As your students enter the classroom, ask them to write something on the whiteboard indicating something they’ve done that required a risk. Ask them to use one-word answers if possible (example: football, theater, mountain-climbing). When everyone has had a chance to write something, give volunteers an opportunity to state why it was a risk. Remind them that a risk for one person might not seem like a risk to someone else, but it is nonetheless.
- Do you consider yourself a risk-taker in general? Why or why not? (Answers will vary; some students will admit they like to live on the edge while others like to play it safe.)
- Why might it be beneficial for students to learn how to be risk-takers as a life skill? (Answers will vary, however, most students will say it is important to practice this skill because it isn’t easy to put yourself in situations where you feel uncomfortable. Practicing doing this makes sense because it isn’t natural to want to take risks in life.)
Show the following video clip to your students [4:23]:
Young athletes defend cheerleader with down syndrome
- What did these three boys risk by defending the cheerleader with down syndrome from bullies? (Answers will vary. A possible risk may have been things escalating into a fight between the boys and the bullies in the crowd or a coach becoming upset because the basketball boys left the court. There were many unknowns, but these boys rushed to defend their cheerleader friend because caring for her was more important than any consequences this risk might hold.)
- What was the outcome of Scooter, Chase, and Miles taking a risk for Desiree? (A lasting friendship, recognition from those the boys influenced with their actions of doing the right thing, being a good role model, an award.)
It isn’t always easy to take risks or to do the right thing. Let’s take a look at two young men who took a risk and why it’s important to stand for what is right.
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.
Moses sent men to scope out the promised land. The men were there for 40 days and upon returning, talked about this prosperous land but also mentioned the huge giants that lived there. Joshua and Caleb said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” The other men said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”
- Why didn’t the other 38 men have confidence that they could take the land? (Answers will vary. They talked themselves into believing what their eyes told them instead of what God told them.)
- What gave Joshua and Caleb confidence? (They remembered all the miracles they had seen God do to get them there and trusted Him for the rest of the process.)
- What would the people need to be in order to conquer this land? (Risk-takers and faith- responders: Believing that God who gave them this land would be faithful to see them through and into it to take possession of it.)
It isn’t easy to take risks for what is right. It takes not just risk but also faith that God will help you through. Hand out paper and pencils or pens. Encourage each student to write down one risk he or she needs to take in order to make things right. This could be reaching out to a friend who has become isolated and is no longer a part of their friend group, asking parents to forgive them for something that may have happened recently that has strained the relationship, etc.
Give students a few minutes to write about a situation in their life. After students have finished writing it down, invite those who feel comfortable to share. Be sure to make sharing about this situation voluntary.
Taking risks is not easy. Not taking the risk is usually the easier option, but it isn’t the right one as we’ve seen in our study today. Have students form pairs to pray about risks they need to take this week. If students don’t want to pray about specific things, let them know it is fine to pray in general terms for the strength to take these kinds of right risks for God.
Encourage students to find a mature, godly mentor to talk about right risks they need to take. Texting or calling someone is also something they can do if their chosen mentor doesn’t live close enough to meet in person. Challenge them to work toward taking the risk they wrote about if their mentor agrees.
Close in prayer thanking God for examples in the Bible of risk-takers as well as examples all around us of people who are willing to do the right thing!
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(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.)