Community Groups Week of April 24th

Announcements :

  • Move On Over to 9am or 12 noon  --- Did you know that when you "Move On Over" you are actually making a bigger difference on Sunday mornings than you even realize? To "Move On Over" to 9am or Noon you make room for our guests at 10:30, for our Kids Ministry and our parking lot! However, if your attending the 10:30 service because you are serving at one of the other services than keep up the good work. We appreciate you! 
  • Mother’s Day is only three weeks away and we’re asking the women at West Pines to get your families to join you for church on Sunday, May 8th for Super Mom Sunday! Whether you’re a mom or not, you, as a woman, have influence in the lives of those around you. You get them here, we’ll make sure they are welcomed, encouraged, and clearly present the Gospel for them. 
  • CPR Training. We will be offering a CPR Training class on Sunday, May 15th from 1:15 - 3:30pm. The certification will be infant, child, adult CPR as well as proper use of an AED machine. Pre-registration is required and the class is open to anyone (middle-school & older) for $30 each. Register at http://bit.ly/WestPinesCPR. Contact Sandy Hall at sandyhall@westpines.org  for more information. 
  • Student Summer Camp, "UNLEASHED." Our Unleashed Summer Mission Camp is for you! From June 20-24 our middle and high school students will be out making a difference all over South Florida. For more information and to register today, go to, www.unleashed.camp. Early bird rate is $249.00.

Sermon Title: Against All Odds, Part 4: Manipulation

Main Text:  Nehemiah 6:1-4, 10-15

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

  • Nehemiah’s enemies invite him to a meeting. Can you imagine how they probably worded it? Of course, they didn’t make it all suspicious sounding. They tried to lure him in. Maybe they said something like, “Nehemiah we just need to sit down and talk. Maybe we have gotten off on the wrong foot. Let’s just talk this out. Let’s bury the hatchet and make things right.” Of course they are not going to say, “Nehemiah come outside of your city. Come alone. We may or may not harm you. No promises.”
  • Nehemiah says that he had to read between the lines and use discernment. He says, “I knew they intended to harm me.”
  • Discernment is key to being a leader.
  • But especially as a Christian it can be tricky. How do we be gracious with people but also cautious. Isn’t our lack of trust really just being unforgiving or even judgmental?
  • This happened even worse, when later there people in Jerusalem paid off by his enemies trying to trap him. And to make it worse, they were using prophetic language. They were saying, “God says…”
  • Nehemiah shows great discernment in how he responds. He doesn’t let someone spiritually manipulate him. He doesn’t let someone get over-spiritual something, so that he feels trapped into following along. He is cunning. He is shrewd. And that is part of being a wise Christian leader. *
  • Jesus told His disciples to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” This is a perfect balance. He is saying be able to recognize it but that doesn’t mean you participate.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS...

  • HIGH/LOW: What was the high point of your week and the low point?
  • READ: Nehemiah 6:1-4, 10-15
  • After reading that they sent multiple letters, what do you imagine were ways that Sanballat and Tobiah tried to manipulate Nehemiah into meeting with them?
  • In what ways did the situation with Shemaiah take incredible discernment?
  • READ: Matthew 10:16
  • How does Jesus strike the right balance of discernment in that illustration?
  • What are common situations that require discernment for leaders?
  • What are ways that people try to manipulate?
  • Have you ever had someone try to spiritually manipulate you? What happened?
  • What are good steps to take if you feel like you are lacking discernment in a situation?
  • Are there any situations in your life that require discernment?

Don't forget to post your attendance after group.