New Site

I often get notifications that people are following this blog. As you can see, it hasn’t been updated in a looooong time!

That’s because I’ve moved everything over to a different site. You can find it at http://faithkidslessons.blogspot.com. That’s where you can find the latest lessons, with new ones appearing about once a week.

I’ll still leave this site up. so you’ll have the content that’s still here, but if you want the latest stuff, come on over to the new one!

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Lesson: The Last Supper

Note: Lines that begin with words in all caps indicate instructions. All other lines indicate points to make, things to say, or questions to ask.

NT 33 The Last Supper – Communion
Passage: Luke 22:14-20

Big Idea: Jesus died to save us from sin.

Verse: Romans 5:8 – But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

*Note: The resources to be used with this lesson are found in the corresponding Resource file. [Link]

A. INTRODUCTION (About 10 minutes)

1. DISCUSS HOLIDAYS:
a. Can you name some holidays where you eat a special meal or enjoy special foods?
a. RECORD each response on the chalk/marker board.
b. Examples: Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Halloween

2. POINT to each response, one by one, and do the following:
a. What special things do you eat on this day?
b. RECORD each response near the corresponding holiday.

3. Why do we have special meals on these holidays? (Various responses.)

4. EXPLAIN why we have special meals on Holidays:
a. Holidays are special days to celebrate and have a good time.
b. One way people like to celebrate is by eating special foods.
c. These special foods are extra yummy like turkey or candy.

5. INTRODUCE today’s Bible story:
a. In today’s story, Jesus celebrates a special meal with the disciples.
b. They eat special foods.
c. The foods have special meaning.

B. LESSON (About 20-25 minutes)

MATERIALS: NIrV Bible *, Large table, tablecloth, paper plates, paper cups, napkins, candles, lighter, saltine crackers, pitcher of grape juice
* This lesson was designed to be taught from an NIrV Bible.

SETUP:
– Set up a table with enough chairs for each child. Cover it with the tablecloth.
– Place a plate, cup, and napkin in front of each seat.
– Place several candles in the center of the table.

1. EXPLAIN that today’s story is from the New Testament:
a. What is the second half of the Bible called? (The New Testament.)
b. The New Testament is all about Jesus and his followers.

2. EXPLAIN that today’s story takes place during a special meal:
a. Jesus and his disciples were sharing a special meal together.
b. Jesus’ disciples were a group of guys who followed him and learned from him.
c. We’re sitting at a fancy table to pretend we’re at that special meal.
d. The meal took place at night time (ref. 1 Cor. 11:23).
e. TURN off the lights and light the candles.

3. EXPLAIN that this meal was the Passover:
a. Can you name some of the special holiday meals we talked about earlier? (Thanksgiving, Easter, etc.)
b. This special meal was called Passover.
c. Passover was a time when God’s people celebrated being rescued from the country of Egypt.
d. At Passover, God’s people ate special foods to remind them of what God had done.

4. LEAD the children in a sample celebration with food:
a. We don’t have those special Passover foods here, but we can remember what they celebrated.
b. PLACE a saltine cracker on each child’s plate.
c. INSTRUCT the children to hold up their cracker and repeat the following toast after you: “God has rescued us!”
d. INSTRUCT the children to eat their cracker.

5. LEAD the children in a sample celebration with drink:
a. We also don’t have the same thing they drank at Passover, wine, but we can remember what they celebrated.
b. POUR a small amount of grape juice into each child’s cup.
c. INSTRUCT the children to hold up their juice and repeat the following toast after you: “God has saved us!”
d. INSTRUCT the children to drink their juice.

6. EXPLAIN that Jesus added a new thing to remember at this special meal:
a. At Passover, Jesus and his disciples were remembering when God rescued their people from Egypt.
b. Jesus decided to give the disciples a new thing to remember.

7. READ LUKE 22:19, asking the children beforehand to listen for the following words and do the following actions when they hear them:
bread = pretend to eat a sandwich broke it = pretend to snap a breadstick in half
body = lightly pound on  your chest memory = tap your temple

8. EXPLAIN that Jesus gave them bread and told them to remember his body:
a. What kind of food did Jesus hand to the disciples? (Bread.)
b. When Jesus gave them bread, he said, “This is my body. It is given for you.”
c. He told the disciples to remember him when they ate it.
d. Why do you think Jesus called the bread his body? (Various responses.)
e. In a few minutes, we’ll explain what Jesus meant.

9. LEAD the children in a demonstration of what Jesus did with the bread:
a. BREAK a saltine cracker and say, “Thank you, God, for this food.”
b. HAND each child a saltine cracker.
c. READ what Jesus said: “This is my body. It is given for you. Every time you eat it, do it in memory of me.”
d. INSTRUCT the children to eat their cracker.
e. Jesus also used another food as a reminder. We’ll read about that next.

10. READ Luke 22:20. Words for the children to listen for:
cup = pretend to drink from a cup poured out = pretend to pour from a cup

11. EXPLAIN that Jesus gave them wine and told them to remember his blood:
a. What did Jesus give his disciples this time? (A cup.)
b. The cup was filled with wine, which is a red-colored drink made from the juice found in grapes.
c. When he gave them the wine, he said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.”
d. He told the disciples to remember him whenever they drank it.
e. Why do you think Jesus called the cup of wine his blood? (Various responses.
f. In a few minutes, we’ll explain what Jesus meant.

12. LEAD the children in a demonstration of what Jesus did with the cup:
a. POUR a small amount of grape juice in each child’s cup.
b. READ what Jesus said: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.”
c. INSTRUCT the children to drink their juice.

13. EXPLAIN that Jesus used the bread and wine to teach the disciples about his death:
a. What did Jesus say the bread was? (His body.)
b. What did Jesus say the wine was? (His blood.)
c. When do people bleed? (When they get injured.)
d. Not too long after Jesus ate this special meal with his disciples, his body was beaten by soldiers.
e. Not too long after this meal, Jesus’ hands and feet were hammered with nails and he bled.
f. Not too long after this meal, Jesus died.
g. Jesus wanted the disciples to think of his body and his blood because he wanted them to remember how he died.
h. Why do you think Jesus wanted his disciples to remember how he died? (Various responses.)
i. The Bible tells us why Jesus died and why it’s important to remember. Let’s read it.

14. READ 1 Tim. 1:15b, starting with “Christ Jesus.” Words for the children to listen for:
save = make the baseball “safe” sign (waving your arms parallel to the ground)

15. EXPLAIN that Jesus came to save sinners:
a. According to this verse, who did Jesus come to save? (Sinners.)
b. A sinner is someone who sins, or disobeys God.
c. How many people have sinned, or disobyed God, at least once? (Everyone.)
d. Jesus wanted his disciples to remember his death because he died to save sinners.

16. EXPLAIN that we still celebrate this meal to remember Jesus’ death:
a. Jesus wanted his disciples to remember his death.
b. People who follow Jesus today are disciples, too.
c Disciples of Jesus, like those at our church, still eat bread and drink wine to remember that Jesus died to save sinners.
d. At church, we have a special celebration where we eat the bread and drink from the cup to remember that Jesus died to save sinners like you and me.
e. We call this time Communion or The Lord’s Supper.
F. INSTRUCT the children to repeat these names after you.

17. DEMONSTRATE to the children what people do at the Lord’s Supper:
a. At our church, we celebrate the Lord’s Supper ( or Communion) to remember that Jesus died to save sinners like you and me.
b. HOLD up a saltine cracker.
c. We remember that Jesus’ body was beaten when he died for us.
d. EAT the cracker.
e. POUR a glass of juice and hold up the cup.
e. We remember that Jesus shed his blood when he died for us.
f. DRINK the juice.
g. We do this so that we always remember that Jesus died to save us.

18. EXPLAIN that today’s big idea is that Jesus died to save us:
a. The purpose of the Lord’s Supper is to remind us that Jesus died to save us.
b. Today’s big idea is “Jesus died to save us.”
c. INSTRUCT the children to repeat the big idea with you.
d. In a little bit, we’ll talk about why Jesus had to die and how we can be saved

C. APPLICATION ACTIVITY

MATERIALS:
Resources (Dinner Utensil Verses, Food Object), dinner plate, fork, spoon, tableknife

1. REVIEW the story and REMIND the children of the big idea, “Jesus died to save us from sin.”

2. EXPLAIN the activity:
a. Jesus shared a special meal with his disciples and taught them about his death.
b. We’ll be setting up a dinner plate piece by piece.
c. We’ll also be adding blobby scraps of paper in the shape of food to represent our meal.
d. For each piece, we’ll read a verse to help us understand why Jesus died for our sins.

3. REPEAT the following with each dinner utensil, following the chart below:
a. PLACE the utensil on the table.
b. LOOK up the Bible verse attached to the utensil.
c. What does this verse tell us? (See chart below for answer.)
d. PLACE the Food Object with the corresponding answer written on it onto the dinner plate.

4. READ the phrases written on the Food Objects in order. EXPLAIN how one can be saved by believing in Jesus.

5. EXPLAIN how this relates to the Lord’s Supper:
a. In the Lord’s Supper, we eat bread to remind us that Jesus gave up his body when he died for us.
b. We also drink red juice (or wine) to remind us that Jesus shed blood when he died for us.

6. PRAY with the children, thanking Jesus for dying for us and INVITING any unsaved children to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

VERSE // UTENSIL // ANSWER ON FOOD OBJECT
Romans 3:23 // Plate // Everybody sins
Romans 6:23a // Fork // Sin = death
Romans 5:8 // Spoon // Jesus died for our sins
Romans 10:9 // Knife // Believe in Jesus to be saved.
D. VERSE ACTIVITY

VERSE:
Romans 5:8 – But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us

MATERIALS:
Resource: Verse Cards, clear drinking glasses (12), red food coloring, spoon

SETUP:
– Place the Verse Cards on the table in a long line in proper order.
– Place the drinking glasses in a long line parallel to the Verse Cards, with one glass above each card.
– Fill each glass halfway with water.

1. READ the verse together using the Verse Cards on the table.

2. EXPLAIN the verse:
a. Who died for us? (Jesus Christ.)
b. God the Father showed us he loved us by sending his son, Jesus, to die for us.
c. Even though we sinned (disobeyed God), Jesus still died for us.

3. EXPLAIN the activity:
a. Each time we erase a word or two from the verse, we’ll add some red food coloring to one of these glasses of water.
b. The red water will remind us of the wine Jesus shared with his disciples.
c. The wine represented Jesus’ blood that he shed when he died for us.

4. REPEAT the following until all the Verse Cards have been removed from the table:
a. READ through the verse as a group.
b. ASK a child to do the following:
i. REMOVE a Verse Card from the table.
ii. ADD a drop of food coloring to the glass adjacent to the Verse Card they just removed.
iii. STIR the glass using the spoon.

E. REVIEW ACTIVITY

MATERIALS:
Play dough (two containers)

1. DIVIDE the children into two groups and have them sit on opposite sides of the room.

2. EXPLAIN the activity:
a. For each question you answer correctly, you’ll get a lump of play dough to shape into a type of food.
b. We’re doing this to help remember the special meal Jesus shared with his disciples.

3. REPEAT the following until all the questions have been answered:
a. ASK one member of a team a question from below. They may consult with their teammates for an answer.
b. GIVE them a small lump of play dough if they answer correctly.
c. INSTRUCT the child to name a type of food and shape the play dough into that food
– Encourage each child to pick a different kind of food.
– Suggestions: Banana, hot dog, apple, grapes
d. ALLOW the child to continue shaping the play dough as you repeat this process with the other team.
e. INSTRUCT the child to place their food-shaped piece of play dough on the table when they are finished.

QUESTIONS (ANSWERS)
1. What was the name of the special meal Jesus and his disciples shared? (Passover)
2. When the disciples ate the bread, what did Jesus want them to remember? (His body, broken for them)
3. When t he disciples drank the wine, what did Jesus want them to remember? (His blood shed for them)
4. When we celebrate this special meal in our church, what do we call it? (Communion, Lord’s Supper)
5. Why do we still celebrate this special meal today? (To remember what Jesus did for us.)
6. Why did Jesus have to die for us? (To pay the price for our sins.)
7. How can our sins be forgiven? (By believing that Jesus died and rose again for our sins.)
8. What is today’s big idea? (Jesus died to save us from sin.)
9. What is today’s Bible verse? (Romans 5:8 – But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.)
10. What part of the Bible was today’s story from? (New Testament)

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Lesson: Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet

Note: Lines that begin with words in all caps indicate instructions. All other lines indicate points to make, things to say, or questions to ask.

NT 32 Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet
Passage: John 13:1-17

Big Idea: To be great, serve others.

Verse: Mark 9:35b – If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.

*Note: The resources to be used with this lesson are found in the corresponding Resource file. [LINK]

===============
A. INTRODUCTION (About 10 minutes)

MATERIALS: Newspaper (or laptop navigated to a news website)

1. DO the follow with the newspaper:
a. Have the children gather around the newspaper.
b. With their help, identify the names of any famous people mentioned.
c. Record each name on the board.
d. Continue until you’ve flipped through the front page of each section of the paper together.

2. ASK, “Why is this person famous? What did they do to become so important and end up in a newspaper?” for each name written on the board.

3. EXPLAIN that today’s Bible story is about being great and important:
a. These people became important by being good at sports, being really smart, making lots of money, etc.
b. As we’ll see in this story, the way we become great or important in God’s kingdom is a lot different than the way these people became important.

===============
B. LESSON (About 20-25 minutes)

MATERIALS: NIrV Bible*, chair, empty plastic tub or cookie sheet, another large plastic tub filled halfway with water, hand towels, large beach towel, half-filled pitcher of water, old pair of light-colored sneakers, bowl of dirt

* This lesson was written using and designed for a NIrV Bible.

SETUP:
a. Place chair to the side of the teaching area.
b. Take some dirt and rub it on the sneakers. Do it enough so that they look dirty, but are able to be quickly cleaned by a wet towel.

1. EXPLAIN that today’s story is from the book of John in the New Testament. Some questions and points you could share are:
a. What is the New Testament about? (Jesus and his followers.)
b. Who is Jesus? (God’s Son who came to live with us, teach us, and save us from our sins by dying on a cross.)

2. READ John 13:1a, stopping at ‘Passover Feast.’ Before you read, ask the children to listen for the following words and do the following motions when they hear them:
Feast = pretend to spoon a bunch of food into your mouth

3. EXPLAIN that Jesus was celebrating the Passover Feast with his disciples:
a. The Passover Feast was a special meal God’s people ate together, sort of like Americans do on Thanksgiving.
b. At the Passover Feast, the people of Israel, which included Jesus and his disciples, ate and remembered a time long ago when God rescued them. They were slaves in Egypt and God set them free.

4. READ John 13:1b, starting with ‘Jesus loved his disciples…’ Words for the children to listen for:
Loved = place both of your hands over your heart
world = trace a large circle in the air with your index finger

5. EXPLAIN that Jesus’ goal during the Passover feast was to show his disciples how much he really loved them:
a. What did the verse we just read say Jesus wanted to do? (Show the disciples how much he loved them.)
b. Who were the disciples? (A group of men who followed Jesus and tried to learn to live like him.)
c. What do you think Jesus is going to do to show this to his disciples? (Various responses.)

6. EXPLAIN that, before you can continue the story, you need to talk a moment about how dirty a person’s foot became back then.

7. DO a quick footwashing demonstration as you EXPLAIN the following:
a. SELECT a child to come forward and sit in the chair. He/she must be willing to get their feet dirty, wet, and clean again.
b. How did people travel in Jesus’ day? (Walking or riding an animal.)
c. What were roads like in Jesus’ day? (They were dirt or rocky paths.)
d. What kind of shoes did they wear in Jesus’ day? (Sandals or barefoot.)
e. ASK the child to remove their shoes and socks and pull the bottom of their pants up above their knees.
f. What would happen to your feet if you walk in dirt all the time with sandals on or in your bare feet? (They would become dirty and smelly.)
g. PLACE the empty tub or cookie sheet under the child’s feet. Grab a handful of dirt and sprinkle it over the child’s feet. The tub should catch any falling dirt.
h. If you had dirty, stinky feet, what would you have to do to make them clean? (Wash them in water.)
i. SLIDE the empty tub out of the way and replace it with the tub of water. Ask the child to dip their feet in the water and splash them around until the dirt comes off.
j. HAND the child a towel or two to dry off their feet. Ask them to return to their seat and put their shoes and socks back on.

8. EXPLAIN that washing someone’s dirty feet was not a fun job and often left for a servant:
a. Do you think you would enjoy washing someone’s dirty feet? Why not? (Various responses.)
b. In Jesus’ day, people usually had to wash their own feet. Sometimes, the person who owned the house would wash their guests’ feet. If they had a lot of money, a servant would do it for them.
c. What is a servant? (Someone whose job it is to serve another person.)

9. REMIND the children:
a. This story takes place during the Passover Feast.
b. Jesus wanted to show the disciples how much he loved them.

10. READ John 13:4. Words for the children to listen for:
Meal = rub your belly as if you’re stuffed
wrapped a towel = pretend to wrap a towel around your waist

11. WRAP the beach towel around your waist.

12. ASK, ‘Why do you think Jesus got up and wrapped a towel around himself?’ (Various responses.)

13. READ John 13:5, stopping at ‘…a large bowl.’ Words for the children to listen for:
Poured = pretend to pour water from a pitcher

14. POUR the contents of the water pitcher into the tub of water.

15. DO and EXPLAIN the following:
a. ASK another child to sit in the seat. Ask them to take off their shoes, but leave on their socks.
b. PLACE the pair of large, dirty shoes on their feet.
c. These dirty shoes will represent the disciples’ dirty feet.
d. The Bible says Jesus washed the disciples’ feet.
e. DIP a hand towel in the water and use it to clean off the shoes. Dry the shoes with the towel around your waist.
f. How do you think the disciples felt when their teacher, Jesus, God’s Son, bent down and started washing their dirty, smelly feet? (Various responses)
g. But one of the disciples had a problem with what Jesus was doing.

16. READ John 13:6-7. Words for the children to listen for:
Wash my feet = pretend to wash one foot Understand = tap your temple

17. EXPLAIN that Peter was confused about what Jesus was doing:
a. What was the name of the disciple who said something to Jesus? (Simon Peter)
b. Why do you think Peter asked Jesus what he was doing? (Various responses.)

18. READ John 13:6-10, asking the child in the chair to repeat Peter’s dialogue after you read it. When finished, have the child return to their seat.

19. EXPLAIN that Peter didn’t understand at all what Jesus was doing:
a. What did Peter do when Jeusus started to wash his feet? (Told Jesus to stop.)
b. When Jesus told Peter he needed to wash his feet, what did Peter ask Jesus to do? (Wash his entire body.)
c. What did Jesus say about this? (Only your feet are dirty. You don’t need a full bath.)
d. Do you remember what we read at the beginning of the story, about what Jesus wanted to show his disciples? (How much he loved them.)

20. READ John 13:12,14-15. Words for the children to listen for:
Put on his clothes = pretend to put on a shirt understand = tap your temple
Washed your feet = pretend to wash one foot You should = wag your index finger

21. EXPLAIN that Jesus washed the disciples’ feet to teach them to serve others:
a. Even though Jesus was the disciples’ teacher and the Son of God, he served his disciples by washing their dirty and smelly feet.
b. What did Jesus tell his disciples to do? (The same thing he did.)
c. Do you think that Jesus meant the disciples needed to run around and wash the feet of every person they met? (Various responses.)
d. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet to teach them that they needed to serve other people.
e. Even though Jesus is the most important person who ever lived, he still served the disciples.

22. EXPLAIN that today’s big idea is, ‘To be great, serve others’:
a. Today’s Bible verse is Mark 9:35b ‘ ‘If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.’
b. To be a great and important person in God’s kingdom, we need be willing to go last and to serve others, just like Jesus was willing to be last and serve his disciples.
c. SAY, ‘To be great, serve others,’ and have the children repeat it after you.

===============
C. APPLICATION ACTIVITY

MATERIALS: Resource: Feet, one large boot/shoe

SETUP:
Cut out all of the paper feet from Resource: Feet.
Place them all into the boot and set the boot on the table.

1. ASK, ‘What’s today’s big idea?’ (Answer: To be great, serve others.)

2. ASK, ‘What does it mean to serve others?’ (Answer: To do nice things for them.)

3. SHARE briefly about serving:
a. It isn’t always easy to serve others and it takes hard work.
b. It’s easier to serve some people than others, especially those who are mean to us or annoy us.

4. EXPLAIN to the children that you’ll help them talk about a few different types of people and what it would be like to serve them.

5. REPEAT the following until all the paper feet have been removed from the boot:
a. ASK a child to reach into the boot and remove one of the feet from the boot.
b. READ what is written on the foot.
c. Why would it be hard to serve this person? (Various responses.)
d. To be great, Jesus said we need to serve others. How could you serve this person? (Various responses.)

===============
D. VERSE ACTIVITY

Verse: Mark 9:35b – If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.

MATERIALS: Resource: Verse Words, Deck of cards

SETUP:
a. Place the verse words in order on the table (or floor) in one long line.
b. Place one card face down on the table above each word.
c. Place one card face down on the table below each word.

1. WRITE the verse on the board and read it through as a group.

2. EXPLAIN the verse:
a. This is something Jesus said.
b. If we want to be first (or important) in God’s Kingdom, we need to be willing to make ourselves last, or least important.
c. Like our big idea, to be great, we need to be the servant of all.

3. EXPLAIN that you’ll be playing the card game of war as we learn the verse:
a. Normally, the person with the higher card wins in war, but to remind us that we need to become last if we want to be first, the person with the lower card will win.

4. DIVIDE the children into two teams:
a. Have them sit on opposite sides of the table.
b. The verse words and two lines of cards should be a dividing line between them.

5. REPEAT the following until all the words of the verse have been erased from the board:
a. ASK a child to erase a word from the verse from the board. Replace that word with a blank line.
b. READ through the verse as a group, making extra sure the children say the word(s) that have been erased.
c. ASK a member from one team turn over a card above or below the word that was just erased. They may turn over the card closest to them or the one on the other side.
d. ASK a member of the other team turn over the other card. In keeping with the idea of becoming last to be first, the team with the lower card wins.
e. REMOVE the verse word from the table and give it to the team that won.

6. TALLY up the amount of cards each team won.

===============
E. REVIEW ACTIVITY

MATERIALS: Large plastic tub, two large bowls, dish soap, dish sponge, bath towel, hand towels, dirty cups (one for each question)

SETUP:
a. Place the dirty cups in the large tub. A quick way to dirty them up would be to pour some syrup over them the night before and let them sit out.
b. Spread the bath towel on the table.
c. Fill one bowl with warm water and mix in some dish soap. Place the dish sponge in the bowl.
c. Fill the other bowl with warm water.
d. Place the tub of cups, the soapy water, and the clean water in a row on the bath towel to catch any spills.
e. Place the pile of hand towels at the end after the clean water.

1. EXPLAIN the purpose of the activity:
a. The children that they will be cleaning these dirty dishes as they answer review questions.
b. This is to remind them that Jesus washed his disciples’ ditry feet.

2. REPEAT the following until all the words of the verse have been erased:
a. ASK three children to come forward. Have one stand in front of the soapy water, one in front of the clean water, and one in front of the hand towels
b. ASK the children to clean one dirty cup in an assembly-line fashion:
i. The first child scrubs the cup with the sponge in soapy water.
ii. The second child rinses the cup in clean water.
iii. The third child dries the cup with a towel and sets it on a table.
c. ASK one question from below while the children are washing the cup.
d. INSTRUCT the first child to answer and the other two to indicate whether they agree with that answer.
e. REVEAL the correct answer.

Questions (Answers)
1. What was the name of the special meal Jesus and the disciples were celebrating? (The Passover)
2. What did Jesus want to show his disciples? (How much he loved them)
3. What did Jesus do to show his disciples that he loved him? (Washed their feet)
4. Why did people need their feet washed back then? (They wore sandals/were barefoot. The roads were dirt.)
5. Was washing dirty feet a job for someone important or a servant? (A servant)
6. Which disciple told Jesus to stop washing his feet? (Simon Peter)
7. When Jesus said he needed to wash their feet, what did Peter say? (Wash my whole body.)
8. What lesson was Jesus trying to teach the disciples by washing their feet? (They need to serve others.)
9. What is today’s big idea? (To be great, serve others.)
10. What is today’s Bible verse? (Mark 9:35b – If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.)

 

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Sunday Night Lesson Recap: Cain and Abel

Lesson Download Link

This week, we learned about the story of Cain and Abel. I debated on whether or not to teach this story, as I have a few young kids in our class. I finally decided to go forward with it, but emphasize the faith of Abel and the lack of faith of Cain. I mentioned that, out of anger and jealousy, Cain attacked Abel. However, we did not go into detail, nor did we discuss the result of Cain’s attack (the death of Abel). Teaching the story this well, I believe, allowed the children to benefit from the story without being unnecessarily exposed to a scene of violence so early in life.

Lesson

As I read and told the story, I had two children come up front to represent Abel and Cain. They wore string around their necks. I had cards describing different aspects of the story and attach them using a clothespin to the string whenever the story dictated. The words on the card described different parts of the story: Cain, Abel, shepherd, farmer, gave God his best, didn’t give God his best.

I also had Cain and Abel hold a garden rake and a shepherd’s staff, respectively. They were instructed to bang it on the ground each time their name was mentioned.

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Sunday Night Lesson Recap: The First Sin

This Sunday’s lesson was from Genesis 3, where Adam and Eve commit the first sin.

Opener

I began by asking the kids to name as many types of fruit they could think of. They named way more than I thought they would, but we did end up have a few side-debates on whether certain items were a fruit or a vegetable. Kids seem to have very strong feelings on this issue!

Lesson

As I told this lesson, I had two children stand next to me for most of the story and play the parts of Adam and Eve. I have a bunch of different kinds of plastic fruit that I handed to various child, who were playing the part of trees.

We walked around the room and “ate” from the “trees.” We labeled two of the trees “The Tree of Life” and “The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.”

I had purchased a rubber toy snake from the dollar store and did my best ssssssssssnake voice when the serpent talked to Eve.

When the time came for God to hand out curses, I had red cards printed up that described each curse. I handed them out in the order of the story and explained what they meant. Thankfully, I was able to explain the curse of pain in childbirth without any tough questions about what that actually entailed!

Application Activity

The big idea of the day was, “Sin is disobeying God.” I wanted to help the kids understand that God has given us things to obey in the Bible and it’s a sin to disobey them.

We looked up various Bible passages. For each passage, we asked two questions:

1. What is God’s rule?

2. What would it look like to sin?

Verse Activity

Our verse was Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” I created a hopscotch grid out of carpet squares ($1 a piece at your local carpet store!) and placed cards with words of the verse on each square. We then had a kid hop up and down the grid while we said the verse. Whatever verse word they ended up on, we erased from the board.

This worked pretty well. I had toyed with the idea of the kids saying a word of the verse for each hopscotch jump, but it wouldn’t have worked well, especially at the beginning when the children really don’t know the verse at all yet. Plus, there is a tendency when doing it that way for the children to focus so much on the jumper that the children forgot to say the verse with you.

Review Activity

This was, by far, the kids’ favorite part of the day. I set up bowling pins, labeling two of them as “The Tree of Life” and “The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.”

I divided the kids into two teams and asked review questions. Based on how much help they needed for an answer, a team could earn up to three balls to roll.

Standing about ten feet away, they rolled the balls toward the pins. Each pin was worth one point, but the Tree of Life pin was worth five. But, if they hit the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil,” the tree Adam and Eve weren’t supposed to eat from, they lost all of the points they earned in the round.

I had a giant playground ball as well and gave the teams the option of swapping the three balls for one giant ball. This especially helped the younger kids, since the giant ball required very little aim.

Lesson Download link: OT 03 The First Sin

You’ll find the complete text of the lesson after the jump, but you’ll want to download the actual file if you want access to any resouces mentioned, as well as any of the activities mentioned above.  Continue reading

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Memory Verse Activity #1: Eraser

Eraser is the white sauce of memory verse activities. From it, you can create a thousand different activities while still performing the same basic function.

Eraser is simple:

1. Write the verse on a chalk or marker board.

2. Read it through together.

3. Erase one word of the verse.

4. Repeat steps 2-3.

There you go. Easy, quick, and effective. Why does it work? Repetition and iteration.

First, repetition. While there are plenty of memory tricks to be employed in special circumstances, the bulk of memorization results from simple repetition. You say something enough, you can help but remember it.

Second, iteration. Each time through, you’re only asking the children to remember one more word, and that’s even a word they said just a few seconds ago. Each time through, you’re asking a little bit more of the kids, but not so much as to be unmanageable.

90% of the other memory activities I do on a regular basis (and the one’s I’ll be sharing with you) are based on Eraser. It’s was around before Grandma had blue hair. It’ll be around in the future when chalkboards no longer exist and we erase words with the flick of remote control.

 

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Bible Translations in Kid’s Ministry

Have you thought much about which Bible translation you use when you teach your kids on Sunday?

When I teach on Sunday mornings, I make a point to read as much of the Bible story directly from a Bible as possible. I want the children to know that what I’m teaching them isn’t something I made up; it’s actually IN God’s Word!

It can be easy to simply use whatever translation your church does for any and all circumstances. However, when it comes to teaching children, I’ve found the translation I use depends on the situation I am using it for.

Bible Teaching

When I write and prepare each week’s lesson, I work mainly from the ESV, the version our church has decided to use because of its literal translation philosophy. Since I am trying to be faithful to the text as written in the Word, I use the ESV to help me get as accurate an understanding of the text as I can.

However, whenever I read from the Bible during a kid’s lesson, I almost always use the NIrV, the New International Reader’s Version. Translated with the same philosophy as the NIV, the NIrV is written at a 2.9 grade reading level. It employs very short sentences and short words.

I use the NIrV because, most of the time, I’m teaching the kids a story from the Bible. With other translations, I often have to stop and explain words or phrases; I simply don’t with the NIrV. It’s hard to draw children into the narrative in the Bible when you stop every sentence or two to explain what “great with child” means.

You may have noticed in the previous sentence I said, “Most of the time…” That’s because there are occasions where, instead of teaching a story, I’m teaching on a Bible concept, like prayer or faith. During lessons like these, I usually focus on just one or two verses that explain the topic. I have time to stop and explain words. In fact, the point of these lessons is for the kids to understand those big words that they might not understand.

Bible Memorization

For a time, I wavered between using the NIrV and the ESV for the kids’ Bible memorization. After all, if the NIrV is easier to understand, it’s probably easier to memorize.

I decided to stick with ESV, really, just for one reason: the verses we memorize as kids make up a huge portion of the verses we remember as adults. If I’m helping kids “hide God’s Word in their hearts” so that they might not sin against them, I might as well give knowledge they can use for a lifetime. While the NIrV is great for reading narrative for kids, I think it’s simply not the best choice when it comes to the verses the kids I teach will, hopefully, remember the rest of their lives.

So, there you have it. The Bible translation issue is always a controversial one. If you’re thinking of using something other than the main translation used in your church, it’s always wise to check with your church’s leadership for guidance and, if need be, approval.

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