Scripture: Numbers 13-14
- Students will review the story of the spies exploring Canaan.
- Students will learn how to serve others by being a positive influence.
- Students will learn that hope and positivity comes from God.
Guiding Question: How can we serve others through our positive attitudes?
Materials: dark room, flash light, sticky notes
Procedure: Open discussion by asking students: What do you do to serve others? Then explain that sometimes service is not just doing things, but rather helping others by being a positive influence. If possible, gather students in a dark room with windows covered. Then shine one flashlight. Discuss how bright that flashlight is especially when everything around is dark. It only takes a small amount to light up a lot of space. Sometimes it is very hard to be positive and stand up for the Godly thing when everyone else is being negative. However, one small light of positivity can make a big impact.
Review Caleb and Joshua’s attitude in comparison to the other spies. When the Israelite spies came back from Canaan, many thought that the people there were too powerful to fight against. But Caleb knew that God was on the Israelite’s side and tried to be positive. Even though the people did not agree with them, they did the right thing by trusting God despite all of the dark doubts around them.
Showing positivity to others doesn’t have to be an elaborate card. It can be as simple as a sticky note or a kind word. Give each student a sticky note. Have them write an encouragement that they can stick on a desk of a friend, a student they don’t know well, or a teacher. At the next class gathering ask students how their encouraging note impacted the person.
Give kids a challenge to find the good in unpopular situations. Let students brainstorm times that might seem frustrating and brainstorm how God can help them through it and find the good in the situations. For example, find the good in: being assigned an overwhelming school project, not knowing other kids at an event, etc. Use these situations as an opportunity to learn something new and make new friends. Even when a situation seems unmanageable, God is with us and we can help others get through it too by being joyful.
- How do you think Caleb and Joshua felt in comparison to the other Israelites when they returned from spying out the land?
- What are other ways besides sticky notes to encourage others every day?
- Who may need encouragement besides your close friends?
- How does God help us through situations that seem too hard? What situations have seemed impossible to you, but God helped you?
- Have students choose one person that they see regularly at school, home, church, on a sports team, etc., who they think can use more encouragement. Over the course of the month, the student should intentionally reach out to that person and spread joy. Pray for each person regularly.
- Give students grey and black art materials such as paint or pencils or crayons. Tell them that their task is to take these dark, boring colors and make a beautiful piece of art that they can give to a friend or family member. Students may even want to research/learn shading and gradient techniques to add depth and interest to their artwork. Make the connection that we can take bleak situations and turn them into beautiful opportunities.
Written by: Savannah Negas