Introduction – Leadership

Today we are thinking about leadership – we’ll look at two stories from the Old Testament part of the Bible and think about what they can teach us about how to live and the choices we make.

· If you could be Prime Minister/President for the day – what one thing would you change or what new rule would you introduce?

· What qualities should a good leader have?

· Are there any qualities a leader shouldn’t have?



Story: Calling of Samuel  

Give a brief recap of the story referencing the main points.God had a special task for Samuel and an important message to share. The story reminds us that God chooses young people to make a difference in the world. He did then and still does today.

Young People Making a Difference (Show the PowerPoint)

Greta Thunberg

A 16 year old nominated for a Nobel Prize for campaigning on climate change. Greta first came into the public eye on Aug. 20, 2018, when she sat outside of the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm to protest climate change instead of going to school. She continued striking every day up until Sept. 9, which was Sweden’s general election. Since then, she has continued skipping school every Friday, inspiring the #FridaysForFuture movement, with other students all over the world striking in front of their local town halls to get the attention of leaders. Not only did she stand up and make her voice heard, she also inspired other young people to join her.

Ryan Hickman

He was just 3 years old when he began recycling. He wanted to stop bottles and cans from ending up in the ocean and so he started collecting recycling from his neighbours and friends. By the age of 7, he’d raised £18,000 and started his own business.

Mikaila Ulmer

She was 4 years old when she started her lemonade stand using her grans recipe. But instead of using sugar to sweeten her drinks she used honey. By the age of 11, she was selling her lemonade in stores across America with proceeds going to help protect bees.

Yash Gupta

Yash was 11 years old when he set up his own charity collecting glasses that were no longer used by people donating them to children in need around the world. His organisation has collected and distributed more than £1,000,000 worth of used eyeglasses to students around the world in Mexico, Honduras, Haiti, and India.  

· Is there anything the four young people have in common?

· How easy or difficult do you think it would have been for each of the young people to do what they did?

· Is there anything we can learn from these examples?

What each of the young people I’ve mentioned have in common is they started with one small action. They spoke up when others stayed quiet. They picked up some rubbish that others left behind. They started a business and didn’t keep all the profits for themselves. They took what people didn’t use anymore and thought about how others might benefit.  

Story: David being chosen as king – again give a short recap of the story of David being chosen and anointed as king.

God didn’t choose the strongest or the most impressive. God encouraged Samuel to look at more than appearance. What was important about David was what was on the inside – his character. I wonder if Samuel’s own experience as a young boy played a part in his decision?

Game: Leadership as working together

To help emphasise the importance of character in leadership rather than brute strength play this quick game with the children. You’ll require two volunteers to play and two assistants to hold two bowls of sweets.

Both young people have to stand in the middle holding hands – they have 30 seconds to get as many sweets as possible from each of your bowls. One bowl on the far ride hand side and one bowl on the far left hand side. They are only allowed to collect one at a time and once someone has got one sweet they have to return to the middle. If they let go of each other’s hand– they have to return to the middle.

9/10 the children will compete against one another each pulling in different directions. In the struggle neither volunteer will manage to get the sweets. Invite the children’ to think of how they might tackle the same task but this time working in cooperation. (Usually works best if both children go to the same direction – first to one bowl and then to the second and repeating this for the full 30 seconds)

Reflection

What might these stories mean for the choices we make? I wonder what each of you might be called to do? In Matthew we get a glimpse of the difference God wants us to make in our communities, schools, and relationships.

Jesus said to his followers: You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavours of this earth… You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world.

What an incredible task and mission to have. The first part made me think of Starbursts – take the opportunity to pass some sweets around the group. Tell them that it’s a reminder to bring flavour and sweetness to the world.

(This part involved using a magic comic book available to purchase on Amazon here.)  

The second part of the reading made me think about a present I got recently. The person that gave it to me said she thought I’d appreciated it because youth workers apparently never really grow up!

There was a slight problem with the book though…when I opened the book it was just full of blank pages!

I was so disappointed!

I flicked through again just to make sure I wasn’t seeing things – and then something strange happened! The outlines appeared.

And then when I went back to do some colouring a little later – I discovered that all the images had already been coloured in!

Just my luck – someone else having all the fun!

I wonder if you ever look at someone else and think their lives seem way more colourful than your own.  Maybe they have a bigger house, a faster car or go on more exotic holidays.

In truth I think there are times when we’ve all felt like that; like we’re missing something that others’ have (show blank pages).

Maybe there are times you don’t really feel like anything is missing and we just go from day to day (show outlines)

But God wants us all, to have lives full of colour and to help other people experience that fullness of life too.  

So, I wonder what difference you could make in your communities, at school or at home? What one small act could you do that might spark a fantastic change?

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