We are at the beginning a new season of Story Hour and Little Lambs. This is a time for planting. God is using you to plant precious truths from God’s Word in the hearts of your Story Hour and Little Lambs children. Every story you prepare and tell, every song you sing and Bible verse you learn, every craft or game you play will be used to plant the seeds of God’s love and the truths of his Word deep into the hearts of the little ones who walk into your room.
Every gardening experience begins with a seed. Most seeds are tiny, dry kernels that appear to be dead and of no significance. However, an amazing power is packed into each one.
In this word picture, the seed is the Word of God, the Bible. On the surface it appears to be a book much like other books. There is nothing extraordinary to distinguish it. Yet the Bible is the greatest book ever written. It is filled with God’s stories, a priceless library of stories that hold the key to our faith. In its entirety, the Bible stands as the one true beacon in a world of fantasy and falsehood.
The first Bible stories young children often hear introduce them to the God who created the world. As children hear God’s stories, God becomes real to them. They begin to discover that he knows them and loves them. Children are often able to enter those stories and wonder about the messages they hear. Then they begin to verbalize their faith in simple conversations with God.
“I love you, Jesus.” “Please keep me safe.” “Thank you for my food.” These are simple, sincere expressions of faith. Leaders who spend precious moments with little ones have the unique opportunity to hear these prayers.
Kathy always took great care every week to tell the children in her Story Hour group that the stories in the Bible are true. She was never sure, however, what lasting impression she was making. Then one day a mother of one of Kathy’s three-year-olds described something that had happened at home. The mother entered the room one morning while her son was watching cartoons. “These stories on the TV aren’t true, you know,” the three-year-old Danny told his mom. “Only God’s stories are true!” Danny’s mind and beliefs had been touched for all eternity.
When you hold the Word of God in your hands, allow the children to see that this book is precious to you. Help them to recognize the worth of God’s stories. Create attractive visuals to give the story beauty and added value. The respect you give to God’s Word will convey to the children how precious God’s stories are to you.
As you stand at the edge of your flower garden, look at the seed in your hand. Recognize the potential bound up in each grain. Realize that the seed will not grow unless you plant it. God’s Word is the tiny seed sown in the fertile soil of a child’s heart. It will surely grow into a flowering plant of great beauty. Happy planting!
As the rain and snow come down from heaven,
and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
- Always have an open Bible near you as you teach the story.
- Point to the story in the Bible.
- Teach the children that everything God tells us is true.
- Bring your story to life using creative visuals.
- Show that you love God’s stories by treating the Bible with respect.
Preparing to Teach:
- Spend personal time in God’s Word.
- Don’t assume you already know the story.
- Read the story from two or three versions of the Bible.
- Become familiar with the context of the story.
- Take ownership of the story by asking yourself:
- Why did God include this story in the Bible?
- Why is it important for me? For the children?
- Which character in the story would I like to be?
- What did the central characters see? Feel? Hear?
— Adapted from Little Ones Need Jesus, chapter 1, 1996 Faith Alive Christian Resources