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 Media Session Page)
Tell the group that you want to start by taking a quick interest survey and ask:
- What is your favorite food?
- What is your favorite movie?
- What is your favorite type of music?
- What is your favorite type of car?
- What is your favorite type of social media?
- What is your favorite sport?”
Continue by asking:
- What “favorite thing” that you heard someone say did you most dislike, and why?
- How can it be someone else’s favorite and you do not like it?
What do you think you indirectly learn about other people from tracking their preferences that you might not learn otherwise and why?
- What do you think people might learn about you from your preferences?
Content (from Mind Session Page)
Read James 2:1-26 and watch the Bible Background Video for this passage.
Then ask questions like these:
- Why so you think James indicated that favoritism and faith in Christ are mutually exclusive?
- What are some ways through which we discriminate in our communities of faith?
- Why should we pay close attention to those who are poor, rather than the wealthy?
- In what ways does loving someone “as yourself” lead us away from favoritism and prejudicial treatment?
- What is the “law that gives freedom” and what does it mean to be “judged under” it?
- What other kinds of laws might we be judged under, and why is this law better?
- What do you think James means when he says, “mercy triumphs over judgment?”
- How does one strike a good balance between firmly held beliefs and deeds, rather than emphasizing one at the cost of the other?
- In what ways can failing to strike such a balance be harmful?
Closure (from Current Session Page)
Continue by asking questions like these:
Think about someone whose Christian faith is evident by the way they live. When you describe that person, what do you say about the things they believe or the things they have done and why?
Share the Yahoo article on Jimmy Carter’s press conference to announce that he has cancer and ask:
- How do you feel about President Carter’s announcement, both the things that were disclosed and the spirit that he exhibited at the time?
- In what ways might the fact that President Carter is known to have such a deep faith affected the way people initially heard this news and why?
- This story of his life tells about actions that were steeped in his beliefs, and he is perhaps as known for his acting out in faith as for being President of the United States. In what ways do you feel do your actions emerge from beliefs in your life?
- What kinds of things do you see in people like Jimmy Carter that inspire you to more actively live out your beliefs and why?
- What are some actions that you wish could emerge from your own beliefs and why?
Pray together, after spending some time in quiet reflection:
- Imagine that a loved one is giving a tribute to your life, sharing stories. How might they describe you? What specific stories might indicate your faith?