BIG IDEA: I CAN BE USED BY GOD!
AIM: The aim of the ‘Used By God’ Sunday School Lesson on Naaman and the Servant Girl is to help children to see that they can be used by God in positive ways to help others, no matter what age they are.
INTRO QUESTION: How many items do you use each day? Can you name some of them?
- ‘No Longer a Slave’ by Bethel Music
- ‘Good Good Father’ by HouseFires II
- ‘I Am a Friend of God’ by Shout Praises Kids
- Water Games: Why not try a selection of the water games mentioned in the attached blog?!
- Wet Ball Minute to Win It. Players must try and squirt a balloon into a trash can in one minute.
- Puddle Jumper Minute to Win It. Players must try and get a selection of ping pong calls from one water filled cup to another in one minute.
BIG VERSE: How great is the love that 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 5:1-14. Explain that Naaman was a very successful commander in the Syrian army. He was a very capable man, but the one thing he couldn’t do was heal himself. He had leprosy, a skin disease that people could catch! His life wasn’t going to be very happy or exciting unless he could be healed.
- Naaman the Leper by DLM Movies
- ‘Servant Girl Shares with Naaman’ and ‘Naaman Healed of Leprosy’ by Superbook
- ‘Naaman and the Girl With No Name’ by Pursue God Kids
- ‘Lego Star Wars XXXVI: Naaman’s Leprosy’
- ‘Naaman’s Leprosy’ by Bedtime Stories – puppet performance
- ‘Naaman’ by Saddleback Kids
- ‘Naaman and the Prophet Elisha’ – a realistic version of the story, for older children/teenagers.
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) I CAN BE USED BY GOD
You will need different items that you use from around the house – can children be the first to say what they are used for? You could put them in a box or bag and have the children try to guess what they are without seeing them first. Can they work out what the item is?
Say: There are so many different items that we can think of from around the house! So many items that we use. Every object has a different purpose or use. All we have to do with these items is to pick them up and put them to work. You know, we can also be used by God. The servant girl in our story is a great example of someone that God used. All she did was tell Naaman about the Prophet Elisha. She simply told him that Elisha could help – she set him off in the right direction. Yet she didn’t have to.
The servant girl could have ignored Naaman and the pain he was in. After all, she had been through enough. She had been taken captive after a war and now she was working like a slave for this Naaman. He wasn’t one of her people. Yet by telling Naaman about Elisha the servant girl was being used for a greater purpose. God used this girl to help Naaman get healed and to show him God’s love and power. The servant girl might not have realized that God was using her for a bigger plan and purpose. I’m sure a pencil doesn’t realize when it is being used to create a great masterpiece. And a brick might not realize that it is being used to create a huge building. God uses people and things all the time to bring about His perfect plan that changes lives! Do you want to be used by God as part of His perfect plan?
2) ALL I NEED TO BE IS WILLING
You could use the movie clip from Beauty and the Beast where Belle is willing to take the place of her father, or perhaps the clip where Buzz and the gang are willing to go looking for Woody in Toy Story 2 or the clip from Zootopia where Judy Hopps is willing to help.
Say: The servant girl was willing to help Naaman. She could have simply turned her back on him. Besides, he hadn’t offered to help her escape and return to see her family. We don’t actually know what he did or didn’t do for her. We don’t even know how old she was – because age doesn’t matter to God! 1 Timothy 4:12 says “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” All we know is that the servant girl was willing to do all that she could to help Naaman… even though it seemed he hadn’t deserved her help.
The servant girl was willing. She made herself available by offering to help. If she wasn’t willing she wouldn’t have spoken, she would have simply ignored or dismissed Naaman’s cries. Yet the servant girl knew that Naaman needed help and she was willing to help him because she felt compassion for him.
3) ALL I NEED TO HAVE IS THE RIGHT HEART
You will need to have two hearts cut out of red and black cardstock. You can make them as big as you want but they should be big enough to write on so that everyone can see. Take a chalkboard maker and write inside the hearts the type of things that represent a heart that has good motives and a heart that has bad motives.
Say: So, we’re ready to be used by God. We’re willing… but do we have the right kind of heart? The servant girl did. I’ve got this black heart, and I want us to think of all the things that might stop us from being used by God. Maybe we have hate in our heart [write the word hate inside the heart]. Can you think of any other examples? [Get feedback from the children; unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, fear etc]. These things stop us from being used by God because they get in the way of us hearing from Him and knowing what He wants us to do. If our heart is like this then we need to call out to Jesus and ask him to come and wash our hearts clean – just like he washed Naaman in the river! Those things stop us from knowing a perfect God because they make us imperfect – and God can’t be near anything imperfect.
Jesus can wash us clean, he can take all those things away because he is God and he came to live a perfect life and die a perfect death so that we might know him. When Jesus washes our heart clean our heart looks like this [take out the red heart]. What do you think this kind of heart has inside of it? What do you think this heart is like? I think it is loving. [Write the word ‘loving’ on the heart. Get feedback from the children].
When we have this kind of heart we are ready to hear from God and He knows that He can trust us to do what He asks and to do it in the right way, with the right heart. The servant girl had the right kind of heart – loving, compassionate, willing and obedient. Yet we don’t even know her name. Why? Because the important thing wasn’t that she was remembered but that God was the one that was remembered through it all. When we are used by God we point others towards Him and not towards us. When we have the right heart then we won’t be sad or mad about that, we will want God to get all the attention!
Do you have the right heart to be used by God?
SEARCH the Scriptures:
The people in the bible were used to do great things. Can the children spot who was used to do these things:
- Provide food for a nation during a famine (Joseph)
- Point others to God when they were thrown into a fiery furnace (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego)
- Show others the importance of prayer when they were thrown into a lions den (Daniel)
- To kill a giant with just a sling and a stone (David)
- To begin sharing the gospel (Good News about Jesus) when Jesus spoke to him in a bright light (Paul)
- To show many people that God is the One True God when he prayed to see the sacrifice lit up against the sacrifice of the Priests of Baal (Elijah)
- To fast and pray for three days, going before the king on behalf of your people to be saved from death and violence (Esther)
- To lead the people of God out of Egypt (Moses)
- Give his lunch to feed thousands of people (little boy with no name)
- To bring the people of God into the Promised Land (Joshua)
- To give their perfect life and death for those that didn’t deserve it (Jesus)
Set up different game ideas in different sides of the room. In one side could be a ping pong challenge, where players must get a ping pong into a cup by bouncing it on a table or floor. In another area could be a ring toss where players must throw rings (use glow sticks that connect into a hoop if you do not have specific rings) onto a bottle or stand. You could also have an area where players must shoot a ball into a net or where players must throw a ball to knock over cups. In each of the areas have a selection of bible names.
A team must listen to the description of the great activity (i.e. used to free a nation from Pharoah). They must then spot where you have put the name and the activity they must try to complete to get the name. Next they should complete the activity and pick up the name of the bible character before returning to their group. You could make more copies of the names so that every team can win the point, or you can have teams battle it out for the one name – where only one team is able to win each point.
Whose team has the most points at the end? They are the winners!
- How does it make you feel to be used by God?
- Do you want to be used by God? Why/why not?
- How was the servant girl used by God?
- Do you think the servant girl knew that she was being used by God? Why/why not?
- How might God use you: a) in your school b) at home c) with people across the world?
- If you could be used by God to do anything, what would you want Him to use you to do? Why?
- If there was one thing you wouldn’t want God to use you for, what would it be? Why?
- How do you think God feels when He uses us for His purpose?
SENSE How You Feel:
Ask the children to consider this question as they do one of the activities below:
How would it feel to be the servant girl and to tell Naaman about Elisha?
- Naaman dips in the river cup craft.
- Create a Washable Naaman. Draw, color and then laminate a picture of your Naaman. Then simply draw spots on Naaman with washable markers. Have tubs of water ready for children to bathe their Naaman in the water and wash off his spots. A washable Naaman!
- Make a Popsicle Stick Naaman. Create two identical pictures of Naaman. One should have spots and one without. Have children color their Naaman and stick the two Naaman’s back to back onto a popsicle stick.
- Create a Paper Plate Naaman. Create one side that has a face that looks sad with spots and the other side looking happy with clear skin. You could use yarn/wool for hair and big googly eyes!
- Fill out the Naaman and Servant Girl wordsearch for 5-7 year olds and 8-11s
- In small groups create a stop motion lego or clay movie of the story.
- Film members of your group recreating the story. Edit the video and show it to the group in your next session.
- Photo Op. Take photos of your kids recreating the story in freeze frames.
How would it feel to be Naaman and to have the servant girl give you the hope you were looking for?
Come back together as a group and discuss how it would be to be a) the servant girl b) Naaman in this story. Often the way we out ourselves into the story reveals a lot about ourselves and can show us what is important to us and how our relationship with God impacts our lives.
You will need real items/tools or the paper tool template and markers.
Tool Box prayers. Have children write or draw their prayers to be used by God on the back of a paper tool template. Have the children put the tool in a tool box. Remind the children that God is always wanting to use us, but like a tool that is used, sometimes it has to be patient for the right timing.
Encourage the children to pray prayers:
- Help with having the right heart to be used by God – prayers of repentance.
- Thank You for using me prayers.
- Tool Prayers: Alternatively, have some tools [safe tools or toy tools] in a small group or within sight/reach of your group. Ask the children to listen to God. Then ask them to think about what tool they are like and why. This is an opportunity for God to draw out the prophetic giftings in the children.
- More Tool Prayers: Ask the children to listen to God and see if He shows them a tool/item that their friend is like. For example they might say a ‘phone’ as they help people to connect or a ‘nail’ because they hold things and people together. Allow the children to explore and see what God might show them – try not to limit them.