Community Group Week of February 14, 2016

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Love The People You Lead

If all you do as a leader is love people, it’s a win. The people in your group hear more criticism in an average day than they do encouragement. They’re probably well aware of how they fall short as Christians, parents, spouses, employees, friends, etc. Chances are they’re dealing with some type of physical, financial, or relational struggle. They need hope! They need a boost of faith. And they need to experience what Paul mentioned in I Corinthians 13:13, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Announcements :

  • MOVE ON OVER to 9 or noon!

    Hey, thanks so much for all of you who are attending the 9am and 12pm service, we really appreciate all of you moving over to make room for our guests.  If you are attending the 10:30am and you are serving at the 9am or noon, you’re ok, Thank you for serving, but if you’re attending the 10:30am and you aren’t currently then do us a favor and MOVE ON OVER to 9 or noon!

  • Men’s Ministry is back in session! We are diving into the book of Romans. This is a great opportunity to study God’s Word, get to know other guys at West Pines, and be encouraged for the week ahead. We meet in the Fuge (our youth building directly across the parking lot from the main entrance to church) on Monday nights at 7pm. Contact Vince Harris or Steve Englund for more details.

  • Our Women’s Ministry is currently doing a study called Seamless: Understanding the Bible as One Complete Story on Wednesdays at 10am and 7pm in the multi-purpose room. There’s still time to jump in at either session. The 10am study has preschool childcare available for $10 per child and that covers the entire Winter study. Contact Melissa Mashburn or Natalie Johnson for more details.

  • On Sunday, February 28th we’re going to be having our Baptism Celebration. It’s a time when we come together as a church family and celebrate those who are taking this step of obedience.  Contact the church office if you would like to take this step.

  • Women’s Ministry: Living Proof Live Tickets    Join best-selling author Beth Moore at a Living Proof Live event and see how one weekend can change your life. Join us at Living Proof Live on April 1-2, 2016. And bring a friend. Our goal is to bring 100+ women, will you be one of them? Earlybird tickets are $59 until 2/15 after that the price is $69 per person. You can purchase your tickets during Women’s Ministry on Wednesday’s or email MelissaMashburn@westpines.org for more information.

  • Our Easter weekend services are expected to be packed out!  This means our Children's Ministry is going to be packed out.   If you can help ot during any of the three services, please contact Sandy Hall or Jenna Mesa 

  •   Check out the Service Projects Tab for more opportunities

Sermon Title:

Shovels and Swords, Part 3: Pray and Plan

Main Text:

Nehemiah 2:1-8

TOPICS ( Not to be read or e-mailed to your group.. this is for the leader's review and recollection )

  • Nehemiah had been praying for an opportunity to talk to the King about the situation in Jerusalem. Everyday he waited. And finally the day came and the conversation came up with the king. This was the moment. He almost certainly would not get another. He had one shot. Was he ready?

  • Nehemiah’s response is an incredible picture of his leadership. When the king asked him what the situation was. He was ready with an answer. His answers shows how smart he was. Shows how strategic he was. But it also shows that he had planned ahead. He had already thought about all the things that he would need. He was planned.

  • But even though he had thought through the encounter ahead of time. And even though he had prepared for success. At the end he gave all the glory to God. He said he was only successful because God had His hand on him.

  • This shows the importance of prayer and planning.

  • Some Christians think it is more reliant on God to just go into a moment without planning. That it shows a lack of faith when we plan ahead. The thought is that if we plan so far ahead there is no room for the Holy Spirit to work in the moment. But the story of Nehemiah shows the opposite. The Holy Spirit is working in the moment and all the moments ahead of time while he was planning.

  • Sometimes God calls us into a season of waiting. But while we are waiting, it is important to be praying and planning.

  • Planning is a godly thing. God has a plan. When we plan we are acting in the image of God. When we plan it is giving our best to God.

  • What are you waiting for in your life now? Here is what you can do while you wait:

    • Pray: Change how you pray from WHEN to WHAT? Instead of: when are you going to change my circumstances God? We should pray: what do you want me to do while I wait? how do You want me to prepare, God?

    • Plan: Ask yourself, if God gave you what you are asking for tomorrow, what haven’t you done yet? Almost always, we will see that we have a lot to do?

AND NOW.... THE QUESTIONS...

  • HIGH/LOW: What was the high point of your week and the low point?
  • ICEBREAKER: Do you consider yourself a detailed planner or more of a spur of the moment person?
  • READ: Nehemiah 2:1-8
  • Can someone catch us up as to where we are in Nehemiah’s story?
  • What does Nehemiah’s answers to the king reveal about his leadership?
  • What do you think would have happened if he had fumbled those answers?
  • Nehemiah obviously worked hard so that his encounter with the king went well, but in verse 8 he gives all the credit for his success to God. How do you reconcile those two things?
  • Why do you think some see planning and preparing as not relying on God?  How would you respond to this idea?
  • To what extent may our "leaving it up to God" possibly reveal just laziness on our part?
  • What is powerful about turning our prayers from WHEN are you going to do something to WHAT do you want me to do while I wait?
  • What do you feel like you are waiting for in your life now?
  • What are some specific things you can do this week to plan and prepare for it?

Don't forget to post your attendance after group.