Sticks + Stones Week 1: The Power of Words


The Power of Words

sermon guide

Share something hurtful you have been told.

Have someone read Proverbs 18:21.

Words have the astonishing power to bless or to curse. We can use our words to build up or tear down, to encourage or destroy. Words can bring life or death to our relationships.

Who has consistently spoken encouraging words of life into you? Share with the group what they do to encourage and bless you.

Have someone read Genesis 1:3 and Genesis 3:1.

Right from the beginning, God used words, speaking light into darkness. In chapter 3 we see Satan using words as well. He uses them to confuse and destroy, speaking darkness and falsehoods to wound us. Share a time you spoke words that hurt someone else. How did you feel afterwards?

Have someone read John 1:1, 4–5.

Jesus is introduced as the WORD come to bring light. He used words to calm the sea, to share the good news and to heal people. We are made in the image of God, and our words are a much more powerful tool than most of us ever realize.

Gene shared five types of communication that will be life-giving to every relationship you have. Read the verses below.

Affirmation – Ephesians 4:29

Affection – Jeremiah 31:3

Listening – Proverbs 17:28

Speaking the truth in love – Ephesians 4:15

Truth without grace is mean. Grace without truth is meaningless.

How open are you to receiving truth in love? How can practicing “I” statements instead of “you” statements change things in your relationships with others?

Share which of the five types of communication comes easiest to you and which one is a challenge.


Identify someone in your life who needs to hear words of life this week. Reach out to them with encouragement via text, phone call, card, or in person.

This week be intentional with the words and interactions you have with people at home and at work. Pray that God will help you to pay more attention to the opportunities you have to speak life and not death.


Break into groups and pray for healing from words that were spoken about you or to you that have hurt you. Ask God to open your hearts and heal those wounds. The truth is that God loves you and wants light for you. Ask forgiveness for words that you have spoken that have caused others pain.

Ask the Lord to help you this week to be more intentional with words of affirmation, affection, and speaking the truth in love.