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The Right Person for the Job

The discipline of learning

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Key Stage 2


To consider that the disciplines we learn as young people equip us for the future.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a narrator to read the Bible story about the choosing of David found in 1 Samuel 16.1-12.


1. Tell the children that you are going to tell them a story that you heard recently.

A young man was at a job interview in London. He was a graduate and the job was a good one. When the young man saw the other candidates in the waiting room before the interview he realized that he was up against stiff opposition. All the candidates were graduates, with good degrees; many of them came from the best universities in the land. They were all smart-looking young people. Some even had experience in other similar lines of employment.
When it was his turn to be interviewed the young man answered the questions well and gave a good account of his academic ability.

'Now,' said the manager of the firm. 'Tell me about your hobby.'
The young man was a keen rower, so he proceeded to speak about his training regime, his performances and races.
At the end of the interview the young man was offered the job.

‘You see,’ the manager explained, 'all of the candidates had excellent degrees, good experience and would have been successful choices. However, you have discipline, which they did not have. You get up early in the morning in all sorts of weather to train. You push yourself to the limit physically, you accept orders, and you have to work as part of a team. You are the kind of person my firm needs.'

2. There is a similar story in the Bible. A new king was to be appointed over God’s people. He was to be chosen from the family of Jesse. Ask the children to listen out for the people that God did not choose as the Narrator reads 1 Samuel 16.1-12.

God didn’t choose the oldest, the tallest or the most handsome. He chose the youngest son of Jesse whose job was to look after sheep. God’s reasons were similar to the manger of the firm's. God knew what job he had for David and he knew what training David needed for that job.

3. Ask the pupils what they think David’s job would have involved.

Listen to a range of responses.

David would have learnt about leading, feeding, protecting, doctoring and helping, along with many more skills.

4. So how would David’s training equip him for the job God had planned for him?
Well, the Bible says that people are actually a lot like sheep. We often go our own way, want our own way, wander away from safe places and get hurt. God needed someone who was caring and compassionate, someone who was brave, someone after God’s own heart. God needed someone who would care for His people. David fitted that bill.

Time for reflection

What disciplines are you learning today that may equip you for the future?

Dear God,
Thank you that I am going through a training process.
Thank you that this training and discipline is producing good fruit in me.
Help me to accept it with gratitude.

Publication date: January 2016   (Vol.18 No.1)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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