This is a very simple idea to introduce topics such as “King David”, “Christmas”, “The Good Shepherd” and several more. All you need is some plain biscuits, icing sugar and some sweets for decoration.
This is a brilliant activity to use when covering themes such as “making mistakes”, “God’s plan for my life”, “Starting again”, “Being shaped in God’s image”. You’ll need enough Play Dough (or similar) for each child to have a blob.
David vs Absalom
(Props you might want to use: long-haired wig, crown)
David had a lot of sons – in fact he had 19 sons in total! And one of his sons was called Absalom – and Absalom was the trickiest son of them all! The Bible also tells us that no-one in all the land was as handsome as Absalom – he had no defects and long, flowing hair and he was well-liked.
Now, Absalom sometimes made some bad decisions and, from time to time, he fell out with his father, David – and, it seems, that Absalom did not think much of his dad. He spent time out and about in the city and, whenever anyone wanted to complain about something, Absalom used to say that the king didn’t want to listen to them! “If I was king”, he would have said, “I would listen to you…”
Yes, Absalom wanted to be king in the place of his dad! And, one day, Absalom gathered his men and prepared to attack and take the crown for himself!
But David hadn’t been king for so long for no reason – he found out about Absalom’s plot and he and his men went on the run! Yes, once again, David was forced to hide out from someone who was trying to kill him! David still had friends in the city who were loyal to him and, whenever Absalom made plans against his father, David’s friends gave Absalom bad advice and sent warnings to David.
Then, one day, the battle was on – David and his men put on their armour and prepared to go out and fight against Absalom but, just before they went out to fight, David’s men asked David to stay at home – they didn’t want the king to be in danger. David really wanted to fight but he agreed with his men.
So the battle was on in a nearby forest and Absalom was doing well in the fight – he pranced around on his horse until… uh-oh! His hair got caught in a tree! He was stuck! There was no-where for him to go, there was no-one to help him… and then David’s men came closer and closer with their spears and… they killed him! Absalom was gone.
David was told about the news – and how do you think he reacted? He cried and cried. He was so sad. Even though Absalom had hurt David, David still loved him.
That reminds me about how God thinks about us – we make mistakes and sometimes we don’t love God the way that we should but He never stops loving us. Never.
David lived for many years after that and died, an old man, in Jerusalem. One of his sons, Solomon, took over from him and was a wise and good king for the most of his reign, but Israel never had as good a king as David ever again… until a baby was born in Bethlehem almost one thousand years later…
This story is told using a StoryBox or a StorySack – various items are placed inside the box or sack and, as they’re removed, you tell the next part of the story. Once you’ve told the story, replace the items and ask a child to retell the story, using the items as a prompt.
The items you’ll need are:
A smiley face, an angry face, a bottle of oil/cup, heart-shape, loud speaker (or make your own with a cone of card), a crown, a broken crown, measuring tape, sheep
The king of God’s people was a man called Saul (CROWN) but Saul had not led as he was supposed to – he had turned away from following God with his whole heart and God decided that another would become king (BROKEN CROWN).
Samuel was God’s prophet (LOUD SPEAKER) – that means he told them people what God wanted them to know – God told Samuel that it was his job to anoint the new king. That just means that he went to meet the new king and was to pour oil over his head, to show that he was special and set apart (BOTTLE OF OIL).
Now, Samuel knew that if Saul heard that Samuel was anointing new kings, he would be furious (ANGRY FACE), so God told him that all Samuel had to do was meet the family of a man called Jesse and make a sacrifice to the Lord with them. I will show you what to do when you get there, said God.
When Samuel met Jesse he saw that Jesse had seven strapping sons! (MEASURING TAPE, showing their height and breadth) Aha! Thought Samuel – one of these guys must be the man God wants to be the new king.
But God spoke to Samuel, as He so often did – don’t look at their looks, Samuel. People always look at the outside, but I look at people’s hearts! (HEART SHAPE)
So, one by one, Jesse’s big, tough sons walked past Samuel and, one by one, God said, “no, not this one – this isn’t my new king”
Finally, all seven sons had walked past and God had said no to them all! Samuel asked Jesse – are these all your sons?!
Well… no, there’s one more – the youngest, David. I didn’t think you’d want to meet him – he’s out watching the sheep. (SHEEP TOY)
Get him, Samuel said so they did – and along came David. Young, handsome and God said, “This one!” So Samuel anointed him and David was God’s chosen king… but it wasn’t as easy as that, because Saul was still between David and the throne and he wasn’t going to give it up easily…
From the @childrensworker Instagram account: a couple of hands-on ways to talk about fears and sins with children, and to reassure them that God, through Jesus is bigger than them all and is our ever-present help.
The Battle is the Lord’s
On the Instagram page today – a simple craft using bun cases.
Tomorrow (9th April) is a special day – it’s “Name yourself Day”, a day when you can have a think about what you’d like to be called if you weren’t called what you are called.
What might you call yourself?
When a guy called George was asked that, he went a bit too far and actually changed his name so that he has the longest name in the world today. He’s now called: Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk And The Flash Combined. His name used to be George.
The longest ever name belonged to a man born in1904. His name is Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfeschlegel-stein-hausen-berger-dorft Senior
I wonder who has the longest name here today? (find out by a show of hands)
The longest Christian name today belongs to a Hawiian boy:
The name means “The Beautiful Aroma of My Home at Sparkling Diamond Hill is Carried to the Eyes of Heaven”. In Hawaii, it is the custom to give children long, descriptive names. Dont worry though, they call him Joe, of all things, for short.
Now, these names are rather brilliant, but they’re far from being the best name ever. The Bible tells us that there is one name that is the best name, because it says that this name is the one that comes above all other names – and that is Jesus’ name!
Philippians 2 says this:
Jesus became like one of us… He obeyed God and even died on a cross. (and we know He did this to forgive us for our sins if we follow Him)
Then God gave Christ the highest place and honoured his name above all others.
So at the name of Jesus everyone will bow down, those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.
And to the glory of God the Father everyone will openly agree, “Jesus Christ is Lord!”
So Jesus’ name is the most important name, because He died for us and because He is the Lord of lords and the King of kings.
So, remember, next time you hear of a new baby’s name, or learn a new friend’s name, or even think about changing your own name, remember the name that is more important than all other names – the name of Jesus, because He loves us, He died for us and He rose again and lives today, praying for us!
This is an adaptation of a ‘Prayer Bingo’ idea I heard about. Each child receives an A4 grid (8 (the number of different colours of Smarties in a tube) by 4). The children then write a prayer point in each box (I’ve added a few generic ones to the grid I’m giving them to get them started).
They then take a Smartie at random and turn the arrow on a spinner – where the Smartie colour and the spinner number meet, that’s the thing the children pray for. Perhaps they could do this three or four times each evening when they pray.
(I’ve also made up a Fruit Pastilles version for anyone who can’t eat chocolate).
These are available on request if you email me.
(Performed in the style of an infomercial – the purchaser stands front and centre with his purchase, and the text is read in a confident salesman-type voice, off-stage)
Congratulations, you’ve just purchased the brand new Loose-leaf Bible, the Bible of choice for the discerning 21st Century Christian. (Purchaser looks pleased)
The Loose-Leaf Bible is available in a variety of colour schemes to suit your individual needs – the binder is interchangeable so that you can mix and match to compliment your wardrobe choices, or even to fit in with your mood. (Purchaser flicks through a number of files before selecting one)
All 61 books of the Bible are enclosed for your reading pleasure (for convenience sake, we’ve taken the liberty of removing some of the less narrative-driven books, to save you having to bother flicking past Leviticus and 1st Chronicles). We’ve also reduced the font in some of the less well-known parts of the Bible (like Haggai, Obadiah, Nahum and the bulk of revelation) so that these books can be quickly skipped past (let’s face it, when are you likely to read them?) On a related point, we’ve also enclosed a useful phonetic pronunciation guide to Biblical names, to enable you to separate your Balaams from your Baraks, and your Machpelahs from your Mechezideks. (Purchaser looks happy at this)
A useful feature of the Loose-Leaf Bible is the ability to arrange the books as you wish! Forget about the unfolding narrative of God’s Salvation Plan – if you like the book of Matthew best, put Matthew first! Terms like Old Testament and New Testament are passé in our cultured times, so don’t worry about those ancient index scales. Additionally, this enables you to put the least important books in the Bible (in your own opinion, of course) towards the back or, if you should wish, in an alternative folder to be stored in a bookshelf or attic for reference at a later date, whilst you keep the main bits of the Bible close to your heart. (Purchaser removes half the pages and put them to one side)
Now, what’s that you say? You’ve selected your favourite books, but there are still parts of those books that you’d rather not have to wade through? Well, this is why the Loose-Leaf Bible was created!
Think Genesis 1-9 is a collection of myths? Take it out! (Purchaser rips out some pages and bins them – does this for all the following)
Think Exodus goes downhill after the actual Exodus? Just get rid of everything after chapter 20!
Think some of the Ten Commandments don’t apply to you? Murder, indeed! Just retype the list and slot the new page in place!
Think that some of the Bible’s attitudes on marriage, sex and family are clearly from a more primitive time? Fine! Bung the stuff you don’t like in the nearest bin!
Stuck on the begats? Be gone!
The idea of a virgin birth’s a bit hard to swallow? Hard to believe that a guy can rise from the dead? Think some of those miracles are a bit more like cheap parlor tricks? Reckon those prophecies were probably twisted into the life of Jesus by the writers? Get rid! If it was really important, it’d be a bit clearer.
(Purchaser removes a huge bulk of the pages)
So, there you have it! The Word of God available in one handy binder – at your convenience, and at your level. (Purchaser is left with a few pages – looking baffled)
Lights go down, and a voice reads:
“Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it. Deuteronomy 12:32
Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
6 Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar. Proverbs 30:5-6