Welcome to week four of our summer sermon series on James called Faith that Works. This week our conversation will look at the importance of truly living out our faith. When we live out our faith, we should look different from the world around us.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.
Share part of your story
What is your favorite summer treat and what memories does this treat bring to mind?
Are there any significant transitions going on in your group’s life (students coming home for the summer, moving, or a new baby)? How can your group support each other through any transitions?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Read together James 1:26-27. Who is James and who is he writing to? Why are these two verses so important?
The Bible takes the way we talk seriously. Have someone read Luke 6:45 aloud. What does it say about where our words come from? Do you think most people think this is true?
Sometimes people say things and then apologize saying that’s not who they really are. How do you think this relates to Luke 6:45?
If our words, tone, and remarks stem from the overflow of our heart, how do our negative and hurtful comments act as a warning sign in our own lives? How have you seen harsh speech impact others? How have you felt the effects of harsh speech yourself?
Senior Pastor Jeff Manion mentioned the book, Before You Hit Send: Preventing Headache and Heartache, by Emerson Eggerichs. Eggerichs gives four practical questions to ask before speaking or posting:
- Is it true?
- Is it kind?
- Is it necessary?
- Is it clear?
Which comes most naturally to you? Which do you want to grow in the most?
Have you ever experienced a time when you said or posted something you wish you hadn’t? How did you feel? What did you learn?
It is easy to be tempted to use our words in the wrong way. When are you tempted to say something negative or cutting? What are some things you do in those moments to reign in your tongue? What are some other things we could do to make good decisions with our speech? How might our chair time and letting God work in our hearts help?
Do you think our culture sees Christians as helpful, serving people? Do you feel like Christians are helpful and service oriented? Does your view of Christians and service affect how you view the church?
Faith should lead to action. Have you witnessed a time when you saw someone really modeling what they believe? How does serving in your community show people your faith?
How have you seen the people of Ada Bible Church serve the distressed in our community collectively? How have you been involved in serving individually? Why are both types of serving so important?
When James speaks about pollution in this passage, what does he mean? What does it look like to stay unpolluted from the world in our culture today?
A prominent theme in the book of James is living out our faith. When we do that, we set ourselves apart from worldly or ungodly ways. What are some things that the early church would have needed to avoid in their culture? What do we have to watch out for today?
Sometimes small, even innocent things, can begin to pollute our lives. How have you seen this happen? How can our Chair Time help keep this from happening?
Today’s conversation was about speech, serving and pollution. What’s your big takeaway from today? What’s a next step you can take to grow in that area?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
Discuss how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.
What is one place that your group could serve together (collectively) this summer? Talk about ideas together, and then take a step to put something on the calendar, designate a point person, and live out a faith that works.
Download a printable PDF here.