To facilitate introductions and to focus on the theme of Authentic, spend a few minutes talking as a group about the skills and characteristics required to become a great actor or actress. Use the following questions as the basis of your discussion.
• Which actors and actresses do you admire most? Why?
• What kinds of roles allow actors and actresses to shine best?
• What traits or habits identify a person as a mediocre performer?
What ideas or images come to mind when you hear the word hypocrite?
Why is it difficult to be authentic and genuine as a follower of Christ?
To prepare for the DVD segment, read aloud the following verses.
The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. Matthew 23:2-7
DISCUSS THE DVD SEGMENT WITH YOUR GROUP, USING THE QUESTIONS BELOW.
What did you like best in James’s teaching? Why?
What emotions are you experiencing after hearing James teach about hypocrisy?
How do Christians often make salvation complicated? How would you explain the doctrine of salvation to someone who’s never heard it?
Why is it easy for Christians to drift into hypocrisy?
Why is it damaging for Christians to practice hypocrisy in the church? In our culture?
Of the seven habits of highly hypocritical people, which have been the most damaging to you personally?
Which of the seven habits have you been forced to confront in your own heart?
Application. Before concluding this discussion, identify one of the seven habits of highly hypocritical people that you’ll keep a special eye on this week. Commit to make a mental note anytime you’re tempted to practice that habit and especially anytime you actually practice it. Be prepared to talk about your experiences during the next group session.
This week’s Scripture memory. Matthew 15:8-9
This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.
Assignment. Read week 1 and complete the activities before the next group experience.