BIG IDEA: I CAN SERVE GOD
AIM: The ‘Served God’ Sunday School Lesson on Josiah is aimed at encouraging children to see what it means to serve God and how they can start doing it themselves.
- ‘No Longer a Slave’ by Bethel Music
- ‘Good Good Father’ by HouseFires II
- ‘Children of God’ by God Rocks Band
- Waiter Waiter. Children compete to take a tray full of items around an obstacle course. The fastest team is the winning team.
- Blend-o-Rama. This game is taken from thesource4ym. Simply put a delicious meal in a blender and blend it all together. Then have the children or leaders compete to see who can eat [or drink!] the most in an allocated amount of time. Just be aware this may make them feel a little gross after! Use wisdom with this game!
- What’s Missing? Place items on a tray or desk, cover them and take one away. The children must guess what has been taken away. Play the game a few times and see who can guess the most correctly.
- You Got Served. Leaders stand on chairs using their arms to make basketball hoops as children try to get a balloon into the ‘hoop’. This could be played as a relay race between teams, where children bounce the balloon and throw it in the hoops. You could also play it as a team game of basketball – one team against another.
BIG VERSE: How great the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God, and that is what we are! 1 John 3:1.
SET the Scene:
Read 2 Kings 22-23:30. Josiah was an eight year old boy when he became king. Imagine what it must be like to be in charge of everything at just eight years old?! Today we’re looking at how this young boy served God as a boy, a man and a king. Remind the children that this story happened before Jesus came to the earth, but that it shows us how to serve God – and God is Father, Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit.
- ‘Johnny Rogers: Josiah’
- ‘Josiah the Boy King’
- ‘Josiah Rap’ – this would be great if some of your team could perform the song themselves
- ‘Josiah Animation’ by Kensington Kids Videos
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) SERVE GOD BY OBEYING HIS WORD
When you first step up or begin chatting don’t say a word. Simply hold up the Action Commands and wait for the children to respond or not.
Say: When we are given instructions we have a choice whether or not we do what they say. When we do what they say that means we are obeying them or the person that gives them, just as you did [or didn’t] obey the action commands. When Josiah’s men were cleaning out the Temple of the Lord they found the scriptures; the Books of the Law. These words were from God. Josiah had a choice. Would he obey or throw them away?
Josiah chose to begin serving the Lord by obeying His words. 2 Kings 23:24 says:
Josiah destroyed the mediums, fortune-tellers, house gods and idols. He destroyed all the hated gods seen in the land of Judah and Jerusalem. He did this to obey the words of the teachings. They were written in the book Hilkiah the priest had found in the Temple of the Lord.
Josiah served God by doing what God said in His teachings. To serve is to do something for someone, Josiah read the words of God and he knew what God wanted him to do, so he did it. This german shepherd is given some instructions in his dog training too – let’s watch what happens. [Show the German Shepherd clip.] The dog obeyed his owner.
We have a choice; we can serve Jesus by obeying his words or we can turn and walk away. If we want to serve Jesus it will always involve obeying him. Why? Because he has already asked us to do things in his Word: tell people about Jesus, heal the sick, show love to others – even our enemies, stick up for those that are weak. Jesus is the greatest example of someone that served and obeyed the teachings and we can follow his example. Will you serve Jesus by obeying his Word today?
Josiah is known for serving God. 2 Kings 23:25 shows us that “There was no king like Josiah before or after him. He obeyed the Lord with all his heart, soul and strength. He followed all the Teachings of Moses.” Imagine if the same could be said about you because you loved and served the Lord just as Josiah did!
2) SERVE GOD BY WORSHIPPING HIM ONLY
You will need 3 people to play the different characters. Change the sport, player names or descriptive words to suit your culture – what sport and sports celebrities do your children follow? Please adapt the script to meet your group’s needs.
Alex: Did you see that game last night?
Tom: Yeah, it was awesome!
Connor: Yeah did you see Rashford, he was amazing!
Alex: Yeah he was good I guess…
Connor: What do you mean, good? He was better than everyone else!
Tom: Well you would think that, I mean, you’re pretty obsessed with him, you practically worship him!
Connor: Well he’s the best player that has ever been!
Alex: Are you mad?
Tom: You must be joking!
Connor: He’s always winning us games, AND he scores loads of goals!
Alex and Tom: So does everyone else
Connor: Not like Rashford
Say: One of the ways we can serve Jesus is by worshipping him only. Even at age eighteen Josiah could see that the people were serving false gods. He could see that the people no longer loved the One True God. They had walked away and were serving other gods – bowing down to them, telling them how great they were, thinking about them instead of the God of Israel. When Josiah realised that he and his people had been worshipping the wrong person Josiah became very sad and tore his clothes (2 Kings 22:11). He showed God how upset he was and vowed to follow God’s Laws and he totally destroyed anything else that could be worshipped.
You might not serve other gods or have wooden or stone idols like Josiah’s people did… but perhaps just like our skit showed, you have all your focus and attention on something or someone other than Jesus. Connor in the skit was so obsessed with the sports star that nothing else and nobody else seemed to be that important.
Some of the other things that people worship might include celebrities, money, internet, TV, phones, science and more [show images]. What we worship is important. To worship something or someone means that we say or think or act like they or it is the most important thing to us. Some of these things are good and fun to do or see but we were made to worship Jesus! Jesus wants to be the only one that we worship. He wants to be number One in our lives. Why? Because he loves us SO much that he was willing to die for us; to die in our place so that we might know God. God loves us so much, we show Him that we love Him when we serve Him and worship Him alone. Josiah understood that God had to be the most important thing in his life. That’s why he tore down all the other gods and places of worship. He wanted the God of Israel to be his – and the people of Israel’s – only God. Is He your only God?
Is Jesus the most important person in your life?
3) SERVE GOD BY DOING THE RIGHT THING
Say: The bible records Josiah as a king that did the right thing. In 2 Kings 22:2 it says “Josiah did what the Lord said was right. He did good things as his ancestor David had done. Josiah did not stop doing what was right.” He was a good king that made good choices – choosing to do the right thing. Let’s watch this movie clip and see if they did the right thing too. [Show one of the above movie clips].
Do you think they did the right thing? Why/why not? [Get feedback] Of course they did the right thing! Jesus wants us to help others as best as we can. If we can’t help a person, then we can always ask an adult to help who can. Let’s have a think about some of the other ways we might serve God by doing the right thing… [use the right and wrong b&w or color printables for children to hold up and decide if they think an action is right or wrong. Chat about each situation separately – you may get some good discussion.] Can we serve God by a) hitting someone? b) lending a friend something we own if they need it? c) cheating on a test? d) saving some of our allowance to buy someone in need a meal? e) calling someone nasty names? f) helping someone with their homework?
Sometimes it’s difficult to know what the right thing to do is, yet Josiah did what was right in the sight of God. He knew what God cared about – he knew that God cared about people and he cared about how people were treated. Josiah also knew that the right thing was to make God the most important person in his life. Do you want to make Jesus the most important person in your life today?
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Have two buckets with digusting gooey substances inside such as scrambled eggs, beans, custard, squashed or tinned tomatoes, apple sauce, mashed bananas or soil. Using the Served God printable place the cards with the names of the bible characters in one bucket and cards with the actions that they did to serve God in the other. Choose two players to compete. Children must reach inside the two buckets and grab a card from each to see if they match. If they match they get a point. If they don’t they put them back into the bucket. The child with the most points at the end is the winner.
Noah: obeyed God’s word and protected the animals and his family.
Abraham: Served God by being prepared to follow God’s Word even when they were tough to follow (almost killing his son Isaac)
Moses: listened to God and showed the people that 10 commandments.
David: Served God as king as he obeyed and listened to God.
Samuel, Elijah and Elisha: Prophets who heard God’s voice telling them to do things and they obeyed and saw many miracles.
Job: worshipped and served God even though he had nothing left.
Mary: Served God by worshipping Him and following his command to have the baby Jesus.
Jesus: served God by obeying all his Father asked him to do.
Peter and Paul: served God by obeying His Word to tell others about him.
Zacchaeus: eventually served God when he gave all his money away after meeting Jesus.
- Would you like to be make a king or queen at eight years old? Why/why not?
- How did Josiah serve God?
- Why did Josiah pull down the idols?
- Do you think Josiah would be an easy king to follow? Why/why not?
- How can you make Jesus the most important person in your life in the way you spend your: a) time? b) money? c) thoughts?
- Josiah’s dad did not serve God yet Josiah decided to serve God. Is it difficult to serve God when your family do not? If you are in the same situation talk about it.. or if you know someone who is, what can you pray for them?
- Can serving Jesus get me into heaven? Why/ why not?
- Will Jesus still love me if I don’t serve him?
SENSE How You Feel:
Children could think about how it would feel to be a young king and to have to tear down the idols that the people loved. What would make you do this? [Pray that the Holy Spirit would reveal to the children that we serve because we love God – because He first loved us! 1 John 4:19. We don’t serve out of duty or simply because it is right – we serve because we love Jesus!]
- Fill out the ‘Josiah: the Boy King’ wordsearch
- Scrolls. Use tea or coffee to stain plain paper. Wait for it to dry. If you have time you could all write instructions on how you hope to serve God, or you could simply write a bible verse or prayer on the paper.
- Bricks. Ask the children to build a tower with bricks, imagining them to be the things they place more importance on than God. Then have them pull them down. You could also make a game of this and have them use a ball and cups. Write on the cups the things that hold importance, and then throw the ball to bring them down.
- Josiah Maze. Encourage the children to create this maze as they think about how they can serve Jesus.
You will need long white paper, markers, plates, washable paint and a wash bowl and towels.
Create a large graffiti paper with the words “I will Serve the Lord” on it. Play music whilst you give children the opportunity to respond. If they want to serve God they can come forward, put their hands in the paint and press their handprints onto the paper before washing their hands. Remind the children that we serve Jesus because he first served us. He set the example of what it means to serve by washing the disciples feet and by doing all that his Father called him to do – including dying on the cross for us! What an absolutely awesome God we serve!