All-age Service Plan: King David
This service plan introduces the key Biblical character of David.
Resources: paper, pens and coloured pencils 5 MINS
Have people write a letter to God or draw a picture representing how they are feeling today, or about anything they are stressed or worried about. If you have someone available, ask a musician to play quietly.
Resources: twine, pegs, large triangles of paper 5 MINS
String a long line of twine up and have a large bag of pegs available. Gather in small groups and hand out large triangles of paper, cut in the shape of bunting flags. Give one to each person. Have people share with each other stories of what God is doing in their life, or what they are thankful to Him for. Have them draw or write these stories onto the pieces of paper. Attach the flags to twine with pegs to form a bunting of what God is doing in the lives of the church members and in your community.
1 Samuel 24
You are going to tell the story of King David in 1 Samuel 24, also using a personal story of when someone hurt your feelings.
Tell a personal story of when someone hurt your feelings. Share how you felt about them. Stop the story before you reach the point of telling them about the reconciliation.
Rachel’s example: Once when I was younger, a leader I really respected took a strong dislike to me. He would talk badly behind my back, but I would find out about it. He would ridicule my ideas and values to my senior leader, so my leader wouldn’t trust my advice. He would tell half-truths about me so people would begin to look at me differently, but I didn’t know why. I was so frustrated, and hurt, and angry. Whenever I saw him, my heart would beat fast, I would feel sick and I would want to scream at him or hide. I knew the Bible said that we should love our neighbours as ourselves, and even that we should love our enemies, but I had absolutely no love in my heart for this person. Just fear, anger and sadness. And then, one day, I was called into a meeting with this man. I knew I couldn’t keep on going like this. Something had to change…
Explain that the King David, who we view as a biblical hero, also had a person in his life who was out to hurt him. But he figured out how to still love this person, and not let his heart get filled with hate and anger. How did he do it?
Tell the story of 1 Samuel 24, making the below points. You could use puppets to do so.
King Saul hated little David. God told his prophet Samuel that King Saul wasn’t doing a good job, and that he wanted David to be King next, as soon as possible. When King Saul heard, he was very angry about it. He thought he could say no to God, and prevent God’s choice coming about. So he tried to find David and kill him.
David ran away and hid in caves and deserts, but King Saul still followed him. David’s heart hurt.
David found friends to lead and hide with, but King Saul still tried to kill him. David was filled with worry and fear.
But then David asked God to do something, and it all changed. He said:
‘God, examine me and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any bad thing in me.
Lead me on the road to everlasting life.’ (Psalm 139:23-24) And God did.
One day, God arranged it so that David was near King Saul without him knowing. King Saul went into a cave, and David snuck in behind him. This was the moment that David could get rid of King Saul if he wanted to – and stop all the pain and worry and anger by killing King Saul in a surprise attack.
Would David kill him? Instead, David cut off a little bit of King Saul’s robe and snuck away.
When King Saul came out of the cave, David lept out and said ‘Look! People are lying about me, King Saul! I could have killed you right now, see I was so close to you I cut a piece of your robe and you didn’t even know it! But I’m not trying to hurt you, nor do I want anything bad for you!’
King Saul started crying, ‘May God bless you my son, I was wrong!’ Saul turned and went home.
Now, finish telling your own story….
As I sat outside the meeting room, with my heart beating, I asked God, ‘Examine me, God and know my heart.’ My thoughts reminded me of how I have often gossiped about how hurt I have been by this man, and that I, too, have tried to discredit him to others. I asked God to forgive me, and then I told God that I forgave the man who had hurt me. As soon as I did that I felt 10 times lighter. I started to pray for the man, asking God to give him wonderful things. Just then the man rounded the corner and instead of feeling angry or upset or afraid, I felt happy. I gave him a huge smile and then, surprisingly, gave him a hug. Our relationship completely changed from that moment on.
Reflective Response to Story
Resources: M&Ms, Skittles and Aero balls or liquorice 10 MINS
Divide the congregation into multi-age groups of three to ten people. Give each group a bowl. In each bowl put mostly plain M&Ms, with 10 to 15 Skittles in there as well. Also put in one or two sweets that are very different in size and feel (like Aero balls or liquorice).
Instruct the groups to blindfold one of the members. Give that member the bowl of sweets and allow them one minute to remove all sweets that are not M&M’s (don’t eat them yet). For the first 30 seconds they must not be given any help, and then for the following 30 seconds they can use other people to advise them without touching them. Lead the time from the front. When the time is up, ask the teams to remove the blindfold and pass the bowl to the next person along.
Give them another 30 seconds to remove what isn’t an M&M without the blindfold, and then pass to the next person who can have another 30 seconds. When the teams think they have a pure bowl of M&M’s they can share and eat it. Ask if any groups found a Skittle still in the bowl only by eating it.
Resources: simple household objects 8 MINS
Hide a few items around the church, and give a list of the objects and the hiding places to a few key older people in the congregation. Let the congregation know that there are things hidden in the church and their task is to find them. For the first minute, don’t tell them what is hidden, then tell them what they are looking for. Give them another minute and then identify who can help them. Allow the congregation time to them find all the objects.
Have a quiet time where we invite God to search our hearts and to show us anything we have hidden there and what He wants to do with it.
Group discussion questions
Follow on from Option 1 above with:
David asked God to ‘Examine me and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any bad thing in me. Lead me on the road to everlasting life’ (Psalm 139:23-24) How do you think God does that in us?
In our activity, (choose which is appropriate)
- How did the blindfolded person feel when they had no help in searching the bowl of sweets? What was easy to find? What was hard?
- How did you feel looking for something when didn’t quite know what it was?
- Did it get easier when you had someone to help look and advise you?
In our activity, (choose which is appropriate)
- As you looked into the bowl, did you find it hard to tell the difference between sweets? How is that similar to what we find in our hearts? Why is God’s involvement helpful?
- How was our helper like God’s involvement in searching our hearts?
- Tell a few stories about times when God has had to help you sort out the thoughts and feelings in your heart.
Follow on from Option 2 above with:
- David often spent time chatting to God about his feelings, especially when he was angry or hurt. Do you do that? Why or why not?
- Why is it so hard to love people who lie about you?
- What do you think you would have done to King Saul if you had found him in the cave?
- Tell a story of a time when God helped you to sort out the thoughts and feelings in your heart.