Here's a great example of how you can take a lesson on the site an incorporate your own ideas into it. Judy Hall (St. Paul Lutheran) adapting Jan Nappa (First Presbyterian Church) art lesson.
Cal of the Disciples
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Create Fisher's of Men "Fishing Lure" while discussing how they can share Jesus with others, includes a "128 Pieces Object Lesson" on how the message can spread by telling just one person. Bonus song "The Twelve Disciples" (Sung to: “This Old Man) with guitar cords.
Luke 5:1-11, Luke 5: 27-32, Matthew 4:19 & 20, Luke 6:12-16
Matthew 4:19 “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”
- Large Christmas tree ornament hooks
- small feathers
- Colored beads (6/0 or 8/0 mm)
- Alphabet beads (7 mm)
- Safety pins (1 - 1 ½ “ long)
- Pipe cleaners (black or gray - cut into 3 pieces)
- Lanyard hooks
- Needle nose pliers
- Paper plates (to put beads on)
- sheet (to spread on the floor)
- 128 wrapped candies (Starbursts or tootsie rolls)
- Picture of fishing in Jesus time
Editor's Note: You may also substitute a stainless steel wire (found in the hardware store) to create a stronger, less piable, longer lasting "hook" in place of the pipe cleaner.
- Read the scripture ahead of time.
- Gather the materials.
- Bend the large end of the ornament hangers into a tiny loop (so there isn’t a sharp point when the kids handle them and so the bead won’t fall off.)- then, straighten the other end. This is the “hook”.
Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Today we are going to go “fishing for Jesus”. While we read the bible story, I want you to think of 3 people that you could help “hook” into Jesus. It could be someone that doesn’t know Jesus, someone that doesn’t believe deeply in Christ, or someone that doesn’t attend a church regularly. It could be your friend, your father, the bully at school, a baby, or someone you don’t know the name of (Use the heart or star bead for people you don’t know the name.) We will make fishing lures with the first letter of their names.
Show a picture of fishing in Jesus’ day (They would throw the net over the side of the boat, let part of the net sink into the water – the corks helped keep the other part of the net a float – then pull on the ropes and “scoop up” the fish into the net, then haul the net and fish into the boat. All done by hand.) Discuss fishing in Jesus’ time vs. fishing today.
Read: Luke 5:1-11, Luke 5: 27 –32, Matthew 4:19-20, and Luke 6:12-16
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
Art Project: Fishing Lures (It’s easier to do it all together - at the same time)
(Spread the sheet out on the floor – put the beads on individual plates)
- Make a “fishing lure” (the fancy thing sticking off the side/top of the hook.) Put 4-5 colored beads on a safety pin. Set this aside.
- Give each child a “fishing hook” and ask them whom they plan to “catch” for Jesus?
- Ask them to pray first silently and ask God to help them think of someone they could share Jesus with. (This could be someone at home, school, sports, nursing home, etc – child or adult – sometimes its easier to say ‘my brother’ or ‘my mother’.) See if they can think a little deeper to someone else – don’t push.
- Slide one colored bead onto the hook.
- Slide one alphabet bead - the first letter of the person’s name - onto the “hook”.
- Side one colored bead on the hook.
- One alphabet bead.
- One colored bead.
- One alphabet bead. (They can choose a maximum of 3 –4 people)
- End with 3 - 4 colored beads.
- Wrap the pipe cleaner (cut in 1/3) twice around the “hook” starting on the bead end- (holding them down at the end of the hook.)
- Add a colored feather.
- Continue to wrap the pipe cleaner one more time around the metal hook.
- Then, Slide the small circle of the safety pin onto the hook.
- Wrap the pipe cleaner once around the hook.
- Add the lanyard hook to the fishing hook.
- Bend the ornament hook down (to hold the lanyard hook in place.)
- Finish wrapping the pipe cleaner back down around the hook – this will hide the sharp metal. (The pipe cleaner helps hold the beads down in place and the lure, feather, and lanyard hook on the Christmas ornament hook.)
- The kids can hook their “fishing hook” onto their backpack, on their bible protector pull-tab, or somewhere in their room – near their bed for nighttime prayers – or wherever.
128 Pieces Object Lesson (easier to have baggies of 16 – 32 – and 64 – already counted out)
(Take out one piece of candy from the bag and place it on the sheet.) Pick out one of the kid’s name – maybe someone that is shy or not the “regular”. Say, “this is Jamie, she was the first child to come to Sunday school. After church, Jamie thought “Wow! Jesus is great!” And went home and told Tammy (another child in class) the Good News about Jesus Christ and asked Tammy to come to church next week, which she did. (Take out another piece of candy)
Those 2 kids went home thinking “Wow! Jesus is cool!” They told Adam and Drew. (keep picking out names of kids in class until you have used all the kids) (Take out two pieces of candy and place them next to the others) Now there are 4 kids in Sunday school.
They each went home and told one more kid. This added 4 more kids to Sunday school. So now there are 8 kids. (Take out 4 more)
Those 8 brought 8 more kids (8 more)
Those 16 brought 16 more. (16 more– might be easier to have these in a separate baggy – inside the big bag)
Those 32 brought each one more child to Sunday school. (32 more)
Those 64 went home and told a friend the Good News about Jesus Christ and asked the friend to come to church the next week. (Dump the rest of the bag out on the tray)
Wow! In 8 weeks, Jamie started a trend that brought 128 people learning about Jesus that weren’t before.
Who can you tell the Good News of Jesus Christ to?
Go and spread the news!
Prayer: Dear God, Thank you for Your first 12 disciples. We pray that you will guide us in the way You want us to live. Help us get our “Christian equipment” ready to set a good example to others. Help us locate a good “fishing spot” to find more people to bring to Christ. Help us tell others about Christ. Help us remember to talk to the great fishing guide – to Jesus – before we set out to be His “fisher of people”. Amen
Tell the kids they can take one candy to eat. They may take another 1-3 candies if they will share it with a friend and tell that friend that “Jesus loves them.”
Extra/If you have time
(When they have an answer, tell them to put their hand over their heart. Tell them they can share their answer with the class or keep it between God and themselves.)
What is ONE real thing YOU can do to “hook” someone into the Jesus life? Let each student think of a way - silently. (Pray for someone, visit a shut-in and read a bible story to them/tell them what you learned in Sunday School this rotation, talk to someone about Jesus, etc).
When everyone has their hand over their heart, ask if anyone wants to share his/her answer.
Filler that can be used while making the fishing lures:
God wants us to be His disciples. He wants us to follow Him. God wants us to witness our beliefs of faith to other people. He wants us to bring more people to God. How can we do that
Where can you find people who need Jesus? (Anywhere – playgrounds, schools, stores, homes, shopping, etc.) Any place where people are can be a good “fishing spot"
Once you find people who need Jesus, what equipment do you need to be able to share the Word of Jesus with them? (God’s word – you don’t have to have a bible, but you need to know what the bible says, a knowledge about Jesus/spiritual things, and prayer) That is why we read our Bibles and study our lessons. We need to store away the truths and know what we really believe before we can share it with others
Fishing for people without prayer is like fishing for fish without a net or a pole. You’re not going to catch much without it! You’d be wasting your time
What is the bait that attracts fish to the net or pole? (Worms, grubs, minnows, fishing lures)
What is the bait that attracts people to Jesus? (Everlasting life, a better life, our lives – we’re the bait – how we act, what we do, our peace with Jesus)
Are you attracting fish? Is your life being lived as Jesus would want you to? When people see we have a real friendship with Jesus, they desire that same thing.
Does a fisherman jump in the water and start grabbing at fish? Not usually. They wait until the fish are attracted to the bait. In the same way, we cannot make people want to know Jesus. They will come to know God when they are ready. Just make sure you are available to help them and be their guide in Christ when they are ready to find the Father…but don’t be afraid to speak up either.
Sometimes fish are caught right away. Sometimes no fish are caught. Fishing requires patience and time. Fishing for people requires patience and faith and trust in Jesus.
We are to be what attracts others to Jesus, but ultimately, Jesus is the one who will “reel them in”. Be sure to give God “the credit” for bringing others closer to Christ. Do not take credit for this.
- Jan Nappa, "Fishing for People!, Art Workshop, First Presbyterian Church, Napa, CA
Bonus Song for this Workshop:
"The Twelve Disciples"
(Sung to: “This Old Man)
Jesus said, “Follow me,
Twelve disciples you will be.”
James and John and Andrew, too,
Philip and Bartholomew;
Thomas, James, Simon, eight,
Judas, Matthew, don’t be late,
Simon Peter, Thaddaeus, too –
Twelve disciples, all for you.
A lesson written by Judy Hall from: St. Paul Lutheran Mason City, Iowa
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