One of the most important callings in the church is that of our children’s Sunday School teachers. Without the persistent dedication of these men and women every week, providing Sunday School lessons for kids, the future generations would have very little help and guidance to know of God and His plan for His children. While being a Sunday School teacher may mean that you don’t usually get to see all of the fruits of your labors, it is important to keep in mind that children are like sponges and even though they may not retain everything we say, you never know which parts will be remembered, so every lesson needs to count.
Top 52 Sunday School Lessons for Kids Ministry & VBS
Here are the top things to think about when preparing your Sunday School curriculum for kids:
- Is it God-centered?: Nowadays, it is more often than not that the kids Sunday school lessons will focus around the human characters in a children’s Bible story or a moral lesson. The Bible is the Word of God and was written so that we may come to know God and His plan for humanity. Make sure that your kids Sunday school lessons don’t spend too much time and energy on the people or moral lessons and instead, put the focus on God and His goodness.
- Will your students understand it?: While everyone has different comprehension levels, it is best to make sure that the curriculum and study materials you work with are suitable for their age group. This means being mindful of which translations of the Bible to use and what subject matter your Sunday School lessons for kids will be about.
- Will it stick with them?: In today’s age, people are audio/visual learners and visual elements in your study have been proven to dramatically increase your lesson’s retention rate in the minds of your students. Whether or not you like the idea of using visual elements, it ultimately comes down to how you can do the most for your students to see that they receive and retain what you’re trying to teach them.
Here are a list of the top 52 Sunday School lessons for kids to consider when planning your children’s Bible studies:
UPDATE: New Sunday School lessons will be added to this list as time goes on to keep it fresh!
Where else better to start your Sunday School curriculum than with Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God…” To come closer to God, we must first come to know of God and recognize that all that we know and observe was created by God, Himself. Take time with your students to establish this foundational truth so that they can come to faith in God and seek to know Him as their Creator.
Why is there evil in the world? Why do we need Jesus to be our Lord and Savior? In Genesis 3, the account of “the Fall of Man” is integral to understanding why our world has been corrupted by sin and why it is necessary to put our faith in Jesus and follow Him. All kids need to know this Bible story in order to understand God’s redemptive plan for man and why Jesus needs to be in their life.
Cain & Abel
What happened once sin had been introduced into the world? We see that Genesis 4:1-16 tells us the story of brothers, Cain and Abel. When we allow sin to take control and forsake love, the consequences are devastating. Any child with siblings will relate to a story about brothers at odds and why it’s so important to let their love for God be the center of all relationships.
In Genesis 6-9, the account of the flood tells of the awful consequences of a world left to its own sinful desires, but also reminds us of the amazing grace of God and His promise to never flood the whole earth again. While Noah’s Ark is a famous kids Bible story that we can take for granted, it is still just as important and relevant to teach as ever in your kids Sunday School lessons.
The Tower of Babel
Genesis 11:1-9 answers many historical questions for us as we grow and wonder why humanity is so widespread and diverse. Your kids Sunday school lessons should be careful to take some time explaining the events leading up to and coming after this event for your students so that they can hold to the Truths of God’s Word.
Considered to be the oldest written book of the Bible, the Book of Job tells the story of a faithful man who lost everything when Satan wanted to turn him away from God. Job is a Bible story that is not often shared during kids Sunday School lessons, due to the melancholy story of poor Job and his trials. However, Job is a shining example of a righteous man who never lost his faith in God, despite what he went through. It is also a powerful example of God’s faith in those who worship Him with their whole heart.
Sodom and Gomorrah
The infamous account of Sodom and Gomorrah is told in Genesis 18-19 as the city is destroyed for its rampant sin. As a kids Bible story, Sodom and Gomorrah shows us how God deals with sin on a personal, as well as corporate, level and cities and nations are all subject to judgment for their actions, but His mercy extends to those who call on His name.
Abraham and Isaac
The story of Abraham’s obedience to God and willingness to sacrifice his only son in Genesis 22 is a beautiful allusion to Christ in the Old Testament. It is important to show during your Sunday School lessons for kids how God spared Abraham from sacrificing Isaac and provided the sacrifice, Himself, just as He would provide Christ as a sacrifice for our sins, thousands of years later.
Jacob and Esau
Another infamous tale of sibling rivalry, the Bible story of Jacob and Esau in Genesis 25:19-34 and Genesis 27:1-46 sets the stage for Jacob’s blessing as the patriarch of the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people. This story shows Jacob’s humble beginnings and deceptive tactics to claim his older brother’s birthright and blessing as the leader of the family, which them leads to his fleeing for his life. This lesson shows kids the negative consequences of dishonesty, but also shows how God can turn bad situations into a necessary lesson and blessing.
Jacob Wrestles with God
In Genesis 32, Jacob is wrestling with himself about returning home, where he fears that his brother is waiting for revenge. He encounters God and fights for His blessing, before returning home to find his brother, anxiously awaiting his arrival and offering forgiveness for their past. This Sunday School story for kids shows us the beauty of forgiveness and how God can overcome any situation that we feel worried about and is ready to bless us when we are ready to receive those blessings.
The story of Joseph and his brothers in Genesis 37-50 not only introduces us to the 12 patriarchs of the 12 tribes of Israel, but also shows the steadfast obedience of Joseph as he is enslaved and imprisoned, before eventually being elevated as a powerful ruler of Egypt. Joseph’s life has many wonderful stories that your kids Sunday School class can relate to and understand and his testimony sets a wonderful example for all of us to trust and obey God through even the darkest of times.
Moses and the Ten Plagues of Egypt
The Bible story of Moses and the ten plagues of Egypt in Exodus 1-11 is essential for any kids Sunday School curriculum. God’s deliverance of Israel is a pivotal account to the Judeo-Christian faith as we see God display His supreme authority over creation and the consequences for those who seek to harm God’s children.
Israel’s Exodus from Egypt in the Book of Exodus, chapters 12-15, once again demonstrates the authority of God over nature and mankind as He used Moses to lead His chosen people to freedom. In the end, not even Pharaoh, who thought himself a god, could do anything to interfere with God keeping His promise to the Israelites.
The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments, as given in Exodus 20, were given by God as a foundation of the Law which requires obedience and respect to Him and our fellow men. The story of the Ten Commandments shows the sinfulness of Israel as they immediately break the first commandment before Moses even gets back. Kids Sunday School lessons should take time to go over each of the Ten Commandments and how they not only tell us what not to do, but how each commandment also entitles us to certain God-given rights (e.g. You shall not steal = we have a right to have personal property).
Israel’s infamous wandering in the wilderness, as recorded throughout Exodus – Deuteronomy, gives a variety of examples where the Israelites sinned against God and were punished at times, yet God still preserved them and provided for them and constantly reminded them that He was their God and their Redeemer.
Battle of Jericho
In Joshua 6, under the leadership of Joshua, son of Nun, the Israelites came up against Jericho, which was a city that was famous for it’s fortified walls. God made the point that the city would not fall by the hands and weapons of the Israelites, but by His help, alone. When the Israelites obeyed God’s direction, the victory was given to them.
Many years after the Exodus, the Book of Judges, chapters 6-8, tells the tale of Gideon, a reluctant judge of Israel, who God uses to stir the Israelites against their oppressors, the Midianites. God makes sure to lead Gideon and his small army to victory in such a way so that Israel would know that it was truly God and His strength that overcome the Midianites and not the might of the Israelites, themselves. Your Sunday School lessons for kids should focus on God’s goodness and how Gideon’s obedience to God, although reluctant at first, is what ultimately led to his success.
The story of Samson in Judges 13-16 is a tragic one as Samson’s arrogance and anger ultimately lead to his demise. As a kids bible story, the story of Samson shows how our pride leads to our downfall and no matter how strong we think we are on our own, our strength truly comes from the Lord. Eventually, Samson learns his lesson just before his death and delivers the final blow to the Philistines, who were oppressing the Israelites.
Ruth and Boaz
A beautiful allusion to Christ, the Book of Ruth is a charming love story that your students will enjoy. Ruth and Naomi band together to care for each other when their husbands die, and then are ultimately blessed by Boaz as he and Ruth fall in love and he acts as kinsman redeemer and marries her. This picture points to Christ who redeems the church, His bride. It is also wonderful to mention that Ruth is King David’s great grandmother and that means that Jesus was born from her lineage, as well.
In 1 Samuel 1-2, Israel’s final Judge, Samuel is born to Hannah, who desperately wants a child, and vows to give him to the service of the Lord. As he grows, Samuel hears the voice of God and becomes a prophet to Israel. Your Sunday School lessons for kids can focus on how God will use any of us who are willing and obedient, no matter what age we are or background we come from.
In 1 Samuel 8-12, Saul is appointed king in answer to the Israelites’ desire to have a human king to lead them into battle against surrounding nations. Saul’s corruption shows that no human ruler will be everything that we need, but that Jesus alone is our true King.
David & Goliath
A popular lesson in any Sunday School curriculum, the story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17 teaches how God can use anyone for His will and that He will equip us in any battle we may face. Students can easily relate to the youth of David and his humble stature, which makes his courage and trust in the Lord such a powerful example for the coming generation.
This Sunday School lesson focuses on the account of King Solomon, the son of David, his wisdom, many wives and ultimate failure in sin. 1 Kings 1-11. Being rich and famous does not satisfy. Only God does!
The account of Elijah and the prophets of Baal is found in 1 Kings 18. Israel’s rebellion against God led them to worship false idols and heed false prophets. Elijah shamed their false gods by showing the power of the One True God. Use this lesson to teach your kids Sunday School that God has proven Himself time and time again to His people and that He is the only One worthy of worship.
Naaman is Healed
The story of Naaman shows how he was healed by God through the prophet Elisha as seen in the book of 2 Kings, despite the fact that he was a Gentile. Naaman was told to bathe himself in the Jordan river, after which all his sores would be healed.
In this kids’ Bible school lesson, the focus is on Jonah, Nineveh and the big fish. God sent Jonah to tell Nineveh to repent of their sins. Instead of obeying God, Jonah chose to disobey and flee God. He got swallowed by a big fish, and ended up following God’s command, anyway.
This Sunday School Lesson focuses on the book of the prophet Isaiah who prophesied regarding Jesus, the coming Messiah. Isaiah told the people to repent of their sins and turn to God.
The Fiery Furnace
The children’s Bible story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego teaches how God will protect us from those who seek to do harm to us when we follow Him. In the end, they were delivered from harm and God was glorified!
Daniel in the Lion’s Den
The account of Daniel in the lion’s den from the Book of Daniel, chapter 6 shows that when we stay faithful to God, even in the face of adversity, we know that we can count on Him to deliver us.
In this children’s Bible story, children will learn the story of Esther, the brave girl who became queen of Persia and saved the Jews from extinction. God used Mordecai and Esther to deliver his people from the evil hand of Haman.
Your Sunday School curriculum should have a lesson on Nehemiah who left Babylon to return to Jerusalem and rebuild its walls. Through Nehemiah’s prayer, God provided a way to accomplish his task, in the face of opposition. Your Sunday School class will know that when our eyes are set on the tasks that God has given us, nothing will stop us.
Birth of Jesus
Amongst children’s Bible stories, one of the most precious is the account of the Birth of Jesus as given in the Gospel of Matthew. Mary, a virgin, gives birth to the Savior in a manger in Bethlehem, fulfilling many prophecies about the Messiah. So many signs were given to us to know who the Messiah would be when He came and we are left no room for doubt that Jesus was the only One who fulfilled all those prophecies.
John the Baptist
In Matthew 3:1-12, John the Baptist is introduced. John proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah and preached repentance from sin. John baptized with water and lived in the desert eating honey and locusts. He also baptized Jesus. Baptism is an ongoing discussion in the church and should be discussed at length during your kids Sunday School lessons.
Temptation of Jesus
The temptation of Jesus while He was fasting in the wilderness is an extremely important lesson to go over in your kids Sunday School. Since Jesus was the God-man, it is important that we remember that He was God, as well as man, and He still dealt with temptation just like we do, yet, because He was born without a sin nature, He went through life without giving into temptation and sinning. A fantastic point to make is how Jesus used Scripture to combat the temptation from Satan.
The 12 Disciples
The 12 disciples may have seemed like a bunch of average guys, or even “nobodies”, but these 12 men were chosen by Jesus to be His closest confidantes and partners in His ministry on earth. Your students can learn from their ups and downs as His followers and everyone can relate to at least one of these men and the struggles they had with their own faith. Still, these were the men that Jesus had chosen to turn the world upside down and proclaim His Gospel to the farthest reaches of the earth.
The Sermon on the Mount
The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 is full of some of Jesus’s most famous teachings. In your Sunday School curriculum, take this lesson and separate it into individual parts to help your students retain all of the different aspects of this sermon and take these truths to heart.
The children’s Bible story of Jesus and Nicodemus contains arguably the most famous verse of them all, John 3:16. Jesus explains profound truths to Nicodemus on what one must do to be a part of the kingdom of God, which is to be born again of the Spirit, and what that truly means. Make sure to drive this foundational truth home during your Sunday School lessons for kids so that your students can begin to understand the weight of the Gospel and the depths of God’s love for us.
Jesus Heals the Sick
There are many examples of Jesus healing the sick throughout the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It is important to address these miracles in any Sunday School curriculum and emphasize that Jesus was more concerned about the spiritual condition of others, rather than just the physical and each miracle was done so that God would be glorified.
The Bible story of Zacchaeus from Luke 19:1-10 is often told to children because we think of how they can relate to Zacchaeus’s small physical stature. However, the root of Zacchaeus’s problems were clearly spiritual as he was a tax collector whom the Jewish people despised. Upon encountering Jesus and experiencing the kindness of the Messiah, first hand, we see a beautiful story of repentance as Zacchaeus vows to return all that he had unfairly taken, and then some.
Feeding the 5,000
Among His many miracles, the feeding of the 5,000 recorded in Matthew 14:13-21 is a wonderful Kids Bible school lesson as we see that Jesus has compassion on the multitudes and provides for them. Your students can see how even when it seems that we have so little, we can trust in God to be our provider.
Jesus Walks on Water
In the account of Jesus walking on the water; found in Matthew 14, Mark 6, and John 6; Peter’s faith is tested as he steps onto the water to come to Jesus. While he didn’t make it, it serves as a valuable lesson to us about faith and trust in God and what happens when we lose focus, even momentarily.
Jesus Calms the Storm
When Jesus and His disciples were caught in a great storm, his disciples thought they were done for. This Sunday School lesson shows that no matter what storms we encounter in life, Jesus is ultimately in control and nothing is beyond Him.
The Good Samaritan
Among Jesus’s parables, the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:28-37 gives us a proper perspective as to who we should refer to as our “neighbor” when we are told to love our neighbors. The Good Samaritan is a powerful lesson on how love should rule all of our actions, no matter what our differences are.
The Prodigal Son
The parable of the Prodigal Son from Luke 15:11-32 is a beautiful picture of the Father’s love for His children. It is not uncommon to hear of others being afraid that their behavior or actions may have made God too angry to take them back. Just like the prodigal son in the story, we can look forward to the yearning embrace of our Father’s arms when we turn from the world and come back to Him.
The touching and awe-inspiring miracle of Lazarus’s resurrection from the dead in John 11 is powerful as a children’s Bible study. Jesus is Lord of life and death and while it is a wonderful thing to know that He has the power to physically resurrect the dead, it is that much greater that He will spiritually resurrect all who believe in Him when He comes again.
The Temple Cleansing
While we often think of Jesus as a peacemaker, the story of the temple cleansing in Matthew 21 serves as a reminder that Jesus still had a righteous anger when His Father’s house was being profaned. The House of God is a place of worship and must not be abused or misused for our own gains.
While painful and disturbing to think about the depravity of humanity and the cruelty that we can inflict when left to our own devices, the story of the Crucifixion and the hours leading up to Christ’s death on the cross is integral to the Christian faith. Jesus bore His cross in humility and pain so that the sacrifice could be made for the sins of us all. Use this lesson to teach your Kids Bible school of Christ’s love, why the sacrifice was necessary and what it means for those who follow Christ.
The resurrection of Christ is so important that the Bible says that if it didn’t actually happen, then our preaching and faith is useless (1 Cor. 15:14). Christ’s resurrection is such an integral part of the Christian faith and needs to be a constant theme of discussion during Sunday School lessons for kids and even within Bible studies for all ages.
Ascension & Pentecost
The Book of Acts begins with the ascension of Christ and the outpouring of the Spirit to His disciples. The contrast in Jesus’s followers from the Gospels to the Book of Acts is an amazing testimony of the early church and the bravery and strength given to them by the Spirit of God. Your kids Sunday School can learn from the examples of the disciples and how they stood fast in their faith against adversity and turned the world upside down.
Even though Stephen was not an apostle, he preached the Gospel to many people and it led to his unjust persecution and execution by those who hated Christians. While tragic, as a children’s Bible story, it sets a powerful example of the first recorded martyr in the Bible and how he had nothing to fear in death as he was then greeted by the Lord into heaven.
The life and conversion of Saul, who would eventually change his name to Paul, in Acts 9 reminds us that even the people who we think are too corrupt or antagonistic towards Christianity still have hope. Paul considered himself the chief of sinners for what he had done (1 Timothy 1:15) but he knew that God’s grace and mercy far outweighed his own shortcomings.
Paul’s Missionary Journey
Paul’s journeys to spread the Gospel show his amazing persistence in reaching the lost and declaring Jesus to the nations so that they may be saved. No matter how hard life gets, your Sunday School class should know that God is always there and will equip us for every good work that He puts before us. Just like Paul, we should run the race with endurance with our eyes on God and His Kingdom.
Bonus Sunday School Lessons:
Rahab & the Spies
The story of Rahab and the Spies from Joshua 2:1-24 tells the account of the two Israelite spies sent by Joshua to infiltrate the city of Jericho and the woman, Rahab, who helps them. Rahab’s faith in hearing the accounts of what God had done for Israel led her to help the Israelites by hiding them and helping them escape. The spies instruct her to hang a scarlet cord from her window so that the Israelites spare her and her household when they destroyed the city of Jericho on their way into the Promised Land. This kids Sunday school lesson teaches how obedience to God through active faith results in deliverance and blessings.
Elijah and the Dead Boy
The story of Elijah and the widow’s son in 1 Kings 17 paints a picture of hope in the midst of desperation. Elijah visited the home of a widow who gave what little she had to offer with the hope that the Lord would provide for her and her son. God miraculously provides enough flour and oil for the widow and her son to last through the famine, only to lose her son to sickness, afterwards. Elijah prayed over the body of the boy and he came back to life. This heart-wrenching story reminds us that even in the most desperate times, God still cares about our needs and takes care of us through good times and bad.
Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman
God’s grace and forgiveness are so much greater than our sins and failures, as evidenced in the account of Jesus and the sinful woman who came and anointed his feet in the home of a Pharisee. This children’s bible study found in Luke 7:36-50 paints the contrast of the Pharisee, who is only concerned about law and tradition, and the sinful woman, who faces ridicule and shame to anoint the feet of Jesus. Jesus points out that the woman recognizes how great God’s forgiveness is for her and how her gratitude reflects that with a simple act of kindness.
Jesus Teaches How to Pray
Even though it can seem like such a simple concept, prayer is an integral part of our daily lives and Jesus made it clear how important it was to pray and talk to God. In this kids Sunday school lesson, Luke 11 talks about how Jesus instructed his disciples how to pray the Lord’s prayer and how praying is our way of asking God’s will and making our requests known to him.
The Rich Man and Lazarus
The parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16 serves as a great children’s Sunday school lesson to remind us that the treasures we store in heaven are the only treasures that really matter. The rich man had many luxuries in his lifetime while Lazarus lived as a beggar in front of the rich man’s gates, fighting for scraps. When both died, Lazarus went to heaven whereas the rich man was cast into Hades because he did not put God first in his life.
Parable of the Talents
The parable of the talents is a well-known parable used by Jesus to describe how God entrusts us with gifts and callings to multiply, spiritually. In this parable, a ruler leaves his servants each with several talents of gold: one with ten talents, one with five, and one with a single talent. The servants with ten and five talents invested and doubled their earnings, while the servant with one talent feared losing it and buried it. When the ruler returns, he praises and promotes the servants who doubled their talents, but punishes the servant who buried his talent.
The Unforgiving Servant
The parable of the unmerciful servant tells the story of a servant who owed a debt he couldn’t repay to his king. The king had mercy on the servant and forgave his debt, but when the servant was freed, he harassed and imprisoned a fellow servant who owed him a smaller debt that could not be repaid. As a result, the king threw the unforgiving servant in prison to be tormented until the debt was paid. This parable is a great reminder that just like we have been forgiven so much, so too are we expected to forgive others even when they can’t or don’t want to make amends.
Ananias and Sapphira
The story of Ananias and Sapphira from Acts 4:32-5:11 is a powerful reminder of the severity of our sins, even after Christ paid our debt. Ananias and Sapphira lied to the church about their donation to make it seem like they were giving more than they were and gain favor from others in the church. Their lie was exposed and they paid the ultimate price for it. Use this story to remind children that all sin is equal and we need to pray to God to transform our hearts and keep us free from sin.
The Road to Emmaus
In Luke 24:13-35, two of Jesus’ followers are travelling on the road to the village of Emmaus when they meet a stranger who is actually Jesus, but his identity is hidden from them. As they walk with him, he explains the prophecies from Scripture of how the Messiah would be killed and resurrected. This is a great lesson to share how Jesus explains the Old Testament prophecies that further establish him as the long awaited Messiah.
Philip and the Ethiopian
The account of the Apostle Philip and the Ethiopian is a powerful children’s bible study lesson on obedience to God and following His guidance, even when we don’t understand the reason why. In Acts 8:26-40, Philip is instructed by an angel to go to Gaza without telling him why. There, he encounters an Ethiopian man on his way back to his country with a scroll of Isaiah. Philip explains the prophecy from the section of Isaiah that the Ethiopian was reading and shares the Gospel with him and baptizes him as a new believer in Jesus before the Ethiopian returns to his country with the Good News that the Messiah has come!
The Armor of God
In Ephesians 6:10-17, Christians are instructed to arm themselves with the Armor of God which includes: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the Gospel, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. Use this kids Sunday school lesson to teach your children that, by remembering to fortify ourselves in the truths and promises of God’s Word, Christians have everything they need to overcome the attacks of Satan.
As Jacob was in turmoil, fleeing for his safety, Genesis 28:10-22 says that God came to him with a vision of angels ascending and descending on a ladder between heaven and earth. Through this vision, God promised Jacob that his descendants would be blessed and multiplied to bless all nations. Jesus later revealed to His disciples that He was the ladder in Jacob’s vision and that He came to bridge the gap between God and man. Use this children’s Bible story to illustrate the faithfulness of God, who always keeps His promises.
Joshua & the Sun
Widely regarded as one of the most spectacular miracles of the Bible, Joshua 10:1-15 tells the story of when Joshua prayed for the sun and moon to stand still so that the Israelites could finish off the Amorites and God answered his prayer. The sun and moon stayed in the sky for almost an entire day and God made it hail huge hailstones that eliminated a large amount of the enemy army, allowing the Israelites to chase and put an end to the Amorites, completely. Use this kids Sunday school lesson to teach your students of how powerful God is and how we have nothing to fear, knowing that God fights on our side.
All of these children’s Bible stories contain a wealth of knowledge and insight from God’s Word. Each of these Sunday School lessons, along with accompanying lesson guides, activities, slideshows, and videos, are all available with SharefaithKids Sunday School curriculum from Sharefaith, Inc. SharefaithKids is the world’s first cloud-based Sunday School curriculum that allows you to easily and effectively study and teach with it anywhere you have an internet connection. Each Sunday School lesson focuses on God and His redemptive plan for mankind. Feel free to try out our demo lesson, here and see how SharefaithKids will work for you to enhance your Kids Sunday School today!