As you begin the session, invite the children to sit together in a circle and, if appropriate, welcome parents to join you for this time. Encourage the children to share their stories and news from the past week, taking turns around the circle. Celebrate special events that have taken place, such as birthdays and take the opportunity to affirm each member of the group. Thank everyone for sharing and take the opportunity to pray together, mentioning any specific prayer needs and thanking God for the good news stories.
Follow the leader
There are different variations of this game that you can play. It could be as simple as taking turns to let a different child play the part of ‘leader’, playing out different physical actions for the other children to copy, or taking turns to move around the room in a line, with the child at the front selecting both the route to take, and the different ways to travel. Explain that just as you have chosen different children to be the leader, God chose Moses to lead his people.
You will need: a large tray filled with sand (shallow enough for the children to reach in); plastic play people; a small plastic ‘bush’ or cut-out picture; a small red scarf to represent the fire; small plastic toy goats
You could begin the story by asking the children if they remember any stories about Moses and, if appropriate, remind them that he was the baby who was hidden in the bulrushes. Alternatively, if you think it will overcomplicate things for your group, you may prefer to tell this story in isolation. Select a play person to represent Moses and tell this story.
A long, long time ago lived a man called Moses. (Hold up a plastic figure.) He lived a long, long way from home and from his family. One day, while he was out caring for his animals, Moses spotted the most surprising thing: he saw a bush that was on fire! (Wave the scarf over the bush.) But the bush did not burn up! What do you think Moses did? Well, he had to take a closer look…
As Moses got close to the burning bush, he heard a voice speaking to him. It was God, telling Moses that he had chosen him to do a very special and important job.
Back in Egypt, Moses’ home, God’s people had to work hard for the Pharaoh and were not looked after well. God had seen how badly his people were being treated. He had a plan to set them free. He talked to Moses about this plan and how he wanted Moses to help.
You might think that Moses was proud to be chosen by God. (Invite the children to show the appropriate emotions.) You might think that Moses was excited to help God set his people free. Actually, Moses was scared. Instead of saying yes to God, he found lots of reasons to say no! “I’m not brave enough,” “I don’t have the right words to say,” “I might get it wrong.”
But God looked at Moses and said: “No, you are just right! I choose you to help me, and I will make sure you have all the help you need.”
Ask the children these questions, encouraging everyone to take turns to contribute:
- What is your favourite part of this story?
- How do you think Moses felt when God chose him?
- Have you ever been chosen to do a special job?
- What jobs does God give us to do?
- Do you want to say anything to God?
You will need: small handheld mirrors
Spread the mirrors around the group, ensuring that each child can see themselves in one, if possible giving them one each to hold. Ask the children to take a good look at themselves. Take a few minutes to talk about what they see when they look in the mirror. This could include details about physical appearance, such as eye colour and hair colour, or about the expressions they can pull. Say that when God looked at Moses, he didn’t see a shy, scared man, as Moses saw, but the man who would lead God’s people to freedom.
Ask the children to look closely in the mirror. What do they think God sees when he looks at them? Give children time to respond. As appropriate, take the opportunity to speak truths into the children’s lives about the way God sees them: children of God, known and loved by him.
Pray together as a group, encouraging the children to pray aloud, as they feel able. You may find it helpful to begin a prayer with the words: “Thank you God for loving me, as you loved Moses. Thank you for making me…” and invite the children to call out a word that describes how God sees them, as discussed in the Creative response.