"Elephant in the Room" Group Leader Guide: Week 5

In week 5 of "Elephant in the Room,"  Pastor Miles McPherson gave us a better way to approach conversations about race. While the culture wants us to think in terms of “us” versus “them,” there is a third option. We can honor what we have in common.

All of us — men and women, white, black, and every shade of brown — are made in the image of God. We’re more alike than we are different. We’re all loved fully and completely by our heavenly Father.

Sermon Notes
Note the response of the commander of the Lord's army in Joshua 5:13-15

How do we move forward in an “us” versus “them” culture?
  1. Acknowledge your blind spots.
  2. Rename people as brother, sister, or neighbor.
  3. Give in-group love to our out-group.
  4. Acknowledge your brother or sister’s color.
  5. View every conversation as a race consultation.
  6. Give your heart to those not like you.
Group Conversation Starters
  • What was your big takeaway from Sunday’s message? How has the subject of racism personally affected you?
  • Read Genesis 1:26-27. What does it mean to be made in the image of God? How should these verses affect how we treat people?
  • What are some things we all have in common that we can celebrate? What are some differences we can celebrate?
  • Read James 2:1-9. What do we see in these verses about God’s heart for people? What are some practical things we can do when we are “in” and others are “out”? How do you respond when you are “out”?
  • Read John 17:20-23. How is this kind of unity possible? What’s one step you can take to pursue the kind of uncommon unity Jesus describes?
  • It’s likely that grandparents of current high school students attended segregated schools. Do you think the perception of racism as a problem long ago plays a factor in how we deal with it today?
  • Read Revelation 7:9. What does this verse say about what heaven will be like? How do we get our get our worship gatherings to look more like the kingdom of God?
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Closing Thought

“God offers us a Third Option that stands in stark contrast to the tow offered by culture. God’s Third Option invites us to honor that which we have in common — the presence of His image in every person we meet. When we honor the presence of His image in others, we acknowledge their priceless value as the precious and beloved of God. The Third Option empowers us to see people through God’s eyes, which enables us to treat them in a manner that honors the potential of His image in us.” - Miles McPherson, from “The Third Option

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