BIG IDEA: I CAN CHOOSE TO BE THANKFUL
AIM: The ‘Should I Give Thanks?’ Childrens Lesson on The Ten Lepers aims at showing children that they have a choice to be thankful and that when they are thankful it will be a blessing to themselves and to others.
- Bible Game: Give Thanks. A Twist on the ‘Hot Potato’ game.
- Thankful Pictionary. Have children draw things that they are thankful for, their teams should try and guess what they are drawing. The team to have everyone draw one thing and have it guessed correctly is the winning team.
- Overflowing with Thankfulness. Try this game to teach kids what it means to truly overflow with thankfulness!
- Thankegories. Someone chooses a letter. The timer goes on and everyone must write ten things they are thankful for beginning with that letter. Once the time is up, you cross off the duplicates off your list and see how many original ideas you had. The winner is the player with the most original answers in each round.
SET the Scene:
Read Luke 17:11-19.
- Bibletoons Ten Lepers
- ‘Jesus Heals Ten Lepers’ by PowerSurge Kids
- ‘One Said Thank You’ by Gracelink
- ‘Ten Lepers Healed’ by Global Gospel
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) JESUS DOES INCREDIBLE THINGS!
You could tell a testimony of something that Jesus has done for you recently and how you thanked Him. You could also encourage some of the children to share about what Jesus has done in their lives recently.
Alternatively get the kids to run around the room trying to grab pictures/the names of the people who are the answers to the following questions:
- Who did God save from a big fish? (Jonah)
- Who did God save from the fiery furnace? (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego)
- Who was blinded and then healed by Jesus three days later? (Saul)
- Who was led out of prison by an angel as his friends prayed? (Peter)
- Who said “Silver and Gold have I none, but what I have I give to you?” and then healed a lame beggar in the name of Jesus? (Peter)
- Who did Jesus tell he would see them in heaven? (the man on the cross)
Can you think of any more? [There are so many! Have fun with this game and then make the application below.]
Say: The ten lepers were all in need of being healed. They all cried out for Jesus to help them. Leprosy was a terrible disease which meant that they would have to be separated from their friends and family and they would be treated as an outcast. An outcast is someone that people don’t want to go near. They are stopped from hanging out with everyone else and they are treated very badly.
Jesus tells the lepers to go to see the Priest. If this was anyone else telling the men to go to the Priest, nothing would have happened. Yet as they walked they were healed. They had believed, were obedient to Jesus and Jesus had healed them! Jesus does incredible things! He heals, saves, blesses and makes whole. Jesus does incredible things because He is incredible! He is God and He is able to do amazing things in our lives!
2) I CAN CHOOSE TO SAY THANK YOU
Say: The super cool thing about this story is that although the leper went all the way back to find Jesus to say thank you. It would have been some effort, but he chose to say thank you. Sometimes saying ‘thank you’ means making extra effort. Yet when we say thank you we get the joy of seeing how the person reacts and feels. We also have the joy of knowing that that person knows that we appreciate all they do for us.
It feels great to have someone say thank you and recognize when we have helped them. To say thank you is a choice that we won’t regret. Yet in order to thank someone we need to know what we are thanking them for. Do you know what you are thankful for today? Do you recognize what Jesus has done in your life? Has He saved you? Has He rescued you? Then don’t forget or wait to tell Him! Tell Him today! You can choose to say thank you every day! Thankful people are joyful people because they realize what they have been given and they know they are blessed. Have you been choosing to say thank you or have you been miserable today? Make the extra effort to start thanking God each day and watch how your attitude and your heart begin to turn around!
Sometimes it can be difficult because we are waiting for God to do something that He has not yet done. We can get disappointed and begin to doubt if He is able or if He wants to help us. Sometimes we can turn our back on Him because things down’t work out the way we hoped. Yet if we choose to look at the things God has given us, and focus on the things that we can be thankful for, then we will see God do a work in our heart and help us to deal with our disappointments. He will help to heal those places in our hearts that are hurting. All we have to do is to choose to be thankful.
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Look at the bible verses about thankfulness here. Encourage the children to look up some of the bible verses and discuss:
What should I be thankful for? Why should I be thankful for it? When should I be thankful? How should I be thankful?
Challenge the children to think of the many different ways that they can show thankfulness to: a) God b) Teachers c) Parents or Guardians d) Friends
- How does it make you feel when someone says thank you?
- How does it make you feel when you say thank you?
- How do you think God feels when we thank Him?
- When was the last time you thanked God?
- Do you like saying thank you? Why/why not?
SENSE How You Feel:
Thank you in different languages. Can you spot where they are from?
- Create a giant thank you card for someone that you love within the church – perhaps your Pastor or Children’s Pastor.
- Write thank you cards for someone special to you – a parent, grandparent, teacher etc
- Create thank you journals. Encourage the children to write or draw one thing they are thankful for each day.
- Create thank you photos of the children holding up a sign that says ‘Thank You’ and make it into a video for someone that you know.
- Create an acrostic poem for someone using the letters ‘T H A N K Y O U’
For more thankful activities check out this page.
As children think and pray and thank God for what they have been given, you could play this song by tthe Katinas; ‘Thank You.’
- Create thank you paper chains of all the things that you are thankful for that God has given to you. How many things can you think of?
- Write an A-Z Alphabet of all the things that you are thankful for that God has given you.