BIG IDEA: A DISCIPLE FOLLOWS JESUS
AIM: The ‘Calling of the Disciples’ Sunday School lesson teaches children what a disciple truly is. The session will allow them to think about how they can be Jesus’ disciple.
BIG VERSE: If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples. John 8:31.
SET the Scene:
Read Matthew 4:18-25 and watch the video.
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) OBJECT LESSON: A DISCIPLE IS…
Game: Write lots of random names on papers. Add the names of all the 12 disciples. See if children can work out who is a disciple. (Disciples:Simon Peter and his brother Andrew, Simon,James son of Zebedee and his brother John, Matthew, Judas, Thomas, Philip, Bartholemew, Thaddaeus and James son of Alphaeus)
Jesus had 12 disciples. Who were the disciples? (play game) What is a disciple? A disciple is someone that personally chose to follow and learn from Jesus. A disciple wanted to be like their leader; the disciples wanted to become more like Jesus. In order to do that they would go everywhere with him and learn from how he lived; how he spoke, acted, what he believed and even how he thought. When Jesus called the disciples they were all working on something; here the brothers Simon Peter and Andrew and the brothers James and John of Zebedee.
Today Jesus calls us to be his disciples; to learn to live like him. We can learn from him by reading the word and studying what his character is like; what he likes and what he doesn’t like, the types of things he does and doesn’t do. We can talk to him and find out what he has to say to us too. To live like Jesus isn’t easy… the disciples had to drop everything to follow him and eventually they had to die. To be a disciple means to stick with Jesus even when things get really tough! So the questions are; will we be his disciple and if so, what kind of disciple will we be?
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Although there are no others labeled ‘disciples’ in the Bible, there are people who learn to be like their leader.
People that were willing to learn from someone else in the bible:
Timothy and Paul
Elisha and Elijah
Moses and Jethro
Esther and Mordecai
Relay game: Write two sets of the names of the leaders/teachers and then the followers on separate pieces of paper (each team should have 8 pieces of paper with a name on each). The children should line up in teams on one side of the room. Give each player an activity that they must do whilst going to the turning point (i.e. hop, jump, act like a chicken, crawl). The first players from each team do the same action, the second players do the same and so on… At the turning point players pick up a piece of paper until all the papers are retrieved. The first team to match up the leader/teacher to their follower on the pieces of paper is the winning team.
Discuss how each of the teachers/leaders taught their follower and discuss what characteristics the follower would need to learn from their leader/teacher.
SENSE How You Feel:
Why did or Have you decide/d to follow Jesus?
Re-read the passage and ask children to think about why they, like the disciples, have decided to follow Jesus. If some of them have not decided, you could ask them why they have not. The important thing is that the children are allowed to be honest; that they feel free to express themselves without judgement or pressure. Remind the children that Jesus invites us all to be his disciples…
Have fish (the disciples were fishing when Jesus chose them) cut out with the words:
‘I am a disciple of Jesus because….’
written on them. Have children answer the question and decorate the fish with sequins, stickers or pens/crayons. If they struggle to answer the question then get them to think about how the disciples responded to Jesus by dropping everything and following him… ask them to imagine they were one of the disciples and ask “why did you drop everything and follow Jesus?”
Come together and discuss their answers. Ask them if they think they are following Jesus for the right reasons? And how being a disciple affects their life.
If some of the children would like to become a follower of Jesus you can pray this prayer with them:
Jesus I believe in your life, death and resurrection.
I believe that you are God.
I am sorry for the wrong things I have done.
Please forgive me and help me to live like you.
I want to be your disciple and friend.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
‘Help me be your disciple’ prayer wall…
Create a prayer wall with the word DISCIPLE at the top. Get the kids to write words that describe a disciple “loving, hard working, obedient etc” and stick them under it. Then ask children to write out prayers about how they want to be Jesus’ disciple and the type of disciple they want to be.
Prayers can include:
Prayers of thanks and praise – thanks for making me your disciple
Prayers of asking – help me to ….
Prayers of repentance – sorry for …