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Editor's Note:

John 3:16 is arguably the most memorized verse in the Bible, and as such, often doesn't get taught as a separate lesson to children in many Sunday Schools. Instead, it is often taught and discussed in other teaching opportunities, such as memorization games and Confirmation class work.  As well, tends to collect and create lesson plans about stories and not single verses. That said, we do have some good ideas for John 3:16, and here's one of them in response to member NCSue's request for lesson help.

We doing a unit on Love God, Love People and we started with the Greatest Commandment  scripture from Matthew 22:34-39 and then tying other scriptures with it (i.e. I Cor. 13:4-8a). Now, I want to tie John 3:16 to the idea that God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to us.

We did one lesson from the Writing Team's John 3 Nicodemus story to introduce the idea. Other ideas for John 3:16?

Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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Hi MaryAnn,

Glad you like the Nic at Night lessons here at!

Here's a  John 3:16  "God So Loved the World" decoupage globe & prayer jar project for you.

Decoupage is the art of decorating an object by gluing pieces of paper or tissue paper to it. When you glue tissue paper to a clear surface, it can look like stained glass.

You can glue colored tissue onto clear transparency sheets to create a "stained glass" message/image that can hang in the window. And you can glue tissue to round clear jars or fishbowls to create "functional art" --prayer jars, cookie jars, etc. (Below in my follow up post you can see an image of a decoupaged canister that we made for a lesson about the Visit of the Magi.)

It's an easy medium for all ages the materials are inexpensive, and it's very hands-on.

Other than the clear plastic container, all you need is a bunch of colored tissue paper and Mod Podge craft decoupaging glue (available everywhere). Mod Podge dries with a nice hard glossy finish. Tip: tear the tissue paper into pieces before you get glue on your hands.

Writing verses on the object is usually best done BEFORE you decoupage. You can sometimes write directly on the plastic with a permanent pen. You can also write on a strip of tissue and then glue it on the INSIDE of the plastic object, then decoupaging on the outside of the jar/bowl -without covering up the verse strip.  Putting it on the inside keeps that piece of tissue from smudging.

If your plastic decoupaged object is a container, you then have the option to consider WHAT PUT IN THE CONTAINER. Putting in slips that have Bible verses on them, like John 3:16,  turns your container into a "Bible memory verse of the day" jar. Putting action statements (life applications) into the jar turns it into a great daily tool for life application. I've made jars that have things for families to think about and do each day or talk about around the table.

Here's a mock-up of what the "earth fishbowl" could look like with a cross added.  I suppose the "world" could have been decoupaged in the shape of a heart. I like the idea of using an image of the world because that word is in John 3:16 and it fits with your "love others" (all around the world) theme. I suppose you could substitute a manger for the cross as your "gave us his only son" symbol.


Small plastic craft "fishbowls" can be bought at a variety of online retailers like Amazon for about $1.50 - $2.00 each in quantities of 6 or more.  Having a few left over for other projects and art material storage isn't a bad idea either. Plastic peanut butter jars work too if you can get people to collect them for you.


Hope this helps.



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Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Awesome. Please share photos and lesson feedback.
I'll move this idea into our Lesson Forum.

I really do like decoupage projects! Very hands-on, age-adaptable, and lots of room for self-expression.   Here's one I posted for a "Lenten Journey" lesson based on a decoupage art project our Writing Team did for Psalm 8 "When I Look to the Heavens" (seen below). The "tips" in those lessons might be helpful to you, especially if you've never glued color tissue before with kids.


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  • Psalm 8 decoupage art project

Here's a music video mashup created for Sunday School by Neil at

The song in the video is "You Love Me Anyway" and the scenes are from the 2014 Son of God movie, plus scenes of the Sidewalk Prophets in concert.

The video's visuals and lyrics speak to the love that God sent into the world, a love that came to forgive all and and a love that reaches out to each person individually as well.  You can look up the lyrics to the song on google. Use it as an opener or reflection piece.

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