Before students arrive, write the word “COURAGE” on the whiteboard. As students enter, ask them to write, draw, or in some way represent things that they’ve seen or heard of that show courage. Some examples could include heroic acts that have been in the news, crazy stunts their friends have tried, or a story of someone sticking up for a friend. Once everyone has arrived, ask your teens to take a look at what is written on the board and see what similarities they can find between the courageous acts they recorded.
Courage can take a lot of forms. Think about whether you would consider the things in this video courageous.
Share the following video [3:10]:
Wallendas describe high-wire walk in Times Square
In June, Nik Wallenda and his sister Lijana walked across Times Square on a tight rope—her first public performance since the terrible accident their family experienced while rehearsing in 2017. Weeks after the spill, Lijana told NBC Today Show viewers through wired-shut jaws that she “broke every bone in my face and so they had to put it all back together. I have three plates and 72 screws in my face.”
- What kind of courage do you think it took to attempt this type of feat after the accident Nik and Lijana experienced? (Answers will vary. They could include that it might have taken more courage for Lijana since she was injured in the earlier accident while Nik was able to grab the wire and hold on or that it took incredible courage for both of them.)
- Would YOU attempt a stunt like that? Why or why not? (Answers will vary. Some students might answer that they would like to try an amazing stunt of this nature while others might comment that you would have to dedicate your whole life to getting good enough—something they aren’t willing to do.)
- Nik Wallenda said, “Do not let fear hold you back.” Have you ever let fear keep you from doing something? Will you tell us about it? (Allow a few students to share; be prepared to share your own experience.)
Talking about courage could mean a lot of different things. To some people, courage might mean bike or skateboard stunts. To others, courage might mean giving a speech in front of the class. Courage is more than just taking risks. We call soldiers courageous, people who stand up to bullies courageous, and people fighting a deadly disease courageous. Courage is highly valued in our society. The Bible talks a lot about courage, too. Our story today focuses on a person God called to be courageous. Let’s check it out.
Video of 2017 Nik Wallenda accident emerges
Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?
You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. For upper elementary, middle school, and high school your Step 4 appears below. For adult, use the Step 4 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.
- Internet access
- 1 small rock (egg-sized or slightly smaller) per student
- White chalk
- Baby wipes or wet washcloths
- Permanent markers in a variety of colors
At the beginning of our lesson today, we watched a video of an incredibly difficult stunt over Times Square.
- Now that we’ve learned more about courage and the courage Joshua showed, do you think the Wallendas were displaying courage? Why or why not? (Answers on both sides may emerge: No, they were just taking risks, not actually doing anything important; yes, they did something dangerous that required them to conquer fear, etc.)
- Let’s recap a bit. Joshua was facing some major fears. What were some of the fears Joshua faced? (Answers might include: Losing the battle, the people rebelling, dying in battle, etc.)
- What about you? What’s a fear that you face? (Students’ answers could vary widely. Some might mention getting into college or failing a class. Others might say having no friends or mention family concerns. It might help them open up if you share a fear of your own.)
After volunteers have shared, give each person a small rock and a piece of chalk. Ask each student to write a fear of theirs on their rock using the chalk. Remind the students that, just like God was with Joshua, God is with them in their fears and will give them the strength to be courageous. Have a student read Psalm 18:3 to the group.
God is our rock. When we are afraid, we know God will comfort us and give us the courage and strength to face our fears. His presence gives us courage to serve Him even when it will be hard—even when we don’t know what the outcome will be. He probably isn’t calling any of you to become tight rope walkers, but the Wallendas have a very strong faith and testimony they share because of the courage God gives them to do what He’s called them to do.
Using the baby wipes or washcloths, have your teens erase the “fear” they wrote in chalk on the rock. Hand out permanent markers. Ask your students to creatively write the word COURAGE on their rock. It can be as embellished or simple as each student would like. If your students need embellishment ideas, share the following website:
How to Paint Zentangle Patterns on Rocks and Stones
Have your students keep their rocks in their pockets, purse, or backpack this week as a reminder that God is with them and will give them courage.
Close in prayer, asking God to give each student courage in the midst of fears they face this week.
(For our adult customers: we are not affiliated with and do not endorse any website or any other media listed on these pages. At the time of writing, our editors carefully review the referenced material and non-references web page content. However, due to the nature of the Internet, non-cited content on the website [including pop-ups, links, and ads] changes frequently and is beyond our control. Please review carefully before showing links in the classroom.)
(For our upper elementary, middle school, and high school customers: David C Cook is not affiliated with and does not endorse any website or any other media listed on these pages. At the time of writing, David C Cook editors carefully review the referenced material and non-referenced web page content. However, due to the nature of the Internet, non-cited content on the website [including pop-ups, links, and ads] changes frequently and is beyond our control. Please review carefully before shoeing links in the classroom.)