Lesson 3: June 18, 2017
Jephthah Answers the Call: Judges 11:4-11, 29-31
Teaching Strategy: Discuss modern-day examples of people or groups who allow incidents in the past or disagreements in the present to impede their ability to work together. Encourage participants to consider examples within their own church setting (or the wider Christian church) in which opposing opinions and disagreements hinder the work of the church.
Jephthah, the son of Gilead and a prostitute, was a mighty warrior. Jephthah’s siblings, sons of Gilead and his wife, rejected Jephthah and sent him away. Later, when the leaders of Gilead came to ask Jephthah to save them from the Ammonites, he reminded them of their past and questioned their motives. He agreed to be their leader only if God gave him success in the battle against the Ammonites, saying “If you bring me home again to fight with the Ammonites, and the Lord gives them over to me, I will be your head” (v.9b).”
What can we learn from this story about God’s call to leadership? How are some of the challenges that leaders today face – such as painful histories, broken relationships, questionable motives, or fundamental disagreement – similar to the challenges Jephthah faced when he was called to leadership? How can leaders today overcome such challenges and bring people together to accomplish God’s purposes?
- How might institutions atone for the profound harm caused by slavery deep within their own history? Georgetown University To Offer Slave Descendants Preferential Admissions
- How can Congress fulfill its role effectively when there is such polarization between political parties and within each party, especially the Republican party which holds the majority in both houses? This Is Why Trump’s Legislative Agenda Is Stuck In Neutral
- How will the United Methodist Church move forward in the midst of deep divisions? Methodist High Court Rejects First Openly Gay Bishop’s Consecration
- What will be the future of the government of the United Kingdom and its leadership role in the world – in light of last week’s election results? A Simple Guide to the UK Election Result
- How will world leaders work together to address climate change despite the decision by the President to withdraw from the Paris agreement? Global leaders outraged over Trump’s Paris Climate Agreement Decision (YouTube)
Summer 2017 Theme: God’s Urgent Call
Unifying Principle: People called to be leaders may question the motives of their supporters. How do these leaders know if their supporters’ motives are sincere? Jephthah discussed the inconsistencies in the behavior of his supporters and established conditions for his leadership.
Posted on: June 12, 2017, by : Sharon Harris-Ewing