Would If I Could
PATHWAYSelf: Friends and Relationships
AGE GROUP12-14 years
Anticipate Time30 min min
GROUP SIZE2-5, 5-15, 15-30
ValuesHonour, Initiative, Joy, Love, Generosity
Pathfinders share in order to self-disclose and build friendships.
Through participation in this Pursuit, the Pathfinder will:
- Identify leaders who have had a positive impact on their life
- Identify Pathfinders who have had a positive impact on their life
- Show respect for significant others through an imaginary gift
James 1: 17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Philip Yancey has made an interesting observation about the sea gull. “It’s easy to see why people like the sea gull. I’ve sat overlooking a craggy harbour and watched one, he exults in freedom. He thrusts his wings backward with powerful strokes, climbing higher, higher until he’s above all the other gulls, then coasts downward in majestic loops and circles. He constantly performs, as if he knows a movie camera is trained on him, recording.
“In a flock, though, the sea gull is a different bird. His majesty and dignity melt into a sordid slough of in-fighting and cruelty. Watch that same gull as he dive-bombs into a group of gulls, provoking a flurry of scattered feathers and angry squawks, to steal a tiny morsel of meat… they are so fiercely competitive and jealous that if you tie a red ribbon around the leg of one gull, making him stand out, you sentence him to execution… There are times it seems our society consists of 200 million solitary sea gulls, each huffing and puffing to do his own thing, but paying an enormous price in loneliness and stress for his individuality.” 1
This Pursuit will promote the kind of togetherness and group cohesion which defies the ego-centred selfishness of the sea gull.
- Make enough copies of the Appendix so that each participant can have one (Include leaders)
- At the top of each gift image, write the name of each participant.
- Blutack the gift pictures on to the walls in your meeting room.
- Bake or buy a cake to enjoy together at the close of this Pursuit.
- Copies of the Appendix
1. With your group seated comfortably and casually, begin to reminisce about people who have been important to you in your life. Share details about their belief in you and their impact on your life, and talk about how, if money was no object, what you would buy for them to show them your appreciation.
2. Ask the group to select one of their leaders and think of a gift they would like to give him / her – ‘if they could’. Ask them to work together as a group and prepare a body sculpture which reflects the gift they would present.
3. Ask your selected leader to come to your group and have one of the Pathfinders briefly thank him / her for their effort and interest and care, and tell how if they could, they would present him/her with this gift. Then have the Pathfinders represent their gift with their bodies and have the person guess what it is.
4. Then ask your Pathfinders to think of each other. Tell them to note the gift boxes which have been attached to the walls in your meeting area. Tell them that each person in your group has their name written on one of the gifts. Invite each person to go around and write on the gift of each person a present they would get for them ‘if they could.’ Ask them to take their interests and pastimes into consideration when thinking of the gift. Next to their gift idea, they will sign their name.
5. When everyone has written on all the gifts, have everyone take down their own sheets and share all their gifts with the group (If your group is large, divide for this sharing process).
7. Tell the group that while we are not rich in money, we can be rich in friendship and care, and support for each other. Say: It’s only right that the riches that exist in our group through friendship and support, are celebrated in style! Bring out the cake and have each person offer a piece to someone else, before they take one themselves.
Leaders, be sure to follow up on discussing when and how the Pathfinders saw the memory text in action throughout this Pursuit.
Select from the questions below:
- How do you feel about your gifts?
- Which gift tells you the most how much your friend really understands you?
- What does your list tell you about your value in the eyes of your friends?
- What kind of gifts don’t cost money and are extremely valuable in a friendship?
- What are some other gifts in life which don’t cost money but we value?
- What are some things in my life which make me rich?
- Which of these gifts can I give?
- When will I give these gifts?
- To whom?
- What opportunities could this week hold for me to make the life of someone else richer by my presence?
1 Cited in “Tale of the Tardy Oxcart” by Charles Swindoll (1998) Word Publishing, Nashville