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.

 Here is a complete set of lessons for…

Jesus Calls Disciples

Lesson Set

Summary of all workshops in this Rotation:

Workshops for 4th-6th grade

  • ART: Make a set of flash cards to help learn the Apostle’s Creed. [Children will be learning about the Apostle’s Creed in Tabernacle Rock, our large group gathering time before workshops.]
  • NEWSROOM: Create a newscast of interviews of disciples who were called by Jesus.
  • STORYTELLING: Hear a variety of people talk about their stories of being “called” to follow Jesus.

Workshops for 1st- 3rd grade

  • COOKING: Make “fish-shaped pizza” to recall the significance of fishing in the calling of the disciples. Learn more about being a disciple today.
  • GAMES: Play a concentration-type matching game, which also includes story questions.
  • VIDEO: Watch the live-actor video The Visual Bible: Matthew

These next lessons we used when we did this Rotation back in 2002. Note: at the time we used different Bible references (Luke 5:1-11, Matthew 9:9, Luke 6:12-13).

  • GAMES (Old workshop) - which has lots of ideas, far too many to be played in one lesson: a giant board game, a tag game, a fishing game...
  • MUSIC/MOVEMENT: Use song, to learn the names of the disciples. Use music and movement to reinforce the story.
  • VIDEO (Old workshop): Uses the videos "Jesus Teaches and Calls Disciple"s from Children’s Hero’s of the Bible, # 8 Vision Video, 1986) and "Jesus" from the CBS mini-series, Trimark Pictures, 2000. (Note: the Children's Hero's of the Bible video is really time-worn and I wouldn't recommend it be used. I am leaving this lesson here in case it is your only option.)


Scripture References & Objectives:

  (for newer workshops listed at the top)

Scripture

Matthew 4:18-22 (Call of Peter, Andrew, James & John - the fishermen), Matthew 9:9-13 (Call of Matthew – the tax collector) and Mark 3:13-19 (Jesus appoints his 12 apostles)


Key Verse:
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said. Matthew 4:19 (NIV)

Rotation Objectives—at the end of the Rotation, kids should be able to:

  • Name that the stories are found in the New Testament.
  • (For 4th grade and up) Locate one "calling" story in Matthew.
  • Re-tell the "calling" stories of the fishermen and tax collector in his/her own words.
  • Define the term “disciple.”
  • Recognize that Jesus selected 12 ordinary people – from a larger group of followers – to be his disciples. Jesus had many other “disciples” including women.
  • Examine why Jesus called disciples: to spend extra time with him, to receive special training, so they could go out and share the Good News of God’s love to others.
  • Identify ways we today are Jesus’ disciples.
  • Discuss what the disciples left behind to follow Jesus. Discover that even today the decision to follow Jesus can require difficult choices.




Might I suggest you also consult the Bible Background material written by the Rotation.org Writing Team, though it covers different scripture (Luke 5:1-11) It is an excellent resource and it is open for all to read.
 




 A set of workshops written by folks from First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI 

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

Original Post

Jesus Calls Disciples

Art Workshop

 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Create a set of flash cards with the Apostles’ Creed to help students learn the Apostles’ Creed. Discuss Jesus’ calling of his disciples and how Jesus calls us today. [Note: 4th – 6th graders visited this workshop.]

 

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:

  • Bibles, one purple Adventure Bible
  • Appropriate pages from Unit 6 of the Worship for Life materials (see below)
  • Poster board cut into pieces 3” x 3.5” (12 pieces per student)
  • Larger pieces of poster board to make a class room set (size to be determined) – 12 pieces
  • Markers, gel pens, colored pencils, crayons
  • Scissors, Glue sticks
  • Rubber bands or binder clips 


Before Start of Class:

  • Duplicate one set of 12 of The Apostles’ Creed symbols (pp. 101-102) from Unit 6 of the Worship for Life resource for each participant.
  • Use a copier to blow up one set of these symbols to make a classroom sized display.
  • Book mark a purple Adventure Bible to Matthew 9:9 and to Mark 3:13.


Presentation


Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Art Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.

[Note: The Shepherd will be taking care of attendance while you are starting your lesson.]

  • Ask: What do you think of the new Tabernacle Rock? 

Make sure that everyone knows about Tabernacle Rock. Tabernacle Rock is a gathering place, a chance to be with friends, to sing together, and to pray together, before attending workshops. It is also the new venue where Cool Disciples will learn about elements of worship.

  • Ask: What part of worship are we learning about in Tabernacle Rock? (Apostles’ Creed)

Say: Today we’ll be making something that will help you to learn the Apostles’ Creed. First let’s review our Bible story.

Dig- Main Content and Reflection:
Say: We are going to read about how 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: Do you suppose that there were women who were disciples of Jesus? (yes)
  • Do you suppose that 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.

  • Ask: Where in the Bible would we read about Jesus calling his disciples? (in NT)

Distribute Bibles. Have everyone find Matthew 4:18.
If this is a week early in the Rotation, read Matthew 4:18-22 together. Then turn to Matthew 9:9 and read this verse to the students.
Towards the end of the Rotation, ask the students if they can tell you the stories. Have them check their Bibles for accuracy.
Say: When we are done reading our Bible story we are going to say what is said in church after the scripture is read. Be ready to say “thanks be to God!”

Say: For the Word of God in scripture, for the Word of God among us, for the Word of God within us,
The class says: Thanks be to God!

[Then, in here there was copyright material from pages 98-99 in Unit 6 of the Worship for Life materials, about the Apostles’ Creed.]

Start the art project:
Say: We are going to make a set of flash cards to help us learn the Apostles’ Creed.

Distribute the two pages with the symbols and the words of the Apostles’ Creed. Distribute the cards and the art supplies.

Have the students color their symbols in any manner that they’d like, cut them apart and glue them onto the cards.

Encourage them to learn the Apostles’ Creed. Show them the take home sheet that they can return the bottom portion of when they can say the Apostles’ Creed. These returned portions will be displayed in a special way at Tabernacle Rock.

Also distribute the enlarged pictures to have them colored as well. They will be made into classroom copies of the Apostles’ Creed. Or arrange them on the easels in the correct order.

Discussion: (while the students are working)

  • Ask: We described a disciple as a follower or a person who is learning from someone else, but what is an apostle? 

Say: An apostle is one who is sent out as a special messenger to do a specific job. Let me read to you the passage from the Bible that tells us about Jesus selecting his apostles.

Read Mark 3:13-14.

  • Ask: Why do you suppose that Jesus needed apostles and disciples? 

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! This passage, which I just read from the Gospel of Mark, includes the names of the 12 disciples that Jesus chose.

  • Ask: What are ways that we can help Jesus do his work in this world?

Some suggestions:

  • Bringing a friend to Sunday’s Cool.
  • Smiling at someone who looks sad.
  • Reading my Bible. (Because it helps if we know about Jesus and God so that we can tell others.)
  • 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: Jesus asked his disciples to “Come, follow me.”

  • Ask: Does it seem like these men thought about Jesus’ request; did they say, “I’ll let you know?”

Say: No, they left their nets and their boats and their piles of tax money behind and got up and followed Jesus!

  • Ask: If you were someone who needed excellent students to be your disciples, would you choose the best of the best?

So the choices that Jesus made for his disciples, are they surprising to you?
Say: Jesus used ordinary people to do his work.

Say: The disciples immediately left everything to follow 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.

Closing:
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 by practicing saying the Apostles’ Creed. Help us to learn it so that we can say this is what I believe! (End with the Lord’s Prayer) Amen.”

Use the rubber bands or binder clips to put together each students set of cards. Encourage them to practice the Apostles’ Creed.

If you have extra time:
Ask two students to use their sets of cards to play a Concentration-Matching type of game.


Resources:

  • Fournier, Jude Dennis and Phyllis Vos Wezeman. “Photography.” Worship for Life: Equipping Children to Grow in the Community of Faith. Unit 6: Creeds. Inver Grove Heights, MN: Logos Productions, 2008. 

 

Thoughts afterwards
This isn’t much of an “art” project so I am not happy about that. I had thought about making banners but it seemed too hard to do for so many words (in the Apostles’ Creed). Perhaps use a printer with special fabric that can print out copies of the Apostles’ Creed. Then fuse that piece of fabric to some banner material and then have the kids illustrate a portion of the Creed? It was just too much prep work for me to handle. Maybe next time.


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: Art Workshop ."Sept. 2008. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>.

 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

 

Jesus Calls Disciples

WFUMC Newsroom Workshop:

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Create, videotape and watch a news broadcast on interviews with the disciples of Bible times. [Note: 4th – 6th graders visited this workshop.]

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:

  • Easel; appropriate marker
  • Bibles; a few Purple Adventure Bibles, one with tabs (Law, History, etc.)
  • Copies of the assignment sheets (attached) to pass out to the class.
  • Props: A fake (or borrow a real) microphone, attach call letters “WFUMC”; a scene clapper; hats or badges with label “PRESS”
  • Pencils or pens
  • Costumes
  • Video camera on tripod to tape the interviews
  • TV with VCR
  • Post-it notes™

Before Start of Class:

  • Write the following on the easel:
    Simon (Peter) & Andrew
    James & John
    Matthew
    Philip & Nathanael (Bartholomew)
  • Set up the videotaping equipment.
  • Book mark a purple Adventure Bible to Matthew 4:18 and to Matthew 9:9.
  • Distribute Bibles around the seats in the room.

    This lesson will work best if the workshop leader gets in the act as well. Play the part of the newsroom boss as much as possible. You and the shepherd(s) may need to help the children as they do their research, answer the questions on the sheets and develop their interviews. Encourage the children to dress in costumes, and speak slowly and clearly for their “interview”.


Presentation

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet your students warmly, introducing yourself and any other adults.

Say: This is the newsroom of WFUMC, so we’ll be reporting news as though we lived in the time of Jesus. We plan a news show today that interviews some of Jesus’ disciples. It’s our job to report the news. Like all newscasts, ours will need reporters and people being interviewed. If you really don’t want to be on camera, we have other jobs – everyone is important in our news broadcast. We’ll get it all ready, practice, and videotape it, and hopefully we’ll have time to watch our news show. Let’s first review our story.

Dig- Main Content and Reflection:

  • Ask: Where in the Bible would we find stories about Jesus– in the Old or New Testament? 

Say: We find stories about Jesus in the New Testament in a section we call the Gospels. The word “Gospel” means “good news.” One of Jesus’ tasks was to teach the good news about God’s love for us. Today we will be reading a story from the Gospel of Matthew.

Have everyone find Matthew 4:18 in the Bible.
Have kids take turns reading Matthew 4:18-22 out loud.
Then have everyone find Matthew 9:9 and follow along as you read it to them.

[Note: After the first week of the Rotation the students will become more familiar with the story. Have them locate the scripture in their Bibles. Then ask them to tell you the story. Fill in any missing details by using their Bibles.]

Say: When we are done reading our Bible story we are going to say what is said in church after the scripture is read. Be ready to say “thanks be to God!”

Say: For the Word of God in scripture, for the Word of God among us, for the Word of God within us,
The class says: Thanks be to God!

Say: We are going to further explore these stories. The way we are going to do this is to break into groups.

Separate into groups – Prepare the News:
Ask the Shepherd to help you break the students into groups of two or three students. Distribute pencils/pens and a post-it note to every student. Ask them to write their name on the post-it. Assign roles:

  • Three for Simon (Peter) and Andrew
  • Three for James & John
  • Two for Matthew
  • Two or three for Philip & Nathanael (Bartholomew)
  • Could also have a “lead newscaster” who introduces the news.

If you have more than 10 students add to groups that have two students.
If you have less than 10 students eliminate Philip & Nathanael.

Place the post-its next to the character's names on the easel – this way you can keep track of who is playing which parts.

Say: I’m going to hand out your individual assignments now. We will have a live broadcast at 10:12 a.m. with interviews of these people. You’ll need to be ready, with your interview and in costume by then. So, find out all you can about these unusual men. Remember...our church is counting on you to bring us the latest, breaking news – Live from WFUMC!

Give each group their corresponding “Interview Sheet.”

You and the Shepherd may need to help the students as they do their research and develop their interviews. Encourage them to look at the story in their Bibles to determine the questions to ask.
Watch the clock; give a five-minute and a two-minute warning. [Start taping by 10:12]

Hint: If kids are having trouble getting started with preparing their interview have them follow this format: Introduce themselves, and introduce their disciple. Perhaps ask the question: what do you do for a living? Then ask, what happened when you met this Jesus? Then what happened? Other appropriate questions: why are you following Jesus?

If anyone finishes early: have them practice their interview. Give everyone a five-minute warning before the broadcast will begin. Start broadcasting by 10:12.

Tape the News:
Gather everyone together and tape the news. Start off with the lead newscaster saying the following…
Say: This is WFUMC with a breaking news story. A poor Galilean preacher has been creating quite a disturbance near the Sea of Galilee. Evidently he is talking to people and asking them to follow him! We have reporters on the scene now…

Then have the children give their interviews. If necessary, you can prompt them with some questions of your own to get them to delve deeper. Keep track of time so you get to everyone’s broadcast! (Allow 4 minutes per broadcast.)

End the broadcast with the entire cast of children all grouped together in a crowd. Have the lead newscaster say…
Say: Jesus has chosen his special group of twelve disciples, but there are many, many other men and women who are following Jesus. That’s all from WFUMC.

Show the News/Discussion:
Pop the tape out of the camera and into the VCR. Hit rewind. And watch the show. You might consider stopping to ask discussion questions…

  • After the scene of Simon (Peter) and Andrew: Did Peter and Andrew likely know Jesus before he asked them to follow him?
  • After James & John: Do you suppose that you could leave behind your fishing boat to follow Jesus?
  • After Matthew: Are you ever unsure about following Jesus? What is it about Jesus that makes you want to follow him?
  • After Philip & Nathanael: How are you like the disciple Nathanael? (Are you struggling to move from disbelief?)

Closing:
Have everyone make a tight circle.
Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer.

Ask everyone to extend left hand into center of circle with hand in a fist with thumb extended. Each person holds the thumb of the person on his/her left.
[It means they have to get really close together!]

Say: When we are drawn closer to the center to Jesus, he pulls us closer to each other.

Pray, using the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. A suggestion: “Holy One who is greater than all of us, it is encouraging to know that you have asked each of us to be your disciples. Help us to hear your call and to live as true disciples. (End with the Lord’s Prayer) Amen.”


Resources:

  • G.R.E.A.T. Adventure Dream Team at State Street United Methodist Church, Bristol, VA. “Fishing and Following - Calling the Disciples: Drama Workshop.” 2000. 
  • Wood, Lynn C. “The Call of the Disciples: Science Lesson.” 2003.https://www.rotation.org/topic/call--of-the-disciples-science-lesson---bream-memorial-presbyterian-charleston-wv (closing prayer idea)

Drama Worksheets
Disciples: Simon Peter and Andrew
Bible Passages: Matthew 4:18-22

Directions: Together with your partner(s), read the Bible passage above. As you are reading, look for the answers to the following questions. Write down the answers.

  1. What did Simon (Peter) and Andrew do for a living?
  2. What did Jesus say to Simon and his brother Andrew?
  3. These two brothers were in business with two other brothers named
    (blank) and (blank), sons of (blank).
  4. What surprising thing did Simon Peter and Andrew do?
  5. What do you think was the hardest thing for Simon Peter and Andrew to leave behind?
  6. What must they have felt or believed about Jesus to follow him?


Now using the answers to these questions, write an interview together.

One of you will be the interviewer for WFUMC News, who will ask questions. Two others will be Simon Peter and Andrew, the disciples of Jesus, who will answer the interviewer’s questions. (Extra people in your group can be interviewers.)

Try to tell all the important information you’ve learned. Be descriptive and show the kind of emotion you think Simon Peter would be feeling; Put yourself in his shoes. How would you feel if this were happening to you?

If you have time, practice the interview to see how it goes.

When you are ready, find costumes and get ready to do your interview “live” for our broadcast! Talk clearly and loudly so the audience will be able to understand.


Drama Worksheets
Disciples: James and John
Bible Passages: Matthew 4:18-22, Mark 3:13-19

Directions: Together with your partner(s), read the Bible passages above. As you are reading, look for the answers to the following questions. Write down the answers.

  1. What do these two brothers do for a living?
  2. Who is their father?
  3. What did Jesus ask these men to do?
  4. Did they do what Jesus suggested?
    What do you suppose their father thought about them leaving?
  5. What happened on the mountainside?
  6. How many apostles did Jesus appoint? ___________________
  7. How do you think James and John felt when they were chosen?


Now using the answers to these questions, write an interview together.

One of you will be the interviewer for WFUMC News, who will ask questions. The others will be John and/or James, the disciples of Jesus, who will answer the interviewer’s questions. (Extra people in your group can be interviewers.)

Try to tell all the important information you’ve learned. Be descriptive and show the kind of emotion you think John and James are feeling. Try to put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if this were happening to you?

If you have time, practice the interview to see how it goes.

When you are ready, find costumes and get ready to do your interview “live” for our broadcast! Talk clearly and loudly so the audience will be able to understand.


Drama Worksheets
Disciple: Matthew
Bible Passage: Matthew 9:9-13

Directions: Together with your partner(s), read the Bible passage above. Also, read the notes in the orange and blue boxes on pages 1062 & 1063.
As you are reading, look for the answers to the questions and write them down.

  1. What did Matthew do for a living?
  2. How did people in Jesus’ time feel about people with Matthew’s job? (hint: read the “People in Bible Times” note on page 1062)
  3. What did Jesus say to Matthew when he saw him?
  4. Where did Matthew and Jesus go and what did they do?
  5. What do you suppose Matthew thought about being asked to eat with Jesus?
  6. What did the Pharisees ask the disciples?
  7. What do you suppose Jesus meant by his answer to the Pharisees?

Now using the answers to these questions, write an interview together.

One of you will be the interviewer for WFUMC News, who will ask questions. The other will be Matthew, the disciple of Jesus, who will answer the interviewer’s questions. (Extra people in your group can be interviewers.)

Try to tell all the important information you’ve learned. Be descriptive and show the kind of emotion you think Levi is feeling. Try to put yourself in his shoes. How would you feel if this were happening to you?
If you have time, practice the interview to see how it goes.

When you are ready, find costumes and get ready to do your interview “live” for our broadcast! Talk clearly and loudly so the audience will be able to understand.


Drama Worksheets
Disciples: Philip and Nathanael (Bartholomew)
* Bible Passage: John 1:43-50

Directions: Together with your partner(s), read the Bible passage above. As you are reading, look for the answers to the following questions. Write down the answers

  1. What did Jesus say to Philip?
  2. Who did Philip go to find?
  3. What did Philip say to Nathanael?
  4. How did Nathanael answer Philip? Do you think he believed that Jesus was special at first?
  5. What happened when Nathanael met Jesus for himself? How do you think he felt?
  6. What do you think Nathanael was thinking when Jesus told him he would see even greater things?

* Note: In the other gospels, this disciple Nathanael is referred to as Bartholomew.

Now using the answers to these questions, write an interview together.

One of you will be the interviewer for WFUMC News, who will ask questions. The others will be Philip and/or Nathanael, the disciples of Jesus, who will answer the interviewer’s questions. (Extra people in your group can be interviewers.)

Try to tell all the important information you’ve learned. Be descriptive and show the kind of emotion you think Philip and Nathanael are feeling. Try to put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if this were happening to you?

If you have time, practice the interview to see how it goes.
When you are ready, find costumes and get ready to do your interview “live” for our broadcast! Talk clearly and loudly so the audience will be able to understand.


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. (Note: orginally written by Carol in 2002, updated for 2008.)

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

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Jesus Calls Disciples

Storytelling Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Hear a variety of people talk about their stories of being “called” to follow Jesus. This is the perfect time to get people who can only come to class for one week. It is ok to have different storytellers every week! [Note: 4th – 6th graders visited this workshop.]
 

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:

  • Extra chairs for your guests
  • Purple Adventure Bibles; One with tabs (Law, History, etc.)
  • Bible tab writing kit: tabs, fine-line Sharpie pen
  • Name tag making materials: a Sharpie pen and sticky labels


Before Start of Class:

  • Bookmark one of the purple Adventure Bibles in two spots: at Matthew 4:18 and at Matthew 9:9.
  • In a purple Adventure Bible, review the extra notes on pages 1062 and 1063 – about tax collectors and “What did Jesus’ disciples do?”


Presentation

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Storytelling Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults. [Tell the Shepherd that making nametags will wait just a bit!]

Say: Today we’ll be hearing about how Jesus called twelve special friends to follow him and be his disciples.

  • Ask: What are disciples? (accept a few answers)

Say: In Bible-times disciples were people who hung out with Jesus. They learned from Jesus and they tried to be like Jesus. Later they taught others about what they’d learned.

Say: When we say “disciples” we think of people like Peter, Matthew, James and John.

  • Ask: Do you suppose that there were women disciples? (yes)

Do you suppose that today we can be disciples of Jesus?
Can we learn from Jesus and try to be like him and try to teach others?
Say: Yes! We can be Jesus’ disciples! It’s part of why we come to church – to learn about Jesus so we can be his disciples.

Have each student tell you their name and what school they go to. Have the Shepherd write and distribute nametags as each child introduces him or herself. Greet each student by saying: “Welcome, Disciple <their name>.” (For example: Welcome, Disciple Alex.)

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
Say: Disciples are talked about a lot in the Bible.

  • Ask: Where in the Bible would we read about disciples of Jesus? (in the NT)

Say: The Bible is divided into two major sections – the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament contains Bible stories that Jesus would have learned when he was your age. The New Testament is composed of stories about Jesus’ life and the start of the new church of the followers of Jesus.

  • Ask: What do we call the section of the New Testament where we read stories about Jesus? (the Gospels) 

Say: Besides being divided into two testaments, the 66 books in the Bible are further divided into collections. We call this collection of Bible books, the Gospels. If you have your own Bible today, be sure you receive a tab for the gospel section of your Bible. [Show the classroom Bible with tabs. Have the Shepherd do tabs for students who bring their Bibles. Use the classroom Bible with tabs as an example.]

Distribute purple Adventure Bibles.

Have the students find Matthew 4:18. Review the quick way to find the New Testament. (Opening the Bible in middle lands you usually in Psalms. Taking just the back half and finding middle of that, gets you to beginning of NT.) Point out that the chapter numbers are large, and in these Bibles they are yellow; the verse numbers are smaller.
Have them notice the heading “The Calling of the First Disciples.”

At the beginning of the Rotation, have the students follow along as you read Mathew 4:18-22. Towards the end of the Rotation, ask the students to tell you the story. Have them check their Bibles for accuracy.

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.

  • Ask: What were the names of some of the people that Jesus called? (Peter, Andrew, James, or John)
  • What jobs did they have? (they were fishermen)
  • What did Jesus ask them to do? (Come, follow me)
  • Does it seem like these men thought about Jesus’ request; did they say, I’ll let you know?

Say: No, they left their nets and their boats behind and got up and followed Jesus!

  • Ask: If you were someone who needed excellent students to be your disciples, would you choose the best of the best?

Say: So the choices that Jesus made for his disciples is surprising. Now let’s find a story about another follower of Jesus; another ordinary person that Jesus called to follow him.

Have the students find Matthew 9:9. Ask a student to read this verse.

  • Ask: What was Matthew’s job? (he was a tax collector)

What do you know about tax collectors in those days?

  • Ask students to turn to the next page in their Bibles (page 1062) and to read the “People in Bible Times” note about tax collectors. 


Say: So people didn’t like tax collectors.

  • Ask: Why do you suppose Jesus chose Matthew to be one of his disciples? 


Have the students read the “Did You Know” note on page 1063.

Say: Jesus’ disciples were students; they learned by hanging out with Jesus. We have heard two stories of Jesus calling his disciples – asking them to come and learn from him and to spread what they’ve learned to others. We had said before that we too could be disciples of Jesus.

  • Ask: How do we learn from Jesus? (by reading the Bible, by learning from each other, by prayer, by attending worship, etc.)

Say: Today we have some visitors with us. They will be telling us about their experiences as disciples of Jesus. Perhaps they have their own calling story to tell us.

The Storytellers take over:
The visitors can tell about themselves. If time allows, add your own calling story.

Discussion:


Ask:

  • Why did Jesus need disciples?
  • Does Jesus need us to be disciples for the same reasons?

Ask:

  • What did the disciples do when Jesus asked them to follow him? (immediately left everything to follow him)

  • What kinds of things did the disciples give up in order to follow Jesus? (time with their families, their jobs, for Matthew the extra money he had made before - the important thing is that they made following Jesus a priority in their life - they put that first!)

  • How can we follow Jesus today?
  • What specifically can we do? 

  • What might Jesus ask YOU to give up in order to follow him? 

  • How can we know what Jesus wants us to do? 


Closing:
Say: We've learned today about 12 special people that Jesus called to be his disciples and we’ve had the chance to hear about how people today are called to be disciples. The disciples’ in Jesus’ time had their lives changed by their relationship with Jesus. Our lives can be changed too.

Say: Let’s close with prayer.
If there is time, 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, Thank you for sending Jesus to teach us to be disciples. Help us to learn and to follow you more closely, so that others will learn of your great love for us. (End with everyone joining in on the Lord’s Prayer.) Amen.”

If you have extra time:
Take the students out to view the Bible time line. (Remind them not to touch the artwork!) Have them look for the artist’s depiction of disciples – Jesus washing the disciples feet at the Last Supper, and watching while Jesus heals someone.

Discuss how the disciples learned by spending time with Jesus. Review recent stories we’ve covered and what the disciples learned from Jesus:

  • Prodigal Son: that God is forgiving
  • Jesus and Peter walking on water: to have faith is important
  • Jesus healing Bartimaeus: that Jesus had God’s power; having faith is important


Discuss the picture of the disciples receiving the Holy Spirit.
Discuss if they think that it’s significant that the end of the wall is blank.
What picture would they see there? (Hint: perhaps something about each of us being disciples of Jesus?)

Poster’s note:
Why are we sending kids out to look at our timeline? Well, we are mighty proud of our time line! It is a work of art! For pictures view the artist's web site (Look under the “Murals” tab and scroll down to click on First United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor.)


Resources:


 

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: Storytelling Workshop." Sept. 2008. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>.

 

A representative from rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Jesus Calls Disciples

Cooking Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Students will make “fish-shaped pizza” to recall the significance of fishing in the calling of the disciples. Learn more about being a disciple and Jesus’ calling of the disciples. [Note: 1st – 3rd graders visited this workshop.]

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.
  • Learn the simple signs for the Key Verse in American Sign Language. (There are numerous YouTube videos - search for the key verse in ASL.)
  • Gather the following materials:


Supply List

  • Items in the kitchen -
    • Cookie sheets
    • Parchment paper
    • Spoons
    • Measuring cups (1/2 cup size)
    • Mixing bowls (one for each box of pizza dough mix)
    • Dish towels (one for each box of pizza dough mix)
    • Pizza cutter or sharp knife
    • Clean-up supplies

  • Items in pantry closet - Napkins, cups, plates

  • Items in refrigerator -
    • Mozzarella cheese, shredded
    • Black olives

  • The cooking “cart” with…

• A piece of paper with an Ichthys symbol 
• Aprons
• Story Bible – Read With Me Bible
• Pizza crust mix (Jiffy® brand recommended), 1 box for every 4 students  [Note: Allergy alert: Jiffy brand contains milk but no eggs.]
• Flour
• Pizza sauce, canned or jarred
• Pencils
• Kitchen timer
• Plastic food storage bags – sandwich-sized


On the day of class:

  • Write the key Bible verse with the scripture reference on the easel.
  • Become familiar with the use of the oven.
  • Prepare a pitcher of ice water for children to drink.
  • Wash the work table.
  • Have the mixing bowls, the boxes of pizza crust mix, spoons, and dish towels in the Social Hall. Also, have handy one of the wheeled carts.
  • In the Adventure Bible, bookmark Mathew 4:18 and Matthew 9:9.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.



Lesson Plan: Opening

Ichthys symbolDo:  Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Cooking Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults. Show the Ichthys symbol.

Ask: Can anyone tell me what this is? (accept a few responses)
Has anyone seen this on a car bumper?

Say:  This fish symbol has been used for almost 2000 years to identify someone who believed in Jesus.
Ask:  Why do you suppose it’s appropriate that a fish is a symbol of someone who follows Jesus?

Say:  Some of the original disciples of Jesus were fishermen. Even to this day, people use this sign of a fish when they want to show that they are Christians – such as on a car bumper sticker. Today we are going to work together, just as Jesus’ disciples did, while we make fish-shaped pizzas! We will be talking about how Jesus asked some fishermen to come and be his disciples.

[Note: The class will mix up the pizza crust first, and read the Bible story while the dough is "standing." Then the class will finish making their pizzas, followed by more discussion and eating!]

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
Say:  First we will mix up some pizza crust dough.

Do:  Distribute mixing bowls and boxes of Jiffy mix. (Use one box for every 4 students.)
Mix each box separately so it’s easier to distribute to the students. Ask a couple of students to open the boxes and put the mix into a bowl. Add ½ cup of hot tap water for each bowl.
Take turns mixing the dough.

Do:  After the dough is mixed, cover each bowl with a dish towel. Place the bowls on the metal cart and ask the Shepherd to wheel them into the kitchen to park it by the stove. Explain that the dough needs to rise in a warm place for a few minutes. While waiting, read the Bible story.

Ask:  If we want to read something that Jesus did, where would we find it – in the Old Testament or the New Testament of the Bible? (in the New Testament)

Say:  We find stories about what Jesus did in the New Testament in a section we call the Gospels. The word “Gospel” means “good news.” Jesus teaches us the good news about God’s love for us. Today we will be reading a story from the Gospel of Matthew.

For 3rd graders (and up):

Do: 
Distribute Bibles. Have the students find Matthew 4:18. Teach them the quick way to find the New Testament. When everyone has found the passage, ask them to close the Bibles. Read to them Mathew 4:18-22 and Matthew 9:9.

For 1st and 2nd graders:

Do:  Show them the pictures as you read pages 290-294 of the Read With Me Bible.
Point out the Ichthys symbol on pages 290 and 291.


For all students:
Say: When we are done reading our Bible story we are going to say what is said in church after the scripture is read. Be ready to say “thanks be to God!”... For the Word of God in scripture, for the Word of God among us, for the Word of God within us,
The class says: Thanks be to God!

Say: Let’s go to the kitchen to make some fish shaped pizza.

In the Kitchen:
Wash your hands first, and then have everyone else wash their hands. Offer aprons.

Do:  Give each pair of students a piece of parchment, about eight inches long. Ask them to use the pencils to write their names on the edge of the parchment.

Distribute to each pair of students one-third of a batch of dough. Have the students work together to shape their dough (on the parchment) into a fish shape. The easiest way will be to press the dough into the shape of a fish using their fingers. (Offer flour if things get sticky.) The final shape should be similar to the Christian fish symbol, but with a wider connection between the body and tail sections.

Have each pair spread pizza sauce over their fish, using the back of a spoon.
Sprinkle shredded mozzarella over the pizza sauce. Add a black olive slice for the eye, and a sliver of black olive for the mouth.

Put the parchment with their pizzas on cookie sheets. Bake according to pizza crust directions -- 18-20 minutes at 425 degrees -- for the Jiffy brand. Ask the Shepherd to watch the pizzas. They may cook faster with the convection oven and because they are smaller in size.

Have students wash their hands and return to the Social Hall.

Discussion:
Say:  Let’s talk more about the story we heard while our pizzas are cooking.
[Note: Be sure to set the timer! Once the pizzas are cooked, the children can eat their creations while the group finishes this discussion, with each pair of children sharing & eating the pizza that they made. Cut each fish pizza lengthwise into two halves and enjoy.]

Ask:  Who can tell me what the story was about?  (This is a chance for the children to tell the story in their own words - a few children may want to chime in with thoughts. Here are some questions that you can ask the children to trigger their retelling of the story...)

  • Where did this story take place? (By the sea, or by the Sea of Galilee)
  • What were the men doing when Jesus walked by? (working at fishing or being a tax collector)
  • What does Jesus say to them? (Come, follow me)
  • What did all of them do when Jesus asked them to follow him? (left what they were doing to follow Jesus)


Ask:
  Does it seem like these men thought about Jesus’ request? To Jesus’ request to follow him did they say, “I’ll let you know?”

Say:  No, they left their nets and their boats and got up and followed Jesus! They had probably heard of Jesus or knew about him, but still they left behind everything to be a disciple of Jesus.

Ask:  What does it mean to be a disciple?

Say:  A disciple is a follower, or a learner. Jesus was asking them to join him so that he could teach him. A “call” is how Jesus asked them to come be with him. Jesus called 12 ordinary people from many, many followers to be his 12 special disciples. These are the 12 disciples that we sometimes hear about. Jesus had many other followers too, men and women, who were also his disciples.

Ask:  What do you think Jesus and his disciples did together? 

Say:  Jesus spent a lot of time together with his disciples – they were special to him, just like our families are to us. They did things that we do with our families – they ate together, had fun together, talked, prayed, and learned, like we learn from our parents and teachers. Jesus gave his disciples special training – he taught them lots about God and what God is like - so they could go out and share the Good News of God’s love with others. One way they did that was to help people and to be kind to them, because one of the best ways that we can show God’s love to the world is to love other people, even when it is hard to do.

Ask:  In what ways can we be Jesus’ disciples today? (Accept all sorts of responses – such as: help people, pray, pick up litter, learn from our teachers)

Say:  We are Jesus’ disciples when we…

  • Learn about Jesus and God
  • Help others and treat people the way they would want to be treated
  • Show God our love and respect for him by worshiping, like at church
  • Read the Bible and other stories about Jesus and God
  • Pray
  • Take good care of the earth


Ask: 
Do you remember what the disciples left behind when they went to follow Jesus? (4 of the disciples left fishing, of whom 2 – James and John - left their father; 1 disciple left tax collecting)

Say:  Sometimes when we choose to follow Jesus’ call to be a disciple, we have to make hard choices. It must have been hard for James and John to leave their father. They probably didn’t know when they would see him again. They knew that Jesus would be traveling all over and might not come back the same way again, because that’s what he did as a teacher. They had to leave behind their jobs, and at least in the case of James and John, their family.

Ask:  What are ways that it’s hard for us to be disciples today? (Do we treat other people nicely, even when they are mean to us? Do we choose to pray to God or do we choose to do whatever we want? Those are a couple of hard choices that we as disciples will have to deal with. What will we choose to do?)

Closing:

Do:  Gather the students together to close in 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, thank you that Jesus takes me and loves me just as I am. When I walk with Jesus and try to be like him, I am one of his disciples. Jesus teaches all of his disciples to pray the Lord’s Prayer…(end with everyone joining in on the Lord’s Prayer.) Amen.

If you have extra time: Work on learning the Key Bible Verse.
Tell the children that we will be learning the verse using sign language. Read the verse to the children once, then slowly while using American Sign Language.

Show them the verse with the hand signs a couple of times, then ask them to join you in saying the verse with the signs.


Resources:

Read With Me Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1993.


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

Photo of Ichthys symbol from Wikimedia Commons (in the Public Domain).

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 

Jesus Calls Disciples

Games Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Review the names of the disciples by playing a concentration-type matching game. This game will have double learning because in order to turn over cards kids also have to answer story questions.

No sense taking up space to repeat fine lessons that are here at this site. We put together our games lesson by cutting and pasting from the following:


Note: If you really want my lesson, email me.

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: http://www.aslpro.com/cgi-bin/aslpro/aslpro.cgi 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.


Presentation

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 https://www.rotation.org/topic...ian-church-nevada-mo (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. 


Closing:
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.


Resources:


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 Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Note: The remaining workshops posted here were used in 2002 when we first did this Rotation. I am leaving this here in case it would be useful to someone. Please note that these workshops used different Bible references than the workshops posted above, which were used in 2008.

Games Workshop

The Call of the Disciples

Summary of Lesson Activities:
Play a variety of games that reinforce the concepts of being called, fishing, and leaving everything behind to follow Jesus.

Scripture References:

Luke 5:1-11, Matthew 9:9, Luke 6:12-13


Key Verse:

Matthew 4:19 "Come, follow me and I will make you fish for people"

Workshop Objectives: Children will learn:

  • The story of how Jesus called his disciples
  • That Jesus called 12 disciples out of a larger group of followers
  • That Jesus called ordinary people
  • The significance of leaving everything to follow Jesus.
  • That Jesus calls us to be disciples today.

    Note: The children in our program are called "Sunday's Cool Disciples". Each grade group is named after a Disciple.
    This is more material than can be covered in 45 minutes. I like to give teachers options.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Prepare an opening and/or closing prayer in case you need one.
  • Gather the materials

Supplies List:

  • Scissors (one)
  • Two colors of masking tape. Use a Sharpie marker to write the key
    verse on each color of tape. (Leave space between words, as the tape will be cut into pieces based on how many kids you have.)
  • "Life-size" game board (different color 8 inch squares sewn onto queen size sheet), die, and game cards (4 per student)
  • Magnetic fishing game
  • Lindvall, Ella K. Read-Aloud Bible Stories vol. 2. Chicago, Moody Press, 1985.
  • The Beginners Bible. Zondervan, 1989.


Presentation

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet your students warmly by their disciple group name. (Each grade is named after a disciple, for example: 4th grade is "Peter".) Introduce yourself and any other adults. Since it's September, start the class with introductions.

Tell students: today we'll be hearing about how Jesus called twelve special friends to follow him and be his disciples. First, let's begin 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. A suggestion: "Dear God,
Help us to learn more about Jesus. Especially help us to understand what it means to follow Jesus today. Amen"

Pass around a basket to collect any offering.
[Note: The Shepherd will be taking care of attendance, nametags, and any visitor cards; This can all happen quietly while you are starting your lesson.]

Dig- Main Content and Reflection:
Say: Before we play some games let's read our Bible stories. Disciples are talked about a lot in the Bible. We're going to read stories from three places. When we read stories about Jesus we find them in the New Testament. Our first story is in Luke.

For older students (3rd grade and up):
Help the kids find Luke, chapter 5, verses 1 through 11, in their Bibles.
Remember to encourage kids to bring their own Bibles.
Have the students take turns reading out loud.

For younger students (1st and 2nd grade):
Read the story starting on page 7 of "Read-Aloud Bible Stories".
(This is a book written for preschoolers. I suggest not doing the sound effects to help bring the book up to the age of 1st and 2nd graders.)
Stop reading on page 33 (notice I have changed the wording to say "fish for people".)
Leave the book open to page 33, continuing to show the picture to the kids.

For all students:
Ask: What amazing thing happened in this story? (they had fished all night & not caught anything but when Jesus told them to put down the nets, they caught a lot of fish!)

Say: There's another amazing thing that happened in this story.
(Ask older kids to look at verse 11. Do they read anything amazing about verse 11?)

Say: The other amazing thing is the fishermen left everything and followed Jesus! They had just caught a huge catch of fish and they left it - to follow Jesus! They were obviously amazed by the power of Jesus. In the Bible the fishermen are identified as Simon Peter, James and John. All three of them became disciples of Jesus.

  • Ask: At the end of the story, what does Jesus tell the fishermen? (they'll catch or fish for people)

Say: This month we are all trying to learn a Bible verse for this story. The verse we have chosen is: "Come, follow me and I will make you fish for people". (The verse is from Matthew's version of this story). Let’s all say the Bible verse together: "Come, follow me and I will make you fish for people".
Say: Later we'll talk about what it means to fish for people.

Say: Now let's read another story, this time in Matthew. Remember the New Testament starts off with Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – so Matthew is at the very beginning of the New Testament. This is another story; it's very short, about someone who left everything to follow Jesus.

For older students (3rd grade and up):
Help the kids find Matthew, chapter 9, verse 9 in their Bibles. Then have one student read the verse out loud.

For younger students (1st and 2nd grade):
Read the story on page 318 of "The Beginners Bible". (Show the picture on 318 as you read the story.)

For all students:

  • Ask: So what kind of person did Jesus call to follow him in this story? (a tax collector)
  • Do you know anything about tax collectors in Bible times? (tax collectors were not liked because they cheated the people)
  • Ask: If you were a tax collector would it be hard to leave behind all that money?

Say: Matthew did leave behind the money; He got up and followed Jesus. We know that Matthew became a disciple of Jesus.

Say: We have read two stories about individual disciples being invited to follow Jesus - they are: Simon Peter, James, John, and Matthew. I'm going to tell you our next Bible story. It is from Luke's gospel, chapter 6. In this story Jesus names twelve disciples.

Teacher Note: Rather than read from a Bible, please tell this story. We'd like the children to understand a bit of the background to this story, which is written into this telling. Use the wording below:

For all students: Luke 6: 12-13 (paraphrased)

Jesus had been traveling about, teaching the people about God. Many crowds of people wanted to see Jesus! They had heard about how Jesus healed people. Jesus realized he needed help; there were just so many people! So he went up a mountain and he spent the night praying. The next day Jesus, called all his disciples (a big crowd of followers) and he chose twelve of them to be his apostles. Apostles are special messengers. The twelve apostles would not only follow Jesus, they would also help teach and heal people. Jesus listed the names of his twelve apostles:
Simon, whom he called Peter, James and his brother John (the sons of Zebedee), Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot.

  • Ask: Why did Jesus need disciples? (needed them to help him do his work)

What types of people did Jesus choose as his disciples? (fishermen, tax collector)
Say: Jesus chose ordinary people. He didn't choose important religious leaders. Why do you think Jesus chose the people he did? (allow all answers)

Teacher Note: Choose from among the following games depending on how much time is available. Leave about 5 minutes for the Closing Discussion.

Game 1: Tag
Say: Now let's play a game that is like Tag.

Divide the class into two groups. Choose one person from each group to be it; they are the "nets". The rest of the kids are "fish". Give the "fish" pieces of masking tape prepared ahead of time (see Leader Preparation). Have them stick the masking tape to their shirt. Give all the kids ("fish") in one group the same color of masking tape. ("Nets" don’t get tape.)

Designate two corners of the room as "boats", one for each team. The "net" tries to tag fish in the other group. (Trying to tag members of the other group so there is some incentive to trying not to be tagged.) If tagged a fish must go to the boat and stay there. Once all fish from a team are in the boat, the net will arrange them in a line in Bible verse order. (Example: Someone with the word "fish" on their tape would come before someone with "for people".) "Come, follow me and I will make you fish for people". A team wins when their net gets all the other team's fish in the correct order. Have everyone say the verse.

Teacher Note: For this game, you and the shepherds will have to help the 1st and 2nd graders to put the verse together in correct order.

Game 2: Following Jesus
Say: In this game we are going to be the playing pieces on a giant game board. This game is called "Following Jesus".

Ask all the students to take off their shoes. Spread out the game board on the carpet. Pass out a four game cards to each student. Have the student with the birthday closest to Christmas, start.

To play: roll the die and move themselves along the game board according to their roll. (Can start at either end of the board). There can be more than one child on the same square.

When someone lands on a Red Square, they give up one of their game cards. (They can trade game cards with other students if they want but must give one up every time they land on a red square.) Have the student tell everyone what they are giving up. Repeat what they said as in the following example: "Roger is giving up a video game to follow Jesus".

Hint: Keep the game moving along. End the game if the kids seem bored with it or someone gives up all their cards. (The player who "loses" all his tokens wins. They have left everything behind to follow Jesus.)
At the end Say: Just like the disciples did, we were giving things up to follow Jesus.

Additional option for older kids: If it seems like you have a lot of extra time: have the kids create the game cards before starting the game – writing down 4 things they value. (Use blank 3 x 5 cards).

Game 3: Jesus Fishes for ...
Say: This game is like musical chairs except without the music.

Arrange the chairs so there are one less seats than there are kids. Start off the game with the extra person (you) in the middle. Tell the kids that instead of music, the person in the middle will be saying something like: "Jesus fishes for people wearing blue shoes". Everyone with blue shoes must then switch seats with someone else wearing blue shoes. The extra person is trying to get a seat too. Whoever is left standing will be the next one in the middle. He or she will then say, "Jesus fishes for people. . ." and will name something else. For example: wearing green, with brown hair, who like soccer, who like math, etc.
Stop playing when it seems the game is getting old. Say: We can see that Jesus really is fishing for all of us, no matter what we wear, what we look like, or who we are. Jesus loves all of us and wants us all to follow him.

Game 4: Fishing Game

Say: In this game we'll learn about being followers of Jesus.

Spread the fish on the carpet. Pass out fishing poles (with magnets on them). Have kids take turns "fishing" for one of the fish shapes (that have paper clips on them). Written on the fish are statements that help or don't help us to be followers of Jesus. When the kids catch a fish, have them hand it to you (younger kids) ) so you can read what it says out loud, or read it themselves out loud (older kids). Then have them tell the group if the fish is a "keeper" or not. (A keeper is something that shows they are following Jesus.)

Closing:
Leave at least 5 minutes at the end for closing.

When it is time to wrap up Say: In closing, we have learned about Jesus calling his disciples to fish for people. What do you think it means to fish for people? (allow all answers). What are some things you can do this week to help you follow Jesus?

Ask the kids to help clean up, putting away Bibles and any supplies.
Encourage everyone to come back next week for another workshop, and to invite friends to come too!


References and Thanks:

  • Many thanks to Joyce at New Windsor Presbyterian Church who had the idea for the "Following Jesus" game and described to me their life-size game board.
  • Also thanks to Jaymie Derden at State Street United Methodist Church Bristol, Virginia-Tennessee for the ideas for the last two games below.
  • Big Book of Bible Games. Ventura, CA: Gospel Light, 1996.

A lesson written by Carol Hulbert for First United Methodist Church

Ann Arbor, MI 

Copyright 2002 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

 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

 

The Call of the Disciples

Music/Movement Workshop: 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Use song to learn the names of the disciples. Use music and movement to reinforce the story. 

Scripture Reference:

Mark 3: 7-19

Key Verse:

Matthew 4:19 “Come, follow me and I will make you fish for people”

Workshop Objectives: Children will learn:

  • That Jesus called 12 disciples out of a larger group of followers, which included women.
  • To understand the terms: call, disciple, and (for 3rd grade & up) apostle
  • The names of the 12 disciples
  • That Jesus calls us to be disciples today.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Prepare an opening and/or closing prayer in case you need one.
  • Gather the materials.

Supplies List:

  • Bibles
  • Sashes or headdresses (one per student) - strips of fabric with names of disciples written on them.
  • For older students: Recording and sheet music for The Twelve Apostles by Kim Thompson, Karen Hilderbrand, and Hal Wright. Twin Sisters Productions, Inc. 2000. Enlarge the lyrics and cut them apart line by line.
  • Ribbon sticks: dowel with ribbon or crepe paper attached at the top.


Presentation

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Teach the song I Will Make You Fishers of People
[Note that we used “people” instead of the word “men” in the song. Hear this song, and see the words, at http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/i119.html

Recite the memory verse with animation and enthusiasm. Have the children repeat. Then say: “Jesus first spoke these words to four ordinary, hard working fishermen. He asked them to drop their fishing nets and to be his followers, messengers, and friend. Jesus wants us to be his disciples as well. In the book of Isaiah chapter 43:1 , it says ‘ I have called you by name, you are mine.’ Jesus calls each of us today.”

To each child say, “Come (______), follow me and I will make you a fisher of people.” (This will help you learn their names.)

Scripture Study
Sit in circle. Have children open their bibles to Mark 3:7-19. Begin reading aloud. (Read the story to younger students.) In verses 7-8 point out that the crowds following him came from far and near and included people of all ages (young and old) and men and WOMEN. In verse 14 we are introduced to the word “apostle”. Discuss how it is different from “disciple”. (Disciple is a follower or learner. Apostle is a person who is sent, a messenger, or representative.) How were the apostles messengers for Jesus? (preachers, writers, healers) Explain how Jesus chose them to “be with him”- in other words to be his companions and friends. Ask the children about the importance and role of their friends in their lives.

When you get to the verses where the disciples are named – with each name read - tie a sash or “headdress” labeled with a different disciples’ name on each one, around the head of a child – appointing them one of the 12 disciples.

Dig- Main Content and Reflection:
Activity: Teach and sing song The Apostles (to the tune of Jesus Loves Me). Have the appropriate disciple stand when their name is sung (the name on their sash).

The Apostles (to the tune of Jesus Loves Me)

Jesus called them one by one,
Peter, Andrew, James and John
Next came Phillip, Thomas too
Matthew and Bartholomew.

(chorus) Yes, Jesus called them,
Yes, Jesus called them,
Yes, Jesus called them,
He called them one by one.

James, the one they called the less,
Simon also Thadaeus
Twelfth apostle Judas made
Jesus was by him betrayed.

(chorus)

Activity: Lyric Strips – used only for older students (4th-6th)
Shuffle the prepared strips of lyrics, and distribute them to students at random. As students hear their lines, they come to the front of the room with their lyric strips and stand in order. (Note: you may need to keep a finger on the “pause” button to give students time to approach the font of the room.) When the entire song is represented along the front of the room, play the recording once again, so that students can check their position. (Note: This song has a repeating refrain so only distribute one set of refrain lyrics. Every time the refrain repeats after verses, the students holding the refrain lyrics must migrate to their new place down the line. This is where the fun comes in!)

Activity: Finger Play/Song – used for younger students (also appropriate for preschoolers).
Using the song Come Follow Me sung to the tune of Pop Goes the Weasel, add appropriate simple actions. Find the words the words and the finger play at:
https://childrensministry.com/come-follow-me/

Leader begins singing and doing the motions alone then invites children to join on the actions and later to join in the tune. After a couple times, bring out a ribbon stick to replace some of the actions (movement on word “sea”, “fishermen”, and “come).

Continue with the song and pass out ribbon sticks to children. Workshop leader shifts to singing I will make you fishers of people (song used at beginning of workshop). Invite children to stand and form a line. Sing the song while moving around the room, moving the sticks to the music. You can change leaders and various movements of the sticks.

Additional Activity if needed: Be leaders and followers, brainstorming ideas for movement as well as ideas for how we can be disciples in our world today.
Use the song Walk and Follow by Faith L. Johnson (Copyright 1988 Jenson Publications, Inc.) Sing one verse of the song to the class and then ask them for some ideas as to how we can be disciples today. Sing the song, changing the style of movement and leader with each verse.

Lesson Poster’s Note: to give you an idea of how this song works (without violating copyright laws), a verse might go: Come on walk, walk, walk and follow me… Other ideas to replace “walk” might be words like “skip” or “jump”, or ways to be disciples: Love the Lord, or Shout Amen or Spread God’s Love, or Live in Peace.

Closing:
Review the song The Apostles and memory verse. Close with prayer. Take any prayer requests and volunteers who may want to pray. Tell children: “Remember, Jesus knows you by name and has called each of you to be his disciple. Now go out and make disciples.” Send them off singing “I Will Make You Fishers of People.”


Resources:


 

A lesson written by S. McDermid and L. Eliason from: First United Methodist Church
Ann Arbor, MI

 A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

The Call of the Disciples

Video Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:
View video clips of Jesus calling his disciples. All groups will watch the first video listed below. On week 1, the 5th grade will also watch the second video listed. For weeks two through four we may try to use a video made in the Drama Workshop on 9/8.

 

  • "Jesus Teaches and Calls Disciple"s from Children’s Hero’s of the Bible, # 8 Vision Video, 1986.
  • "Jesus" from the CBS mini-series (2 tapes, use tape #2), Trimark Pictures, 2000. (Please note: some portions of these two videos are NOT appropriate for young children).

Scripture References:

John 1:35-42, John 1:43-46, Luke 5:1-11, Mark 3: 13-19 (in order as seen in the videos)


Workshop Objectives: Children will learn:

  • The terms “call” and “disciple”
  • The story of how Jesus called his disciples, including the selection of fishermen
  • That these disciples left everything to follow Jesus
  • That Jesus had many other disciples including women
  • That Jesus calls us to be disciples today.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Prepare an opening and/or closing prayer in case you need one.

Supplies List:

  • The videos listed above
  • An easel with paper
  • A TV/VCR will have been reserved for your workshop

    Note: The children in our program are called “Sunday’s Cool Disciples”. Each grade group is named after a Disciple.


Presentation

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet your students warmly by their disciple group name. (Each grade is named after a disciple, for example: 4th grade is “Peter”.) Introduce yourself and any other adults. Since it’s September, start the class with introductions.

Tell students: today we’ll be watching a video about Jesus and how he asked people to follow him and be his helpers. First, let’s start 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. A suggestion: “Dear God, Thank you for everyone who is here today. Help us to learn about Jesus and his disciples. Help us to follow Jesus too. Amen”

Pass around a basket to collect any offering.
[Note: The Shepherd will be taking care of attendance, nametags, and any visitor cards; This can all happen quietly while you are starting your lesson.]

Dig- Main Content and Reflection:
Say: We’ll be watching a couple of short videos on Jesus calling his disciples. 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 his disciples to follow him.

  • Ask: What is a disciple? (Answer: We think of a “disciple” as one of the twelve original Disciples of Christ. Also say that in a more general sense, it means a follower or a person who is learning from someone else.)


Say: Jesus called, or invited, special people to be his followers – to travel with him, to learn from him, to be his disciples.

  • Ask: Can you tell me the names of any of Jesus’ twelve disciples, the ones that we usually think of when we say “disciples”? (Try to see if they can name them: Simon (Peter), James, John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, Thaddaeus, Simon (the zealot), and Judas Iscariot.)

(Hopefully in the latter part of the rotation, kids will do better at this request. Don’t dwell on it if they don’t know all the names.)

  • Ask: What about women, were there any women disciples of Jesus during Bible times? (Yes) If we go back to our looser definition of what disciple meant, a person who is learning from someone else, that would include women. Mary and Martha were two sisters who were followers of Jesus. Remember that when people say “disciples of Jesus” they mostly think of the twelve men, but Jesus did have women who were his followers.
  • Ask: What about us today – are we disciples? (Yes! Even today Jesus calls us to be his disciples.)

Say: Everyone in Sunday’s Cool this year are the “Sunday’s Cool Disciples”. Did you all know that you are not only the x grade class, but that your group has a name? Do you know what your disciple group name is? (your disciple group is ***) Your class is named after a disciple of Jesus to help us remember that you are disciples of Jesus too.

Say: In Bible times one of the things disciples of Jesus did, was to learn from Jesus. A lot of their learning was from Jesus telling stories. We have those stories written down for us in the Bible. We can learn to be disciples of Jesus when we read stories about Jesus and watch movies about Jesus. When we read stories about Jesus, we find them in the New Testament of our Bible.

Teacher Note: At this point follow the lesson plan based on grade you have (select correct box). Sometimes additional material for older kids is included in a box. In that case, for younger kids just skip to lesson material below that box.

For older students (3rd grade and up):
Pass out Bibles. Have the kids find John, chapter 1, verse 35 in their Bibles.

Note: If they are struggling with finding John, remind them about the quick way to the New Testament: Open the Bible at its halfway point. Take the back half and divide it in half – they will be at the beginning of the New Testament.

Write “Andrew” & “Simon Peter” on the easel paper. As you are doing so,
Say: This Bible story is about Andrew and Simon Peter. This story also mentions John,
but the John in this story is John the Baptist. John the Baptist preached about God. He
said God would send a Messiah. John the Baptist had followers or disciples. In this story,
Andrew is a disciple of John the Baptist before he becomes a disciple of Jesus.

Say: Before we read this story, what stories do you know about how Andrew and Simon Peter became disciples of Jesus? (accept all answers)
Say: This story in the Gospel of John is a different version about how they met Jesus.

Have kids take turns reading out loud, verses 35 – 42. (Make sure they leave their Bibles open when they’re done.)

  • Ask: Was that story different than what you’ve heard, about how Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew became disciples? (accept all answers)

Say: Let’s also read the story of Jesus calling two more disciples – Philip and Nathanael.

Have kids take turns reading out loud verses 43 – 46. Write “Philip” and “Nathanael” on the easel paper.

For younger students (1st and 2nd grade):
Hold open a Bible to John. Tell the students the story using your own words or use this story:

The Jewish people had been waiting a long time for God to send the promised Messiah to save them. John the Baptist was a preacher who talked about this Messiah. One day John the Baptist saw Jesus and said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” That was John’s way of saying, “There’s the Messiah!”
Andrew heard what John said. Andrew decided to go with Jesus and learn
more about him. So Andrew spent a day with Jesus and he was very excited! Jesus was the Messiah! Andrew couldn’t wait to tell his brother, Simon Peter, that he had found the Messiah.

Say: Andrew and Simon Peter both became disciples of Jesus. Now I want to tell you another Bible story about two more men who became disciples of Jesus.

Jesus had asked Philip to follow him and be his disciple. “Follow me,” Jesus said. Philip wanted his friend Nathanael to also follow Jesus. “He is the Messiah we have been waiting for –Jesus of Nazareth,” Philip said. Nathanael was not so sure.
“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see”, Philip answered.

For all students:
Ask: What was it that Jesus said to Philip? (follow me, verse 43). A simple follow me.
So Philip and Nathanael both became disciples of Jesus.

Say: Let’s watch the first video clip. Listen for the names of the disciples in this story.

Showing video clip #1: Start the first video (“Children’s Heroes of the Bible). Start at the beginning and play about 2 minutes. Stop after Nathanael says, “I’m afraid you’ll all see how mistaken you are about your Messiah…” (before the wedding at Cana story).

Ask: What disciples did we learn about in that video? (Andrew telling Simon about finding the Messiah, and Peter talking to Nathanael.) But wait, in our Bible story, who told Nathanael about Jesus? (Philip, check back to the Bible if need be.)
Say: It’s a good idea when you’re watching videos to check and see if they got the story right.

Teacher Note: It is perfectly ok to rewind a video to show a clip over again if you think the students didn’t “get it”.

For older students (3rd grade and up):
Ask: In that video was Nathanael excited about seeing Jesus? (no) What was it he said about Jesus’ hometown Nazareth? (roughly: Can anything good come from Nazareth?)
Why do you suppose the Bible would include a story about someone like Nathanael who was unsure about following Jesus? (accept all answers) We can learn from the Bible that it’s ok if we have doubts. We can also learn that Nathanael did come to believe in Jesus and became a disciple of Jesus.

For all students:
Say: Now let’s watch another part of this tape. This is a story from the gospel of Luke in the Bible. We won’t take the time to read this story we’ll just watch it since this video tells the Bible story correctly.

Showing video clip #2: Fast-forward the tape to where the two men say, “What kind of man is he?” (This is after Jesus has been rejected by his hometown.) You can say that you are skipping stories we will learn about some other time.
Show about four minutes of video on the “big catch of fish/ fishers of men” story (from Luke 5:1-11). Stop when the story ends at the still picture of an empty boat (with dramatic music), about 4 minutes.

  • Ask: What happened in that video clip? (allow all answers)
  • Ask: In that story, whom did Jesus “call” to be his disciples? (Simon Peter, Andrew, James, and John)

(For 3rd grade and up: add “James” and “John” to the easel paper.)

  • Ask: All those fish in their nets, that was really a miracle wasn’t it?
  • What happened when Jesus asked the fishermen to follow him? (they said they’d follow Jesus)
  • Who wasn’t happy about them following Jesus? (Zebedee, the father of James & John)
  • Why was he not happy? (allow all answers)
  • So to follow Jesus did that mean they had to leave behind their family?(They even left behind a big catch of fish!)
  • What do you suppose Jesus meant when he said they’d be “fishers of men”? (allow all answers)


Say: Jesus had new work for the fishermen to do. He needed them to learn how to tell other people about Jesus; he needed them to fish for people.
What about us – we are disciples of Jesus, do we fish for people? (allow all answers- try to get them to give an example that applies to their lives)

Showing video clip #3: Eject the tape currently in the VCR. Put in tape #2 of the CBS Jesus mini-series. As you do, Say: Let’s watch another very different video. This video also depicts a Bible story about Jesus.
Show the clip of Jesus naming the twelve disciples. (The scene is just after Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus have finished their conversation.) Start where Jesus is on the shore with a small crowd on the beach. Stop after the “group hug”; about 4 minutes.

  • Ask: What did you see in that video? (allow all answers)

Say: All those people on the beach were followers of Jesus. Did you see that some of them were women?

  • Ask: Did you hear Jesus telling his twelve disciples, “Take nothing with you”?

Jesus was asking them to leave everything behind and follow him. Do you think that would be hard to leave everything behind? (allow all answers)

If you find yourself with extra time: Rewind clip # 3 and show it again. Ask kids if they noticed anything new.

Closing:
When it is time to wrap up, Say: we have learned about Jesus calling his disciples. Jesus calls us to be disciples too. Let’s all say together the Bible verse that talks about fishing for people:

(Have the kids repeat with you the key verse from Matthew 4:19): “Come, follow me and I will make you fish for people” (Say this together at least twice.)

Say: A good way to fish for people is to come back next week and invite your friends!

 


Some additional notes: I'm not really that happy with the choice of videos but couldn't find anything else to use. The Vision video is older and thus it's "graphics" are out-dated. The "Jesus" video is good. It does include the Luke 5:1-11 story which could be used instead. Watch out though: portions of this 2 video set are just not appropriate for young kids. It would have been nice to show the part of that video that depicts what people in those days thought of tax collectors, but it includes a scene where someone gets their head chopped off!


A lesson from: First United Methodist Church

Ann Arbor, MI 

 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

 

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