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An Heroic Ministry
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YWI - working with...
YWI is pleased to work in association with
Fuller Youth Institute, US
Sophia Network, UK
David - The Visionary
BEFORE YOU START
To explore with young people the concept of personal costly sacrifice and vision.
What is vision? In today’s society everything is at our fingertips and instantly available. For young people growing up in this culture the idea of ‘vision’ maybe distorted or even lost, so it is important for them to grasp the idea and understand it for themselves so that they can then in turn re-imagine vision in their own lives.
Read 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 21 (they are same passage but written from slightly different perspectives). How could David’s journey in these passages reflect your own? What sacrifices have you made? What is your vision?
The idea ‘The Threshing Floor’ requires some prior preparation from the young people, which will need setting the week before.
It will never work (5 mins)
Stick up pictures of ‘visionary’ inventions such as televisions, telephones, computers etc and mix in with these pictures of inventions that didn’t quite make it (type in ‘useless inventions’ into a search engine for some comical options).
Use as a visual icebreaker about having vision. Do the young people see themselves as ‘visionary’? Do they have the courage to be visionaries, even if they may be seen as foolish by others?
What is vision? (5 mins)
Play a video of the ‘I have a dream’ speech by Martin Luther King Jr (there are various ones on the net). Here was a man with vision. Use this as a means to discuss with the young people what having vision or being a visionary might mean. Write up their suggestions on flipchart paper and stick it up somewhere prominently in your space for the rest of the session.
What’s it worth? (20 mins)
Split the group into four teams. Give each team approx 50/100 plastic cups, some marker pens and 4 or 5 foam balls (or they can ball up their socks).
Ask them as individuals to think about the sacrifices they have/need to make on their spiritual journeys and to write/draw these onto the cups. Then divide the space into four using masking tape allocating each team one quadrant. Get each team to stack their cups back together.
Each team’s challenge is to build a tower in their space out of the plastic cups. However, they can throw balls into other team’s spaces in a bid to try and knock down their towers; they only have five minutes to complete their builds. At the end of five minutes the team with the tallest tower wins.
In a further twist, inform one team prior to the game that they can cheat (e.g. go into other team’s spaces to knock down their towers, use sticky tape, get more balls etc).
KEY POINT: This game is not only fun but also provocative in that one team can cheat. When David came to make his sacrifice it would have been easy for him accept Araunah’s offer but instead he says (The Message version) ‘No. I've got to buy it from you for a good price; I'm not going to offer God, my God, sacrifices that are no sacrifice." (vs.24)
David understood that it wasn’t just about making a sacrifice, but about making a costly sacrifice. Ask the young people to look again at the things they wrote on their cups, are these ‘costly’ sacrifices or token offerings? Discuss.
The threshing floor (20 mins)
(Set this task the week before your session). The threshing floor was a significant place for David; it was where he saw God’s angel stretching out his sword over Jerusalem. The threshing floor is also the place where the temple of Jerusalem is build after David’s reign.
Ask the young people if there is a place where they feel close to God or that is significant in their spiritual journey (e.g. the place they became a Christian, first experienced God etc). Ask them to bring items with them to create an impression of that place through drawings, photos, words, pictures from magazines, smells, sounds, tastes, objects to touch or textures etc.
Allocate each young person a small area in your space, preferably around the outside of your space allowing the centre to be free for the next activity, and ask them to recreate their special/significant place. Allow time for each person to tell the rest of the group about their space.
Through the looking glass (30 mins)
For this activity you will need to construct a simple wooden frame, which will act as your window (make it large enough – see below, or make more than one frame). Give each young person a sheet of clear acetate and have available coloured acetate/permanent pens.
Ask the young people to think about what you have discussed about vision. Then to think about what their vision is for different areas in their lives (family, friends, God, school, future etc). Ask them to create a colourful image on their acetate that represents these visions. It could be one picture with different parts or they could divide the acetate with different segments representing different areas of their lives.
When they have finished tape all these together with clear tape on both sides. Then staple this into your frame. Hold it up and let the young people look through the ‘window’.
Allow each person to look at their threshing floor space through the window. How does it look? What has altered? Do some bits stand out more than others? How can they individually and as a group keep hold of their vision, what mechanisms can they put into place?
KEY POINT: – When we have vision it colours our life, our decisions, the path we choose to follow. It alters how we see things it gives purpose and direction. This activity will help the young people to not only explore what their vision is, but also see how it can affect their lives and how they choose to live them.
NOTES FOR ADAPTING:
For younger groups – For ‘Through the looking glass’ Instead of making one large window, use cardboard frames and create individual windows that they can take home with them.
For older groups – Take the young people out to a different setting from what they are used to (e.g. country/city, inland/seaside, suburbia/council estate etc).How is sacrifice/vision about being in a new and sometimes ‘uncomfortable’ place?
For unchurched young people – Challenge the young people to sacrifice something for one week that will be difficult for them to give up e.g. watching TV, eating chocolate, listening to music. Buddy up so that they can have someone to be accountable to. Feed back at the end of the week, how did it feel? Did they stick to it? Share in small groups.
For churched young people – Create a ‘road’ or areas within your space (desert, rivers, mountains, rocky etc) ask the young people to stand where they feel they are today in their spiritual walk and then to stand where they would like to be. Use to discuss what ‘vision’ they need in their lives to reach these new places.
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