The Call of Abraham and Sarah


September 5 – October 3, 2004


Antioch Arcade



Scripture:  Genesis 12: 1-9


Memory Verse: “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” — Joshua 24:15b (NSRV)



  • We respond to God’s blessing by worshipping God.
  • We, like Abraham, are on a journey of faith with God.
  • Like Abraham, we should listen and obey when God leads us.



1.      Older children will locate the story of the call of Abraham in their Bibles. Younger children will learn that the story is in Genesis.

2.      The children will play a game that illustrates taking a “journey,” listening and obeying God, and worshiping God in response to our blessings.

3.      In the game they will also review the details of the story, and older children will practice finding the passage in their Bibles.

4.      The children will think about how to listen and obey God in their lives.



Welcome and Introductions:

1.      Greet the children and introduce yourself.  Wear your name-tag. Make sure the children are wearing name-tags. If not, ask the shepherd to supply a temporary badge. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.


2.      Open with a brief prayer (optional, as they have just prayed in Great Hall).


3.      Explain the purpose of this workshop. Today we’ll read the story of Abraham and his journey, and then we’ll play a game where we go on a journey.

Scripture/Bible Story:

1.      Grades 1-2 will not use Bibles, but do open yours to show them where the story is. For grades 3-5, make sure everybody has a Bible. The shepherds will have extra Bibles.  Help the students to find the book of Genesis. (Get the shepherds to go around the room and help with this.)


After they’ve found Genesis, help them find chapter 12, verses 1-9, and tell them this is where the story of the call of Abraham is told in the Bible. Some of the children will confuse chapters and verses. Show them that chapter numbers are the big ones, and also are at top of every page.


3.      Read the story or review it using the summary below as a guide. Be dramatic! Unless this is the first Sunday of the rotation, let the children help you tell the story. This will give you an idea of how much they already know. Other ideas for reviewing the story in later weeks:


  • Begin the story and let each person in the circle add one line to the story until it is complete. Variation for older kids: Use the timer in the supply bin (or just use a watch with a second hand). First child starts telling the story. After 15 seconds, second student picks up the tale, even if in mid-sentence. Keep going around circle until complete story is told.


  • Tell the story back to them with inaccuracies and let them correct you. (especially fun for the younger ones — but don’t do this until the later part of the rotation.


  • Photocopy the passage (remove verse numbers), cut it up and see if they can put it back together correctly.


Story Summary


Background: There was a man named Abram who was born in the city of Ur (show on map). (Later, Abram’s name was changed to Abraham, but at first he was called Abram.) He was married to Sarai, and they did not have any children. (Later, Sarai’s name was changed to Sarah.) For this rotation we will use the names Abraham and Sarah.  Abraham’s father decided to move from Ur to the land of Canaan (show on map), and he took Abraham and Sarah with him. Abraham’s nephew, Lot, also came along. On their way to Canaan, they came to the city of Haran (show on map) and they decided to settle there instead. And they lived in Haran until Abraham’s father died.


When Abraham was 75 years old, God said to him: Leave your country and your relatives and go to the land that I will show you. I will bless you and make your descendants into a great nation. You will become famous and be a blessing to others. I will bless anyone who blesses you, but I will put a curse on anyone who puts a curse on you. Everyone on earth will be blessed because of you.


Abraham obeyed God and left with his wife, Sarah, his nephew Lot, and all their possessions and slaves.


When they came to the land of Canaan, Abraham went to a place called Shechem (show on map). The Canaanites were still living in the land at that time, but God appeared to Abraham and promised, "I will give this land to your family forever." Abraham then built an altar there and worshiped God.


Abraham continued on his journey to the hill country east of Bethel (show on map). When he set up camp there, he built another altar and worshiped God. Later, he started out toward the Southern Desert (show on map).



See end of workshop plan for details on game materials. The game pieces should be laid out on the floor like stepping stones to make a winding path (like Candyland). The first stone is the one labeled Ur. Scattered through the path, put Haran, Shechem, and Hill Country, in that order. The last stone will be Southern Desert. The questions and other card items should be cut out and pasted onto index cards.


Divide the class into teams of 3 or 4 children, with up to 4 teams. The more teams you have, the longer it will take to play. For grades 3-5, give each child a Bible.

To play, kids move through the path as a team. When it’s a team’s turn, one member rolls a large die and the whole team moves the number of steps rolled.

Scripture stones (drawing of open Bible):
Grades 1-2:
Don’t use these stones in the game.


Grades 3-5: When a team lands on a “Scripture” stepping stone, have one member draw a Scripture card. Using the timer in the supply bin, give the team 1 minute to find the passage in the Bible. The first to find it reads it out loud. If somebody finds it before time runs out, the team moves ahead one space; if not, back one space. (If 1 minute seems too short for the class’s general ability, make it longer.)


Question stones (question mark):

When a team lands on a “Question” stepping stone, one member picks a question card and hands it to you without reading it. (the answers are on the card). Ask the question, and offer the multiple choices only if the team is stumped. Correct answer: forward one space. Incorrect:  back one space.

Action stones (weird splashy drawing): The team draws a card, listens and obeys the instruction.


Destination stones (Ur, Haran, Shechem, Hill Country, Southern Desert)

Whenever Abraham reached a new place, he built and altar and worshiped God. When a team lands on a destination stone, they should get on their knees and say “Thank you, God.”


The object of the game is not to reach the end of the path, because the Southern Desert was not the end of Abraham’s travels. The object is to take a journey, like Abraham. There is no winner; when you run out of time, the game is over. Try to play long enough for every child to throw the die. If the teams are progressing too fast, change the “go forward” and “go back” instructions so that they go forward fewer spaces and back more spaces.


During the early weeks of the rotation, put the Scripture and Question cards in chronological order to help connect story details with the sequence of events. In later weeks, if the kids seem familiar with the sequence and most of the details of each event, you can mix the cards up.


Reflection Time: (10:30)

Gather the children in a circle on the floor.


Recite the Bible memory verse learned in the Great Hall. "As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”  -- Joshua 24:15b


Discuss: When Abraham arrived in a new place, what did he do? He built an altar and worshiped God. This was how Abraham responded to God’s blessing. We also respond to God’s blessings by worshiping God.


Did you feel frustrated that you didn’t get to the end of the game? Well, even though the last square in our game was the Southern Desert, that was not the end of Abraham’s journey. We’ve learned only a small part of Abraham’s story. Abraham continued to travel, going where God led him.


Our lives are like Abraham’s too, because just like Abraham, we are on a journey of faith with God. Like Abraham, we should listen and obey when God leads us. We’ll never reach the end of that journey, it will last our whole lives.


In our game, God gave some silly instructions, but in real life we need to seriously listen and obey God. Every day, all day long, we choose whether to listen and obey God. How do you think Abraham knew what God was telling him? Do you think he heard a voice booming out of the sky? We don’t know how God spoke to Abraham. Maybe Abraham had a dream or a vision, or maybe he just had a strong feeling of what God wanted him to do.


Have you ever heard the voice of God telling you to do something? If God doesn’t “talk” to us like that, how do we know when God wants us to do something? The more we learn about God by studying the Bible, learning about Jesus and the way he lived, talking to others, praying and asking God to help us make decisions, the more we can feel sure of what God wants us to do. There are lots of ways to “listen” to God.


Journals: At 10:35 a.m. pass out the journal pages and ask the shepherds to pass out pencils/markers. Optional: Give the children a sticker or some other memento to paste in their journal as a reminder of the workshop.


Read the prompt to them, and offer suggestions if needed. Those who finish early can turn the page over and do the activity on the back.


Grades 3-5: There are no right or wrong answers. The suggestion of moving far away might be exciting or devastating. If needed, discuss possible reactions (running off to pack right away, sulking and begging parents not to go, telling them why you think they should stay, etc.) and remind them of the ways you’ve already discussed about how to listen to God.


At 10:45 ask the students to close their journals and sit quietly.


Closing: (10:45)

Encourage the children to bring an offering next week. Remind them that the offering from this rotation will go to the Peacemaking Offering..


Prayer: Close with a brief prayer. Suggestion: Thank you God, for all of our blessings. Help us to know what you want us to do and help us to obey you the way Abraham did. Amen.


Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help collect game materials, Bibles, etc. When the room is tidy, dismiss the class.


Teacher preparation in advance:

1.      Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.

2.      Prepare opening and closing prayers.

3.      Write the memory verse on the white board or display it in the room some other way.

4.      Paste questions, etc., for the game onto index cards.

5.      Set up the stepping stones for the game. If the weather is nice, you can play on the sidewalk outside.


Supply List

Pencils (in supply bin; the shepherds also have pencils)

Dry-erase marker (in supply bin)

Extra Bibles

Journal pages

Game materials: Stepping stones, giant die, game cards


Scripture cards


Genesis 12:1

Genesis 12:6

Genesis 12:2

Genesis 12:7

Genesis 12:3

Genesis 12:8

Genesis 12:4

Genesis 12:9

Genesis 12:5



Question cards



Where was Abraham born?





When Abraham arrived in Canaan, who was living there?

The Canaanites

The Jews

The Christians


Who was Abraham’s wife?





When Abraham arrived in Canaan, where was the first place he stopped?





How many children did Abraham and Sarah have?





When Abraham was at Shechem, what did God tell him?

“Build and altar and worship me.”

“I will give this land to your family forever.”

“Don’t stop here, this land belongs to somebody else.”


When Abraham’s father left Ur and settled in Haran, who went with him?

Sarah, Lot, and Joseph

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

Abraham, Sarah, and Lot


What did Abraham do at Shechem?

Built a house for himself and Sarah.

Built a fence to hold all his animals.

Built an altar and worshiped God.


True or false: Lot was Abraham’s son.



True or false: God promised to bless Abraham and make his descendants a great nation.



True or false: Abraham lived in Haran until his father died.



True or false: God said everyone on earth will be blessed because of Abraham.





How old was Abraham when God told him to move to a new land?





When Abraham left Shechem, where did he go? (hint: look at the stepping stones)

Back to Ur

To the hill country east of Bethel

To the Southern Desert


True or false: Abraham decided to stay in Haran, because he was too old to start over in a new place.



When Abraham set up camp in the hill country, what did he do?

Built a house for himself and Sarah

Built a fort to protect his people from the Canaanites

Built an altar and worshiped God.


When Abraham left Haran, who went with him?

Isaac, Jacob, and Lot

Sarah, Lot, and all their slaves

Lot, Joseph, and Moses


When Abraham left the hill country, where did he go? (hint: look at the stepping stones)

Toward the Southern Desert

Back to Haran

Back to Shechem


Action Cards:


God Says: Jump up and down exactly seven times.

God Says: Hop on one foot exactly 6 times, then stand on that foot and count to seven.

God Says: Raise your hands as high as you can, wiggle your fingers, then clap seven times

God Says: Do not speak from now until your team’s next turn.

God Says: Lean to the left, lean to the right, turn around once.;

God Says: Go back one space

God Says: Go forward one space

God Says: Go back two spaces

God Says: Go forward two spaces

God Says: Go forward one space and back two spaces