Lesson 1: Fear Factor
Fear is a big deal in the life of a child. Some are plagued by the fear of the dark. Some are afraid of water. Some wrestle with the fear of animals, or strangers, or heights. No matter what the fear, God has promised us that we do not have to live our lives in fear. All we have to do is call on the name of Jesus and ask for boldness, and He will deliver us from our fear. In this lesson, the kids will study the moment when Joshua was called to lead the nation of Israel. It was a scary time for Joshua, but he knew he had to “Deal With It!” God gave him the promise that He would never leave Joshua. He would always be with him and help him “Deal With It!”
Leader: Sometimes we are afraid. To know that God is always with us no matter what is so nice...
(Mr. Crabbe comes running in screaming at the top of his lungs!)
Mr. Crabbe: Mice! Did you say mice? Where? Where are they? They’re gonna eat me!!!!!
Leader: Mr. Crabbe, calm down.
Mr. Crabbe: Calm down? You calm down! I’m running from the giant puppet-eating mice!
Leader: Mr. Crabbe, there are no mice!
Mr. Crabbe: Sure there are. You just said so yourself.
Leader: No, I said “nice.” Not “mice.”
Mr. Crabbe: Nice? They are not nice. They are mean! They eat little puppets like me. They nibble on our noses. They gobble on our eyebrows. They’re nasty little critters! I’m scared of mice! Mommy!!!!
Leader: Mr. Crabbe, seriously. There are no mice in here. There’s nothing to be scared of.
Mr. Crabbe: But, I am scared. I hate mice. I always think there might be mice around. When I go into my kitchen, I can’t go near the fridge because there might be mice underneath it. When I close my eyes at night, all I see is mice. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. It’s all because of MICE! I am afraid of MICE!
Leader: I understand. A lot of people are afraid of mice. A lot of people are afraid of a lot of things. But, you know what?
Mr. Crabbe: What?
Leader: You don’t have to be afraid.
Mr. Crabbe: Well, sure that’s easy for you to say. You’re not afraid of them. But, I am.
Leader: But, you don’t have to live with that fear forever. God can deliver you from that fear if you ask Him. He can take that fear completely away.
Mr. Crabbe: He can?
Leader: Of course He can. Anything is possible with God.
Mr. Crabbe: But, I am really, really, really afraid of them. Can God handle those kinds of fears?
Leader: Absolutely! It doesn’t matter what you are afraid of...the dark, scary dogs, mean bullies, or even little itty bitty mice. God can help you to take that fear and DEAL WITH IT!
Mr. Crabbe: WOW! Well, then, can we DEAL WITH IT right now and pray that God will take my fear away?
Leader: You bet. Let’s pray.
Mr. Crabbe: Dear God, I am afraid of mice. I don’t want to be afraid anymore. Please take my fear away. Give me the courage to face my fear. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Leader: There. You did it.
Mr. Crabbe: I sure did. I am ready to take on any mouse. Bring ‘em on! I’ll take on a field mouse, a house mouse, a Mighty Mouse, Mickey Mouse, any of ’em! I ain’t afraid of no mouse!
Leader: There ya go! God did take away your fear. Now, go face your fear with courage!
Mr. Crabbe: I will! Thanks for praying with me!
Leader: You bet!
Mr. Crabbe: Bye! Bye! Everybody!
Leader: See ya later, Mr. Crabbe!
Choose one boy and one girl to compete in this crazy game. As we DEAL WITH fear today, the contestants will see if they can guess the definition of these phobias.
Get the kids in the audience to weigh in with their opinions. The team with the most correct answers wins
Before message place a small amount of magic slush powder in the bottom of the Styrofoam cup (not plastic, glass, or any other cup), making sure not to spill it.
Fear! It’s a huge thing in our lives. We all have things that we are afraid of. Some people are afraid of dogs. Some people are afraid of the dark. Some people are afraid of their own shadows. What are some of you afraid of? (allow some students to respond)
As I said before, everybody has some something he or she is are afraid of. (share one of your own personal fears) The great news is, we don’t have to let that fear control us. We can learn to DEAL WITH IT!
Can you believe that even some of the biggest heroes of the Bible had to learn to DEAL WITH fear? It’s true. In our Bible story today from Joshua chapter 1 we find just that. Moses, who was the leader of God’s people, the Israelites, has just died. Joshua was very sad. He loved Moses. Moses was a great and powerful leader. But, now God has told Joshua that HE is going to be the new leader of the army of the Israelites.
Can you imagine being told that you are now the general of the army? (bring up a young boy and place the helmet on his head or the sword in his hand) Imagine, one day you are just a young man minding your own business and the next day you are told you are going to be the new general of the army! What would you do? Probably the same thing Joshua did.
Joshua freaked out! He is afraid the people won’t follow him. He’s afraid he will fail as the leader of God’s people. When he tells God about his fear, God says something vey important! He says, “Be strong and courageous...do not be afraid...” What does that tell us? That tells us...
God doesn’t want us to be afraid. He did not create us so that we would walk around being afraid. In fact, the Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear...” That means fear does not come from God. It’s not something God wanted for us to have to live with. I know what you are probably thinking. “Well, that’s nice that God doesn’t WANT me to be afraid, but I am. I still have fear!” I know we all have things we are afraid of. So did Joshua. But, we can do what he did and call out to God for help. When we pray and ask God to take away our fear, He can and will do it.
Let me show you what I mean. (hold up the bottled water) You see this water? It’s going to represent FEAR. Let me drink just a little bit of it to show you that it is really only water. (drink about half of it) Now, you see this cup? (hold up the Styrofoam cup) It is going to represent our lives. Sometimes FEAR comes into our lives and fills us up. (pour the water into the cup slowly) FEAR comes into our lives, and we feel as if we can’t do anything about it. Suddenly, we are full of FEAR and we feel helpless.
Here’s what we have to do...PRAY! We have to pray that God will take that fear away and fill us with courage! Just like Joshua, we can pray, “God, I know you don’t want me to be afraid. I know that you have the power to do anything. So, I pray right now that you would take this fear away and give me the courage to DEAL WITH IT. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Do you know what God will do when we pray that prayer? He will take that FEAR completely away! (By this time, the water will have turned to a solid gel in the cup and will stick to the sides of the cup. When you say the words, “completely away,” turn the cup upside down giving the illusion that that the water has disappeared) Isn't that awesome? I want you to watch this short video and see how God can take fear away if we just ask Him to.
- Play: Interview - Fear
You see, kids, God can take away our fear when we ask Him to. Now, I know what you are saying. “But, what if the fear comes back? What do I do then?” Well, Joshua probably thought that as well. That’s why God told him something very important. In our Power Verse today we see what God said. “...for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
God says in Isaiah 41:10, “Do not fear, for I am with you.” He also says in Joshua 1”5, “I will never leave you...” You see, kids. We don’t have to fear because God is always with us. He is a powerful God. Not only is He powerful enough to take away your fear, He is powerful enough to defeat anything that would stand in your way. And He will NEVER leave you. EVER. That is why our BIG IDEA says, “Bring On The Scary, Bring On The Fear, I Know That My God Is Near!”
(Play soft music) Pray for God to take away the fears that each child has. Have them pray for each other, that God would take away their fears. Then, remind them that the same God who is in the room with them right now is the same God who is with them in their beds at night or on the playground at school. He will never leave them!
1.What was today’s Big Idea? Answer: “Bring On The Scary, Bring On The Fear, I Know That My God Is Near!”
What was Mr. Crabbe afraid of? Answer: Mice
Does God want us to be afraid? Answer: No
What was the name of the man who took over for Moses? Answer: Joshua
According to our lesson, what does God do with our fear if we ask Him? Answer: Takes it away
In the “illusion,” what was the water used to represent? Answer: Fear
What happened to the “fear” water when we prayed? Answer: It disappeared
We don’t have to fear because WHO is always with us? Answer: God
What’s the name of the Survival Specialist who taught us the Power Verse? Answer: Flint McThornbody
Where was our Power Verse found? Answer: Joshua 1:9
At Home Instructions
Big Idea Bring On The Scary, Bring On The Fear! I Know That My God Is Near!”
Power Verse Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid...for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9
PRESCHOOL & ELEMENTARY Take the tape or string and make a straight line across the floor that’s several feet long. Place the treat at one end of the tape/string. Tell your children that in order to get a reward, they must walk with one foot in front of the other across the tape/string without letting either foot touch the floor on the side. Some children will be able to do this while others won’t; it doesn’t matter either way.
After each child has had a chance to walk across the tape/string, have them walk back to the beginning and try it again, this time holding your hand. Then discuss the following questions:
• Was it easier to cross the tape/string by yourself or when someone was helping you? Why?
• What would have happened if you’d never taken the first step to cross the tape/string? (You wouldn’t have gotten the reward.)
• If the tape/string had been really high or over a pit of alligators, how would you have felt? Would you have still wanted to walk across?
Explain to your children that throughout their lives, they’ll be faced with situations where they may have to do something they’re afraid of in order to achieve their goal. They may not have to walk over a pit of alligators, but they may have to face other types of fear such as the fear of failure or the fear of poverty. Read Isaiah 43:1 and remind your children that God will always be with them, helping them make it through any fearful situation they might face.
Pray together, thanking God that He’s always with you and will always give you the courage to face your fears.
AGES 12 & UP Take a few minutes and think of some things you really want to accomplish or obtain in life. Do you want a Ferrari? a new wardrobe? a successful marriage? a certain job? Write down everything you can think of.
Once you’ve completed your list, rank each item on a scale of one to five, with one being something that will be very easy to achieve and five being something that will be very hard or take a long time to achieve. Then discuss the following questions:
• What kind of relationship do you see between the value of what you want and how long or how hard it will be to obtain it?
• What are some of the obstacles or fears you might face when you try to achieve each goal?
Often, the more valuable our goal is, the more fears we’ll have to face. While you may not be afraid of spending one Friday night without a date, for example, you may have a fear that you’ll never get married and will end up alone. Or you may have a small amount of fear that you’ll fail when you try out a new sport the first time, but you have a huge amount of fear that you’ll fail if you start a new business. The bigger the goal, the greater the potential fear.
Read Joshua 1:1-9. What did God do to help reassure Joshua that he could accomplish his goals? What did God tell Joshua to do in order to be prosperous and successful?
God will never leave us to face our fears alone. As we spend time with Him and meditate on His word, He will give us the courage to face every situation and accomplish the goals He has for us.
Thank God that He has better plans for you than you do for yourself. Praise Him for promising to always be with you, giving you the courage you need to achieve His plans.