By Gail Marsh
In preparation, gather small smooth stones. (Your local landscaping company or craft store probably carries river rock or something similar.) For each game you make, you will need six stones: five smaller and one larger stone. Use a permanent marker to print a “D” on the five smaller stones (David). Print a “G” on the larger stone (Goliath.) Because this game is played much like marbles, you’ll want to test to make sure the stones will slide easily across the surface of the floor on which the children will play.
Use painter’s tape to mark off a “game board” (about 2' x 2') on the floor or playing surface. (The better the stones slide, the larger you should make the game board. Adjust the size as necessary.) Place all of the stones inside the square. Make enough squares and prepare enough stones so that each pair of students will have their own game.
Seat player pairs on the floor near their assigned game board. Then explain: To play this game, you will use one of the David stones, marked “D” to knock the Goliath “G” stone outside the boundary. One player at a time will choose a stone for David (D) and place it on the tape.
Slide your stone toward the Goliath stone to knock it outside the taped square, without pushing any of the other David stones outside the square. If you knock the Goliath stone outside the boundary without pushing any of the David stones out, you win.
If you don’t, all the stones in the square stay where they are and Player 2 takes a turn.
If anyone pushes a David stone out of the playing area, that player loses a turn and the other player gets to play twice.
You may only slide the stones!
After a few rounds, gather everyone together to talk. How hard or easy was this game? What made it hard (or easy)?
In one way, David faced a difficult challenge. What made it difficult? (Goliath was huge and an experienced warrior, had seemingly invincible armor, and had lots of confidence. David had no experience as a warrior, fought without armor, and was not nearly as big and strong as Goliath.)
In another way, David faced an easy challenge. What made it easy? (The Lord fought for David and gave David faith to trust this. He used the weapon he was used to using as a shepherd boy—a slingshot—and the Lord used it to save his people.)
Sometimes we face difficult challenges. What difficult challenges do you face? (If necessary, suggest one or more of these: being kind to a person who is mean to you: obeying parents or grandparents, especially when you don’t want to obey; knowing that Dad has lost his job; parents divorcing; facing illness in yourself or a family member; and more.)
These challenges can be very hard. What can make them easier? (Accept responses based on the truth that, as warriors of faith, we never face our challenges alone. Just as the Lord fought for David, so he will fight for us. He will give us everything we need!)
The hardest challenges sometimes go on for a long time. Even during those very hard times, Jesus wants you to know he is right beside you. He loves you. He will never, ever leave you to fight on your own. He will always be your Friend. He will give you courage, no matter what happens. He will give you patience. He will give you everything you need! Jesus will help you trust him to do what is the very best thing for you. You are his warrior of faith!
Editor’s note: Today’s game is slightly adapted from the Warriors of Faith 5-Part Kids Event Outline.