PREK & ELEMENTARY
WEEK OF SUNDAY, AUGUST 2
The walls rebuilt
Bible Passage: Nehemiah 1–6
Story Point: God used Nehemiah to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls.
Key Passage: The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while. - 1 Peter 5:10
What is God Like: God is a Provider.
CHRIST CONNECTION: Nehemiah helped God’s people fix the walls around their city. The walls protected the people from their enemies. Jesus protects us from our enemies. When we know and love Jesus, He keeps us safe from sin and we will live with Him forever.
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:
Is there someone or something that helps you feel safe? Tell me about it.
Nehemiah was a really great leader in our Bible story this week to help rebuild the wall. What do think makes a good leader?
3. MORE QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
Why was Nehemiah sad? (God’s people were in trouble. Their city wall and gates were broken.)
Who led the people to rebuild the walls and fix the gates? (Nehemiah)
Who did Nehemiah say would fight for the people? (God because He is great and powerful)
Why were their enemies afraid when the wall was finished? (They knew that God was with His people.)
What was Nehemiah’s job before coming back to Jerusalem? (He was the king’s cupbearer, Neh. 1:11)
What was the biggest challenge the Jews faced in rebuilding the walls? (Their enemies tried to intimidate them to make them stop, Neh. 4:1-4)
How many days did it take to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem? (52, Neh. 6:15)
Why do you think it was important to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem? Help the kids understand that a city’s walls and gates were important for the security of the people. Without walls they would be vulnerable to attack.
Why do you think it is significant that the Jews were all working together? Explain that the people needed each other. They worked together and mutually encouraged one another along the way. As believers, God calls us to be united and work together for His kingdom. We need each other!
How can you be an encouragement to someone this week? Guide kids to think practically. Discuss ways they can cheer on their friends, show kindness to their siblings, or help their parents by doing chores and obeying joyfully. Discuss why encouraging others is important and how it can demonstrate God’s love for people.
ACTIVITIES FOR THIS WEEK
create something new
WHAT YOU NEED: clean recycled materials such as egg cartons, paper towel rolls, boxes, cereal boxes, etc.
WHAT YOU DO: Provide a pile of clean recyclable materials. Invite each child to try to make something useful out of it.
WHAT YOU SAY: This pile of materials may have looked like trash at first, but you were able to create some really cool things out of it! In our story this week, we learned that Nehemiah wanted to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. The walls had been completely destroyed in some places. Many people didn’t think it was possible to make the city safe again. Do you remember what happened?
play soccer or tag together
WHAT YOU NEED: soccer ball (or another game with a goalie, net or a way to distinguish what is the goal.
WHAT YOU DO: Play soccer or another game in the backyard that has a goalie or a “safe zone.” Use cones or natural boundaries to determine the goal or safe area. Design parameters and rules that work with the ages of children playing.
WHAT YOU SAY: Like the goalies tried to protect their area, Nehemiah and the Israelites built walls to protect Jerusalem. God is in control of everything in heaven and on earth, and He kept His people safe from their enemies.
KEY PASSAGE ACTIVITY
WHAT YOU DO: Try putting the key passage to a song. Try some classics like Happy Birthday, Twinkle Twinkle or Frere Jacques. See which song works best and practice the passage together.
WHAT YOU SAY: Peter wrote this letter to Christians who had been scattered around the province of Asia due to persecution. Peter wrote to encourage them in their suffering, reminding them that God was still in control. We can take comfort in this verse too. No matter what kind of hard things we might face in our lives, we can believe that God is with us, and He is bigger than anything we could ever be afraid of. God is in control of everything in heaven and on earth.
"God will... himself restore... you after you have a suffered a little while." 1 Peter 5:0 (CSB)
"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." 1 Peter 5:0 (CSB)
PRESCHOOL AND TODDLERS...
WHAT YOU DO: Provide a hammer and peg toy (or any toy that helps build) for toddlers to play out building the wall. You may also provide toy tools for toddlers to “fix” things. Retell the story.
WHAT YOU SAY: God kept His people safe as they worked to build the walls. NOTHING CAN STOP GOD’S GOOD PLAN. Jesus protects us from our enemies.
Look at stones
WHAT YOU DO: Gather various stones, nonbreakable magnifying glasses, and small cups of water for toddlers to clean the stones. Make sure the toddlers do not put the stones in their mouth. Retell the Bible story as toddlers examine the stones.
WHAT YOU SAY: Nehemiah led the people to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls. The walls were made out of stone. God kept His people safe as they worked. NOTHING CAN STOP GOD’S GOOD PLAN.
read books about construction
WHAT YOU DO: Read books that have construction workers or the idea of building. As you read the books, point out the different tools used.
WHAT YOU SAY: Nehemiah led the people to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls. God kept His people safe as they worked. NOTHING CAN STOP GOD’S GOOD PLAN.
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.