Every Sunday, we'll update this section with a recap of the weekend's message, as well as some discussion questions for groups to use. As always, use them as little as much as you want. They're meant to be a helpful guide, not a rule book!

Each message will be uploaded every week by Monday morning here.


JESUS Part 1  |  PASTOR ED HOLMES  |  03.14.2021


Nearly everyone, from devoted Christ-followers to hardcore agnostics, would readily agree that Jesus was a humble man, a wise teacher, a model of peace, love and compassion. Yet throughout the last 20 centuries, few historical figures have caused more division than Jesus.

As Pastor Ed quoted C.S. Lewis and John 1:10-14, teaching us that the world does not recognize who Jesus truly is. Sure, we all want Jesus the advocate, a savior who pleads on our behalf before the Father, but very few people want a sovereign Lord. By definition, a “Lord” is one who carries power and authority; as humans—especially Americans—the idea of willingly, gladly, and completely giving ourselves over to the power and authority of another is anathema.

Pastor Ed asked a great question: What do I think about when I hear the name of Jesus? For many, “Lord”, with all its implications of power and authority, is not the first thing that springs to mind. 

Philippians 2:6-11 explains Jesus’ lordship well:

Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.

Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


Every knee should bow. Terrifying words unless we understand and truly believe the words of John 3:16, that God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but will enjoy eternal life. Do we believe this in the deepest part of our heart? Is this truth tattooed on our souls? It must be if we are to know Jesus as the advocate Paul describes in Romans 8:31-34:


What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be       against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

We are not condemned! This is the good news of the gospel. Most of us know John 3:16 from memory, but perhaps the best part of the good news follows in verse 17: “God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”

As Pastor Ed said, the meaning we attach to Jesus’ name shapes our expectation of Him, which in turn shapes our experience of Him. If we believe He is harsh and critical, we will respond to him accordingly. But when we choose to believe He is God in the flesh who loves us beyond measure, we will gladly bow the knee, declare Him Lord, and trust Him to be the Advocate we can never be for ourselves. And if you’re not there yet, that’s okay; God will take our mustard seed of faith and make it bloom.


Questions for Discussion:


  • 1.     What do you think when you hear the name of Jesus?
  • 2.     Based on this, what do you expect of Him?
  • 3.     What is your response to Him? (see John 20:30-31)


Have any questions or needs relating to your group? Let us know!


Isn't it poetic, how when things start to find a rhythm, that everything changes? With the virus going around, and the government mandates along with it, we find ourselves in an odd position. But if we look at it how God does, we'll see this as an opportunity rather than a source of discouragement! While things are changing, let's pivot and continue to do what we do best: connecting people.


Many of your groups were stopped in their tracks - whether you've got material that relies on in-person gathering, or a large percentage of your group is older in age. So, we shift. Groups will be "launching" the week of October 11, and will all be found here:

Here's what FALL 2020 Groups "look like" (and some best practices)


Ultimately, you're in the drivers seat for your group. Decide with your group what works best for staying connected and communicate. The best thing we can do is communicate clearly.


Some of you are really feeling this. You're discouraged, anxious and just unsure. That's OKAY! Others of you are ready to go for it to help others. Reach out to someone - whether here at the church or in your group. Take a moment to send a text, make a call, say a prayer. Let's lean in with the extra time we have to make people feel seen and loved.

Here's a few ideas for how to meet as a group digitally:
> ZOOM Meetings - This is a live video conferencing platform. Several groups have used this. Sign up for free here!

> Facebook Groups - This is a great way to stay connected throughout the day/week. Consider joining other groups and making a larger "online lifegroup" to send encouragement, etc.
> Sunday Watch Parties - I explain this in the next point.

Sunday mornings will be more critical than ever, with Church Online @ 10AM! Consider hosting a "Virtual Watch Party" with your LifeGroup and any other friends
(here's a short "how to" video)! This is a great way to have a small group during church. It allows you to have your own private chat back-and-forth with comments and more!


We don't have the touch that you do. When you hear of all kinds of needs from people in or outside your group, first ask, "Can we meet this need within our circle?" If you can, great! If needs exceed what you're able to to do within your sphere of influence, we may be able to help - just reach out!

For coaching or facilitation needs, email

For attendance, technical or CCB questions, email


Do I have to take attendance?
Yes. We ask that you record attendance every time. It only takes a moment, and will help us to better know how our groups are doing and measure the health of our congregation. We recommend tracking attendance after you meet.
*while in COVID, this is not necessary*

What if I cancel or reschedule a group one week?

Go to take attendance and select "Did not meet" - or just send us a note! If you're simply moving to a different night in the same week, take attendance and leave a note that it was a different night.

How to I take attendance?
Once you've downloaded the LEAD App, open the "Groups" tab. Select your group (you can also search for it). Once you've selected your group, you'll see several tabs (Attendance, Calendar, Members, etc). Select the "Attendance" tab. Then you will see the "event" you're trying to track attendance for. Select those who were there (you can also add in the notes any people who attendance who may not have signed up).

Worried about forgetting? Don't fret! You'll get an email following each time you meet, reminding you to track your attendance, even giving you a direct link to do it right there from your phone!

*See the video above for step-by-step instructions.

What if someone attending isn't in our database (i.e. a neighbor, someone who's never been on a Sunday)?

When taking attendance, add their name & info in the notes.

How do I download the LEAD App?

From your phone's app store, search "LEAD APP." Or, find the links here.


Below you'll find some helpful tools to help you get better as a LifeGroup Leader. From videos on how to use the LEAD App to tips on leading a group, we've got something that will help you, because we know that when you get better, we'll all get better!

Take Attendance with the LEAD App