BIG IDEA: JESUS IS THE SOWER. I CAN SOW TOO.
AIM: The ‘Parable of the Sower’ Childrens Lesson is an exciting session that encourages children to recognize that the parable is a story Jesus told to help us see that God is the sower, His Word is the seed and our hearts are like the soil.
- ‘This Little Light’ by Listener Kids or this version by LZ7
- ‘Brave’ by Saddleback Kids
- ‘Tell the World’ by Hillsong Kids
- ‘We Shine’ by Fee with motions
- Spitting Seeds. See how many sunflower seeds your children can spit into a cup. The child that spits the most is the winner.
- Seed Pass. Children should use chopsticks to pass sunflower seeds from one pot to another. To make it more difficult get them to walk some distance between the two.
- Flower Islands. Make some giant flowers out of paper and put them on the floor. Children dance around the flowers when the music plays. The leaders shouts a number. When the music stops children must jump onto the flowers in the group size that the leader shouts.
- Blind Flower Painting. Put a blindfold on some of your volunteers and get them to try and paint a picture of a flower on a large piece of paper or canvas. The best flower wins.
- Wheelbarrow Race. Children get into partners. One gets on their hands and knees behind the start line. Their friend picks them up by their feet. The first team to reach the end line is the winning team.
SET the Scene:
Read Matthew 13:1-23. Explain to the children that this is one of the parables that Jesus told. A parable is a story that has a deeper meaning about God.
You could use this Parable of the Sower skit and ask your team or kids to act the story out.
- ‘Parable of the Sower‘ by Max7
- ‘Kidz Church: Parable’ by Trinity Cheltenham
- ‘Parable of the Sower – Flash Animation’
- ‘Hey, Seed Sower’
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) JESUS IS THE SOWER
You could dress up as a farmer with a straw hat, check [plait] shirt and some straw. Alternatively in a small group you could draw a large picture of the sower before the children arrive and ask them to help you color, paint or stick tissue paper to it to decorate it as you talk.
Say: Jesus is the sower and He sows His seed wherever He goes. The sower is generous and sends His seed everywhere, no matter what kind of soil it lands in. He doesn’t hold back. That is true with God. He never holds back from us. God generously gives us everything we need. He tells us all we need to know. We can trust that God is good and gives generously to us. God calls us to be generous also and not to hold back – He calls us to help Him sow His seed. But what is His seed?
2) THE SEED IS GOD’S WORD
For 8-11s and teenagers you could show them the video about how South Korean’s share the gospel with those in North Korea. Alternatively you could use this simple video of the balloons as you explain that it is illegal to read the Bible in North Korea, and it is very difficult to get in and out of the country. So to tell people about Jesus, they put the Word of God in balloons.
You could also have bible verses or fun Christian phrases such as ‘Jesus Loves You’ written on your own balloons to hand out.
Say: Jesus tells us that the seed is God’s Word. It is the truth about Jesus – the Good News – the gospel. There are many different ways to share the Good News. We can spread the news through lots of creative ways; sharing balloons, or through wristbands (the4points.com and WWJD), inviting a friend to church, using stories and lots more. However, in some countries it is against the law to share about Jesus so the people have to whisper it or tell each other in secret, or they even have to find special ways, like sending balloons with bibles inside them.
The sower sowed by sending the seed out [wow! That’s a tongue twister!]. He threw the seed out onto the soil. We can send God’s Word out by speaking it, sharing it, singing it, writing about it and more. But what is the soil that we are sending the seed to?
2) WE ARE LIKE THE GROUND
You could have different pots or trays with different materials in each; feathers, stones, thorns, soil. As you talk you can hold up each pot or tray and allow the children to touch and feel each one.
Say: We are like the different types of ground and situations in this story. Let’s take a look:
- First there was the Path: Snatched by birds. [show or hand around feathers] For some, they hear the words of God at home or at church but straight away it is snatched away and they don’t take it into their hearts.
- Second came the Rocks: Dried Up. [show a rock or stone] Some stop being excited about Jesus and the words of God dry up in their heart. They are no longer alive in their life.
- Third was the Thorns: Choked Out. [show some thorns] Some people get so worried and distracted by other things that the Word of God cannot take root in their heart. It is choked out and lost.
- Lastly there was the Good Soil: Grew. [show the soil] If our heart is good soil then we will reap a harvest, 30, 60 or 100 times bigger than what was planted.
Is your heart good soil? We can check up on our heart by seeing how we feel towards Jesus, church and the things of God. Are we excited or fed up with the things of God. If we are fed up or bored we can ask Jesus to help us get our focus back on Him and to get excited about Him once again.
SEARCH the Scriptures:
LARGE UPFRONT GAME. Fill a paddling pool with soil and hide the bible verses on slips of paper within the soil. Get two children to take their shoes and socks off and wade through the soil with their feet until they find the bible verses. They should only use their toes to pick the bible verses up. The child to find the most bible verses is the winner.
SMALL GROUP ACTIVITY. Alternatively invite the children to work in small groups. Place all the bible verses face down on a table or flat surface or floor. Give each child three seeds and encourage them to throw the seed onto a bible verse. If they can get their seed to land on the bible verse they can turn it over and read it.
Bible verses about Sowing and Planting:
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 2 Corinthians 9:6.
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. Galatians 6:7.
In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good. Ecclesiastes 11:6.
Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! Psalm 126:5.
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 1 Corinthians 3:6.
- Have you ever planted seeds or done any gardening? Did you enjoy it?
- How does the bible say we should sow?
- Who makes things grow?
- What kinds of things do you want to see in your life?
- What must you sow in order to reap those things in your life?
SENSE How You Feel:
- Plant some seeds in a plant pot or small cup and encourage the children to take them home and watch them grow. Cress seeds work really well on cotton wool for little ones.
- Make these cute Parable of the Sower cupcakes.
- Create paper flowers together.
- Make seed mosaics. Draw an outline or a picture of a bird and put glue all over it. Then pour seed onto the bird. Add a googly eye.
- Decoupage a plant pot. You can view an example of this here.
- Create grass heads.
- Create a sensory activity station with lots of soil and worms for children to go and touch. Just make sure you also have a soapy water tub and towels on hand too!
For more fun activities check out the Sermon4Kids website.
Are you hearing God’s word? Are you telling others about Jesus? How are you responding to the Word of God in your heart?
- Messy Hands: Put Your Hands in soil to show God that you will go where He calls you and to ask for your heart to be good soil.
- Plant it: Use the planting as a response by leaving seed at the front and ask the children to come up and plant their seed when they want to respond to God’s call to share the gospel.
- Pick a Seed: Children could come forward and simply collect some seed as they ask God to help them share the gospel or to have a heart to hear God.