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

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

This topic is for posting your music, movement and motion ideas and lessons for teaching about Jesus calling the Disciples, Following Jesus, etc.

Some key "Call of the Disciples" stories:

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

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

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

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

 Visit the Music & Movement Workshop Forum for many ideas and links about teaching with music and movement.

Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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Where you go, I'll gofollowme
Where you stay, I'll stay
When you move, I'll move
I will follow

Chris Tomlin, the super popular Christian singer-songwriter, has a great song titled "I Will Follow" whose lyrics lend themselves to being "mimed" in a "follow the leader" -type exercise

See the music video and link to it below.

How to Play "I Will Follow" -the leader:

  1. IWillFollow-graphicHave the kids pair up and face each other, forming two rows that are facing each other. One row has it's back to the board/flipchart where the lyrics are posted. The other row can see the lyrics.
  2. The teacher stands near the flipchart so they can see it. They lead the motions so that one row of kids can see them doing it and follow them, but the row of kids with their back to the lyrics and the teacher can only follow the row of kids who CAN see the teacher.
  3. Have the words to the song written on flip chart pages, or the board, or projected on the wall so that only the teacher and the row of kids facing the lyrics can see them.
  4. How do you come up with the motions?  You do that as part of your Bible study.  Working together or in groups, discuss each line of the lyrics decide what "simple motion" everyone will use for that line of lyrics (the lyrics come fast, so keep the motions simple).  
  5. As you decide on the motions, the teacher can WRITE THE MOTION on a BIG POST-IT and stick it next to the line of lyrics -as a reminder of "what to do" to both the teacher and line of kids facing the flipchart.
  6. Begin by walking through the motions without the song, but saying the lyrics aloud. Then pair up the kids with one line NOT facing the lyrics or teacher. That line with their backs to the lyrics must "follow" what their partner is doing. Of course, their partner CAN see the teacher and lyric-post-its.
  7. After practicing, do it with the music playing!  Then have the pairs switch roles.

Here are two "lyric video" versions of the song on YouTube: (shows more lyric lines per screen)  and (one line at a time)

Here's a video of the song created for a children's ministry to show acts of service. It's low res but suggests things that can be done.    And lastly, here's a karaoke -style instrumental version of the song with lyrics.

Questions you could ask:

  1. WHO does Jesus want (us) to "stay with," "go to," and WHEN does he want to "move" ??  (How and when should you "stay with" or "go to" someone in need?)
  2. What people do you know who seem to be able to "see the lyrics and teacher" and you should try to follow what they do?  In church, in your family, among your friends, in Sunday School
  3. What happens when people follow the wrong leader or person? In worship, among your friends....
  4. What are some of the "wrong things" people do that do not follow Jesus' Way?   (As kids suggest things, you might come up with a motion for it and have them mimic you.)
  5. What can you do to make sure you are following Christ's Way, and not some fake or bad interpretation of what some people THINK is Jesus' way?

Here are some of the obvious keywords from the song that kids/teacher could create motions for and post to your lyrics flipchart. 


life everlasting
freedom for my soul
unending joy

Below are the lyrics, referenced for commentary and teaching purposes. They are readily found by googling them. If you use the song or video in your teaching, please spend the two bucks and buy the song online to support the artist. 


I Will Follow

by Chris Tomlin

Where you go, I'll go
Where you stay, I'll stay
When you move, I'll move
I will follow

All your ways are good
All your ways are sure
I will trust in you alone
Higher than my side
High above my life
I will trust in you alone

Where you go, I'll go
Where you stay, I'll stay
When you move, I'll move
I will follow you

Who you love, I'll loveThePassion-Jesus-Disciples
How you serve I'll serve
If this life I lose, I will follow you
I will follow you

Light unto the world
Light unto my life
I will live for you alone
You're the one I seek
Knowing I will find

All I need in you alone, in you alone
In you there's life everlasting
In you there's freedom for my soul
In you there's joy, unending joy
And I will follow

Songwriters: Chris Tomlin / Jason Ingram / Ruben Morgan
I Will Follow lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
From the album "And if God is for us..."  Winner of Best Contemporary Christian Album of the Year in 2012.

The Jesus and his Disciples image comes from's Outline to "The Passion" miniseries produced in 2008 by BBC/HBO.


Images (3)
  • IWillFollow-graphic
  • ThePassion-Jesus-Disciples
  • followme
Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Music (Song) activities

12 Disciples

Compilation of posts moved here from Misc. ideas for Jesus Calls the Disciples

Jeanne G. posted: 

... way to learn the names of the disciples is the following song, sung to the tune of "Bringing in the sheaves."

“There were 12 disciples, Jesus called to help Him:
Simon Peter, Andrew, James, his brother, John,
Philip, Thomas, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus,
Thaddaeus, Simon, Judas, and Bartholomew
He has called us too, He has called us too.
We are His disciples, I am one and you.
He has called us too, He has called us too.
We are His disciples, we His work must do.”

rhondab posted:

Tune of "Jesus Loves Me"

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

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 Thaddeus,
Twelfth apostle Judas made,
Jesus was by him betrayed.

Repeat Chorus

"There Were Twelve Disciples" song, you can find a Midi title at that might be fun.

Karen and Kids - has a song called "Disciple Song" on her CD "Let the Children Come."
I haven't heard this particular song, but many of her songs are fun with kids.

Sheila Butler

Wesley Putnam Ministries has a wonderful CD called Songs for the QuestIncluded is a song called "The 12 Disciples." Hear a sound clip on iTunes. (If this link goes dead, search on iTunes for Wesley Putnam, Songs for the Quest.) There are many other wonderful songs on this tape and I feel it would be an asset to our library of materials. This is going to be my song of choice.

I had some trouble with the Wesley Putnam ministries, but if you call them (Telephone — (817) 285-8008 or Order Line — 1(800) 530-4949) they are friendly and happy to bill your church!

 CreativeCarol posted:

My personal favorite though, is a song by Bryan Sirchio on his CD "Bugs for Lunch". It's got a very catchy tune. You can hear selections from this CD at the following link and also order individual songs for download.


We are just finishing up a lesson set on the calling of the 12 disciples. We are new to the rotation and are starting with ideas online until we get more established.

Since she is a music teacher at school she wrote her own rap and the kids enjoyed it. She had a few do the beat box in the background, had the words on a poster and sang it to them. Here they are:

Jesus needed helpers
So He called four Fishermen:
Simon Peter, Andrew
James, his brother John.

Next camp Philip
Thomas, too,
Matthew, the tax collector,
and Bartholomew!

Then came James
and his brother, Thaddeus.
They all got up and folloed Him
(And Simon, too!)

But Jesus wasn't finished yet,
He looked around (who could He get?)
Then "Number 12" He Met
Judas Iscariot

Before our rap comes to an end,
A message to you we'll send:
We all can be Disciples
'Cause Jesus is our Friend!

Keep serving the Lord

I took the song "The Twelve Disciples" by Judy Hall (see end of her lesson link) and set it to the tune of "We Will, We Will Rock You" with kids doing two knee slaps and a clap as the rhythm. We sing two lines and then "We are, We are the disciples"... you have to change the rhythm a little of the "verses" to make it all fit.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Another great Casting Crowns song released in 2019 speaks to the Call of Christ and "who am I" that Jesus wants me for a disciple?  This could be a discussion starter, or reflection song, or have hand motions, or be playing as kids walked in.


"I'm just a nobody trying to tell everybody about somebody who saved my soul."

Why You ever chose me
Has always been a mystery
All my life, I've been told I belong
At the end of a line
With all the other Not-Quites
With all the Never-Get-It-Rights
But it turns out they are the ones You were looking for
All this time

'Cause I'm just a nobody trying to tell everybody
All about Somebody who saved my soul
Ever since You rescued me, You gave my heart a song to sing
I'm living for the world to see nobody but Jesus
I'm living for the world to see nobody but Jesus
Moses had stage fright
And David brought a rock to a sword fight
You picked twelve outsiders nobody would've chosen
And You changed the world
Well, the moral of the story is
Everybody's got a purpose
So when I hear that devil start talking to me, saying
"Who do you think you are?" I say
I'm just a nobody trying to tell everybody....
So let me go down down down in history
As another blood-bought faithful member of the family
And if they all forget my name, well, that's fine with me
I'm living for the world to see
Nobody but Jesus
Last edited by CathyWalz

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