BIG IDEA: GOD HAS EVERYTHING WE NEED
1. ‘Never Give Up’ by Hillsong Kids
2. ‘Chasing You’ by Bethel Kids
3. ‘Never Stop’ By Urban Rescue
2. Pick up the Peas. Players use tweezers or chopsticks to compete to pick up peas and put them into a separate cup or box.
3. Marshmallow and Spaghetti group game. Children work in teams to build a structure out of dry spaghetti and marshmallows. The best structure made is the winning team.
4. Wheel Barrow Relay. One child holds the legs of another as they walk to the finish line.
5. Pin the Nail on a Hammer, Pin the arm on the Digger. You will need to make the giant hammer or digger and their counterpart nail/arms. Then have sticky tape or tack on the back of the nail/arm and have a blindfold as children try to stick the part in the right place on the poster.
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.
SET the Scene:
This is the story of Nehemiah, the cupbearer to the king that took on the challenge to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. After praying, he went to the king and asked permission to go and build – the king sent him with official letters and materials to build. He then got the city to help to build the walls. Many different people helped – skilled and unskilled. They had enemies attacking and laughing and distracting them away from their work, yet they continued and finished building the walls. The people of Jerusalem would finally be safe from attack.
Read Nehemiah 1 and 2:16-20 and 4:11-18 and 6:15-16.
- ‘Nehemiah’ – What’s in the Bible song
- ‘Nehemiah Builds’ – What’s in the Bible – quick look
- ‘Nehemiah ‘God’s Builder’ – GraceLink
- ‘Nehemiah opening Scene’ – Superbook
- ‘Nehemiah Rebuilds the Walls’ – by CLCReal Kids
‘The Great Wall of Nehemiah’ by Bible For Children
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) GOD HELPED NEHEMIAH FINISH WELL
Have a toolbox with labels on each of the tools such as ‘Time’, ‘Money’, ‘People’, take a tool out of the box each time you talk about one.
Say: God has everything that we need. There is nothing that we need that God does not have. He is all sufficient; our provider. 2 Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
God owns everything and He has all we need to anything He wants us to do. When a builder (like Nehemiah) needs to do a job s/he will need to use the right tools. When a car pulls in to the pit stop during a race, the engineers need certain tools to work on the car. God has all the tools we need to get the job done. All we have to do is pray – just like Nehemiah did!
God has given us all that we need to finish well and to do all that He calls us to do. Whether we need money to help other people or to do a project, or to go to the right college when we are older so that we can do the job we want to do. God can provide the money when we pray. Like Nehemiah, we might need other people – friends and family – to help us do the things we are called to do. God can bring the right people in our lives to help us at the right time.
[Use examples for each of the tools in your tool box].
It seems funny to think about finishing well when we haven’t even got started with our lives yet – there is so much time! Yet a racer will always think about how s/he wants to end the race. They prepare in advance for the things that might come along the way. That’s why the King and Nehemiah both knew he would need lots of wood to get the job done – they had thought and planned ahead.
God knows what we need – but He wants us to include Him in our journey. So let’s not forget to ask and trust that God will provide. He has everything we need for any job He is calling us to do. All we need to do is trust that he will give and help us at the right time.
2) FINISHING WELL MEANS DOING WHAT GOD CALLS YOU TO DO
– Can you finish in 1 minute any of the Minute to win it games.
– Lego challenge – making the item and following the instructions from the other side of the room.
– Can you complete a Jigsaw in a designated time?
Say: To finish well means to do all that God has called us to do. It means continuing living for Jesus even when life gets tough. Nehemiah had many times when his enemies came against him and tried to stop him from building the walls. Sanballet, Geshem and Tobiah were all against him building the wall and did their best to distract and stop the people from building.
We finish well when we keep doing what God is calling us to do. Nehemiah knew that if he did not rebuild the walls then nobody else would. He knew that God was calling him to build the walls and help his people find safety within the city. What is God calling you to do?
There are many things that God has already called us to do: tell people about Jesus, live a holy lifestyle, listen to those in leadership, serve God and others and look after the poor. If we don’t have anything specific we feel called to do we can ask Jesus to help us do the things He has already called us to do each day.
3) FINISHING WELL MEANS NEVER GIVING UP
Videos/stories you can use:
- Derek Redmond – never give up.
- ‘2 Little Mice’ clip from ‘Catch Me if You Can’
- Bruno Mars and Sesame Street – ‘Don’t Give up!’
Stories of those that persevered in life:
(Use photos and parts of their story to illustrate)
- Steve Jobs – started Apple after multiple failures.
- Simon Cowell – became a producer after failing in business.
- Thomas Edison – created the lightbulb after many many failed attempts.
- Walt Disney – Walt had a couple of failed attempts at starting his own animation company – but look where Disney is and what it is doing today!
- Nick Vujicic
Say: To finish well means to keep going and never give up. If you want to finish a race then you have to keep moving! If a car stops in the middle of a Grand Prix race then that driver has not only lost the race, but he has failed to complete it.
To finish the race of life well we need to keep going and never stop. We need to never stop doing good and never stop obeying God.
Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Jesus was the greatest example of someone that finished well. He finished his life by doing all that God called him to do. Jesus lived a life serving others – full of the miraculous as he healed those that were in need. His life ended in a perfect obedience to his Father on the cross and three days later he rose again. Jesus is the perfect example of how to finish well – by devoting your whole life to the Father.
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Create flags with one of the different names below on each one. Set up different activity stations around the room:
1. Throw bean bags into a hula hoop from a distance
2. Kick a ball into a mini goal
3. Throw a basketball through a leaders arms (held like a hoop)
4. Complete a jigsaw
5. Shoot a nerf gun (or alike) at a target (and hit the target)
After completing each of the stations a child is given one of the different flags with the bible names on them.
Those that finished well:
Esther: finished well as she saved her people when she prayed and fasted for 3 days and saw God work through her as she held two meals for Haman and the king.
Ruth: finished well as she served Naomi and followed her to Bethlehem – God made a way for her to get married and have a baby. She was in the family line of Jesus.
Job: Job finished his life well, with more children and property and wealth than he had gained before – all because he trusted in God when he lost everything and kept doing good no matter how tough life got.
Paul: Although Saul started badly he finished well as he turned to Jesus and spent his life sharing about Jesus with everyone he met.
Peter: Peter had his tough times (being told “to get behind me Satan” by Jesus and disowning Jesus for example) yet Peter kept going and helped to start the Church. Peter was used mightily by God to share the good news about Jesus.
Jesus: Jesus finished well by doing all that the Father called him to do – including going to the cross.
SENSE How You Feel:
Think about how Nehemiah finished well as you do one of the following activities. Consider:
How does it feel to finish something well?
1. Paint stones or rocks with a chosen word and decoration
2. Marshmallow and Gingerbread walls – create a scene of Nehemiah’s walls.
3. Brick Printing – use stamps or items to paint and stamp brick shapes onto paper.
4. Hammer bookmarks – create hammer shapes out of card and decorate them with a verse from Nehemiah or some words as a reminder of the story: ‘Nehemiah Finished Well’ ‘I Can Finish Well like Nehemiah’ or alike. Use lots of wrapped brown paper boxes to create the walls.
5. Construction/Engineering challenges challenge your children to construct or build some structures using items such as cups, wooden blocks, lollipop (popsicle) sticks and sugar cubes.
1. Can you think of any people in the bible that finished well?
2. What does ‘finishing well’ mean to you specifically? Is there anything that you want to do/see?
3. What can we learn from how Nehemiah worked with those in the city?
4. Do you think you are heading in the right direction to ‘finish well?’
5. What would finishing badly look like for you?
6. What do you need to avoid to avoid finishing badly?
7. What does the life of Jesus teach you about finishing well?
Create a prayer wall with:
1. Post it notes
2. Brick shaped pieces of paper
3. Brown papered boxes
4. Brick texture wallpaper
Encourage children to write prayers of:
Help: Prayers asking God to help them finish well or to keep going in one area of your life.
Thanks: Prayers that Thank God for helping them get this far/ get to where they are.
Worship/Praise: Prayers that tell god how they feel about Him in response to the story of Nehemiah.
Intercession: pray for someone else to finish well.
Faith: Prayers of faith that God is going to help them finish well and complete all those things that He is calling them to do.
Encourage children to get into teams and see who can answer the most questions correctly first. Children can run to the leader to give their answer or make an animal sound (given to each team beforehand) to be the first chosen to give the answer.
1. Who was Nehemiah? (Israelite/cupbearer to the king)
2. What was Nehemiah’s home town/city called? (Jerusalem)
3. What had happened to the city walls? (burned down/destroyed)
3. Why did Nehemiah want to go back? (to help his people/build the walls)
4. What did he do before he spoke to the king? (prayed)
5. What did the king also give him? (wood for building)
6. What were the names of the men who opposed him? (Sanballam, Tobiah and Geshem)
7. Who helped Nehemiah to build the walls? (Lots of different people!)
8. How many days did it take Nehemiah to rebuild the walls? (5)