Subscribers only: Download as a PDF here.
BIBLE PASSAGE: Joshua 1
BACKGROUND: Moses led the Israelites into the Promised Land, and when he died God chose Joshua to take over. Joshua, who began his life as a slave, became a powerful leader who was used by God to lead an army to victory.
God tells Joshua to “be strong and courageous” three times in Joshua 1. However, he isn’t telling Joshua to be brave and get over his fear; he’s telling him to have courage because God is with him.
Invite the children to sit together in a circle and encourage them to share stories from their week. Celebrate any birthdays or special events. It can be helpful to have an object or cuddly toy to pass around for the children to hold as they speak. Ask them: “What helps you feel brave?” Thank God that he’s with you and ask him to help you learn more about him today.
You will need: a box; a blindfold; various items with different textures, such as soft fabric, rough sandpaper and water
Invite a child to be blindfolded and place one of the items in the box. Invite the blindfolded children to put a hand inside the box and guess what the item is. Let them take it in turns while you put lots of different things to feel inside.
Chat about how it might feel a bit scary to be blindfolded and not know what you’re about to feel.
Explain to the group that as you listen to today’s story you’re going to play Follow the Leader. Joshua was able to be a brave, strong leader because he knew that God was with him. Invite the children to listen carefully and watch for actions to copy.
You might want to teach them the actions before you read the story, or you can do them as you go along.
God’s people had been wandering in the desert for a really long time: 40 years, in fact. March on the spot. God had looked after them. He had been teaching them how to trust and listen to him. Cup your hand to your ear.
Moses had been leading the people. He had led them to the special land God had promised them. March on the spot. Sadly, Moses then died. Make a sad face. God gave them a new leader called Joshua.
God spoke to Joshua: “I want you to lead my people into the land I have
promised them. You need to get ready to cross the Jordan River. Just like I promised Moses, I will be with you everywhere you go. No one will be able to hurt you. I will be with you. Be strong and courageous. Listen to what I say and do what I ask you to do. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid because I will be with you wherever you go.” Invite the children to come up with an action for ‘strong and courageous’. Copy the actions different children suggest.
So Joshua told the people: “Go and get everyone ready. In three days’ time we’re going to cross the river and take the land God is giving us.” Mime packing bags.
The people answered Joshua and said: “We’ll do whatever you ask us and go wherever you send us. We did what Moses asked us to do, and we will do the same for you. We pray that God will be with you just as he was with Moses. We will protect you. Be strong and courageous!” Do one or two of the actions the children thought of earlier.
Joshua was probably nervous. Moses had been a really great leader, and the Promised Land God said they would live in already had people in it. It wasn’t going to be easy for them!
In this part of the Bible, God tells Joshua to be “strong and courageous” three times. He doesn’t just say: “Be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid.” He says: “Be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid, because I am with you.”
God was with Joshua. Do another ‘strong and courageous’ action.
Ask the children these questions, encouraging everyone to take turns to contribute (use your object or cuddly toy if you passed one around earlier):
- What was your favourite part of the story?
- How do you think Joshua felt when God told him he would lead all those people?
- What does it mean to be brave?
- When do you need to be brave in your life?
- How can God help you be brave?
You will need: badges or stickers with Joshua 1:9 printed on; collage materials; glue; pens or pencils
God told Joshua to be strong and courageous because he was with him everywhere he went. God says we can be brave because he is with us. Invite each child to decorate a badge or sticker they can wear to remind them that God is with them wherever they go.
As you chat, talk about the different times the children might need to be brave. What does God being with you feel like? Share a story from your own life to illustrate this so the children have an idea of how this can be worked out in practice.
Invite the children to share a time or place where they don’t feel brave. Ask that God would help them feel strong and courageous, and to know that he is with them. Pray this prayer together:
Thank you, God, that you are always with us wherever we go. Invite the children to name all the different places they go. Thank you, God, that you are with me. Amen.
For the rest of this month’s sessions go to youthandchildrens.work/together
Supporting documentsClick link to download and view these files
- PDF, Size 0.44 mb