Community Group Week of February 21, 2016

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Listen to the People You Lead

The first goal of groups is community: relationships are top priority. The second goal is to give people an opportunity to move from hearing about faith to talking about THEIR faith (or lack of it). You rob people of that opportunity if you “preach,” dominate the conversation, or get on your soapbox about controversial issues. There may be times when you need to briefly teach in order to set up group discussion. But for the most part, your goal is to be a facilitator.

Announcements :

  • MOVE ON OVER to 9 or noon!

    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.

  • 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 4: Wise and Bold

Main Text:

Nehemiah 2:1-10

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

Nehemiah displays immense wisdom in how he handled the King of Persia. He patiently waits for his opportunity to speak to the king. He doesn’t force an opportunity, he waits for God to open it up.

Secondly, Nehemiah’s opening line to Artaxerxes is very strategic. To realize how planned it is, we need to know some background in the book of Ezra. From Ezra’s account we learn that years earlier they had attempted to rebuild the walls in Jerusalem. But someone had told the king of Persia what was going on in Jerusalem. The king was told that Jerusalem intended to rebel. So the king commanded that the rebuilding stop. Which king of Persia made that command? Artaxerxes. Nehemiah has to be careful when asking if he can rebuild the wall, that he doesn’t appear like a rebel. He has to make it sound like he is questioning the king’s decision before. He was very strategic in how he worded his opening line.

In his second request, he stands on his past performance with the king. He modestly says, “if I have found favor in your sight.” This is so instructive for the reader. Does our conduct and excellence create opportunities for us, for the kingdom of God?

Lastly, we see that he is wisely diplomatic and tactful with the other leaders through whose kingdoms he traveled. He respected their leadership. We never see Nehemiah acting presumptuously, arrogantly or insubordinately.

We learn the importance of being Wise AND Bold. Sometimes people use “wisdom” as an excuse to shy away from a risky situation. They hide behind wisdom, but in reality it is cowardice. On the other side, there is sometimes people want to be bold but they are reckless. They are brazen and rude and unstrategic. But God gave us brains to use for his glory. To have godly leadership, we are going to have to have both wisdom and boldness.

 

AND NOW.... THE QUESTIONS...

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

  • ICEBREAKER:  What do you consider to be one of the wisest decisions you've ever made ( Note: Other than becoming a Christian, and married people cannot say "marrying my spouse".... too easy ! )

  • READ: Nehemiah 2:1-10

  • Can someone get us caught up on what is going on in the story of Nehemiah?

  • What makes Nehemiah’s response in verse 3, so strategic?

  • What else from this story shows the wisdom of Nehemiah?

  • What from this story shows the boldness of Nehemiah?

  • What would be an example of someone covering up their recklessness by calling in boldness?

  • What would be an example of someone covering up their cowardice by calling it wisdom?

  • Do you tend to struggle to be bold or struggle to be wise?

  • Is there an area of your life that God is calling you to be more bold?

  • Is there an area of your life that God is calling you to be more wise?

  • What are you going to do differently this week?

Don't forget to post your attendance after group.