Session 1: God Leads
Suggested Week of Use: December 1, 2019
Core Passage: Numbers 9:15-23
News Story Summary
Authorities in Sardinia, an island off the Southern coast of Italy, recently gave visitors a stern warning: don’t rely on Google maps. Tourists have been following their phone’s directions down roads unsuitable for cars. In the past two years, emergency services have responded to nearly 150 calls to rescue stranded people who were on the hunt for the pristine and uncluttered beaches the island is known for.
The tipping point came when two tourists driving a Porsche got stuck at the top of a cliff several hundred feet above the shoreline they were trying to reach. The car couldn’t be turned around safely. Rescue crews hiked to the tourists where they physically lifted the car and pointed it back down the mountain.
Since the cost of the rescues falls to the towns where the rescue teams are located (and not the tourists), some government officials are trying to get Google Maps blocked on the island.
(For more on this story, search the Internet using the term “Sardinia warns tourists about GPS”.)
Prior to the session, find a physical paper map and post it on a focal wall. Across it, write the following: God leads His people according to His will and purposes. After adults have arrived, introduce the lesson by asking: How many of you have gotten lost while driving? Allow people to share their stories. Say: Many of us have come to rely on the technology at our fingertips to get us where we need to go. Ask: When have you used a map app and still received incorrect directions? Allow adults to share. Then tell the story of the island of Sardinia and tourists following GPS directions into places unsafe for them drive. Explain that today’s lesson will focus on God leading His people.
To close the group time, remind the group of the GPS problems faced by Sardinia. Ask: What are some similarities between the way God led the Israelites and the way map apps lead people? What are some differences? Point out that God’s directions never fail, even though the path may seem winding and unpredictable. Call attention to the map and the statement on it. Ask: In what area of your life do you need God’s direction? Distribute markers and allow volunteers to write on the map their prayers for God’s direction in their lives. Close in prayer, thanking God for His perfect guidance.