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FORUM: Jesus Calls the Disciples, including: Jesus Calls Peter, Fishers of Men (People), Jesus calls Matthew, Us, etc

In addition to these public lessons and ideas posted below, our Writing Team has created an extra creative set of lessons on this story for our supporting members: Jesus Calls the Disciples ...and You!  The set's lesson summaries and Bible background are open to all.

This thread is for posting computer and game workshop lessons and ideas for teaching the story of Jesus' Call to the Disciples.

Some key "Call of the Disciples" stories:

Matthew 4:19, Mark 1:16-20, Luke 5:1-11
“Come, follow me,” he said, “and I’ll show you how to fish for people.” (fishers of men)

Matthew 9:9-13, Mark 2:13-17, and Luke 5:27-28
"Follow me!"  The Call of Matthew the Tax Collector

Matthew 16:24
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Matthew 19:27-28
Peter said in reply, “Look, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?”  Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Last edited by Luanne Payne
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Several pieces of software have "Call of the Disciples" in them, or can be used to teach the Call:

  • Life of Christ CD lesson #16, brief presentation and quiz. Grades 2-12.

Both of the below programs are now out of print but I mention them because many rotation computer labs will have copies.

  • Play and Learn Children's Bible CD, Jesus Chooses 12 Disciples. Grades K-2.
  • CD has several "disciples" home pages, where they tell about their "call" from Jesus.

Jesus Calls the Disciples

Computer Workshop

Techie Teacher Note:

If you have either of the following "out of print" CDs, "Holyland 3D" CD or "A Walk in the Footsteps of Jesus" CD, you can use them to illustrate your opening Bible study/comments/questions. Have students gather around your computer or project these programs on the wall. Footsteps CD: Show the Sea of Galilee in 360 degree "photobubble". There is an audio note in the Sea of Galilee photobubble that mentions the Sea as a "source of fresh water" for much of Israel. A good transitional question to ask here would be "What else did the Sea produce for God's people?" (Ans: Jesus' ministry! Living Water). In Holyland 3D, "fly" your students into the Sea of Galilee.


This lesson uses two different programs for ages 8-teen: Life of Christ CD to teach the story and Let's Talk to dig and reflect on the story's meaning. Until you've seen or used the "Conversation Now" module in Let's Talk, the following description may seem strange to you. Younger children should substitute Play and Learn Children's Bible CD for Life of Christ CD, and do the alternate reflection step with Let's Talks software.

At the end of this lesson plan I have included a creative way to do a set of DRAMA WORKSHOP SKITS using ideas from this Computer Workshop lesson plan.

One of the things I like about this particular lesson plan is that it demonstrates how to use software in ALL the parts of a lesson plan, and not simply to show the story or follow up on a story. If you're short on time, you might eliminate the use of software in one of the steps.

Summary of Lesson Activities:

The following lesson plan will begin with lesson #16 in Life of Christ, and conclude by using Let's Talk CD (or Kid Pix 4 (or 3D) if you choose, to construct various "calls" to different kinds of people.

Scripture Reference:

Matthew 4:18-22 "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men!"

Lesson Objective:

Sunday School students will come to see themselves as kids with a personal call from Jesus to become his disciples, and know that "disciple" means:

  • you feel called to spend extra time learning from Jesus,
  • you feel called to improve your life and the lives of those around you,
  • and you feel called to call others to believe in Jesus Christ.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.
  • Explore the software.
  • Have the computers ready to go.

Supplies List:


Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction: (5 minutes)

Voting the Questions of the Day: Write the these words on separate sheets of paper and post them along the way as "voting stations": NONE, ONCE, MORE THAN ONCE, SEVERAL TIMES. Then ask these questions:

  1. How many times have you felt God talking to you in your head or through others to you?
  2. How many times have you spoken to others about your faith in Christ?
  3. How many times have you invited a friend to come to church with you?
  4. How many times have you had something else to do, but felt you needed to go to church?
  5. (Now imagine our answers are "YES, MAYBE or NO".) How many of you would be willing to leave your home and school if Jesus came to you and said, "Come follow me, learn from me and be my disciple".
  6. Can you be a believer in Jesus Christ and not follow his commands? (kind of hard!)
  7. Can you be a disciple of Jesus and not join other disciples of Jesus in worship and fellowship and learning? (Jesus called the Disciples to join together with him)

As students vote, pause to ask a few why they voted as they did. Then ask them to throw out ideas about "what a Disciple really is". Write those on the board. (See my suggestions above in the objectives).

After you are done asking questions, dive into the Bible study....

Bible Study: (5 minutes)

Say: In today's Bible story, Jesus walks up to strangers and says, "Come Follow Me". And some of them do! They drop everything and follow Jesus from town to town. Would you?

Now read the story together: Matthew 4:18-22.

Dig- Main Content and Reflection: (10 minutes)

Say: Here are my questions about this story (write out), and in a moment, I'm going to ask you to answer them (assign the questions to students and write their name next to the question):
What did the disciples have to drop and leave behind?
Imagine you're in school one day and Jesus walked in, ...what would he tell you to drop?
What would Jesus say to your teachers? Your parents?
Why does Jesus call us to drop things to follow him...can't we just

Let's see the story again in Life of Christ CD, lesson 16. After we are done with that presentation, be prepared to answer these questions.

View Lesson 16 in Life of Christ CD.
Then have your students try to answer your questions. (If you have extra time today, you will return to the QUIZ at the end of the lesson. )

Reflect: Creating new calls (20 minutes)

You'll dive into Let's Talk CD. This program speaks ALOUD whatever the kids type, so there's the reward. Work with them to craft their responses. EXPLAIN: In Let's Talk, you'll be using the "Conversation Now" module. It looks like a "chat" window for two people to type their responses to each other. Students create and name two characters on the screen. Name the one on the left "Jesus", and give the one on the right any name. The character on the right is going to be "the person being called" by Jesus in the examples below. Students will share the keyboard and "chat" back and forth between the two characters (Jesus and the potential disciple).

(Pictured right: screenshot of the Conversation Now module screen showing Jesus and a potential disciple having a 'chat'.)

Now reveal your list of "professions" on the board (see examples below), and ask students to throw out words and phrases that Jesus might use to "call" each profession. Write down their responses on the board. This will help them in the next step of the lesson.

Now ask: What question might each person ask Jesus before accepting his call? For example, what kind of question would the mom ask Jesus about following him? Think 'excuses' or legitimate questions, such as, "but what about my children?" Write down their possible responses for each character, as this will help them in the next step of the lesson.

Examples of Professions/Disciples Jesus Could Call:

  • an 'A' student
  • a professional basketball player
  • a carpenter in the middle of building a house
  • a young person who wants to be a teacher
  • a mom with two young children
  • a child who wants to be a doctor
  • a kid who is trying out for a soccer team that travels each weekend
  • a police officer
  • a kid who likes to build things with legos

(feel free to add your own)

NEXT....After writing down some of their "words and phrases" suggestions, assign some of the profession/type of potential disciple to each computer. The workgroup at each computer must now recreate a simple back & forth dialog between Jesus and that person (the student, mom, etc) which they were assigned. A shepherd/guide needs to be at each computer to work with the groups. The first time they try the 'conversation' they will be trying to figure it out, but as they watch others, they'll get the idea. The teaching point is to get the kids to express their own voice and express the vocabulary of "call".

"Conversation Now": The character on the leftside of the Conversation Screen is assigned to speak "as Jesus". They will be the first to type their "Call" to the other person in the Conversation Now chat. When Jesus issues his call, it plays aloud. Now the other person on the right side of the Conversation Now chat screen gets to ask a question. Now Jesus must respond to it. Your students stay in character and try to use creative language to express themselves.

If the person receiving the call wants to respond again to Jesus' answer by asking another question, by all means let them! The guide can encourage this. Or, they can craft an "acceptance answer" to Jesus' call. Jesus should feel free to continue on saying what that disciple may have to give up in order to follow him! The teacher/shepherd should be ready to suggest ideas.

=> The guide may want to take on the role of Jesus, or the person being called in order to help the process with younger students until they get the idea.

OPTION: If a workgroup comes up with a particular GOOD conversation, have the entire class come over and watch them recreate the conversation. (the shepherd/guide should take notes before the conversation disappears from the screen when the kids go to start it over for the entire class).

Closing: (5 minutes)

Invite the class to imagine "the Disciples Who Said "NO" to Jesus. Imagine Jesus meeting this "disciple who said no" in heaven after the person had died. What might they have said to Jesus? What would Jesus say to that would-be disciple? What did they miss out on? What is Jesus' response? Close with a prayer that we would hear AND Obey Christ's call to become his disciples.


If you're short on time or computers, you could simply have the teacher assume the role of Jesus and the kids suggest things for the "potential disciple" to type.

If you don't have Let's Talk, you could use the talk-aloud feature in Kid Pix 4 (or 3D) and have the kids draw a "potential disciples" ...selecting one of the suggested disciples from your list, and have them type their 'excuse' to Jesus of the things they don't want to give up.

Or you could have them illustrate Jesus and type HIS call to a certain disciples (a "student" for example) and what he might say to that student as in "come with me and I will make you a student of right living" .... or "come with me and I will make you a builder of justice", ...or "come with me and I will make you an example of an athlete who gives honor to God."

I've done this one in class before and it also makes a good DRAMA SKIT: "Jesus calls the Lego Builders", "Jesus calls the athletes", and the twist is that Jesus has to speak mostly in the vocabulary of that student/profession/disciple. It's comical, but also forces the kids to GIVE VOICE TO the what the CALL is about. Rubric: The kids work on these skit ideas/language with a teacher... brainstorming them, and then writing them out on a big flipchart cuecard to help them in their skits.

A lesson written by Neil MacQueen

Disclaimer: I am the owner of some of this software. My work with computers in CE grew out of my Rotation work. The Rotation Board has encouraged me to post my free lessons and I am happy to do so.

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

The stories of Jesus Calling the Disciples, Jesus' Call to Peter are found in the SunScool Bible App for Kids. Jesus directing his disciples where to cast their net to pull up fish is also in the app.

Here's a snippet from's Outline to the SunScool App's stories:


  • Jesus calls Peter to fish for people is n Levels 1, 2, and 3 . In Level 4 it is titled: "Peter. His call."
    Matthew 4:17-22, 16:18; John 1:35-42
  • The Big Catch, Jesus directs their nets to catch fish. (Level 3 only)
    Luke 5:1-11

The App is free, ecumenical, and can be downloaded for use on tablets, smartphones, Windows, and Mac!    Get the download link and look up the story you need in our Outline of all 170+ stories in SunScool. That page also includes app helps.

SunScool Bible App for Kids


Images (1)
  • Jesus and Peter Bible stories
Last edited by Neil MacQueen

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