Outline ideas for a special focus on the story of Nehemiah

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Get set

You will need a good team; activity areas for group work; a large open space to gather the children; song ideas; badges; someone to register the children; first-aid expertise; a ratio of at least one adult for every six to eight children (depending on age); lots of prayer!


  1. Introduce the theme of building with a ‘Nehemiah says’ (Simon says) game, where different actions go with certain words: e.g.

scaffolding = stretch out wide
cranes = stretch up tall
mixer = spin around
pneumatic drill = jump up and down on the spot
tea-break = sit down and have a cuppa
JCB = walk around with hands cupped out in front, raising them up and down
clock off = freeze on the spot

  1. Divide up the story of Nehemiah for different parts to a session or over different days. Here is a possible outline:

The Foundation Stone: God’s call to fix it (Nehemiah 1 and 2 verses 1-8) – prayer is vital

The Building Site: God’s call to build it (Nehemiah 2 verse 8 and chapter 3 – trust God together

The Security Guard: God’s call to defend it (Nehemiah 4) –faith in hard times

The Architect’s plan: God’s call to remember it- (Nehemiah 8) – God has a big plan and we are part of it

The Opening Ceremony: God’s call to proclaim it (Nehemiah 12) – God wants us to pass on to others what He has done

  1. During sessions/days, build up a wall and towers made out of ‘prayer bricks’ that individual children have made.
  2. Make smaller versions of the walls of the city using craft materials in groups
  3. Adapt well-known songs to link with the story. e.g. here are words that go to the song from Mission Praise “We are building a people of power”:

We are building a wall for the City
We are building each gate and each tower
And we pray to the Lord to defend it
As we trust in His love and His power.
Build the wall now
Build it tall now
Build it strong now
Work as one
God is with us
He will guard us
Every hour ’til
The work is done

  1. Use the image of a JCB as the logo and for badges etc. What does JCB stand for? Make up some new meanings for the letters:
    e.g. Jesus is Coming Back; Join the Children Building.