Calls Us to Lead
In this a c tiv ity, the participants learn how God calls young people to lead. time required: 30-50 minutes
Mat er ial s N eed ed
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» Bibles, one for each participant » blank sheets of paper, one for each participant » colored pencils or crayons, several for each participant
Activity Steps T e l l t he pa rt ic ipa nts that the Bible records a number of examples of God making an
unlikely choice when calling a person for a special task in that person’s community (e.g., Sarah was called to bear a child at the age of 99; Jesus’ disciples were poor and illiterate; Saul, who became Paul, was a persecutor of the church). Tell the participants they are going to look at the story of Samuel—another example of God calling someone who is an unlikely candidate. In this narrative, Samuel is an unlikely choice because he is so young. Dis t r ibut e a B ible to each participant. As a group, read aloud 1 Samuel 3:1–21 and allow
a few moments for silent reflection. Then offer the following comments: » God calls Samuel to be a prophet of Israel when Samuel is only a boy. In the story of Samuel and Eli, it is significant that God calls the young, inexperienced boy rather than the elderly priest to a leadership role. » Samuel has no social or religious authority in his community, but Eli is a well-respected elder and priest. Because of this, Samuel is an unlikely choice for the task. Yet God sees potential
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in the youth, innocence, and faithfulness of a young boy. God sees that calling a young person provides an opportunity for newness and change.
» The call of Samuel marks a new beginning for Israel. It lays the groundwork for a renewed covenant of faithfulness for the Israelites. God gives Samuel an important role, and Samuel obeys God’s call. I nv it e t h e pa rt i c ipa nts to take part in a large-group discussion using the following
questions and comments as a guide: » Why doesn’t Eli realize (at first) that the Lord is calling Samuel? [Verse 1 tells us the word of the Lord was rare in those days; this is the first time God has spoken to Samuel. Eli may not have expected God to call to a child.] » What does Eli tell Samuel to say in response to God? [“Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:9).] » When Samuel recounts the Lord’s words to Eli the next morning, how does Eli respond? [Eli listens carefully and believes what Samuel tells him; he does not get angry with Samuel after hearing the words of the Lord.] » Why do you think the Lord speaks to the young boy and not to the elderly priest? [God speaks about punishing Eli and his sons. God wants to bring the Israelites back to a life of faithfulness, and a child embodies the possibility of a fresh start; God is preparing Samuel to become a prophet.]
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» What does this story teach us about young people doing God’s work? [Young people can participate in doing God’s work on earth. They should listen for God’s call and respond, and adults should support and encourage young people as they listen for God’s call.] P r o v id e e a c h pa rtic ipa nt with a blank sheet of paper and some colored pencils or crayons. Ask them to draw a long, winding road with three blank signposts and a traffic light after each signpost. Tell them this is their “life highway.” Ask them to think about three times in their lives when they have been a leader or have taken responsibility (e.g., running a lemonade stand, helping a younger sibling learn to read, or helping to coach a sports team). Tell them to write their ages at the time and a few words about the experience in each of the signposts. Allow ample time for them to complete this task. N o w a s k t h e pa rtic ipa nts to think about how others responded to them in those roles. If their friends, parents, siblings, or teachers were unsupportive, they should color the traffic light red. If the response was mixed or lukewarm, they should color the light yellow. If they felt supported and encouraged to take on this responsibility, they should color the traffic light green. Again, allow enough time for the participants to reflect and complete the task. F ina l ly, ask the participants to add a few images that show how they can listen for God’s call as they travel along their life highways (e.g., symbols of praying, listening, or talking to others). W h e n e v e ry o ne ha s had time to complete their highways, invite a few volunteers to share
and explain their drawings with the rest of the group.
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C o n c l ud e t h e ac tiv ity by inviting the group to prayer. Pray that the participants will feel supported when they take on responsibility in their communities. Pray that they will respond positively (be a “green light”) to other young people who strive to do the same. Pray that they will listen carefully for God’s call and respond by saying, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”
Copyright © 2008 by World Vision Resources, Mail Stop 321, P.O. Box 9716, Federal Way, WA 98063-9716 firstname.lastname@example.org. All rights reserved.
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About World Vision W o rld V i s i o n i s a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization dedicated to helping children and their families break free from poverty. Our work is motivated by our faith in Jesus Christ. We see a world where each child experiences “fullness of life” as described in John 10:10. And we know this can be achieved only by addressing the problems of poverty and injustice in a holistic way. That’s how World Vision is unique: We bring nearly sixty years of experience in three key areas needed to help children and families thrive: emergency relief, long-term development, and advocacy. And we bring all of our skills across many areas of expertise to each community we work in, enabling us to care for children’s physical, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being. W o rld V i s i o n R es o u r c e s educates Christians about global poverty, inspires them to social justice, and equips them with innovative resources to make a difference in the world. By developing biblically-based materials for educators and ministry leaders on the causes and consequences of global poverty, World Vision Resources supports the organizational mandate to move the church in the United States to more fully embrace its biblical responsibility to serve the poor.
For more information about our resources, contact: World Vision Resources www.worldvision.org email@example.com
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