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AIM: This childrens lesson on 1 Samuel 16 is aimed at helping children to understand that God thinks ahead and that he may sometimes lead us into places that we don’t expect, but for great reasons.


1. ‘Oceans’ by Hillsong (remix by Reyer)

2. ‘Good Good Father’

3. ‘God is on the Move’


1. Throw the crowns. Use plastic or card crowns to see how many the children can throw through a hoop or onto a pole. You could make it more interesting by having leaders hold the pole over their chin for children to throw the crowns onto.

2. King Pin Game.

3. Crown the King Game. Children try to whack the crown off the other children’s heads with a pool noodle. Make sure you get kids to watch out for each other’s eyes.

4. King of the Jungle. [Circle game].

5. Don’t Blow the Kings. [Minute to win it card game]

BIG VERSE: I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14.

Say: God is the one that will lead us to accomplish the goal that He has for our lives. We just have to let Him lead us. So far in this series, we’ve looked at how Zacchaeus had a brand new start, Joseph had a false start, Esther was accelerated by God and in this session we’ll be looking at how David took a detour.

SET the Scene:

Read 1 Samuel 16

During the time of the Judges Israel soon realised that they were unable to control how people behaved. They had no king and so they each did what was right in their own eyes. Yet God was supposed to be their King. Instead, the Israelites asked God for their own king. Samuel listened to hear who God would choose. he chose Saul. Yet Saul was only a godly king for a shorty time until he started to make his own decisions. That’s when God rejected him as king and chose a new king – David.

Read 1 Samuel 16. The boy David has been chosen to be king. He is a shepherd boy, he’s killed lions and bears to protect his sheep, but he is a nobody to the rest of Israel. Yet God chooses him. However, for David, his journey is not a straight path – he doesn’t become king straight away. King Saul is still serving as king – yet God has rejected him as king. David must wait until King Saul is dead or gives up the throne before he can become king.


1. ‘David Calms King Saul’s Torment’ by Superbook

2.Books of the Bible – 1 Samuel’ by Jelly Telly

SPOT the Simple Meaning:


Say: Have you ever been in the back of the car when your parent or guardian gets stuck in traffic on the motorway? It can be so frustrating! You can be waiting in the car for hours getting nowhere, wondering why you even bothered. That’s when you start to ask “are we nearly there yet?” It’s so boring waiting! You ask to use someone’s tablet or watch a program, play a game, read a book or do something. The worst is when you are bursting for the bathroom and there is nowhere to go! You’re stuck!

There’s such a relief when whoever is driving decides to take a detour and go a different way. Thank you!!! It’s great when you know you are getting somewhere.

When we become a Christian, we ask Jesus to have control of our lives. It’s like He becomes the driver of our life. We are no longer in control, but we let Jesus lead us.

Game: Blindfold each child (or some children if in a big group). Do not blindfold the person at the front of the line. Have everyone hold shoulders. The person in front can lead everyone else wherever they want. Remind the children that allowing God to be in control of our lives means trusting Him to go wherever He leads.

David had just been anointed king. He had been told that he was going to be the new king of Israel. WOW! Amazing! He probably thought that he would become king straight away. Yet he still had to wait. In fact, God led him a different way. He didn’t become king right then, but King Saul chose David to serve him. David became a servant of the king. Not exactly what David had in mind when he was anointed, right?!

David had to serve King Saul by playing the harp. When Saul’s temper rose David would play his harp to calm him down. Sometimes we can feel like we want to be something or do something but it is taking too long. Maybe you want to become a footballer or go into business. Maybe you want to become a missionary one day and go to a different country to tell people about Jesus. It can seem strange when those things don’t happen, and maybe God takes us in another direction. Yet God was thinking and planning ahead.


Marble run video. For a small group take your own marbles and have the kids make marble runs themselves.

In that marble run video the marbles were led in a very funny way! They were on a crazy adventure! The designer of that marble run could have just decided that the marbles would go from one place to another. It may have been faster, but it would have been boring and not very creative!

Our God is a creative God. He takes us on an adventure with Him, if we are willing to go. Jesus makes our lives the greatest adventure ever! Yet we don’t go on this adventure for no reason. God takes on a different path – a detour – for good reasons. He has a good purpose for us. He wants us to finish our race well!

David went on a big journey with God – his journey was an adventure. He learned things along the way. Unlike the marbles that can’t think or do anything for themselves, we can learn from the places that we go and the things that we do.That’s exactly what David did.

So, do you want to go on a crazy adventure with Jesus? Will you let Him lead you – even to places that you don’t expect? The Holy Spirit within us leads us and guides us. If we listen to God’s Holy Spirit and ask the Father where we should go, He will lead us. Just as God led David He will lead us too. He will open make a way for us.

Are we willing to do what God asks and to go where He leads?


SEARCH the Scriptures:

Have one or more children put on a blindfold. Then place the character names on paper around the room. Have other children direct the blindfolded children to the characters. How many did they find? There were lots of other people in the bible that were led in unexpected and different ways:

Esther: Led into the palace to save her nation

Moses: Led through the desert and towards the Promised Land.

Samuel: Samuel thought that David’s brothers would have made a good king, yet God led Samuel to David.

Jesus: led into the wilderness where he was tempted for 40 days

Job: Led into a place of suffering where he would be tested and would stay faithful

People of Israel: Through their obedience the people of Israel stayed in the desert. They wandered around in a different direction for 40 years.

Paul: Paul tried to get into a city, but the Holy Spirit stopped him and led him a different way. (Acts 16:7)


1. How did each bible character get led by God?

2. What made their journey different?

3. Have you ever felt God lead you to do or say something?

4. Do you find it easy to believe that God plans ahead? Why/why not?

5. Do you trust God to guide you?

SENSE How You Feel:

How would you have felt if God had led you a different way, like He did for David?

1. Create a paper craft harp or a lollipop stick harp.

2. Create a song together.

3. Create a prayer maze or labyrinth to help children think about how they feel to be led in different ways.

4. Bible corner – lay a corner out with cushions and rugs that has an area children can read the bible and they can respond by drawing and writing what they believe God is saying to them. You could lay out some key passages or verses for them to read or have the story lay out in storybooks.


Say: We’re going to spend some time in prayer as a response to what we have been thinking about today.

Map or globe prayers: Have a map of places and people to pray for – people that are being led by God’s Spirit to do missions.

Plates, knives and forks prayers: Praying for family members to be led by God.

Chalkboard Prayers: children can write down any prayers that they have in their heart after listening to the talk

Playdough Prayers: Children can model the things that they feel God is calling them to go, or the things He wants them to do.


Click here for the ‘David’s Detour’ Childrens Lesson Powerpoint image


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