Looking Forward in Dependence

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding

What would it be like to be homeless? Imagine what it would be like never to know where you were going to sleep, not having anywhere you could feel safe, always having to move around, only owning stuff you could carry. Now imagine how you would feel if someone gave you a home, welcomed you in and said you can live here forever. How would you feel? We’re going to find out about how the Israelites felt when they finally got to the land God had promised them and also about an offer God makes to everyone today.

Game: Promised Land Bulldog
Two areas of Promised Land one at either end of the room. When something about you is called you have to run through the wilderness to the other promised land. As you run you can be caught by the enemy which means that you join them and try to catch others.

Game: Stuck in the mud
Run around! One person is ‘it’ anyone they touch gets stuck and has to stay in the same place with their arms out and legs apart. They can be rescued by a saviour who has to crawl in between their legs or run under their arms. (Choose an option based on the physical ability of the group/relative sizes of children/how many of them are wearing skirts.)

Memory Verse:
As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will never leave you or forsake you. Joshua 1:5 The kids made their own actions up to help them remember this. If they have already learnt this from last time add the first half of the verse: No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life.

This video was the introduction to the first talk of the day, covering how Josh lead his people into the promised land.
Not my real home is the drama to accompany the second talk of the looking back section of our weekend away. Whatever the house props are can get bigger and more amusing if you’re at home or at least not actually camping.

Talk 3 covers the why Joshua can look forward and trust God, here’s a powerpoint to accompany it: Talk 3
Talk 4 links it to Jesus, the reason we can look forward in dependence and what we have to look forward to and there’s a presentation for this too: Talk 4

We made some bunting (white card triangles with two holes punched at the top) On one side the kids could draw something they were thankful for – we had everything from pizza to the cross – and on the other side something they were looking forward to either in heaven or on earth with God.

Small groups:
Because we had the whole age range from 3-13 we split them into small groups by ages and produced worksheets for the younger ones and questions for the older ones. Here are the worksheets/questions and accompanying notes to go with talks three and four stacked by age: 3-5 worksheets 3 and 4, 5-7 worksheets 3 and 4, 7-9 Small Group notes 3 and 4, Older Small Group 3, Older Small Group 4.

Any of the songs from the first day
My Lighthouse – Rend Collective: The Art of Celebration (with actions!)
God was there – Alan and Hannah Lewis (more on this later!)

For the younger groups prayer notes are included on the worksheets or leaders notes using things that we’ve discussed to fuel the prayers. One idea – particularly if your group struggles to pray out loud – is to have a stick or small staff, like Moses, that you can pass around the group: if you’re holding the staff it’s your turn to pray out loud. This is a handy way of removing fears, such as starting at the same time as someone else. No-one has to pray aloud but they can hold on to the staff and have a quiet moment in which to talk to God without also having to listen to anyone else.