This past Sunday went fantastic in my children’s bible classes. Why? Because they had FUN! Our lesson was about Jesus being tempted in the wilderness; but you can use this activity for ANY lesson.
Remember the game at Christmas everyone was playing where tons of mini gifts were wrapped in a ball of cellophane? It was passed around a circle for everyone to unwrap the cellophane until they came to a prize that they kept and then passed the ball on. It continued until all the prizes, or gifts, were unwrapped and claimed.
I simply used this idea for a bible lesson and the kids had a blast. I had my lesson and divided it into sections. Then I selected toys and candy prizes. If the toy related to the lesson I used it as it was. For instance, I had a prayer rock for turning rocks into bread. For other parts of the lesson that I did not have a toy for, I printed a picture that related and glued it to candy (and gum). Then, as the kids unwrapped, we would stop at each item and tell that part of the story. We made it through the entire ball of cellophane with excitement and anticipation… what was coming up next! (Just remember to wrap your items up backward so the last item is wrapped first.)
Fear. When is the last time you found yourself afraid of something? How about the kids in your children’s ministry? Fear is a natural emotion felt by all ages. Fear often causes people to make some really bad choices. Taking lying for example. Typically, a person lies when they are afraid of the consequences from the truth. Theft? When someone is afraid of losing their house, not being able to keep the electricity on or food on the table, they have a choice to make. Sometimes, stealing is the answer chosen. For students, how about cheating? When afraid of failing, the temptation to turn to cheating is very real.
Jesus gives us an excellent example of fear that hurts. He told a story about three men given an opportunity by their master. How did they do? As you read, pay attention to the third servant. Matthew 25:14-30 says:
14 “At that time God’s
kingdom will also be like a man leaving home to travel to another place for a
visit. Before he left, he talked with his servants. He told his servants to
take care of his things while he was gone.15 He
decided how much each servant would be able to care for. The man gave one
servant five bags of money.[a] He gave another servant two bags. And he gave a
third servant one bag. Then he left.16 The servant who got five bags went quickly to
invest the money. Those five bags of money earned five more. 17 It was
the same with the servant who had two bags. That servant invested the money and
earned two more. 18 But the servant who got one bag of money went
away and dug a hole in the ground. Then he hid his master’s money in the hole.
19 “After a long time the
master came home. He asked the servants what they did with his money.20 The
servant who got five bags brought that amount and five more bags of money to
the master. The servant said, ‘Master, you trusted me to care for five bags of
money. So I used them to earn five more.’
21 “The master answered,
‘You did right. You are a good servant who can be trusted. You did well with
that small amount of money. So I will let you care for much greater things.
Come and share my happiness with me.’
22 “Then the servant who
got two bags of money came to the master. The servant said, ‘Master, you gave
me two bags of money to care for. So I used your two bags to earn two more.’
23 “The master answered,
‘You did right. You are a good servant who can be trusted. You did well with a
small amount of money. So I will let you care for much greater things. Come and
share my happiness with me.’
24 “Then the servant who
got one bag of money came to the master. The servant said, ‘Master, I knew you
were a very hard man. You harvest what you did not plant. You gather crops
where you did not put any seed.25 So I was afraid. I went and hid your money in
the ground. Here is the one bag of money you gave me.’
26 “The master answered,
‘You are a bad and lazy servant! You say you knew that I harvest what I did not
plant and that I gather crops where I did not put any seed.27 So you
should have put my money in the bank. Then, when I came home, I would get my
money back. And I would also get the interest that my money earned.’
28 “So the master told
his other servants, ‘Take the one bag of money from that servant and give it to
the servant who has ten bags.29 Everyone who uses what they have will get
more. They will have much more than they need. But people who do not use what
they have will have everything taken away from them.’30 Then the
master said, ‘Throw that useless servant outside into the darkness, where
people will cry and grind their teeth with pain.’
The third servant given the one bag of money was afraid of what his master would do to him if he lost it. He was so fearful that instead of trying to do something positive with it, he simply hid it and waited. If you are in children’s ministry, God has entrusted you with his little children. What are you doing to reach these kids? Are you playing it so safe that you cannot get their attention or are you trying new things, trusting God to help you?
Children are important to our Heavenly Father. Continue to pray for his hand in guiding them, and their parents. Our society is changing and it often takes creativity to get through to kids these days. Don’t be afraid to try new things. If they aren’t working, change them again. Find something that works and don’t worry, God is with you if you are including him.
As many of us get ready for Easter and the events leading up to it, here’s a great craft for kids introducing them to Palm Sunday. Jesus enters Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey the week before his crucifixion. The disciples spread their cloaks on the donkey for Jesus to sit on. Many people came out to welcome Jesus. They laid their cloaks and palm branches before him and praised him.
Have fun teaching kids about “The Triumphant Entry” of Jesus entering into Jerusalem fulfilling another prophesy by making a fun balloon donkey on a stick or string to walk down halls after class. Talk with them about why he may have chosen a donkey instead of a horse. Teach them about Jesus being a servant and relating to the people. (Matthew 21:1-11)
What you’ll need: Balloon, Donkey template, scissors, tape, string (and colors if you’d like kids to color their donkey first)
Print copies of the donkey template on card stock.
Cut out donkey then color if you’d like.
Blow up balloon to desired size
Tape donkey head, legs and tail to balloon.
Tape string or stick to balloon.
Now you’ve got a donkey to walk down the halls and when asked what the donkey is for, kids should be ready to share the story of Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey!
Easter is coming! Easter is coming! Although some denominations do not believe in celebrating the resurrection on this day each year, we can all agree that we are to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior every Lord’s Day. Whether it is Easter or any other given Sunday, the resurrection of our Savior is an incredible and selfless gift for us. And regardless, Easter is the time of year when a large number of society takes time to worship the God of heaven. This is an amazing time for outreach when people are coming to churches instead of churches going into the communities; so use this time wisely.
Of course we want to use the time wisely, but how? Start with the setting. What do people see as they are walking into your building? Flowers? Green grass? When guests come into the building, are they greeted with a smile and someone helping them find their way? If they arrive late, is there someone to help them find a seat in a possibly crowded sanctuary? And of course, are you providing them with information about your congregation, the times you meet, the topics they can learn about in individual classes, the things you are involved in, and more? We want to give them reasons to return.
Kids! They are often timid about going to a new place and they certainly are not going to beg to return if we do not give them a reason to. Perhaps offer them something special when they arrive, to your guests and members. This may be a set of colors and coloring book about Easter, Easter Egg slime or putty, Easter chalk set, a stick of gum with a note… you get the idea. It doesn’t have to be expensive. With their little gift, offer an incentive to come back to class next week or another upcoming event. Have a special service, a children’s church, just for them so it is on their level. We want them to understand why they are there and enjoy being a part.
Here are some Easter lesson ideas from some of the best. I have not used these but have been exploring my options. I do not make money for sharing these with you, just putting what I’m looking at in one place to make it easy.
Daniel is an amazing example for us in scripture, especially when teaching kids. Daniel was exiled to Babylon when he was young. He was taught all the ways of Babylon and ended up on King Nebuchadnezzar’s good side early on all thanks to Daniel’s faith in the one true God. When King Darius came along, Daniel was still highly favored by the king. Unfortunately, there were some others who were quite jealous and tried to get rid of Daniel by tricking the king into signing an order that would not allow Daniel to pray to the one true God.
How might Daniel have been feeling during this time? Help kids really think about it. All Daniel had to do was hide when he prayed for the next 30 days. That’s not very long. Surely God would understand, right? This was a scary time because the consequences were painful- he’d be fed to a den of hungry lions. But Daniel did not seem to worry. No stress! He remained faithful prayed every day to God. You know the rest of the story. Although thrown into a den of hungry lions, God sent an angel to protect him. Daniel was safe.
To get kids excited about bible class this particular Sunday, we made stress balls. Well, I made the stress ball and they drew a lions head. I was not sure how “stress-free” class would be for my teachers with a bunch of kiddo’s trying to get flour into a balloon. The kids loved their lion stress balls and it was a great time to talk to them about not worrying about the consequences. We need to do what is right all the time and let God handle the rest.
Trying to come up with ideas for kids that they will share with friends is not an easy task. I remembered a few kids running around with cootie catchers, aka Fortune Tellers, not too long ago. They went from friend to friend playing this simple handmade game. Why recreate the wheel? If they love it, let’s find a way to use it!
After some trial and error with upside down teeth and such, I finally got it! Take a look at the video to see how you can make Bible Cootie Catchers of Jonah or Daniel in your bible classes. Inside the big fish is a praying Jonah and inside the lion is the angel that shut the lions mouth. These are perfect when you need a quick lesson and activity. I’ve prepared the bible story with printables, all ready to go when you need something in a hurry!
How do you get yours free to download with bible stories too? It’s easy! If you are a subscriber, it will be in your email box. Not a part of the RaiseKidForChrist.com family yet? No problem, subscribe here and you’ll receive your templates.