Trusting the Unknown

The Path of the Disciple: The Weight of the Call

Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year A

This week, we focus on the starting point, hearing and responding to the call. Even when it scares us, or challenges us, or asks a lot of us.

It’s summer! This series of children’s messages will connect you with families through conversations about camping and the great outdoors. Perhaps you have experienced summer camp and the memories of family adventures that connect kids to nature and God. For more information regarding camping and resources used in the creation of this series, visit, The United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministries Association (UMCRM). Another excellent resource is Climate Hero Handbook: How Kids Can Defend, Protect, and Restore the Planet by Jennifer Manley Rogers and Jessica Gamache.

Use this series throughout the summer months to reinforce biblical learnings and faith formation, combined with imagery that represents memorable summertime adventures. Each week, provide imagery of camping “objects” or dress the part and bring props to reinforce the camping illustrations.

Genesis 12:1-8, NIRV

God Chooses Abram

12 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s family. Go to the land I will show you.

2“I will make you into a great nation.

And I will bless you.

I will make your name great.

You will be a blessing to others.

3I will bless those who bless you.

I will put a curse on anyone who puts a curse on you.

All nations on earth

will be blessed because of you.”

4So Abram went, just as the Lord had told him. Lot went with him. Abram was 75 years old when he left Harran. 5He took his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot. They took all the people and possessions they had acquired in Harran. They started out for the land of Canaan. And they arrived there.

6Abram traveled through the land. He went as far as the large tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were living in the land. 7The Lord appeared to Abram at Shechem. He said, “I will give this land to your family who comes after you.” So Abram built an altar there to honor the Lord, who had appeared to him.

8From there, Abram went on toward the hills east of Bethel. He set up his tent there. Bethel was to the west, and Ai was to the east. Abram built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord.

New International Reader's Version (NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


  • Compass
  • Bible


It’s summer! What are your plans this summer? Are you going on a trip? Are any of you going camping? (Allow children to respond.) Throughout this summer, for the next couple of months, we are going on a “camping” trip—not a real one, but we will plan and talk about what is needed to make camping memories. We will also learn from heroes in our Bible about how nature and the great outdoors made their adventures memorable as well.

(Open your Bible as you introduce the passage.) Today’s hero is found in the first book of our Bible. Can anyone tell me what the name of that first book is? (Allow children to answer.) That’s right, the first book is called Genesis. A man named Abram lived a long time ago. Abram’s story can be found in the book of Genesis. One day, God talked to Abram and asked him to leave his country, leave some of his family, and go to a new place to live. God didn’t even tell Abram where he was going, but God promised Abram that he would receive many good things and blessings if he followed God’s instruction. God asked Abram to trust in God. Would it be easy or hard for you to leave your family and your home to go live in a new place if God asked you to? Give me a thumbs up if you think it would be easy for you to do or a thumbs down if you think that would be difficult. (Allow children to demonstrate.)

Our Bible doesn’t tell us if Abram struggled in making his decision, but it does tell us that he trusted God and did leave his home. What do you think about when you trust someone? What does the word trust mean? (Allow children to respond.) According to the Kids Encyclopedia and the website Kiddle, trust is a feeling that somebody or something can be relied upon or will turn out to be good. It is the feeling of being sure about something, even if it cannot be proved.

To trust someone means to believe someone, to know that someone is telling you the truth, and to be sure that someone will do what he/she says.

So, Abram and his immediate family journeyed many, many miles until God told Abram that the land would be Abram’s to own. After traveling for so long, how do you think Abram and his family felt when God said to him that they would have a home? (Allow children to respond.) God led Abram to a new place, and Abram believed and trusted God that he would be better off in the new place. Abram also knew that God wouldn’t ask him to do something that could hurt him.

As we begin the summer, each week, I will have a piece of camping equipment that we will need to create wonderful camping memories. Today, I have a compass. Does anyone know what a compass is used for? (Allow children to respond with suggestions.) A compass is a tool for finding directions. It looks like a watch or clock, doesn’t it? Very simply, the needle moves around as the person holding it changes direction. The needle will always point up, which informs you that it is pointing you in the direction of north. The compass is marked with directions and will help guide you north, south, east, or west, depending on which direction the needle is pointing. This compass can be trusted.

The Bible tells us that we can trust God even more than we trust ourselves and that God will show us the right way to go. I wonder what would have happened if Abram had not trusted God. (Allow children to answer.) All those things might have happened, but Abram trusted God and because of that trust, God brought Abram to a new home.

As we pray today, I would like for you to close your eyes and think about something you have trouble trusting God with. Maybe it is hard for you to trust God with your schoolwork or the relationships you have with your school friends. Maybe it’s hard to trust God when thinking about what you want to be when you grow up. Whatever it is, think about it, and let’s close our eyes to pray. When I say, “God help us to trust you with our…,” say to yourself what that thing is by just moving your lips, not actually talking. You can whisper what it is; God knows. We don’t need to say it so loud that others may become distracted. I guess that a few of you may be thinking about the same things.

Let’s pray.

God of direction: Like our trust in a compass guide us under the sky’s stars, we trust you. Just as Abram trusted you, we put our full trust in you with all our hearts. Even when it may be hard or it doesn’t make sense, we trust you, O God. Help us to trust you with… (Pause for children to complete the sentence.) Amen.

In This Series...

Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes


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In This Series...

Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes