Holiday club ideas focused on Bible characters
The Bible is full of stories of ordinary people who became heroes by trusting and following God. The small boy who killed a mighty giant and went on to rule a nation, the young woman who saved a nation by risking her own neck, the young man who defeated a whole army with just a few men. The young leader who followed in his master’s footsteps, the woman who was willing to go to extraordinary lengths in obedience, the zealous Pharisee whose life was turned around when he encountered Jesus.
We offer here a set of sessions in which we will look at their stories, and explore what we can learn from them. In this issue we look at some of the heroes of the Bible and in the next issue, for July and August, we cover some of the villains! You might use all these ideas to create a holiday club, or for a weekly club, or use two or three sessions to cover a full day, or do all the sessions over a weekend away for example.
Each of their stories can give us an insight into how God can use us, and inspire us to become heroes in our own small way. And of course we can look to the ultimate hero, Jesus, who came to save us and to help us become the heroes of faith that God calls us to be. The focus of the sessions is on how we can follow the example of these ordinary people who did extraordinary things, and what their stories can teach us about our relationship with God.
In this issue we are going to take a look at Joshua (Joshua 5.13–6.20), Gideon (Judges 6–8), David (1 Samuel 17.1-50), Esther (Esther 4), Mary mother of Jesus (Luke 1.26-38) and Saul/Paul (Acts 9.1-18). These six characters are very different – old and young, male and female, from different walks of life, yet they share a common bond in their relationship with God that transforms them from ordinary people to heroes of faith. With each character you might follow a similar format.
Prepare the space
Display pictures of heroes the group will be familiar with – superheroes such as Spiderman and Superman, or heroes from film and TV like Dr Who, Ben 10 or The Incredibles. Pictures can easily be found by doing an internet search or looking at children’s magazines. Over the course of the week the children could collect or draw pictures of heroes to add to the display. Alongside the well-known heroes, display pictures of the characters from each session. During each session the children could help to compile a profile of the character – their strengths and weaknesses, their relationship with God, how they became heroes.
The Lion Storyteller Bible has some great retellings of many of the stories and it might be worth your while getting hold of a copy – if you don’t already have it, why not order it at a local library?
Begin each session with this simple activity.
You will need: slips of card naming a superhero.
Beforehand, prepare the cards with names of superheroes, ensuring you have enough cards for the numbers who may attend. The superheroes listed might be: Spiderman, Superman, Marvelgirl, Batman, Buzz Lightyear.
Give each person a slip with their hero name and ask them to remember who they are.
Explain that when they hear their hero name they should stand up, adopt a superhero pose and shout out their hero name. They might be asked to sing a superhero theme tune.
Call out each of the hero names randomly. You might give prizes for the best pose, for example.
Start or end each session with a time of worship, sing a couple of songs and pray together. Some suggestions for songs are below, along with a prayer to end with. At the end of the session, this worship time could be a chance for the children to talk about what they have learnt from the story, and what you can all learn from the example of the person whose story you have read.
For the times when we have been less than heroic,
Lord we are sorry.
For the times we have not used our hero talents,
Lord we are sorry.
Give us the courage not to hide our potential
but to be generous,
not to dismiss others but to celebrate their gifts.
Encourage us to follow the example of ____ and have a go at being heroes.
Jesus is my Superhero (recorded on Hillsong Live Worship for Kids – Jesus is my superhero),
Our God is a great big God
Superhero (recorded on The Kids Colossal Jumbo Songbook, Spring Harvest)
Session material on Bible heroes:
Go to material on Bible 'villains'