This is a very familiar story to those who grew up in the church, but if you have the privilege of teaching children who have never heard it before - it is dynamite.
I used a combination of flannel-graph and homemade action figures to teach the story.
The main point of this lesson is that Elijah is trying to bring the people to a decision - If the LORD be God, worship him, but if Baal be God, then worship him. They were wavering between two opinions and his job was to confront them with the truth and help them come to the right commitment. Their devotion was divided. God wants our undivided devotion.
Before we told the story, I explained what it meant to waver with a flannel-graph illustration of a bird that couldn't decide which branch to land on. You can watch it in the video below. I also had a sign under each branch, one said Baal and one said the LORD (signs are missing in the video).
wavering between 2 from Joan Eppehimer on Vimeo.
I turned clip-art into visuals to tell the actual story. These won't work with a large audience (unless you blew them up and made giant ones - which might be kind of cool).
I printed these on cardstock, opened up a paper clip and taped it to the back to make them stand.
Here is a video showing how I presented the story:
Elijah and the prophets of Baal from Joan Eppehimer on Vimeo.
Do we have idols today? An idol is a symbol of a diety used as an object of worship. Or another way to put it, is, "an object of passionate devotion." Anything that takes too much of our attention, anything that we become too attached to or devoted to can become an idol.
Remember, you can't serve God and something else.
Then we named things that might be "Baals" in our lives. What are some things that you might get too attached to? These are some of the answers the kids came up with.
- a boyfriend or girlfriend
- desire to be popular
- electronic games
Since we are working through the Old Testament, this questions of idols will come up plenty more times. This lesson served to help the children become aware that things other than God can become too important to us and become like an idol.