Listen Up

Group Discussion

Ice Breakers

How many social media outlets do you use?
How do you use each one?
What are your pet peeves about people’s communication habits on social media?


Have you ever had a “foot in mouth” experience (in regular face-to-face conversation)?  What happened?

The Big Idea

Read together James 3:1-12

  • What’s something new that you noticed about this passage?
  • What problems or questions do you have about this passage?
  • If we lived out this passage, what would it look like?  What would be different about how we currently operate?

Jesus says (Luke 6:43-45) that this problem is actually a heart issue.
Take a few moments to think back over your day.  Based on the words you said, conversations you’ve had…

  • How is your heart?
  • In what ways is your heart healthy and vibrant?
  • In what ways might there be sickness or something not quite right?


Steve Deur gave us several practices to check our hearts and improve the fruit of what comes out of our mouth.

1. Be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19).

  • In what situations recently would this have been a better solution to what actually happened?
  • How does one practice listening first?

2. Use the listening as a time to pray and listen to God as well.

  • Do you “practice silence” regularly in your life?  (ie. first thing in the morning, commute, nap time, etc.)
  • How do you feel God prompting you one way or another? (ie. whether to speak something or just listen?)
  • Discuss using “open ended” questions… questions that cannot be answered with just a “yes” or a “no”.Just for the fun of it, pair up in your group and have one person simply listen and ask questions for two minutes straight without interjecting anything other than questions.  See if you can do it.

3. Take a heart test.

  • What kinds of things are driving your need to speak first, too much, too abrasively, have the last  word? (ie. looking good, control the situation, desire to be right, defensive, rationalization, etc.)
  • Bring those things to God right now, quietly, and ask God to heal your heart issues.

 Check your heart diagnostic:

  • why do I need to speak about this?
  • what good will come out of this?
  • how will the movement of Jesus be impacted?
  • his will this affect the person I’m talking to?
  • am I trying to control or trusting God?
  • what if what I said landed on the front page of the news?