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Bible passage: 1 Samuel 15:35b–16:13

Background: This month’s sessions look at the story of King David. Teenage David is anointed as king, but he will wait a long time before becoming king of all Israel.


5 minutes

Sit one child at the front and ask the others what they can tell you about this child just by looking at them: their hair colour, clothes, smile. Then ask the child to choose someone in the group who knows them best. They should come to the front and say something about what the first child is like as a person, something you cannot tell just by looking. Suggest that there is a difference between what someone is like on the inside and what they are like on the outside.


10 minutes

You will need: eight pairs of cards numbered 1 to 8

Turn all the cards face down. The children take turns to turn over two cards, trying to find identical ones. If the cards match, they keep the pair. If not, they turn them face down again and the next child takes a turn. Explain that by looking at the blank side of the card you cannot tell what is written on the other side.


10 minutes

You will need: a ‘throne’; a paper crown; a toy sheep; large numbers 1 to 8 on paper

Choose eight children to be sons of Jesse and give them each a numbered card. Number eight is David, who holds the toy sheep. Choose two other children to be Samuel and Saul. Seat Saul on the throne with the crown on his head then read this story:

Samuel, the prophet of God, advised the king. He realised King Saul had stopped being a good king. So God told Samuel to choose the next king, the person God wanted.

King Saul sits on the throne. Samuel removes the crown from his head and looks sad. Saul can go and join the other children.

God told Samuel to go to Bethlehem to the home of a man called Jesse. Jesse had eight sons, and one was to be the king. Samuel did as God told him. He went to Bethlehem and found Jesse and his sons.

Samuel said to Jesse: “I want to meet each of your sons. Please send them to me, one at a time.”

Samuel sat down and waited for the sons to come to him.

Number one stands in front of Samuel.

Samuel saw son number one and said to himself: “This must be the one God has chosen to be king. He is so tall.”

But God said: “No!” The children can join in saying this as a refrain.

The next six sons come forward in turn.

Samuel saw son number two / three / four and said to himself: “This must be the one God has chosen to be king. He is so strong / good looking / clever / kind / good at fighting / wise in making decisions.”

“But God said: “No!” The children join in.

What was Samuel to do?

God said to him: “Human beings decide what people are like just by looking at them on the outside. But I know what they’re like on the inside and that’s what matters to me.”

Samuel counted the sons he had seen. Seven. There must be one more son.

“Where is your youngest son?” he asked Jesse.

Jesse told him that the youngest son, David, was out looking after the sheep in the fields far away.

“Go and get him!” Samuel said.

Eventually, David arrived. Number eight, holding the sheep, walks cheerfully towards Samuel. He smiles and shakes his hand.

God said: “This is your king.”

Samuel got up and put Saul’s crown on David’s head.

God knew what a good, strong king David would become. God knew what David was like on the inside. Samuel knew that David loved God.

Everyone shouts: “Long live the king!”


5 minutes

Discuss the story using these questions:

  • Do you have brothers and sisters? Are you the oldest, youngest or somewhere in the middle?
  • If you’re the youngest, what are the best and worst things about being the youngest? How do you think David’s brothers felt when they saw that he had been chosen? How do you think David felt?
  • What was it about David that meant God chose him to be king?


5 minutes

You will need: an outline of a body drawn on an A4 sheet of paper (one for each child); felt-tip pens; sticky tape

Each child writes their name on their paper as best they can. This body shape is a picture of them. They should colour the hair, eyes and clothes, adding ribbon, glasses, hearing aids, a hat, freckles or anything else distinctive.

On the other side, each child draws a large semi-circular smile (landscape), which is a mouth turned down at the corners when turned the other way up.

Shape the paper into a cylinder shape with the smile on the inside and tape along the edge.


5 minutes

You will need: cylinders from ‘Creative response’

Sit in a circle with everyone holding their cylinder. Talk about how each child has represented themselves in terms of hair colour, clothes and so on.

Say the following sentences, and ask each child to complete them in a way that’s appropriate for them: “We know what we all look like on the outside. Thank you, God, for my eyes / hair / hat / freckles.”

Each child then looks down their cylinder. Who can see a smile and who can see a sad mouth? Everyone turns their cylinder the other way. Who can now see a smile and who can see a sad mouth?

Say that God knows what we are really like on the inside. He knows when we are happy, sad, cross or tired. Invite further suggestions for when God loves us. Then say: “God loves us all. Help us to love you too, God, just like David did.”

Supporting documents

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