James - Taming the Tongue

Housegroup Leaders Materials

Sermon: 18th May 2008

Text: James 3:1-12

NB: These notes are suggestions, not a text for your session, please be creative. Ensure you listen to God and allow him to lead you. The items in italics are extra materials, use where appropriate. 

Key Verse

"Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?" James 3:11


Our Words have great power for good or evil.


Who's your favourite media personally and what do you appreciate about what they say?
Conversely, who do you dislike and what do you dislike about what they say?


Speak out the character or names of God as a group?
Split the group in half and line them up on either side of the room faceing each other. Then each line taking it in turns read Psalm 136 half a line at a time.
Listen to "May the words of my mouth" By Tim Hughes. (This would also work well at the end of the evening)

Word (head)

Why is it such a big responsibility being a teacher?
What do you understand but the image of a rudder or spark and how should it effect what you say?
How is it possible for the tongue to set the course of our lives?
Verse 8 suggests there is not much hope, but taking the images of horse and ship what hope can you find? (The clue is a boat can be steered)

Word (heart questions)

How should we apply verse 9 in very day conversations?
Isn't James just calling us to be nice to one another? Look up Luke 3:7 or John 8:44, how does this work?

What do these phrases show about the course someone is on? and how would you rephrase them?

  • Why doesn't he do something?
  • You make me feel so angry and hurt.
  • Person X is always so opinionated and always so wrong.
Do you have a ground rules for good communication? ("Write good things say difficult things")


Your words have power to bring life or death to others. Who do you need to speak words of life to this week?
How do can your words change the atmosphere of your life and those around you?

Take time to remember your words of the last couple of weeks. Are there people you need to say sorry to, or things you need to confess before God. If it's helpful have sometime in quiet confession.

Mark Searle, 15/05/2008