As students enter today, have each student share one courageous thing they did last week. Allow plenty of time for volunteers to share their responses.
Courage can take on a lot of different forms. Being courageous isn’t just for firefighters or police officers, although they are definitely very courageous. Athletes, students, musicians, performers, family members, neighbors, and friends all can live courageously.
Share the following video [3:20]:
AMAZING KIDS OF CHARACTER: COURAGE (Accessible Preview)
Ask the following questions related to today’s video clip.
- What are some things the students in this video said about courage? (Students on this video mention that courage is doing something even when you are scared and also courage encompasses trying new things. Students on the video mentioned that courageous professions are firemen, police, even parents! Students also talked about standing up for people’s rights, even if it meant facing a bully, etc.)
- How did twelve-year-old Victor show courage when his dad was hurt and almost drowned? (Victor was courageous because he first of all knew what to do to help his dad who was unconscious in the swimming pool, then he acted on what he knew and safely got his dad out of the pool and propped him up so he wouldn’t slip back into the water. Victor then made phone calls for help and kept his little brother safe as he tended to his dad.)
- What might have happened if Victor had become too afraid to act or to call for help? (Victor’s dad would have surely had brain damage and may have very well died.)
- How did Victor help his dad and stay safe himself at the same time? (Victor had not only heart courage but also knew water safety measures and how to stay calm in times of crisis. Learning these kinds of things also takes courage. It isn’t easy to think about worst case scenarios because that can be scary but educating yourself on how to help others is a courageous thing to do.)
- What did Victor’s mother say about his bravery? (Victor’s mom emphasized not only the courageous act of saving his dad but her son’s selflessness in putting others first was what impressed her most.)
- What do you think it means to be courageous? (As students respond, write their answers on the whiteboard. Some examples may be: saving a life, being brave and trying something new; standing up for something or someone; going out of your way to do something to help another person; taking a risk [physical or emotional or spiritual]; praying for someone who is facing a hardship, learning something new; giving of your time; etc.)
Courage comes in a lot of different forms. Sometimes we feel helpless to act—perhaps out of fear. But we can be courageous with God’s strength. Today we’re going to talk about someone who tapped into God’s strength to act courageously, save God’s people, and join in their fight.
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.
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Help students see that courage is something we all can possess with God’s strength. Rahab was not the only brave person in today’s Bible lesson. Joshua and Caleb trusted God to protect them in enemy territory. Joshua and Caleb had been found out to be spies, but Rahab hid them, keeping them safe and allowing them to escape. Rahab risked her life, home, and citizenship to follow Israel’s one, true God. It was a courageous act that ended up saving her life and her family.
At the beginning of today’s lesson, we looked at what it means to live courageously.
- Why is God’s strength a necessity in living a courageous life? (It is hard to find courage in ourselves. As sinners we sometimes do the selfish thing rather than the right thing. God’s strength is necessary to live life courageously.)
- Why do you think it is often difficult to be courageous? (Answers may include: peer pressure, the need to fit in; the strain of being labeled a “snitch” or tattletale or teacher’s pet.)
Doing the right thing is not easy for anyone but it may be even harder for middle schoolers who are trying to fit in among their peers. Hand out paper and pencils or pens and encourage students to write down five goals they want to accomplish this school year. Allow a few moments for students to write them down. Ask students to put a star next to any of the things that will require courage on their part.
As your students work, you may want to play the following music video [4:38]:
You Are My Strength – Hillsong Worship
If time allows, invite any students who wish to do so to share with the larger group what they wrote down and/or what they marked.
Oftentimes courageous people are labeled as heroes. These are the people we often hear about. Sometimes, however, doing the right thing is not a popular thing to do; even though doing something was courageous, it might not feel like or be acknowledged as a hero. Let students know that you will pray for them as they set out to accomplish some of the goals they wrote down. It takes courage to stand up for what’s right. Have a volunteer read Philippians 4:13, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Encourage students to write this verse on their piece of paper and put it in a place this week where they will read it often.
Conclude today’s lesson by asking God to give courage to each student who is desiring it with God’s strength. If some goals seem impossible, remind students that God is able.
Be sure to follow up with individual students to see how they went about meeting their goals and being courageous while doing so. Expect to have many more stories of courage next time your group meets again. Don’t be afraid to have students share how God provided strength in these times.
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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.)