Teaching kids about the Tabernacle

Written by on May 2, 2012 in How to Pray Tabernacle Prayer

Here are some tips for getting your kids involved in praying the tabernacle.  We believe the key concept in learning the tabernacle is the VISUAL and PRACTICAL and ORDERLY aspects of Tabernacle worship.  To help convey that we have developed a few visual tools.    The most popular video we have right now for kids focuses on teaching kids what the ten commandments are.  Reflecting on the ten commandments is part of the laver in the Tabernacle Prayer.  This brief video is fun and great for everyone (even though it’s designed for kids) to learn the Ten Commandments.  With each of our 4 kids, first they learn what the commandments are, then the commandments become a key basis for prayer and discipline in family life.  For example when a child tells a lie, they are reminded about commandment 9… thou shall not lie (bearing false witness) They realize that God tells to be truth tellers, not liars, so as a Christian family, in a very lifegiving way,  we repent when we tell lies and receive forgiveness for breaking a commandment of God.  We have found that in using this approach, telling the truth becomes a high priority with the children and this serves them well as they grow up.

Here is a simple way set up a tabernacle for kids from Rose Publishing who has some excellent Tabernacle Materials.

How to Create a Tabernacle Model in 10 minutes:

Rose Guide to the Tabernacle

Hello fellow Kids’ Ministries leader (If you don’t work with kids, then please forward this e-mail to your Kids’ Ministries leaders),

  1. Set Up Tabernacle Boundaries Use masking tape to draw out the boundaries of the Tabernacle’s main areas, such as the courtyard, the Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies. If outside, try using sidewalk chalk instead of tape.
  2. Create a “Veil” Barrier for the Holy of HoliesUse 2 cardboard voting booth barriers (or something akin: room barriers, hung blankets, etc) to block the Holy of Holies from the rest of the areas. DON’T let kids see what’s behind this barrier before the object lesson. This will automatically create a “buzz” of anticipation amongst the kids before the lesson, “Oooh”.What’s behind there?”
  3. Enthusiastically Explain the Israelites’ Pattern of WorshipDesignate several kids as priests and one student as the High Priest. Explain the Israelites’ pattern of worship. For more information on this, check out Rose Guide to the Tabernacle.Allow all the kids to enter into the courtyard. Then, only allow the designated students to enter the Holy Place. Emphasize that only these “special” priests may enter the next section. Kids will usually whine, “That’s not fair!” “Why only them?” etc.Then, talk about how God’s presence dwelt in the Holy of Holies and how only the High Priest once a year could go into the Holy of Holies. Describe the various sacred furnishings in the Holy of Holies, such as the Ark of the Covenant, and explain how the priest made a sacrifice to pay for the Israelites’ sins. (I brought a stuffed lamb).Ask the kids, “Do you think it’s fair that only one person only once a year got to go into the room where God’s presence stayed? Who wants to go in there?” My kids answered with a resounding, “Yes, it’s unfair because we want to go in there too.”
  4. Connect the Tabernacle to JesusExplain how Jesus paid the ultimate price and gives us direct access to God, so we don’t have to go through this specific pattern to worship Him anymore. As you explain how Jesus died on the cross, have two other leaders dramatically slide (“rip”) the two cardboard barriers apart, symbolizing how Jesus took away every barrier separating us from God’s presence.
  5. Make It RelevantEmphasize that during worship we directly enter into God’s presence. I will always remember that after I emphasized this point a first grader exclaimed, “I want to go in there with God.” I pray this stays the anthem of her heart and all of our hearts: “I want to go into God’s presence.”

At first glance, teaching the Tabernacle to kids may appear as a lofty, unrealistic, and unnecessary goal. However, when kids understand how worship used to be, they are able to better appreciate worship now.

Imagine how your kids’ attitudes and behavior will change when they realize worship is all about Him!
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