Bible heroes and villains series
Display some pictures of the walled city of Jericho, or images of other walls (an internet search for ‘walled city of Jericho’ will give you plenty).
Introduce the theme
Ask the group who teaches them how to live. Who do they live up to? Who do they want to be like?
Play a game of Follow the leader.
Open the Word
Read Joshua 5.13–6.20. There is a great version in the Lion Storyteller Bible.
You might introduce Joshua as Moses’ right-hand man. Joshua had a good role model of leadership in Moses, and when he became leader he followed the example Moses had set, always listening to and obeying God’s word.
Ask the group to identify the ritual they followed. The army marched around the walls while the priests carried round the ark and trumpets. On the seventh day the priests blew the trumpets and all the people shouted. The walls fell and they took the city easily.
Make trumpets like those the priests blew.
You will need: coloured card; sticky tape; pens; stickers.
Give each person a sheet of card and invite them to roll it into a cone and tape it closed to form a trumpet. They could decorate it.
Invite the group to walk around the room blowing the trumpets and shouting.
In his footsteps
Painted footsteps to remind us to follow the right path
You will need: shallow trays containing washable paint (those designed for finger painting are ideal), sheets of paper, wet wipes.
Lay a large piece of paper on the floor, and put some paint in large shallow trays.
Invite people to take off their shoes and socks and walk through the trays, then along the piece of paper, leaving their footprints, all following in the same direction.
If you have space and enough paper they could walk in a circle as the Israelites did around the city walls.
You will need a leader at the beginning to set people off on the paper and one at the end ready with wet wipes to clean up when they have walked!
When all have walked across (and washed their feet!) stand around the footprints and pray together, asking God to help you follow him however hard it might be.
End with the closing prayer:
For the times when we have been less than heroic,
Lord we are sorry.
For the times we have not used our hero talents,
Lord we are sorry.
Give us the courage not to hide our potential
but to be generous,
not to dismiss others but to celebrate their gifts.
Encourage us to follow the example of ____ and have a go at being heroes.
Session material on Bible heroes:
Material on Bible 'villains'