BIG IDEA: GOD KNOWS US!
AIM: The ‘Known By God’ Sunday School Lesson on Jeremiah will help children to think through what it means to be known by God and how that affects their whole life.
- ‘No Longer a Slave’ by Bethel Music
- ‘Good Good Father’ by HouseFires II
- ‘Children of God’ by God Rocks Band
- Find Someone Who Likes ______. Each child should be given a pre-prepared grid outlined on paper with images of different items or activities inside each box. Ask the children to move around the room and to find someone who likes one of the images displayed. When they have found someone they should write their initials inside the box next to the item, before looking for someone who likes another item. When their sheet is complete they should show the leader. The first child to complete the sheet is the winner.
- Do You Know Me? Have three questions prepared such as “What is their/your favorite candy?” Ask for two pairs of friends who know each other well to volunteer. One of the pair should go outside the room while the other answers questions about themselves. Then they swap and the other friends come into the room whilst the children who have answered the questions go out. The friends must see if they can guess the answers that their friend’s said to see if they really do know them well. The pair that get the most answers correct are the winners. To make it funnier you could agree on a consequence for each wrong answer – their friend gets to pie them in the face! [Just make sure that you swap and get their friend to answer questions also so that each friend has a chance of getting pied!]
- Famous Kids Quiz. Find images of famous children (real celebrities and fictional characters) such as Bart Simpson, Nemo, Kevin McCallister (Home Alone movie), Riley from the movie ‘Inside Out’ and so on. Project each image onto a screen and see who can get the answer correct first or the most correct answers.
- Know Your Leaders. Do your kids know their leaders? Have four leaders stand in either corner of your room. Have several facts about them and ask the children to run to the leader they think each of the facts relate to. You can either eliminate children when they get an answer wrong or simply play for fun.
BIG VERSE: How great is 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 Jeremiah 1:4-10. Explain that Jeremiah was just a boy when God spoke to him and called him to be a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah didn’t believe he was able, but God had faith in him! He knew that Jeremiah was able because He was his creator!
- The Call of Jeremiah
- Jeremiah – Just a Kid (watch it through and use the parts most relevant to your session)
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) GOD CREATED ME FROM SCRATCH!
Pass a piece of paper or a piece of bread around to each person (depending on how hungry you are!). Ask the children to make their own person out of the paper or bread.
Say: It’s fun to create! We’ve created these paper/bread people today… but Go creates real people. People that can talk, move around and do incredible things like jump out of airplanes and perform surgeries that save lives! God created Jeremiah too. He formed him in the womb – which means that He created him from nothing! God used Jeremiah’s mum’s body to create Jeremiah! God is the Creator of all life – He alone creates life, without Him there is no life at all. That’s pretty hard to get your head around, right?!
God spoke to Jeremiah and He said:
“Before I made you in your mother’s womb, I chose you.
Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work.
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Just as God breathed life into Adam and created Eve from Adam’s rib, God is the One who creates us all (Genesis 2). He is the One who decides what and who will have life. He chooses us to live. He is a good God and He always makes the right decision… even when we disagree with Him, God is always good. He sees the bigger picture and He understands all things – because He created all things!
2) GOD KNOWS ME INSIDE OUT
Have a skeleton or make a big picture of the inside of a human body or use our ‘Move the Body Parts’ Printables in letter size and International A3 size, or project a picture and see if the children can match any of the organs or body part names to the correct place on the body. You could make it into a game where teams or players must compete to see who can get the most correct.
Say: We can learn and try to understand our bodies. Doctors are fantastic at this, and that’s how they can cure us from disease or save people’s lives, because they have researched and have tried to understand what is happening to our bodies when people get ill. Yet God doesn’t need to do the research because He already knows us inside out! He knows all about us even before we are born or our mothers are pregnant! Psalm 139:13-14 says:
You made my whole being;
you formed me in my mother’s body.
I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way.
What you have done is wonderful.
I know this very well.
If you are the creator or inventor of something then you have worked out exactly how to make it work. You know what might go wrong with it and you will know how to fix it… if you’re a good creator or inventor, of course! Steve Jobs, the man who helped to create Apple Computers knew all about his computers, that’s how he was able to tell everyone how they worked and what they did. God also knows us inside out. He knows what our dreams and passions are, what our fears are and what makes us angry. He knows us completely! There is nothing about us that is hidden from God.
God has placed His Holy Spirit within us. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity; God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is a person, not a thing, and He knows all about us and leads us the correct way when we follow Him and rely on Him for guidance. He will help us to discover more of who we are and who God is because He knows us inside out!
3) GOD KNOWS WHAT I AM ABLE TO DO
Challenge Me Game. Players come to the front and must be challenged to learn a specific skill such as balloon twisting/modelling or hip hop dancing.
Say: It’s fun to try new things and sometimes we realise that we can do something a lot better than we thought we could! God knows what I am able to do. He knows what I am good at and what I’m not great at. He knows what He has made me to do. That’s why God spoke to Jeremiah and told him that He had chosen Jeremiah for a special work. He knew that Jeremiah could do it. He knows what you can do too! Jeremiah was scared and didn’t think he could do what God was calling him to do. He said: “But Lord God, I don’t know how to speak. I am only a boy.” (Jeremiah 1:6.) God’s reply reminds us that we can do more than we can imagine when He is on our side!
But the Lord said to me, “Don’t say, ‘I am only a boy.’ You must go everywhere I send you, and you must say everything I tell you to say. Don’t be afraid of anyone, because I am with you to protect you,” says the Lord.
Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth. He said to me, “See, I am putting my words in your mouth. Today I have put you in charge of nations and kingdoms. You will pull up and tear down, destroy and overthrow, build up and plant.”
When God asks or calls us to do something it is because He knows us and He knows what we are able to do. He knows that with His help we can do anything! He put Jeremiah, a young boy, in charge of nations and kingdoms. He trusted Jeremiah to tear down, destroy, overthrow, build up and plant. Jeremiah was just a boy, but God knew what he was able to do. God knew that Jeremiah could do great things with and for Him. He believed in Jeremiah. God knows what you are able to do. He knows that you can do it!
SEARCH the Scriptures:
You will need: the printed bible verses, tape to stick them to the wall, markers and bibles.
Print out the bible verses and place them up on the walls. The children will notice that there are gaps in the verses. Split the children into teams and have them compete to find the verses and run to fill in the gaps.
I am Known By God Bible Verses:
John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, and they follow me.
1 Corinthians 13:12 It is the same with us. Now we see as if we are looking into a dark mirror. But at that time, in the future, we shall see clearly. Now I know only a part. But at that time I will know fully, as God has known me.
2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”
Jeremiah 12:3a But you know my heart, Lord. You see me and test my mind.
Luke 12:7 Yes, God even knows how many hairs you have on your head. Don’t be afraid. You are worth much more than many sparrows.
- If you could know anyone in the whole world who would you want to know? Who would you want to know better than you know now?
- Do you think other people know you? Why/why not?
- How well do you believe that God knows you?
- What would you like/not like God to know about you?
- How do you think Jeremiah felt about being known and called by God?
- Do you think Jeremiah was special or do you think we are all like Jeremiah? Why?
- How does knowing that God knows me change: a) What I think about myself? b) How I act at school? c) The kinds of friends that I make d) The TV/movies and internet websites that I use?
SENSE How You Feel:
How does it feel to know that God knows you?
As the children consider this question they can think about how God knows them much more than anyone else – He knows their name, their hopes and dreams and their fears and disappointments.
- ‘I am a Child of God’ Headband. Children can make and then wear their headband as a reminder of who God has called them to be.
- ‘I am a Child of God’ Badges. Use the attached printable for children to color in and attach a safety pin or tape so that they can pin it to their clothes as a reminder of who they are.
- Create Name Canvases. Buy small canvases for children to use sharpies or paint to write their name or draw themselves.
- Make Name Necklaces/Wristband. Children can thread beads with letters and a variety of other beads onto string or elastic to create their very own necklace or wristband.
- Acrostic Name Poems. Ask children to write the letters of their name vertically on a sheet of paper. Then ask other children in the group to write a word on that paper beginning with one of the letters of that name. For example, the name Katy would be:
- Create Name Photo Frames. Use cheap photo frames and decorate them with buttons, beads, sequins, glitter and stickers. Then encourage the children to create word art out of their name onto paper and to put it inside their frame.
- Create a full size drawing of the children by using large white roll out paper and have the children lie on the paper. Then encourage one of their friends to draw around their bodies and then color/paint/decorate the drawing together. They could even label the drawing with all the good things that they know about themselves or each other.
- Draw a portrait of another child. Often we don’t see the great things about ourselves until someone points them out. Have friends couple up and draw a picture of each other as a way of encouraging one another.
Ask children to write prayers on the back of the ‘God Knows Me’ Hearts or the ‘I am a Child of God’ Hearts as they thank God for creating, knowing and caring for them. If you print the hearts onto card stock they could be used as keepsakes. Simply by hole punching them and threading through ribbon or yarn the children can take them away and hang them in their room.