Youth ministry programs

A President's Day Lesson for Christian Youth

Ask the youth to name characteristics of what will make an effective leader. It might be helpful to reference the coming inauguration of a president and focus on what characteristics a successful president might have. After making your list, have the youth narrow the list to the five most important characteristic.

  • Read Proverbs 8:1-2 and Proverbs 8: 12-15. Point out that the author lists the following as traits of the successful leader: having skillful and godly wisdom, having sound knowledge, having understanding and power and being a ruler who decrees justice.
  • Read Daniel 2:20-21. Make a second list of traits including wisdom for the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.
  • Review your list of traits of a successful president (leader). How many of the traits, listed in these scripture passages, were selected by the youth?
  • Now read the following passage and, after reading and discussion, reveal that it was written by Abraham Lincoln.

    "We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity ... but we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which has preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own ... We have become ... too proud to pray to the God that made us. It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended power, to confess our national sins and to pray for forgiveness".

  • Ask youth what characteristics of a successful leader might be added to our list of five. Suggest that remembering God's gracious hand and not being too proud to pray as well as humbling ourselves are characteristics of a successful leader.
  • Now read one more list of five qualifications of a successful leader:

  • To do justice.
  • To love mercy.
  • To practice charitable acts.
  • To have a humble and conciliatory frame of mind.
  • To recognize God as someone to imitate in order to bring us happiness and success.
  • Ask youth if they feel this list would suggest the leader was successful, strong, wise, etc. After discussion, point out that the author of this list is George Washington, the first president of the United States and recognized as one of the country's greatest leaders.

    We would love to hear if this activity was an enlightening event for your group. Did they learn some new things about what God looks for in a leader? Please share your experience by writing to:

    Good leaders are hard to find. Read about a new leader that came to a new world and made a difference ... click:

    Click: The Chest of Visions

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