BEFORE YOU GATHER
- If this is one of your first group meetings, familiarize yourself with this Group Study Guide.
- If you missed it, CLICK HERE to watch the weekend sermon.
- Spend some time in prayer before your group gathers.
- To prepare for discussion, CLICK HERE for a few facilitation tips and/or CLICK HERE to review and remind your group of the Group Agreement.
- As a leader you always have the option to use some or all the questions and/or write your own questions.
Opening Prayer: (1-5 minutes)
In light of what God is saying through this weekend’s message, here are a few suggestions of how your group can invite God into your time together.
- Thank God for the people in your life that have played an instrumental role in your salvation (or spiritual journey).
- Pray for the people who are leading you, and whom God has called you to lead.
- As we remember the beginnings of Cornerstone, pray for the current leaders - that God would grant them an extra measure of grace and wisdom as they lead our church. Pray also that God would continue raising up a new generation of leaders to carry Cornerstone’s vision into the future.
Quick Connection: (5 minutes)
Share an example of a thriving church, company, organization, school, etc. that had very humble beginnings. What are some values that have remained consistent even though time has passed and circumstances may have changed?
Group Discussion: (30 minutes)
This week we will explore some leadership principles from the life of Nehemiah.
Open your Bibles together and ask a few people to read out loud through Nehemiah 1.
- Nehemiah was living a wonderful life because of the sacrifices of people like Daniel, Esther and Mordecai. Share about a person (e.g., parent, relative, teacher, coach, spiritual mentor, etc.) who took sacrifices and risks that resulted in your benefit. Why is it so important to appreciate how the benefits we enjoy today are in large part due to the result of others’ sacrifices and hard work?
- What did Nehemiah first do when he received news of Jerusalem’s current state? What can his reaction teach us about how we are to respond to any kind of work or calling that God puts on our hearts?
- Consider how Nehemiah “sat down and wept” when he heard that Jerusalem’s walls were broken down and its gates were destroyed. What is your typical reaction when you are confronted with news or facts that cause you concern or burden your heart?
- Leaders care deeply and connect emotionally to issues they care about. They don't hide their pain, but rather lean into it and allow God to use it to create real change. What burdens your heart? What are you passionate about? What action can you (and your community group) take to address this issue?
- The heart of every believer should break over those who do not have the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Who is someone in your life that you care deeply about who does not know Jesus? What is something you can do to help them take their next step with Jesus?
- Share an example of how your heart led you to change a decision you had already made with your head. What was the outcome of the decision? How did that change affect you? How did it affect others?
Closing Prayer: (5-15 minutes)
In light of what God is saying through this week’s message, here are a few suggestions of what your group could talk about with God in prayer.
- Partner up and pray about a person or an issue that God has placed on your heart.
- Pray that you would be willing to have your life disrupted by others’ needs, troubling situations, and larger issues that break God’s heart instead of seeking after a comfortable life.
CHALLENGE FOR THE WEEK
Pray and fast this week for someone who does not know Jesus, or for an issue that breaks your heart. Since it’s important to have a specific plan, share with a member of your group when you will be fasting (e.g., a specific day, or at lunchtime, etc.) and commit to spending the time you would be eating in prayer instead.
RESOURCES FOR FURTHER GROWTH & DISCIPLESHIP
- (Video, Blog and Article Resource) The Bible Project: Ezra-Nehemiah
- (Book Resource - Specific to fasting) Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard J. Foster
- (Book Resource) The Emotionally Healthy Leader: How Transforming Your Inner Life Will Deeply Transform Your Church, Team, and the World by Peter Scazzero