Amy’s Free Ideas


Story: Samuel called by God

Reference: I Samuel 2-4

Main point: God only uses people who say, "Yes."

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 Early Birds:

Ideas for an Introduction:

1. Show kids 2 cell phones--one that works and another that does not. Ask them which one they like better. Ask which one they would choose to use. (They will probably want the one that works.) Just as we can only use a phone that does what we ask it (dial the number and make the connection) God can only use people who obey him.

2. Show pictures of various appliances that kids use such as a T.V., refrigerator, computer, phone, Play Station, etc. Ask them how they might use each item once it is broken, such as  a refrigerator that doesn't keep things cold or a T.V. that doesn't receive programs from any station. (No use--we get them fixed or buy new ones that work) In the same way, when we do not obey God, he has to fix us, or use other people who will do what he says to do.

3. Ask the children if they have ever gotten a wrong phone number. Ask them if their phone shows who is calling. Then explain that today's story doesn't have any phones in it, but a boy gets a call, and is confused about who is calling him--he needed to have caller identification!

Ideas for Teaching the Bible story:

1. Compare how God called and used Samuel all his life, but how he rejected Eli's sons who chose to do things their own way instead of God's way.

2. Point out how Samuel was just a boy when God called him. They do not have to be adults before they start following God--they can start following God right now, and as long as they keep saying, "Yes" to God, he will use them to do His work all their lives.

3. Take a pillow and blanket to the class and ask a child to help you before class starts. Explain that he should lie down with his head on the pillow when the story mentions Samuel going to sleep. Then the first two times you call “Samuel,” he should get up and come to you and ask what you want. You will tell him that you did not call him, and that he should go back to bed. The third time you call “Samuel,” he should sit up and say, “Speak, Lord, your servant listens.”

Ideas for Reenforcement Activities:

1. On the computer, design a picture and verse to represent God calling Samuel, or about obedience (such as Josua 1:7,  24:24, I  Samuel 15:22, I John 5:2 or 3) Print out a copy for each child on special paper that can be ironed onto their pillow case so that they are reminded of this story every night when they go to sleep. (This kind of paper is sold at craft stores and electrical  appliance stores such as Yamada Denki)

2. Photocopy coloring pages depicting this story. Cut them into puzzle shapes and let the children re-tell the story as they put the puzzles together

3. Review the story by using puppets, or let the children roll play to re-enact God calling Samuel

Ideas for Application:

1. Play the game "God's Way or My Way." to emphasize the fact that all you have to do is ask for forgiveness to get back on the path of following God's way.

view the game

print the game

2. Print out cards with words that describe objects or activities that get in the way of hearing God, or tempt us to choose our own way instead of God's way. Spread these cards on a table, or the floor. Ask the children to each choose one card and share how that item or activity might keep them from following God. If the group is large, break up into smaller groups to share. Examples of words might be: T.V., friends, worry, being angry at someone and not forgiving them, joining a club or sport that meets at the same time as Sunday school.

3. Draw 2 or 3 cartoon strips that present a problem the kids might encounter, but leave the last square empty. The kids draw the last frame--either following God's way, or following their own way. If the class is small, everyone can work together to plan the alternate endings. If the class is large, divide into smaller groups, and assign whether each group should draw a "God's Way" ending, or "Own way" ending. When everyone is done, hold up each strip, and ask the kids to guess if it is God's way or their own way.

4. Collect pictures (from magazines or on the internet such as Google images) and have the kids line up the pictures under the headings "God's Way" and "My Way"