PREK & ELEMENTARY
WEEK OF SUNDAY, JULY 19
Zechariah the prophet
Bible Passage: Zechariah
Story Point: Zechariah said the Messiah is coming.
Key Passage: “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11
What is God Like: God is faithful.
CHRIST CONNECTION: Zechariah saw that God was going to help His people and give them a special king. Jesus is the King who came humbly on a donkey, just like Zechariah said. God kept His promise to send Jesus. We can trust in Jesus to forgive our sins.
LET'S HAVE A CONVERSATION
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 are really looking forward to happening?
The Bible tells one Big story with lots of little stories? Is there a story that you really like? Which one? What do you like about it?
3. MORE QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
What is the name of the prophet in today’s Bible story? (Zechariah)
What did God want His people to do? (remember Him and put Him first, obey Him)
How many visions did Zechariah have? (eight)
What were these visions? (special messages from God)
Was Joshua the priest the special king God planned to send? (no)
What would this special king bring? (peace)
Who was the special king the prophets were talking about? (Jesus)
What did a prophet do? (shared God’s message with the people)
What did God tell Zechariah to collect from the people? (silver and gold to make a crown for Joshua, Zech. 6:9)
What was the special message of hope to God’s people? (Zechariah said the Messiah is coming, Zech. 9:9)
Why do you think God spoke this message of hope through Zechariah? Guide the kids to see that God cares for us. The Israelites were struggling in rebuilding the temple and finding their identity as a people. God reminded them that they are His chosen people.
How can we be encouraged to obey God even when life is difficult? Help the kids understand that God has given us hope for a future eternity with Him, but we also get to be part of His kingdom here on this earth. Our obedience flows out of our love for Him and for what He has done for us.
How do we know Jesus is the Messiah? Guide kids to understand that Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, and God showed other people that Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus perfectly fulfilled Old Testament prophecies, such as those found in today’s story, and did miracles to prove His identity as God’s Son. Jesus perfectly obeyed all the law, showing us exactly who God is.
ACTIVITIES FOR THIS WEEK
i had a dream i could
WHAT YOU DO: Invite the each person to sit in a circle with one person in the middle. Provide enough chairs (or spaces) for everyone in the circle but not the person in the middle. The middle person will say, “I had a dream that I could ____,” and state something that she is able to do, tie her shoe, play an instrument, or another activity. The people around the circle who are able to do that activity will move to find another chair. The kid in the middle must sit in a chair (or space) that becomes empty. Whoever is left standing will be the next “dreamer” in the middle of the circle.
WHAT YOU SAY: Sometimes we have strange dreams about things that are impossible to actually do. Other times dreams are very realistic. Our Bible story this week includes some visions that Zechariah the prophet had. His visions seemed really bizarre, but they actually pointed to future events.
WHAT YOU NEED: paper, pens or crayons
WHAT YOU DO: Form groups of two and give each group a piece of paper and a pen. Have someone on each team that can spell to some degree. Call out a category (food, animals, states, and so on). Challenge each group to list as many items from the category as they can in 30 seconds. Play several rounds. The final category should be “things that will happen in the future.”
WHAT YOU SAY: Which category was hardest? Do you know what will happen in the future? We can’t predict the future with certainty, but God gave the prophet Zechariah eight visions to explain what would happen in Israel’s future.
KEY PASSAGE ACTIVITY
WHAT YOU NEED: posterboard, marker, and bean bags
WHAT YOU DO: Before the session, write all the words and phrases from the key passage in random order on poster board. Position the poster board on the floor.
Read aloud Jeremiah 29:11 together. Take turns tossing a beanbag onto the words of the key passage in order. When a player’s beanbag lands on the first word, the entire group will say that word aloud. When a player lands on the next word, everyone will start at the beginning and say each word in order up to the current word. Continue word by word until you say the entire key passage.
WHAT YOU SAY: In our story today, Zechariah said the Messiah is coming. God sent Jesus so His people could have a hope and a future in Him. When we trust in Jesus by faith, He welcomes us into God’s family and gives us life with Him forever.
PRESCHOOL: “I know the plans I have for you … plans ... to give you a future and a hope.” - Jeremiah 29:11
ELEMENTARY: “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11
PRESCHOOL AND TODDLERS...
GO AND COME BACK
WHAT YOU DO: When you say “go,” invite the toddlers to spread out in the room and go as far away from you as they can. When you say, “Come back to me,” the children must hurry back to you. Retell the Bible story.
WHAT YOU SAY: Zechariah told the people that God want them to come back to Him and love Him again. Zechariah said that God would send a special King. THE PROPHETS TOLD ABOUT JESUS.
MAKE ANIMAL NOISES / GIVE DONKEY RIDES
WHAT YOU DO: Invite toddlers to make animal noises with you and move like the animals you are imitating. Make sure you bray like a donkey. Retell the Bible story. BONUS: Give some donkey rides!
WHAT YOU SAY: Zechariah said that God would send a special King to Jerusalem. That king would ride on a donkey. THE PROPHETS TOLD ABOUT JESUS. God kept His promise to send Jesus.
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.