One of the most quoted Scripture passages in small group world is James 5:16. It reads, “…confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” It is the power of God that is administered because of our prayers for one another that brings healing to people’s lives and that sets them free from the sins that are holding them captive.
Before we can pray for a group member that group member must first publicly confess their sin. Making it possible for this to happen demands that we…
1. Create an environment of grace.
2. Lead the way. When a leader confesses sin, in most instances, others will follow.
3. Respond as Jesus would when someone does confess a sin they’re struggling with. Jesus always loves the sinner and is gracious, kind, caring, and longs to redeem.
4. Remind the group often that all of us struggle with sin and that if we say we don’t we are lying to ourselves (1 John 1:8) and make God out to be a liar (1 John 1:10).
5. Remind the group often that, even the greatest and most influential Christians struggled with sin. (Roman 7:15).
6. When someone courageously confesses a sin to the group remind the group that this is more than appropriate, it is one of the reasons that God placed us in Christian community.