that for some reason people always think are fighting. Some even think these two are enemies that can never be reconciled. But they are not really at odds at all. In fact, they love being together, always drawing the best out of each other. They are miserable when they are apart. You would never want one without the other. Who are these two friends? Love and Truth. Some people more naturally lean to the side of love leaving out truth. And some people lean more to the side of truth leaving out love. But truth and love are inseparable friends, attached at the hip. They should always go arm in arm.

    Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

    Community Groups Blog Week of March 12th

    Community Groups Week of March 12th

    Announcements :

    MISSIONS :  Last week we announced that we have 3 incredible mission trips planned for 2017 and we are excited to invite you to find out more about them.

    • This year we’ll be going to Haiti, Guatemala and our Student Ministry is doing a student and family trip to the Bahamas.
      • If you are interested in missions, then we’d love to encourage you to contact the church office and/ or Pastor Josias and we’ll send you some more information this week.

    • STUDENT CAMP: UNLEASHED MISSIONS Camp mobilizes middle and hight-school students to serve their community. DATES: July 10th- 14th 2017  /  PRICE: $219.00 before April 1st.  

    * Very Important: Please click on the link below for the week # 5 Leader video:

    Click Here for Video!

    Main Text:   John 8: 2-11

    Sermon Title: In The Ring, Part 1:  Tolerance vs. Grace

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    HIGH/LOW:  What was the high point of your week and the low point?

    Please read: John 8: 2-11

    * How would you describe what being judgemental looks like?

    * Are there relationships in your life that just seem like a "test?" Meaning - perhaps family members that seem to test your faith. How do you approach them? Speak to them? 

    * What is the difference between tolerance and grace? 

    * How should grace overlay all of our discussions and interactions with others, particularly with those we may disagree with? What would that look like in your daily life? 

    * Who is someone that you need to have more grace towards? 

    * How does GRACE shift our focus off of "me" or "you" and onto Jesus? 

    * Going forward, how will you handle those difficult relationships/ moments differently? 

    Theme/Quote:

    How would you describe being judgmental? Would you say that it is defined by these qualities - love, joy, patience, kindness, gentleness? Probably not. In fact those seem like the opposite of being judgmental. What is interesting is that the Bible says those are five qualities that will increasingly mark a true Christian. So if the attributes of a Christian are supposed to be unmistakably different than those of a judgmental person, why do Christians so often come across as judgmental? The modern mind’s reaction to judgmentalism is tolerance. Tolerance accepts virtually everything, while judgmentalism condemns much. But those are not the only two options. There is a third option. An option that is truly unique to Jesus. It is so profound in its power that it transformed the world. Many Christians miss it. Most of the world doesn’t understand it. But it is central to Jesus teachings. It is GRACE.

     

    Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

    Community Groups Blog Week of March 5th

    Community Groups Week of March 5th

     

    Announcements :

    Missions/Outreach :  Last week we announced that we have 3 incredible mission trips planned for 2017 and we are excited to invite you to find out more about them.

    • This year we’ll be going to Haiti, Guatemala and our Student Ministry is doing a student and family trip to the Bahamas.
      • If you are interested in missions, then we’d love to encourage you to contact the church office and/ or Pastor Josias and we’ll send you some more information this week.

    Donuts at 9 AM Service: That's right!!  Starting NEXT Sunday we will be serving KRISPY KREME doughnuts at the 9AM service. ... Oh, YES, this is to bribe more people to come to the 9 am service! See you then ...

    * Very Important: Please click on the link below for the week # 5 Leader video:

    Click here for video!

    Main Text:   1 Timothy 6:17-19

    Sermon Title: Activate, Part 4:  Return on Investment

    Sermon Topic: (Not to be read or e-mailed to your group … this is for the leader’s review and recollection)

    Have you ever wondered if your giving really matters that much? Perhaps you have thought, "But what about my needs ... I can't really give anything special!" Here's the great thing about giving; not only have we been uniquely resourced to impact for good with our generosity but God Himself has promised to respond to our generosity in ways that will astound us! God wants to ignite something in you! You see, by uniquely positioning you to do good for God's kingdom, God has provided an opportunity for you to leverage your life for something that matters immensely. This generosity muscle that God wants to grow in His children serves to further the Kingdom, as well as, to teach us joy, contentment, and a life that's ultimately satisfying. God wants us to be a part of changing the world around us, and a heart of generosity is at the front end of that. As our generosity grows, our joy grows! As our generosity grows our contentment grows! As our generosity grows our lives provide a greater impact now and for an eternity in heaven! Go ahead, test God ... Go for it ... He has blessings for you that you cannot imagine! (Mal. 3: 7-10 , Luke 6:38) 

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    HIGH/LOW:  What was the high point of your week and the low point?

    Please read:  1 Timothy 6:17-19

    • What does God say happens when we are generous? How does it (generosity) impact our future?   (LEADER: Matt. 6:20 , Matt. 19: 27-19 , 2 Cor. 9:6) 

    • According to the Bible, what is the investment logic behind generosity?

    • How does the view of eternity in heaven motivate our generosity here on earth?    (LEADER: True Believers home - Phil. 3:20) 

    • Of all you’ve heard in the Activate series, what is motivating you to be generous the most?

    • How has God promised to respond to our generosity (our faithful giving)? (Luke 6:38 , Malachi 3: 7-10)

    • "Leverage your life for something better!" What does that mean? How does that build contentment?  

    • How can your commitment to the work of the Lord grow today? Where do you need to dig-in and ACTIVATE your life for something better? 

    • What does Generosity/ Giving helps teach us (our families)?  (LEADER: Joy, contentment) 

    • What is going to be your next step?

    Theme/Quote:

    * Expect the unexpected when you study the Bible. Most would probably think the scripture teaches that we need to enjoy our earthly treasures less. But surprise, God actually says that he wants to teach us how to enjoy the blessings He’s given us. First, He teaches us that contentment with what we have, not the constant craving for more, is key to enjoying what we’ve been given. But more than that, the Bible tells us that it is truly more of a blessing to have the privilege of giving, than just receiving. When we are generous and get to love someone, it produces a vibrant joy inside of us. But if that wasn’t enough, God has even more in store for us when we learn to be generous. When we give, He gives back!

    Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

     

    Community Groups Week of Feb. 26th

    Community Groups Week of February 26th.

     Announcements :

    Missions/Outreach :  Last week we announced that we have 3 incredible mission trips planned for 2017 and we are excited to invite you to find out more about them.

      • This year we’ll be going Haiti, Guatemala and our Student Ministry is doing a student and family trip to the Bahamas.

      • If you are interested in missions, then we’d love to encourage you to contact the church office  and we’ll send you some more information this week.

    * Very Important: Please click on the link below for the week # 5 Leader video:

    Click here for video

    Main Text:   1 Timothy 6:17-18

    Sermon Title: Activate, Part 3:  Compulsive Generosity

    Sermon Topic: (Not to be read or e-mailed to your group … this is for the leader’s review and recollection)

    When we come to the realization that it is God who has provided us with all of our resources (intellectual, relational, financial, etc..) we must conclude that He has resourced us for a purpose. That's, kind of, the hard facts. Moreover, joyful & authentic generosity with those resources ultimately comes down to a condition of the heart. Little doubt that we have each been impacted by joyful giving. In those moments, those times, we are displaying the kind of compelling and contagious giving that can fuel our Christian lives. Not only do we become the kind of generous person God desires but we become the kind of people others want to be around. A heart that has been changed by the gospel is a heart that can and should display this contagious generosity! God has shown us profound generosity in freely giving us Christ. It's that same kind of generosity we are to have with others.     

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    HIGH/LOW:  What was the high point of your week and the low point?

    Please read:     1 Timothy 6: 17-18

    • As you reflect, what has given you joy to give? Why has that impacted you? 

    • What does generosity have to do with the gospel? 

    • What is difficult about generosity?

    • God has given us resources to enjoy! How do we do that in a way that honors Him? 

    • Who is someone you know that is truly generous?

    • What is contagious about their demeanor?

    • What has God reminded you of this week in order to use your life for something that matters? 

    • How are you uniquely positioned to use your resources for good? What are ways to do that? 

    • If generosity is a "heart issue," what does it say about our hearts when we are not generous or unwilling to be so?

    • Are you READY for opportunities to be generous? What does that look like?  

    Theme/Quote:

    • Everyone has suffered through an interaction with a truly selfish person. There is no conversation that they are unable to bring the focal point back to themselves. There are no victories for others that they are truly happy about. It is more than frustrating. It is repellent. It’s hard to enjoy being around someone like that. But the reality is, that person is probably not enjoying their life either. But on the other hand each of us have probably been around a truly giving person. Not someone who is generous to manipulate or to get something in return. There is just a generous spirit about them. They are truly interested in others. They freely share what is theirs for the pure joy of it. Those types of people are attractive and magnetic. They are not just a joy to be around, their genuine joy is contagious. Those individuals have found the joy of a generous life.


    • Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

       

    Community Groups Week of February 19th

    Community Groups Week of February 19th

    Announcements : 

    • Baptism Celebration: One of the most exciting things we do here at West Pines is our Baptism Celebration! Mark your calendars now as, THIS SUNDAY Feb. 26th, we will be celebrating baptisms. Baptisms after every service. We encourage you to come and encourage those whose lives have been impacted by the gospel. 

    ** Very Important: Please click on the link below for the week # 5 Leader video:

    Click here for video

    Main Text:   1 Timothy 6:6-10

    Sermon Title: Activate, Part 2:  The Freedom of                                                                   Contentment

    Sermon Topic: (Not to be read or e-mailed to your group … this is for the leader’s review and recollection)

     

    I have pursued a lot of things in my life. Often times this pursuit of worldly things has brought difficulty and has resulted in more want, then more pursuit. Sadly, this cycle of "it" never being enough is the pattern of this world. We not only spend our time, energy and resources on this pursuit but we assign value and influence to these things that they really do not have. When our hearts get a hold of wealth, worldly material and the like, it can be a blessing or a great danger ... but it certainly does not last. In fact, to pursue these things is to love these things, and to love them is a trap, a mirage, and draws us in. King Solomon wrote that whoever loves wealth never has enough of it!  What we pursue we assign we have assigned value to, and pursuing these things, like wealth and materialism, only serves to foster and build discontentment, because they don't hold that value. 

    Yet, when we pursue the things of God, and God Himself, these "things" are put in their proper place and we can then enjoy the good things in the way that God intended us to. God is saying "Stop Chasing!" To be content, truly content, we "choose," not "chase!" In choosing, we will avoid traps and find great gain. May God's word weigh on us to stop striving and start thanking Him for what we do have instead of chasing what we don't. 

     

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    HIGH/LOW:  What was the high point of your week and the low point?

    Please read:     1 Timothy 6: 6- 10

    • As you consider the Apostle Pauls instructions, what would you say is the point of "Godliness with contentment?"

    • How is materialism a trap?  (Leaders get them to think how money, wealth, materialism can enslave a person.)

    • If contentment is "freedom from want," what does that say about our "wants?"

    • What are some ways we use money to bolster our self-worth and define our identity?

    • Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” What are things that are easy for you to spend your treasure on?

    • "Contentment is not something you chase, it's something you choose." So what are you choosing, what are you chasing? 

    • Consider this, is what you are pursuing (chasing) and collecting impacting your daily life or your eternal one? 

    • How is contentment freeing?

    • How do we find this "contentment?" What are practical things we can do to find and hold contentment in our lives?

    • What are you thankful for right now? 

    Theme/Quote:

    • It’s 9 pm. You are sitting on the couch, winding down from the day in front of the television. You were minding your own business when a commercial came on that changed everything. It must have been the close-up camera angles on the melted cheese. In slow motion, the thick strands of mozzarella endlessly trail from the piping hot slice to the rest of the pizza. Somehow now you can even smell the crusty dough wafting from your TV. They know what they are doing. And what did you ever do to them? You weren’t even hungry. But now life cannot go on without the satiation of this craving they’ve induced. In a thousand different ways, through a thousand different mediums this same scenario plays out. It demonstrates one thing: our culture knows how to obliterate contentment. But what we know from the Bible is that God gave us everything to enjoy. The challenge is we don’t know how to enjoy it.

    Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

    Community Groups Week of February 12th

    Announcements :  

    • Women’s Ministry - Women’s Ministry is a place where women from all ages and stages of life can come together, love on, encourage each other and learn more about becoming a godly woman and the great news that is we are going to be starting a brand new 6-week Bible study called “Finding I Am”. Call your girlfriends and come out and join us starting Wednesday, February 1st at 7pm..

    • Men's Group: Join our Men's group on Monday nights at 7:30pm on campus as they are challenged by a great study by Pastor and Author Matt Chandler - "Recovering Redemption." 

    • Growth Tracks Table:  Don't forget you can always stop by the Growth Tracks table in the lobby on Sundays if you have any questions or need any information.

    • Baptism Celebration: One of the most exciting things we do here at West Pines is our Baptism Celebration! Mark your calendars now as we prepare for baptism celebration Sunday on February 26th. Baptisms after every service. 

    ** Very Important: Please click on the link below for the week # 3 Leader video:

    Click here for video

    Main Text:   1 Timothy 6:17-19

    Sermon Title:   Activate, Part 1: Ignition

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    • What do you think of when you hear the phrase, “the rich in this present age”?

    • What are the biggest obstacles in our culture, to leveraging our financial resources to do good?

    • What is the biggest obstacle in your life, to leveraging your financial resources to do good?

    • Why should we not be prideful about our wealth? 

    • How have you set your hopes on the uncertain things of this world, like wealth? Are there any others? 

    • In this study of Paul's instructions to Timothy, how have you been reminded that God has provided your resources?

    • What was a time when you believed that "you" were the one who has gotten you where you are?

    • How are you managing the resources God has given you?

    • How can you change your thinking to see the great opportunity God has given you to leverage your resources for good?

    • Have you purchased the "Treasure Principle" yet? Why not? 

    Theme/Quote:

    • Imagine for a second that you invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in a brand new sports car, but are so afraid of scratching the paint that you never take it out of the the garage. What if you inherited a priceless work of art, but all of your life it sat collecting dust in your attic. What a waste. There’s no question it is a tragedy to have access to a tremendous resource, but leave it unutilized. One of the biggest sources of regret in life is wasting an opportunity. What if we are each on the cusp of being able to be a part of something great. The only question is will we tap into the opportunity we have. In this series, we intend to ACTIVATE something inside of you. We believe God has called each of us to be catalysts transforming the world around us. There is something that may be lying dormant in your life right now that we want to fire up. Don’t miss this series as we ignite the world changer in each of us.

     Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

     

    Community Groups Week of Feb. 5th

    Announcements :  

    • Women’s Ministry - Women’s Ministry is a place where women from all ages and stages of life can come together, love on, encourage each other and learn more about becoming a godly woman and the great news that is we are going to be starting a brand new 6-week Bible study called “Finding I Am”. Call your girlfriends and come out and join us starting Wednesday, February 1st at 7pm..

    • Men's Group: Join our Men's group on Monday nights at 7:30pm on campus as they are challenged by a great study by Pastor and Author Matt Chandler - "Recovering Redemption." 

    • Growth Tracks Table:  Don't forget you can always stop by the Growth Tracks table in the lobby on Sundays if you have any questions or need any information.

    • Baptism Celebration: One of the most exciting things we do here at West Pines is our Baptism Celebration! Mark your calendars now as we prepare for baptism celebration Sunday on February 26th. Baptisms after every service. 

    • Student Ministry Parent Meetings:  We’re going to be having the most important parent meetings we will have in Student Ministry all year in a few days. We’re going to be sharing details about student camp, a mission trip opportunity to the Bahamas, and also giving you a chance to connect to your student's tribe leaders. MS Parent Meetings: Sunday, 2/12 immediately following the 10:30am and 12:00pm services and HS Parent Meeting: Wednesday, 2/22 from 6:30-7:15pm.

    ** Very Important: Please click on the link below for the week # 3 Leader video:

    Click here for video

     

    Main Text:   Psalm 88

    Sermon Title:   Struggling with God

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    HIGH/LOW:     What was the high point of your week and the low point?

    Please read:     Psalm 88

    • What was your reaction when you saw how blunt this Psalm writer was with God?

    • How did you respond to God when you have felt overwhelmed, overcome and overburdened by darkness?

    • At a moment of raw fear, have you thought, "God, why have you forgotten me?" How long before you turned to God?  

    • Why do you think Christians are sometimes afraid to admit that they are struggling with God?

    • Is there something in this season that you have been wrestling with God about? If not now, has there been something in the past?

    • What are some practical things we can do when we are struggling with God?

    • How does a mature Christian respond to God in their anger, doubt and fear? 

    • Name some of the promises of God that you cling to in times of struggle. 

      •  (Leader: for example, Psalm 84:11, Phil. 4:19, James 1:5, 1 Cor. 10:13)

    • Is it ok (safe) to get angry with God? 

      • (Leader - Remind your ppl of the 3 points):

      • God is secure enough to handle our doubts. 

      • God is gracious enough to handle your anger. 

      • God is loving enough to handle your questions. 

    Theme/Quote:

    • What happens when someone is angry at God? According to the Bible, God is so Holy that if we even saw a glimpse of Him, we would immediately die. We can’t handle His terrifyingly awesome glory. But let’s have a moment of truth. Has there ever been a time when you have questioned Him? Maybe deep down you are really struggling with God because of something He allowed in your life. It could be something recently or something a long time ago. But it is a serious offense to doubt God and question, God. Right? So often we just swallow those feelings and try to ignore them. We certainly wouldn’t admit them to anyone else. We are supposed to be stable, consistent, faith-filled people. How could we ever admit that we are wrestling? If you’ve never read Psalm 88, you may be surprised how the Bible directs us to handle ourselves when we are struggling with God.

    •  Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

    Community Groups Week of Jan. 29th

    Announcements :  

    • Women’s Ministry - Women’s Ministry is a place where women from all ages and stages of life can come together, love on, encourage each other and learn more about becoming a godly woman and the great news that is we are going to be starting a brand new 6-week Bible study called “Finding I Am”.
        • Call your girlfriends and come out and join us starting Wednesday, February 1st at 7pm..
    • Men's Group: Join our Men's group on Monday nights at 7:30pm on campus as they are challenged by a great study by Pastor and Author Matt Chandler - "Recovering Redemption." 
    • Growth Tracks Table:  Don't forget you can always stop by the Growth Tracks table in the lobby on Sundays if you have any questions or need any information.

    ** Very Important: Please click on the link below for the week # 2 Leader video:

    Week 2 blog video

    Main Text:   Psalm 1:1-6

    Sermon Title: Renovate, Part 4: Location, Location, Location

    Sermon Topic: (Not to be read or e-mailed to your group … this is for the leader’s review and recollection)

    • God's word is foundational to a life that wants to grow and thrive. The Psalmist writes that the tree which is planted near the stream of water is the one that thrives. The tree, because of its proximity to the source (the water), is flourishing and prospering. The source causes what is connected to it to prosper. The desert is a desolate barren wilderness where almost nothing grows and certainly nothing thrives. Yet, there can be an oasis in the desert where rich foliage blossoms. The difference maker is the source that's being connected too. In our lives being connected to the source, God's word, is what allows us to thrive and grow as believers. In Psalm 1 the tree prospers because it is has been planted by the water, which nourishes and feeds it to grow in its environment.
    • When we are connected to God's word where we have been planted we too will flourish. God has planted us in a community of faith. As a community, as we remain connected to God's word we will grow. That's what we have been designed for, to be in community! We have no ability to walk this Christian road isolated or cut- off from the community we have been planted in. For growth and spiritual health devote yourself to regularly meet with, engage and be a part of the community of faith where God has placed you. To thrive don't just show up to church, be a part of the church!   

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    HIGH/LOW:     What was the high point of your week and the low point?

    Please read:     Psalm 1:1-6

    • Why do you think the author of Psalm 1 selected the metaphor of a tree by a stream?
    • How does the scripture nourish our lives?
    • How does your connection to the scriptures impact where you've been planted? 
    • What would it ideally look like for you and your family to be planted closer to the streams of God’s Word?
    • We are designed to be in community together (Heb. 10:24). Are you devoted to regularly meet, encourage and grow with the community of faith that you have been planted in? 
    • What was a time when someone in the church, who spoke into your life, impacted you?
    • When was the last time you read the scriptures and God gripped you by His greatness, challenged you by His holiness or drove you to see His mercies?
    • What comes to mind right now, as you consider the need for a community to be anchored in God's word and how that has changed you?
    • Can a Christian live a growing and thriving life of faith without the community of faith?  
    • What does it look like to be a greater part of the community of faith?
      • (Leader: serving, groups, etc..)
    • What is one step you can take this week to make that happen?

    Theme/Quote:

    • What if you decided to get into the business of flipping houses. So, you buy a fixer-upper, that needs a ton of work. You gut the whole thing. You put in a lot of hours and a lot of money. And at the end of all the renovation, the house looks beautiful. You are ready to sell. But there’s one major problem: the location is abysmal. The realtor informs you that it is pretty much hopeless to get someone to buy this house. He reminds you of the old saying: location, location, location. It doesn’t matter how much renovation you attempt, if you are in a bad location, it’s pretty much a waste. Psalm 1 says something similar about our spiritual lives. If you want to thrive, you need to be situated in a place where God’s word is constantly present.

    Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

    Community Group Week of 01.22.17

    Announcements :  

    • WELCOME to opening week of our COMMUNITY GROUP !!
    • Women’s Ministry - Women’s Ministry is a place where women from all ages and stages of life can come together, love on, encourage each other and learn more about becoming a godly woman and the great news that is we are going to be starting a brand new 6-week Bible study called “Finding I Am”.
      • Call your girlfriends and come out and join us starting Wednesday, February 1st at 7pm...which is only 10 days away!
    • Growth Tracks Table:  Don't forget you can always stop by the Growth Tracks table in the lobby on Sundays if you have any questions or need any information.
    • Men's Group:  Join our Men's group on Monday nights on campus as they are challenged by a great study by Pastor and Author Matt Chandler - "Recovering Redemption." 

     

    Main Text:   Psalm 1:1-6

    Sermon Title:  Renovate, Part 3: DIY

    Sermon Topic: (Not to be read or e-mailed to your group … this is for the leader’s review and recollection)

    • When it comes to a renovation project, there are a few reasons you may not DIY (Do It Yourself). 1) You may not have time. 2) You may not know how. 3) You simply may not care, and just leave it broken. But the same can be also true for our spiritual lives.
    • There is a component that of our spiritual growth that is DIY. God is overseeing our spiritual development and maturity, but we have a part to play as well. Psalm 1 is a helpful guide.
    • It says that we will be blessed if we know how to engage our Bible. First, it says we need to delight in the Bible. We are to shift our thinking about it. It is for us.  It is for our benefit. It will transform our lives for the better.
    • Second, it says we are to meditate on the Bible. This word literally means “to mutter.” Have you ever seen someone so deep in thought that they are actually talking to themselves under their breath without realizing it. They haven’t gone crazy, they are just processing something that deeply. That is what we are supposed to do in our lives as well. We are simply supposed to read the Bible and check off a box on our daily To Do list. We are supposed to think about it and process it. We are supposed to marinate in the Bible or steep in it. We are supposed to chew on it.
    • Lastly it says, we are to meditate on it day and night. We should shift our expectations on how the Bible works. It’s not something we pull out in an emergency. It is something that is supposed to be a regular part of our lives.
    • Here are three things we can do in response to this passage:
      1. Calendar Your Bible - schedule time every day.
      2. Read Your Bible - maybe pick a simple place to start like: Mark, Proverbs, or James.
      3. Chew Your Bible - have a journal ready. Jot down a thought you want to chew on that day.

    SUGGESTED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

    (Please feel free to modify questions to accommodate your specific group!)

    HIGH/LOW:     What was the high point of your week and the low point?

    Please read:     Psalm 1:1-6

    • If there was one situation in your life right now that you desperately need wisdom for, what would it be?
    • How are we supposed to use the Bible, according to Psalm 1?
    • When have we spent time meditating on God's word? Do we "chew" on what God says?
    • What happens when the bible saturates your life? 
    • What would our life look like, how would it be shaped if the rhythm of our lives was impacted by the bible? How would you be changed? 
    • When is the best time during the day for you to read and study the Bible?
    • What are you going to do this week to engage the Bible more deeply and consistently? How will you make more space for God's word in your life? 
    • How do we respond to Psalm 1?  
      • (For the Leader)  
      • Calendar your bible!
      • Read your bible!
      • Chew on your bible!

    Theme/Quote:

    • Analyzing a big decision and not knowing what to do can be exasperating. If you’ve been in that situation, maybe you’ve gotten to a place where you just wish someone could come alongside of you and tell you what the right decision is. What if we could have a life coach that always knew the right answer. What if they always could perfectly direct us. The Bible claims to be that for us. It says that we will thrive if we anchor our lives to it. Maybe you’ve heard that before but it’s not worked for you. Where in the Bible does it tell me if I should date this person or take this job? It’s hard to find that page in the Bible. But maybe the problem is we don’t know how to use the Bible. Don’t worry. Think of Psalm 1 as the user's manual. You may be one step away from full access to inexhaustible wisdom and insight.

     

    Don't forget to post your attendance after group.

    Happy New Year !

    Hey Everyone,

    I hope you and your families enjoyed the celebration of Christmas and that your year has gotten off to a great start. Ours sure has! We have hit the ground running!
    I just wanted to update you on a couple of details and share a quick reminder or two. Our first big important date is Friday Jan. 20th. We are meeting for our first "Community Group Leader training" mtg. at 7pm in the "Fuge" the youth room on campus. Please make any arrangements necessary to join us that evening.
    * Second, please note I have updated all of your groups in "InFellowship" with the new start and end dates for quarter #1 (Jan. 22- April 1).
    * Third, should you have any adjustments in the meeting details of your group please be sure to communicate that to me by this Saturday (1/7) so that we can produce accurate promotional materials. If I don't hear from you I will assume your details remain unchanged.
    Ok guys ... get ready  .... we launch again in just over 2 weeks!

     "So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless."

    ... Paul 

    (1 Cor. 15:58, NLT)

    You Are Loved,

    Pastor Frank

    Community Groups Week of Nov. 20th

    Announcements :  

    • We just ended our COMMUNITY GROUP quarter  for 2016! ts been a great 9 weeks together!! Now, the Community Groups will take a break over the Thanksgiving & Christmas season ... and we will launch again on JAN. 22nd, 2017Looking forward to getting together and touching base over the holidays!
    • CHRISTMAS  ....Christmas is coming... 
      • We are exactly 33 days away from the 1st Christmas service here at West Pines. We will have 5 Christmas services !!
      • Check the website for service details.

    ** Very Important :

    JOIN US ... Community Group Leader Christmas Party!!

    Food, Fun, more Food!

    Fri. Dec. 16th 

    7pm- 9pm

    Church Campus

    Dress Casual

    No childcare provided

     

    Happy Thanksgiving !

    "Know that the Lord, he is God!     It is he who made us, and we are his;     we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

     Enter his gates with thanksgiving,     and his courts with praise!     Give thanks to him; bless his name!"

    Psalm 100: 3-4