BIG IDEA: WE HAVE THE GOSPEL OF PEACE WITH US
AIM: The ‘Feet Fitted With the… Gospel of Peace’ Childrens Lesson is one session within the ‘Armor of God’ teaching series.
To teach the children that they have God’s gospel of peace with them wherever they go and that they take it with them, because Jesus goes with them wherever they are.
- ‘Armor of God’ by Troy and Genie Nilsson
- ‘Armor of God’ by Bear Hug Band
- ‘Full Armor of God’ by KidSpring Music
- ‘Armor of God’ Kickstart Worship
- ‘I Am a Christian’ by Ken Blount
- ‘Soldier in the Army of the Lord’ by Go Fish Guys
- Bubble Blow. Children work in teams to blow bubbles across the room. When a bubble bursts they must go back to the beginning point and start again.
- Welly Wangling. Find a pair of wellington boots (Wellies or rain boots) and have players take turns to throw one of them. See who can throw it the furthest – that person will be the winner!
- Flip Flop Flinging. Similar to the Welly Wangling game, except using flip flops.
- It’s Flipper Time! Children put flippers on their feet and must attempt to pop as many balloons as they can within the specified time. [You could use this in the Search the Scriptures section by putting the bible verses in the balloons]
- Sludgy Shoes. Fill a pair of wellington boots with custard, cream or any other slimy food substances and have children walk through an obstacle course.
BIG VERSE: Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Ephesians 6:11.
If you are using this lesson as a standalone lesson you could use the bible verse: “…and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” Ephesians 6:15.
SET the Scene:
Read the passage about how Peter is thrown in jail and how the angel breaks him out and he escapes (Acts 12:6-19). To help communicate the story you could also use one of the videos below.
- Funny edition of the story of Peter escaping from Prison
- ‘In and Out of Prison’ by Gracelink – for 5-7 year olds
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) FEET FITTED WITH WHAT?
You will need to have some sandals or alike to show the group. You could also play the ‘Find Your Shoe’ game in a small group where children take on of their shoes off and put it in a pile with everyone else’s. The shoes all get mixed up, then everyone must find their own shoe. To make it more fun make it a relay game in teams, where all the children must find their shoe one at a time in their teams. The first full team to be wearing both shoes is the winning team.
So far our soldier has a belt and a breastplate, the next piece of armor is his shoes. Soldiers wore really unusual looking sandals which were actually very comfortable and helped them to walk miles. They probably weren’t as strong or fun looking as some of our shoes are today! Yet these sandals were great because the air could get to their feet so their feet could ‘breath’ which also meant they didn’t get blisters like we get sometimes in our shoes!!
Terrain was rocky in the ancient world, requiring sturdy, protective footwear. On a battlefield or near a fort, the enemy might scatter barbed spikes or sharp stones to slow an army down. The Bible tells us to put on the footwear of the Gospel (good news- explain to kids if needed), or the sandals of peace, which means going to tell other people about Jesus and what we believe. But you know sometimes that can be hard!
Who thinks sometimes it’s hard to tell our friends and family about Jesus…or even that we go to church?? Sometimes we might think they won’t listen or it’s a waste of time or we’re rubbish and we can’t do it? Well you know that’s what the devil wants us to think, because he’s God’s enemy and doesn’t want us to tell people. Just like the Roman’s had to watch out for rocky and dangerous ground we also have to watch out! The Devil scatters traps for us as we’re trying to spread the gospel. The Gospel of Peace is our protection, reminding us that it is by God’s grace (that means its undeserved) that we are saved.
Peter in our story today told people about Jesus even though it was very scary and he knew he might get thrown into jail. But just like the footwear of the Gospel or the sandals of peace – God protected and rescued Peter. He didn’t have to worry no matter what happened because he knew that he would always have Jesus! Peter could have peace in the prison cell because he knew that Jesus was with him, just like he is with us today.
2) GOD’S GOSPEL IS GOOD AND BRINGS PEACE
You will need to have some Bad news in a newspaper and some good news in a newspaper. Read out the newspaper headlines. You could also ask the children if they have any good news and then ask; “Who would you want to tell your good news to?” You could also refer to your own good news – getting married, having kids, your birthday etc
Who’s ever had good news? Or maybe someone you know has had good news? Maybe someone is getting married, maybe you’ve done REALLY well in a test at school or got an award or been picked for a team…What happens when someone has good news? Do they think; ‘Great! This is such GOOD news, but I’d better keep it to myself?’ NO!! What do you do? Yeah you tell other people don’t you? People always tell their good news don’t they? And they usually tell them with great excitement and enthusiasm! And the people they tell usually get excited and enthusiastic too don’t they?
Peter from our story had the good news of Jesus – and he wanted to tell EVERYBODY! So that’s exactly what he did- even though it got him into trouble! You know it’s so important we tell other people about Jesus even when it’s scary! That’s because Jesus is GOOD NEWS and lots of people need good news!
The Memory Verse says we should be ready to tell the Gospel which means GOOD NEWS! Jesus and what He has done for us is good news! You know how to be friends with God and that is good news! Other people need to hear that good news from you so they can become a friend of God celebrate with you too.
People NEED to hear the good news so be ready to tell them! And as we go, God will always be with us to help us and protect us – and He says we CAN do it!!!!
3) THE GOOD NEWS GIVES US PEACE
Skit: You will need two people to play the girls in this scene.
[Bella comes running in and sits down looking sad and worried when Hannah walks in.]
Hannah: Bella … are you okay?
Bella: Not really, I don’t know what I’m going to do.
Hannah: Why what’s the matter?
Bella: Madison told Sophie that I didn’t like her. Then Sophie told all of her friends not to hang out with me or even talk to me. They’ve been whispering about me behind my back in class. They say I best watch out because Sophie’s gonna get me. Last time this happened she gave a girl at school a black eye. I don’t want that to happen to me!
Hannah: I’m sure it won’t happen Bella… but should we pray?
Bella: Yeah please!
Hannah: [Hannah prays for Bella…] Oh… hey Madison…
[Madison enters and approaches the girls]
Madison: Bella I’m sorry I told Sophie you didn’t like her. I told her I lied. I’m sorry. It’s gonna be okay, she’s not gonna do anything to you. You don’t need to worry.
Bella: Thanks Madison, it’s okay.
[The girls hug and walk off together]
Say: Bella got good news when her friend told her she was going to be okay, when Our good news isn’t just for others, but it is also for us too. The good news is that we don’t have to be afraid, worried or stressed out. We can have God’s peace wherever we go. Jesus brings us peace no matter what we go through. Wherever we go and whatever the attack or the difficult situation might be, we can remember that Jesus goes with us and he promises to bring us peace.
When everyone else is panicking we can have peace if we look to Jesus and remember the good news that he brings to us. He calls us to be people of peace.
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Attach one of each of the verses below to a ball pool ball. Fill a paddling pool with all the ball pool balls you can find and place the verse balls in with them. Have players compete to see how fast they can find all the balls. Then explain or discuss the verses as you count them up.
Scriptures on the peace that Jesus brings:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.John 14:27.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”John 20:19.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7.
I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace while you trust in him. Then your hope will overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13.
SENSE How You Feel:
Encourage the children to think about the following question as they get involved with the below activities:
What does it feel like to have the gospel of peace in your life?
- Use watercolors to paint a peaceful picture.
- Take the children to a quiet spot outside where they can think.
- Create a cozy spot in one corner of the room where children can go, rest and think.
- Have some calming bottles around the room that children can go and play with whilst they think.
- Seashell Listening. Have some large seashells that the children can go and listen to as they think.
- Children could make a rain stick as they think.
- Bead threading – children can make a necklace or wristband with elastic and beads.
- Create some sandals of peace.
- Peter Escapes Prison coloring sheets – google some sheets for your group to enjoy as they think.
- Was it peaceful during these activities? Why/ why not?
- Do you think you have the gospel of peace in your life? Why/why not?
- How does Jesus bring you peace?
Play this video about Peter’s escape from prison: ‘There is Always Hope’.
Take some feathers and hand one out to each child. Explain that when feathers are blown they float with ease. Ask the children to think of someone that needs to know God’s peace today. Then give the children a chance to pray for that person as they blow their feather. Ask them to imagine that their friend or family member is feeling God’s peace as they pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring the children peace as they pray also.