Prior to group time, write the words, “GO TEAM!” on a whiteboard. Supply markers so students (as they join your group time today), can write down the teams that they are a part of. (If your class is meeting online, write their team suggestions on the screenshared document.)
As students gather around the whiteboard, remind them that teams are far more than sports, although sports teams are great team experiences. Some examples of other teams may be: school sponsored clubs, church groups (youth group included), student government, National Honor Society or other academic clubs, band, choir, etc. Invite students to be creative and see how many different teams they can come up with and write down on the board.
- What makes you an important part of the teams you represent? (Answers will vary. Depending on the teams represented, athletic, musical, or academic skills will be high on the list. In addition, skills such as leadership, enthusiasm, loyalty, honesty, reliability, communication, etc. are an important part of every team.)
- Why is it important to have all of these skills represented on a team? (Answers will vary. Help students to see that if everyone was skilled as a quarterback and no one was skilled as a receiver or a linebacker, the team would be in trouble. If the team lacks any of the skills mentioned in the last question, it weakens their position.)
Read this story out loud to your students:
“The Great Rift Valley is home to many of the iconic animals of the African savannah…This beautiful area is also home to the Maasai tribe, an indigenous group of shepherds and livestock herders that’s inhabited the Great Rift Valley for over 500 years.
Tribal culture and tribal religion run deep in this nomadic group, so though Christian missionaries have been sharing the gospel with the Maasai for more than 150 years, it is only in the recent past that some have responded. Today, more than 40% of the Maasai are Christians and follow the Shepherd who died to save them.
One of the David Caleb Cook Foundation’s church partners has established churches in the Great Rift Valley, with some strong congregations of faithful followers of Jesus. But while many adults attend church, most of the children are left in the fields watching the herds or are considered unready to learn what it means to be a Christian. Though DCCF’s denominational partner has been trying to establish children’s ministry in this critical area, they haven’t met with success.
Thanks to the generosity of donors, the foundation’s Africa coordinator, Serah, recently traveled to this remote region to train ministry leaders to serve the children of the Maasai community–and God, in His faithfulness, opened new opportunities for ministry.”
- Who were some of the different people who worked together to bring children’s ministry to the Maasai tribe? (Local denominational church partners; Serah the Africa Coordinator; donors who funded her work; God.)
In this story, we saw an example of different people coming together to accomplish God’s work in the Maasai tribe—local church partners near the Great Rift Valley who began evangelizing to the Maasai tribe, Serah the Africa Coordinator who led training, and donors who funded her work and the materials she provided.
Just as working together on a sports team requires a variety of skills, working together with our various spiritual gifts makes us stronger as the Body of Christ. Let’s take a further look at this concept.
God’s Word for the Great Rift Valley