BIG IDEA: GOD IS THE MOUNTAIN MOVER
AIM: The ‘God is the Mountain Mover’ Childrens Lesson (Matthew 17:20) is all about helping children to see that they can put their faith in a God that is BIG – He is a mountain moving (and making) God! This is the first session in the ‘Mountain Mover’ teaching series.
- Mustard Squirt. (regular/widescreen) Can you aim the mustard at a target and hit it? Children must try using the squirty mustard to hit the target or get the mustard in the right pot to win.
- Messy Mustard. (regular/widescreen) Players compete to make a picture out of squirtable mustard.
- Mustard Tree Relay. (regular/widescreen) Create parts of a mustard seed tree and have children run to fetch each part and slot it altogether. Teams can compete to get their mustard tree arranged before their opponents.
- Blow That Seed! (regular/widescreen) Place seed on a table for each player and have the players try to blow the seed to the end of the table first. The winning player is the one that does it the quickest.
- Sweep the Seed. (regular/widescreen) Children are given a large seed each and must try to sweep it to the end of the room and back before their opponents. Use it as a relay also if you want more kids to play.
BIG VERSE: For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7.
SET the Scene:
Read Matthew 17:20. Explain to the children that this verse comes straight after Jesus has seen a boy that was very troubled and the disciples ask him why they could not help him. The disciples were not able to help him – only Jesus could help him. Jesus tells the disciples that they only need a mustard seed of faith.
- ‘Faith Like a Mustard Seed’ by PursueGodKids
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) SMALL FAITH: MOUNTAIN MOVING GOD
You will need some mustard seeds to show or pass around the group.
Read Matthew 17:20:
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Say: Have you ever seen a mustard seed? Do you know how big they are? They are tiny! Let me show you. [Get out your mustard seeds and show one from the front or pass them around the group – if possible!] Mustard seeds are some of the smallest seeds.
Jesus knew mustard seeds were small – tiny, in fact. So why did he say we only need a tiny bit of faith to make a mountain move? Faith is knowing who God says He is and and what He says He can and will do and believing Him. When we do this we are saying yes to God. Yes we believe He is who He says He is and yes we know He will do what He says He will do.
We only need a teeny tiny bit of faith because we have a mountain moving God. God can do anything He wants. He chooses to do the right and best things every time. He doesn’t just move mountains but He created them! When we put our faith in Him and believe and know who He is and what He can do we will see Him do incredible things in our lives! So remember, we might only have small faith, but we have a BIG God!
2) MY MOUNTAINS ARE SMALL
[Share a story and any photographs you have of a time when you saw or walked up a mountain, if you have any, or simply show pictures of a mountain.]
Say: A mountain is something really really big. It’s much bigger than me or you. It takes people hours and sometimes days to climb a mountain. It’s hard work. Have you ever climbed a mountain? [Get feedback] Was it easy? [Get feedback]
The amazing thing about putting our faith in God and believing in Him is that we can remember that He is bigger than anything in the world. He created the Universe! That means He is much bigger than any mountain. Did you know that when we talk about mountains in our lives it can also mean something different. Why? I don’t know about you but I don’t have many mountains that I need to move. Do you? [Get feedback]
I don’t have any mountains, but I do have some big problems in my life. Sometimes the word ‘mountain’ can make us think of our problems. Just like climbing a mountain, they can seem really difficult and we just want them to go away. But with Jesus, we can overcome any mountain – any problem – in our lives. God gives us His Holy Spirit to help us overcome anything.
Romans 8:37 says:
But in all these things we have full victory through God who showed his love for us.
God is with us in every problem we have. No matter what happens to us we will always have the love of Jesus and we can overcome anything in His power.
So don’t forget, our mountains – our problems – are small. When you are close up to a mountain it looks huge… but if you have ever flown above one in an airplane you will know they can look pretty small too. We have a BIG God and He sees our problems just like that – as something small that He can help us through. All we need is a little faith.
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Choose a bible verse about faith from the list below and ask the children to pray about who they should give their bible verse to. Encourage them to write a little note with the bible verse that explains why they have given this verse to the person. Some children will need help with this and will need some direction. Make sure you talk with them before they write the note.
Questions to Ask:
- Why did you choose this verse?
- Who do you think needs to hear this verse today?
- Why do they need to hear this verse?
- What might you say to encourage that person?
Bible Verses about Faith:
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love. Ephesians 3:16-17.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6.
“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Mark 9:23.
“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. Mark 10:52.
For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:10.
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Galatians 3:26-27.
- How big do you think your faith is?
- What is something you are having faith and believing for?
- What is a mountain (problem) in your life today?
SENSE How You Feel:
- Create a mustard seed wristband or necklace. Tape a mustard seed to some card and put two holes in it. Thread it with a piece of elastic. Then add beads to the elastic before tying. Alternatively, you could also use the instructions here.
- Plant a seed and decorate the outside of the cup. Choose a seed that will grow during the season that you are planting. Use the instructions for the seed to decide on how you will plant it and in what container.
- Get messy with Mustard seed tree hand painting. Simply use brown paint on one hand and green paint on another. Use the brown paint to create the trunk and the green paint to create the leaves.
- Make your own Mustard seed bookmarks with smaller kids. Encourage the children to write the ‘Big Verse’ above on the bookmark and to draw their own seeds or mustard trees.
- Want a food craft? Why not try creating your own mustard seed cupcakes or cookies with small chocolate sprinkles.
Preparation: Tape one mustard seed to a piece of plain white card with the words ‘My Mountain Moving Prayer’. Do this for every child.
Say: When we have a mountain – a problem – that we need to see moved in our lives we can ask God to move it for us. Sometimes we may need to keep asking every day. Sometimes the answer will be yes, sometimes no and at other times God will ask us to wait. He always knows the answer that is for our best. Yet when we keep praying it lets God know that we really care about the problem and we need His help to get through it. Do you have a problem that you want to see sorted today?
[hand out the cards]
If you want to you can write or draw something that you would like to see God help you with in your life. It might be a problem at home, in school, with family or friends. God wants to help and be there for you. The Holy Spirit can help you every day when you pray.
[Finish by praying for the children: Thank You God that You are a mountain moving God. You can help us with our problems, you can take them away or be there for us in them. Please help us to have faith that remembers who You are and what You can do! Amen.]