Honoring Older Generations

Scripture: Joshua 22-24

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn that Joshua continued to care for Israel by giving them Godly advice before he died.
  • Students will learn the importance of honoring and learning from older generations.

Guiding Question:How can we honor older generations by serving them and learning from them?

Materials: decorations for a special dinner or dessert social

Procedure: Review the story of Joshua saying goodbye to the Israelites before his death. Focus especially on his words of wisdom that they should remain faithful to God. Discuss the importance of listening to older generations who have more life experiences. They have interesting stories to share of events that happened of which younger generations might not know. Also discuss how sometimes the older generations especially those who are retired, are not given as much attention because others claim to be “too busy.”

Help students plan a special social event for seniors in your church or community. This could be something as simple as a dessert social or students could do a full dinner. Use this as an opportunity to teach students how to plan and execute plans for an event. Divide responsibilities if possible by having a sign-up list for foods to bring. You could also take the opportunity to teach students how to bake and do the cooking on-site. Students can hand-make decorations by creating posters from large construction paper, they can use crepe paper to make streamers, and they can create centerpieces by making paper flowers. Put students’ talents to work by planning some entertainment such as singing, skits, or poetry reading. Create or purchase invitations and have students hand-write the addresses. Also, show students the process of choosing a good date by considering the time of year, time of day and other events on the calendar (this could be a fun Valentine event).

At the event, encourage students to talk to the seniors and ask questions. Each table could have a set of conversation starters/questions. Examples: What do you consider the decision you have made in life? What was a time that you were really discouraged or disappointed, but years later it was not so bad? How have you seen God at work in the community? What is your favorite childhood memory?

After the event, have students clean up. Discuss how it felt to serve them and what they learned. Did anything surprise them?

Additional Questions:

  • What advice did Joshua give the Israelites that still applies to us today?
  • Who are some older mentors in your life? What can you learn from them?

Supplemental Activity: Students can write and decorate encouraging cards to give out at the event.