Kids Church Lesson: Many Silent Years

This children’s Bible lesson introduces the New Testament portion of the Big Picture Story Bible part 12. It covers the silent years waiting for God’s Promised King and the census of Caesar Augustus. This is one of many children’s church lessons based on The Big Picture Story Bible.

These lesson plans should be adjusted to fit your ministry context. I first used them in children’s church but they could also serve well for kids Sunday school.

Need more help? Check out these crafts for Sunday School and children’s Sunday school lessons.

Related Resource Links: Here are links to other websites that have free lessons plans (and more learning activities) that could be used to supplement this lesson: The Journey to Bethlehem from Kids Sunday School Place. Leave a comment if you know of another free resource related to this lesson.

About This Bible Lesson

Learning Objective: After this lesson, the children will demonstrate basic knowledge of the silent years and the Romans census that led up to the birth of Jesus . . . by answering simple review questions.

Target Age Group: 5 – 10 years old {U.S. Kindergarten – 3rd Grade}

Bible Story: The silent years and the Romans census {overview}

Teaching Setting: This lesson was first taught in our children’s church on Sunday morning to about 25 children. This was only one piece of our Children’s Church program. The children also participated in several songs and group Bible memory exercises. Target length of this lesson is 15 – 20 minutes.

Items Needed:

  • Print out this lesson plan PRINT PRINT
  • The Big Picture Story Bible part 12
  • Hint phrases displayed on a marker board or piece of paper: Caesar Augustus, Silent years, Proudly, Humbly, Baby
  • Optional: a 400 year timeline marked with items from the introduction below

Explanation: This lesson plan is part of my series based on The Big Picture Story Bible by David R. Helm and Gail Schoonmaker. These lessons can be used with other story Bibles or by telling the Bible stories in your own words. However, I strongly recommend this book for its excellent illustrations and unifying approach to salvation history.


Teaching Plan: Many Silent Years
(Big Picture of the Bible Lesson #12)

Introduction: Ask the children, “How long is 400 years?” Allow them to answer and direct the discussion so they conclude that it is a very long time. Explain that God’s people had to wait for about 400 years after the prophet Malachi until Jesus finally came.

Optional: Use a visual aid to show a timeline of 400 years. Add these events to that timeline:

  • The oldest person in our church is only 94 years old
  • The first McDonald’s was started 69 years ago (1940)
  • Cell phones have only bee around 36 years (1973)
  • Our church is only 47 years old (1962)
  • Our city of Madison is only 200 years old (1809)
  • The United States of America is only 233 years old (1776)
  • If people have kids at age 25 – then in 400 years there will be 16 generations.
  • Be creative and add events that will relate to your children

Active Listening: Display the key words. Ask the children to listen for these phrases to see if they can explain them back to you after the story: Caesar Augustus, Silent years, Proudly, Humbly, Baby

Read: “Part 12 Many Silent Years” from on The Big Picture Story Bible. Engage the children with good story telling. Ask unscripted questions to clarify points in the story. The questions under “review” below are the key points for them to understand from the lesson, so be sure to emphasize them as you read.

Hint Phrases: Review the active listening phrases. Use this to clarify the main elements of the story.

Review Questions: Use the following simple questions to test the children’s basic knowledge of the silent years and the Romans census that led up to the birth of Jesus. Answers in italics.

  • What did the story mean by silent years? Answer: There were many years with no word from God.
  • Why was the Roman king counting all the people? Answer: Caesar Augustus wanted to show the world how great he because he ruled over so many people.
  • How was God going to keep his promise of a forever king? Answer: God was going to humbly become one of his people, and come into the world as a baby.

Thinking Ahead: The Roman Kings showed their power by bossing people around, how do you think the Promised King would show his power? Answer: Jesus would show his power by helping people, teaching about God, and rising from the dead.

What Does This Say About God? Ask for volunteers to suggest truth about God that we can see in this story. Here are some possible answers, but many more are present.

  • God will keep his promises, even when the wait is very long.
  • God is not impressed with prideful Kings.
  • Jesus would be a different type of king, one that would be a blessing for all the peoples of the Earth.

Pray: Lead the children in a time of prayer . . .


Comments

  1. says

    I have used your web site for planning my Sunday school lessons for years!!! Such a valuable resource to help this 63 yr. old granny get her groove on for this younger generation!!!! Thank you for ALL the wonderful resources you share!

  2. says

    Thanks for asking. We never finished the series going through the New Testament portion of this book (at least not yet).

  3. Debbie says

    Are there any New Testament lessons to go with this book posted yet?

  4. Kate says

    I love the lessons, any hope for the new testament ones also being put up? Is the author still active on this website?

  5. says

    Great series with the Big Picture Story Bible lessons! Would really love it if you had the lessons for the New Testament as well. :)

  6. says

    Tony,

    I really love this lesson plan. The timeline is a great idea for visual learners. I especially enjoyed the added events to give kids an idea of perspective. 400 years was a long time.

    I also enjoyed the contrast between the Roman kings’ use of power and Jesus’ use of power. He was like no other king, still is:)

    An added application could be to remind the children that we are still waiting today – waiting for Jesus’ 2nd coming. We are to wait with hopeful expectency and readiness. Yet another lesson plan as to how we should wait, according to New Testament parables:)

    Thanks for sharing this! Looking forward to using it!

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