Coming up with new ways to make bible class an exciting place for kids is not always easy. Then when you find a winner, they eventually grow tired of it. This week I tried something new with our Sunday School kids and they asked excitedly if we could do it again next week. When they are asking, you know you have a winner, at least for a little while.
I love games about the bible and this one is so simple! All you need is a pair of call bells. I divided my bible lesson into eight pieces making sure to have a question after each short reading. Then it was time for “Last One Standing” played Family Feud style.
How to Play: Set out two bells Family Feud style. Just before you read each section, have two kids come up to the bells, put one hand on the table next to the bell and the other behind their back. Now, read the section, ask the question. The first to ring the bell gets to answer (but you can’t ask any more of the question once the bell is rung). If they answer right, they stay and face off with the next person. If wrong, the opponent gets to guess. If wrong, they sit out. Let’s see who’s the last one standing. Oh, and if they ring the bell more than once, they lose that round. Here’s an example of what I did this past week:
4:12-17, Mark 1:14-15) Jesus heard that his cousin John was thrown in prison.
Remember, John had been baptizing people and telling them about Jesus. Now that he is in prison Jesus left Nazareth
and went to Galilee. He lived by a lake
in Capernaum. A long time ago, before
Jesus was ever born, the prophet Isaiah said this would happen! Now Jesus was
telling people, “Repent and believe the good news!” What
message was Jesus teaching? Repent and believe the good news.
4:18; Mark 1:16) One day, Jesus was
walking beside the Sea of Galilee and see two brothers named Simon Peter and
Andrew. They were fishermen so they were
busy casting their nets into the lake to catch fish. Where
was Jesus walking? By the Sea of Galilee.
4:19-22; Mark 1:17-20) Jesus said, “Come, follow me and I will send you out to
fish for people.” They immediately left
their nets and followed Jesus. A little
further down, Jesus saw James and his brother John fishing. He told them the
same thing and they left their father and his helpers in the boat and followed
Jesus too. Jesus called his first four disciples. Who were they? Peter, Andrew, James & John
4:14-15) News about Jesus had spread all over Galilee. Jesus was teaching in
their synagogues and everyone praised him.
But then Jesus went back to Nazareth. This is where Jesus was raised
when he was little. Where did Jesus grow up? Nazareth.
(Luke 4:16-21) On the Sabbath day, Jesus went
to the synagogue and stood up to read. Someone handed him the scroll of the
prophet Isaiah so he unrolled it and read, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he anointed me to share the good news.” And read a little more, then
rolled it back up and said, “Today this scripture is fulfilled.” It was the Sabbath day. What was Jesus
doing in the synagogue? Reading (from the scroll of Isaiah).
4:22-23) Everyone said good things about him and were amazed saying, “Isn’t
that Joseph’s son?” They knew Jesus when he was just a little boy and now Jesus
was calling himself a prophet? They were thrilled! Jesus would make their lives
easier, right? How did the people know
Jesus? He grew up around them.
4:24) Jesus realized what they were thinking. They had it all wrong! He was
there to save them from sin, not fix their problems on earth. Jesus got their attention
when he said, “No prophet is accepted in his hometown.” What was Jesus there to do? Save them from sin.
4:25-30) Jesus just compared them to the faithless Jews of Elijah and Elisha’s
time. They were mad now and chased him out of town. Why were they mad? Jesus compared them to people that did not have
You can add questions at the end to review more even adding in things from past lessons. Our bible class kids were listening intently, learning from God’s word and LOVING it! This is how we begin building a love for God in our children and as they grow older, they will have the word of God in their hearts and minds to refer back to as they need it.
Obstacles. This past Sunday our children learned about the
exiles returning home to Jerusalem from Babylon, part of our three-year chronological
bible study. They learned about Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah. The loved saying,
“Zerubbabel.” As God’s chosen people tried
to rebuild, they continued to run into obstacles. There were even people who did
not want to see them succeed and worked against them. Have you ever run into
As bible class teachers, children’s ministers and parents, what obstacles have you come across in
your pursuit of God? How about in your journey to train up and raise kids for Christ?
We may become discouraged when kids do not engage, when it feels as though they
are not interested in God in the least. Sometimes we lose motivation as kids simply
quit showing up. There are times of frustration when we hear about our children
being hurt or bullied and we want to jump in to fix it, but there is not a
quick, easy fix. How about time? Does a lack of time ever get in the way of
serving God? There are so many obstacles that can interrupt our walk with God if we let them.
We can learn from the Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah still
today. There was prayer, fasting and
dedication to God. Yes, fear got the
best of them at times and the work stopped; however, they listened to the encouraging
words of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah. Nehemiah never backed down and encouraged
the people he was leading in rebuilding the walls. The point is, with God, we can accomplish
great things for Him. Pray, pray and
pray some more. There is amazing power
in prayer. Surround yourself with people
who love and support you, who will encourage you to keep working for and
Remember, God is at work. Allow God to work through
you. Be His hands, His feet, His
mouthpiece to spread His message. We
need to persevere in doing God’s work and let Him take care of the rest. He never said it would be a cakewalk. On a brighter note, focus on the incredible
feeling you get as you overcome obstacles with God’s help and see children (and
their parents) loving God.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. –Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
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.