Amy’s Free Ideas

Sunday School or Bible Clubs > Ideas for Activities by Reference  > Elijah encouraged by God's still, small voice

Sunday School ideas for:
Story: Elijah encouraged by God's still, small voice
Reference: I Kings 19
Main point: God gently encourages those who are discouraged
                     God has a plan, and will succeed, we just need to follow it

The following ideas are grouped into categories by how they might be used in teaching the lesson. Activities to introduce the lesson would not be the same kinds of activities as those used to apply the lesson. There are several ideas for each category in the hopes that out of 3 or 4 options, one will fit your lesson and your class. So choose one activity from each category--if you try to do them all, the lesson will last for hours!

Activities for the Early Birds

Ideas for introduction:
1. Ask kids what are some big emergencies or disasters and ask what they should do to be ready for them. 3 big ones are earthquake, hurricane (typhoon) and fire. Show them an earthquake kit and ask them how each item might be used. Tell them that in today's story all 3 bad things will happen. The Bible story won't tell them how to get ready for those kinds of emergencies, but it will give them clues for what to do in a special kind of emergency. 
2. Print out a sheet that has pictures of items in an emergency kit (food, water, flashlight, etc), and some items that they would not need for an emergency kit (iron, T.V., etc.). They should cross off the items that don't belong. Then tell them that after today's Bible story, you are going to tell them about a different kind of emergency kit.
view worksheet
3. Print out a page divided into 4 sections--each with a heading--earthquake, hurricane, fire and a question mark. Ask them to spend 2 minutes writing down things they can do to be prepared in case one of these things happened. This can be done in small groups rather than alone. For younger children, just ask them to tell you, and you can write the words on a board, or show pictures of things they mention., though it may be better to use one of the above ideas with a younger age group. To make it more of a game, you can offer a prize to the group/person who gets the most items in all the lists, or give a prize for each category. The easiest way to compare lists is to have one group read their list aloud, and if anyone has the same thing, all who have it cross it off. Also discount any items that are not legitimate items for that emergency. Who ever has the most unique items wins. Then explain that the section with the question mark is what today's story is about, so they can fill that in at the end of the lesson.
view worksheet
4. Get sounds off the internet, play them for the kids to listen to, then have them guess what the sound is of (earthquake, hurricane, fire) Ask them which would be scarier to live through. Tell them that all 3 things happen in today's story.

Ideas for telling the Bible story:
1. Use a map to show Elijah's journey, then compare it to a map of the area your students live in so they get an idea of how far Elijah walked.
2. Use pictures of disasters to show God's power that was unleashed in front of Elijah
3. Elijah was so discouraged that he wanted to die. He lost sight of God's power and plan, and focused all his thoughts on his problems and how they made him feel. He was tired, and hungry. He was lonely because he thought he was the only person left who followed God who was still alive. He was afraid that Jezebel was going to kill him. He was in the desert sitting under a tree, so he was probably pretty hot, too. To help the children understand how God takes the weight of the problems off their shoulders, you can ask for a volunteer, and put a backpack on the child's back. As you tell about each of Elijah's problems, put a heavy book in the backpack. You could even label each book with one of the problems you are talking about. When the kid complains about how heavy it is, put the backpack on your own back and hold his hand and tell the class that this is what God does for us when we have problems and get discouraged. Now ask the volunteer how he feels now that you are carrying the heavy load for him.

Ideas for reenforcement activities:
1. Play a game to review the story
view game questions for this story
view downloadable game boards

Ideas for application:
This is a difficult lesson to teach young children (kindergarten through third grade) because they usually don't worry about anything--parents take care of every problem, and that is how it should be. But if it is in the Sunday school curriculum, you have to do something. You could find pictures of problems that adults might have. Show them each picture and see if they can guess what the problem is, and then have them tell the solution--the same for every problem--ask God for help, and ask a friend for help. They will get the message when this is repeated several times. Problems could be things like--losing a job, losing a girlfriend, getting into a fight, having a mean boss, getting fat, etc. Be careful not to choose problems that might frighten a young child, such as losing a home or parents dying .

Additional ideas for middle school.
1.  Spread out cards on a table or the floor that have discouraging things written on them. Explain how satan can use discouraging things in their lives to make them forget about doing God's work, and make them worry about the problem instead of asking God for help. Tell the kids about a time you were discouraged, and how God helped you overcome the problem. Then ask the kids to choose one card that fits them and take turns telling about what discourages them. Have blank cards ready for kids who can't find something that fits them so they can write their own. If a child doesn't want to share, let them just listen. Pray for each child after he or she has shared.
view printable cards
2. If you have a box that contains emergency supplies, use it for today's application. If not, make one using any small white or light colored box. Use tape to put a temporary red cross on the lid. Find pictures to depict steps the children can take when they get discouraged. Take the pictures out of the box one at a time and explain each one.
 food--be sure to eat (not overeat) to build up your strength
 bed--if you are tired, get extra sleep or rest, or do something fun to relax
praying person or praying hands--complain to God--tell him all about your problems, and then ask him for help. Listen for God's still small voice. He will gently tell you what to do.
earthquake, fire. or hurricane--remind yourself of God's power either by reading Bible stories of how God helped other people, or listen to other people's stories, such as reading books about other Christians.
two people with arms around each other, or 2 clasped hands--find a friend that also loves and follows Jesus and encourage one another
3. Use the page that the children filled out at the beginning of class and ask them to brainstorm all the things God did for Elijah to encourage him and write them under the question mark. These things will be a strategy of how to cope when they become discouraged. If they can't think of anything, either give them hints to review the story, or give them the reference so they can look up the passage to find the answers. The list might look something like this:
God let Elijah complain
God let Elijah sleep twice
God fed Elijah twice
God showed his power through the wind, earthquake and fire
God spoke gently in a small voice, he did not scold him for being discouraged
God told him that he was not alone--there were 7,000 people who still followed God
God gave him a friend (Elisha) to be with him and help him and learn how to do his job
4. Use a toy hammer or large folding fan to gently hit kids on the head and "yell" at them for not trusting God when they had just heard about all the miracles he had done for Elijah. Explain how this is NOT what God does when we get discourage. He doesn't yell at us or point out how dumb we are. He shows his power, and then gently tells us what we need to hear to lift our spirits, and he gives us other Christians to help encourage us, too. A church is one of the best places to find a good Christian friend who will help us not feel like we are all alone, or will point us back to Jesus when all we can think about is our problems.