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The Good Samaritan – A Sunday School Lesson For Kids

If you are teaching children the story of the Good Samaritan I’ve put together some resources that I hope you will find useful.  I’m teaching 3rd and 4th graders so if you are teaching younger or older kids you may want make some adjustments.Good Samaritan Kids

Before I get into the lesson I wanted to give some background to the adults.  Jesus said that the two most important commandments are to love God and love others.  1 Corinthians 13 gives us the definition of love:  Love is patient.  Love is kind.  Love isn’t jealous.  It doesn’t sing it’s own praises.  It isn’t arrogant.  It isn’t rude.  It doesn’t think about itself.  It isn’t irritable  It doesn’t keep track of wrongs.  It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth.  Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up.

I think that kind of love can only exist when the Holy Spirit has taken over our life, and that happens when we ask God to forgive us, trust and turn to him.  Through prayers, reading the Bible, memorizing Scripture, spending time with other believers and opening our hearts to Jesus he will transform our lives.

The Good Samaritan for Kids

Back to the Sunday School lesson.  After asking kids about their week bring up this questions:  what did Jesus say are the two most important commandments.  The answer is found in Matthew 22: 36-40  and Luke 10:27.

Jesus replies: “Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  An the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two.

In the book of Luke, chapter 10 an expert in Moses’ teachings tests Jesus by asking the question:  “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  That is a question that has implications that will last forever and something that you can talk to your children about.

Jesus answered him by saying: “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.  And love your neighbor as your love yourself.”

He went on to ask Jesus, Who is my neighbor? Jesus replied with the story of the Good Samaritan.  “A man went from Jerusalem to Jericho.  On the way robbers stripped him, beat him and left him for dead.  By chance a priest was traveling along that road.  When he saw the man, he went around him and continued on his way.  Then a Levite came to that place.  When he saw the man, he too one around him and continued on his way.

But a Samaritan, as he was traveling along, came across the man.  When the Samaritan saw him, he felt sorry for the man, went to him, and cleaned and bandaged his wounds.  Then he put him on his own animal brought him to an inn, and took care of him.  The next day the Samaritan took out two silver coins and gave the to the innkeeper.  He told the innkeeper, ‘Take card of him.  If you spend more than that, I’ll pay you on my return trip.

Jesus then asked the expert which of these three men, do you think was a neighbor to the man who was attacked? That’s the question to ask the children.  Here are a couple videos that you can use to help reinforce the story of the Good Samaritan.  The first one is by Saddleback Kids and the Second by the Holy Tails.

 

If you have not visited Ministries To Children they have a lot of great free resources available on their website.  Just type in what you are looking for in the search bar and odds are pretty good that you’ll find a number of resources.

When I searched for the Good Samaritan I found these results:

Teaching Good Samaritan story to kids

 

The parable of the Good Samaritan is a great story to help us teach children learn to love all those that they meet.  Finally I’m ending with a story of someone who put into practice the message in the Good Samaritan.  I hope you enjoy it.  Consider ending your discussion of the Good Samaritan with how your kids can show love to others.

If you have other resources about the Good Samaritan you’d like to let people know about include them in the comments box.  If you’d like a free sample of the Memory Cross card, click here and put in the discount code “Facebook” and we’ll even pick up the shipping if you live in the USA.  If you don’t know how it folds watch the video below.

Teaching the Beatitudes to Children using Videos

I am teaching the 4th and 5th grader Sunday School class about the Beatitudes and decided to use videos and was so impressed with what was available that I decided to create a blog post and list them.  I spent several hours going through each video and picked out the ones I liked best for this age group.

Each video is on YouTube but if you don’t have internet connection at your church, you can download each one either by clicking the link that I’ve included or adding “ss” to the YouTube file.  For example if the video is http://YouTube.com/watch…. your would put ss in front of the file so it would look like this:  http://ssYouTube.com/watch…  If you get a security warning, which shows up on some browsers with certain security settings, the site is safe.  It will allow you to download the video to your computer.

Saddleback Church Kid’s program put together one of the best series of videos to help children understand the Beatitudes which is why I’m including them first.  There are five videos each covering a couple of the Beatitudes.

Link:  https://www.ssyoutube.com/watch?v=zzhBF569pRY

Link: https://www.ssyoutube.com/watch?v=1kBAY_pxTCw

Link:  https://www.ssyoutube.com/watch?v=sqNWBUjadi0

Link:  https://www.ssyoutube.com/watch?v=AWTs-H03Zp0

Link:  https://www.ssyoutube.com/watch?v=wSyiIGRNDmc

Link:  https://www.ssyoutube.com/watch?v=eUx6QOz1Uow

Saddleback used these videos over a 6 week period but you could fit them into one Sunday School lesson if you did not have any discussion but they would be best spread between at least two weeks.

A few other videos about the Beatitudes that I liked are listed below.  I personally did not have time to show them to the kids so I don’t know how they would have reacted to them but I liked them and they certainly should work.

In this video Hillsong sings The Beatitudes.  This video would make a good into into the discussion of the Beatitudes.

Link to download video:  https://www.ssyoutube.com/watch?v=8clFkbP0lQw&index=77&list=PLDtb6MuZ5Mf61WhMTLjeA17cid5qQBg9Z

Finally this short four minute video puts the Beatitudes into today’s language.  It could be used all by itself if you are just looking for one video to show kids about the Beatitudes.

Link to download video:  https://www.ssyoutube.com/watch?v=aml9KYredtI

I talked about using these videos to help kids in Sunday School learn the Beatitudes but you could certainly use them in a small group setting other than SS or even at home with your own children.

Finally if you are looking for a way to help children memorize the Beatitudes check out this card by Memory Cross.  It is a unique way to help children memorize any Scripture, including the Beatitudes.  When you browse our store you’ll find printed cards that teach all kinds of Bible verses and Bible stories along with blank cards that can be used to memorize any Scripture verse.

Watch the video to see how it works and if you are interested click one of the links above.  If you find other videos that do a good job teaching children about the Beatitudes, list them in the comments section below.  Normally we ban links but for this post feel free to post any appropriate links.  Links not relevant to this post will be removed.

 


Noah Bible Story and Crafts for Kids

Teaching kids about the story of Noah?  We’ve put together the best stories and crafts for kids on the web that will make the story of Noah come alive.

You don’t have to go far in the Bible to find the story of Noah.  Genesis 6:9 through 9:28 tells the entire story of Noah.  Here is the short version:  From the time of Adam and Eve to Noah humans had become evil and did not follow God.  Reminds me a lot of modern day America but at least we’re not down to one true follower.  During Noah’s time he and his family were the only people on earth who honored God so God decided to end human life sparing only Noah and his family.

God told Noah that he was going to destroy the world by sending a great flood and gave him the instructions to build a big boat.  How they ever got it built without power tools is a miracle all by itself.  It took Noah a long time to build the ark, estimates range from 50 to 75 years.  During that time people had to think Noah had lost his mind but finally the ark was built and animals loaded.

Then it rained and rained which covered the entire earth, even the tops of mountains.  Finally it stopped raining and the waters went down and the ark came to rest on a mountain.  After more time life came back and everyone left the boat.  As a final sign God put a rainbow in the sky promising not to destroy the earth by water again.

Most children in church learn this story before the 5th grade either in Sunday School, Vacation Bible School or in Children’s Church.

Noah Crafts and Bible Stories for Kids

Danielle’s Place has a number of crafts that teach children about Noah.  Carolyn’s site is a membership site so you’ll have to join or you can download each craft that you find interesting for around $2.00 each.  noahs-ark-paper-plate-craft-for-kids

Here is one of the crafts on her site:  Using different size paper plates, scissors, markers and craft paper kids can make their own Noah’s Ark.

Other crafts on Danielle’s Place include:  Noah’s Ark Rainbow Paper Plate Craft, Noah’s Ark craft stick or popsicle stick Bible craft printable, Lift the flap Noah’s Ark and rainbow craft, Noah’s Ark match game and God keeps His promises.

Memory Cross has created a card that helps children learn this Bible story.  It has four panels that fold to make an endless loop.  The image below shows the four panels and the video shows how it works.  You can order a free sample.  Just ask for the story of Noah when ordering your sample pack.  Use the code “new” and if you live in the United States we’ll even pick up the freight.

Noah Crafts for kids

First School Pre-School activities has a number of projects that are easy to do which will help children learn the story of Noah.  They include:

Artistic Hands of Faith has created some of the nicest activities to teach children about Noah.  The lesson has a variety of questions and craft activities for kids as young as 2.Noah Crafts

kids sunday school place

 

 

 

Kid’s Sunday School Place has created 5 lessons about Noah.  Below is a summary.  Click this link to see all the lessons.

  • Lesson 1 – Noah Obeys God

    In this lesson, the children learn about Noah and the ark he built according to God’s instructions. The children also learn that it is very important to obey God in all things.

  • Lesson 2 – Noah’s Big Job

    Children learn that we should all listen to God and obey Him. They will also learn that God has some very important jobs for each of us to do.

  • Lesson 3 – The Great Flood

    In this lesson the children learn about the great flood and how God kept Noah and the animals safe and dry.

  • Lesson 4 – God’s Rainbow Covenant

    Through this lesson, children learn about God’s everlasting covenant with Noah and the earth.

  • Lesson 5 – Noah Listened

    This lesson will review the past four lessons on Noah and reinforce the importance of listening to God and being obedient to Him.

Teach Children their ABCs with Noah

If you have younger children who are learning their letters this Noah based flash card set teaches children their letters .

If you are looking for information about tracts for children visit our store.

How to teach children that God loves them

How do you teach children that God loves them so that they really understand and respond to His love?

 If you live in America you probably know people who say they love God but whose lives do not reflect his teachings.  That’s not what I want for my kids, grandkids and children I teach at church.  I want them to be a passionate follower of Jesus, someone who really understands how much God loves them and responds by giving their heart, mind and soul to Jesus, someone who is on fire.
Teach children that God loves them

 

There are so many opportunities to teach children that God loves them depending their ages or whether they are your kids, friends of your children or you teach them.

 

Today I’m going to be writing about helping kids learn that God loves them in a Sunday School setting.  There are videos and ideas that you can use with your own kids at home so don’t leave!  No matter how you arrived on this page if you have kids or are teaching children be open to God’s leading, opportunities will come your way.  We can reach children through words and actions.  If you are a parent, model Christ’s love in your life.  None of us are perfect but if we live a life that has been changed because of a relationship with Jesus that we are passionate about, our kids will pick up on that.

 

With your own children teach them God’s Word and help them memorize Scripture.  There are many helpful tools and we’ve put together some of them in recent blog posts.  God changes lives.  We only help plant and water the seed.

 

I’m teaching Sunday School to 5th graders and we’re going to be talking about how do we know God loves us, which is why I decided to write this article.  I want to help them understand that God loves them, and learn what God wants from us.

 

One of my favorite books is Crazy Love by Francis Chan and he says “Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”  Success needs to be measured looking at eternity, not simply by our 76 years we might spend here on earth.

 

I want to open up our conversation with the first half of the video below and then ask how do they know that God loves them, then show the 2nd half.

 

Next I’ll ask them if they know any scriptures that talk about how much Jesus loves me.  Here are 8 verses that talk about how much God loves us.

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 8:37-39 – No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 2:4-5 – But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, evenwhen we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved …

Romans 5:8 – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Zephaniah 3:17 – The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

1 Peter 5:6-7 – Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Psalm 86:15 – But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 – Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Here are a couple other videos that will help children learn about how much God loves them.

 

I am not showing the video below but including it because I mentioned Francis Chan’s book above plus in this sermon he talks about our purpose in life which for me is to love God and love others.  That should be our overall mission in life.

I’ll be closing the lesson asking if they’ve experienced God’s love in their life or want to know God in a personal way and then saying a prayer.

I usually have something the kids can take home to remind them of the lesson.  This time I’ll either be giving them the ABCs of salvation or a card with 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8.  

Love to hear your thoughts and comments.  God wants people who are passionately in love with him and who prove it with their lives.  Final quote from the book Crazy Love:  “Leftovers are not merely inadequate; from God’s point of view, they’re evil.  Let’s stop calling it “a busy schedule” or “bills” or “forgetfulness.”  It’s called evil.  According to God, we are here to love.  Not much else really matters.

Christian Crafts for Mother’s Day

If you’re teaching Sunday School or Children’s church and are looking for some Christian crafts for Mother’s day we’ve put together our favorite ones.  If you have others let us know in the comments below.Photo from SixSeeds

First a little history of Mother’s Day.  There has been celebrations of mothers on a special day since the Greek and Roman times but the start of our current Mother’s Day began in England with a Christian celebration called Mothering Sunday.  It was celebrated the 4th Sunday in Lent.

The custom eventually combined in the 1930s with the current Mother’s day which was started by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914.  She conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children.

The first celebration was in May 1908 at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia (20 miles from where my grandparents lived, FYI).  She got financial backing from John Wanamaker who held an event at one of his retail stores in Philadelphia.

What started as a Christian tradition was quickly capitalized on by American merchants, mostly card companies, think Hallmark, and florists.

While much of the spiritual side of Mother’s Day has been lost, here are a few Christian crafts that can help you bring back the original intent of Mother’s Day.

Christian Crafts for Mother’s Day

    • Mother’s Day Coloring Pages.  This one comes from Ministry to Children.  There are several coloring pages that are free to download and print out.  Good if you are looking for something quick and easy.
    • Memory Cross Mother’s Day Card.  This origami card never stops folding and uses 1 Corinthians 13 as the basis for the card, which is known as the Love Chapter.  The video below shows how the card folds.

  • Mother’s Day Bible Crafts and Activities.  This one comes from Danielle’s Place.  This resource uses women from the Bible and Bible stories to help children realize the key role that women play in God’s plan of salvation.
  • Bearing Fruit by Children’s Ministry Magazine.  Give each child a packet of fruit or vegetable seeds and a sheet of construction paper. Ask a child to read aloud Galatians 5:22-23 about the fruit of the Spirit. Talk about these Scriptures as the children fold their papers in half to make cards.On the front page of the cards, have children write the words, “Mom, you plant the seeds. . . ” Inside the cards on the right-hand side, have children glue their seed packets and write, “. . . that’ll help me bear fruit for Jesus.” On the inside left-hand page of each card, have kids write the words from Galatians 5:22-23. Then have children sign their cards. Mothers will treasure this encouraging card.  Visit their Mother’s Day page for other ideas.
  • Mother’s Day Cards by Little Blots of Faith.  Here are some fun, faith based cards that are quick and easy to use with your pre-school or elementary school kids.
  • Paper Chain Craft Project.  We checked out a lot of craft ideas for this post.  There were many that did not have any spiritual relevance.  This is one of my favorites.  It is simple to make, helps children think about all the things mom has taught them and is biblically relevant.  Children will honor their mothers by creating paper chains describing some of the things their mothers have taught them.  You’ll give kids 20 pieces of paper that measure 1″ x 5″ (approximately).  On each piece of paper have the kids write down something their moms have taught them.  You’ll then connect them into a paper chain.  Finally give the kids a piece of paper to write down a thank you letter to their mom.  There are questions and the verse is Proverbs 1: 8-9

If you would like to have us add a link to this page, post the information in the comment box.

7 Lesson-Filled Sunday School Crafts

We learn many important things from Sunday school. As a child, though, what I looked forward to the most were the activities and arts and crafts! I guess this is mostly because arts and crafts are fun to do, aren’t they? More importantly, children actually learn more from doing these crafts because they gain the opportunity to experience the lesson and not just hear it.

For Sunday school, making sure that children understand Biblical truths is doubly important. This is why I came up with a list of Sunday school crafts that you can make with your students. Oh, for parents, you can also do these crafts with your children at home!

  1. God’s Armor

We can read about the Armor of God in Ephesians 6:13-17, but instead of merely reading this to your students (or children), you can make them “experience” it and fully remember it through this craft.

You can see detailed instructions of the craft here.

If you are teaching children about the armor of God watch the video.  We have a fun little origami card that  helps children learn the Armor of God.   If you would like a free sample click this link.  You’ll only pay $3.00 for shipping (in the USA, slightly more outside)

  1. Wise and Foolish Builders
Sunday school crafts

Image from bibleschoolteachers.blogspot.com/

Young children are old enough to learn how to be wise, and the best way to do this is to share Jesus’ parables, one of which is the parable of the wise and the foolish builders.

You can see detailed instructions of the craft here.

  1. Paper Towel and Toilet Paper Cross

The Cross is the most important symbol in the Bible because it symbolizes one of the most important truths: Jesus lived, died, and overcame death.

You can see detailed instructions of the craft here.

  1. Noah’s Ark
Sunday school crafts

Image from readingconfetti.com

The story of Noah’s ark must be one of the first Biblical stories children hear, and one of the most amazing parts of it is how all kinds of animals were able to stay inside harmoniously.

You can see detailed instructions of the craft here.

  1. Moses at the Red Sea

Another of the most popular Biblical stories is the story of Moses and how God parted the Red Sea for him and the Israelites to pass through, which demonstrates God’s power.

You can see detailed instructions of the craft here.

  1. Teaching Grace

One of the underlying concepts that the entire Bible presents is the concept of grace. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, God wants to show his people unending grace.

You can see detailed instructions of the craft here.

  1. Salt Dough Empty Tomb
Sunday school crafts

Image from almostunschoolers.blogspot.com

Finally, probably the most important event described in the Bible is Jesus’ resurrection, symbolized by the empty tomb, because it is the ultimate event that completed God’s Plan of Salvation.

You can see detailed instructions of the craft here.

Do you know more Sunday school crafts? Feel free to share them in the comments!

How video can help your church outreach and evangelism

Using video for evangelism

Here is a simple and effective way for your church to reach more people – create and share videos.

There has been a tremendous growth in the number of videos on the web.  Did you know that YouTube is the 3rd most popular website n the world and the 2nd largest search engine?  Guess who is 2nd?  Facebook and Facebook has a ton of videos.  Yes people are watching a lot of videos.

Did you know your church can use videos to spread the Gospel and grow your church?  With today’s technology it is simple but most churches are not using videos to reach people either in their own community or around the world.  In this post we are going to give you the basics of how to create a video and some ideas on what they could be about.

First know this, they don’t have to be professionally created.  Many videos that go viral with millions of views are shot with a smart phone and have not been edited.  Some of the most popular videos include children, so why not let the children of your church make a few videos.  It is easy and can be done even if you have just a few children.

In a separate video I’ll be covering how to upload the video to YouTube for maximum exposure along with a few ways to promote the video on various social media channels, but today I’m going to cover ideas for your video and what you’ll need.

What should your video be about?

There are lots of great topics that can be used in a video.  Here are a few:

  • Christmas video – What does Christmas mean to you.  A few questions that you could ask kids include:  What is Christmas all about?  What is your favorite part of Christmas?  Why do we celebrate Christmas?  What is the best present you have received?  Why did Jesus come to earth.
  • Valentine video – What is Valentine’s day?  Why do we celebrate it?  What is your favorite thing about Valentine’s day?  You could include facts that show how the origins of Valentine’s day were Christian.  Other questions to include:   What is love?  What does the Bible say about love?
  • Easter – Ask similar questions:  What is Easter?  What is your favorite part of Easter?  Why do we celebrate Easter.
  • Mother’s and Father’s Day – What is the funniest thing you remember about your mom (or dad).  What is your favorite thing to do together.  What makes your mom or dad special?  Is there something you want to say to your mom?  If you are creating this video early enough you should include information about your Mother’s day or Father’s day events along with a link to the church website.
  • VBS or summer events like a mission trip.  I recommend creating two videos.  The first one would be used to promote the event.  Ask kids questions like: How many times have you been to VBS.  What is your favorite thing about VBS and the second one I would do at the end of VBS where you get the kids reactions to the event.  You can either use those clips to create a new video or use them the following year.  If you are creating one for a mission trip you should get some powerful responses from the kids who just returned.
  • End of summer, back to Sunday School – Most churches have a fall kick off and a video could be a powerful way to promote it.  The video would be similar to the VBS one in that you are using it to promote Sunday School and let the kids talk about how Sunday School has had an impact in their lives.
  • Who is Jesus – A few questions to ask could include: When did Jesus live?  Who was Jesus’ mother and father?  What books of the Bible tell about Jesus?  Who was Jesus?  Why did he come to earth?  Why is having a relationship with Jesus important?  This video could go in two directions;  first you could use it to let people know about your church and what it offers for children.  Second you could use it as an evangelism tool.  If you are using it to let people know about your church you’ll want to include information about your church along with an invitation to come visit.  If you want to create it to share the Gospel you should link it to a site that gives more information about knowing Jesus.  One that I recommend is Steps to Peace with God by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.  Another one is NeedHim and finally we created one on Memory Cross.

Here are two videos that will give you some idea of how they might look.  The second one was created with Animoto.  It allows you to create professionally designed videos without any knowledge of video editing and with very little work.  There is a cost but it is as little as $8 a month at the time of this writing for a personal plan.

 

 

What you will need

Making good videos has become so much simpler over the last 5 years.  All smart phones can now take very good videos.  A few things to keep in mind are:

  • Lighting – make sure you have enough light and be aware of natural light coming in from windows.  Shoot a quick video of the room to see if you have anything that is going to be causing you a problem.
  • Sound – Be aware of any background noise since it will be picked up by your phone and can ruin the video.  Stay 3-5 feet from the person you are videotaping.  If you want to back up further consider a inexpensive corded mic.  I bought one from Amazon which was under $20 and works great.  You might want to pick up the extension cable also.
  • You can either pause the video between kids or stop it and then put it together with a video editing program or Animoto or any of the video editing software programs available.  If you don’t have someone who can edit the video and don’t have $96 for Animoto then pause the video between shots.  You can still get a pretty nice video without any editing. There are also a number of apps available for Android and Apple products  (Apple: iMovie, Video shop, Fast Edits)
  • Finally keep the sections short.  I find under 15 seconds per “scene” works best.  You want to keep the video moving.

Give it a try.  Most of your kids will really enjoy making the video.  Next blog post will cover where to upload and how to tag it so the video gets found.  Comments?  Leave them in the box below.

Moses and Faith – How it applies today

Moses plays a very prominent part in the Old Testament both as a leader of the Israelites and as a writer of the books of the Bible, but what about his faith?  God’s hand was on Moses from birth, helping him escape death by the Egyptians and in raising him as a son of Pharaoh where he was educated under the best instructors of the time.  God prepared Moses for the work he would call him to later in life.Moses and faith

Moses was also one of the privileged few who have actually heard God’s voice and experienced his glory.  I am writing this post because I’ll be teaching 5th graders about the faith of Moses and I find writing helps me clarify my own thoughts.  This is not meant to be a Sunday School lesson but I’ll provide some of the resources I’m using at the end.  It seems to me that with everything Moses experienced he would have been a very forceful leader for God, but on several occasions that did not happen.

He first met God through the burning bush where God actually talked to him.  The story is found in Exodus 3 and 4.  When God spoke to Abraham he listened and moved.  When God spoke to Moses he tried his best to get God to change his mind.  Even after he finally went Pharaoh would not listen to him and Moses complained to God. After he had seen God’s glory when God gave him the 10 Commandments he listened to the leaders of Israel and did not go into the territory that would become Israel.  I would have expected that he would have told the people that God had brought them out of Egypt, promised them their own country and that he was going in with our without the people of Israel.

Moses and faith – How you can live a life of passionately following Jesus

Least I judge Moses to hard what have we been given and how do we respond?  God has given us the Bible so we can read the many stories of people living (or not living) out their life as God wanted.  Since Jesus came, died and sent the Holy Spirit each believer has also had God living in them, an experience that radically changed the Apostles, members of the early church and many people around the world today.

God gave Moses what seemed like a huge task: Free 1 million people from Pharaoh and move them back into the land that God gave Abraham.  It was a task that should have taken three months but that ended up taking him the rest of his life.  God has given us a task that is even bigger.  Everyone who becomes a Christian is instructed to go make other disciples.  What is known as the Great Commission is found in every Gospel.  I’ve quoted from Matthew 28 in God’s Word translation:  All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations:  Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Teach them to do everything I have commanded you.  And remember that I am always with you until the end of time.

What will your story look like at the end of your life?  Are you focused on serving Him or serving yourself?  Where are you storing up treasures?  Living a life of faith, trusting in Jesus is not always hard.  Yes many people I know have sold what they owned and left to be a missionary in another country, but God needs people who serve him right here.  Sometimes it is as simple as paying for someone’s meal.  In the video below you’ll see how one very simple act changed the lives of many.  That is probably something we all can do.

Try saying a prayer something like this one:  Lord Jesus I know you want people who love you with all of their heart, soul and mind.  People who are willing to listen and follow you.  Help me to be one of those people.  Every morning let me wake up and live my life serving you.

Sunday School Resources on Moses

Back to our Sunday School class.  We’re spending four weeks studying Moses through various ways: art, music, Scripture and media.  This week is media so I’m going to use these videos to help our kids understand Moses, his faith and how God calls us to live a life of obedience to him.

Story of Moses.  This animated video does a good job telling about the history God’s people during the time of Moses.

 

How do you put faith in action?

 

Recommended books and resources

These resources are mix between helping you grow in your faith and helping children develop their faith.

  • Crazy Love by Francis Chan – God is love.  Crazy, relentless, all-powerful love.  Have you ever wondered if we’re missing it?  It’s crazy, if you think about it. The God of the universe—the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and E-minor—loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss. Whether you’ve verbalized it yet or not, we all know something’s wrong.
  • Awakening by Matt Brown -We keep hearing about weakening faith in our country, but God is alive and well in America. He is working right here and now in people of faith. This book will awaken your heart and soul to his presence and to the power of Christianity today, which will in turn ignite your faith and change your world.  Christians in America are inundated with negative stories and statistics about the decline of the faith. Awakening is a very encouraging counter balance of astounding stories of God at work all around the world, and it will inspire you to take part.
  • Teaching children about the birth of Moses – Craft card by Memory Cross
  • Moses and the burning bush – Craft card by Memory Cross that helps children remember this story.
  • Moses parting the Red Sea – craft card by Memory Cross
  • Sunday School lessons about Moses – Ministry to Children – free resources.

Final Resource

If you are on Facebook check out the page:  Faith and Action Today – Leaving ordinary behind.  On this page we continue the conversation about growing in our relationship with Christ through Scripture, inspirational videos and personal thoughts.

To download any of the videos, click on watch on YouTube and the put the letters “ss” in front of YouTube.  Example:  If the link was YouTube.com/abcdef… you would put ssYouTube.com/abcdef…  It works on most video sharing sites.

How to make Sunday School lessons exciting

Even the best Sunday School lessons can be made more exciting by adding videos.  Kids today are immersed in multimedia: TV, YouTube, Facebook, Netflix…  In order to keep their attention during Sunday School why not add a video or two?

In this Internet age it is easy to add a few videos to your Sunday School lesson for free and today I’ll show you how.  I have always tried to reach kids using media.  In the past I’ve used songs and videos on VHS tapes and cassette tapes, if you remember what they were.  The problem back then it was hard to find resources that were not supplied with the lesson.  There was no internet or Google.  Now everything has changed.

The internet and YouTube in particular have opened up almost an endless supply of videos that are available instantly on almost any topic.  For example this week I’m teaching on Exodus 1:1-2:0, which FaithweaverNow has titled God Protects Moses.  The passage talks about Joseph’s family coming to Egypt and how they greatly increased in numbers over 400 years.  Chapter 2 talks about the birth of Moses.  Group Publishing has done a great job giving us a lot of ideas for this Sunday School lesson, but I wanted to add a couple videos.

I did a quick search on YouTube for “Exodus 1” and found number of videos that I could use.  Here is one example.

I then searched for “Exodus 1 Kids” which yielded another set of videos.  Here is one of the results

 

You’ll find videos for younger and older children, youth and even adults.  Here is one for older children.  It is 3 hours so you would want to only show the first part of the video.

The Sunday School lesson in Faithweaver is mostly about the birth of Moses so I also did a search for birth of Moses, which yielded more results.  Here are a few.

 

There were many more than I listed here, but as you can tell there are a number of videos available to help children learn about the birth of Moses.

TIP: When searching for videos think about various terms since some yield better results than others.  Try searching for the Bible verse as well as any subject the verses might be covering.  Also try adding children or kids to the search if you are getting results that are to mature for your Sunday School class.

Other potential videos for Sunday School

You can also find videos that share personal testimonies of the topic.  In the example of God watching over Moses I might use a video that talks about God watching of you.  A quick search on YouTube gives me several videos that might work, one of which I included below.

 

The point of this Sunday School lesson on the birth of Moses is that God will protect us.  Faithweaver says: “But trying to understand how God protects us is kind of like trying to understand an entire scenario by looking at only one small part.  We can draw pictures and explain what we see happening right now, but it’s hard to predict what God is going to do in the next frame of our lives, especially when we’re facing difficult or even dangerous circumstances.  All we can be sure of is that God is able to protect us and we can trust God no matter what we face.”

A video can be a good way to make the connection between a Biblical story and the practical application for our life.

There are two personal testimony channels on YouTube that I use a fair amount.  They are Ransom TeeVee and I am Second.  The video below is one from Ransom TeeVee.  I wanted to tie God protecting Moses to God protecting us and the video by Jamie Grace will help me do that.  She is a Christian artist who faced challenges growing up (like Moses) and she talks about how God worked in her life.

One other person I want to mention is David Bowden.  He has a number of very creative YouTube videos that you might find useful in sharing the Gospel with kids in a unique way.

So you found a couple videos to use, now what?

If you have a laptop and the church has internet connection (something still rare among most churches) you are set to go.  If you have laptop but not internet connection you can download any YouTube video to your hard drive.  At the top of your browser you’ll see the URL of the video that will look something like this:

How to make Sunday School lessons exciting

To download the video put “ss” in front of youtube.  Your browser will look like this: https://www.ssyoutube.com/watch?v=45UluS20Y.  You might get a warning about security issues but it is safe.  Here is the page you’ll be taken to.  The video will change depending on what video you are downloading.

Download videos from YouTube

Once you download it you can click on the video and watch it whether or not you have a internet connection.  Once it is on your computer most computers allow you to burn a DVD.  If you have a DVD player in your classroom, check it out ahead of time because not all DVD players read DVDs created by a computer.

Showing a video on a iPad

If you have a small group and an iPad you can use it to show videos even if you don’t have internet connection.  The first thing you’ll want to do is download an app called Document 5 (shown below).  Open up Documents and click on the browser on the left hand side.  Go to You-Tube and search for the video you want to use, then add the “ss” in front of Youtube.

It will bring up the savefrom.net and allow you to download the video to your iPad.  It should default to Documents/Downloads, select that then when you are done click on the documents link which is located on the top left and you will see the video that you downloaded.  Click it and it will play on your iPad.

TIP: if you have small kids and are going on a trip and plan to use your iPad to entertain them, you can download their favorite videos.  If your iPad has wireless it will still save your data plus make it play better and you won’t have to worry about no cell service.

Document 4 app

If you have any comments or suggestions let us know in the comment box.  Finally Memory Cross has a number of origami coloring cards that help children remember Bible stories including the birth of Moses.  If you don’t know how Memory Cross works I’ve included the video below.

If you would like a free sample, click this link and if you’d like to see the card about the birth of Moses, click here.  On this blog we write about sharing our faith and reaching out to others along with practical ideas on making Sunday School more exciting and ideas to grow your church.  If that is something that is of interest to you, subscribe by entering your email address in the box to the right or left.

 

 

 

 

Teaching Children about the Miraculous Catch of Fish

When I was young, I could recall that the miraculous catch of fish is one of the stories I love to hear over and over again. Kids love this story because it tells them how powerful God is that He can make a miracle in just a blink of an eye. Even teachers are amazed on the kids’ reactions when teaching this story to them during Sunday Schools or any bible classes. What we don’t really know (or maybe don’t realize) is that the miraculous catch of fish occur twice in biblical history.

Miraculous Catch of Fish - Memory Cross

Via northerncrossingsmercy.org

The First Miraculous Catch of Fish

The first miraculous catch of fish recorded in the bible was during the early ministries of Jesus Christ when he was gathering His disciples – which results in Peter, James and John (the sons of Zebedee) joining Jesus vocationally as disciples. The first miraculous catch of fish is recorded in Luke 5:1-11.

(v1) One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. (v2) He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. (v3) He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

(v4) When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

(v5) Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

(v6) When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. (v7) So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

(v8) When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” (v9) For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, (v10) and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” (v11) So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

The Second Miraculous Catch of Fish (also known as the miraculous catch of 153 fish)

The 2nd miraculous catch of fish is recorded in the gospel of John (chapter 21: 1-14) that occurred after the resurrection of Jesus when seven of the disciples—Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, the sons of Zebedee (James and John), and two others – decided to go fishing but caught nothing that night. Early the next morning, Jesus (whom they had not recognised) called out to them from the shore.

(v1) Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: (v2) Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. (v3) “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

(v4) Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

(v5) He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

(v6) He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

(v7) Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. (v8) The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. (v9) When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

(v10) Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” (v11) So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. (v12) Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. (v13) Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. (v14) This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Teaching the Miraculous Catch of Fish

As to teaching them together or teaching them separately, now depends upon your students and their age. Nursery children may have a challenging time understanding the difference of these two occurrences so we can just highlight what’s important in the stories for them and emphasize Christ’s attribute and power in teaching them the story. For our older students, say preteens and primary, we can begin comparing and contrasting the two stories to them and show them the difference of both stories in a very simple way. Here are some lesson plans we can use in teaching the story to the children.

Bible Story: The Miraculous Catch of Fish (2nd miraculous catch of Fish)
Scripture: John 21:1-14
Target Age Group: Ages 2 – 4
Song Suggestion: My God is so Big
Memory Verse: Luke 1:37 “For nothing is impossible with God.”
Bible Story Emphasis: God’s miraculous power over nature

Bible Story: The Miraculous Catch of Fish (1st miraculous catch of Fish)
Scripture: Luke 5:1-11
Target Age Group: Ages 2 – 4
Song Suggestion: I will make you fishers of men
Memory Verse: Mark 1:17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
Bible Story Emphasis: God calls ordinary people and for an extraordinary work

Activity Suggestions

Children will surely enjoy these activities after learning about the bible story that will help them remember the lesson even more.

– fish net snack. Nets with fish made using waffle pretzels, hershey kisses, and goldfish. Place kiss on pretzel and melt for a few minutes in the oven. Take out and press fish into chocolate.

Via Pinterest

Teaching children the story about the miraculous catch of Fish, may it be the first or the second miracle can be a fun-filled time with the kids. There are lots of lessons we can impart in the minds of the children, to even name a few, these stories can teach them about Jesus’ power over nature and miraculous works, the disciples’ faith in doing what God wanted them to do, the disciples’ commitment in following Jesus and becoming fishers of men, God uses an ordinary person to do an extra ordinary work – little children can do great things for God and a whole lot more.
Pray for God’s wisdom and instructions before studying your lesson and submit and offer yourself to God as a vessel for His use so He can effectively use you in teaching the bible lessons to the little ones.

Memory Cross Coloring Card – Miraculous catch of fish

Miraculous Catch of Fish

If you know of other resources to teach children about the miraculous catch of fish, click the link at the top of the page and leave a comment.