Thursday, July 12, 2012

VBS Prep: David and the Fiery Furnace

Did my title get you going? I know, David was not in the Fiery Furnace. :) I am a pastor’s daughter, after all! Today I want to talk about those two different stories...The story of David, and the story of the Fiery Furnace!

So far we’ve talked about Gideon and Joshua, the first two nights of our upcoming Vacation Bible School (only two and a half weeks away, yikes!) The story of David is going to be our topic for Wednesday night of VBS.

Here is what I feel like with some of these stories. I grew up in church, so I’ve heard these basic stories over and over and over. But I don’t want to teach them to my 4s and 5s like “just another Bible story.” I want them to be ALIVE and EXCITING and full of practical truth for these little ones! When I was a teen, our assistant pastor taught the story of Joseph to our Kings Kids group. I was a helper at Kings Kids, not even one of the children, but I LOVED it! I couldn’t wait to hear the next part of the lesson each week. He had a way of making it so interesting, and bringing in often left-out details. Ever since then, the story of Joseph has been one of my favorites!

So that is what I want these stories to be to my 4s and 5s. I don’t have a whole school year to expound on it, however, so I have to make each night packed with the punch I want them to get!

All that to say: the story of David. Here is my plan.

My text is going to be from I Samuel 16-17. I have selected  verses to read and then talk about. I’m hoping to mark on the wall how tall Goliath was, just to give them a visual, but I’m not sure if our church basement ceilings are tall enough! If not, I’ll just do a “taller than this room” line. I also plan to divide the kids down the middle, with one side being the “Philistines” and the other side being the “Israelites.” (Those should totally be the names of our teams for the game that night...I just thought of that...what a great idea. See, this blogging thing is such a big help!)

I am also going to include the part about David being selected for king. Remember my overall theme for the week is how God gives us strength? I can bring that out in chapter 16 where God showed Samuel which boy to choose for the next king, and then I can bring it out again when God helped David defeat Goliath!

I will also have a set of too-large clothes (probably from my dad’s closet!) (because he is a lot bigger than the kids, not because he is large….anyway, you get what I mean) to dress up a “David” from the class...showing how Saul’s armor did not fit him! I may have “David” try to run in those clothes - carefully, of course - to prove the point.

The story of David is going to be a bit longer than the others, but I think that by incorporating these things it will help emphasize what I want to do. I typically try to keep things pretty brief for this age group, to help hold their attention. If I feel its getting too long and starting to lose its effectiveness, I can always leave something out!

So that is David. Thursday night is the Fiery Furnace.

I struggled a little bit with some wow-factor things for this lesson. My text will be select verses from Daniel 3. I also want to create Nebuchadnezzar’s image...just come up with something really large in the corner that resembles an idol of gold. I also want to give the boys and girls “instruments” - some type of noise makers, at least - to be the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer in verse 5 and 15.  And if there is enough kids, have 3 of them be Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who did not bow down, even when they were given a second chance to.

One thing I’ve been thinking about is how to present this story without it being too scary. I don’t remember being scared by the whole fiery furnace thing as a kid, but for an un-churched little 4 year old, it could be a scary story! I am not going to leave it out or change the story in any way of course, but at the same time I don’t want to reenact the blazing inferno.

The other thing I don’t want to do is present the story like this: “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did not obey the king, so he had to throw them in the furnace to punish them. Then God came and saved them out of the furnace.” That is the wrong focus! I want to show them that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego made the right choice to obey God, and not the king. I think I’m really going to have to watch what I say to make sure I get the correct thought across.

Now, I’d love to hear from you. What other things do you think I should or shouldn’t bring out during these two lessons? Any ideas on how to really engage the kids during any of the night of VBS? I also still need to make some noisemakers/instruments for Thursday night...any ideas?

Can’t wait to read your thoughts!

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