Skip to main content

Reply to "COMPLETE LESSON SET: Jesus Calls Disciples - FUMC, Ann Arbor, MI"

Jesus Calls Disciples

Video Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Watch the “live-actor” video The Visual Bible: Matthew. [Note: 1st and 2nd graders visited this workshop. On the week when our 3rd graders would have visited, they had a special class (with cake) because they’d received their Bibles.]

For scripture and objectives - see above.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Gather the materials

Supplies List:

  • Matthewby GNN International Corporation and Visual Bible, LLC
  • TV/DVD
  • Microwavable popcorn
  • From the kitchen: large bowl, plastic cups, napkins, water pitcher
  • Easel with paper; appropriate marker
  • One purple Adventure Bible
  • Story Bible – The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories
  • A copy of the story to read (see attached)
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • A small fish stuffed toy 

Before Start of Class:

  • Visit the web site: to learn the simple sign language for the key Bible verse. (Use “say” for said).
  • Cut down the copy of the story to read so that it 5” wide and about 8” long. Use tape to attach the story to the back of The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories. (So that you can show the picture as you read the story.)
  • Bookmark Matthew 9:9 in a purple Adventure Bible.
  • Fill a pitcher with ice and water. Gather enough plastic cups – the washable type – to serve water and popcorn.
  • Microwave the popcorn. Distribute it into cups. Pour cups of water.
  • Make sure you know how to use the TV/DVD, especially how to move by chapters and scanning backward within a chapter.
  • Insert the DVD. From the main menu, choose “Search by Event.” Then choose “7-12.” This is where this video will be started (on The Calling of the First Disciples).
  • On the easel make write the names of the 12 disciples: Peter, Andrew, James, John, Phillip, Thomas, Matthew, Bartholomew, James, Simon, Thaddaeus, & Judas.


Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the video workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults. Have the children go around the room and introduce themselves.

Say: In the video workshop we watch videos! Today’s video will be actors who show us Jesus and how he asked people to follow him and be his helpers. We’ll be watching a video on Jesus calling his disciples.

Dig- Main Content and Reflection:

  • Ask: What do you think it means to say that Jesus called disciples? (allow all answers but essentially in this case, “call” means an invitation to come along with someone) 

Say: So Jesus invited disciples to follow him.

  • Ask: What is a disciple? 

Say: When we think of a “disciple” we automatically think that’s one of the twelve men who were called by Jesus to be his helpers. But in a more general sense, a disciple is a follower or a person who is learning from someone else.

  • Ask: Why do you suppose that Jesus needed disciples? (accept a few answers)

Say: Jesus had a lot of work to do! He needed to heal people; he needed to tell people the good news about God’s love. He needed helpers!

  • Ask: Can you tell me the names of any of Jesus’ twelve disciples, the ones that we usually think of when we say “disciples”? [Refer to the easel. Don’t make a big deal if they don’t know any of the names.]
  • Do you suppose that there were women who were disciples of Jesus? (yes)
  • Can we can be disciples of Jesus?

Say: Yes! Jesus is asking us to be his disciples. Jesus is inviting us to help him take care of other people. Jesus needs us to tell others about the good news of God’s love. Let me read you a Bible story about Jesus asking his disciples to be his helpers. Listen for the words that Jesus speaks saying, “Come, follow me.”

Show them the picture on page 291 of The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories as you read them the story that you’ve taped onto the back of this book.

When you are finished reading…
Say: For the Word of God in scripture, for the Word of God among us, for the Word of God within us…
The class (hopefully) says: Thanks be to God!

Say: These are the words that are spoken in the worship service after the Bible is read. We say these words in class so that we will be used to saying them when we hear a Bible story read in the worship service. We are thankful to have heard God’s words!

Hold a purple Adventure Bible.

  • Ask: The words I read from the Bible, can anyone tell me what part of the Bible they were from – the Old Testament or the New Testament?

Say: The Bible is divided into two major sections – the Old Testament and the New Testament. A story about Jesus and his disciples is in the New Testament. Now, let’s watch our video.

Ask the Shepherd to distribute the snack.

Show the Video:
Follow the directions shown in the lesson by Tanja Rouintree at (Scroll down to “The Visual Bible: Matthew.) In our lesson I wrote it so that each of these scenes was viewed twice, pausing to ask a couple of questions then using the CONTROLS option to SCAN BACKWARD, re-watching the scene and then asking more questions. Also had the workshop leader read Matthew 9:9 before watching the event of Matthew’s calling.

After watching the final scene (Jesus sends out the 12) we did the following…

  • Ask: What sorts of things did you see the disciples doing? (playing with children, traveling, visiting peoples homes, interacting with people) 

Say: They looked like they enjoyed being sent out to teach people about Jesus.

  • Ask: Do you suppose that they missed what they’d left behind to follow Jesus?
  • Do you suppose that they gained something by following Jesus?
  • If we follow Jesus what do we have to give up? (sleeping late on Sundays, time it takes to read the Bible instead of playing video games)
  • What can we gain by following Jesus? 

Say: By following Jesus we can gain having a close, loving relationship with Jesus.

Bring out the small toy stuffed fish (or the small ball).
Say: Let’s toss this toy around. When you catch it, tell us one way that you can be a disciple of Jesus.

Start off tossing the toy up in the air and catching it yourself. Say: I can be a disciple by leading the Video Workshop for the Cool Disciples. Then toss the toy to someone else.
Continue tossing it around until everyone has had a chance. Encourage everyone to help others think of ways they can be disciples of Jesus.
Some suggestions:

  • Coming to worship every week.
  • Bringing a friend to Sunday’s Cool.
  • Smiling at someone who looks sad.
  • Reading my Bible.
  • Actively participating in Sunday’s Cool workshops
  • Inviting a friend to Vacation Bible Camp
  • Reading a story about Jesus to a younger child.
  • Eating lunch at school with someone you don’t know very well.
  • Helping make sandwiches for Love Thy Neighbor program.
  • Pick up trash around your neighborhood.
  • Bringing something for the F.I.S.H. program (currently Flood Bucket supplies).
  • Trying to learn a Bible verse.
  • Participating in the Family Mission trip to Appalachia. 

Say: Let’s close with prayer. Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. A suggestion: “Dear God, Be with all of us this next week. Help us to remember what we’ve learned about Jesus and his disciples. Help us to know that you are asking us to come, follow Jesus. Help us to respond. (End with the Lord’s Prayer) Amen.”

Extra Activity (In case you finish early)
Have the children practice saying the key verse. Ask them to make up motions to help them remember the words. Or teach them the sign language signs for the words.


A lesson written by Carol Hulbert for First United Methodist Church
Ann Arbor, MI 

Copyright 2008 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI. 
Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material

If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
Hulbert, Carol. "Jesus Calls Disciples: Video Workshop." Sept. 2008. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Luanne Payne Inc. is a volunteer-run, 100% member supported, 501(c)3 non-profit Sunday School lesson ministry. You are welcome to borrow and adapt content for non-commercial teaching purposes --as long as both the site and author are referenced. Inc reserves the right to manage, move, condense, delete, and otherwise improve all content posted to the site. Read our Terms of Service. is rated5 stars on Google based on 51 reviews. Serving a global community including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, S. Africa, and more!