Copyright © 2011 The Center for Youth Ministry Training
OPENING PRAYER (5 to 10 minutes)
GROUP BUILDING (15 minutes)
(Start out tonight with some pretty mindless fun. Lot's of little games can be played with the tongue. Try out these or some others you might know.)
Who can touch their tongue to their nose? (make everyone try)
Can anyone fold up their tongue? Who can make the most folds? (I've seen some people who can make several angles in their tongues)
We can do some pretty silly stuff with our tongues. But when the Bible talks about our tongue, it's not fun and games.
GETTING STARTED (10 minutes)
Read James 1:26
Discussion Questions:1) What does this passage say about the tongue and our ability to control it? (to not control it makes our religion worthless)
There's an even more bold Scripture, read James 3:5-8.
2) What does that passage say about the tongue?
You start to get the idea that our tongue is serious business and related to our spiritual lives in a significant way. Let's go deeper and see how.
DIGGING IN (25 minutes)
There are a few ways that we use our tongue that we need to examine. As you can imagine, they all have to do with words. Today we're going to talk about the truth about words.
Discussion Questions:1) What are some negative uses of our words? (gossip, lying, filthy language, etc. Allow them to come up with several)2) How have you experienced words being a hurtful in your own life?
Let's talk about gossip first.
Discussion Questions:1) How would you define gossip?2) Do you like it when people gossip about you?3) Be honest with yourself before we go on—how much do you gossip?
Some people think only girls gossip. Some people don't realize they are horrible gossips. Most people don't understand that gossiping is condemned in Scripture.
(Have several students look up one passage each. After each student has read their Scripture, ask the Discussion Questions below.)
Proverbs 11:13Proverbs 16:28Proverbs 18:8Proverbs 20:19Proverbs 26:20Proverbs 26:222 Corinthians 12:20
Discussion Questions:1) What do you think the Scriptures think about gossip? Should we participate in it? (no)2) What else do the Scriptures we read say about gossip? (avoid those that do it, it accomplishes strife, it separates friends, etc.)3) Have you experienced this for yourself before in your life? (if you need to get them started, share about a time when gossip separated you from a friend. Who knows, there might even be issues within your group and this could be an opportunity for healing.)
Gossip isn't the only way that our words can hurt people or be sinful. We also need to talk about our language choices, too.
Discussion Questions:1) Do you ever consider the words you use?2) What do you think words can say about a person?
(Repeat the Scriptural exercise from above. Split up the passages and then ask the questions.)
Proverbs 12:18Colossians 3:8Romans 3:12-14
Discussion Questions:1) What do these passages say about our words?2) Should a Christian use filthy language? Why not?3) Proverbs says our "reckless words" are a like a sword. What does that mean to you?4) Do you think a Christian should use cuss words?
• Are there other things a Christian should never say? What?
We as believers in Jesus should not gossip. We should know that our words are serious business, and that we shouldn't use filthy language or take lightly the impact what we say has on other people. But did you also know that the Bible talks a lot about the amount of words we use.
(Divide up this one last set of Scriptures. This might be the scariest set of all!)
Proverbs 10:19Ecclesiastes 5:2Ecclesiastes 6:11
Discussion Questions:1) What do these Scriptures say about our words?2) Why do you think the amount of words we use matters?3) How much do you talk? Do you think people take you seriously when you do?
As we've studied, words can carry a lot of weight. Someone read James 3:5. How does this summarize our discussion of words and the tongue?
MAKING IT REAL (15 minutes)
The truth is, controlling your tongue is a responsibility we should take very seriously. Hateful words, filthy words, and gossip are all condemned and we all have probably experienced this for ourselves.
There are some things we should just never say. I think we know that.
But there are some ways that we can use our words positively. When we do that, they have just as much power.
Discussion Questions:1) What are some ways we can use our words for good? (compliments, encouragement, etc.)
Re-read Proverbs 12:18.Read Proverbs 16:21.
If words can be used for good or for bad, it's obvious that the right thing to do is to use our words for good. You probably all have word habits that you need to fix. Consider the words you use:
Do you use filthy language? Do you swear or use other words that could offend people?Do you say things about people that aren't true?Do you share secrets about people they would not want you to share?Do you insult people or act hatefully towards others?
If the answer is "yes" to any of these, you need to be sure you examine how you use your words and pray that God would help you overcome those habits.
Consider your words.
Pass out some paper and pens. Encourage students to write down the greatest struggle they have with words. Perhaps they lie a lot or use dirty language. Maybe they're gossips or cuss a lot. Have them write down their struggle and fold it up. Let them know no one else has to see it.
SCRIPTURE MEMORIZATION (5 to 10 minutes)
"If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless." James 1:26 (NIV)
CLOSING PRAYER (2 minutes)
We're going to pray over these struggles you've just written. Pass your paper to the person on your right. They won't see your struggle, but they are going to pray for you. As you receive a piece of paper from someone on your left, just hold their paper between your hands and pray for them. Pray that God would give them wisdom on how to use their words, strength to overcome their struggle, and encouragement that they can do it.
© 2007 Kid's Sunday School Place. Used with permission.