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BIBLE PASSAGE: Joshua 1
BACKGROUND: This passage marks a change for the people of God. Moses – who had led them from Egypt to the very borders of the Promised Land – has died and they now have a new leader, Joshua.
Joshua was Moses’ apprentice, but now he has to step into leadership at a very uncertain time. There are difficult times ahead, and Joshua needs to depend on God. Fortunately, God gives him the reassurance he needs to take on the task. This session focuses on helping the young people think about leadership and depending on God, as Joshua did.
Welcome the young people and spend some time chatting about their week. Ask the groups some questions, such as: what is the best chocolate in a box of Celebrations? How many colours are there in a rainbow? KFC or McDonald’s? Would you rather live by the sea or in the mountains? Which house from Harry Potter would you be in? Would you rather be a giant hamster with a trunk or a tiny elephant?
You will need: paper and pens
Ask everyone to imagine they are in the following fairy tale:
You are a frog. You have been a frog for as long as you can remember, but you have a nagging feeling this is not who you really are. From your lily pad on the pond you see all kind of spectacular things going on in the world: business people creating exciting companies and making money; beautiful people appearing in adverts and singing
to thousands on stage; people building families and laughing together as they grow old in ivy-clad cottages; adventurous types base jumping, mountain biking, swimming across lakes and hiking across Asia; doctors curing diseases; and princesses and princes leading the people.
One day the person of your dreams stops at the pond and looks at you, then says: “I’m going to break the spell and reveal who you really are…and give you the life you most want in the world.” The person kisses you on your warty, froggy nose.
Who do you turn into? Where do you live, and what is your life like? Ask them to write their answers on the paper and all reveal them at the same time. Go around the group to discuss their answers.
You will need: story from youthandchildrens.work/resources
Before the session, download the story from youthandchildrens.work/resources and either practise telling it yourself or ask someone else in the group to prepare it.
Gather everyone together and invite them to listen to the story. Explain that Moses has just died and that God has appointed Joshua as the new leader of his people. Joshua had been Moses’ apprentice as the Israelites – the people of God – wandered through the desert toward the promised land.
Once the story is over, ask the young people to give their first impressions of what they have heard.
Ask someone, or a couple of people, to sum up the story. Use the following questions to start the discussion:
- What is the main theme of this story for you?
- What advice do you have for Joshua in terms of becoming all that he could be?
- What should Joshua do after this episode? What are the most important things for him to do in the days that followed? How can he establish himself as a great leader of the Israelites?
- What is God saying to you through this story?
You will need: paper; marker pens
Put the young people into pairs. Ask them to write a list of the ten most important attributes that all great leaders must have. Once everyone has finished, discuss their answers as a whole group. Then ask the following questions:
- Do most great leaders have all of these attributes when they start out?
- How do they get them?
- How does it happen in the movies? Does it happen like that in real life?
- How many of these characteristics do you personally have? How could you cultivate more?
- What does God hope you will be like one day?
- What raw materials is God looking for in order to develop you into all that you could be?
Ask the young people to imagine that they are leaders in their own community. What big idea could bring everyone more together? What characteristics would you need in order to be trusted (for example, people may need to feel listened to, they might need a credible Christian to be inspired by or they may need a business leader to help them create income and employment in their neighbourhood).
What resources does your community need in order to thrive and become a ‘promised land’? This could be better public spaces, more jobs and investment, more time to spend together, a common thing to be proud of as a community, or more to do generally so there is less crime and violence.
Give the group (working alone, in pairs or all together) time to work some of this out and write down some ideas. If working together, use large sheets of paper so that everyone can contribute. Come back together after a few minutes and share your thoughts.
You will need: community ideas from ‘Creative response’; music and the means to play it
Play some worship music. On their own or in groups, encourage the young people to reflect on their community ideas and to pray into these areas. Ask them to pray for provision from God but also for inspiration about how they could act or intervene themselves. If they can’t be superheroes in their community alone, how could they combine to start meet some of the needs?
Pray for wisdom about this, but focus on the people who need God’s help. Pray for those in positions of power politically (councillors and MPs), but also for religious leaders, community leaders and other role models in sport, art and charity work.
For the rest of this month’s sessions go to youthandchildrens.work/together.
Supporting documentsClick link to download and view these files
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