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Course by Community Christian Church (www.communitychristian.org), a member of the NewThing Network (www.newthing.

org)

Jesus as Your Mentor


TABLE
OF

CONTENTS

Click on the study title youd like to see: Study 1: Learn to Live for Eternity Leaders Guide Participants Guide Study 2: LEARN TO BE A FRIEND Leaders Guide Participants Guide Study 3: LEARN TO BE A LOVER Leaders Guide Participants Guide Study 4: Learn to Lead Leaders Guide Participants Guide

LEADERS GUIDE

FOR

STUDY 1

Learn to Live for Eternity


Jesus models how to live for eternal values. For our lives to be the best they can be, we need to see beyond the confines of this life. God and only God can give you a life that never ends and has a purpose that extends beyond the temporary. Living for eternal values gives our lives meaning and direction.

Lesson #1 Scripture: Matthew 16:26; Luke 12:1521; John 6:47; 10:10; Philippians 1:2026 Based on: Best Life Ever Big Idea Discussion Guide

Learn to Live for Eternity


PART 1

LEADERS GUIDE Page 3

Identify the Current Issue


Note to leader: At the beginning of the class, provide each person with the Participants Guide included at the end of this study.

We sometimes wish certain things could go on and on: a great concert, a fantastic vacation, a perfect summer day, a holiday, an evening with friends. Theres an old saying: All good things must come to an end. But is this really true? What if the very best things dont have to come to an end? Thats exactly what God offers each of us in Jesus: the best life ever that never has to come to an end. Most people have been taught to think that eternity begins when we die, but the reality is that for anyone who has found their way back to God in Christ, eternity has already begun. There are two main words for life in the language of the New Testament: bios, which means biological lifeeating, sleeping, and doing what living things must do to survive; and zoe (zo-ay), which means a God-kind-of-life, a life that has eternal qualities. When Jesus said, I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly, he was talking about the zoe-kind-of-life. Jesus also said, I tell you for certain that everyone who has faith in me has eternal life (John 6:47). Notice he doesnt say whoever has faith in him will someday have eternal life. It has already begun. This life of celebrating, connecting, and contributing never comes to an end, because death has lost its power to bring our lives to an end. Jesus says not only that he offers life to those who follow him, but that he is life.

Discussion starter:

[Q] What part of life do you wish would never end? [Q] Do you think that part of life will extend into eternity? Why or why not?
PART 2

Discover the Eternal Principles


Teaching point one: Jesus demonstrated that eternal life starts now.
Often we think that everlasting life begins after death, but Jesus didnt say that. He said that the one who believes has everlasting life, not will have. Rob Bell writes more on this in his book Velvet Elvis:
God isnt just interested in the covering over of our sins; God wants to make us into the people we were originally created to be . This is why Jesus always orients His message around becoming the kind of people who are generous and loving and compassionate . The point is becoming the kind of people God had in mind when we were first created. Jesus said that when we believe, we have crossed over from death to life (John 5:24) when I enter into a relationship with God through Christ, I am connected with God now, and will be connected with God forever. For Jesus, salvation is now.

Read John 6:47.

[Q] How do you feel about this statement from Jesus? Comforted? Scared? Explain. [Q] How does this understanding of eternal life change the way we live now?

2007 CHRISTIANITY TODAY INTERNATIONAL AND NEWTHING Visit SmallGroups.com and ChristianBibleStudies.com

Learn to Live for Eternity

LEADERS GUIDE Page 4

[Q] How does it change the way we interpret the world around us? [Q] How does it change the way we lead, form friendships, and love others? [Q] How does such a view give us new meaning and purpose?
Teaching point two: Jesus demonstrated that life consists of more than possessions and achievement.
In todays world we are pressured to have insurance for our health, life, car, and so on. We never know what is going to happen, but we try to be prepared. We recognize the uncertainty of the future in almost every area except our spiritual lives. We should never take a chance of living without eternal values. We can have no greater insurance than the assurance that through belief in Jesus we will receive the great reward of eternal life. It does not matter how nice a car, big a house, or large a paycheck we have. In the end all of that will fade away, but what we have in Christ will last forever. Read Matthew 16:26.

[Q] How do we work at gaining the whole world and forfeiting our souls? [Q] Read Luke 12:1521. According to this story, what are we to be working toward instead of
riches on earth?

[Q] How do we become rich toward God? [Q] Do you feel that you have spent too much time working toward the best life on Earth
rather than the best life for eternity? If so, what steps can you take to begin to change that? Optional Activity: Break into groups of three or four. Provide each group a popular magazine that includes a lot of ads. Ask each group to find two or three examples of things advertised that promise us a good life on earth. After sharing them with the group, discuss why those things can never ultimately satisfy.

Teaching point three: Jesus demonstrated that only he could give us ultimate purpose and meaning.
Read John 10:10 and Philippians 1:2026. In the John passage, Jesus is speaking. In the Philippians passage Paul is talking. Both men give a different spin on life than we normally see as our meaning and purpose. Christ turns things radically on their head and says that to live we must die. Paul boldly proclaims that to live is Christ and to die is gain.

[Q] What did Jesus mean when he said that he came to bring us a full life?
Leaders Note: It would mean a life rich in relationships, meaning, and purpose, just as Christs own life was full of these.

[Q] In what ways is this life different than how the world would define a full life? [Q] Paul wrote this passage in Philippians when he was in prison. How could he be living a
full life in such circumstances?

2007 CHRISTIANITY TODAY INTERNATIONAL AND NEWTHING Visit SmallGroups.com and ChristianBibleStudies.com

Learn to Live for Eternity Leaders Notes: He maintained relationships through his letters and knew that he would be rewarded in eternity. Because he lived wholeheartedly for Christ, he knew that his life was being spent for the right purpose.

LEADERS GUIDE Page 5

[Q] Which of the following requires most of your energy?


Making money Spending time with people Volunteering to help others Maintaining a household Other

If you cant change any of these things, how might Christ use your present circumstances to achieve eternal goals?
PART 3

Apply Your Findings


We often want mentors to show us how to live. Who does that better than Christ himself? We become mentored when we let him transform us and use us to help others. Successful magazine editor William Falk confessed, I have no real wants; if anything, my life is too full. Thats precisely the problem, author Gregg Easterbrook says in his new book The Progress Paradox. Most Americans enjoy a higher standard of living than 99.4 percent of the 80 billion human beings whove ever lived. Yet were not content. Our lives are characterized by too much of a good thing, Easterbrook says, excess at every turn. Were surrounded by so much food that obesity has become a national crisis, are tempted by so much entertainment and information and stuff to buy that we sleep three hours a day less than our grandparents. At times, it leaves you wondering what it would be like to chuck it all. Jesus offers so much more meaning than we often settle for. Action Plan: Would you like to follow Christ into living for eternal values? How can you take steps to bring this everlasting life into all areas of your life now?

2007 CHRISTIANITY TODAY INTERNATIONAL AND NEWTHING Visit SmallGroups.com and ChristianBibleStudies.com

PARTICIPANTS GUIDE

FOR

STUDY 1

Learn to Live for Eternity


Jesus models how to live for eternal values. For our lives to be the best they can be, we need to see beyond the confines of this life. God and only God can give you a life that never ends and has a purpose that extends beyond the temporary. Living for eternal values gives our lives meaning and direction.

Lesson #1 Scripture: Matthew 16:26; Luke 12:1521; John 6:47; 10:10; Philippians 1:2026 Based on: Best Life Ever Big Idea Discussion Guide

Learn to Live for Eternity


PART 1

PARTICIPANTS GUIDE Page 7

Identify the Current Issue


We sometimes wish certain things could go on and on: a great concert, a fantastic vacation, a perfect summer day, a holiday, an evening with friends. Theres an old saying: All good things must come to an end. But is this really true? What if the very best things dont have to come to an end? Thats exactly what God offers each of us in Jesus: the best life ever that never has to come to an end.
PART 2

Discover the Eternal Principles


Teaching point one: Jesus demonstrated that eternal life starts now.

Teaching point two: Jesus demonstrated that life consists of more than possessions and achievement.

Teaching point three: Jesus demonstrated that only he could give us ultimate purpose and meaning.

[Q] Which of the following requires most of your energy?



PART 3

Making money Spending time with people Volunteering to help others Maintaining a household Other

Apply Your Findings


We often want mentors to show us how to live. Who does that better than Christ himself? We become mentored when we let him transform us and use us to help others.

2007 CHRISTIANITY TODAY INTERNATIONAL AND NEWTHING Visit SmallGroups.com and ChristianBibleStudies.com

LEADERS GUIDE

FOR

STUDY 2

Learn to Be a Friend
Jesus models how to be a good friend through acceptance, forgiveness, and loyalty. The quality of our lives and the quality of our friendships are closely related. Jesus wants to mentor us in how to be a true friend to others. This study will show us how to follow Jesus example in offering acceptance, forgiveness, and loyalty to others.

Lesson #2 Scripture: John 8:18; 18:1527; 21:1517 Based on: Best Life Ever Big Idea Discussion Guide

Learn to Be a Friend
PART 1

LEADERS GUIDE Page 2

Identify the Current Issue


Note to leader: At the beginning of the class, provide each person with the Participants Guide included at the end of this study.

In a world more connected than ever before, people are lonelier than in the past. Our society is driven by individuality, but people still seek friendships and relationships. Consider these facts about quality of life and friendship: Personal ads today are not just about finding dates. People take out personal ads looking for friends. MySpace.com, where a person can interact with their friends and make new friends online, gets four times as many clicks per browser as Google.com. The number one word used to describe marriage by the people who are happily married is friendship. The happiest married people are the ones whove come to be, more than anything else, true, deep friends for life.

Discussion starter:

[Q] Who do you consider to be the best friend you ever had? What made this person such a
good friend?

[Q] Do you think that people have a shortage of friendships? If so, how do you feel media,
such as the internet, television, radio, and so on contribute to this problem?
PART 2

Discover the Eternal Principles


Teaching point one: Jesus shows us that a good friend accepts the other person as they are.
Jesus, more so than many of the other religious leaders of his day, understood what its like to not be accepted. He was the epitome of one rejected, and so was often able to better empathize with the people he encountered. Jesus was an incredible friend. He demonstrated that being a friend means accepting people for who they are instead of what they can do for you. We all know what its like to have someone want to be our friend, and then find out it was mainly about what we could do for them.

[Q] Have you ever felt that you were in a friendship because one of you desired something
from the other? How did that work out?

[Q] How can we avoid doing that to someone else?


Read John 8:18.

[Q] How would this woman have felt to be accused before Jesus? [Q] Why do you think Jesus accepted this woman?

2007 CHRISTIANITY TODAY INTERNATIONAL AND NEWTHING Visit SmallGroups.com and ChristianBibleStudies.com

Learn to Be a Friend

LEADERS GUIDE Page 3

[Q] How does this story give insight into how we are to respond to such people?
Leaders Note: This story shows us that although our friends will sin, we can still forgive them, modeling through love and kindness the life they should lead. However, Jesus tells this woman to sin no more. It is often necessary to confront the person on the behavior they are exhibiting. (See also Matthew 18:1520 and Luke 17:34.) Jason Boyett, in his book Pocket Guide to Adulthood, writes on love and marriage:
People have baggage, stuff weve wheeled around since high school. Its been with us for so long, few of us have the willpower to drop it before entering the wedding chapel. The flaws are a part of the package. They follow us right down the aisle, up the stairs, on the honeymoon and over the threshold. Dont marry someone for who they might become. Marry them for who they are right now.

[Q] How would this quote apply to friendships? Do you think that it is accurate in its
depiction of love? How does this quote affect the way you understand friendships?

Teaching point two: Jesus shows us that a good friend forgives the other person.
Forgiving does not mean glossing over the hard truths. Forgiveness means refusing to pull away from someone or lash out at them for what they have done to hurt you. Jesus demonstrated this principle in the following passages. Read John 18:1527. Jesus had spent considerable time with his disciples, yet in this passage we see that Peter denied being a follower of Christ when the pressure was on. This would have been an extremely painful thing for Jesus, to have one so close deny his friendship.

[Q] If you overheard someone whom you loved denying that they even knew you, how would
you respond to them? Read John 21:1517. Three times Peter denied Jesus and three times Jesus asked Peter if he loved him. Though Peter had denied Jesus at perhaps the hardest time of Jesus life, Jesus forgave him and charged Peter to feed his sheep after he was gone. Though oftentimes our friends hurt us, we need to forgive with the same attitude.

[Q] How can offering forgiveness to those who have hurt us change our hearts to be more like
Jesus heart?

[Q] Think of a situation in which you forgave someone. How did that act of forgiveness affect
the relationship?

2007 CHRISTIANITY TODAY INTERNATIONAL AND NEWTHING Visit SmallGroups.com and ChristianBibleStudies.com

Learn to Be a Friend

LEADERS GUIDE Page 4

[Q] Which of the following would you find hardest to forgive? Why?
A personal betrayal A broken promise A deliberate lie Revealing a confidence Other

How could Jesus help you to be willing to forgive in this situation? When we understand the difficulty of offering forgiveness to one who has hurt us, we begin to understand how hurt Jesus must be when we betray and hurt him. Additionally, this is the test of a friendship. One may offer forgiveness, but if it is not accepted, then the friendship is doomed. However, if forgiveness is offered and displayed with love, then the friendship has the possibility of becoming even stronger than it was before. Optional Activity: Break into groups of three or four. Pass out a recent newspaper or news magazine to each group. Ask each group to find one person in that news publication that it would be hard to forgive. Discuss how you might show Christlike forgiveness to that person if you were given the chance.

Teaching point three: Jesus shows us that a good friend is loyal.


Jesus models perfect friendship through his loyalty to us, despite our lack of loyalty to him at times. His last words before he ascended to heaven were, And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20). Tony Campolo tells the following story to demonstrate Jesus loyalty to us:
One night in World War I, as the struggle settled into trench warfare, a lieutenant commanded his men to sneak across a field and attack the enemy. Obeying the officers command, the men inched their way out of the safety and began to crawl toward the enemy. Suddenly, gunfire rang out! Bullets flew in almost every direction. The frightened men scurried back to their own trenches as quickly as they could and hunkered down. When the gunfire ceased, it was eerily still, except for the moaning and groaning of one of the men who had been left behind on the field, wounded. The man kept crying for his friend George, begging him to come and save him. George, in turn, pled with the young lieutenant to be allowed to go. But the young lieutenant said No over and over again, trying to explain that he didnt want to lose another man in what would be an obviously foolhardy rescue attempt. Ive lost him. I dont want to lose you too, the lieutenant shouted. But the young recruit kept pleading and finally, in exasperation, the lieutenant said, Okay! If you want to get yourself killed, go ahead! Im tired of listening to your whining. Go out and get yourself killed, if thats what you want to do! The young soldier sneaked over the edge of the trench and inched his way along the ground, crawled to his friend, grabbed him, and slowly pulled him back to safety. He got his wounded friend back to the trench, and after pushing him over the edge of the trench, George fell on top of him. But it was too latehe was dead.

2007 CHRISTIANITY TODAY INTERNATIONAL AND NEWTHING Visit SmallGroups.com and ChristianBibleStudies.com

Learn to Be a Friend
The lieutenant yelled, George, I told you there was no point to your bravery. Why did you risk your life? You put the entire unit in jeopardy. And for what? There was no point to what you did. You were a fool! George answered, I was no fool. When I got to him he was still alive, and the last words he said were, George! I knew youd come!

LEADERS GUIDE Page 5

[Q] How does this story help you understand Christs loyalty to us? [Q] How does it relate to your understanding of friendship? [Q] What are some instances when a friend was loyal to you, even though it didnt make
sense?

[Q] How does that friends loyalty to you help you better understand Jesus? [Q] When were you loyal to someone, even when it wasnt easy?
PART 3

Apply Your Findings


Jesus mentors us in how to be a good and loyal friend by teaching us to accept others as they are and forgive others when they fail us, and by helping us to be the kind of faithful friend who is there for the long haul. Dont ask others to be this kind of friend to you, but ask Christ to make you this kind of friend to others. As he mentors us in this kind of commitment to others, he will multiply our friendships. Journalist and author Bob Greene tells the following story in his book And You Know You Should Be Glad: A True Story of Lifelong Friendship:
There are a handful of people, during your lifetime, who know you well enough to understand when the right thing to say is to say nothing at all. Those peopleand there will be, at most, only a few of themwill be with you during your very worst times. When, during an already painful juncture in my life, my wife died, I was so numb that I felt dead myself. In the hours after her death, as our children and I tried in vain to figure out what to do next, how to get from hour to hour, the phone must have been ringing, but I have no recollection of it. The next morningone of those mornings when you awaken, blink to start the day, and then, a dispiriting second later, realize anew what has just happened and feel the boulder press you against the earth with such weight that you fear you will never be able to get upthe phone rang, and it was Jack. I didnt want to hear any voiceeven his voice. I just wanted to cover myself with darkness. I knew he would be asking if there was anything he could do. But I should have known that hed already done it. Im in Chicago, he said. I misunderstood him; I thought he was offering to come to Chicago. I took the first flight this morning, he said. He had heard; he had flown in. I know you probably dont want to see anyone, he said. Thats all right.

2007 CHRISTIANITY TODAY INTERNATIONAL AND NEWTHING Visit SmallGroups.com and ChristianBibleStudies.com

Learn to Be a Friend
Ive checked into a hotel, and Ill just sit in the room in case you need me to do anything. I can do whatever you want, or I can do nothing. He meant it. He knew the best thing he could do was to be present in the same town; to tell me he was there. And he did just sit thereI assume he watched TV, or did some work, but he waited until I gathered the strength to say I needed him. He helped me with things no man ever wants to need help with; mostly he sat with me and knew I did not require conversation, did not welcome chatter, did not need anything beyond the knowledge he was there. He brought food for my children and, by sharing my silence, he got me through those days. (William Morrow, 2006)

LEADERS GUIDE Page 6

Action Plan: What situations in your life do you need to work on to accept, forgive, or be more loyal to a friend? How can this small group help you reach that goal?

2007 CHRISTIANITY TODAY INTERNATIONAL AND NEWTHING Visit SmallGroups.com and ChristianBibleStudies.com

PARTICIPANTS GUIDE

FOR

STUDY 2

Learn to Be a Friend
Jesus models how to be a good friend through acceptance, forgiveness, and loyalty. The quality of our lives and the quality of our friendships are closely related. Jesus wants to mentor us in how to be a true friend to others. This study will show us how to follow Jesus example in offering acceptance, forgiveness, and loyalty to others.

Lesson #2 Scripture: John 8:18; 18:1527; 21:1517 Based on: Best Life Ever Big Idea Discussion Guide

Learn to Be a Friend

PARTICIPANTS GUIDE Page 8

PART 1

Identify the Current Issue


In a world more connected than ever before, people are lonelier than in the past. Our society is driven by individuality, but people still seek friendships and relationships.
PART 2

Discover the Eternal Principles


Teaching point one: Jesus shows us that a good friend accepts the other person as they are.

Teaching point two: Jesus shows us that a good friend forgives the other person.

[Q] Which of the following would you find hardest to forgive? Why?
A personal betrayal A broken promise A deliberate lie Revealing a confidence Other

Teaching point three: Jesus shows us that a good friend is loyal.


PART 3

Apply Your Findings


Jesus mentors us in how to be a good and loyal friend by teaching us to accept others as they are and forgive others when they fail us, and by helping us to be the kind of faithful friend who is there for the long haul. Dont ask others to be this kind of friend to you, but ask Christ to make you this kind of friend to others. As he mentors us in this kind of commitment to others, he will multiply our friendships.

2007 CHRISTIANITY TODAY INTERNATIONAL AND NEWTHING Visit SmallGroups.com and ChristianBibleStudies.com

LEADERS GUIDE

FOR

STUDY 3

Learn to Be a Lover
Jesus models how to love others unselfishly. Even though Jesus was never in a sexual or romantic relationship, he modeled how to love others the way we should love our spouses. This study will look at the kind of love he demonstrated and help us apply that to our marriages. And if you are not married, it will help you love your family members and others in your life.

Lesson #3 Scripture: Luke 17:1119; John 10:1718; Philippians 2:111 Based on: Best Life Ever Big Idea Discussion Guide

Learn to Be a Lover
PART 1

LEADERS GUIDE Page 2

Identify the Current Issue


Note to leader: At the beginning of the class, provide each person with the Participants Guide included at the end of this study.

Philip Yancey says in his article Holy SexHow It Ravishes Our Souls:
Marriage strips away the illusions about sex pounded into us daily by the entertainment media. Few of us live with oversexed supermodels. We live instead with ordinary people, men and women who get bad breath, body odors, and unruly hair; who menstruate and experience occasional impotence; who have bad moods and embarrass us in public; who pay more attention to our childrens needs than our own. We live with people who require compassion, tolerance, understanding, and an endless supply of forgiveness. So do our partners. Such is the ironical power of sex: It lures us into a relationship that offers to teach us what we need far moresacrificial love. (CHRISTIANITY TODAY, 9-30-03)

Discussion starter:

[Q] What do you think of when you hear the phrase in love? [Q] How do movies, TV, and music contribute to our understanding of what being in love
means?
PART 2

Discover the Eternal Principles


Teaching point one: Jesus demonstrated that giving is more important than getting.
In 1997 a movie about a ship became the highest grossing film in history. What made Titanic such a success? At the end of the film, Jack swims in the frigid waters of the Atlantic while his new love, Rose, sits atop a door turned into a life raft. The audience watches helplessly as our hero freezes to death while his love clings tightly to the raft, too small for both to board. Jack chose to freeze so that his love may live. This kind of love captured everyones attention. One of the things that couples in counseling often say about their spouse is that he or she is only concerned about their own needs. Jesus came for the purpose of giving. His whole life mirrored the life of a giver. He gave his time to the needy. He gave food to the hungry. He gave healing to the sick. He gave meaning to those who had no purpose. And most of all he gave his life for all. Read John 10:1718. Jesus did not have to give his life; he chose to. Being the best lover means making sacrifices.

[Q] Describe a time when you sacrificed something for someone you love. Or describe a time
when someone sacrificed something for you.

[Q] How did those sacrifices affect the feelings you had toward that person?

2007 CHRISTIANITY TODAY INTERNATIONAL AND NEWTHING Visit SmallGroups.com and ChristianBibleStudies.com

Learn to Be a Lover

LEADERS GUIDE Page 3

[Q] What is it about giving or sacrificing that demonstrates true love? [Q] What sacrifices might God be calling you to make right now for someone you love?
Teaching point two: Jesus demonstrated that love is not controlling.
Someone once said, Loving is not controlling, and controlling is not loving. A successful salesman was once asked to divulge his secret for making so many profitable sales and earning his company so much money. He responded by saying that his success came when he stopped treating people like projects to whom he was pitching his products and began treating them as fellow people still in need of a product he was once in need of. We all desire to be treated as valuable human beings, and not to be manipulated as some sort of object. Though we may desire this, we may not always exemplify this toward others. Jesus can make us better lovers by helping us to let go of our controlling tendencies, and teaching us not to relate to others as objects to be coerced, manipulated, pushed, and pulled to get what we want. Jesus can make anyone a better lover by transforming them into less controlling people. Read Luke 17:1119. Jesus was not controlling. He did not require praise from those he healed for them to receive their miracle. He gave them all the choice to come back; only one did. He gives us the same choice: to choose to praise him for the work he does in our lives.

[Q] If Jesus had healed only the people who praised him, would he really have loved
everyone, or would he just have loved those who loved him?

[Q] Describe a time when you chose to love someone knowing that you might receive nothing
in return for the love you gave.

[Q] What are some areas in which you consistently find yourself trying to take control of
other people? How has this attitude affected the way others view you? Optional Activity: Brainstorm as a group ways that spouses often try to control one another, recording these on a poster board or whiteboard. When finished, look at each one and discuss how you think Christ would respond to each situation, as opposed to trying to control the person.

Teaching point three: Jesus displayed attractive behavior.


Within Scripture there is no description of the physical appearance of Jesus. What we do find are stories upon stories of people coming to Jesus, attracted to his loving, accepting, and compassionate ways. More than 2,000 years since his birth, people are still finding their way back to God because of what they see in Jesus. Jesus is attractive because he is God, who is love.

[Q] Describe a characteristic of Jesus that helps you better understand God.
Read Philippians 2:111.

[Q] How does this passage demonstrate what made Jesus attractive? [Q] What characteristics can we adopt that are mentioned in this passage that would make us
better spouses and friends?

2007 CHRISTIANITY TODAY INTERNATIONAL AND NEWTHING Visit SmallGroups.com and ChristianBibleStudies.com

Learn to Be a Lover

LEADERS GUIDE Page 4

[Q] Which of the following characteristics from Philippians 2 do you most need Christ to
work into your life to make you a more attractive person? Assurance that Christ loves and accepts you Tender and compassionate Being like minded (agreeable toward others) Lack of selfish ambition Humilityconsider others better than yourself Care about the interests of others Being a servant to others

Ask the group to pray for you concerning this quality.


PART 3

Apply Your Findings


Robert L. Russell shares this account in his sermon Gods Design for Marriage:
Mary Francis Meyers died today, a great woman in our church. Her husband Ken died two or three years ago. Ill never forget being in the fireside room when they celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. I said, Ken, fifty years is a long time. He immediately responded, Not nearly as long as it would have been without her. (Preaching Today, Tape No. 166)

This couple learned to love as Jesus loved. When we become selfless, uncontrolling, and attractive in our character, we find out what its like to love as he did. Action Plan: Which of the teaching points do you most need to apply? Being selfless? Uncontrolling? More attractive in your character? Share with the group which one they can pray for you about.

2007 CHRISTIANITY TODAY INTERNATIONAL AND NEWTHING Visit SmallGroups.com and ChristianBibleStudies.com

PARTICIPANTS GUIDE

FOR

STUDY 3

Learn to Be a Lover
Jesus models how to love others unselfishly. Even though Jesus was never in a sexual or romantic relationship, he modeled how to love others the way we should love our spouses. This study will look at the kind of love he demonstrated and help us apply that to our marriages. And if you are not married, it will help you love your family members and others in your life.

Lesson #3 Scripture: Luke 17:1119; John 10:1718; Philippians 2:111 Based on: Best Life Ever Big Idea Discussion Guide

Learn to Be a Lover
PART 1

PARTICIPANTS GUIDE Page 6

Identify the Current Issue


Philip Yancey says in his article Holy SexHow It Ravishes Our Souls:
Marriage strips away the illusions about sex pounded into us daily by the entertainment media. Few of us live with oversexed supermodels. We live instead with ordinary people, men and women who get bad breath, body odors, and unruly hair; who menstruate and experience occasional impotence; who have bad moods and embarrass us in public; who pay more attention to our childrens needs than our own. We live with people who require compassion, tolerance, understanding, and an endless supply of forgiveness. So do our partners. Such is the ironical power of sex: It lures us into a relationship that offers to teach us what we need far moresacrificial love. (CHRISTIANITY TODAY, 9-30-03)

PART 2

Discover the Eternal Principles


Teaching point one: Jesus demonstrated that giving is more important than getting.

Teaching point two: Jesus demonstrated that love is not controlling.

Teaching point three: Jesus displayed attractive behavior.

[Q] Which of the following characteristics from Philippians 2 do you most need Christ to
work into your life to make you a more attractive person? Assurance that Christ loves and accepts you Tender and compassionate Being like minded (agreeable toward others) Lack of selfish ambition Humilityconsider others better than yourself Care about the interests of others Being a servant to others

Ask the group to pray for you concerning this quality.

2007 CHRISTIANITY TODAY INTERNATIONAL AND NEWTHING Visit SmallGroups.com and ChristianBibleStudies.com

Learn to Be a Lover
PART 3

PARTICIPANTS GUIDE Page 7

Apply Your Findings


Robert L. Russell shares this account in his sermon Gods Design for Marriage:
Mary Francis Meyers died today, a great woman in our church. Her husband Ken died two or three years ago. Ill never forget being in the fireside room when they celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. I said, Ken, fifty years is a long time. He immediately responded, Not nearly as long as it would have been without her. (Preaching Today, Tape No. 166)

This couple learned to love as Jesus loved. When we become selfless, uncontrolling, and attractive in our character, we find out what its like to love as he did.

2007 CHRISTIANITY TODAY INTERNATIONAL AND NEWTHING Visit SmallGroups.com and ChristianBibleStudies.com

LEADERS GUIDE

FOR

STUDY 4

Learn to Lead
Jesus was the master leader, and he can teach you to lead well. Were all leaders because we all have influence in the lives of other people, and in becoming leaders like Jesus, our lives will impact others for eternity. This study will show us how to follow his example in the way we lead those God has placed under our care.

Lesson #4 Scripture: Matthew 28:1820; John 2:1317; 13:15; Acts 4:120 Based on: Best Life Ever Big Idea Discussion Guide

Learn to Lead
PART 1

LEADERS GUIDE Page 2

Identify the Current Issue


Note to leader: At the beginning of the class, provide each person with the Participants Guide included at the end of this study.

Talk about leadership to a mixed group of people, and youll find that they tend to think of themselves as leadersor notbased on their personality, job, or strengths. But the truth of the matter is that we are all leaders, no matter who we are or what our station in life, because leadership is not about our position, clout, or power. As Charles Swindoll once said, If I had to define leadership in one word, Id pick influence. And if you let me have two words, Id pick inspiring influence. We all have influence on the people we come into contact with every day. This is just as true for the stay-at-home mom of preschoolers as it is for the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. We all influence people. Positively or negatively, one way or another, any time we interact with anyone, we have some influence. So then what kind of leaders are we going to be? Jesus shows us that the best leaders are three things: compassionate, visionary, and courageous.

Discussion starters:

[Q] Who has been the most influential leader in your life, and why? [Q] Who are viewed as leaders in our culture, and why? What about these people makes
them influential? Though the people you mentioned are tremendous leaders in their own way, none can demonstrate the idea of inspiring influence more than Jesus. Jesus, who was God incarnate, inspired and influenced the lives of a handful of men who went on to spread Christianity throughout the world, many dying in the process. Jesus demonstrated for us three models of leadership (courageous, compassionate, and visionary) that we will look at to determine which are especially significant for us individually.
PART 2

Discover the Eternal Principles


Teaching point one: Jesus shows us how to be courageous leaders.
Read John 2:1317. Jesus was in the temple, surrounded by men who wanted to kill him, and he stood up for God. He inspired and influenced his followershis disciplesto do the same.

[Q] How is Jesus courage displayed in this passage? [Q] Why was it courage rather than just a display of temper? [Q] What was Jesus indignant about?
Read Acts 4:120. Peter and John were two of the three disciples who had been closest to Jesus. They were able to stand before the same group of men, the Sanhedrin, who were responsible for the death of Jesus (Mark 14:55) and tell them they were not going to stop telling people about Jesus. Now that is inspiring influence!

2007 CHRISTIANITY TODAY INTERNATIONAL AND NEWTHING Visit SmallGroups.com and ChristianBibleStudies.com

Learn to Lead Some of you may think, Well thats nice; it would be great if I could influence others like Jesus did. If I were influential, then yeah, Id consider myself a leader. Whether it is positive or negative, everyone has influence on the people around them. We cannot not have influence. We choose, however, what kind of influence well have.

LEADERS GUIDE Page 3

[Q] What made Peter and Johns stand so courageous? [Q] In what circumstances of life can we show the kind of courage that Jesus, Peter, and John
displayed?

Teaching point two: Jesus shows us how to be compassionate leaders.


Bill Hybels writes in Leadership by the Book that there are two kinds of leaders: those who are leaders first and those who are servants first (what we would call a compassionate leader). Leaders first people are the ones who try naturally to control, make decisions, and give orders. Compassionate leaders are the ones who will only assume leadership when they feel it is the best way they can serve; they feel called to lead and view their leadership position as one of stewardship and not of ownership (p. 42).

[Q] Have you ever experienced working for a leaders first person? Describe how that person
made you and others feel.

[Q] Have you ever experienced working for a compassionate leader? In contrast, how did they
make you and others feel? Read John 13:15. Jesus influenced others because he was intentional in the things that he did. It was in doing the small servant duties that Jesus was able to influence people in a way that helped them find their way back to God. Optional Activity: Recommend to the following people how they can show compassionate leadership to those around them. Jennifer has become Sunday school superintendent at her church. Chuck has just married a woman who has three children. Thomas was promoted to a management position at work. Mae just won a seat on the county board.

Teaching point three: Jesus shows us how to be visionary leaders.


Jesus was not just compassionate, nor simply courageous. In addition to both of these, he was also visionary. Perhaps his greatest vision is cast for us shortly before his return to heaven. Read Matthew 28:1820. In this passage Jesus casts a strong vision for his followers, who carried on and continued preaching this vision, which is still being shared in churches today. Part of the reason visionary leaders are so easy to follow is that many people lack vision for their life, and when they see someone who is passionate, they are inspired to follow. A visionary leader is able to help others see their potential in the kingdom of God. Each of us was created to bring glory and honor to God, and helping others to see their place in that kingdom is a privilege.

2007 CHRISTIANITY TODAY INTERNATIONAL AND NEWTHING Visit SmallGroups.com and ChristianBibleStudies.com

Learn to Lead

LEADERS GUIDE Page 4

[Q] What about a visionary leader inspires others to follow? [Q] What are some of the dangers of a visionary-driven model? [Q] Who has been a visionary leader to you? [Q] What are some practical ways you can be a visionary leader to those God has placed in
your life?
PART 3

Apply Your Findings


There are people in your life who need you to show courageous, compassionate, and visionary leadership to them. It may be your children, a friend, a coworker, or a neighbor, but someone is looking to you to show them how to display courage for Christ and compassion to all, and to help them believe they were created for a purpose. Look around you to see how you are influencing those God has placed in your life. Action Plan: Which of these three styles of leadership (courageous, compassionate, and visionary) do you see most in yourself? Give examples of where you have seen these. Which do you want to work on more? How can the small group help you do so?

2007 CHRISTIANITY TODAY INTERNATIONAL AND NEWTHING Visit SmallGroups.com and ChristianBibleStudies.com

PARTICIPANTS GUIDE

FOR

STUDY 4

Learn to Lead
Jesus was the master leader, and he can teach you to lead well. Were all leaders because we all have influence in the lives of other people, and in becoming leaders like Jesus, our lives will impact others for eternity. This study will show us how to follow his example in the way we lead those God has placed under our care.

Lesson #4 Scripture: Matthew 28:1820; John 2:1317; 13:15; Acts 4:120 Based on: Best Life Ever Big Idea Discussion Guide

PARTICIPANTS GUIDE

Learn to Lead
Page 6

PART 1

Identify the Current Issue


Talk about leadership to a mixed group of people, and youll find that they tend to think of themselves as leadersor notbased on their personality, job, or strengths. But the truth of the matter is that we are all leaders, no matter who we are or what our station in life, because leadership is not about our position, clout, or power. As Charles Swindoll once said, If I had to define leadership in one word, Id pick influence. And if you let me have two words, Id pick inspiring influence. We all have influence on the people we come into contact with every day. This is just as true for the stay-at-home mom of preschoolers as it is for the CEO of a fortune 500 company. We all influence people. Positively or negatively, one way or another, any time we interact with anyone, we have some influence.
PART 2

Discover the Eternal Principles


Teaching point one: Jesus shows us how to be courageous leaders.

Teaching point two: Jesus shows us how to be compassionate leaders.

Teaching point three: Jesus shows us how to be visionary leaders.

PART 3

Apply Your Findings


There are people in your life who need you to show courageous, compassionate, and visionary leadership to them. It may be your children, a friend, a coworker, or a neighbor, but someone is looking to you to show them how to display courage for Christ and compassion to all, and to help them believe they were created for a purpose. Look around you to see how you are influencing those God has placed in your life.

2007 CHRISTIANITY TODAY INTERNATIONAL AND NEWTHING Visit SmallGroups.com and ChristianBibleStudies.com