Who did you grow up wanting to be like?
- A favorite coach or teacher
- Someone running the family business
- A television, magazine, or movie hero.
- Just an ordinary person, in the community
- Other ___________.
How close did you come to “being” that person?
Because of his sin at Kadesh (Numbers 20:1-13)—where he forcefully struck the rock twice to produce the waters of Meribah, instead of following God’s instruction to speak to the rock in faith—Moses will not be leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. Sin has consequences and Moses accepted his fate without a quibble, but he was concerned about a succession plan. Joshua, as Moses’ faithful servant for 40 years in the Wilderness, is ready and able to assume greater stewardship over Israel. Of the original 12 spies sent into Canaan, he was the only one (along with Caleb) who came back with a good report that God would deliver the Israelites from the giants in that land. He courageously opposed an uprising by those who gave bad reports, out of fear. This reward of greater responsibility for the faithful, not the fearful, reminds us of when Jesus concludes his Parable of the Talents: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things” (Matthew 25:21).
Pray with the group that if this story is familiar, that God would speak to you as if you were hearing it for the first time. Have someone read Numbers 27: 12-23.
Finding My Story in God’s Story
What is your instant reaction when you hear the word “leader” or “leadership”?
- Joy or hope—I get excited when someone good is taking charge.
- Frustration or disappointment—I have been deflated by leaders.
- Sadness or anger—I’ve suffered from leaders abusing their power.
- Fear—I feel like hiding to avoid being picked for that role.
- Other _______.
If you were Moses—laying your hands on Joshua, handing over “some of your authority” (27:20), and inaugurating him as your successor—what else would you say to complete this ceremony?
- Watch out for those who …
- The honeymoon will end when …
- Be prepared to …
- The rest of my authority will be yours when …
- Other _______.
What leadership qualities do you think God was looking for when he chose Joshua to succeed Moses? Remember he had to lead the people through treacherous territories, fortified cities, and into the Promised Land.
What do you think changed in Joshua’s life after accepting this “job promotion”?
- He was grateful for a leadership transition period.
- He welcomed opportunities for trusting God more.
- He could no longer delegate up, only down.
- He worried more and slept less.
- Other ___________________.
As a faithful servant, are you satisfied with your current load of responsibilities? Why or why not?
- I’m full; I have enough on my plate already.
- Just finished my firsts; I’m hungry for seconds.
- I’m spinning plates; I can’t even do what’s already assigned.
- My plate is broken; I feel disqualified.
- Other __________________.
What lifeline would you want this group to extend you, if you were chosen to lead people, known for negativity, through an unfamiliar wilderness?
If any members of the group are in a leadership transition—either as a Moses stepping down or as a Joshua stepping up—lay hands on and pray for that person.
Have the group pray with you for anything else that came up in response to Questions #7 and #8.