Basic Assembly Structure

After years of doing assemblies, I have finally hit upon something of a formula.  This may or may not work in your particular context, but hopefully will be of some use!

Timings are obviously very approximate.

5 mins Hellos and game (based on the theme of the assembly) for one or two children to participate in up front

Click here to see a Pinterest board of game ideas

5 mins Storytelling e.g. acting out with the children, using props or from a good storyteller Bible
5 mins Short talk about the assembly with an illustration if possible (including an example from my own life where appropriate)

Click here to see a Pinterest board of object lesson ideas

2 mins Short prayer (or reflection time if not a church school).  Generally this works well with a lit candle.

Here are some assembly examples following this structure:

David and Goliath (Good to be me)

Abraham (Changes)

Abraham Assembly (Changes)

This assembly is based on the story of Abraham being called by God to leave his homeland and journey to a distant land (Genesis 12) and fits with the SEALS theme of ‘changes’.

5 mins  Game-get 10 yellow ball pool balls, 5 red and 5 blue and share them out as follows into 3 baskets spaced out across the front of the hall:

Left basket: 5 yellow balls, middle basket 5 red and 5 blue balls, right basket 5 yellow balls.

Get two volunteers to stand by the left hand and right hand baskets.  Shout ‘go’ and get the volunteers to run backwards and forwards between their basket and the middle basket, changing their balls one by one until the left basket has 5 red balls and the right basket has 5 blue balls and all the yellow balls are in the middle basket.  The first to change all of the balls in their basket is the winner.  This introduces the idea of ‘change.’

5 mins Talk about God calling Abraham to leave everything behind to journey to an unknown place (mirroring what would happen after the summer when Y6 move to secondary school). Invite a child up to the front to become ‘Abraham’ and give them a rucksack and a map as if they are going on a journey.  Then take the map away and gave them a blindfold to wear and lead them around following only the direction of your voice.  This is hard because they really have to trust!

Then talk about Abraham having to trust God when everything he knew was changing and how we have people we can trust to help us when things around us are changing.  Share with the children who some of your trusted people are

5 mins  Object lesson- check out the original idea here on this blog of object lessons using natural laws.

Stand about 10 feet away from ‘Abraham’ and aim an inflated but untied balloon at him.  Let go and the balloon will go a little bit crazy in the air as it deflates.  This is like us when we get stressed about things and don’t let others help us.  Next, blow up another balloon (still without tying the end) and sellotape it to a piece of straw with a long string running through it (see picture).

Get ‘Abraham’ to hold on to one end of the string and you hold the untied balloon/ straw at the other end.  Let go and the balloon will fly straight to its destination at the end of the string (Abraham)!   This shows us how, if we trust God or those around us to help when things are changing and we are worried then, like the string, they will help to keep us on track!

2 mins  Light a candle and ask the children to think of all those people in their lives who they can trust to help them when changes are happening- the people who will keep them going in a straight line.  Say a brief thank you prayer for those people.

David and Goliath Assembly (Good to be me)

This is an assembly to go with the SEALS theme ‘Good to be me.’

5 mins Game- bring a child to the front and put a post it note on their head with the name of a famous person on it (don’t let the volunteering child see it).  The child has 2 minutes to ask questions to try and find out who the famous person is.  Make sure everyone else in the room doesn’t give the game away!  The point of the game is that knowing who we are is important!
5 mins story- Read the story of David and Goliath from a good Children’s Bible.  See here for some useful links, or get the children to act it out.
5 mins Talk and illustration- talk about the fact that it is sometimes hard for other people to know who we actually are.  Sometimes there are things we are good at that only we and God know about. Though others thought that David had no chance against Goliath, David trusted God and God was able to use him and the skills he had.  We all have things that we were good at (sometimes things that no one else but God and ourselves know about) and we can all be used by God to help others.

Before the children arrive, take a balloon and fill it with about a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. It’s quite easy to make the balloon seem as though it is empty as long as the children don’t get close enough to touch it! Fix it to the neck of a bottle containing some white vinegar (this will look like water).  Talk about how it would seem impossible for me to inflate the balloon using just what is in the bottle.  You might think I was silly to even think it…

At this point lift up the balloon and let the bicarbonate of soda be released into the bottle and explain that, even though no one else could see it, I knew there was something inside the balloon that could do the job.  Watch the balloon inflate!  Then talk about how God gives everyone special gifts and talents and sometimes no one else knows except you and God that they are there.  When you use those special gifts, God can help you to do things that others might think you would never be able to!
2 mins Light a candle and give the children time to think about the gifts and talents that God has given them and why it is good for them to be who they are.  End with a short prayer saying thank you to God for each person.

School Club Session: Daniel in the Lions’ Den

5 mins Reflective colouring while waiting for all children to arrive.  Click here for ideas to print out
5 mins Game- Blindfold a child and get them to stand with their back to the rest of the children.  Choose a child to roar like a lion.  The blindfolded child has to guess who has roared.  If the guesser guesses correctly, they change places with the roarer.
2 mins Song (click for a Pinterest board of Children’s Ministry songs)
10 mins Tell the story from a children’s Bible or use this story card activity.Talk about things we face that might be a bit frightening.  Have you ever had to be brave?  Have you ever had to stand up for what you believe in?  How does it feel?  What helped you? How might Daniel have felt at certain points in the story? How would you have felt?  Speak about trusting in God and share any times God has helped you to be brave.
10 mins Make ‘Protection Pictures’ or these origami Lion chatterboxes
3 mins game- sleeping Lions.  Children lie on the floor as if asleep.  The ‘hunter’ goes around and silently tries to get them to laugh or move.  If a child laughs or moves they are out.  The last ‘lion’ left asleep is the winner.

School Club Session: Jesus Calms the Storm

5 mins Reflective colouring while waiting for all children to arrive.  Click here for ideas to print out
5 mins Game- musical statues

This links well with the idea of ‘calm’ (statues) and ‘storm’ (dancing)

2 mins Song (click for a Pinterest board of Children’s Ministry songs)
10 mins Tell the story either from a book or interactively.  The Lion Storyteller Bible is great!

Talk about ‘stormy’ or difficult times in life. How do they make you feel? Who do you go to for help? Have you ever asked God to help you?  What happened?

10 mins Use this Play Dough Mat to explore the story further and/or use this ‘anchor’ craft and prayer activity.
3 mins End with a game!  Click here for a Pinterest board full of ideas.

Prayer Chatterboxes

Children seem to love playing with these origami ‘fortune tellers’ or ‘chatterboxes’ and I started to think about how we could use them for prayer…

We experimented at church and at our school lunctime club and they went down very well!

This activity needs to be done in groups of 2 or 3 and you can print off versions of the prayer chatterbox by clicking below. If you’re not sure how to make them get a child to show you how!  When children have chosen their colour and number, their partner lifts the flap to see what they have to pray for:   Please, thanks, sorry, friends, family.  Sorry prayers can be said silently and finished with a spoken Amen so that we know it’s time to swap turns!

A printable version can be found here.  When they’ve tested them out, challenge children to make their own version.