Use this lesson to teach elementary students about worship and King David.
Editor’s Note: This lesson was adapted from Tru Curriculum, 3rd-4th grade.
Children develop relationships with their leaders and one another through simple activities and conversation starters.
Invite your kids to play a music-themed activity to get to know one another better.
Set up the chairs in a circle, facing outward.
CONNECT QUESTION: Welcome and greet children. Open your time by asking this question: What makes you so excited that you want to dance or jump for joy?
It’s so fun to hear about the things that make you excited! Have your kids stand around the circle of chairs, and remove one chair from the circle. Start the music and have kids walk around the circle.
After a little while, stop the music and have each child try to sit in a chair. The child without a seat answers a question and then sits off to the side.
Remove another chair and have kids play again. Continue until all of the kids have had a chance to answer a question.
- What is your favorite type of music?
- If you could go to any concert, which one would it be?
- Do you play any musical instruments? If so, which ones and for how long? If not, which instruments would you like to play?
- What is your favorite song?
- Would you rather sing really well or play a musical instrument really well?
Kids in this age group are more coordinated than their younger peers, but are still working on maintaining physical control. Encourage kids to be gentle and watch out for one another as they play Musical Chairs.
Children experience and learn more about God through memorizing Scripture, storytelling from The Big God Story, prayer, and discussion.
Game: Memory Verse Pop
Write the Remember Verse on a sheet of paper, and cut out each of the words, making each piece about an inch wide. Put one word in each balloon, and blow up the balloons.
If you have a smaller class, fill balloons with more than one word. Cut the yarn into 12-inch pieces and tie them on the ends of the balloons.
Invite the group to review the Remember Verse. Help the kids recite the verse a few times together to become familiar with the words.
Then, have each child take a balloon with a word from the verse inside and tie it to her ankle. Let the children move around and try to stomp on each other’s balloons to pop them.
When the balloons are popped, have children gather the words from the verse found inside the popped balloons and put the words in order.
Make sure the children place the words in the correct order, and invite the group to repeat the verse together.
Bible Passage: 1 Samuel 16—17; 2 Samuel 6
Storytelling Technique: Creating a Timeline
God’s Presence Inspires Worship
Tape the butcher paper to the wall so that it’s within reach for children to draw and write on it. Draw a horizontal timeline across the paper.
What’s the most interesting way that you’ve seen someone worship God? Interact with responses. Those are great thoughts! Singing isn’t the only way we can show God our worship—there are many ways!
We can worship God by being silent, or by creating art, or even by dancing! We’re going to hear about someone who was inspired to worship God. But before we begin today’s portion of The Big God Story, let’s continue our time of worship by praying a Prayer of Release.
When we pray, we’re inviting God’s presence to be with us and lead our time together. Lead the children in a Prayer of Release to pause, be still, and ask the Holy Spirit to quiet their hearts and minds.
In The Big God Story, God told a king in the Old Testament that Jesus would come from his family line. Who is that king? Pause for answers. That’s right! It’s King David.
God’s presence inspired David to worship and praise God for who He is and what He has done.
Today we’re going to work together to draw a timeline of some of the big events of David’s life. I’m going to invite volunteers to come up and draw various pictures as we talk about them.
Before David became king of Israel, he was a shepherd. Invite a child to draw a picture symbolizing David as a shepherd on the timeline. Who remembers what it means to be anointed? Invite responses.
When David was young, God called the prophet Samuel to anoint David as the next king, and God’s Spirit was with David. Have kids open their Bibles to 1 Samuel 16:13 and follow along as you read this out loud.
Because God’s Spirit was with him, David had great faith and was inspired to worship God freely.
One way David worshipped God was by writing psalms. What are psalms? Invite answers. Those are good thoughts. Psalms are poems and songs of praise. Invite a child to draw a picture of David writing the psalms.
No matter what David was going through in his life—when he was happy, sad, afraid, even when he made mistakes—he wrote songs to God and was inspired to worship.
Let’s read one of David’s psalms together! Open your Bibles to Psalm 18 and follow along as we read a psalm that David wrote. Invite a child to read Psalm 18:1–3 for the class.
God’s presence in David’s life helped him in many other ways too. David was able to kill a lion and a bear while watching sheep in the field.
Then, God used David to defeat the Philistine giant named Goliath who threatened God’s people. Have a child draw a picture of David defeating Goliath.
As king, David led the Israelites in many more victories against their enemies. Have a child draw a picture of David leading Israel in battle.
What is the ark of the covenant? Invite answers. Right! The ark of the covenant is a huge gold box that reminded God’s people of His presence with them.
The ark of the covenant was the centerpiece of worship in the tabernacle when the Israelites were in the desert for 40 years.
Long before David was king, the Philistines had stolen the ark from Israel. But God arranged for it to come back to His people.
After David conquered Jerusalem, he wanted to bring the ark up to his new capital city. Invite a child to draw a picture representing the Israelites bringing the ark on the timeline.
As the Israelites brought the ark to Jerusalem, David was full of joy. God’s presence inspired him to worship—so much so that he began to dance in front of everyone! He took off his royal robes and praised God.
Invite a child to read 2 Samuel 6:14b–15 for the class. What did you notice in those verses? Invite answers. Those are great thoughts.
David was so inspired by God’s presence that he didn’t care what anyone thought of him—whether he looked silly or people made fun of him.
None of that mattered! All David cared about was dancing before the Lord with all his might. Invite a child to draw a picture on the timeline representing David praising God.
God’s presence inspires worship. We can worship God with all our might too. Because of the Holy Spirit living inside of us, we have His presence in our lives.
God is always with us. He’s always there to help us. He’s mighty against anything big in our lives and loves each of us.
That’s why we can praise Him at all times in our lives—when we’re sad, happy, lonely, or confused. He’s able to help us and comfort us.
God’s presence is even here today. We can worship Him together. Share a time when you or someone you know worshipped God without worrying what anyone thought.
- What happened after David was anointed by Samuel? 1 Samuel 16:13
- What did the ark of the covenant remind the people of?
- How did David and the Israelites celebrate when the ark arrived in Jerusalem? 2 Samuel 6:13–15
- What’s a time when you were inspired to worship God?
- What are some ways we can praise and worship God today?
Children reflect on what the Holy Spirit is teaching them and respond to God through creative activities and games.
Psalm of Praise
Children will create their own psalms to praise God.
When David and the Israelites took the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem, David was so inspired by the presence of God that he danced and worshipped God in front of everyone.
What amazes you about God? Write the children’s answers on the board.
What are some words that describe who God is? What do you want to praise God for today? As the kids share, compile the words into phrases and write them on the board.
After the words and phrases have been written on the board, pass out a sheet of paper and a pen to each child and invite the class to use the words and phrases from the board to create their own unique psalm of praise to God.
Let the kids know they can use anything else they think of as well. When the kids finish, invite them to read their psalms of praise for the group.
(Optional) Dance and Repeat
In this activity, children demonstrate and copy each other’s dance moves.
When David took the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem, God’s presence inspired him to worship, and he danced in front of everyone. Invite your class to play a game where the children can show off their dance moves.
To start, have the class stand together in a circle. Choose one child to go first, and have him demonstrate a dance move for the class. Then, the next child will repeat the dance move of the first child, and add his own move.
The third child will repeat the first two children’s dance moves and then add her own. This will continue until the very last child performs the dance moves of every child.
When the game is over, discuss: Why do you think David was unafraid to dance in front of everyone as he worshipped God? How can you worship God without caring about what others think?
Children receive a blessing from their leaders and sometimes one another. A blessing can be a prayer of commission, a portion of Scripture, or words to encourage and guide.
Gather the children together and have them sit together on the floor as you read the blessing from Revelation 4:11:
Invite children to participate in a call and response as you pray over them the following blessing based on the verse they just heard. As you say a phrase, have children repeat it.
Lord, You are worthy (have children repeat)
To receive (have children repeat)
All the glory (have children repeat)
All the honor (have children repeat)
All the power (have children repeat)
For You created all things (have children repeat)
By Your will they were created (have children repeat)
When they’re finished with the call and response, have children stand together with their palms facing up as you pray a blessing over the entire class.
May God inspire you to worship Him with your whole heart, soul, mind, and body.