AGE APPROPRIATE: ELEMENTARY AGE (5-11 YEARS)
BIG IDEA: GOD’S WORD IS POWERFUL
AIM: The ‘Sword of the Spirit’ Childrens Lesson uses the passage Acts 18:1-11 to show that God’s Word is powerful and life changing, which is why God used Paul to speak and teach from His Word!
- ‘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
- Pool Noodle Wars.
- In or Out of the Bible? (regular/widescreen)write some examples of names of people on sheets and place around the room… which ones are in the Bible? Players should only grab the ones that are… repeat the people if necessary. [David, Frederick, Paul, Abraham, Bob etc]
- Bible Character Grab. (regular/widescreen) Have all the Bible names on the floor. Read a fun fact about each character. The first player to grab the correct name is the winner of that round.
- Beat the Leader. Bible relay race. Have players race around an obstacle course set up with a Bible at the end. When they get to the end the players (one leader/one child) must open the Bible at the first page – Genesis 1:1. Explain to the kids that it will be at the beginning after the contents/info pages.
BIG VERSE: and [take] the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17.
SET the Scene:
Read Acts 18:1-11. Explain that Paul visited many different places and started churches. Sometimes it was difficult and scary for Paul to preach about Jesus because people did not like to hear it! Yet God told Paul in a vision not to be afraid but to continue preaching and teaching God’s Word. Why? Because God’s Word is really important – it is life changing!
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT
Have a toy sword to show the children and pass around if you have a small group. You could even make balloon swords as you talk to make it more visual – then hand the swords out at the end. Have a Bible in your other hand.
The Roman sword looked like this one, quite a short sword compared to their enemies, only about 50cm long. The soldiers wore it on their right side and could whip it out really quickly with their right hand. The Roman sword is still quite famous and collectable today and is known as ‘the sword that conquered the world’ because they were so quick and very effective at attacking and killing the enemy.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
The Bible says that our sword is the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, and that is the Bible to us! So our sword is the Bible and it is our only attacking weapon. The Bible helps us learn more about who God is and who we are and also what God can do. It is so important to learn the verses and read the Bible as much as you can so you have your attacking weapon ready at all times to defeat ourselves against our enemy, the devil.
Paul studied and knew his Bible really well and so he was able to tell everybody exactly who Jesus was and how he was the son of God. He was able to know what God had promised about the Messiah and show how Jesus was him. The Messiah was the one everybody had been waiting for – the one to save them from their sin and save them from the mess they were in. So because Paul knew the Bible he could prove that Jesus was the Messiah!
1 Peter 5:8
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
The devil or Satan is Jesus’ archenemy and he is out to get us too. Satan wants to stop us from deciding to follow God and even when we do choose to become a Christian the devil still wants to stop us from doing the right thing or wants us to believe lies about ourselves or other people. He comes to confuse and frustrate us and do all he can against God. So we need to have our attacking weapon ready. We need to have God’s Word, the Bible in our minds ready to attack. People are not our enemy although the devil will trick us into thinking that they are sometimes. He’ll get us annoyed at each other, make us argue and fight but the Bible says that our fight isn’t against flesh and blood like you and me but against dark forces we cannot see…the devil. So take the Sword of the Spirit and attack with the Word of God.
2) REWARDS OF USING THE SWORD
STORY: There was once a little boy and girl called Matthew and Lucy. Matthew and Lucy lived with their mom, and their mom didn’t have much money. To their surprise their mom managed to save up the money for Matt and Lucy to go to camp with their friends for the weekend. Before they left, their mom handed them their bibles.
“I know you’re going to have so much fun, but don’t forget to read your bible. It will help you every day,” mom said. Matthew and Lucy nodded along, then jumped onto the minibus with all their friends. They hid their bibles in their bags so that no one could see what they had been given. They quickly forgot mom’s advice.
The next morning the children awoke. It was a day trip to the carnival fair. Big rides, slides, food stalls with hot dogs and burgers and candy beyond your wildest imagination! Yet Matthew and Lucy walked around very sad all day. They had no money for food and could only go on a few of the free rides… the big fun ones all cost money.
The next day it was time to go home. They missed out on the camp tuck shop because they had no extra money, but enjoyed their breakfast before heading home in the camp bus. Everyone else was singing, but Matthew and Lucy were upset and just wanted to go home. Mum probably didn’t know they were going to need more money than she had already paid.
As the children walked through their front door, their mom exclaimed “How was camp?! Did you have lots of fun? What was the tuck shop like, and the carnival fair?!” The children looked sad. “Matthew, Lucy, let me see your bibles.” They slowly took their bibles out of their bags…they had to dig deep because they hadn’t thought about them all weekend. Mom opened up the bibles and there in between the front pages was $20 in each bible.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Say: Wow! What a good story! You know, maybe we won’t find $20 in our Bibles, but when we learn our memory verses and read our Bibles there is definitely a reward! Instead of being overcome by our enemy we can attack and overcome him!!! We will know more about God and we will be able to share God’s word with others. When people tell us we don’t matter we will know what God says about us. We will know what God thinks of us. When people ask us what God is like then we will know what to say! It’s great to read and learn God’s Word!
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Biggest Bible Hunt Game. (regular/widescreen) Hide lots of bibles around your room. Tucked inside the bibles put bible references for them to find. Invite the children to find all the verses from the bibles as fast as they can (either as a team or as an individual according to your group size).
SENSE How You Feel:
- Print the large ‘Sword of the Spirit’ printable onto cardstock and color or paint it.
- Create a sword using cardboard and aluminium foil.
- Make a bible corner in your room and have lots of bibles around that the children can read in their own time. Put some soft worship music on in the background and have lots of comfy cushions for children to sit on and get comfy as they read.
- Prayer Map – Put a prayer map or globe in the room and ask children to pray for all the Christians across the world that are unable to have their own bible. Mark on the map or globe the country that the children have prayed for.
Use the mini sword/dagger printable to distribute a sword/dagger to each child.
Ask them to write their favorite bible verse onto the sword/dagger. Pray and ask God to help the children to remember the words of God and to hide the Word in their hearts.