Before the Session
Facilitator: In advance of the session
- Have the Bible Background Video ready to view.
- Review today’s scripture text and the session activities to help better facilitate the discussion.
- Encourage your group to listen to the Faithelement podcast ahead of the next session (Share the link via email or social media)
Context (from the Mind session page)
Begin the session by asking:
- Practically speaking, what do you think is the connection between what people believe and how people behave, and why?
- Hypocrisy has been a common complaint against Christians for centuries. At what points do you see a lack of integrity affecting the way people perceive faith?
- Given the way our society appears to work these days, why do you think integrity (“practicing what you preach”) is or is not so important?
- What other personal traits are important in contemporary society and why?
- We talk a lot about how God loves us and accepts us no matter who we are. How is it possible to believe in Christ and not be transformed by that belief?
Content (from the Youth session page)
Read aloud James 1:17-27 and view the Bible Background Video:
Then ask questions like these:
- Why do you think James puts such an emphasis on being angry?
- How do you typically handle it when someone or some thing makes you angry and why?
- When have you seen someone’s anger make their situation worse?
- What impact do you think self control has on your faith?
- In what ways does losing control over what you say make your religion worthless?
- Why do you think James want the readers to change so much about themselves?
Closure (from the Current session page)
Say to the group:
“Connecting actions with words is part of how we classify information these days. Many marketing strategists have used this way of tagging actions (and pictures of actions) with clever words. Wendy’s uses a new promotion #shareforadoption to raise money for their adoption program.”
- What does this campaign make you think of in terms of faith and works?
- In what ways might the works that express faith look very different depending on our context?
- The #shareforadoption campaign uses the idea of images to remind us and move us to care. We may know adoption is a real need for many children, but when we are flooded with reminders, what do those images do for us?
- What is more likely to motivate you – loud messages about faith or images of lived faith?
Pray: Pray to close the session. Invite the group to silently think about a “half” heart they have seen – something that needs their presence to be complete, and invite the group to pray silently about that space. Pray together that God would give wisdom and courage to listen, hear, and live out acts of faith.