Kids Ministry as Forest Lake

Month: March 2020

Israel Demands a King

Big Idea: God knows what is best for us, and we can trust Him to give it to us in His time.

Bible Passage: 1 Samuel 8-10.

Parent Prep: Over the last few weeks we have been working our way through Judges and now the book of Samuel. Since the start of last year, when we commenced in Genesis, we have been looking at God's Big Story to save the world and how He calls us into it. It's an exciting time for you to join us on this journey if you haven't already been following along. Here's a recap: It's a VIDEO from the Bible Project, which should bring you up to date with what's going on in the story so far, and will help you understand where we are as we begin in chapter 8 of 1 Samuel. (We will follow the same format each week: Prepare, Read, Talk, Listen, Do)

Read 1 Samuel 8-10 in a children's Bible, or read it here, and you can watch it here, too.

Next, Talk about the story with children:

The people wanted to be like every other nation and have a King. This meant that they were rejecting God as their king. God knew that a human king would boss them around, make their men fight in wars, make them pay taxes (take their money) and put them to work. God knew He was a better king than any human would be, but the people kept demanding a king. So, God gave them King Saul. As it turned out, Saul made a lot of mistakes and didn't turn out to be a very good king, even though he was very strong, handsome and smart. 

God had a plan to give the people the very best King. Eventually, He came down to earth Himself, as King Jesus. King Jesus isn't like every other human king, because King Jesus doesn't just boss people around and make them love Him. King Jesus is caring, kind, forgiving, merciful, strong, protective, humble and never ever gives up. And, King Jesus is the only one who could really save the people from their sins. God knew that all along, and it was His plan to give us the perfect King, in His timing. We can trust that God always gives us what we really need, in His own time. 

Listen. Here's some questions to ask around the table:

Older children: Have you ever wanted something because everyone around you has it? How did it make you feel to be the only one without it? What would you do if you were missing out on something everybody else has? Is it difficult or easy to go without something when everyone else has it? When it's difficult, what could you do about how you feel? Who could you talk to about finding peace about this? If you have been praying for something and God hasn't given it to you yet, how does that make you feel? Read Luke 12:27-32 together for reassurance of God's care for us while we wait for His answers.

Younger children: Who is the boss in this family? Why are mummy and daddy the boss? The job of a boss is to take care of everyone. God is the boss because He knows best. We can trust Him and be patient when we don't get everything we want, because God is the boss and He will take care of us. Our God knows what is best for us.

Allow the questions to prompt natural discussion around this topic and feel free to lead the conversation to wherever it is most important to children. Ask if there are any questions or feelings they may have about this story. Take the opportunity to bring these questions and feelings to God in prayer, reminding children He is (and you are) okay with their doubts and fears. 

Then, Do:

Family Activity

Give every member of the family a piece of paper. Ask them to write or draw one rule that they would make everyone follow if they were king for a day. This rule can be anything they like (you get to set the boundaries cheeky). Then crumple up the pieces of paper and throw them in a hat or basket. Each day, draw one rule out from the hat and make everyone obey that rule for a whole minute, or five minutes – or the whole day if you're game! Make a point of reminding children that human kings are not perfect, and that the only perfect King we have is King Jesus. His rules and commandments are for our best, because He knows what's best for us.

Worship together

Here's a song the Bumblebees have learned about King Jesus being the boss: Jesus is the Mighty, Mighty King.

Rainbow Paintings to Share Hope!

Hello parents!

This brilliant idea for parents at home with little ones comes from Ceri, our Bumblebees (toddler ministry) leader.

Coronavirus: Rainbow pictures springing up across the country

After reading this news article about little children sharing hope by painting rainbows and placing them in their windows around the UK, we thought what a great way to share the hope we have in Jesus around Forest Lake. 

From Ceri: "For our kids my thinking was: they could create a rainbow or colourful piece of art however they want, spontaneous is more fun right?! And put it in their window. In the Bible it says, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41.10"

I have made a sign for us to use (with Emily's words from Sunday) so we can share the hope of Jesus around our community. Feel free to use the same words! 



Jesus is the light of the world!





Love, Ceri & the Bumblebees team.


Big Idea: So far God has always helped us, and He will help us now.

Bible Passage: 1 Samuel 7 (read this together from a children's Bible if you've got one, or here: Easy-to-Read ) 

If you want, you can use these words to explain the story to your children:

This story opens with an act of repentance ("saying sorry and turning back to God") of the people of Israel. Their enemies had been fighting them and winning, and so the Israelites eventually turned to their leader, Samuel, and Samuel approached the Lord on their behalf. Samuel told the people it was time to stop pretending to follow God, and actually worship Him with their whole hearts, ridding their homes of false gods and idols. 

Together the people assembled at special place, worshipped together and confessed their sin of loving idols. They promised to love Yahweh alone and offered a sacrifice for their sin. As this was going on, their enemies came to attack. God's response to His people's broken-hearted repentance was to step in and rescue them in a mighty way. He thundered 'a loud thunder' so great that the enemies were thrown into panic and retreated. The people of Israel won the battle and praised God.

Samuel took a stone, and He set it up as a reminder for the people. He called it Ebenezer, which is a Hebrew word meaning 'rock of help' and said, "Thus far the Lord has helped us." We are told as long as Samuel lived and led the people, God's hand was in the Israelites favour and there was peace in the land.

Our God is mighty to save. He can help us, and He delights in caring for us (see Luke 12:32). He desires our whole heart – to love Him most and Him alone, and to trust Him no matter what happens. He promises He will take care of us, and be with us, through it all. We can also, like Samuel look back at our lives and say, "Thus far the Lord has helped us." We can trust that He has been faithful to care for us, and that He will be faithful still. We have reason to trust God with our future because He has always been faithful in our past. 

Family Activity

Go into the garden as a family and choose a rock or stone of substantial size. Choose it as an Ebenezer for your family home and place it somewhere in your home that you will see it each day. Gather around your stone and remind each other, "So far God has always helped us, and He will help us now." If you start to worry in this season, or things seem tough, say these words to each other. Leave this stone in your home as long as you need. Gather around it for prayer & to encourage each other each day, or lay your hands on it and speak the words aloud to remember who it is who is our 'Rock of Help'. Our God, Yahweh, God almighty. 


God Speaks to Samuel

Big Idea: God speaks to His children, we can hear & trust His words.

Bible Passage: 1 Samuel 1-3

Hannah had prayed for a baby for a long time. When eventually God answered Hannah and gave her a son, Samuel, she dedicated Him to the Lord and he lived with Eli the priest, learning the Lord's work. When Samuel was a boy, he heard the voice of God while He was sleeping. He awoke, numerous times, thinking it was Eli calling him by name. When Eli realised that Samuel was hearing God speak, he told Samuel how to respond. Eli told Samuel to say, "Speak, Lord, your servant is listening." Samuel spoke these words to God, and God spoke to Samuel. God continued to speak to Samuel and Samuel grew up to lead the people of Israel to know and follow God's ways.

We talked about how our children hear from God. We very seldom hear the audible voice of God, and yet scripture assures us He speaks to us. We know that we can read His words for us through Scripture, that the Holy Spirit 'illuminates' or 'makes clear' His words, and that He often leads us by prompting us through our thoughts and feelings, dreams, visions and other ways too (although these should always be tested against our ultimate authority – Scripture). We learned that as we learn more about our God, the more we can recognise His voice when He speaks. We urged the children to likewise pray to our God, "Speak Lord, your servant is listening," and to expect God to speak to them as they learn more about Him. 

Family Activity

Hold up a blanket and have parents and children hide on either side of the blanket. Have one child or parent call out a name of someone on the other side of the blanket. The person who was called must identify who's voice called their name. Try and challenge each other by talking in funny voices. Explain to children how you know who's voice was speaking because you hear the voice often. It is like this with our God. The more we learn to listen and hear Him speak to us, the more we come to recognise it when He speaks.

See you Sunday!


Big Idea: Jesus is our Redeemer, we can trust in Him. 

Bible Passage: Ruth 

This week we learned about Ruth and her trust in God. At the beginning of the book of Ruth, she is a widowed foreigner from Moab. By the end of the story, she is a member of God's family, who becomes great-grandmother to Israel's greatest King, an ancestor to Jesus Christ Himself with a book in the Word of God with her name on it. An incredible story! Ruth decides to put her trust in Yahweh, God Almighty when she is widowed in her home country of Moab. Together with Naomi, her mother-in-law, she makes the long journey to Israel, where she finds work collecting leftover grain heads in a field. While she's there she 'just happens' to meet the owner of the field, a respected man and a distant relative who ends up being responsible for the welfare of herself and Naomi. Eventually, this man, Boaz, marries Ruth, she has a son and becomes a blessed woman indeed. 

We learn from the story of Ruth that it is always, always worth trusting in our God because He is in the business of taking our faith and turning even the most painful, scary situations into good for our blessing and His glory. We praise Jesus for being our Redeemer, the one responsible for saving us and securing us in God's family forever. Our God is always good, and always trustworthy. We too, like Ruth can say in faith, "Where you go, I will go," to our God Almighty, trusting He will turn our story into a blessed one.

Family Activity

Hide some breadcrumbs in your home and have children pick them up, as Ruth collected grain heads. When they find them, have them bring the crumbs to you and tell you something that has made them feel like they can't trust Jesus, or perhaps a time they have been scared to do what Jesus has commanded. Consider sharing a story of your own when this was a challenge. When children tell you, discuss with them Ruth's story, and the choice she had to make. Remind children that we have the promise of God that He will be with us, all the time, wherever we are, and that He will care for us. He will bless us with His presence, every single time we trust Him in the tough moments. (Hebrews 13:5-7) 


Big Idea: God uses broken people, but calls us to be obedient and trust Him.

Bible Passage: Judges 13-16

This week we learned about another Judge (leader) of the people of Israel. His name is Samson, and he's the strongest man who ever lived. But he's not the hero of the story. At the beginning of his life, Samson is set apart to be dedicated to God. His family are given instructions of how he is to live, and promised that he will deliver the Israelites from the hands of their enemies.

However, every single one of the instructions that Samson is given, he disobeys. The consequences of his disobedience are severe, and he ends up in prison, weak without strength. It is in this dire situation that Samson calls out to God and asks Him to remember him, even in his disobedience, and is able to save the people from their enemies, as was prophesied at his birth.

Samson was a broken, disobedient man and leader. But God used him mightily to save the people from their enemies. We can take comfort from this story knowing that when we too, repent and call out to God, He will remember us and love us and continue to use us for the great work of His kingdom. Because of Jesus- the real hero of this story – the only one who was perfectly obedient to God and able to save us from sin eternally – God looks at us in our brokenness and chooses to love, restore, redeem and purpose us for His glory. Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice, and thank you for your faithfulness to us even when we make big mistakes.

Family Activity

In our sin, it is our natural instinct to hide and run from God, or from people who we feel we might let down in our mistakes. Samson's story teaches us that instead we can cry out to God, as he did, and know that God hears and forgives and restores us. Make it a practice this week of intentionally stopping and admitting mistakes to eachother – and stopping for prayer to tell God each time if necessary. In this way, we model the act of confession of our sins – helping children see that we don't need to be ashamed, but honest with our God who sees our sin, and because of Jesus, welcomes us back to Himself every time.

For a fun game idea to get kids talking about strength – play a tug-o-war game with them in your home this week. Let this game lead to discussions about Samson and his strength and his failures, and where we can turn in our own.

See you Sunday!

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