The Illuminate+ series ‘God Encounters’ kicks off with six sessions that look at how God’s light, His presence, made a difference in the lives of humans. Each session focuses on a theme which is one way that God revealed Himself in the story we are looking at. In this session the Bible character is Moses and the theme is ‘I will be with you' revealing the faithfulness of God.
This lesson is taken from the LZ7 lesson series Illuminate+. The LZ7 curriculum is one of the many curriculum brands that are featured on RaiseUPfaith. You can find the full version of this lesson, along with the rest of the series, and hundreds of other children’s ministry lessons and resources on the RaiseUPfaith.com platform.
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SECTION 1: GATHER
Use these elements to draw your group together and to focus on this session’s theme.
Countdown / Introduction: Moses
Gather the group at the start of the session by using the countdown. The theme for this session is ‘I will be with you’ as we explore Moses’ encounter with God at the burning bush and God’s promise to Moses that He would be with him.
Use the countdown video to start the session
This section helps you set the scene of what is to come as you introduce the theme of the session and how the session is going to work. You might want to use an image or some music to set the tone as you begin.
We have included one of LZ7's songs 'Forever Young' if you want to show LZ7 in action.
This might also be an opportunity to share some snacks as young people arrive and chat. You might save the snacks to the end as it really depends how your group works best.
Make sure you have your room prepared and set up with any equipment you want to use for this session so you can be fully present to the young people as they arrive.
Watch the countdown video.
I’m just going to light this candle as we start. It acts as a reminder for us that God is present when we meet.
Light a candle.
Ok, we have a fire (albeit a very small one) and notice some empty sandals on the floor here? What story do you think we might be exploring today? (Give some time for some suggestions.)
Yep, Moses and the burning bush! Have you ever been to someone’s house and as you arrive you need to take your shoes off? They don’t want your muddy prints all through their home. It’s not your space, it’s not the street – it’s their home and part of respecting that space might be to remove your shoes. Well, Moses was entering the presence of God as He came near to this burning bush so, off came his sandals – a mark of respect for this Holy space of being in God’s presence.
The God we worship is not distant, the God we worship comes near to us today. We are going to see what we might learn from the story of Moses and the thought that just as God was with Moses, He is with us too.
Pair of Sandals - 1
Candle or Image of Burning Bush - 1
LZ7: Forever Young
This music video is the LZ7 track 'Forever Young'
You might want to play it to your group to show that this is what Lindz and LZ7 get up to! They are a band.
Intro video: Moses
This short clip sets the scene by introducing young people to the idea that no matter their past, the challenges they face or have come through, God is with them and He invites them to join in with what He is doing in the world!
Watch the Intro video
All through the Bible we see God meeting with people in amazing ways – God is not some distant deity but real, present – right here, right now. Sometimes we can think, ‘Yeah, God’s not for me’ – I don’t want anything to do with Him – or maybe ‘Yeah, God’s not FOR me’ – I’m too much of a mess, too far gone and nothing can be done!
Well, today we think about a guy who we can read about in the book of Exodus. His name is Moses and he was a prince of Egypt and a murderer. He was a guy who had everything and, in a flash of temper, lost it all. From noble to nothing. Yet, God knows Him, God sees Him and God has something for Him to do. He left everything behind when he ran but God has been with Him... all this time.
SECTION 2: ZONE IN
This is a chance to think more about the theme of a session through playing a game, watching the talk, watching the chat and exploring the theme in your own group.
Game: What's behind me?
** more included in the download
This is a fun game that gets the young people thinking about how they might describe something remarkable to others(like Moses chatting to God in a flaming shrub!) and a reminder that God can show up in unexpected ways.
How to play:
Explain that you are going to play a game called ‘What’s behind me’ with the thought - how on EARTH did Moses explain to others what He had seen and who had spoken to Him from, you know, a bush on FIRE that didn’t burn up?
Ask for a volunteer, or have someone primed to step up.
Ask your volunteer to stand with their back to the screen.
Bring up an image
The job for everyone else is to describe the image without mentioning the words on the screen. The volunteer must say the words that are on the screen to get the answer correct. (e.g. an image with the words below, ‘Ironman flying over a skyscraper in New York’ or ‘A tree in a Forest by a river.’)
Projector and laptop - 1
Talk: Moses - I am with you
Here we do a swift backstory for those who don’t know who this Moses guy is and then punch into the scene at the burning bush. Knowing where Moses has come from and what has happened to him, helps us understand what goes down in his conversation with God at the burning bush.
Play the ‘Talk: Moses – I am with you’ video
There is an opportunity partway through to read the story from Exodus 3:1 –14. You could do this as a dramatic reading or encourages a young person in the watching group to read the passage.
***Script included in the download
Chat: Moses - I am with you
This snippet of video opens up the floor to some questions through a chat time LZ7 have either between themselves or with a special guest.
In your group, use the flipchart pad and sticky notes to gather everyone’s ideas. LZ7 will facilitate this as part of their chat, encouraging groups to take notes during the video and asking, ‘What do you think?’ The youth leader can either scribe for the group or encourage young people to jot their own thoughts down on sticky notes to stick on the flipchart paper – whichever works for the group.
Watch the Chat: Moses – I am with you video
The Swedish Bible Method is another way of getting discussion going in your group.
**Script included in the download
Explore: Moses - I am with you
This element flows from the teaching and the chat elements. Depending on how your group has engaged with those aspects, you might want to dig deeper here or have this as a light touch element.
‘Right / Not Right’ These statements are a way of thinking about how we determine if we agree or don’t agree with something. The aim here is to show that we all think differently, we don’t have a perfect picture of what is ‘right’. Others might disagree with our opinion, but it is just that, our opinion. We see things from our point of view. You could link this to the idea of walking in Moses shoes (or sandals) and think about how he might have felt after messing up so badly in Egypt and that disqualifying Him from being the ‘right’ man for what God wanted Him to do.
See the ‘full script’ for the ‘Right/Not Right’ statements.
Give an opportunity for your group to talk about Moses’ thoughts and actions.
**Script included in the download
SECTION 3: RESPOND
Responding is about reflecting upon the story and message and allowing opportunities for children and the team to apply this into their own lives. Responding moves the story on from something that we’ve heard to something that shapes us.
This is a ‘take home’ prayer/reflective activity.
Using ‘Haribo’ Starmix or similar sweets, you will make up some individual bags for each young person so they have the right combination of sweets for the following activity. See the ‘full script’ for the sweets and what they could represent.
Enough large bags of Haribo Starmix to make up some smaller bags with the right combination of sweets so each young person has them all.
**Script included in the download
This snippet of video creates space for reflection and prayer.
Have a quick refresher of what prayer is (see the full script).
Watch the Prayer: Moses video
You might want to use this to pray in your group too.
Play the ‘Next up’ video to hear Lindz talk about the next session’s theme
**Script included in the download
Use this to introduce the story you will be looking at next session.
Next session we will be back with another story where God shows up. This time we will be looking at a man called Gideon.
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