PREK & ELEMENTARY
WEEK OF SUNDAY, JUNE 7
Bible Passage: Daniel 4
Story Point: God humbled King Nebuchadnezzar to show that He is in control.
Key Passage: Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
What is God Like: God is trustworthy.
CHRIST CONNECTION: Pride is something that keeps us from being close to God. Pride is thinking you are great in a way that forgets that God is truly great. King Nebuchadnezzar was controlled by his pride. Even after his dream and Daniel’s warning, the king continued in his sinful pride. God punished the king to get his attention. God showed the king that only God is truly great. Jesus is the King of kings who came to earth and died on the cross. Jesus saves sinners so we can show others that He is greatest of all.
1. CHECK OUT THE BIBLE STORY
OPTION 2: WATCH IT
2. SHARE YOUR STORY
Consider questions that pursue the heart of your child during natural points of connection. Here are a couple for during a walk or at the dinner table this week:
- What's something you're learning or remembering with Jesus this week.
- What is an answer to prayer you have had lately?
- What are some ways we know that God is greatest of all?
3. MORE QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
- Who told King Nebuchadnezzar what his dream meant? (Daniel)
- Why did God send Nebuchadnezzar away? (because of his pride; He thought he was greater than God.)
- What did Nebuchadnezzar learn about God? (King Nebuchadnezzar learned that God is greatest of all.)
- What did God give Nebuchadnezzar after he learned God is greatest of all? (his kingdom back)
- Why do we pray? We pray because we trust God, and we know He hears us.
- What plant was in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream? (a large tree that an angel said would be cut down, Dan. 4: 10)
- What did the dream mean? (God would force Nebuchadnezzar to live like an animal and take the kingdom away from him, Dan. 4:25-27)
- What did Nebuchadnezzar do when God restored his mind? (Nebuchadnezzar praised God and said God is in control of all things, Dan. 4:34-37)
- Why do you think God did what He did with Nebuchadnezzar? Help kids understand that God loved Nebuchadnezzar. God wanted Nebuchadnezzar to know Him and see that He is all-powerful and in control. Nebuchadnezzar was prideful and living for his own glory, and only God deserves glory.
- Why do you think pride is such a bad thing? Guide the kids to understand that pride tries to take glory away from God. He is the only One who deserves glory. Apart from God we are nothing. We owe Him everything, including our praise!
- What are some ways we struggle with pride? Help kids come up with examples from their own lives. We show pride when we fail to love others well, and when we try to get our way instead of trusting God. We even show pride when we choose not to pray or praise God.
ACTIVITIES FOR THIS WEEK
MAKE A "GREAT GOD" TREE
WHAT YOU NEED: marker, green construction paper or real leaves, branches (8-12 inches long), larger sheet of paper.
WHAT YOU DO: Lots of variations on how to do this activity to make it work for different ages. For preschoolers, cut out green leaf shapes from construction paper or gather real leaves with your children ahead of time.
Draw a simple tree with branches but no leaves on a large sheet of paper. Invite preschoolers to name ways God is great. Write each of their thoughts on a leaf. For older children, encourage them to write their own thoughts.
Place a tape loop on the back of a leaf. Encourage a preschooler to hang his leaf on the tree.
For another variation, you could use real branches and hang the leaves on it.
WHAT YOU SAY: Wow! We really do have a great God! Pride is thinking we are great, but when we remember how great God is, we see how small we are. Only God is truly great. King Nebuchadnezzar learned that God is greatest of all. Jesus is the King of kings who came to earth and died on the cross. Jesus saves sinners so we can show others that He is greatest of all.
BUILD WITH BLOCKS AND PRAY
WHAT YOU DO: Print and cut out “Prayer Prompts” or create your own. Tape the prompts to several blocks. Encourage boys and girls to build with these and other blocks. When a child stacks a marked block, read the prompt and talk about prayer. Ask a child to tell about something he would like to thank God for. Suggest other things a child can talk to God about. Say a brief prayer.
WHAT YOU SAY: King Nebuchadnezzar learned that God is greatest of all. Isn’t it amazing that this same God wants us to talk to Him? Why do we pray? We pray because we trust God, and we know He hears us. Being able to talk to God is such a gift, and He actually has the power to answer our prayers!
KEY PASSAGE ACTIVITY
WHAT YOU DO: Practice saying the key passage together. Create motions.
PRESCHOOL: constantly, (praying hands) give thanks (ASI for thanks) in everything (spread arms wide). 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
ELEMENTARY: Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
PRESCHOOL AND TODDLERS...
PLAY "WHERE DOES IT LIVE?"
WHAT YOU DO: Demonstrate body movements to represent a tree, ground, and water.
- tree: Stretch arms upward for tree.
- ground: Touch the floor.
- water: pretend to swim.
Teach movements to children and practice them a few times. Say the name of an animal and guide boys and girls to show you with their movements where the animal lives. Call out animals such as bird (tree), raccoon (ground), shark (water), cow (ground), squirrel (tree), and so forth.
WHAT YOU SAY: In this week’s Bible story, King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream about a big, strong tree. The tree had beautiful leaves and fruit, and animals lived in and around the tree. None of the king’s wise men could tell him what the dream meant, but Daniel could. Do you remember what King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was about?
LOOK AT GRASS
WHAT YOU NEED: empty CD case, and duct tape (optional). Magnifying glass
WHAT YOU DO: Go on a walk together. Gather grass, clover, and other leaves. Press them between clear CD cases and seal with duct tape. Provide nonbreakable magnifying glasses for toddlers to examine the plants. If you don’t have them, just look at them carefully! Talk about the Bible story.
WHAT YOU SAY: Nebuchadnezzar thought he was better than God, so God made him think and act like an animal. He even ate grass like a cow! Jesus is greater than anyone or anything, and He loves us. WE CAN TALK TO GOD.
journalingFOR 4TH-6TH GRADE
Guide kids to think about and answer one or two journaling prompts. Be sure to join them.
- What does this story teach me about God or the gospel?
- What does the story teach me about myself?
- Are there things God is asking me to do in this story? How are they for God’s glory and my good?
- Are there any promises in this story to remember? How do they help me trust and love God?
- What characteristics of God do I see in this story?
- What does the story teach me about people around me?
- If I’m honest, what parts of this are hard to understand or believe?
talking to kids about the gospel...
Here’s one way we talk about the gospel with elementary kids
A- We are God’s most treasured creation! Created to be with Him. However, there’s a problem. It’s sin. Sin is anything we do that isn’t what God wants for us. We’ve all done it, even me. And sin gets in the way of us having a relationship with God. We need to admit we have this problem!
B- Believe that Jesus is who He says He is and did what He said He did in order to make a way for our relationship with God to be made whole again...specifically He loves you SO MUCH that...”Christ died for our sins, just as Scripture said he would. He was buried. He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as Scripture said he would be.” (1 Cor. 15: 3-4) He took the punishment we deserved.
C- Choose to put your faith in Jesus. Jesus says that our response, or the way we accept it is by faith. In other words putting our trust in Him.