Sunday School teachers are always on the lookout for great kids Bible lessons that are easy to teach and captivate their children’s imagination! In this article, we’ve assembled ten must-have Sunday School lessons from the Old and New Testaments. With each Sunday School lesson, you’ll find a handy overview, key teaching points and a video that brings the Bible story to life.


 

Top 10 Free Sunday School Lessons List

  1. Matthew 26 The Crucifixion
  2. Matthew 5 Love Your Enemies
  3. Luke 2 Mary & Joseph Christmas Story
  4. He Is Risen Easter Sunday School Lesson
  5. Judges 6 Gideon & The 300 Men
  6. Queen Esther Sunday School Lesson
  7. The Story of Job Sunday School Lesson
  8. Matthew 14 Jesus Feeds 5000
  9. Jonah & The Whale Sunday School Lesson
  10. 1 Corinthians 13 Love Is

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1) Matthew 26 The Crucifixion

Scripture: Matthew 26:1-27:55, Mark 14:22-15:40; Luke 22:1-23:56; John 18:1-19:37

Goal: To help children understand why Jesus died and accept His death for sins on their behalf.

Characters:

  • Jesus: Though innocent, he died. His death was the sacrifice for our sins.
  • Judas: One of Jesus’ disciples. Judas betrayed Jesus and helped the religious leaders arrest Jesus.
  • Peter: One of Jesus’ disciples. Peter cut off one of an ear of one of the guards who came to arrest Jesus. Also, just as Jesus predicted, Peter denied Him three times.
  • Pilate: A Roman official who gave the official approval for Jesus to be killed.

Memory Verse:

  • 1 Corinthians 15:3: Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures.

Memory Verse Application:

  • The plan for Jesus to die for our sins was planned long ago. Prophets who lived long before Jesus’ birth spoke of the coming Messiah, detailing what His life would be like, what He would be like, and what He would do. Jesus’ life and death fulfilled all of these prophecies. While the Word of God is literally written by people, every word is divinely inspired. We can trust that the Bible represents God’s story and that we can use it to learn about Him and His love for us.

Overview: Read over Matthew 26:1-56

Jesus, betrayed by one of His disciples, is arrested and tried before the religious leaders. Based on the testimony of false witnesses, the religious leaders ruled to have Jesus killed. They delivered Jesus to the Roman governor, Pilate. In response to the requests of the Jewish people, Pilate ordered Jesus to be whipped and crucified.  Beaten and bloodied, Jesus carried His cross to Golgotha, where His hands and feet were nailed to the cross and then lifted upright between two thieves. While hanging on the cross, the Roman soldiers and the religious leaders mocked Him. When Jesus died, the earth shook, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and the veil in the temple was torn in two. Those who were with Jesus after his death and witnessed these things were filled with awe and knew that He truly was the Son of God.  

Suggestions: When thinking about Jesus, who was perfect and sinless, coming to die for our sins, we often feel bad. Jesus was not sad or angry that He had to do it. Before He created the universe, God knew we would need a savior, and He created us even still. From our creation to our salvation, God’s plans and actions are done out of love.

To receive salvation through Jesus’ death on the cross, all we need to do is accept Jesus as our Savior.

Pre-Lesson Activities

Gospel Treasure Hunt

  • Supplies: Print pictures of the following items: a cup, a loaf of bread, praying hands, silver coins, an ear, a rooster, a gavel, a leather whip, a crown of thorns, nails, a cross, a sword, and a stone.
  • Split the class into teams. Tell the students that there are pictures hidden around the room, and the team to find the most wins. As you count the number of pictures for each team, explain how each pictured item relates to the lesson.

Post-Lesson Activities

Popsicle Stick Cross

  • Supplies: Popsicle sticks, glue, yarn, markers, other decorative craft supplies.
  • Give children two popsicle sticks and have them create a cross by either gluing the sticks together or using yarn. They may decorate the crosses using whatever craft supplies are available.

Take Home: Because we love Jesus so much, it is easy to feel bad that He had to come to Earth to live as a man destined to die for something He didn’t do. But we must remember that Jesus was never sad about His mission. He knew from the moment He created the universe that He would do this, and that knowledge didn’t make Him change anything. His mission on Earth was done out of a love so deep, we cannot understand it. Sin had separated us from God, and Jesus’ death changed all of that.

Salvation through Jesus’ death is the greatest gift we’ve ever been given. Jesus’ acts, planned before the universe was created and carried out to perfection, should be celebrated, not mourned.

Closing Prayer: Dear God, we can’t thank you enough for sending Jesus to die for our sins. May we think of this forever and live for Him each day! We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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2) Matthew 5 Love Your Enemies

Scripture: Matthew 5:38-48

Goal: To teach children to imitate the exceptional love of Jesus Christ. He left His glory—His position as King of the universe—not to be served, but to serve by giving up His life to rescue the world from the eternal curse of sin. He loved us while we were still enemies and haters of righteousness. This extreme love is an attribute we inherit as His children; it is proof that we belong to Him. Teach children practical ways to imitate the love of God, especially in response to their enemies.

Words to Know:

  • Love – As in “Love your enemies.” Love is patient and kind, it is not resentful, it does not take joy in the failure or misery of others, and love believes and hopes for the best. We are called to love even our enemies —no matter how hateful or cruel —and to wish for them God’s greatest blessings.
  • Enemy – As in “Love your enemies.” An enemy is someone who opposes you; someone who despises you and wishes bad things to happen to you.
  • Persecute – To persecute is to act hatefully, or punish a person for what they believe, and to do whatever is necessary to silence them.

Memory Verses:

  • Matthew 5:44: But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
  • Proverbs 25:21: If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.

Memory Verse Meaning:

  • Matthew 5:44: It is easy to love someone who loves you, but the real blessing and reward is in loving the unlovable, those who hate you, those who are cruel, and those who wish you harm.
  • Proverbs 25:21: Instead of hurting the person who hurts you, look for ways to show him or her unexpected kindness. Hatred and revenge fuels rage, but mercy and kindness makes it possible to earn friendship.

Overview: Read Matthew 5:38-48.

The law of God is perfect and exists to convert hearts and minds, promote peace, and protect from injustice and overbearing punishment. The problem with the religious leaders in Jesus’ day is that they used the law for vengeance. The religious leaders used the law to control those who offended them and inflict as much pain as the law would allow. Contrary to this understanding, Jesus taught His disciples to imitate the love of God in every action, even in view of His law. Instead of looking for an opportunity to inflict harsh punishment, or return evil for evil, He told the disciples to seek a peaceable solution and to act in love and forgiveness. We are to respond as our Father in Heaven would respond. Love your enemies and do good to those who hurt you.

Suggestions: Help children to identify characteristics of the Father’s love through the actions of Jesus Christ, specifically, His actions in response to His enemies.

  1. Servanthood: Jesus ministered to the sick, the weak, and the helpless. Jesus said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:31-32).
  2. Sacrifice: Jesus gave up everything, including His life, to save the world from sin and eternal death. “Having loved His own, He loved them to the end” (John 13:1).
  3. Friendship: When we were still enemies of God, God made a way to restore friendship and to make us His very own sons and daughters. “But God shows His love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8).
  4. Humility: The God of glory gave up His throne in Heaven to walk among mankind—to feel our pain, to understand our weakness, and to give up His life as a ransom. “And being found in human form, he humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:15).
  5. Prayer: He prayed for those who persecuted Him and blessed those who cursed Him. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
  6. Salvation: God offers His gift of salvation to everyone—no one is excluded. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Pre-Lesson Activities

[Ages 5-7] Inner Circle

  • Supplies: One large hula hoop for every five to six kids and large objects to prop up the hula hoops about 6 inches.
  • Divide the kids into teams of about five or six. On the count of three, one child at a time will step into the hula hoop without knocking it over. The team that can get the most kids into the hula hoop without disturbing it wins!
  • This is a game that teaches the inclusion of others and making friends.

[Ages 8-10] Scripture Relay

  • Supplies: Poster board, chalkboard, whiteboard, or butcher paper; markers, chalk, or dry erase markers.
  • Select one of the memory verses to use for this game. Divide the group into two teams. If using poster board or butcher paper, secure it to a wall. Line up the two teams a good distance from the writing surface. On the word “go,” have the first child run to the board and write the first word of the memory verse, run back, hand off the pen to the next child, and go to the back of the line. The next child will write the second word of the Bible verse and go to the back of the line. This should continue until the entire Bible verse has been written. The first team to finish wins.

[Ages 8-10] Friendship Chain

  • Supplies: Clear tape, strips of colorful construction paper, pens, and/or crayons.
  • Give each child two strips of paper and have them write their own name on one strip and an example of how to be a good friend on the other. While they are working on their answers, explain to them how we are to be kind to everyone, even those who are difficult to love. Using the clear tape, link the names and answers to each other, creating a colorful paper chain that can be hung in the classroom as a reminder.

Post-Lesson Activities

[Ages 5-7] Follow the Leader/Follow the Father

  • Have everyone form a large circle. Select one child from the group to be the “guesser.” Have him or her leave the room. While out of the room, select one person to be the “leader,” then invite the guesser back and have them stand in the center of the circle. The group will throw their arms up and down three times, then the game begins. The leader will direct the rest of the group to perform other movements, which the kids in the circle will imitate, such as, waving their arms back and forth, standing up, sitting down, kicking their left foot, kicking their right foot, and so on. The center guesser must try to guess who the leader of the group is. To make it more difficult for the guesser, the children imitating the leader must do so in a way that isn’t too obvious, so the guesser will not suspect. The guesser gets three chances to figure out who the leader is. If none of the guesses are correct, the round continues; if the guess is correct, the leader becomes the guesser, and the guesser joins the group.
  • This activity helps younger children understand what the word imitate means, as in “imitate the Father’s love.”

[Ages 5-7] Verse Hop

  • Supplies: sheets of paper.
  • On sheets of paper write words or phrases from one of the memory verses. Place the words on the floor close enough together that children can safely hop from one word to the other. Have the kids take turns hopping from one word to the next, in order of the Bible verse. In the beginning, read each word/phrase to the kids and have them hop as you say them, toward the end of the game give the children the opportunity to hop through the verse without help.

[Ages 8-10] Heart of Love

  • Supplies: a large heart cut from construction paper or poster board. Smaller slips of paper and items to use for decoration, such as ribbon, yarn, glitter, buttons, etc.
  • On small slips of paper, have children write and/or draw ideas about how to show love, even to their enemies, such as sharing, forgiveness, patience, giving, kindness, etc. Let the kids glue their various responses to the heart along with decorative items that will give it flare.

Take Home: As sons and daughters of God, we are to imitate His love to others—even our enemies. Based on what we learned about our Father’s love for us, how can we imitate Him in our everyday lives? Use the following to stir up the conversation.

  1. Jesus ministered to the sick, the weak, and the helpless. How can we ease the suffering of those who are sick or hurting?
  2. Jesus gave up everything, including His life, to save the world from sin and eternal death. How can we show love and kindness to not only our friends but also to our enemies?
  3. When we were still enemies of God, He restored us to friendship and made us His very own sons and daughters. How can we promote reconciliation and peace with others? How can we promote peace and reconciliation with God?
  4. The God of glory gave up His throne in Heaven to walk among us—to feel our pain, to understand our weakness, and to give up His life as a ransom for the forgiveness of sin. If God can give up His throne and His life, in what ways can we humble ourselves to forgive, show kindness, and serve the people God puts in our lives?
  5. He prayed for those who persecuted Him and blessed those who cursed Him. How does the understanding of God’s love change our attitude toward others? How does prayer change our attitude toward others?
  6. God offers His gift of salvation to everyone—no one is excluded. What are some ways we can share the good news of God’s love with others and invite them to be a part of the family of God?

Closing Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for Your example of love, that while we were still sinners, You died for us. Help us to be kind and to do good things, even to those who say and do mean things to us. We love You, and ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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3) Luke 2 Mary & Joseph Christmas Story

Scripture: Matthew 1:1-25, 2:1-23, and Luke 2:1-20

Goal: To teach children the story of how Jesus, the savior of the world, came into the world, not as a powerful man, but as a baby born into a humble family.  

Words to Know

  • Descendant: A person who is part of a family that has come from a particular individual.

Memory Verses:

  • Luke 2:7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
  • Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Memory Verse Meaning

  • Luke 2:7 Jesus, the savior of the world, was born in a barn. Instead of a crib, He was laid down in a manger used to feed livestock. The Creator of the universe did not come into this world a powerful man, but as a powerless baby born into a poor, humble family.
  • Isaiah 9:6 This prophecy foretold of the coming Messiah and the attributes He would have and the power He would have. Although Jesus was born fully human, He was also fully God.

Overview: Read Matthew 1:1-25, 2:1-23, and Luke 2:1-20.

Mary and Joseph, both descendants of Abraham and King David, were engaged to be married. Sometime before their wedding day, an angel of the Lord came to Mary, who was a virgin, to tell her that she was going to give birth to the Son of the Most High. Before Joseph was able to break off his engagement to Mary, an angel of the Lord came to him in a dream and explained that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit, and she was going to give birth to the Messiah. Near the time that Mary was due, she and Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem for the Roman census. When they arrived, the city was packed with travelers, and the only place left for them to stay was a stable. On the night that Jesus was born, a star appeared in the sky over the stable. This attracted the attention of the Magi, who began a long journey to see the newborn king. When they arrived in Jerusalem, they asked King Herod where they could find the baby born king of the Jews. Angry that anyone would try to take his power, King Herod asked the Magi to find this baby and tell him where He was so he could go worship Him. King Herod planned to kill Jesus. The Magi followed the star to the place where Mary, Joseph, and Jesus were living. They worshiped the newborn King and gave him gifts fit for a king: gold, incense, and myrrh. An angel of the Lord came to the Magi in a dream and warned them of King Herod’s plan, and they went home in a different direction. An angel of the Lord warned Joseph of King Herod’s plan, so they fled to Egypt where they lived until after Herod’s death.

Suggestions: Many years earlier, Jesus’ birth was prophesied. Many people had expectations of who the Messiah would be and what would change once He had come.

  • God has a plan: God has always known that humanity would need a savior. He had been planning for Jesus’ birth from before He created anything. God knew the family line from which Jesus would be a descendant. He knew the dangers Jesus would face. He knew the sacrifice Jesus would have to make. And yet, because He loves us so much, He sent His only Son to save us.
  • Looks can be deceiving: Many people expected the Messiah to be very different from a baby born to a poor family. Many expected that the Messiah would be born royalty and would eventually become the good and just ruler they had so longed for. But Jesus came to serve, not to rule. This confused people, and many did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah because He did not look like what they thought He would or should be.
  • The best gift has been given: Christmas is a time of getting together with friends and family and exchanging gifts. Gift giving is meant to remind us of the gifts the wise men gave to baby Jesus, but giving and receiving often becomes the focus of Christmas celebrations. It is important at Christmas time to reflect on what we have been given. God gave us His son, and through Him, we can receive salvation. We will never receive a more precious gift than that.

Pre-Lesson Activities

[Ages 5-7] Stars Ornaments

  • Supplies: yellow construction paper; markers; glitter; glue; hole punch; and ribbon, yarn, or string.
  • Using the yellow construction paper, cut out enough star shapes for every student. On one side, write the following: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given. At the top of one of the star’s points, punch a hole. Allow students to decorate their stars using the craft supplies. Once students are done, run a piece of ribbon, yarn, or string through the hole, and tie the ends in a knot so the star can be hung on Christmas tree or elsewhere.

[Ages 5-10] Follow the Star

  • Get the students to stand in a line. The student at the front of the line is the “star.” The star leads the rest of the class round while making different motions that the rest of the line must mimic. Any student who does not successfully mimic the star is out. Continue until each student has a chance to be the star or until the class must move on to the next activity.  

[Ages 8-10] Present Predictions

  • Supplies: Gift boxes, wrapping paper, ribbon, bows, tape for gift wrapping.  
  • Print out or cut out from newspaper ads items that students would like to receive for Christmas (bicycles, video games, instruments) and things they would not be excited to receive for Christmas (package of socks, box of non-color pencils, bag of sand). Print out enough so that each team will have two of each type of gift. Place one of these items in the gift boxes, but leave some of the gift boxes empty. Wrap enough gifts so that each team receives two elaborately wrapped gifts, two moderately wrapped gifts, and two unwrapped gifts. Mix things up so that the exciting gifts aren’t always in the prettiest boxes.
  • Let the students unwrap the first set of gifts. Ask them if what was in each gift was what they expected to find in box wrapped or not wrapped that way. On the second set of gifts, ask the teams to predict what is in each box, and then let them open the boxes. Ask if their predictions were correct.
  • Just because something looks good, doesn’t mean it is and vice versa. The wise men traveled very far to worship a king only to find a baby born to a poor family. Jesus was not born rich and powerful by worldly standards, but the wise men knew that He was great all the same. The same is true of people; we can’t tell whether people are good or bad, funny or boring just by looking them.

Post-Lesson Activities

[Ages 5-7] Don’t Wake the Baby

  • Supplies: baby doll, baby blanket, shallow box, strips of yellow paper, stuffed animals.
  • Cut yellow paper into strips and lay them along the bottom of the box to serve as hay. Wrap the baby doll in the blanket, and place it on top of the strips of paper. Give each student a stuffed animal (they don’t have to be the kinds of animals that would have been in the stable). Tell the students that they must feed their stuffed animal with hay from the manger that the doll is in. Instruct them to carefully pull out a piece of hay from the manger without touching or disturbing the doll. If the doll moves more than an inch or rolls over, that student doesn’t get a piece of hay. Keep going until all the pieces of hay have been pulled out of the manger or until the class needs to move on to another activity. The student with the most pieces of hay wins.
  • For a bit of extra fun, have the students make the sound their stuffed animals make while playing the game.

[Ages 5-10] Shepherds and Sugar

  • Supplies: candy canes
  • Divide the class into teams and have the students line up. Give each student a candy cane. In front of each line, place a pile of candy canes on a table. Students at the front of the line will put the straight end of their candy canes in their mouths. On go, they will use the hook end of the candy cane to hook candy canes in the pile without using their hands. After 30 seconds, count how many candy canes the students hooked. Each candy cane hooked counts as one point. Continue until each student has a chance to try hooking candy canes. The team with the most points at the end wins.
  • Candy canes are holiday treats and decorations that are meant to remind us of the shepherd’s crooks, or canes, carried by the shepherds who came to worship Jesus on the night He was born.

[Ages 8-10] Stargazing

  • Supplies: construction paper, marker, tape
  • Write out Luke 2:7 one word at a time on the back of cut-out star shapes. Make enough so that each team has a set. Tape the stars around the room. Add an element of difficulty by putting the stars in locations that are not obvious. Divide the class into teams. On go, each team sends one person out to find a star. When that student returns, the next student in line goes out to get another star. Students waiting in line should try to assemble the words into the verse. Continue until a team has assembled the verse in order or until all the stars have been collected. If the teams are unable to put the whole verse together because of word duplication, the team with the most complete verse wins.

Take Home

  • God has a plan: Just as God had a plan for Jesus, God knows everything about us. We are not here on accident. We were created with a purpose, and if we follow His guidance through the Holy Spirit, we can help to carry out God’s plan and glorify Him.
  • Looks can be deceiving: Because we do not know people’s hearts or every detail about their lives, we cannot judge people or their value. God knows these things, and it is His job to judge. We should try our best to love everyone, no matter what, and help them to see the love God has for them.
  • The best gift has been given: Giving and receiving gifts isn’t bad. Asking for things isn’t something to be ashamed of. It is something we should enjoy! Just don’t lose sight of what the celebrating is all about: Jesus, the ultimate gift given to us by God.

Closing Prayer: Father God, thank You so much for sending us Your Son, Jesus. Thank You for the relationship we have with You that was restored by Jesus’ sacrifice. Help us to live lives that are as pleasing to You as the kingly gifts the Magi gave to Jesus after He was born. We love You and ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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4) He Is Risen Easter Sunday School Lesson

Scripture: Matthew 27:22-56; 28:1-6

Goal: To teach children how Jesus conquered the curse of sin and death by the power of His own death and resurrection. God demonstrated the depth of His love through Jesus’ death on the cross: “But God showed His love for us, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Jesus endured ridicule, hatred, punishment, and death—all to keep God’s promise that, through His Son, sins would be forgiven, emotional and physical wounds would be healed, and our relationship with God would be restored. Every man, woman, and child who accepts the sacrifice that Jesus made on their behalf will be saved.

Terms to Know

  • Crucifixion: The brutal punishment and execution method in which a person is nailed to a cross and then left die slowly. Jesus was crucified for our sins, He was beaten so we could be whole, and He suffered so we could be healed. He died for our salvation.
  • The Temple Veil: A physical divider that separated the temple in two: the Holy of Holies, the place where God dwelled, and the rest of the temple where men were allowed. Only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies, and then only once a year on Yom Kippur. When Jesus died, God Himself ripped the veil in two, from top to bottom. Jesus’ death on the cross ended our separation from God, making a relationship with Him possible for the first time since sin entered the world.  
  • Resurrection: When a dead person comes back to life. After Jesus died on the cross and was buried, He rose again on the third day; this is known as His resurrection. Jesus has the power over death, so we don’t have to be afraid of it.

Memory Verses

  • Matthew 28:6: He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay.
  • I Corinthians 15:4: For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

Memory Verse Meaning

  • Matthew 28:6: After Jesus died He was placed in a tomb. Three days later the women came to the tomb and saw that He was gone! The angel showed them the empty tomb and exclaimed, “He is Risen!”
  • I Corinthians 15:4: This verse is a summary of the Gospel—the “Good News.” Jesus died as a sacrifice for sin; He was buried for three days to show that He was truly dead; and He rose again, to prove victory over death and to give the hope of eternal life. All of this was done exactly as the Old Testament scriptures foretold.

Overview: Read Matthew 27:22-56; 28:1-6.

This is the story about how Jesus suffered, died, and rose again from the dead. It is the story of the intense love of God demonstrated in the greatest sacrifice of all time. Jesus was betrayed, beaten, mocked, stripped of His clothing, humiliated, blasphemed, and disrespected. A crown of thorns was pressed onto His head, an angry crowd taunted Him, He was hung on a cross, and worst of all, He was separated from His Father in Heaven. Then He died, and it was finished! At that moment, the veil in the temple tore in half from top to bottom. It was God’s announcement that the world, once separated from His holiness, could once again enjoy sweet fellowship with Him.  

Suggestions:

Why would Jesus volunteer to go through suffering and death on the cross?

  1. Love: God demonstrated His intense love for us; no matter how bad we are, He loves us, and He sent His Son to die for us (Romans 5:8).
  2. Promise: Even before the world was created, God had a plan to save mankind and bring us back into relationship with Him (I Peter 1:20). He promised that He would send a Messiah, and He kept that promise.
  3. Relationship: When sin entered the world, one of the first effects was the loss of close fellowship with God. When Jesus died, that relationship was mended for all those who put their trust in His sacrifice.

Why is the resurrection important?

  1. The resurrection proved Jesus was the Messiah: The resurrection of Jesus proved that the claims He made were true—He was the promised Messiah!
  2. The resurrection demonstrated Christ’s power over death: The curse was broken. Jesus conquered death!
  3. The resurrection proved Jesus’ sacrifice was accepted: God accepted the sacrifice of Christ’s death on our behalf. Jesus took the punishment we deserved.

Pre-Lesson Activities

[Ages 5-7] In the Tomb, Out of the Tomb

  • Supplies: masking or painters’ tape
  • Place a long piece of tape on the floor to divide the playing area. Designate the right side of the line as “in the tomb” the other side of the tape as “out of the tomb.” Stand on the “out of the tomb” side, and have the children face you while standing in the “in the tomb” side of the line. When you call out either “in the tomb” or “out of the tomb,” the children should jump to the side you have called. If they fail to jump at all, or jump to the wrong side, they are out. Make it extra challenging by picking up the pace, and calling out the same side several times before switching. The teacher can make it tricky by pointing to one side while calling out the other. The last child standing wins.

[Ages 5-7] Roll the Stone Relay

  • Supplies: several slightly heavy stones
  • To play this outdoor game, divide the class into teams and instruct the teams to stand in a line. On “go,” the first child in line roll will the stone to a specified point, then roll the stone back. The next child does the same, and so on. The first team to complete the exercise wins!
  • The stone that was rolled in front of Jesus’ tomb was very large, very heavy and would have taken several people to move. When Jesus rose from the tomb, an angel rolled back the stone.  

[Ages 8-10] “He is Alive!” Letters

  • Supplies: Large cutout letters spelling out the phrase, “He is Alive!”
  • Divide the children into groups, and give each group a large letter. Provide each group with materials to decorate the letter—glue, glitter, ribbon, cutouts, stickers, crayons, markers, buttons, etc. When the letters are all completely decorated, hang them up somewhere on the church campus for all to enjoy!
  • He is Alive!

Post-Lesson Activities

[Ages 5-7] Cross Bookmark

  • Supplies: Card stock cutouts, glue, markers, glitter, colored yarn, hole punch
  • Provide each child with a card stock cutout of a cross (or alternately, cut vertical and horizontal rectangles and have the children glue them together to form a cross). The cross should be small enough to fit in a standard bible. The children can glue, tape, or carefully tie a piece of yarn to the top of the cross. To tie the yarn through the cross, use the punch to make a hole in the top of the cross and gently tie it. Have the children write one of the memory verses from today’s lesson on the cross and decorate the cross as they choose.

[Ages 8-10] Spreading the Good News

  • A variation on hide and seek. Tell the students to gather in a group, close their eyes, and count to 30 while one student hides. When the group finishes counting, the hunt is on! The students then spread out to find the hiding player; as the seekers find the player hiding, they join him or her in the hiding place and whisper “He is Risen,” until all the seekers have found the hiding place. The last player to join the group becomes the next person to hide.

[Ages 8-10] Gospel Charades

  • Supplies: strips of paper
  • On strips of paper, write the names of characters and events relating to the resurrection story, and place them in a bucket or hat. Choose a player to start the game. Using the regular rules of charades, or your own variation of those rules, have each child take a turn drawing from the bucket and act out the word they select. The first person to guess the word or phrase, gets a point. The person with the most points at the end of the game wins.
  • He is alive!

Take Home: If we place our trust in Jesus’ perfect sacrifice, how does His death and resurrection affect us?

  1. We can be confident that we are right with God. We were once His enemies, we are now His children. John 1:12: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.”
  2. We don’t need to be afraid of death. Romans 6:9: “We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him.”
  3. We can be confident in God’s written Word. Many Old Testament scriptures prophesied the coming of the Messiah hundreds of years before His coming!
  4. We can be confident in every claim and every word that Jesus spoke. Romans 1:4: “[He] was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by His resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Closing Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for suffering and dying for us on the cross. Thank You that You rose again victorious! Help us to place our trust in Your sacrifice and believe in Your resurrection so we can live forever with You. We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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5) Judges 6 Gideon & The 300 Men

Scripture: Judges 6-7

Goal: To help children understand how strong God is, especially when they are weak.

Characters:

  • Gideon: God chose this unlikely and skeptical man to defeat the huge armies of Midian.
  • Angel: God sent an angel to summon Gideon for the task.
  • Israelite Army: Gideon’s forces started out thousands-strong, but shrunk to a paltry 300 men by the time God was selecting the best soldiers for the task.

Memory Verse:

  • 2 Corinthians 12:10: When I am weak, then I am strong.

Memory Verse Application:

  • Highlighting personal weakness is one way of drawing attention to God’s strength. Another way is to highlight God’s strength.

Overview: Read Judges 6-7.

Israel was crushed under the military thumb of Midian. God chose an unlikely and unwilling man, Gideon, to raise an army and throw off Israel’s oppressors. Gideon, unsure of himself and scared to take on God’s task, asked God to show him signs that God really wanted him to take on the Midianites. God gave him a number of signs to assure him that he was the right man for the job and that God would be with him. An army of 33,000 men assembled to fight the Midianites with Gideon. God scaled back his army from 33,000 to 300 to show that God is more powerful than Gideon or the Israelites ever fathomed.

Suggestions: Gideon wasn’t a warrior or a leader, so he was sure God must have chosen the wrong man for this great task.

  • God sees Gideon’s potential. We are introduced to Gideon when an angel of the Lord greets him as a “mighty man of valor.” Gideon was just a regular guy, something he was quick to point out to God after He chose him to take on the Midianites. God knew that Gideon was capable of this task, even if Gideon doubted himself.
  • God provides assurance. Gideon asked God for a sign three times. Each time, God responded exactly as Gideon requested. God recognized Gideon’s fear before he and his army of 300 men were to attack the Midianite camp. God gave him an opportunity to go down to the camp and spy on the enemy. While there, God gave Gideon yet another sign that God would give him the victory.
  • God’s strength is sufficient. Gideon wasn’t a strong warrior who had been trained how to fight. If God needed a warrior, He would have chosen one; God wanted Gideon to do this for Him. God explained everything Gideon needed to know moments after He called him to this task: “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.” Gideon would not need to rely on his own strength, but on the Lord’s. The Lord’s strength would make the work of defeating the entire Midianite camp as easy as defeating a single man.

Pre-Lesson Activity

Catch the Midianites

  • Divide the class into two teams: the Israelites and the Midianites. The Israelite team attempts to tag the Midianite team. When all the members of one team are tagged, switch roles.

Post-Lesson Activity

Gideon’s Torches

  • Supplies: brown construction paper; yellow, orange, and red tissue paper; and tape.
  • Roll the construction paper into cone shapes, and tape the paper at the seam. Stuff the colored tissue paper into the opening to create the torch’s flame.

Take Home: God uses ordinary people, like Gideon and us, every day to do extraordinary things. God sees our full potential. God created each of us for a purpose. He has given each of us skills and talents, and He knows how we should use them. When we use our God-given abilities and are backed by God’s power, we will find success in any endeavor to which we are called.

Closing Prayer: Dear Lord, even though we are weak, we know You are strong. Thank You for being our strength. Help us to find courage to answer your call like Gideon did. We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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6) Queen Esther Sunday School Lesson

Scripture: Esther 1-10

Goal: To help children understand God’s amazing protection of His people.

Characters:

  • Esther: She was a beautiful Jewish woman who was selected to be the king’s bride. God used her to make the brave choice to protect her people.
  • King Ahasuerus: The king of Persia allowed one of his officials to carry out a plan to kill all of the Jewish people living in the kingdom. He didn’t realize that his own queen, Esther, was a Jew.
  • Haman: He was a high-ranking official who hated the Jews and plotted to have them all killed.
  • Mordecai: He was Esther’s uncle. He helped Esther protect the Jewish people from extermination.

Memory Verse:

  • John 10:29: No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

Memory Verse Application

  • Once we are saved, we cannot lose our salvation. Nothing can separate us from the love of God.

Overview: Read the book of Esther.

The king was in search of a wife, and Esther’s beauty qualified her for the position. She was also a brave woman and a Jew. Haman, one of the king’s high-ranking officials, devised a way to kill off the Jews with the king’s permission. Mordecai, Esther’s uncle, figured out a way to stop Haman’s plan from succeeding, and Esther played the key role in defending the Jews.

Suggestions: Though the name of God doesn’t appear in the book of Esther, His presence is everywhere. God is the only reason Esther was successful. He is constantly protecting, supervising, and directing all of history.

Pre-Lesson Activities

Word It!

  • Supplies: paper and pencils or pens.
  • Divide the class into two teams. Give each team a piece of paper with “Esther the Queen” written at the top. Using the letters in the phrase at the top of the page, see which team can come up with the most words within the specified amount of time. Letters may not be used more than once. When time is up, tally up the points. Cancel out words that both teams have on their papers. The team with the highest remaining number of words wins.

Post-Lesson Activities

Draw Esther

  • Supplies: printouts of the outline of a faceless woman’s head, crayons, markers, aluminum foil, art supplies, and glue.
  • Give each student a printout and have them draw and color the face of Esther. Give the students pieces of aluminum foil for them to fold into the shape of a crown that they can glue onto the picture they colored of Esther’s face.

Take Home: Sometimes it is hard to see God working in our lives, but that does not mean He isn’t there. In the entire book of Esther, God’s name is not mentioned once, but we can see His work throughout this story. Nothing that led up to Esther being put in the position to protect the Jews was a coincidence—it was God’s plan.

God has a plan for each of us. His plans for our lives are good, and we can trust that God will help us to be successful. God is always with us.

Closing Prayer: Dear God, You rescued Esther and protected a whole nation of people because You are loving and merciful. Help us to rest in Your protection and to be brave for You. We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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7) The Story of Job Sunday School Lesson

Scripture: Job 1-42

Goal: To teach children that God is bigger than our problems. He is sovereign, and we can trust Him with everything.

Characters:

  • Job: Job suffered extreme loss, pain, and suffering, but remained faithful to God.
  • Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, Elihu: Job’s four friends who pretended to give him comfort, but instead accused him of sinfulness and receiving God’s judgment.

Words to Know:

  • Sovereign: When God is referred to as sovereign, it means is He is in control of everything in all of creation. He is the supreme ruler over everything.

Memory Verse:

  • Job 1:21: The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

Memory Verse Application:

  • No matter what happens to us in life, we should bless the Lord, because He is in control.

Overview: Read Job 1-42.

Job, a wealthy and famous man, suddenly lost everything—his family, wealth, prestige, and health. Friends came to comfort him, but they only questioned Job’s character, and they drew wrong conclusions from the events. In the end, God showed Job that He is sovereign and can be trusted entirely. Job received far more wealth than he ever had before.

Suggestions: Job went through an absolutely miserable season in his life, but he never cursed God for what happened to him; however, he did question God’s judgment in inflicting this suffering on him.

Job learned that God is sovereign. He makes decisions that He does not have to explain.

Pre-Lesson Activity

Constellations

  • Supplies: empty cardboard tubes from toilet paper or paper towels rolls and aluminum foil.
  • Cover one end of a toilet paper or paper towel tube with aluminum foil. Take a small pin and poke holes in the foil to create the constellations of Pleiades, Orion, or the Great Bear. When students look through the open end of the tube, they will see the constellations mentioned in Job.

Post-Lesson Activity

Balloon Stomp

  • Supplies: balloons and string.
  • Tie a balloon to the ankle of each student, and have them attempt to stomp on others’ balloons. The last student with an unpopped balloon wins.

Take Home:

  1. God is in control of everything. God does not cause evil to happen in our lives, but He does allow it. Just as He allows bad things to happen, He allows and causes good things to happen in our lives, too.
  2. We may never understand why we face hard times. God is sovereign, and that means He doesn’t have to answer questions about what He does or why He does them. If He explained His reasoning, we probably wouldn’t understand anyway. The only answer we can be sure of is that these situations were somehow necessary for us to continue in God’s plan for our lives.

Closing Prayer: Dear God, thank You for what you teach us through the life of Job. Help us to be like Job and remain faithful to You when bad things happen. We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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8) Matthew 14 Jesus Feeds 5000

Scripture: Matthew 14:13-21

Goal: To teach children about the compassion and miraculous power of Jesus, and encourage them to act in compassion toward others and in great faith towards God.

Characters:

  • Jesus: He taught the people and miraculously fed them when they were hungry.
  • Disciples: Jesus told them to feed the hungry people despite the fact that they did not have any food.
  • Boy: He gave his small meal to Jesus, and Jesus turned it into a meal for thousands of people
  • People in the Crowd: Scripture says that 5,000 men were present, which means that if women and children had been counted, the number of those in attendance would have been much higher. They came for healing and to listen to Jesus’ teaching. Jesus fed them with only five barley loaves and two fish.

Memory Verse:

  • Matthew 14:14: When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

Memory Verse Application:

  • At this point in Scripture, Jesus had just learned that His friend John the Baptist had died, and He and His disciples were constantly being sought by thousands of people who had heard of the great works Jesus had done. He was saddened by the news and exhausted from the work. He and the disciples sailed to a desolate area to have some time to themselves, but when they reached the shore, they saw that a multitude of people were already there waiting for Jesus. Instead of pushing off and sailing somewhere else where He might have a moment of peace, He saw their need and was moved to help them. Jesus calls us to follow His example and help others, no matter what is going on in our own lives.

Overview: Read Matthew 14:13-21.

A crowd of people hoping that Jesus would heal their sick loved one followed Jesus to where He was. As Jesus healed the sick and taught the crowd of people, it grew late. The disciples realized that they were pretty much out in the middle of nowhere, and the people must be getting hungry. They asked Jesus to tell the people to leave so they could find food in nearby villages, but Jesus told the disciples to feed all of the people there. The only food they could find was five loaves of barley bread and two fish given to them by a boy, nowhere nearly enough food for a crowd of well over 5,000 people. Jesus took the loaves and fish, thanked God for it, and gave it to the disciples to distribute to everyone there. After everyone ate enough food to make them full, there were 12 baskets of leftover food.

Suggestions: Scripture informs us that the crowd was made up of 5,000 men, but women and children were also present. Some people estimate that the number of people fed was as high as 15,000 or more.

This miracle demonstrates a couple of important concepts:

  • Recognition: Out in the middle of nowhere, the disciples’ idea of a solution to feeding thousands of people was to send them away into the nearby villages to find food. When Jesus told them to feed all of the people, they again leaned on their own understanding of accomplishing such tasks and quickly became discouraged. They were right in that five loaves and two fish is not enough food to feed more than 5,000 people when using our own human ability—but that amount of food was more than enough for Jesus. If they had recognized and relied on Jesus’ power, they could have avoided the frustration they felt at first and instead, sat back as they watched a miracle unfold.
  • Offering: God doesn’t need us to accomplish his goals on Earth, but despite our failings, He uses us to show His glory. When the Israelites wandered the desert for 40 years, God gave the people manna to eat. Jesus didn’t need these little loaves and dried fish to feed everyone. He wants us to participate—He wants us to experience the blessing of glorifying God.

Pre-Lesson Activities

Gone Fishin’

  • Supplies: Cut-out images of food items such as cake, an ice cream cone, corn on the cob, a hamburger, etc; cut-out images of five loaves of bread and two fish; a bucket; a stick, such as a broom handle; a long bit of string; and a clothespin.  
  • Create a fishing pole by tying the string to one end of the stick. Tie the clothespin to the end of the string. Place the food images into the bucket. Have children circle around the bucket. Assign one child to stay at the bucket as the Fisher’s Helper. Children take turns with the fishing pole, putting the clothespin at the end of the string into the bucket. The Fisher’s Helper closes his or her eyes and pulls out a food cutout and attaches it to the clothespin. The children must retrieve the five loaves and both of the fish in order to complete the game.

Post-Lesson Activities

Loaves and Fishes Necklace

  • Supplies: string; dry pasta, such as penne or ziti; small, cut-out images of fish.
  • Have children string five pieces of pasta on the string, and color and decorate their fish cutouts. Then, tie the strings to form necklaces. The five pieces of pasta and two fish will remind them of the loaves and fishes that Jesus made into a meal for thousands of people.

Take Home: Now that we’ve read about Jesus’ power, how can we grow in faith so that we can be confident that God will provide for us?

The more we put our trust in Jesus, the more confident we can become in His ability to help us. The more confident we become in His abilities, we will be much more likely to automatically turn to Jesus when we face obstacles. God will provide us with a solution or with direction in how to solve the problem. The sooner we turn our problems over to God, the less frustration we will experience in our lives.

Closing Prayer: Dear God, You’re amazing! You fed thousands of people, making food out of nothing! You showed us that You know our needs and take care of us. Please help us to turn to you when we need help because you are able to provide. We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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9) Jonah & The Whale Sunday School Lesson

Scripture: Jonah 1-4

Goal: To help children understand the importance of obeying God.

Characters:

  • Jonah: This prophet ran away from God, was swallowed by a big fish, and traveled to Nineveh where he reluctantly preached to the people about repentance.
  • Sailors: They threw Jonah overboard.
  • Ninevites: Pagans who repented before God and turned to Him

Memory Verse:

  • Jonah 2:9: Salvation belongs to the Lord.

Memory Verse Application:

  • Salvation is a gift from our gracious and merciful God that is given to those who believe in and love Him. We cannot earn salvation.

Overview: Read the book of Jonah.

God called Jonah to preach to the foreign city of Nineveh, Israel’s enemy and the scourge of the ancient world. Jonah flatly refused and ran the opposite direction. God sent a storm that threatened to sink the ship on which Jonah was sailing. When the sailors discovered that it was Jonah’s fault that they were in peril, they asked him what they could do. Jonah told them to throw him overboard. As soon as they threw Jonah off of the boat, the sea became calm. A huge fish swallowed Jonah, and for three days and three nights, Jonah sat in the belly of the great fish. Jonah prayed, and God made the fish spit Jonah out onto dry land. Jonah eventually went to Nineveh to preach, where the people received his message, and the people there repented of their sin and turned to God.

Suggestions: Jonah was essentially a missionary, going to a distant land to tell them about his God. God is passionate that His salvation be proclaimed to the ends of the earth. He even uses unwilling messengers like Jonah. While Jonah’s story teaches us the importance of humility and obedience, it also teaches us about God’s grace.

  • Humility: As an Israelite, Jonah thought of himself as superior to the people of Nineveh. They worshiped false gods and were an enemy to the people of Israel. Jonah thought that it was beneath him to go to such a place and preach to such unworthy people.
  • Obedience: God made Jonah a prophet and gave him all of his gifts and talents that made him successful at his job. So when God gave Jonah a mission, he should have gone. Only when he found himself sitting in the belly of a fish for three days and three nights did Jonah see the error of his ways. Jonah didn’t particularly care for the mission God sent him on, but he saw that not going was disobedient.
  • Grace: Jonah had a hard time seeing the purpose of God’s command for him to go to Nineveh. Then when he finally got there, he warned the people that God would bring disaster upon them for their evil ways. The people heard this message and took it to heart. They truly repented, and God spared them from punishment. Instead of being relieved and overjoyed, Jonah became angry with the Lord. He didn’t understand why God wouldn’t punish these people for the evil they had done. What Jonah failed to see was that, just as the Ninevites, Jonah deserved punishment for disobedience. God’s grace through faith saves us all.

Pre-Lesson Activities

Jonah Hide-and-Seek

  • Appoint one student to act as Jonah, and ask him or her to hide. When other children find Jonah, they must hide in the same place until everyone has found Jonah. Remind children that it is impossible to hide from God.

Post-Lesson Activities

In the Belly of a Fish

  • Supplies: Printouts of a coloring page featuring a figure who can serve as Jonah, paper, crayons, markers, and glue sticks.
  • Give each student a piece of paper and a coloring page of Jonah. Instruct the students to draw a whale on the blank page and to color the picture of Jonah. Next, have the students cut a flap in the belly of their whale drawing. Have the students glue their picture of Jonah to the back of the whale drawing. When the flap is lifted, Jonah can be seen in the belly of the whale.

Take Home: Jonah is more than a message of obedience, although that is central. It is also a way for us to understand that God desires to spread the fame of His name to all people. In spreading His name, we can tell people about His saving grace.

  1. God wants everyone to hear about Him and have a chance to choose Him and the salvation He offers. It is not for us to decide who is worthy of this message and grace.
  2. God has a plan. It may not sound like a good idea, but His thoughts are not our thoughts. He knows the full background of situations and the future our actions will bring. When He asks us to do something in His name, we should obey.
  3. God is constant. The things we think people should be punished for are sometimes the same things for which we seek God’s grace and mercy.

Closing Prayer: Dear God, thank You for teaching Jonah a lesson. Thank You that we can learn the lesson of obedience, too. Help us all to obey You. We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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10) 1 Corinthians 13 Love Is

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Goal: To teach children that, while God gives us many wonderful and powerful gifts to help us share our faith and the Word of God, the greatest gift is love. If we use the gifts God has given us, but we don’t use them with love, our actions are meaningless.  

Words to Know:

  • Agape Love: The Greek word used in 1 Corinthians 13 that describes a different notion of love than that felt between family, friends, or romantic partners. Agape love is selfless, charitable, sacrificing, and unconditional for the benefit of the object of love. Agape love is used to describe the love God has for us as well as to describe God, who Himself is love.

Memory Verses:

  • 1 Corinthians 13:13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
  • Romans 13: 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is fulfilling the law.

Memory Verse Meaning:

  • 1 Corinthians 13:13 God gives us different spiritual gifts, but we are all given faith, hope, and love. These universal gifts are eternal, unlike the spiritual gifts that will be of use only while we are here on Earth. Of these common gifts, love is the greatest.   
  • Romans 13:10 Jesus commanded us to love each other as He loves us. Love in our hearts from our faith in God helps us to fulfill the law of loving others as Jesus commanded.

Overview: Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.

The people of the church in Corinth were arguing about which of the spiritual gifts God gives us is the best. The Apostle Paul heard about this bickering and wrote to them to settle the matter. In his letter, Paul explained that the greatest gift God gives us is love—a gift that is given to everyone. Each of the other spiritual gifts, while powerful in their ability to help us advance the kingdom of God on Earth, is worthless if our actions are done without love.

Suggestions: God gives us gifts that will help us through life and to help advance the kingdom of God by sharing the story of Jesus’ ultimate act of love and sacrifice to save us from our sins. Spreading this good news is obeying Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations. The goal of this commandment isn’t so God will have the most followers, but so that His love will be spread to every corner of the Earth and that every person will experience His love. God gives us spiritual gifts out of love so that we can share His love. Using these gifts without love makes our actions meaningless. With love we can hope to accomplish the following:

  • Unity – People we’ve never met, people from different countries, and even people who speak different languages are our brothers and sisters because we share something that forms the foundations of our lives: Jesus and His love.
  • Purpose – God created each of us each as unique individuals and granted each of us spiritual gifts with the common purpose of spreading the good news of Jesus by showing our love for everyone.
  • Transformation – The more we come to know and understand God, the more we understand the power of love. Love can change who we are and those with whom we interact. Love can change the world.

Pre-Lesson Activities

[Ages 5-7] Candy Hearts

  • Supplies: heart-shaped cutouts, markers, pens, crayons, glitter, decoration supplies
  • Cut heart shapes out of construction paper. On each heart write the word LOVE. Give each student a heart to decorate.
  • This craft can remind students that Jesus loves them and that He wants them to love others the way He loves them.

[Ages 5-10] Share the Love

  • Supplies: Paper and pens or pencils
  • On a strip of paper, write each student’s name. Pass out these strips of paper to the students, making sure that no one gets his or her own name. Instruct the students not to say whose name they received. Ask the students to write something nice about the student whose name appears on the strip of paper they received. These comments can be as simple as “You are nice,” or “You have pretty hair.” Once students have written something, have them bring the strips back to you, then give the students the comments about them. Students can keep the comments private or they can share if they want to.
  • Teachers may want to quickly glance at the comments to ensure that they are all in fact nice comments.

[Ages 8-10] Paper Sandwiches

  • Supplies: construction paper and scissors
  • Divide the class into teams. Instruct students to use the pieces of construction paper to build a sandwich. For example, using brown, purple, and white paper, they can make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or they can make a ham and cheese sandwich using pink and yellow paper. They can add extra ingredients, such as green paper for lettuce and red for tomatoes. Provide them with scissors so they can cut out ingredient shapes if they want. Once all the teams have constructed their sandwiches, ask the class which sandwich looks the tastiest. Ask them if they would like to try the sandwich. Paper sandwiches are not edible. No matter how closely these paper sandwiches look real, they aren’t, and they will not taste as expected. There is no actual substance to a paper sandwich, much like using a spiritual gift without love.

Post-Lesson Activities

[Ages 5-7] One Love, Three Legs

  • Supplies: rope or string
  • Pair up all students in the class, and instruct them to stand side-by-side and put their inside arms around each other. Tie the pair of students’ inside legs together. Give the students a chance to get used to walking as a team, then have them stand on the starting line. On “GO!” the students should try to make it to the finish line as quickly as possible.
  • To be successful in the mission God has given us, we must work with love. We cannot accomplish the goals God has set for our lives without love. Remembering to team up with Jesus throughout our lives will make our work easier!  

[Ages 5-10] Do You Hear the Message or Music?

  • Supplies: stereo or radio and Christian children’s music
  • Have the class sit in a circle. Choose one child to start the game by whispering the message to him or her: “Jesus loves you! Pass it on!” Tell the student to whisper the message to the person sitting to his or her right, and so on. When the message gets back to the student who started it, have him or her tell the class what the message ended up being and what it was when the game started. While all this is going on, place a portable stereo in the middle of the circle, turn on the music, and turn it up so it will be difficult for the students to hear each other’s whispered messages. Continue until each child has had a chance to start the game or until the class needs to move on.
  • Without love in our hearts, our words are but a clanging cymbal or a really loud stereo!

[Ages 8-10] Love Languages

  • Supplies: heart-shaped cutouts, strips of paper, and tape
  • Look up Bible verses about love and then find those verses in another language (choose languages the students aren’t likely to know). Find enough verses so that when the class is divided into teams, each team will have a foreign-language verse.  Copy these verses by writing or printing them out. Number each strip of paper with the foreign-language verses on them. Write the translation of each verse on one of the heart cutouts, and put the number of the corresponding foreign-language verse on the other side. Tape the hearts on the wall or in other semi-hidden locations around the room with the number side facing out. Divide the class into teams, and give each team a verse. On “Go!” the students should try to find the heart with their number on it. The first team to find their heart wins.
  • Without love, great words have no meaning or don’t make sense to us.  

Take Home: The spiritual gifts God gives us work only when we use them with love. Without love, our actions and work are meaningless. Showing love helps us to bring unity, purpose, and transformation to our lives and those around us.

  • Unity – The more people know about Jesus and accept Him as their Lord and Savior, the more we have in common with people: love for Jesus.
  • Purpose – God created us to serve a specific purpose. He gave us specific, spiritual gifts to help us accomplish that purpose. When we use these gifts, we glorify God, help others to come to know Jesus, and fulfill the goal God has for our lives.
  • Transformation – The more we love, the closer we get to becoming the people God created us to be. Learning to love everyone, even those who are not nice to us, is what Jesus commanded us to do.

Closing Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You so much for blessing us with amazing spiritual gifts. Help us to use them in love as we seek to tell everyone we know about how wonderful You are. We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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