As I grow – Growing Up

Aim:

To help the children understand that they remain special to God as they grow up and change.

Bible base:

Mark 10:13-16; Luke 13:10-13

You will need:

  • A picture of yourself as a baby
  • A toy car and a set of car keys
  • A babygrow suit and an adult-sized jumper
  • A cloth or plastic baby book and a thick novel
  • A Bible

Preparation

Look up the two Bible passages – if possible look at them in a children’s Bible or work out how to tell the stories simply in your own words.

Presentation

  1. Show the children your baby picture and talk to them a little about what you were like.
  2. Then discuss how you have changed – size, looks, etc.
  3. Show them the toy car and say that as a baby you would have enjoyed having this but now you enjoy driving a real one! (Show them the car keys.)
  4. Hold up the babygrow and then the jumper – talk about how you would never fit into the babygrow now but the jumper is just right.
  5. Show the children the baby book and the novel, make comparisons and talk about why they are appropriate at the different stages.
  6. Talk about how we all grow out of things.  We change and different things happen to us.  Remind them that God cares about us however old we are and whatever happens to us.
  7. Tell the children the stories from the Bible which show us how Jesus had time for little children and for an old lady with a bent back.  (Use a children’s Bible or just explain things simply.)

Time to reflect

  1. Ask the children to sit very still, close their eyes and to think about what they have heard in the assembly.
  2. Remind them of how Jesus treated old and young alike – he had time for the children and time to make an old lady better.
  3. As they grow up and things change they will always be special to God.  He won’t stop loving them.

 

God always forgives

Aim:

To show the children that God loves us and forgives us when we say sorry.

Bible base:

Luke 15:11-32. The Lost Son

You will need:

Three paper plates – one with a happy face, one with a sad face, one with a face with a jealous expression.

Three flash cards with the following wording:

  1. Dig, dig Work, work, Sweat, sweat, Phew!
  2. Get, get, Money, money, Spend, spend, Gone!
  3. Love, love, Love, love, Love, love, Love!

Preparation

  • If possible read the story from a modern translation of the Bible.
  • Make the flash cards.

Presentation

Introduction

  1. Show the children the faces on the plates and talk about times they have felt happy, sad or jealous over something.
  2. Ask them to listen carefully to the story for times when people had these feelings.

Story

Choose three pairs of children to hold the flash cards.  The younger children will not be able to read these words, but they will remind the older children of what to say.  Practise the sayings, and teach the children the following actions for the last line of each: – Wipe the back of your hand over your forehead for ‘phew!’ – Hold out both hands, palms up, to signify ‘gone!’ – Hug yourself for ‘love!’

Some people were grumbling about the kind of people Jesus spent time with.  Jesus mixed with people that no one else would speak to!  So one day Jesus told them a story.

There was once a man who had two sons.  The older one stayed at home and worked very hard for his father.

Card 1

The younger one wanted to go off and to see the world, so one day he went to his dad and asked for his share of the money that one day would be his.

Card 2

The father thought for a while about how much he loved his son.

Card 3

And somewhat sadly he said, ‘Yes, son’ and gave the boy his share.

So when the money had been collected together for him, the boy left home and went off to a faraway country.  (Take the children with this card round to the back of the room, as if going on a journey.  Ask the children for ideas of how he might have spent his money.)

For a while he had lots of fun spending the money, buying whatever he wanted, spending the money on new clothes and eating the best food, on having parties and buying things for the new friends he had made.  Until one day, the money ran out.

Card 2

So the young man had to get a job, and he found one on a farm, feeding the pigs.  After a while in that country there wasn’t enough food for everyone, and the young man became very, very hungry.  He was so hungry that he felt like eating the pigs’ food!  You know when there are leftovers from dinners at school?  They get put in a bucket and given to feed pigs.  Just imagine it!  The boy was so hungry that he would have eaten leftover baked beans and chocolate pudding and chips and pizza and yoghurt all thrown in together!  Then he suddenly realised how stupid he had been.

‘Back home, even the servants on my dad’s farm have better food that this.  They have three good meals a day and a warm bed to sleep in.  I wonder if my father would ever take me back to be one of his servants if I went to him and said “sorry” for what I have done?’

So the young man decided to go back home.

When he was still some distance from the house, his father saw him and ran to meet him.  The young man knelt down at his father’s feet and began to speak.  ‘I’m sorry for what I have done wrong.  I’m not fit to be your son.  Will you let me come back as one of your servants?’

But before he had finished speaking, his dad hugged him.

Card 3

He shouted for people to bring his best clothes for his son to wear; to bring shoes for his feet and a ring for his finger, and to get food ready for a party!  The dad loved his son so much that he forgave him everything.

Card 3

When the older son heard this he was very cross.  ‘It’s not fair!’ he said.  ‘I’ve stayed at home and worked hard all this time.

Card 1

‘You never gave me a party!’

‘I know,’ said his father, “and you know that I love you very much.”

Card 3

‘But your brother was lost and he is found, so we had to have a party, because I love him very much too.’

Card 3

Application

  1. Talk about the happy, sad and jealous feelings in the story. a) To begin with the money made the younger son happy – the father was extremely happy when his son came hom. b) The younger son made his father sad by going away – the older son made him sad by being cross when his brother returned. c) The older brother was jealous at the way his father treated his younger brother.
  2. There are things that we do that hurt other people and hurt God.
  3. God is like the dad in the story.  He forgives us when we say ‘sorry’ and always keeps on loving us.

Prayer

Use the following prayer or similar:

Dear God, we are sorry for hurting other people and you by the wrong things that we do.  Please forgive us and help us to do the things that please you. Amen.

 

I’m me – God cares for us

Aim:

To help the children understand that God knows all about us, even the things that make us unique individuals.  He made us special.

Bible base:

Luke 15; Psalm 139

You will need:

A simple sheep puppet of some kind eg a sock puppet, a paper bag puppet, a wooden spoon puppet

Preparation

  • Prepare or obtain your sheep puppet.
  • Learn the story and practise telling it using the puppet.

Presentation

Introduction 

  1. Ask the children if they have ever been lost.  How did it happen?  How did they feel?  How were they found?
  2. Tell the children that you know a sheep that got lost.  Introduce your puppet and tell the sheep’s story.

Story

Idris the sheep lives on a farm under the shadow of the great mountain Cader Idris in North Wales, after which he is named.  He is well looked after by Mr Williams, the shepherd, who makes sure that all the sheep in the flock are well fed and cared for.

Mr Williams knows everything about each one of the sheep – its name, its special favourite places to eat grass, how they lie when they sleep at night and probably even what each sheep is thinking!  Imagine that!  With Idris, that’s not too difficult.  He’s always dreaming of the great mountain with which he shares a name, and of what it would be like to climb up to the very top and look out over the deep blue sea.

Well one day Idris got his chance!  A boy from the farm came running to fetch Mr Williams to help a ewe give birth to triplet lambs.  In the short time that Mr Williams’ back was turned and the gate was open, Idris escaped for his adventure!

Idris ran up the next field and wriggled under a gate that was a bit broken.  It was quite a climb up the hill but he was fairly fit and very determined.  As he climbed higher and higher the farm looked smaller and smaller, until Idris forgot all about the rest of the sheep and Mr Williams the shepherd.  Until, that is, it began to go dark.  Idris shivered a bit as the sun went down and shadows from the moonlight began to stretch out across the mountain. He was cold, he was still a long way from the top, and he was beginning to feel a bit frightened.

Stumbling up the mountain, Idris took his eyes off the path for a moment and suddenly felt himself falling!  There was nothing he could do until he landed with a hard bump on some very rocky ground.  Idris tried hard to get up but – oh no!  He had hurt his foot as he fell.  He began to cry, but there was no one to hear his bleating.  Poor Idris!

Mr Williams the shepherd went back to his sheep when the triplet lambs had been born and were safely tucked up in their pen.  Everything looked all right, but he thought he had better check.  He counted the sheep by number and by name.  ‘Rosie, Penny, Dewi, Gwyn…’ until he reached Idris’ name in his head.  Where was Idris?  Certainly not in the field.  But do you remember what I said earlier, that Mr Williams even knew what each sheep was thinking?  He guessed straight away where Idris would be, for he knew all about the little sheep’s fascination with the great mountain of the same name.  So, closing the gate firmly to keep the other sheep in, Mr Williams set off up the mountain.

Mr Williams didn’t daydream like Idris: he watched carefully where he put his feet.  He had a powerful torch to see the way in the dark, and, keeping to well-worn paths, Mr Williams climbed Cader Idris, calling all the time for the sheep of the same name.  I think you can guess what happened!

Mr Williams found Idris and climbed down to rescue him.  He tucked the sheep inside his coat, for Idris was still quite small, and carried him safely home.  The next day he asked the vet to come and Idris had a special splint put on his broken foot.  Idris the sheep never again tried to escape to the top of the mountain called by the same name.

Application

  1. Tell the children that just as the shepherd knew all about Idris in our story, even what he was thinking, God knows about each one of us.  He cares for us too, like the shepherd cares for the sheep.
  2. God knows the things that are special just to you, the things that make you different from anyone else – your favourite toy, your favourite place to go, your friends.
  3. Make the point that there is something different about each of us.  Even identical twins don’t have the same fingerprints and are different in other ways too.  God knows every part of us and loves us just the way we are.

Prayer

Thank you, God, that you have made us all different.  Thank you that each one of us is special to you.

 

Sticking together – Ruth

Aim:

To show that God is pleased when we are good friends.

Bible base:

Ruth

You will need:

  • A selection of methods of sticking things together, eg Blu-tack, staples, sticky tape, superglue
  • Some small pieces of paper, card, material, wool to stick together.
  • Two sticks and strips of card
  • 5 paper plates for ‘plate head’ puppets

Preparation

  • Make two signposts (strips of card stuck to a stick), one saying ‘Bethlehem’, the other ‘Moab’.
  • Make ‘plate head’ puppets to represent Naomi, Orpah, Ruth, Boaz and Obed.  Draw faces on paper plates with marker pens and add material, wool for hair, beards etc.
  • Read through the story outline below to familiarise yourself with it.

Presentation

Introduction

  1. Talk to the children about different ways of sticking things together.  Demonstrate a few using the methods you have brought.  Allow the children time to make suggestions themselves.
  2. Finish with the superglue method emphasising how difficult it is to separate the pieces of card stuck together with this.  Tell the children that some people are such good friends that they ‘stick together’ whatever happens.  Today they will hear about a woman in the Bible who stuck with her friend even when things were difficult.

Story

You could invite children out to hold up the different puppets and signposts as you tell the story.

Introduce the children to your Naomi puppet and show them your ‘Bethlehem’ signpost.  Tell the story:

Naomi lived in the town of Bethlehem with her husband Elimelech and her two sons.  Things were looking bad for the family, as the fields in Bethlehem were dry and dusty, there was no food left to eat and everyone was hungry.  Elimelech decided it was time to leave and move to a place where there was food.  So all the family went on a very long journey to the country of Moab and settled there.

(Show ‘Moab’ signpost.)

The two sons grew up and married two girls from Moab, called Ruth and Orpah.

(Introduce your Ruth and Orpah puppets.)

Sadly, Elimelech died and then about ten years later Naomi’s two sons died, leaving her all alone.  Naomi had heard that there was now food in Bethlehem, so she decided she would go back home.

(Hold up ‘Bethlehem’ signpost.)

Ruth and Orpah couldn’t leave Naomi to make the long journey on her own so they decided to go with her.  As they travelled along, Naomi tried very hard to tell Ruth and Orpah to go back and eventually Orpah kissed Naomi goodbye and went back to Moab.

(Hold up ‘Moab’ signpost.)

But Ruth just wouldn’t leave Naomi so they travelled on together.  When they reached Bethlehem it was harvest time and the farmers were beginning to bring in the crops.  Naomi’s old friends were so pleased to see her, but Naomi was sad – her husband and sons were dead.

Naomi and Ruth were very poor.  Ruth would go out into the fields each day and pick up any leftover pieces of corn.  Ruth didn’t know that she was working in a field which belonged to a rich relative of Naomi’s.  His name was Boaz.

(Show your Boaz puppet.)

Boaz found out that Ruth was a foreigner and was very kind to her.  Boaz married Ruth and they had a beautiful baby son called Obed.

(Hold up Obed puppet and then Bethlehem sign.)

Ruth who had been such a good friend to Naomi was the happiest woman in Bethlehem!

Application

  1. Ask the children why they think Ruth stuck with Naomi.
  2. Talk about how hard it must have been for her in a strange land, far away from the people she knew.
  3. Make the point that being a good friend isn’t always easy – sometimes it will be difficult to keep on being friends.  God is happy when we are good friends.

Prayer

Thank you, God, for friends.  Help us to be good friends who stick with each other whatever happens.  Amen.

Party time – Wedding in Cana

Aim:

To show that Jesus enjoyed parties too!

Bible base:

John 2:1-11. The wedding party at Cana.

You will need:

  • Things to set up as if for a party – plates, cups, serviettes, party hats, candles etc – anything you have to make it look different from an ordinary meal.
  • You might want to find some suitable clothes or hats for the children who take part to wear.
  • A modern translation of the bible (Good News Bible or Contemporary English Version)

Presentation

Introduction

  1. Tell the children that you are getting ready for something special.  Can they guess what?  What kind of a party might it be?  Has anyone been to a wedding?  Has anyone been a bridesmaid or page boy?  What happens at the party after the wedding?
  2. Read the story from a modern translation of the bible.
  3. Choose helpers to act out the wedding: Jesus, Mary, bride, groom, three servants, head servant.  Re-tell the story, helping the characters to act it out – the action is fairly obvious.

Story

Jesus went to a wedding with his mother and his friends.  It was a lovely party – everyone enjoyed themselves, and everyone was very happy.  But then, oh dear!  Before the party was over, the wine ran out and there was no more to drink.

Jesus’ mother went to talk to him. ‘There is no more wine,’ she said. Then to the servants she said, ‘Do whatever Jesus tells you.’

‘Fill the water jars,’ said Jesus.  So they did. ‘Now, take some to the man in charge of the party.’

The man tasted the drink and looked so pleased. ‘Why, this is the very best wine!’ he said.

Jesus gave the people a very special present and helped them to have a very special party that day!

Application

People sometimes think Jesus must have been a very serious man, but like many of us, he obviously went to and enjoyed parties.

Prayer

End with a prayer thanking God for parties and other special times.

Song suggestion

Jesus’ love is very wonderful, 139, Junior Praise

Two Builders

Aim:

As well as reading it, we need to do what the Bible tells us.

Bible base:

Matthew 7:24-27. The two house-builders.

You will need:

  • Some signs giving orders, eg ‘Don’t touch – hot’ or ‘Wait for the green man before crossing the road’ etc
  • Two hard hats, such as builders wear
  • Two cheap, identical umbrellas
  • A mist spray bottle, as used for spraying plants
  • You may also want some kitchen roll to mop up the floor or even a paddling pool for the children to stand in!  (But this would be more for effect: they shouldn’t get that wet!)

Preparation

  • Make the signs as above or write them on acetates.
  • Make a number of holes in one of the umbrellas in such a way that they are not visible until it is opened.

Presentation

Introduction

  1. Show the signs.  What would happen if someone read them but then ignored them?
  2. Jesus said that people should not just read the Bible but also should do what it says.

Story

Read the story of the two house-builders from the Bible.  Re-tell the story simply, with two children acting out the parts.

Here are two people, building houses.  (Children choose a hat and umbrella each, and put on hats, leaving their umbrellas to one side.)

They begin by choosing where they will build.  One chooses sandy ground and the other rocky ground. (Children stand slightly in front of the leader.)

They dig and dig and dig. (Mime.)

They build up their houses with bricks. (Mime.)

And finally they have finished their houses.  (Children stand with arms folded.)

But then, the rains begin. (Spray a gentle mist over both builders.)

What will happen? Will the houses keep them dry? (Children put up umbrellas as the ‘rain’ continues.)

Look!  One builder is snug and dry, but the other is still getting wet – the house just isn’t keeping him dry!

The house build on sand was as useless in a storm as the umbrella with holes in it.

Jesus said that it was when the storms came that the difference between the houses was seen – one stood firm and the other fell down.

Application

  1. Draw the parallel between the story Jesus told and the idea of reading the signs and then ignoring them.
  2. God has given us rules to live by and we are like the wise builder if we keep them.
  3. We should read the Bible AND do what it says.

Prayer

God, you know that it is sometimes hard for us to do what is right.  Please help us to read the Bible and to do what it says.

 

I can do it – Feeding of 5000

Aim:

To show the children that we can all do something for God.  He takes what we offer and makes it something special for him.

Bible base:

John 6:1-14

You will need:

  • A piece of artwork, a football, a piece of maths work, a sweeping brush, a smiling face drawn on a paper plate, some dancing shoes (anything that shows achievements of the children, including cleaning up well or cheering someone up)
  • Some volunteers to mime
  • A few simple props – five rolls and two fish (cut from card) packed in a small basket/box etc

Preparation

Study the script and the Bible passage to familiarise yourself with the story.

Presentation

Introduction

  1. Talk to the children about the things they enjoy doing or things that they are particularly good at.
  2. Use your items to illustrate different skills, pointing out that some of us are particularly good at helping others, being kind or friendly, cleaning up, cheering people etc.  All these things are important.
  3. Ask for six volunteers to come out and help you tell the story by miming the parts: Peter, Thomas, Jesus, Philip, Andrew, boy.  The rest of the children are the crowd.

Story

FAST FOOD FOR FIVE THOUSAND

It had been a hot day.

Everyone was warm and sweaty and hungry.

The crowds had been with Jesus all day, listening to him.

They were sitting on grass, on stones, under trees, up trees and in some cases on thistles (ouch!) and they didn’t mind.

They felt as though they could listen to what Jesus was saying and never have enough.

When it was almost sunset, the disciples thought the people would go back home…but they didn’t.

‘Those children ought to be in bed,’ said Peter. (Peter wags his finger at the crowd as this is said.)

‘Those women should be cooking their husbands’ suppers,’ said Thomas. (Thomas also wags his finger at the crowd.)

A lady who was standing nearby knocked him on the head with her basket. ‘My husband is quite capable of cooking his own supper’, she said.

There was a distant rumbling sound.  Was it thunder?  Peter patted his tummy.

‘Sorry,’ he said, ‘I always rumble when I’m hungry.’ (Peter rubs his tummy.)

The other disciples laughed, but the thought of supper was making them all ravenous.

As Jesus paused in speaking Philip tugged at his sleeve. (Jesus and Philip to mime.)

‘It’s sunset,’ he said. ‘Isn’t it time you finished off, so the people can go?’

Jesus smiled. ‘We’re miles away from anywhere.  What do you expect the people to do?’

‘It’s time for our tea,’ said Philip.  ‘Peter’s tummy sounds like a volcano.  We need food and so do you and what about the people?

They might be able to find food in the villages and farms.  There might be a fast food place…’ his voice trailed off hesistantly.

‘Fast food for all this lot?’ said Jesus, waving his arms over the crowd.

‘Good idea.  Can you find some?’

Philip and the others gulped.

For the first time they looked at how huge the crowd was.

Rows of people, groups of children and women and men, stretched away as far as they could see.

‘What about it?’ said Jesus.

Philip went pale. ‘Have you any idea how much it would cost?’ he said, his voice wobbling.

‘A sandwich for everyone here would be hundreds of pounds, there must be over 5,000 people here!’

Andrew felt someone tugging at his sleeve.  There was a very small boy.  (Andrew and boy to mime.)

‘Not now son,’ said Andrew. ‘We’re having a crisis.’

He turned back to Jesus and Philip.

‘What’s that?’ said the little boy. ‘It’s a grown-up word for a big problem.’

‘Oh, sorry,’ said the boy. ‘I thought you might be hungry.’

Andrew bent down to him.  He had a clean face but otherwise he was very dirty.  He’d been sitting on the ground all day in the dusty heat.

‘What have you got?’ said Andrew.

‘Two big fish – well, medium – and five rolls.  I can’t eat them all myself and Mum said to share.’

Andrew took him by the grubby hand and led him to Jesus.

‘Hello,’ said Jesus. ‘Who are you?’

‘He’s a boy who wants to share,’ said Andrew.

‘Get everyone sitting down,’ said Jesus.

While the disciples organised everyone, Jesus looked into the little boy’s basket and saw the fish and the loaves.

‘Father God,’ prayed Jesus holding up the basket. ‘Thank you for this food and for all you give us. Amen.’

‘Amen,’ said the boy.

‘Would you like to help?’ said Jesus. The boy nodded.

‘I’ll need some more baskets,’ he called to the disciples.

They gathered some from the people, and Jesus started dividing out the bread and fish while the disciples and the boy took it to the different groups.  Every time they went back for more they were sure there would not be any left.  Every time there was more.  How could it be happening?

Eventually everyone was fed and they began to clear up.

‘How could there be any leftovers?’ thought Philip.

But there were leftovers – twelve basketfuls!

‘Wow,’ said the boy, ‘you’re amazing, Jesus!’

Application

  1. Make the point to the children that the boy did what he could – he offered his lunch to Jesus – and Jesus did something very special with it.
  2. In the same way today, if we offer to Jesus the things we can do, he will use them.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank you for all the things we can do….painting pictures, writing stories, dancing, making music, helping others.  Please help us to do all these things for you.  Amen.

 

The Fiery Furnace – Daniel

Aim:

To show the children that God is more powerful than anyone or anything.

Bible base:

Daniel 3

You will need:

  • Pictures of powerful people eg prime minister, president, queen/king, etc
  • Some flame-coloured clothing to wear – reds, oranges, yellows and/or a cardboard headband with brightly coloured flame shapes attached to it to make a hat.

Preparation

  • Familiarise yourself with script of story, if possible learn it.
  • Dress in the coloured clothing.

Presentation

Introduction

  1. Ask the children who they think is the most powerful person in the world.
  2. Let the children look at the different pictures you have brought in and talk about how there was a king in the Bible who thought that he was more powerful than anyone else in the world, but discovered he wasn’t.
  3. Tell the children that you will pretend to be something in the story and tell them all about it (put on your hat!).

Story

Use the following script to tell the story:

Hello!  I don’t suppose you’ve ever met a talking fiery furnace before.  I’m a bit special, because something amazing once happened in me.  Let me tell you all about it.

I work in Babylon, a country far away from here, whose king was called Nebuchadnezzar.  What a name, eh?!  I don’t suppose anyone here is called Nebuchadnezzar!

Well, I have a very important job to do.  I burn all the rubbish that people no longer want – old vegetable peelings, clothes that are too scruffy and torn even for cleaning rags, never mind for people to wear again, bits of broken things from people’s homes – you know the sort of stuff, anything that can never be used again and is now just rubbish.

One day, as my door was open whilst people were putting in rubbish for me to burn up, I heard three men talking.

‘Have you seen that statue that the king has had put up?  Nearly twenty-seven metres high and three metres wide! And it’s all gold! Imagine that! Said one of the men.

‘Yes, Shadrach, and do you know what the king has demanded?’ asked another.  ‘That whenever we hear the special music play we must all bow down and worship it.’

‘Worship it?’ cried the third man. ‘Never! We should worship only God.’

‘OK, Abednego,’ said the second man. ‘What do you suggest we do?’

‘Well, Meshach, we must refuse to bow down to the statue, and if the king doesn’t like it, tough! If we are punished for it, God will save us.  And even if he doesn’t, we are still not going to bow down to the king’s statue.’

And off they went, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

Some days later, I heard a lot of noise nearby and my doors were pulled wide open.  I recognised the voice that was shouting the loudest:  it was King Nebuchadnezzar!

‘Put more coals on the fire!’  he commanded.  And the men did.

‘More!’ shouted the king. ‘Much more!’ I grew hotter and hotter until I was seven times hotter than usual.

Well, by now I was so hot that I was dangerous.  You know how careful you have to be with fire.  The doors opened again and I expected the rubbish to be thrown in. But imagine my horror when not rubbish, but the three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, were thrown in me instead!  They were all tied up and they couldn’t possibly escape.  If I could have cooled down quickly I would have done, but I was so hot that the soldiers who pushed the men inside were killed by my heat.  And there was nothing that I could do to help them.

And then something amazing happened.  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were not hurt by my incredible heat.  They started to walk around, completely unhurt.  And, even more amazing, there was a fourth man walking there with them.  Who could it be?  Was this their great God who I had heard them talking about?

The king came close to me and shouted, ‘Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the most high God, come out!’ And they did, with not a hair on their heads touched by my fire.  It was incredible!  The king called to everyone to listen to him. ‘Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  These men trusted him and he has saved them.’

And that was the end of that.  I’m back to burning up people’s rubbish now, and everything is alright again.  I thought I was powerful when they heated me up so hot.  But I’ll never be anything like as powerful as God.

(Take your hat off!)

Application

  1. Comment that King Nebuchadnezzar realised that God was far more powerful than himself.  Ask the children why.  What did God do to show his power in the story?
  2. Tell the children that Christians believe God is still as powerful as that today.

Prayer

Invite the children to say ‘Amen’ to this prayer if they would like to:

Father God, thank you that you have the power to do things that no ordinary person can do.  Amen.

 

For God and for Gideon

Aim:

To show the children that God is so great, he can do anything.

Bible base:

Judges 7

You will need:

  • A Superman logo
  • A large sheet of paper
  • Three flash cards
  • An earthenware jar or jug
  • A torch
  • A trumpet (real, toy or cardboard cut-out)

Preparation

  • Draw an outline of the Superman logo in the centre of the large sheet of paper (if possible display on a flip chart or board).
  • Prepare flash cards with the numbers 32,000, 10,000 and 300.

Presentation

Introduction

Show the children the Superman logo and ask them if they recognise it.  Discuss with them the special things that super-heroes can do, eg fly, x-ray vision, etc.  Write these up as you go along.

Story

Gideon was no super-hero, but he was the man God had chosen to free his people from their enemies and God had promised to be with him.

Gideon had gathered a huge army of 32,000 men (ask a child out to hold up the flash card) but god told him the army was too big.  God said that they might think they had won by themselves without his help if they had all those men!

God told Gideon to tell anyone who was frightened to go home.  22,000 men went home leaving Gideon with only 10,000 (next flash card held up).  But God still said that there were too many, so he told Gideon what to do.  All the men had to go down to the river and have a drink.  All those who got down and cupped the water in their hands were to stay but those who knelt down and put their face in the water to drink were to be sent home.  This left Gideon with only 300 men (next flash card held up)!

So Gideon divided the 300 men into groups of 100, each man carrying a torch, a jar and a trumpet (show the props explaining the differences between these and the ones Gideon’s army would have used).  At midnight they surrounded the enemy camp.

When Gideon gave the signal they all blew their trumpets, smashed their jars and saved their torches shouting, ‘For God and for Gideon!’ Their enemies were so afraid they all ran away yelling!

Time to reflect

  1. Ask the children to be still and close their eyes.
  2. Remind them again that Gideon was just someone very ordinary who trusted God.
  3. Also emphasise God’s greatness, his amazing power in helping Gideon and his men to win.

Prayer

Invite the children to say ‘Amen’ at the end if they wish to.

Dear God, thank you that you are mighty and powerful. Thank you that you can do absolutely anything.  Amen.

 

Red Sea Rescue – Moses

Aim:

To show the children that God has power over his creation.

Bible base:

Exodus 14

You will need:

  • Simple picture clues drawn either on acetates or on large sheets of paper
  • A stick to represent the one Moses had (You could use a walking stick.)
  • Two large flash cards: ‘Egyptians’ and ‘Israelites’
  • A cassette player and tape of God’s words to Moses

Preparation

  • Prepare simple picture clues on paper, similar to the game ‘Dingbats’.  Examples: Bluebell (draw a bell and colour it blue), Happy Birthday (draw a smiley face followed by a birthday cake), Baa baa black sheep (draw Babar the elephant followed by a sheep coloured in black), Red Sea (draw the letter ‘C’ and colour it red).
  • Prepare the two flash cards, ‘Egyptians’ and ‘Israelites’
  • Record on a cassette tape God’s words to Moses in Exodus 14:16. ‘Moses, lift up your stick and hold it out over the sea.  The water will divide, and the Israelites will be able to walk through the sea on dry ground.’
  • If possible, before the assembly begins conceal the tape recorder and have a teacher lined up to operate this on cue.

Presentation

Introduction

  1. Have fun playing the picture clue game, where the children must say what they see.  Do one or two for them until they grasp how to play.  End with the red ‘C’.
  2. Use this last clue to lead into the story.  Ask the children if they know where the Red Sea is.

Story

  1. Begin with the background:  The Israelites, God’s special people, had been slaves in Egypt.  The Pharaoh, who was like the king, had decided to let them go free, so they had set out into the desert and reached the Red Sea. The Pharaoh changed his mind and chased them with his great army.  The Israelites were trapped.  They turned to Moses their leader in panic.
  2. Choose a group of children to be Israelites and a group to be Egyptians, one child from each group holding up the appropriate flash card.  Choose a child to be Moses.
  3. Tell the story from Exodus 14 very simply, using the children to act it out as you go and using the tape recording at the appropriate point.

Application

  1. Ask the children how Moses and the Israelites must have felt when they realised they were trapped.
  2. Point out to the children that they prayed to God for help and he rescued them.  What did he do?

Time to reflect

  1. Ask the children to be very still and close their eyes for a few moments and to think how powerful God must be to have done this.
  2. Remind them that God made the world and everything in it. He can tell seas what to do!

Song suggestion

How did Moses cross the Red Sea? 83, Junior Praise