BIG IDEA: I WILL TRUST THE MOUNTAIN MOVER
AIM: The ‘Trust the Mountain Mover’ Childrens Lesson on Peter Walking on Water is the fourth session in the ‘Mountain Mover’ teaching series. This session is all about putting our faith in Jesus and trusting Him. We’ll learn what it meant for Peter and what it also means for us today.
- ‘Walk on Water’ by Family Force 5 [motions here]
- ‘By Faith’ by Kids on the Move
- ‘I Live By Faith’ by Kids on the Move
- Wet Heads. This session is a perfect opportunity to use the wet heads game as a review game, especially if you have been using the whole teaching series. Children will love to watch their friends or leaders get wet!
- Pass the Splat. Children sit in a circle and pass around a cup of water [you decide how full it is] while the music is playing. When the music stops they must decide to pour the water over their own head and stay in the game or pour the water over the person to their left’s head and be eliminated from the game. The winner is the player left sat in the circle at the end of the game.
- Over and Under (water edition). Children stand in their teams in a line with a bucket of water at the front of the line. They dip a cup into the bucket and pass the cup over the head of one person then under the legs of the next person. They keep doing this alternating down the line. When the cup gets to the end of the line they pour it into a container and the back person runs to the front to collect more water from the bucket before passing it back. The winning team is the team with the most water in the bucket.
- Balloon waddle Race/Relay. Have kids place a balloon between their knees and race to the end of the room. For a team version have each team player do the same, but have each member put their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them. If anyone drops their balloon the team must wait to pick the balloon back up before they keep waddling. The winning team is the fastest team to get to the other side of the room.
- Slip n Slide! For the daring children’s Pastors out there, why not grab a tarpaulin (securing it well) and set up your own slip and slide for the kids to try ‘walking on water’. Add water and a little washing up liquid and the kids will have a fantastically slippery time! (You might want to do this at the end of your session and pre-warn any parents the week before)
BIG VERSE: For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7.
INTRO QUESTION: Have you ever tried to walk on water?
SET the Scene:
Read Matthew 14:22-33. Explain to the children that Peter was one of Jesus’ 12 disciples. Peter was a fisherman that chose to follow Jesus. He was used to being inside a boat. He was used to crashing waves. Yet he had never ever seen anyone walk on water… that was impossible!
- ‘Gods Story: Peter Walks on Water’ by CraossRoads Kids Club
- ‘Walking on Water’ by Gracelink
- Son of God movie clip (you can find this on DVD here.)
- What did Jesus get the disciples to do? (v22)
- What was Jesus doing on the mountainside? (v23)
- Who was Jesus with? (v33)
- Just before dawn, what did Jesus do? (v25)
- What did the disciples think Jesus was? (v26)
- Were the disciples full of fear or faith? (v26)
- What did Jesus say to the disciples to calm them down? (v27)
- Peter told Jesus to dos Something. What was it? (v28)
- What did Jesus reply to Peter? (v29)
- Which disciple got out of the boat? (v30)
- Why did Peter start to sink? (v30)
- What did Peter call out to Jesus? (v30)
- Did Jesus describe Peter as someone with great or little faith? (v31)
- What happened to the wind when they got into the boat? (v32)
- How did the disciples react to this miracle? (v33)
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) FAITH IS:
Trust Fall Activity. Invite a child to come to the front. Encourage them to wear a blindfold. Stand in front of them and tell them at the count of 3 you want them to fall back and they will be caught. Make sure they can hear that you are stood in front of them. They may not want to fall. Silently have someone come and stand behind the child, ready to catch them. Count to three and see if the child will fall back. Then explain:
Say: Faith is being sure that God is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do. Faith does not require us to have evidence to believe; it only requires the evidence of God’s Word. If [child’s name] had faith in me would they fall? [Get feedback] Yes, they would have fallen because they would have known who I am and the kinds of things I would do. Even though they could hear my voice was coming from the wrong direction and all the evidence showed that they were wrong. They would still believe me and know that I will do what I say I will do. This is faith.
Peter had faith that Jesus was the Son of God; the Messiah. He knew that He was able to walk on water and so he called out and asked Jesus to tell him to come. When Jesus said “Come” Peter knew that he could put his faith in Jesus. He knew that Jesus was able to help him walk on the water too. Why? Because Peter believed all that Jesus had told him. He stepped out in faith.
It can be scary not knowing the future. Peter didn’t know how Jesus would help him once he stepped onto the water. Yet he put his faith in Him anyway. He didn’t need to have evidence. He didn’t ask Jesus exactly how we could come to him and how it was possible. He simply stepped out in faith. [The child’s name] didn’t know how someone would catch them when they fell back. We have to choose to put our faith in someone or something. We do this everyday. We put our faith in a chair to keep us upright, a pilot to land our plane, the bus driver to not crash the bus. Yet when we put our faith in Jesus it is totally different because we can know that He will never ever fail us.
2) I CAN TRUST THE MOUNTAIN MOVER
Supporting Hands. Invite two children (or leaders) to come to the front and hold hands. One must lay down while the other leans on them or rocks side to side. Are they able to support one another’s weight? And for how long?
Say: Peter showed that he trusted Jesus by stepping out of the boat. Trust means to fully rely on God. Sometimes it means an action of waiting and sometimes it is an action of moving and doing something. For Peter, it was a need to move and do something. So that’s exactly what Peter did. He knew that Jesus could help him to walk on water so he stepped out of the boat, fully relying and trusting that Jesus would help him. And when he began to sink, that’s what Jesus did – he helped him.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says;
Trust the Lord with all your heart.
Don’t depend on your own understanding.
Remember the Lord in everything you do.
And he will give you success.
Our two volunteers showed us what it means to trust someone. They leaned on each other and put all their weight on the other person. When we trust someone we rely on them to watch out for us. We have to put faith in them too because we are saying that we believe they will do what they say they will do and be who they say they are. Our volunteers trusted that the other person would help them to stay up in the air and not get hurt. We can trust the mountain mover – Jesus – too. The One who created the heavens and the earth, the One who calls us each by name is trustworthy. He is someone we can fully rely on to never let us down.
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Back to Back Balloon Race. (regular/widescreen) You will need to prepare lots of balloons with the trust bible verses or bible verse references inside. You will need a set of balloons with the bible verses inside for each team. Split your group into teams. Players must transport the balloons from one side of the room to the other by keeping the balloon in between their backs. Then they can pop the balloon before putting the bible verse in a pile at the end of the room.and run back to tag the next pair in the team. Once the team has collected all their bible verses they can find them in the bible. The first team to bring all their bible verses to the end of the room and pop all the balloons is the winning team.
- What is trust?
- What does it mean to trust God?
- Have you ever found it tough to trust God? Why/why not?
- What is faith?
- What does it mean to put your faith in Jesus?
- How do you put your faith in Jesus each day?
SENSE How You Feel:
What did it feel like for Peter to put his feet onto the water and start walking?
- Set up your own boat and sea scene. Use cardboard boxes and blue tarpaulins to create the effect or any of your own creative ideas. Act out the scene a number of times and ask each child to come and take a turn to pretend to be Peter. Ask the child to act out how they think Peter would have felt to step out of the boat.
- Create the Peter walks on Water craft by Crafting for God.
- (For younger children) Using paper, cocktail sticks and blu tac (plasti- tac/ fun-tac) ask the children to create their own boat and to float it onto a tub full of water. Print off some laminated characters of Peter and Jesus. You can use the characters from freechristianillustrations.com. Encourage the children to act out the story and to think about how it would have felt.
- Make this super cute finger puppet theatre of Peter walking on Water by Jesus Without Language.
- Create your own scene of Peter walking on water by printing off his picture. Attach the picture to a popsicle stick. Then make a slit in the sea background printable. Use the clip art from freechristianillustrations.com to make a small Peter and Jesus to attach to the popsicle stick. Thread the popsicle sticks through the slits in the card.
Say: Trusting the mountain mover – Jesus – means stepping out of the boat. “But I’m not in a boat” you might think… well, ‘stepping out of the boat’ is a sentence that helps us to think about what it means to do something a different – and sometimes scary. It means doing something that makes us feel a little uncomfortable – something that we are not used to doing.
- Inflate a rubber boat and invite children to either sit in the boat and pray or write/draw pictures and put them inside the boat. You could encourage your children to write prayers asking for help to ‘step out of the boat’ and do something different for Jesus or maybe prayers for God to move a problem or ‘mountain’ in their lives.
- Create your own prayer path with paper or on fabric asking questions and posing thoughts for prayer on the theme of stepping out in faith. Simply write or draw prayers and questions to pose along a long piece of paper and have the children step along it as they pray.
- Have a large tub of water and towels at the front and ask the children to come and step forward if they want to tell Jesus that they are ready to step out in faith. Pose ideas of what this might involve [talking to a friend about Jesus, reading Bible more, starting a new sport or hobby to make friends, stop doing things they know are wrong etc] and encourage the children to step out and do whatever it is Jesus is asking them to do.
- Say: Have you put your faith in Jesus? Are you fully relying on Him? Today you are invited to choose to follow Him – to know that He is God and that you can know God through Him. If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God who came to the world, lived a perfect life and died a perfect death so that you can know God then you are invited to follow Him today. That means knowing that you have done wrong things and that those things separate you from a loving God. Yet Jesus died to forgive you of those things so that you can be God’s friend and follow Him. “Father God, I believe in your Son Jesus. I believe that Jesus died and rose again so that I might know You. Please forgive me of the wrong things I have done and make me new. Help me to live like and for You. Amen.”