AGE APPROPRIATE: 5-11YR OLDS (ELEMENTARY)
BIG IDEA: I CAN BE GENTLE
AIM: The aim of the ‘Gentleness’ Fruit of the Spirit Childrens Lesson (Galatians 6) is to show children what it means to be gentle and how we can be gentle in our everyday life.
- ‘Fruit of the Spirit’ by Go Fish Guys
- ‘Fruit of the Spirit’
- ‘Fruit of the Spirit’
- ‘Fruit of the Spirit’ by KidSpring
- ‘Scripture Snacks – Fruits of the Spirit’
BIG VERSE: Be kind and compassionate to one another. Ephesians 4:32
SET the Scene:
Read about how Jesus died on the cross in Matthew 27:45-54. You could act out the scene or show one of the videos below to reinforce the passage.
- ‘Animated Easter Story’
- ‘Jesus Christ: Anime of His Last Day’
- ‘Beginners Bible Resurrection Story’
- ‘The Death of Jesus’
- ‘Easter Week Jelly Telly Devotional’ (needs editing)
- ‘Lego Easter Story’
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) WHAT? POWER UNDER CONTROL
You will need the Water wheel video.
Say: Gentleness means power under control; look at this clip of a water fall. There is so much power in that water, but the waterfall brings it all under control for a purpose. We all have power; in our arms, legs and especially our mouths! We can choose how to use that power; to hit and fight or to love and give. When we choose to love then we choose to bring our power under control instead of using it for our own means. That’s just like Jesus!
He had all the power in the Universe… yet He chose to go to the cross because He loved us all that much! He could have sent His angels to save Him, but He chose to go through all that pain so that we could no God. He chose not to use His power for himself, but to control it so that we could be His friends.
2) WHY? SO WE DON’T HURT OTHERS
You will need pictures of animals holding their babies in their teeth (just google them: lions or tigers with cubs in their mouths). You could also use a clip of the Beast becoming more gentle in the movie clip from ‘Beauty and the Beast’
Say: Put your hand up if you thing lions, tigers, crocodiles are all pretty fierce animals? Quite powerful aren’t they? And maybe a bit scary if you were on your own in front of one! But you know they can also be very gentle! Yep a gentle tiger, a gentle lion, a gentle crocodile! Sounds like a contradiction doesn’t it? That means that being gentle sounds like the opposite to those animals, but it’s true! Look what these animals are like with their babies…(show pictures) These scary, powerful animals can be so gentle that they can hold their babies in their mouths without hurting them! They have to be gentle so they don’t hurt their babies. It’s the same with us. God wants us to be gentle so we won’t hurt others.
3) HOW? TURN AWAY FROM ANGER AND VIOLENCE
Brother and sister skit: Improvise a skit where two leaders act as two children. The children are fighting over who plays with a toy/games console. The fighting gets out of hand and somebody gets hurt.
Say: Sometimes we need to have gentleness with those that we love and think of them before ourselves, that can be really tough- the only way we can have true gentleness is to ask God to help us. It is really easy to forget about being gentle when we want something or we want our own way. If we are going to be gentle then we must decide not to turn to violence, but to try to think of the other person. If we struggle with anger we can ask God to help us – and we can ask adults to help us too!
Being gentle takes some learning. Yet the Holy Spirit will help us to be gentle if we ask Him.
Shall we pray? (pray with them)
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Write out these passages and tape them to bricks in a Jenga game. Choose two players to play Jenga. They must gently try and take the bricks out of the Jenga tower without toppling the tower over. The child with the most bible verses at the end of the game is the winner. Read out the bible verses and discuss them in small groups.
Bible verses about Gentleness:
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Philippians 4:5.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1.
To speak no evil about anyone, to live in peace with all, to be gentle and polite to all people. Titus 3:2.
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15.
Brothers, someone in your group might do something wrong. You who are spiritual should go to him and help make him right again. You should do this in a gentle way. But be careful! You might be tempted to sin, too. Help each other with your troubles. When you do this, you truly obey the law of Christ. If anyone thinks that he is important when he is really not important, he is only fooling himself.. Galatians 6:1-3.
Accept my work and learn from me. I am gentle and humble in spirit. And you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29.
You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your gentleness made me great. 2 Samuel 22:36.
But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 1 Timothy 6:11.
- Is it weak to be gentle? Why/why not?
- Is it difficult to be gentle? Why/why not?
- How was Jesus gentle?
- How can you be gentle towards others?
SENSE How You Feel:
Why do you think Jesus was gentle towards others when he had so much strength?
How does it feel to hold back when you are strong?
- Play the team game ‘Sticky Spaghetti Tower’ where children must try and build a tower out of dry spaghetti and marshmallows. Children must learn to be gentle to prevent them from breaking the spaghetti and the tower.
- Play the game ‘Pick Up Sticks’ and think about what it means to be gentle.
- Colour in the ‘Gentleness’ colouring sheet by ministry-to-children.com
- You could bring some pets for children to stroke and play with – and learn to be gentle with!
- Create a picture with different fabrics and textures that children can touch to remind them to be gentle.
Hand each child a small pebble that they can hold (You could even draw a picture on them beforehand to create a pet rock). Remind them that being gentle takes care and attention. Encourage them to pray and ask for God’s help for them to be gentle.
Lord, sometimes I forget to be gentle. Please help me to think of other people’s feelings as well as my own. Help me to be gentle, just as You are gentle towards me. Amen.