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Every week children gather in different settings to worship God, to hear his Word and to learn how to apply it in their own lives. The facilitators of such children's groups have the challenge of finding suitable material. The Christian Learning Material Centre in Kenya offers various sets of lesson material that speaks to the African context, are educationally effective and biblically sound. It lays a valuable foundation for the spiritual nurture of children, for the Bible encourages us to: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) See below for a sample from their collection.

Every week children gather in different settings to worship God, to hear his Word and to learn how to apply it in their own lives. The facilitators of such children's groups have the challenge of finding suitable material. The Christian Learning Material Centre in Kenya offers various sets of lesson material that speaks to the African context, are educationally effective and biblically sound. It lays a valuable foundation for the spiritual nurture of children, for the Bible encourages us to: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) See below for a sample from their collection.

 

Unit 1, Lesson 1 - Jesus loves the children (Sample)

 
AIM: 

To help each child realize how much Jesus loves them and that He is their Friend.

EXPLANATION OF THE AIM:

Young children are usually looking for the love and friendship of an adult. They often find that adults do not have time for them. Therefore they will appreciate Jesus' love and friendship. Because they know that Jesus loves them, they will not feel worthless or unimportant.

MEMORY VERSE:

"Let the children come to Me" [Mark 10:14].

LESSON OUTLINE:

  1. FOR CHILDREN WHO COME EARLY: Talking about our friends.
  2. APPROACH: Helps the children think about how much they enjoy the friendship of adults.
  3. BIBLE STORY: Teaches the children that Jesus is their Friend who loves and cares for them.
  4. THE MEANING: Assures the children that Jesus is their Friend who loves and cares for them.
  5. RESPONSE: Thanking our Friend Jesus for all the good things He does for us.

 

For the Teacher's Preparation

STUDY THE SCRIPTURE: Mark 10:13-16

  1. Compare how you feel and think about children with how Jesus felt and thought about them. If there is need for change on your part, consider the steps you will take. Notice that Jesus showed love to the chil­dren in ways they could understand: by touching them, listening to them and treating them as impor­tant people.
  2. Note that Mark 10:15 teaches that we must become like little children if we are to enter into the kingdom of Heaven. A little child is easily taught, trusting and loving. This is what we should be like toward God.

 

PREPARE TO TEACH:

  1. This week's story is a very well-known one. It will therefore need more effort to make it interesting and meaningful to the children. As you prepare, plan ways to help the children clearly see the events in the story: where there is an action, act it out, where there is feeling, show it. Emphasize that Jesus had time for children even though He was very busy with adults. Children were just as important to Him as older people. The children can always depend on His love and friendship.
  2. For MEANING FOR LIFE, have a song ready about Jesus always being with us.

 

Teaching Aids

  1. For APPROACH: Picture 1a, Child sitting on mother's knee.
  2. For BIBLE STORY (part 5): Picture 1b, Jesus blesses the children.
  3. For MEANING FOR LIFE: Two boy puppets. (See page 8 for help in making puppets).

 

For Children who Come Early

Ask the children, "Who are your friends?" You may need to help them think by reminding them of those at home who love and care for them or those they play with. Let them discuss what friends do. They may enjoy acting out some things friends do together: helping, sharing, playing together.

CLASSTIME (Begin with prayer)

 

APPROACH

(Show Picture 1a). Give the children time to look at the picture carefully and then ask them: What is this boy do­ing? Do you like to sit on someone's knee? On whose knee do you like to sit? (Let several respond). Do you feel sad when ... (refer to the people named by the chil­dren) are very busy and do not have time for you to sit on their knee? Let us listen to a story about two children, perhaps as big as you, who got to sit on Jesus' knee one day.'

 

BIBLE STORY

Going to see Jesus

  • One day two children (give them names such as Es­ther and John) heard some exciting news. Jesus was in their town! Describe how happy they were. Tell what they may have heard about Jesus that made them really want to see Him.
  • The children became so excited when mother said she would take them to see Jesus! Describe their getting ready: putting on their best clothes, fixing their hair nicely. Tell how they must have felt as they joined the crowds on the road and what they would have talked about.

Angry helpers turn the children away

  • Describe the hard time the children and their mother had in getting close to Jesus. So many people wanted to see Him! Tell how disappointed they were when they had fi­nally come close to Jesus, and were stopped by angry voices [Mark 10:13]. Tell what Jesus' helpers must have said. ("Jesus is too busy with older people. He has no time for children") How sad the children were!

Jesus wants to see the children

  • Explain that Jesus had seen the children coming and had heard His helpers' words. Jesus was angry with them for try­ing to stop the children from seeing Him. Jesus loved the chil­dren! He told His helpers, "Let the children come to Me." What did Jesus say? (Let the children repeat the words). Then explain how John and Esther felt now

Jesus blesses the children

  • John ran happily to Jesus. Esther came behind the other children. She was still afraid. Then she saw Jesus' kind smil­ing face. She heard His gentle voice call her; then she lost her fear. Jesus took her hand and talked to her. One little baby sat on His knee. The mother felt so happy as she stood by. Other children stood still when Jesus put His hand on their heads and prayed for them. The children knew that Jesus loved them and was their Friend. (Show Picture 1b and talk about what the children see in the picture).

 

MEANING FOR LIFE

Memory verse: "Let the children come to Me.'' [Mark 10:14].

Act the story with the children, emphasizing the words of the memory verse. Let the children pretend to get ready to go and see Jesus. What are some of the things they would like to tell Jesus? Teacher, pretend to be the disciples and stop the children from coming to see Jesus. Ask the class "What did Jesus tell the angry men?" Guide the children to reply with the memory verse. Explain what Jesus meant by those words: He has time for children; He wants to be their Friend.

Tell the following story. (Use your two pup­pets, Kioko and Mutua). Help the children un­derstand that even though we cannot see Jesus today as the children in our story did, He sees us and is always with us as a Friend who helps.

I have two friends here this morning, Kioko and his brother Mutua. (Show puppets).

Teacher: Mummy has asked Kioko to go into the house to bring out her sweater because it is cold. (Have the two puppets talk to each other).

Kioko: Mutua, come with me to the house to get Mummy's sweater.

Mutua: Can't you see I'm busy? You go by yourself.

Kioko: But I'm afraid! I do not like to go into the house all by myself.

Teacher: Kioko is afraid to go into the house by him­self! Are you sometimes afraid when you are alone? Je­sus is always with us so we do not need to be afraid! He is always with us, even when we cannot see Him.
Shall we tell Kioko not to be afraid to go into the house alone?

(Say to Kioko): You do not need to be afraid to go into the house. Jesus is always with us.

(Say to class): Let us sing Kioko a happy song!

Song: Sing the song about Jesus being with us all the time. (See Prepare to teach, b). Now Kioko can go into the house and bring Mummy's sweater. He is no longer afraid. Say to class: Can we tell our Friend Jesus 'thank you' for always being with us? Lead them to say a short 'thank you' prayer.

 

RESPONSE

Prayer: What are some good things our Friend Je­sus does for us? Lead the children to name a few things: He is always with me, He gives us sunshine so we can en­joy our play, gives us older people to take care of us. Have the children respond with 'thank you' to Jesus for each thing named. (Example: "Thank you, Jesus, for being with me all the time.") 
At Home: Encourage the children to tell their mother and father that Jesus loves them. Suggest that they ask their parents or older brother or sister to help them draw a picture of Jesus holding their hand in their exercise book.

 

Article details:

Title of book: Sunday School Lessons, Younger Children, Ages 4-6, Book 1 Combined Edition

Copyright:  © 2005 by Christian Learning Materials Centre (CLMC)

To Order: P.O. Box 24345-00502, Karen Nairobi, Kenya or at

Website: http://www.christianlearning.or.ke/  

 

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