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.

Note to the Teacher

The key phrase in this lesson is “Will you follow me?” The icebreaker invites youth to participate by blindly following. The discussion encourages students to think about ways in which various people in the Bible were “called.” The activity allows youth to share pieces of themselves while also remembering that God has created them for something great. Times are based on a fifty-five-minute lesson period but may be adjusted.

Icebreaker: Plane Crash Colorado (15 minutes)

Start by laying out all the parts to put together a folding tent in an area large enough for it to be assembled.

Say: “Your team has crash landed in the mountains of Colorado. Sunlight is fading, and you need to build your tent before you lose daylight. The pilot in your crash has been injured and cannot move. The rest of the passengers have been blinded by smoke and snow.”

Sit the pilot (one student) in a chair among the tent parts and give students the instructions for putting together the tent. Invite all other passengers (students) to put on blindfolds. The pilot must guide the passengers to put together the tent successfully so they can survive the snow and weather until a search party comes for them.

Option 1: If playing with a large group, set up multiple tents or get creative with sleeping bags, stuffed animals, fake foliage, and so on.

Option 2: If no camping supplies are available, pick another activity. Maybe the youth need to find various items that go together that are hidden in the room; for example, the pieces of a flashlight.

Read Scripture (5 minutes)

Our scripture reading today involves the stories of people who were called to follow God.

Genesis 12:1-9; Matthew 9:9-13; 18-26

Discussion (15 minutes)

  • What can you tell us about each of the characters in our stories today? Who were they? What were their jobs? How, when, and where did they encounter God/Jesus?
  • In each of the passages, what were the people asked to do?
  • How would you define “receiving a call from God”?
  • What does it mean to be “called”?
  • Is being “called” positive, neutral, or negative? Please explain your answer
  • Who can be “called”?
  • Many of you grew up in a time with “caller id.” Before this feature, people would receive (phone) calls and answer without knowing the identity of the caller. Do you think caller id has made it more or less likely for you to answer a phone call? Why? Do you think the characters in the story knowing the identity of God/Jesus helped them answer their calls?

Activity and Discussion (20 minutes)

Take this lesson to the next level by getting students’ hands and imaginations involved, using a deck of playing cards. Make sure that the front of the cards all match. On the back of each card, you will write one of the states of the United States of America. On the remaining two cards, pick two fantasy places (i.e., Hogwarts Castle, Willy Wonka's Factory, The Emerald City, Jurassic Park, Pokémon World, etc.) Invite each student to pick one to two cards but not to look at them. When you say “go,” every student in the room will have five minutes to walk around the room and ask friends to help answer the following questions about the location on the card. The owner of the card is allowed to answer only one question about the location he/she was given.

  1. What is the best tourist attraction in this place?
  2. What kind of food would you eat if you visited?
  3. What is one random fact about this place?
  4. What is the most boring thing about this place?
  5. What is the biggest difference about this place from where you currently live?

Points for discussion:

  1. We come from all walks of life. To God, we all look like the front of the cards, but God calls each of us to something different, which is found on the back of the card.
  2. God doesn’t say it will be easy or that we will like it, but God does ask that we follow.
  3. In the activity, you had your cards and you had the opportunity to learn things about the people playing that you may not have known. The same thing happens when we work to follow God. In the process of following, if we seek – we learn about people, places, culture, and so on. How might you start listening for God’s calls or be better at listening to people in your community in the next week?

TOTAL TIME: 55 min.


  • Portable Tent (may need a few if splitting into multiple groups)
  • Instructions for building the portable tent
  • One deck of cards (pre-write on the cards for the activity)

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