God calls Samuel
Scripture: I Samuel 3:9-20
Target Age: 4-5 years
Focus: God calls people to believe in his son, Jesus
Opener: Listening activity
Bring a selection of different items that make noise. (such as : paper sack to crumple, can with beans to shake, tambourine, whistle)
Sit behind the kids and make noise with the items. Have the children listen and then guess what is making the sound.
Last week we learned how God blessed Hannah and gave her a child. She promised that he would stay at the church when he got older. Hannah’s baby was named Samuel. Samuel grew and Hannah kept her promise by sending Samuel to live at the church. He lived with the preacher named Eli.
Samuel helped Eli in the church. One night Samuel heard someone calling his name.
(Whisper the name “Samuel”) He thought it was Eli. He jumped up out of bed and ran to see what Eli wanted. Eli told him that he didn’t call him.
Again Samuel heard someone calling his name. (Whisper the name “Samuel”) He ran to see what Eli wanted. Eli told him that he hadn’t called him.
A third time Samuel heard the voice and went to Eli. (Whisper the name “Samuel”) Eli had not called. Suddenly, Eli realized that GOD was calling Samuel. Eli told Samuel to listen again for the voice. When he heard it, he must say, “I am here, God. I am listening.”
Sure enough, the voice called (Whisper the name “Samuel”) and Samuel told God,
“I am here, God. I am listening.” God calls us too. We won’t hear him with our ears though. It is a heart feeling that tells us to trust Him and ask Jesus to come into our lives.
Lesson Activity: While telling the story, place pictures on a storyboard to help the children engage and retain information. When the story is over, remove the pictures, mix them up on the table and have the kids retell the story while putting the pictures in order.
Where is Jesus in this story?
God called Samuel by saying his name so Samuel prayed and responded by saying Speak Lord! God calls people by name now too, only we don’t hear him with our ears. He speaks to our hearts and calls us to believe in his son Jesus so that we may be saved from our sins. We need only to respond in faith in Jesus.
— Craft: Speak Lord, Your servant is listening!
Have the children sit in a circle with one child in the center. The child in the center calls the name of one of the children in the circle. That child tosses a ball to the child in the center. Then another child calls the name of the child in the middle and the ball is tossed to that child. This continues to happen until the ball is dropped. The child who dropped the ball is then moved to the center of the circle and the game starts over.
Play Simon says. After the first round, explain that they will be better at the game if they listen very closely, just like Samuel needed to listen!
Act it out!
Bring a sleeping bag and have one child be Samuel, one child be Eli, and one child be the voice of God. Have them act out the story.