The students will be travelling to different activity stations to learn the about the Apostles’ Creed.
- Game Station: “I Believe” Game,
- Science Station: Water Experiment ,
- Music Video Station: Creed Live by Third Day,
- Art Station: student booklets titled “Apostles’ Creed”,
- Architecture/Field Trip: look at Church stain glass windows and Christian Flag.
- Understand that WHAT you believe is important.
- Know that a creed is a statement of what you believe.
- Become familiar with the Apostles’ Creed
- Think about they believe about God.
- Pray for the children and for your teaching of the lesson.
- Gather the materials.
- Read the story ahead of time.
- Review the DVD of the song “Creed” so that you will know where to start it—have it set up at this point for the class.
- Box with: pens, pencils, markers, crayons, scissors, tape
- Luther’s Small Catechism
- Piece of blue paper
- Bottle with liquid in it—put a label on the bottle that says “Poison”—perhaps add a “Mr. Yuk” picture
- TV with DVD player
- DVD of the song “Creed” (see below for link)
- 2 Clear cups—microwave safe
- Small ice cubes
- Student booklets—one per child
Guide Activities—the guide will take attendance/acknowledge any birthdays
Introduce yourself to the students.
Introduce the day’s story/station and the main learning purpose: We are not studying a specific story today. Instead, we are kicking off the Sunday School year with something a little different—learning about the Apostles’ Creed. And we are going to do a variety of activities: a game, science, a music video, art.
Open with a prayer .
We would like to have a consistent opening and closing to each class, especially since the teacher and station changes each week. Please start the class by having everyone make the sign of the cross and say: “We make our beginning in the name of God the Father—and God the Son—and God the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Introduction & Bible Story:
Around 500 years ago, there was a man named Martin Luther. He was a priest in the Catholic church. There were some ideas being taught in the church that he did not agree with because these ideas were NOT from the Bible. Luther felt that the church needed to be fixed or reformed. so he started talking about this. Luther had his own ideas—which were based on what the Bible said. Many people listened and started following Luther instead of the Catholic church. Over time, different churches formed, including the Lutheran Church.
Martin Luther wanted children—all children—to know about God and His love. So he wrote a book called a catechism (show a catechism). The catechism is full of questions and answers about the main teachings of the church. It talks about things like the Lord’s Prayer, the 10 Commandments, Baptism, Holy Communion, and the Forgiveness of Sins. It also talks about the Apostles’ Creed, which is what we are learning about today. In fact, all of the Bible stories that we study this year will have something to do with the Apostles’ Creed.
Tell me what you know about the Apostles’ Creed.
A creed is basically saying what you believe. We say either the Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene Creed every Sunday in church. The Apostles’ Creed is NOT called that because the apostles and disciples wrote it. It is called that because everything in the Apostles’ Creed is taken from the teachings and writings of the Apostles—and these writings are a part of the Bible. So everything in the Apostles’ Creed is from the Bible. The Apostles’ Creed has 3 articles (kind of like paragraphs)—one about God the Father, one about Jesus, and one about the Holy Spirit.
We’re going to do a few activities to learn more about the Apostles’ Creed.
“I Believe” Game Station:
We’re going to play a game about what you seriously believe to be true. (Hold up the piece of blue paper) If you believe this paper is blue then go to this corner of the room, and if you believe it is red then go to this other corner of the room. Why did you all go to the blue corner? It is pretty obvious that blue is the true color of this piece of paper—you just have to look at it.
(Hold up the “poison” bottle, but keep the label hidden) If you think this bottle has poison in it then go to this corner; if you don’t think it is poison then go to this other corner. Ask the children why they chose their corners. (Show them the label) Now who believes that this is poison? Some believed it was poison and others didn’t? You both believed “something”. Is it important to know “WHAT” you believe in? Why? (if you didn’t believe it was poison and drank it, you could get sick or die).
I’m going to give you a math question and you tell me which answer is true. Take 497 x 82. Add 154. Divide all that by 12. If you believe the answer is 4097 then go to this corner. If you believe that the answer is 3409 then go to this other corner (this is the right answer). How do you think we can figure out which is the answer to believe in? Bring out the calculator and work out the problem.
So, we’ve learned a few things about the importance of what to believe in. (Hold up the piece of blue paper) It needs to be true, like it is true that this is blue. (Hold up the poison bottle, label showing) Believing in the wrong thing can have consequences, like drinking poison because you don’t believe it is poison. What is a consequence of not believing in Jesus as your Savior? (not going to heaven/going to hell) (Hold up the calculator). And sometimes you need some help knowing what is true, like with our math problem. The Bible helps us know what is true about God.
Music Video Station:
The basic facts of what we believe about God are laid out in the Apostles’ Creed. Instead of reading it, I am going to play a video of someone singing the Apostles’ Creed. The song is called ‘Creed’ and was written by Rich Mullins. The group that is singing this is Third Day. They sing the creed almost word for word. I want you to listen for the refrain: “And I believe what I believe is what makes me what I am. I did not make it, no it is making me. It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man.”
[The first part of the video just shows the members of the band—it goes on for about a minute. Start the video at the screen where it says Creed Live by Third Day. Watch the entire video (about 5 minutes). ]
After the video, Say: Before I ask any questions, do you have any comments on the video? When they sang the refrain, what picture did they show? (circle of hands holding a Bible) What do you think they were trying to show us with that picture and the words of the refrain? (make sure to draw out the part about very truth of God/not the invention of man).
Science Experiment Station:
The creed talks about God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. It might sound like we are talking about 3 different Gods, but that is not true. There is one “essence”—that is God. There are 3 persons in this one God. We call this the Trinity. No one—not even pastors—can fully understand how this is so, but I have a little science demonstration to try and explain it a little.
Some people compare the Trinity to the “essence” of water. Water can be solid and liquid and gas (or steam) all at the same time. Hold up the cup with ice in it. Say: Here is some water—is it solid or liquid or gas? (solid) Put some of the ice cubes in another cup and put it in the microwave and heat. Bring out the cup and show the class. This is still water—is it solid or liquid or gas? (liquid). If there is steam rising, point it out. If not, put the cup back in the microwave and heat until there is steam. Point out the steam. Say: Is this water solid or liquid or gas? (gas—steam). We had ice and liquid and steam—all different, but also all are water.
There is one God with 3 Persons: the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Each of these persons of God had certain things that they do. We will learn more about that over the year in Sunday School.
We are going to learn a little bit about some of the symbols in our church that remind us of God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We will be going to the church to see these. Instruct the class to walk quietly to the church. Go near the altar area—where they usually do the Children’s Sermon. Point out the following stained glass:
- In the balcony on the pulpit side, you can see a hand reaching down. That represents God the Father—and His care and protection as He holds us in His hand.
- There are 3 windows under this. The middle window stands for the Apostles’ Creed (the cross with the triangle at the top for the Trinity, and the 12 stars for the Apostles). The window with the 2 tablets is the 10 commandments. The incense rising up to the throne represents the Lord’s Prayer—our prayers rise up to heaven.
- Behind the organ is the window depicting Jesus. Here He is shown as the victorious Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world..
- In the other balcony is the window for the Holy Spirit—it is a descending dove. The windows underneath it stand for Holy Communion (the wheat and grapes), and baptism (shell with water). The middle window with the Bible and sword and keys stands for the Office of the Keys—which deals with confession and forgiveness.
Walk over to the Christian Flag—it is between the pulpit and the side door. The Christian flag has 3 colors, just like the Apostles’ Creed has 3 articles:
- The blue rectangle represents the faithfulness of God the Father
- The red cross reminds us the blood shed by Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins
- The white field is for the power of the Holy Spirit—especially for his role in increasing our faith and our Christian living.
Now we will be heading back to the classroom for one last activity.
Place markers and crayons and colored pencils on the table(s). Pass out the student booklets titled “Apostles’ Creed”—one per student. Explain that they will be using these booklets all year long as we explore the different Bible stories. They will stay here at church—the guides will keep track of them—and they will be able to take them home at the end of the school year.
Have them put their names on the front cover—along with the grade they will be this school year. They should then turn to page 1—it has “I Believe…” at the top. Say: In the Apostles’ Creed, we start each of the 3 articles with the words “I Believe”. This is because everyone needs to believe for themselves. You can’t believe for someone else, and they can’t believe for you. On page 1 you see the words “I Believe” at the top. I’d like you to take a few moments to draw or write at least one thing that you believe about God—you can do more than one if you like. If you would like, you could also decorate the cover of your booklet. (say the closing prayer below right after you have handed out the journaling materials—that way the students can leave as soon as they are done journaling)
We would like to have a consistent opening and closing to each class, especially since the teacher and station changes each week. Please end the class with this benediction from Numbers 6: 24-26 (CEV). Make the sign of the cross and say:
I pray that the LORD will bless and protect you, and that He will show you mercy and kindness. May the LORD be good to you and give you peace. Amen.
A lesson from: St. John Lutheran Church
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