On your marks
A way in to talking about how special each one of us is to God with links to Psalm 139.
You will need a selection of stones, all different shapes and sizes. These stones shouldn’t be too small, in case children attempt to put them in their mouths; nor too large so as to avoid them being used as missiles! Some department stores sell collections of ornamental stones. Make sure there are least two stones for every member of the group. Also find some crowd pictures and if possible a “Where’s Wally?” – type of book.
1. Show the picture of people in crowds. Where could this be? What crowded places do the children know about or have been in? Relate stories of being in crowds from your own experience. How does it feel to be 1 in 100, 1000, even a million?
2. It is hard to find someone in a crowd.
Use the “Where’s Wally?” – type of book to play a game of spotting an individual.
What helps us spot a person in a crowd? (height, hair colour, other characteristics etc.). Each person is unique and special but in a crowd it is hard to find one particular person. If that is true for us finding someone, what about God finding us among the 6 billion people on this planet?
3. Place the pile of stones in the centre. These all look roughly the same, but as you get closer, so you notice that each is unique and different in some way. Invite the children to choose a stone and to spend some time examining it carefully.
Get to know what your stone is really like, so you could recognise it again! After a given time, put all the stones back together in a pile and then mix them up.
Can you find your stone in this crowd? One by one ask the children to find the stone that is theirs.
4. The Bible says that God knows all about us; that is why he can always find us and never loses sight of us on crowded planet earth.
Read Psalm 139 verses 1-18
5. To God we are not just part of a faceless crowd. We are so special and unique that to God we always stand out in the crowd. This means he hears our prayers, cares about our situation and has special plans for us to discover during our lifetime.