‘I remember what the Lord did. I remember the miracles you did long ago.’ Psalm 77:11

Week 1 objectives: to learn that this verse comes from the book of Psalms and that Psalm 77 was written by a musician called Asaph.

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‘I remember what the Lord did. I remember the miracles you did long ago.’ Psalm 77:11

Week 2 objective: to think about the Bible being made up of lots of books written by many different people and to think about the Bible saying what God wants it to say.

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‘I remember what the Lord did. I remember the miracles you did long ago.’ Psalm 77:11

Week 3 objectives: to think about the Bible being full of stories, poems and songs about God’s miracles and to begin thinking about the Bible being God’s way of telling people about himself. 

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‘I remember what the Lord did. I remember the miracles you did long ago.’ Psalm 77:11

Week 4 objective: to think about why Christians believe it is a good thing to remember what they read about in the Bible.

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Four 15 minute sessions

 
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‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6

 
  Zechariah 4:6
 

Objectives: To discover that this verse comes from the book of Zechariah, and that Zechariah was a prophet who passed on a message from God to Zerubbabel.

Game - 7 mins
Beware of allergies - make sure it is safe for the children in your group to handle and taste the food used in this activity. 
Aim: to play a game about building.
You will need:  paper plates, enough marshmallows for six per child, enough dried spaghetti for at least ten pieces per child, a felt-tip pen and wipes.

Before the session clean the work surfaces in your teaching area and encourage the children to wash their hands. Give each child a paper plate, six marshmallows and ten pieces of spaghetti. Explain that they need to build a tall tower using just spaghetti and marshmallows. Inform the children that the person with the tallest tower will be the winner.  Allow six minutes to build the towers. Examine the towers praising each person, and decide which tower is the tallest.

Encourage the children to write their names on their plates and put the structures to one side so that they can be collected at the end of the session. Make sure the children understand that they should not eat the dried spaghetti.

Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: The Bible Curriculum Old Testament Flashcards, a whiteboard or a large sheet of paper, marker pens, a Bible and the ‘printed message’ (see Printables). 

Before the session write the verse on a large sheet of paper or whiteboard. 

Underline the the reference and explain that this verse was written down by a man called Zechariah. Quickly find the book of Zechariah in the Bible explaining that Zechariah's book is the second to last book in the Old Testament. Draw a smiley face next to the word ‘Zechariah’ and explain that Zechariah was a prophet. Give the smiley face two ears and draw a speech bubble next to it. A prophet listens to God and passes on what he says to other people. Another word for a prophet is a messenger. Point to the verse and explain that God gave this message to Zechariah to pass on. Read the verse aloud again.

Talk about the activity the children have just completed - building with spaghetti and marshmallows. Explain that during the time of Zechariah a huge building project was taking place - God's Temple was being rebuilt. Quickly (in less than 30 seconds!) show cards 1- 9 of The Bible Curriculum Old Testament Flashcards. Remind the children at what stage the rebuilding of the Temple occurs in the Old Testament. 

Draw another smiley face next to the verse and explain that Zechariah passed on this message to the man in charge of building God's Temple. Draw a ‘Z’ underneath the smiley face. His name also began with a ‘z’. His name was Zerubbabel. 

Explain that this message was given to Zerubbabel when he was facing difficulties. The foundations of the Temple had been laid, but the people living nearby had begun to moan; they moaned so much that the building work stopped. God wanted his Temple finished so he sent Zerubbabel a message. The message was this: ‘You will finish the Temple but not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit’. Point to the verse as you say the words. 

Show the printed message to the children. Explain that another way of saying this message is: ‘You will finish the Temple but neither by your own power nor by your own might, but by letting the Holy Spirit lead you and work as he pleases.’ Zerubbabel listened carefully to the message from God. He let the Holy Spirit lead and guide him and soon the Temple was rebuilt. At last God's people could worship God in his Temple once more.

Quickly underline the word ‘Spirit’ in the verse and explain that over the next few weeks we will learn more about God's Holy Spirit. 

High five - 2 mins
As a recap, ask the children to give the person next to them a ‘high five’ and say ‘give me five’. Before you say the first summary point below encourage the children to hold up one finger and shout ‘one’. Before you say the second point encourage the children to hold up two fingers and shout ‘two’ and so on... 

1. Zerubbabel stopped rebuilding the Temple
2. God wanted the Temple finished
3. God sent Zerubbabel a message
4. The message was that Zerubbabel would finish the Temple…
5. …but he would finish it not by his might nor by his power but by the work of the Holy Spirit.

 
 
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‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6

 
11_The Holy Spirit 2.jpg
 

Objective: To remind the children that God is three in one. 

Game - 7 mins
Aim: to play a game where the children hear the words ‘one’ and ‘three’ repeated over and over again. 
You will need: two buckets, four bean bags, masking tape ‘one’ and ‘three’ signs (see Printables) and sticky tape.

Stick the ‘one’ sign to one bucket and the ‘three’ sign to the other bucket. Stick a strip of masking tape to the floor. At a distance of approximately 1.5 m from the strip of masking tape place the bucket with the ‘one’ sign attached. Behind this bucket place the bucket with the ‘three’ sign attached. Make sure there is a distance of at least 10 cm between the two buckets. 

Explain that the children are going to take turns throwing the bean bags. They will need to stand behind the masking tape line and throw one bean bag into the ‘one’ bucket then throw three bean bags into the ‘three’ bucket.

When a child has thrown all four bean bags, whether the bags have landed in the buckets or not, it is the end of their turn and the next player should stand behind the tape ready to have a go.

Encourage the rest of the group to shout ‘one’ as the players try and throw the bean bag into the ‘one’ bucket and to shout ‘three’ as they try to throw the remaining bean bags into the ‘three’ bucket.


Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: ‘3 in 1’ symbol (see Printables), ‘3 Persons’ textboxes (see Printables), a whiteboard, one or two big sheets of paper (see below), sticky tac and marker pens. 

Before the session write the verse on a large sheet of paper or whiteboard. Cover the verse with a second sheet of paper. On the top sheet draw a large circle. 

Talk about the numbers in the game: ‘one’ and ‘three’. Ask the children if they know why these numbers are important when talking about God. Listen to the children’s answers and respond positively. Christians believe there is one God (hold up one finger), three parts (hold up three fingers). Christians describe God as ‘Three in One’.  Show the ‘3 in 1’ symbol. Divide the circle you have drawn on the paper into three and place the textboxes in the circle as shown by the ‘3 in 1’ symbol.  Explain that although this picture might help us to understand that God is three in one it is not a perfect picture because there are things about God that it doesn’t show. Here are three things the picture does not show:

1. Point to the three sections of the circle as you explain that the parts of God are in fact called Persons: the Person of the Father, the Person of the Holy Spirit and the Person of the Son whom we also call Jesus.

2. Point to the three sections again as you explain that each of the Persons is fully God. The Father is God, the Holy Spirit is God and Jesus is God.  

3. In the circle there are lines between the three Persons but in God the three are so perfectly joined that they are one. There is one God and he is three in one (hold up three fingers and then one).

Remove the sheet of paper with the circle on it to reveal the verse. Underline the phrase ‘my Spirit’. Explain that last week we learnt this verse was a message from God to Zerubbabel. God’s message was that Zerubbabel would finish the Temple not by his own might nor by his own power but by God’s Spirit. The Spirit God was speaking about was the Holy Spirit, one of the Persons of God. Remove the ‘Holy Spirit’ textbox from the circle and place it above the word ‘Spirit’ in the verse.


Song - 2 mins
To the tune ‘Oh when the saints’

    It’s not by might
    It’s not by power
    It’s by My Spirit says the Lord
    It’s not by might nor by power
    It’s by My Spirit says the Lord.

For simple actions: as you say ‘might’ punch the air with your fist, as you say power flex your arm muscles and as you say 'My Spirit' hook your two little fingers together in front of you (this is British Sign Language for finger spelling ‘S’).

 
 
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‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6

 
11_The Holy Spirit 3.jpg
 

Objective: To remind the children that God is three in one and when Jesus went up to Heaven the Holy Spirit came down. 

Game - 7 mins
Aims:  to play a game with paper aeroplanes before thinking about things going up and down. 
You will need: plain A4 paper, a score sheet (see Printables), felt-tip pens, masking tape and a timer. 

Encourage the children to each make a paper aeroplane. Make sure the children have written their names on their plane. 

Stick a strip of masking tape to the floor. Explain to the children that they will need to throw their plane as high as they can into the air then see how long it takes for the plane to glide back down to the ground. The plane that takes the longest to reach the ground (i.e the best gliding plane) will be the winning plane. 

Allow the children to take it in turns to fly their planes, encouraging each child to stand on the strip of masking tape as they take their turn. Use the score sheet to record the length of time the planes take to land. Praise each of the participants. When everybody has had a turn, announce whose plane took the longest to come down. If you have time allow everybody to have a second go. 


Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: ‘3 in 1’ symbol (see Printables), ‘3 Persons’ textboxes (see Printables), The Holy Spirit arrow (see Printales), ‘3 in 1’ symbol with descriptions (see Printables),  a whiteboard, one or two big sheet of paper (see below) sticky tac and marker pens.

Before the session write the Bible verse on the whiteboard or paper. Cover the verse with a second sheet of paper. On the paper draw a large circle. Divide the circle into three and stick the textboxes in the relevant sections as shown by the ‘3 in 1' symbol.

Quickly remind the children that God is three in one. Hold up three fingers then one. The three Persons of God are God the Father, God the Son (whom we call Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. Each of the Persons is fully God. The Bible teaches that each of the Persons is real and living. They are good, powerful and wise. They are loving, joyful and peaceful. The three Persons are so perfectly joined they are one. There is one God and he is three in one. Hold up one finger, then three fingers then one again. 

Remove the sheet of paper with the circle on it to reveal the verse. Underline the phrase ‘my Spirit’. Explain that we've learnt that this verse was a message from God to Zerubbabel. God’s message was that Zerubbabel would finish the Temple not by his own might nor by his own power but by God’s Spirit. The Spirit God is speaking about is the Holy Spirit, one of the Persons of God. Quickly remove the ‘Holy Spirit’ textbox from the circle and place it above the word ‘Spirit’ in the verse.

Christians believe that today the Holy Spirit lives with people here on earth. They believe that wherever they are and whatever they are doing the Holy Spirit is with them. Explain that, a bit like the wind people cannot see the Holy Spirit, but Christians believe he is with people everyday, everywhere. Show the children the Holy Spirit arrow and explain that the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit came to be with people over 2000 years ago. 

Talk about the game. Remind the children that they threw the planes up then watched them come down. Explain that the words ‘up’ and ‘down’ help us to think about what happened when the Holy Spirit came. The Bible tells us that when Jesus went up the Holy Spirit came down - when Jesus went up to Heaven the Holy Spirit came down to earth to be with people in a new way. In the Bible we read about Jesus going back up to Heaven. Christians call this Jesus' ascension. Christians call the day the Holy Spirit came down from Heaven the Day of Pentecost. 

Remind the children of the story of Jesus’ ascension and the story of the Day of Pentecost (see pages 383 and 384 of The Children’s Bible in 365 stories). The Day of Pentecost took place ten days after Jesus went up to Heaven, which is why we say… when Jesus went up the Holy Spirit came down. Use sticky tac to stick the ‘Holy Spirit arrow’ next to the verse. 

If you have time summarise by showing the ‘3 in 1’ symbol with descriptions. Remind the children that the Bible teaches that God the Father is sitting on a throne in Heaven, God the Son, Jesus, is now sitting at his right-hand side and the Holy Spirit is here on earth living with people. 


Song - 2 mins
To the tune ‘Oh when the saints’

    It’s not by might
    It’s not by power
    It’s by My Spirit says the Lord
    It’s not by might nor by power
    It’s by My Spirit says the Lord.

For simple actions: as you say ‘might’ punch the air with your fist, as you say power flex your arm muscles and as you say ‘My Spirit’ hook your two little fingers together in front of you (this is British Sign Language for finger spelling ‘S’).

 
 
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‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6

 
11_The Holy Spirit 4.jpg
 

Objective: To discover that during Old Testament times the Holy Spirit came upon people to help them do jobs they could not do on their own. 

Game - 6 mins
Aim: to play a game that is so difficult it is almost impossible.
You will need: five clothes pegs, a plastic cup and a chair. 

Place the cup on a chair. Ask a volunteer to stand in front of the chair. Explain that the volunteer needs to tuck a clothes peg under their chin, lean over the chair and drop the peg into the cup without using their hands. Allow the volunteer five attempts before allowing somebody else to have a go.


Another challenge - 3 mins
Aim: to play a second game that is so difficult it is almost impossible.
You will need: a bowl of marbles, an empty bowl and some chopsticks.

Give a volunteer some chopsticks. Place the bowl of marbles and the empty bowl in front of them. Ask the volunteer to move the marbles from one bowl to the other using the chopsticks. After 20 seconds or so allow somebody else to have a go.  

Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: ‘3 in 1’ symbol (see Printables), ‘3 Persons’ textboxes (see Printables), Old Testament story textboxes (see Printables), The Holy Spirit arrow (see Printables), a whiteboard, a big sheet of paper, sticky tac, marker pens and a Bible. 

Before the session write the Bible verse on the whiteboard or paper.

Talk about the challenge the children have just attempted. Ask the children if they found it difficult or even impossible. Explain that in the Old Testament (before Jesus was born) God gave some people jobs that were too difficult for them to do on their own. Show the Old Testament story textboxes. God knew that they couldn't do the jobs alone so he sent His Holy Spirit to be with them. The Holy Spirit gave them the power to do the jobs they needed to do. The Bible tells us that these people were empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came upon Bezalel (Exodus 31:1–5), Moses (Numbers 11:25), Samson (Judges 15:13–14) and King Saul (1 Samuel 10:9–11). The Holy Spirit empowered them to do different ‘jobs’.

Point to the verse and explain that we've learnt this verse was a message from God to Zerubbabel. God’s message was that Zerubbabel would finish the Temple not by his own might nor by his own power but by God’s Spirit - the Holy Spirit. Underline the phrase ‘my Spirit’. Show the 5th Old Testament story textbox. Explain that God was promising Zerubbabel that his Holy Spirit would help him to finish the Temple. The Holy Spirit would empower Zerubbabel. Using his own power or even working with other people Zerubbabel wouldn't be able to finish the Temple; he needed God's help; he needed the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Quickly remind the children that the Bible teaches that there is one true God, three parts; God is three in one. Refer to the ‘3 in 1’ symbol as you explain that the parts of God are called Persons. The three Persons of God are God the Father, God the Son (whom we call Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. Each of the Persons is fully God. The Bible teaches that each of the Persons is real and living. They are good, powerful and wise. They are loving, joyful and peaceful. The three Persons are so perfectly joined they are one. There is one God and he is three in one. Hold up one finger, then three fingers then one again. 

Open a Bible between the New Testament and the Old Testament. It may be helpful to remind younger children that the Old Testament tells us about the time before Jesus was born and the New Testament tells us about the time after Jesus was born. Point to the Old Testament as you explain that, during Old Testament times the Holy Spirit came upon people to give them power to do jobs they couldn't do on their own. Now point to the New Testament and explain that , during New Testament times the Holy Spirit came to be with people in a new way.

Quickly show the Holy Spirit arrow and remind the children that the Bible teaches that when Jesus went up the Holy Spirit came down. When the Holy Spirit came down he came to be with Christians in a new way. Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is now with them wherever they are and whatever they are doing. Use sticky tac to stick the ‘Holy Spirit arrow’ next to the verse. Explain that, a bit like the wind, people cannot see the Holy Spirit but Christians believe he is with people everyday, everywhere.

Explain that next week we will learn that Christians believe the Holy Spirit still helps people to do things they cannot do on their own - Christians believe the Holy Spirit helps them to live God's way. 

 
 
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‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6

 
11_The Holy Spirit 5.jpg
 

Objective: To discover that Christians believe the Holy Spirit helps them to live God's way. 

Game - 7 mins
Aim: to play a game where the children try and roll a coin along a strip of tape.
You will need: pound coins, a pen and masking tape.

Stick a long strip (at least two metres) of masking tape to the floor or a table. Ask for a volunteer to sit at one end of the tape. Encourage the volunteer to roll a coin along the strip without moving from their position. If the children find it too difficult to roll a coin allow them to use the roll of masking tape - encourage them to roll the masking tape along the strip instead. The children should observe the coin/masking tape travelling along the strip to start with but then falling over or veering to one side. Allow each child to have a couple of turn at rolling the coin/tape. With a small group you could mark on the tape the furthest point the coins reach. 

Talk about - 8 mins
You will need: ‘3 in 1’ symbol (see Printables), ‘3 Persons’ textboxes (see Printables), The Holy Spirit arrow (see Printables), The Bible Curriculum Life of Jesus Flashcards (visit www.thebiblecurriculum.com), a whiteboard, one or two big sheets of paper (see below), sticky tac and marker pens. 

Before the session write the Bible verse on the whiteboard or paper. Cover the verse with a second sheet of paper. On the paper draw a large circle. Divide the circle and stick the textboxes in the relevant sections, as shown by the ‘3 in 1' symbol.

Quickly remind the children that God is three in One. Hold up three fingers then one. The three Persons of God are God the Father, God the Son (whom we call Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. Explain that the Persons of God are so perfectly joined they are one. There is one God and he is three in One. The Bible teaches that because the Holy Spirit is one of the Persons of God he is God. He is real and living. He is good, powerful and wise. He is loving, joyful and peaceful. 

Open a Bible between the New Testament and the Old Testament. Point to the relevant parts of the Bible as you remind the children that during Old Testament times the Holy Spirit came upon people to give them power to do jobs they couldn't do on their own. But during New Testament times the Holy Spirit came to be with people in a new way. Remind the children that when Jesus went up the Holy Spirit came down. Use sticky tac to stick the ‘Holy Spirit arrow’ next to the verse. The Holy Spirit came down to be with people on earth. 

The Bible teaches that the ‘new way’ meant that the Holy Spirit would no longer just empower a few people; he would come and live in Christians and be with them all the time. Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is now with them wherever they are and whatever they are doing.  Explain that, a bit like the wind, people cannot see the Holy Spirit but Christians believe he is with them everyday, everywhere.

Ask the children why they think it is important that the Holy Spirit is with Christians. Listen to the children's answers and respond positively. Explain that the Holy Spirit still helps people do things they cannot do on their own - today the Holy Spirit helps people live God's way. 

Briefly explain that Christians believe that living God's way is the greatest way they could possibly live. Christians believe it feels right to live God's way because they believe it's the way they were created to live. Living God's way is about two main things: loving God and loving others (draw two hearts next to the verse). However the Bible teaches that without God's help it is impossible for people to live his way - it’s just too difficult, people keep making mistakes and getting things wrong. In fact there is only one person who has lived God’s way day after day – that person is Jesus. When Jesus lived on earth he never did anything wrong; he always lived in a way that pleased God. Jesus always loved God (circle the first heart) and always loved others (circle the second heart). The Bible teaches that Jesus showed people the perfect way to live.

So how do Christians live God's way? The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit helps Christians, he helps them to become more like Jesus. Christians understand that by learning and growing to be like Jesus they will learn and grow to live God's way. 

Spend some time talking about how the Holy Spirit helps Christians. Christians believe the Holy Spirit comes alongside to teach and guide. They believe the Holy Spirit works in their lives changing them from the inside-out to become more and more like Jesus; to be more peaceful, patient and kind. As the Holy Spirit helps Christians become more like Jesus, more and more they are able to live God's way.

Christians believe that each day the Holy Spirit helps millions of people around the world become more and more like Jesus so they can learn and grow to live God’s way, the way God created them to live.

Talk to the children about the game they have just played. Ask the children if they found it easy or difficult to keep the coin/tape rolling along the strip. Remind the children that the coin rolled along the tape to start with but soon it began to roll away. Explain that this is a bit like people trying to live God's way on their own, they start off on the right track but after a while they make mistakes and get things wrong... and soon they are no longer perfectly living God's way. 

Roll the coin along the strip of tape again. This time place your hands alongside the coin and gently tap it to keep it travelling along the strip. If it rolls away or falls over pick it up and place it back on the strip and begin rolling it again. Explain that God the Holy Spirit comes along side Christians to help them live God’s way. He changes and guides them to be more like Jesus - it’s as if the Holy Spirit helps Christians to keep travelling along the right path. If Christians make a mistake they can say sorry to God, he will forgive them and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, they can carry on living his way.

 
 
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Five sessions

 
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'We should not stop gathering together with other believers' Hebrews 10:25

 
 

Objectives: To discover that this verse comes from the book of ‘Hebrews’, and that nobody knows who wrote ‘Hebrews’ but it is described as a masterpiece. 


GAME: 7 mins
Aims: To play a game where a volunteer tries to work out who drew which picture.
You will need: A5 size paper and an assortment of felt-tip pens.

Ask for a volunteer to be ‘it’. Explain to the children that everybody (including ‘it’) will need to draw a picture of themselves. Hand out the paper and the pens. Encourage ‘it’ to sit away from the group so they don't see whose picture belongs to whom. Once everyone has completed their picture collect them in and muddle them up. Ask everyone to sit in a circle and hand ‘it’ the pictures. ‘It’ then needs to guess who’s who and place each picture on the floor in front of the ‘correct’ child (they should place their own self-portrait where they had been sitting in the circle). At this stage the children should not tell ‘it’ if he/she has guessed correctly. When ‘it’ has placed one picture in front of each child, the children need to reveal if ‘it’ was right or wrong; if ‘it’ was right the child should pick up and hold their self-portrait, if ‘it’ was wrong they should leave the picture on the floor. ‘It’ can then have another go at guessing who’s who and re-allocate the pictures. Encourage ‘it’ to keep going until everyone is holding their own picture. If it is impossible for ‘it’ to guess correctly encourage the other children to help. This game is likely to be too easy for older children if they simply draw a self-portrait, so encourage them to draw themselves in disguise! If you have time play the game again, this time encouraging the children to draw a picture of where they live. Ask for a new volunteer to be ‘it’.

If you have a small group of children try and get hold of the board game ‘Guess Who?’ and play the game together a couple of times.

TALK ABOUT: 6 mins
You will need: A large sheet of paper or whiteboard, a Bible and marker pens.  

Before the session write the verse on a large sheet of paper or whiteboard. 

Read the verse aloud to the children and underline the word ‘Hebrews’. Point out that this month’s verse comes from the book of Hebrews in the Bible. Explain that the book of Hebrews is a letter.

Talk about how during the game ‘it’ tried to work out who had drawn which picture. Explain that for hundreds of years people have been trying to work out who wrote the book of Hebrews. Just as ‘it’ had a good look at the pictures in the game, people have had a really good look at the book of Hebrews. They have read it over and over again. Some people think it might have been written by the Apostle Paul but it doesn't quite sound the same as one of Paul's letters. Other people think that Barnabas, who travelled with Paul, may have written Hebrews, but people are not sure about that either. Some other people think it may have been written by a lady called Priscilla but not everybody agrees with that idea. Who wrote the book of Hebrews remains a mystery. 

There are however things that we do know about the book of Hebrews.

  • It is written so well and says so many wonderful things that people call it a masterpiece.
  • It is a book that helps us to keep trusting God. It reminds us that because Jesus died and came back to life we can be close friends with God. 

SONG: 2 mins
To the tune ‘What shall we do with the drunken sailor?’

    We should not stop gath-er-ring
    to-gether with-o-ther believers,
    We should not stop gath-er-ring
    to-gether with believers,

    Hebrews 10 verse 25
    Hebrews 10 verse 25,
    Hebrews 10 verse 25
    to-gether with believers.


This song works well if you start really slowly and get faster and faster. Older children might not be keen to sing but might enjoy rapping the words.


 

Week 2

Week 2 objectives: To think about why Christians gather together and what the word ‘fellowship’ means. 

GAME: 7 mins
Aims: To play a game with four simple commands.
You will need: A keyboard piano or a similar instrument with a drum setting.

If you don’t have a suitable instrument, make a beat by clapping your hands then clicking your fingers twice.

Explain to the children that they are going to play a game of human ‘Bop It’ (there are lots of additional ideas online for playing this game but try to use only four commands as this is an important part of the illustration). You may first need to explain that ‘Bop It’ is a game of following commands to a beat. As the beat gets faster the game gets harder. 

Inform the children that the four commands are ‘kick it’ –pretend to kick a ball, ‘twist it’ – twist the top half of your body while keeping your feet still, ‘pull it’ – pretend to pull a leaver above your head , ‘bop it’ – jump once.  Encourage the children to stand in a circle. Start the drum beat or make a beat by clapping your hands then clicking your fingers. Encourage the children to respond to the commands in time to the beat. Begin to call out the commands allowing time for the children to respond. Keep changing the order in which you give the commands to make it harder for the children to respond correctly. After a while speed up the beat or clap and click a little faster. If a child makes a mistake they should sit down; however, you may want to give them two or three chances if they are struggling. As the game progresses, make the beat faster and faster until there is only one player left. Declare the final player the winner.

TALK ABOUT: 6 mins
You will need: A large sheet of paper or whiteboard, a Bible, marker pens and ‘Four things’ textboxes (see Printables).  

Before the session write the verse on a large sheet of paper or whiteboard. Print and cut out the textboxes.

Read the verse aloud and underline the phrase ‘gathering together with other believers’. Quickly explain that ‘believers’ is another name for Christians. Draw four or five stick people next to the verse. Ask the children if they can think of times when Christians gather together. Respond positively to the children’s answers and talk about Christians gathering together on Sundays and other occasions. Talk with the children about why they think Christians gather together. Ask them to list some of the things Christians do when they meet. 

Explain that Christians get together to help one another live God's way. Draw an arrow above the stick people pointing upwards. Remind the children that Christians believe living God's way is the right way to live; they believe they were created to live God's way. Explain that the Bible teaches that living God's way is about two main things: loving God and loving others. Draw two hearts next to the arrow.

But how do Christians help each other live God's way? Sometimes Christians simply do things together. They show their love for God by worshipping together and their love for others be working in teams to care for people.

But Christians also help each other to live God's way through fellowship. Draw a big circle around the stick people. ‘Fellowship’ is the word the Bible uses to describe times when Christians teach, challenge, comfort, support and encourage one another. Christians believe that when they spend time together in this way the Holy Spirit works powerfully among them, helping each one of them learn and grow to live God's way. Go over the outline of the arrow pointing upwards to make it thicker and bolder. Many Christians believe that during times of fellowship they use the gifts and abilities God has given them to help others live God's way.

If appropriate talk about the people in your church spending time together in this way. If you have time talk about the different gifts and abilities described in the Bible. How do these help Christians learn and grow to live God's way?

Summarise by pointing to the simple pictures you have drawn and remind the children that Christians gather together to help one another live God's way. Christians help each other by (1) doing things together and (2) through fellowship. Remind the children that ‘fellowship’ is the word the Bible uses to describe times when Christians teach, challenge, comfort, support and encourage one another.

Quickly explain that fellowship has been an important part of Christians' lives for hundreds of years. Remind the children of the game they have just played. Point out that there were only four things the children did: kick, twist, pull and jump. Explain that the Bible teaches there were four things the first Christians did day after day: they prayed, listened to teaching about God, broke bread (you may want to briefly talk about the celebration of Communion using language familiar to the children in your setting) and fellowshipped. Stick textboxes next to the verse. Today people who study the Bible still think these are really, really important things that Christians should do. They believe that when a Christian does these four things the Holy Spirit is able to work powerfully in his or her life helping them learn and grow to live God's way.


CHALLENGE: 2 mins
Help the children remember the four things the first Christians did day after day. Say the four things: ‘pray’, ‘listen’, ‘break’, ‘fellowship’. As you say ‘pray’ put your hands together with a loud clap. As you say ‘listen’ cup your hands round your ears. As you say ‘break’ mime breaking a bread roll in front of you. As you say ‘fellowship’ everyone in the circle should link arms and rush to the centre - being careful not to bump heads. When you have done this a couple of times see if the children can remember the four things. Remind the children that this week we have learnt about fellowship - Christians fellowship when they gather together.


SONG: 2 mins
To the tune ‘What shall we do with the drunken sailor?’

    We should not stop gath-er-ring
    to-gether with-o-ther believers,
    We should not stop gath-er-ring
    to-gether with believers,

    Hebrews 10 verse 25
    Hebrews 10 verse 25,
    Hebrews 10 verse 25
    to-gether with believers.


This song works well if you start really slowly and get faster and faster. Older children might not be keen to sing but might enjoy rapping the words.

 

Week 3

Week 3 objectives: To discover that Christians can meet together in groups of different sizes and that a church is the group of Christians meeting together, it is not the building. 

GAME: 7 mins
Aims: To play a game where the children form groups of different sizes. 
You will need: A permanent marker, balloons, some music and the means to play it.

Before the session blow up the balloons and draw a simple face on each with a permanent marker pen. Place the balloons in the centre of your room. 

Explain to the children that while the music plays quietly they need to walk around the room on their own. After a while the music will start to get louder. As it gets louder ask the children to start walking around in groups. Tell them how many people they need in each group. For example if you call out ‘three’ the children need to start walking around in groups of three.

Once everybody has been walking around in a group for a while turn the music down and encourage the children to start walking around the room on their own again. 

Keep alternating between times of quiet and loud music but vary the number of people required in a group. For example call out ‘four’ then the next time ‘six’. If the children do not have enough people in their group they can take balloons from the centre to count as people. For example in a group of four there could be two children and two balloons. 


TALK ABOUT: 5 mins
You will need: A large sheet of paper or whiteboard, a Bible and marker pens.  

Before the session write the verse on a large sheet of paper or whiteboard. Read the verse aloud to the children and underline the phrase ‘gathering together’. 

Remind the children that last week we talked about Christians gathering together to help one another live God's way. Draw four or five stick people next to the verse. Draw an arrow above the stick people pointing upwards. We learnt that Christians can help each other by (1) doing things together and (2) through fellowship. Draw a big circle around the stick people. Explain that ‘fellowship’ is the word the Bible uses to describe times when Christians teach, challenge, comfort, support and encourage one another. Christians believe that when they spend time together in this way the Holy Spirit works powerfully among them, helping each one of them learn and grow to live God’s way.

Talk about the game the children have just played. Talk about the game starting with the children walking around on their own. Explain that the Bible teaches that it is important for Christians to spend time with God on their own, talking and listening to Him. But last week we learnt that it is also important for Christians to gather together in groups. Talk about how you can’t have a group of just one person, there needs to be more than one.

Talk about the children gathering together in different sized groups. Explain that the number of Christians that gather together in a group could be two, four, ten, twenty etc. 

Ask the children why it might be nice to sometimes get together in small groups and other times in big groups. Ask the children if they have ever been in a group where hundreds of Christians have gathered together. If a child has been in such a group ask them what it was like and what everybody was doing, or talk about an experience you have had. Briefly ask the children where Christians might meet together and discuss the answers the children give.


CHALLENGE: 3 mins
Divide the children into pairs and give each pair a piece of paper and a couple of pens/pencils. Explain that they have 20 seconds to draw a church building. Count down from 20 to zero. 

Ask the children to show their pictures and talk about what they have drawn. Ask the children why they think you asked them to draw a church building and not a church. Explain that the church is a group of Christians meeting together. Although many church buildings are very beautiful and useful, wherever a group of Christians meet together they are the church. The church is not the building.

If you have time explain talk about the local and Universal Church. Explain that Christians believe there is one big Church called the Universal Church. The big Church is made up of all Christians everywhere – it stretches around the world. It is in fact made up of all Christians that are alive now and have ever lived.

Explain that it is not possible for all Christians in the Universal Church to meet together in one place, instead lots of Christians meet together in smaller groups close to where they live. These groups of Christians are called local churches. All around the world there are thousands and thousands of local churches.

Christians often get together in their local churches on a Sunday because this is the day on which Christians have gathered together for hundreds of years. But Christians get together on other days too. 

SONG: 2 mins
To the tune ‘What shall we do with the drunken sailor?’

    We should not stop gath-er-ring
    to-gether with-o-ther believers,
    We should not stop gath-er-ring
    to-gether with believers,

    Hebrews 10 verse 25
    Hebrews 10 verse 25,
    Hebrews 10 verse 25
    to-gether with believers.


This song works well if you start really slowly and get faster and faster. Older children might not be keen to sing but might enjoy rapping the words.


 

Week 4

Week 4 objectives: To think about the writer's instructions: Christians should not stop gathering together.

GAME: 7 mins
Aims: To play a game or complete a challenge without stopping. 
You will need: See ‘A one minute challenge for older children’.

A game for younger children…
Explain to the children that you are going to play a game of traffic lights. They are a car and need to obey the traffic rules that you are going to shout out. Most of the time they need to walk around (or run if you have an energetic group) trying to avoid bumping into one another. Explain that there are going to be lots of rules but the most important rule is that they don’t stop until you shout ‘red traffic light’ at the end of the game. Explain that when you shout…

‘Rain’- the children keep moving but wave their arms like windscreen wipers until you shout ‘no more rain’. 
‘Roundabout’ - the children need to turn around once whilst still moving. 
‘Speed bumps’- the children jump forward rather than walk.
‘Low bridge’- the children crouch down but keep moving forwards.
‘Horn’ - the children touch the floor once and make a noise like a horn.

Encourage the children to start walking or running around then begin to call out the commands. After a while call out the commands in pairs so the children have to do more than one thing at once. Eventually call out ‘red traffic light’, to end the game.

A one minute challenge for older children…
You will need a stopwatch and appropriate sports equipment such as a tennis ball, a football and a skipping rope. Give the children a challenge that is suitable for their age and ability such as throwing and catching a tennis ball, dribbling a football between two markers, or skipping. Explain that their challenge is to keep doing the activity for one minute without stopping.  


TALK ABOUT: 6 mins
You will need: A large sheet of paper or whiteboard, a Bible and marker pens.  

Before the session write the verse on a large sheet of paper or whiteboard. Read the verse aloud and underline the phrase ‘gathering together’. Remind the children that a couple of weeks ago we talked about Christians gathering together to help one another live God's way. Draw four or five stick people next to the verse. Draw an arrow above the stick people pointing upwards. We learnt that Christians can help each other by (1) doing things together and (2) through fellowship. Draw a big circle around the stick people. Explain that ‘fellowship’ is the word the Bible uses to describe times when Christians teach, challenge, comfort, support and encourage one another. Christians believe that when they spend time together in this way the Holy Spirit works powerfully among them, helping each one of them learn and grow to live God’s way.

Remind the children that last week we learnt that the church is a group of Christians meeting together. The church is not the building.

Read the verse again and underline the phrase ‘Don’t stop’. If the children played the running around game talk about how it was important that they didn’t stop moving. Sometimes they had to do lots of different things and maybe it was hard to keep going but to play the game they needed to keep on moving and not give up. Ask the children if they found it easy or difficult to keep going. Did they get tired? 

If the children did the ‘one minute challenge’, talk about how they had to keep on doing something for a whole minute without giving up. Ask the children if they found it boring or exciting to keep on doing the same thing. Was there something better they could have been doing or was it a good thing to do? Ask the children to imagine what it must be like for athletes to keep on training and training without giving up.

Talk about how the person who wrote the book of Hebrews was saying that Christians should keep on getting together with other Christians and not give up. The writer knew that it would not be easy; in fact the writer knew of some people who had already stopped. The writer was saying keep going, even if it’s not easy it’s important that you keep getting together. 


SONG: 2 mins
To the tune ‘What shall we do with the drunken sailor?’

    We should not stop gath-er-ring
    to-gether with-o-ther believers,
    We should not stop gath-er-ring
    to-gether with believers,

    Hebrews 10 verse 25
    Hebrews 10 verse 25,
    Hebrews 10 verse 25
    to-gether with believers.

This song works well if you start really slowly and get faster and faster. Older children might not be keen to sing but might enjoy rapping the words.

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‘Every Scripture is God-breathed…’ 2 Timothy 3:16

Week 1 objectives: to discover that the Bible is made up of 66 books and includes  books about God's law, history books, poetry books, books written by God's prophets, the Gospels and letters.

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‘Every Scripture is God-breathed…’ 2 Timothy 3:16

Week 2 objective: to discover that the Bible is from God. God guided the writers and showed them by His Holy Spirit what He wanted them to write. 

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‘Every Scripture is God-breathed…’ 2 Timothy 3:16

Week 3 objective: to discover that Christians believe reading the whole Bible helps them understand the big picture of who God is, what he has done and how he is able to work in people's lives today.

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‘Every Scripture is God-breathed…’ 2 Timothy 3:16

Week 4 objective: to discover that the Bible is like a plumb-line; Christians check they are living God's way by looking in the Bible and asking the Holy Spirit to be with them when they read it.

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Four 15 minute sessions

 
2 Tim 3,16 Every scripture is God breathed.png
 
 
 

 
 
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‘God, you give true peace to people who depend on you, to those who trust in you.’ Isaiah 26:3

Week 1 objective: to discover that there are 66 chapters in the book of Isaiah. The first 39 chapters are about Isaiah’s message to the Judeans before they left their homes. The second part is the message given to the Judeans in Babylon. 

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‘God, you give true peace to people who depend on you, to those who trust in you.’ Isaiah 26:3

Week 2 objective: to talk about ‘true peace’. 

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‘God, you give true peace to people who depend on you, to those who trust in you.’ Isaiah 26:3

Week 3 objectives: to begin to talk about the Fruit of the Spirit and to learn that peace is a part of the Holy Spirit's fruit. 

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