Here’s a list of ways to say hello in different languages. Play a game and have group members guess which language goes with which word. Whoever gets the most right gets a prize—if you buy one ;) Answer key is at the end of the guide.
- SAIN BAINUU
- NI HAU
Have you ever had a moment when language was a barrier, preventing you from understanding another person? Share with the group.
Have you ever had a moment when you were able to conquer a language barrier without translation help? How’d you do it?
God said about the people living in Babel: “If they have begun to do this as one people all having the same language, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.”
Have you ever worked with someone who really understood you? What was the result of that understanding on your work, on your relationship?
We also said about the people of Babel (post language confusion), “They can’t work together if they can’t understand each other.” Have you ever tried to work with someone you couldn’t understand? What was the result?
Share a time when you used your words to push people away. It’s okay to be honest and vulnerable. Your group loves you.
We said on Sunday, “It seems there are some things these days that we just can’t talk about without hurting each other.” Have you experienced this? What do you feel like you can’t talk about?
In our culture, the unspoken rules of communication seem to be: Agree with me, keep your mouth shut, or damage this relationship.
Have you ever avoided what might have been a productive conversation in order to keep the peace?
Are you more often a shark or a turtle? What are the potential problems of your way of communicating during conflict or difference of opinion?
Roy Clements wrote in his book, The Church that Turned the World Upside Down: “Is there a way of making people one, without at the same time making them all the same? It is precisely that sort of unity which the Holy Spirit brings.” If this kingdom of God is not a place where connection is predicated on similarity or uniformity, what complications will arise as we try to practice unity in diversity? What are the inevitable hurdles? Brainstorm a few...
Justin said Sunday, “It’s practically impossible for diversity, equality and belonging to coexist. And at the same time, I serve a God who does impossible things, a God who does impossible things in and through me.” What seems impossible right now because of a difference that’s standing between you and someone else? Where do you feel like there’s no chance of clear communication or resolution?
Take a minute to pray together over these situations.
What does it look like to speak in the voice of hope? Consider the following scenarios and brainstorm responses that reflect a hope-anchored heart:
A friend on Facebook posts a video bashing your political party of choice. What do you say in the comments?
A new Christian uses some profanity in a conversation over lunch. What do you say?
A new family at church dresses much more casually or much more formally than you do on Sunday mornings. What do you say about them to your friends?
The preacher has a really bad week and delivers a mediocre sermon. What do you say about it in the car on the way home? What might you say to him?
Someone mentions that they’re a pacifist in Bible class, but you think that’s stupid. What might you say (or ask) in a conversation.
Your church does a new thing that isn’t your preference. What do you say when the elders ask for feedback?
Your husband says he might want a divorce. What do you say?
Your co-worker eats lunch at her desk right next to yours and you don’t like the way her home-cooked food smells. What do you say to her?
A family in your neighborhood decides to decorate their front yard in a way that’s not to your taste. What do you say to your friend when you drive by?
Your church is growing because people are coming to know God. As it grows you know fewer of the people and fewer of the people look like you or think like you. Your family from out of town asks you how things are going at your church. You say?
TO READ AND PRAY
Read Acts 2: 1-21 and 37-39
- Who is the Gospel for?
- Who is the gospel not for?
Encourage your group members to do a little soul searching. Is there anyone they feel is outside of God’s ability to save? You might provide some quiet time for prayers of repentance (for lack of faith in God’s power) and prayers for the people (or types of people) we might have written off—that they’d come to salvation.
- BONJOUR – French
- HOLA – Spanish
- HALLO / GUTEN TAG – German
- CIAO – Italian
- OLÀ – Portuguese
- NAMASTE – Hindi
- SALAAM – Persian (Farsi)
- ZDRAS-TVUY-TE – Russian
- KONNICHIWA - Japanese
- AHN-YOUNG-HA-SE-YO – Korean
- MERHABA – Turkish
- SAIN BAINUU- Mongolian
- SZIA – Hungarian
- MARHABA – Arabic
- JAMBO – Swahili
- NI HAU – Mandarin