For the Leader: As if things weren’t weird enough right now, Public Cancel Culture is now a new and terrible thing—a.k.a. public shaming! Perhaps to bring some levity to today’s conversation, you should watch this—no doubt you will get some chuckles!

Additionally, the heart of today’s conversation is the gospel! We hope that each person in your group is reminded of God’s love for them through the sacrifice of Jesus. That He doesn’t cancel us, but rather cancelled the punishment for our sin! Today should be hopeful!

Pick and choose from the questions below, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you!

Start Talking

  • What do you know about this idea of “Cancel Culture”? How have you seen this played out?
    • Cancel Culture = the popular practice of withdrawing support for (canceling) public figures or companies after doing something offensive or deemed so
  • Do you know anyone personally affected by Cancel Culture?
  • Do you think social media makes this culture worse?

What About You?

  • Most likely you won’t get cancelled for something you have said or posted online. However, have you ever said or posted something that you wish you could take back?
  • While the magnitude of Cancel Culture is new, the idea of shutting someone out for their words or actions is not. Perhap you, like Sean, have experienced this either in life or at church. If so, how did that affect you or someone you know?
  • Sean mentioned this list as some of the unwritten rules of Cancel Culture: 

We define you at your worst.
We will publicly shame you.
We are justified in saying awful things about you.
Your negative past is always present.
Every positive thing you’ve done before is now nullified.
One strike and you’re out.
We want to shut you up and shut you out forever.

  • What issues do you see with this mindset?

Look It Up

Read Colossians 2:13-15

  • What stands out to you from this passage?
  • How would you describe the Cancel Culture Jesus created? What did he cancel?
  • Why was/is the way Jesus interacts with our sin so important/different from culture?
  • Who does Jesus shame when it comes to our sin? How did He do this?

What Now?

  • How would you define a “Culture of Grace”? Here’s the list Sean shared:

    We don’t shut you up or shut you down.
    We want to help you be your best.
    We give you space to make mistakes.
    We choose to lovingly confront you when you’re living in harmful patterns.
    We spend the bulk of our energy on fixing us, not you.
    We don’t expect you to be perfect because we are too familiar with our own issues (Paul called himself the chief of sinners!).
    We have a humble realistic view of ourselves, so we do the same for others.

  • Describe a time when you have experienced or extended a culture of grace rather than the cancel culture? How did it affect you?

Moving Forward

  • Cancel Culture was created to bring about change in people. But as Christ followers, we know that a culture of Grace is what actually changes us. What do you need to do this week to live in the grace culture rather than the cancel culture?
  • In what ways do you need to extend or accept grace for yourself? What would that look like?
  • Who do you need to extend grace to this week? What would that look like? 
  • Who or what is helping you grow right now?
  • Do you need to take one of these steps at Athens Church (You can find more about each of these things on our website

Things to Think On

  • Choose to be a person of conversations rather than cancellations.
  • If you’ve been a part of cancel culture, confess, repent, say you’re sorry. 
  • If you feel you’ve been cancelled, forgive and maybe confess the resentment you’ve built up.
  • If you’ve gone into hiding for fear of cancelation, come out & engage.