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 #3 - Joel
Now is the Time!
The final lesson in this series is based on the
minor prophet Joel. This particular prophet is relatively unknown. Very
little personal information is available regarding Joel. The date of his
writing is also difficult to determine. The book that Joel wrote focuses
on the plagues and droughts devastating Judah, he sees it as an
indication of "The Day of The Lord". In light of this he calls on the
people to repent while there is still time.
This last miner lesson will focus on the idea that "Now is the time"
to accept God. It is time to turn from sin and begin to follow the way
of the Lord. God loves you and is merciful but this opportunity won't be
available forever so do it today. We will stress the importance of
making a decision now.
We often feel (especially when we are young) that we can wait and do
some living before we give our lives to Jesus. None of us know how long
we will be here, now is the time!
Our puppet characters were involved in a mining accident in the first
two lessons. The third lesson finds our friends still stuck in the mine.
They have questioned God and worried about their future and now they
will be rescued. Reflection on the event will make them realize that we
don't know how much time we have.
- to teach the children that Jesus loves them
- to teach the children that they need to make a
decision for Christ before it is too late.
There are a variety of ways this brief period could
be used. It could be used to explain any changes in the program. If you
have a group, it could be used for a variety of interactive activities.
Games to help learn names are practical and fun. In a larger group the
time could be used for skits or puppet plays that help to introduce the
lesson. This time is not developed in the curriculum so that anyone who
uses it will have an opportunity to put their own personal signature on
The rules that we have put together include some
basic methods. When used in combination they are highly effective. We
rarely have discipline problems.
#1 Divide into Teams - Children are seperated into two groups
usually boys and girl.
#2 Balloons - Each team is given three or four ballons. If the
balloons are all popped due to poor behavior that team goes home without
#3 Three Strike Rule - This is an individual rule. Each child
is given three chances if they are spoken to three times for misbehaving
they are asked to leave the remainder of the program.
#4 Other Appropriate Rules - We have found it necessary to add
rules that suit our surroundings.
In combination these rules help us to maintain control and
communicate our message.
Assure the children that when we pray God hears us.
Even though we can't see God, He is with us and God hears. Just because
we don't get the answer that we want doesn't mean that God didn't hear
us. Make the prayers very direct and simple so that the children feel
like they are capable of praying on their own.
Most of the songs that we select to use at "The Zoo" have very simple
lyrics. It is important that the children are able to understand the
meaning when they leave the program. One that the kids really enjoy is
"I Love You, Jesus".
I Love You, Jesus
Deep Down in my heart!
I Love You, Jesus
Deep Down in my heart!
Talk about deep, deep, down, down,
Deep down in my heart!
Talk about deep, deep, down, down,
Deep down in my heart!
These lyrics are catchy, easy to remember and very easy to
The game in this lesson is adapted to suit the
miner theme. In this series one game is included in each lesson. It can
be played twice to allow more children to be included.
Select one player from each team. The first player will be given a
number of bags of coal. Each bag will have a different weight written on
it. The contestant will be asked to place the bags in order from the
lightest to the heaviest. Each participant has one minute to get as many
as possible in the correct order.
The method used for this verse will be the same in
each 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 able to fill in the verse and any incorrect
guess will cause the mine boss to react. The mine boss will place a bag
of coal in the 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 mess . The weight is
indicated on a large dial. The children will try to fill in the blanks
in the memory verse without overfilling the cart.
The Lord says, "Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me all
of your heart." Joel 2:12
This verse is something the Lord is telling us. It is something that
God wants us to know about. God is asking us to stop sinning. He wants
us to change the way we live. God does have a deadline, this offer won't
be on the table forever. One day the time will run out. So turn now
while you can. God wants us to give our whole heart to him. This applies
to people of all ages . We don't know when we will run out of time, so
why not NOW?
This skit is designed to introduce and interact with the children
during the memory verse.
Orangeo: Hello everyone, I am back again this week. I don't
think I have slept since the last time I saw you.
Leader: You must be really tired. Why haven't you been
Orangeo: You'll never believe this. Those two guys who got
stuck down in the mine are still down there.
Leader: My goodness, that has been a long time.
Orangeo: It is my job to get them out. I was on my way down
into the mine earlier when I found another great verse in the Bible.
Leader: All of these verses seem to be helping you through
this hard time. First, there was that one about God answering prayers.
Orangeo: The second verse was from Jeremiah and it told us
that God has a plan for us and that gives us hope.
Leader: So what is the new verse?
Orangeo: Here it is. (hands out verse) It has some blanks in
it. Maybe you and the kids can fill them in.
Leader: Sure, no problem. (allow time to fill in the blanks
and repeat the verse.)
Orangeo: That sounds pretty good, could you repeat it one more
time just to make sure I got it?
Leader: Ok... "Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me
all of your heart." Joel 2:12
Orangeo: Excellent! Do you know what it means? It is no good
to you if you don't know what it means.
Leader: (asks the kids if they have any ideas)
Orangeo: Those were good guesses. In this verse God is
talking. He wants us to turn to him. He wants us to start living for
him. Right now, not later. God wants all of our hearts. It is best to
decide to have God in your life today. You shouldn't wait because you
never know what will happen in your future.
Leader: How can that help us with this mine diaster?
Orangeo: I didn't know this was going to happen, neither did
you. If you already asked Jesus into your heart then He will be with you
in this bad time. You don't know what will happen in the future so ask
God in now.
Leader: That is very good advice. We will remember that verse.
Orangeo: Oh, excuse me I just heard the horn blast, that means
it is my turn to go down there and try to dig the guys out. See you
Leader: I hope you find them.
As in previous lessons there will be no object
lesson. This time slot can be used to recap the last two stories. This
will help any new children to understand what is taking place in the
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: Garbonzo & Joshua are miners. They work in a deep,
dark mine not too far from here. A while back they were about to finish
their shift when the mine collapsed. All kinds of rock fell from the
roof blocking the entrance. They have been down there for a long time.
(Both puppets are leaning over the edge of the stage. Suddenly
Garbonzo lifts his head.)
Garbonzo: Josh, did you hear that? Wake up.
Joshua: Hear what?
Garbonzo: Shh, listen (scratching noise)
Joshua: I heard that!
Garbonzo: I think someone is trying to dig us out... (starts
to yell) ... Help, we are in here.
Joshua: (yells) We are down here. Help us.
Garbonzo: Oh, Joshua. We are going to be ok. We are getting
out of here. Thank goodness someone found us.
Joshua: What a relief! I was so scared.
Garbonzo: So I was I. It helped a lot when we prayed.
Joshua: I'm glad that we could talk to God and that he was
right with us the whole time. It is a good thing we knew God, we really
needed His help this time.
Garbonzo: That's true.
Joshua: You never know what is going to happen so it is best
to decide to live for Him right away. The sooner you ask Him to be part
of your life the sooner He will be there for you.
Garbonzo: We will have to share this with people when we get
(large bang and crashing - the Mine boss breaks through)
Joshua: Are we glad to see you! (all three hug)
Mine Boss: I'm glad you two are ok. We were all pretty worried
Joshua: We are fine. We just kept praying and God was with us.
It is a good thing we already accepted Him.
Mine Boss: I guess that goes to show you... Now is the time.
Narrator: So Garbonzo and Joshua were ok but they learned some
really important lessons.
Leader's Conclusion: You never know what circumstances you
might find yourself in or when time will run out. It is important to
make a decision about Jesus right away. Remember that He loves you very
much and that is why he died on the cross. Now you can be forgiven. If
you believe that and want to have Jesus in your life. Now is the time.
Dismissal: Closing prayer, quiet seat prizes and treats.
Copyright 1997, Bread of Life Ministries