Rotation.org Writing Team
Jesus Calls the Disciples (and You)
Summary of Lesson Activity
How can others tell that you are a follower of Jesus? Why would you want others to know you are a Christian? In this lesson, your students will learn how symbols or "Logos" are often used to identify ideas and loyalties, and create their own Disciple Logo T-Shirt as a reminder and sign of who they follow, and let others know Jesus is the one to follow. And...they will be reminded that their actions speak louder than logos!
Passage: Luke 5:1-11
Key/Memory Verse: “Then Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people." 11 When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.” (NRSV)
See the Bible Background at rotation.org for this set's complete list of objectives.
Preparation and Materials
- Read Bible Background and scripture.
- Bibles or bible storybook.
- Gather the art materials.
- Print out some familiar logos.
- Print out a copy of your church's logo (both local and denominational).
- Purchase packs of inexpensive T-shirts for your students.
- Paper and pencil to practice drawing logos.
- Paint-pens or puff paints to make the logo.
- Newspaper for the table, and to put in-between the t-shirt fabric.
- Hairdryers to hasten drying.
- Smocks if using paints.
Welcome your students and explain today's lesson to them. Tell them that you hope they will leave here proud of telling others "who they follow" and "to whom they belong."
Play a Game of "Do You Know the Logo?"
--and then ask, "When you look at that logo, what does it make you think of?"
Taking turns so no student dominates this activity, show them the handout of a logo and ask each student to identify one of the logos. Attached to this lesson at rotation.org is a printable graphic of several familiar logos.
Dig into each logo a little bit, asking your students what the symbol tells you about its subject, ...what feelings, memories and attributes the logo is trying to convey to us. For example, the McDonald's logo is easily identified, but what is the purpose of a single large "M"? It's meant to stand out along the roadside. What does the fish remind you of? The crown of thorns reminds you of both a story and a feeling. Ask them about local team logos in your area and what the name and logo is trying to tell you about the team.
Now show them your church's logo (if you have one). What do the colors, shapes and symbols say about your church. How might you change it to tell others something important about your church?
Ask: If you were designing a logo to represent God, what would you draw? Invite students to sketch on paper. As you work through this logo exercise, reinforce the idea that people get messages from images, and they get messages from US, —our faces, our posture, our actions.
Ask: Imagine if YOU were God's Logo today. What would people think God was like looking at you in our classroom today? Would they think God was exciting or boring? Important or Unimportant?
Say: Logos are symbols that tell a story. They tell others what we think is important. They tell others which "team" we belong to.
When Jesus said to the disciples, "Follow me," he was saying, "join my team."
Help the children locate Luke 5:1-11 in their Bibles. Read the verses as they follow along with you. Older children may want to take turns reading out loud.
Do this after you have read the story:
On a large piece of paper, have them draw any symbol, prop, object, or image they see in the story (boats, nets, fish, water). These symbols can be incorporated into the t-shirt project.
After they have drawn the symbols, add a few that they may be missing, and then show them how to draw the Christian "fish" symbol. Tell them the story of that "ichthys" —the symbol of the fish which the early followers of Jesus would draw to let others know they belonged to the "fellowship of the fisherman." Expand on that. "It means we were caught by Jesus!"
With older children, you may also point out that the Greek word for FISH is an acrostic. (Wiki for more info.)
The Greek word for FISH = ΙΧθΥσ and is pronounced "Ichthus." Each letter in the Greek name for FISH is the first letter in the Greek phrase: "ΊησΟῦς ΧΡΙσΤός, θεΟῦ Υἱός, σωΤήΡ",
(Iēsous Christos, Theou Yios, Sōtēr), which translates into English as
"Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior."
- Iota (i) is the first letter of Iēsous which is "Jesus" in Greek.
- Chi (ch) is the first letter of Christos ( ΧΡΙσΤό ) which is Greek for "anointed."
- Theta (th) is the first letter of Theou (θεΟῦ), which is Greek for "God's" (Theos).
- Upsilon (y) is the first letter of huios which is Greek for "Son."
- Sigma (s) is the first letter of sōtēr which is Greek for "Savior."
The Disciple T-Shirt Project
Students will use paint pens, markers, and/or other types of fabric paint to create their own Disciple Logo T-Shirt. Cover your table, and place newspaper inside the t-shirt so that the markers/paints do not bleed through. Use smocks if needed.
Tip: Have a hairdryer or two ready to hasten drying.
Say: For our art project today each of you is going to create your own DISCIPLE LOGO T-SHIRT to show others that you are a Disciple of Jesus. Before you make your design permanent on your shirt, you first need to draw it on paper. Your "Jesus Logo" can have many parts that help tell others who you follow. It can have words, slogans, symbols, numbers, and images. You can put different images on the front, back or sleeves. They do not have to draw just one logo, and they should feel free to express themselves.
Note to teacher: It is important that you work with the kids to help them develop their logo on paper before they transfer their ideas to the t-shirt. This is an important teaching opportunity. Discuss with them what their drawing will say to others, and what it says about their relationship with Jesus.
Say: There are three things I want all of you to make sure you include:
1) The name of our church.
2) Words from Luke 5:1-11, such as, "Follow Me."
3) Your Name (this can be printed on the back like on a uniform, or as part of the logo.
Every other design/logo on your shirt needs to identify things like:
– you belong to Jesus
– who Jesus is
– you are part of the "Fellowship of the Fisherman"
– you are a strong/learning disciple
– your gifts, your attitude
When the projects are completed, have the children walk around and see each others "Disciple Logo T-shirts." Then gather the children together for prayer.
For disciple symbols:
- Search the web for "symbols for Jesus' disciples" Here are some search results as of December 2015:
Revised lesson written by: Neil MacQueen for the Rotation.org Writing Team based on ideas from Kim Trimboli and Carol Hulbert.
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