Minor Prophets - Digging Deeper into God's Word
Introduction to The Minor Prophets:
Even though the Bible was written and compiled a
long time ago it is still relevant today. It is applicable in the lives
of people of all ages, even young children. The Old Testament can be
particularly difficult for a child to tackle and it is sometimes
overlooked. In this series, we will study characters in the Bible who
seem obscure but have excellent messages that can be used in everyday
life. We will be looking at prophets. "A prophet is one who speaks for
God and interprets his will to people."
The lessons will look specifically at the minor prophets. There are a
number of prophetic books in the Bible. "The prophets customarily were
divided into two groups, Former and Latter. The Former prophets are
historical books: Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings. The Latter prophets
are the great preachers of Israel: Isaiah, Jeremiah and the prophets
included in the Book of Twelve. Sometimes called minor prophets because
of their comparatively brief writings."
We have selected three of them to base this series on. These three
prophets address questions that often trouble people today.
(All references in this section were taken from a book called "Old
Testament Survey " listed in our resource section)
Introduction to the Miner
All of the content of this series will be taught
within a Miner Theme. Old fashioned coal mining equipment and miners
will be used to make an exciting program. This lesson was planned for a
small space . This space will be
decorated to give the illusion that it is a small dark mine.
Lesson #2 - Zechariah
"God Knows and Controls our
Zechariah is included in the minor prophets. In
this book Zechariah delivers prophesies to God's people. He provides a
sense of hope to people who hear him. He does this by revealing God's
future deliverance through the Messiah. This book is fairly complicated
but through it all, Zechariah encourages the people to have faith and
trust God because he knows what is next. He controls the future.
This approach to the content of the book of Zechariah is not typical.
The premise was taken from the Kid's Application Bible. The theological
teaching of the book is actually related to its Messianic and its
apocalyptic and eschatological motifs. (NIV Study Bible) It is simplified
to focus on the hope that these messages would provide to the people of
that day and today.
This second lesson will find our puppet characters still stuck in the
mine. They are still questioning God but they are getting increasingly
upset. They are no longer just worrying and wondering, they are getting
- to teach the children that God loves them.
- to teach them that God knows and is in control
of the future
- to teach the children that there is hope in
Since this series includes a theme that might be a
little foreign to some of the children it might be helpful to
re-introduce the idea of a mine. Use a few minutes to talk about what a
mine is and what it would be like inside one. Ask and answer questions.
This will allow anyone who missed the last lesson to catch up.
Consistency is extremely important. Try to set the
rules and stick to them each week. It is easy to be slack when enforcing
the rules and let the children get away with more. Try to maintain
Prayer is important. The children need to learn how
to pray. This can be taught as a regular part of the lesson. It is also
helpful to have the children repeat lines in a prayer.
This part of the program can be lots of fun. Make
sure to use songs that have lots of actions. Allow the children to have
an opportunity to burn off some energy. For a change the singing time
can be a game. The two teams can compete to see which one is louder.
Prizes can be offered for good singing.
All games in the lesson are adapted to suit the
mine theme. In this series one game is being included. It can be played
twice to allow more children to be included.
Select two players, one from each team. The players will take turns.
The first contestant will wear a blind fold. The participant will reach
into the bag and try to identify different objects by feeling them. The
point of the game is to see how many objects the player can identify in
one minute. The player with the largest number of correct guesses wins.
Suggested Objects: fork, pop bottle, pencil, eraser, macaroni,
gum, paper clip, hair clip, comb, notebook, rock, sneaker, bean bag,
sock, coat hanger, toothbrush, yarn, ball, marble, tissue
The method used for this verse will be the same for
the lesson in the series. This memory verse is an interaction between a
puppet, a leader and the children. The puppet will be dressed as the
mine boss. He is in charge of the verse. The verse is a "hangman" type
puzzle. The children will be asked to fill in the blanks. As they fill
the verse in, any incorrect guess will cause the mine boss to react. The
mine boss will place a bag of coal in a mine cart. Each bag of coal will
cause the amount of weight in the cart to increase. If the cart is
filled too much it will exceed the weight limit which will cause a mine
disaster. The weight is indicated on a large dial. So the children will
try to fill in the blanks in the memory verse without overfilling the
Leader: Let's see if the mine boss is in his office today.
(Knock on door) Orangeo are you there today?
Orangeo: Hello there. Oh it is nice to see you people back
again. What can I do for you this week?
Leader: Well we are back to visit the mine again. Is anything
Orangeo: It has been a dreadful week. Shortly after you left
last time there was an accident here at our mine. We have been working
around the clock to try to find our missing men.
Leader: That is awful. How many people are missing?
Orangeo: Two guys still haven't been found. My workers are
trying to dig them out but the problem is we aren't sure which tunnel
they were in.
Leader: How long have they been there?
Orangeo: It has been quite a while. I was starting to worry
but then I found a verse in the Bible that has helped me a lot. I would
like to share it with you. Just hang on a minute. I'll get it.
(disappears and returns with the verse) Here you go.
Leader: Orangeo, this might be a great verse but it seems to
have the same problem the last one had.
Orangeo: What's that?
Leader: It has a lot of letters missing.
Orangeo: Well, we will do the same thing that we did last
time. The kids can help you fill in the blanks but for every letter they
guess that is incorrect I will have to place a coal bag in the cart. You
know what happens each time I put one in there; the arrow goes up and we
get closer to overload. We don't want that to happen. It can get very,
Leader: Well, we didn't have too much trouble the last time,
so I think we can do it again. (Allow time to fill in the blanks. Allow
the children to guess from their seats. Repeat the verse until it is
"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are
plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
(Since this verse is quite lengthy it is faster for the children to
fill in the letters if only half of the words are blanks. e.g.
For I know the _____ _ ____ ___ ___, says the Lord. They are plans for
____ ___ ___ ___ ____, __ ____ ___ _ future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11)
Orangeo: Would you repeat that please?
Leader: It is a great verse, Orangeo. Will you explain it to
Orangeo: This verse is very important. It tells us that God
has a plan for our lives and he knows it in before hand. The Lord isn't
planning and hoping that evil will come our way but He is planning to
have good come of our lives. The Lord knows what the future will hold
and this gives us hope.
Leader: That is true. Bad things might happen to us but God
can make use of that and bring about good. God is in control so we don't
have to worry anymore.
Orangeo: So you see, even though I don't know what will happen
to my friends, I know that God loves them and He is in control of the
Leader: Thanks, Orangeo.
This story will involve a narrator who will read a
brief introduction to the puppet skit. The puppet skit will be about
two mining characters. They are puppets who are dressed to look like
Narrator: The last time we saw our miner friends, they were in
the mine working when the mine had a cave-in. Joshua and Garbonzo were
trapped. They tried to find a way out but they couldn't. It was really
Garbonzo: (stretched out over the edge of the stage, waking up
from a nap.) Oh, we are still in the mine. I was hoping that it was all
just a bad dream. How long have we been down here, Joshua?
Joshua: I don't know , a rock must have hit my watch when the
ceiling fell in. It is completely smashed.
Garbonzo: I'm starting to get a little hungry.
Joshua: I don't have any food but I do have this canteen full
of water, if you want some.
Garbonzo: That would be good. (share water) I want to go home
Joshua: So do I! I hope it won't be too much longer till
someone finds us.
Garbonzo: Joshua, do you think anyone will find us?
Joshua: I hope so (kind of unsure)
Garbonzo: You don't think we are going to die down here, do
Joshua: I hope not.
Garbonzo: Maybe we will starve to death.
Joshua: Listen Garbonzo, you are making me nervous talking
like that. I don't know what is going to happen to us. All I know is
that God loves us and He has a plan for us. We don't need to worry like
this we just have to remember that God controls the future.
Garbonzo: Let's pray again, maybe that will help.
(They bow their heads and the light fades.)
Narrator: So with no sign of help coming Joshua and Garbonzo
are starting to panic. Again they take their problem to God. They place
their uncertain future into God's hands knowing that He loves them.
Leader's Conclusion: Even though we don't always find
ourselves in life or death situations we still worry about the future.
We often find ourselves wondering what will happen to us when we get
older or when we grow up. God wants us to live each day to the fullest
and to stop worrying about the future which is in his hands. God knows
our future and he loves us. What better person to control that, someone
who loves us unconditionally!
Dismissal: Closing prayer, quiet seat prizes, treats.
Copyright 1997, Bread of Life Ministries