"Elephant in the Room" Group Leader Guide: Week 1

Truth Conveyed by Conversation

In Week 1 of “Elephant in the Room,” Pastor Dan Lian taught about the importance of life-giving, God-honoring conversations on issues that are often ignored. Dan highlighted the topics we’ll cover during “Elephant in the Room” and offered a template for conversation.

During this series, we’ll examine how Jesus conveyed truth with compassion so we’re prepared to engage friends, family, and coworkers in conversation.

Sermon Notes

We must get better at having conversations with the world. We can’t ignore the issues or yell at those who don’t understand.

We are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. - 2 Corinthians 5:20 (ESV)
Our conversations should be marked by three things:

  1. Compassion - “But do this with gentleness and respect.” - 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
  2. Conviction - “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” - 1 John 5:3 (ESV)
  3. Continuation

Group Conversation Starters

  • What was your big takeaway from the message? How is this issue personally affecting you?
  • What’s your biggest fear when talking to someone about a controversial topic?
  • What does it mean to have compassion for people? How do you see Jesus’ demonstrating compassion to people? What can we do to have better empathy toward people?
  • Read 1 John 5:3. How does keeping God’s commands show our love for Him? What does it mean that God’s commands are not burdensome?
  • Read 1 Peter 3:15. What does it practically look like to defend our convictions with gentleness and respect?
  • Can you give an example of a conversation you’ve had that didn’t go well? What could you have done better?
  • How do we reclaim the lost art of conversation? (See James 1:19 and Proverbs 15:1.)
  • How does our approach change when we commit to walking a longer distance with people?

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Closing Thought

God’s love was demonstrated to us in that while we were still sinners, Jesus died for us. He loved us even when we were opposed to Him. The Gospel is the answer our world needs.

We demonstrate God’s love in the world when we give ourselves to people, even to those with whom we disagree. When we do, we are a refreshing alternative to a culture filled with noise and hate.

People will be convinced that our faith is real, not simply by our convictions, but by the compassion we show as we walk with them.

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