Able to navigate controversial conversations in a way that offers a loving focused response and leads to additional resources.


Each person will learn how to navigate hard conversations using Jesus’ caring model when confronted and also they will have the additional resources to provide to people for their further assistance.


  • Assignment 1 // Read James 1:19-25 and devotion. Answer the questions.

  • Assignment 2 // Watch the training video and answer the questions.

  • Assignment 3 // Browse some additional resources you can refer people to and answer the question.


James 1:19-25 New Century Version (NCV)

Listening and Obeying

My dear brothers and sisters, always be willing to listen and slow to speak. Do not become angry easily, because anger will not help you live the right kind of life God wants. So put out of your life every evil thing and every kind of wrong. Then in gentleness accept God’s teaching that is planted in your hearts, which can save you.

Do what God’s teaching says; when you only listen and do nothing, you are fooling yourselves. Those who hear God’s teaching and do nothing are like people who look at themselves in a mirror. They see their faces and then go away and quickly forget what they looked like.

But the truly happy people are those who carefully study God’s perfect law that makes people free, and they continue to study it. They do not forget what they heard, but they obey what God’s teaching says. Those who do this will be made happy.

New Century Version (NCV)

A Portion of Perry Noble Blog 12/19/14

The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

James, the brother of Jesus, tells us in James 1:22-25 that the Bible is like a mirror. It is a book we should look into in order to identify what may be broken in our lives; however, some in the Christian community has taken what was intended to be a mirror and turned it into a window. So, instead of using Scripture as a lens in which to see ourselves we see it as a device to look through in order that we may launch verbal “truth grenades” upon a culture that has never claimed to follow Christ.

If healing is going to take place, we must slide out of the judgment seat and into the mercy seat.

One of the most powerful passages that keeps me grounded is found in I Corinthians 6:9-11 , "Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed , you were sanctified , you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

I’ve highlighted a couple of sections to prove a point… our role in salvation was pretty passive.

Paul says we were washed, not “you washed yourself.”

Paul says we were sanctified, not, “you set yourself apart by your superb performance.”

Paul says we were justified, not “I could find nothing wrong with you.”

And all of this was done “in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

While judgment seat Christians have a hard time believing they didn’t have at least a small part in their own salvation, mercy seat Christians understand that JESUS CHRIST ALONE saves, that every good thing in life comes from Him and were it not for His grace in our lives we would be far from God, hopeless and reaching a sin status that may cause the devil to blush.

Before I end let me clearly say that being humble does not mean we cannot have an opinion, it does not mean we cannot stand for truth, but it does mean that we take our stand on the foundation of compassion rather than condemnation.


  1. In James 1:19 how can you use this truth in your pastoral conversations? What good/bad experiences have you had with this truth?

  2. List 3 spiritually controversial questions you have recently encountered or think you would encounter today.

  3. How does James 1:19-25 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 refocus your spiritually controversial conversations?

  4. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being high, how confident are you about engaging in controversial questions? If you were to make real progress in your confidence level, what would be the most significant step you could take in the next 30 days?

ASSIGNMENT 2 password: ecc (NOTE: password tends to autocorrect to "dcc" so watch out for that)



  1. How many questions recorded in scripture did Jesus answer without asking a question back?

  2. What three things did Jesus do to elevate questions that we can do as well?

  3. What are 2 reasons we should avoid yes or no answers to difficult spiritual questions?

  4. How would you grade yourself in your ability to elevate spiritual questions, on an A to F scale? What could you do to raise your skill level?



  • Life’s Healing Choices (John Baker)
  • Choose Joy (Karen Warren)



Marriage / Divorce






Gender Identity

Mental Health

Other Resources

Gene Appel’s talk on “What’s The Big Deal With Homosexuality and Gay Marriage?”


Eastside Christian Church________________________________________________

We believe the Bible teaches that men and women were created by God and equally bear His image (Gen.1:27). God’s intention was for them to share oneness and community (Gen. 2:23-24), even as the Godhead experiences oneness within the Trinity. Each had a direct relationship with God and they shared jointly the responsibilities of raising children and having dominion over the created order (Gen. 1:26-28). However, Human oneness was shattered by the Fall. The struggle for power and the desire to “rule over” another is part of the result of human sin. Genesis 3:16 is a prediction of the effects of the Fall rather than a prescription of God’s ideal order.

However, God has acted in Christ to redeem the human race, and to offer to all people the opportunity to be part of His family, the church. It is God’s intention for his children to experience the oneness that exists between the Father and the Son (John 17:11, 20-23) . This means there are no divisions and hierarchies between genders and races in the church, but all are “one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). When the church began on the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out on on women and men alike, as had been predicted long before the coming of Christ (Joel 2:28, Acts 2:18). In the New Testament, women as well as men exercise prophetic and priestly functions (Acts 2:17-18, 1 Cor.12:7,11). Every believer is to offer her or his gifts for the benefit of the Body of Christ (Rom.12:4-8, 1 Peter 4:10-11). To prevent believers from exercising their spiritual gifts to to quench the work of the Spirit.

In all attempts to understand and put into practice appropriate relationships between genders in the Body of Christ, our sole authority is the will of God as expressed in scripture. A few isolated scriptural texts appear to restrict the full ministry freedom of women. The interpretation of those passages must take into account their relation to the broader teaching of scripture and their specific contexts. We believe that, when the Bible is interpreted comprehensively, it teaches the full equality of men and women in status, giftedness, and opportunity for ministry.

Therefore, in our attempts to live together as a biblically functioning community, we are committed to the following values:

  • To provide opportunity for ministry based on giftedness and character, without regard to gender.
  • To pursue the kind of purity and loyalty in relationships between genders that led

New Testament writers to describe them in terms of family: “brother and sisters.”

  • To use sensitivity in language that reflects the honor and value God desires for women and men.
  • To be intentional where appropriate in overcoming sexist elements of our culture and to offer encouragement to women in areas where their giftedness has been traditionally discouraged.
  • To teach and model these values within our church, and to the world at large.

For further study and more complete discussion of the key scriptural passages pertaining to this issue, we recommend:

Bilezikian, Gilbert, Beyond Sex Roles, Baker

Barton, Ruth, Becoming a Woman of Strength, Shaw

Hull, Gretchen, Equal to Serve, Fleming H. Revell

Keener, Greg, Paul, Women, Wives, Hendrickson

Ogden, Greg, The New Reformation, Zondervan

Spencer, Aida, Beyond the Curse, Hendrickson


  1. What is one reason to point people to a resource beyond your conversation?

LEADERSHIP TAKEAWAY (To be completed during group discussion)