– Especially good points from this lesson are the idea that God equips those he calls for the tasks to which he calls them; that leaders have a special connection to those who follow, that leaders need to help others “own the plan” and that our history includes the witness to Jesus Christ.
– In the second ¶ under Crossing the Jordan on page 37 the author indicates that this is a test of Joshua’s leadership. Question 2 asks whether participants would trust Joshua. The premise of this part of the discussion fails to see that God goes before us in every challenge.
– In the sidebar Encountering the Text, the question, “What do you pray, and for whom?” when facing an unknown challenge is a good one. Questions of “thinking” are always better than questions of “feeling.”
– I question the logic of the sentence on page 38, “It is often easy to discount our own relationship with God because it does not seem so ordinary.” It implies that God spoke long ago, but does not speak to his people now.
– We need to be cautious about the ritual suggested in the Empower section of the Suggestions for Leaders on page 43. This idea of “remembering our baptism” has been around in the denomination since the early ‘90s. Without a clear statement of Reformed understanding of the sacrament of baptism, someone invariably comes away thinking that they have been re-baptized. This is particularly important in areas of the country where the dominant religious presence is Anabaptist. If a group wants to use this exercise I would suggest adding Martin Luther’s model of placing a hand on one’s head and declaring, “Nevertheless, I have been baptized” instead of the stones in the fishbowl portion.