Use this free children’s Bible object lesson to teach about the power of faith. It’s ideal for kids church or Sunday School. If you need more, download our complete Parable of the Mustard Seed Bible lesson for kids.
Main Objective: What is faith, and how do we strengthen it? Jesus was asked how much faith is needed in life, and responded that all we need is faith the size of a mustard seed. What is that supposed to mean? Faith does not depend on any action or merit of our own, but on what we put our faith in. The smallest thing can have tremendous potential in the right hands. This message communicates to children that we don’t need to have special qualities or do specific things in order to be used by the Lord. Use small things in large hands to demonstrate the power of our great God.
Law/Gospel Theme: We sometimes ask the same question the disciples did: how much faith do we need? Can we determine if we have or do “enough” for God? The point of the mustard seed analogy is that we will never “be enough”, nor do we need to. Jesus provides all that we need. The Holy Spirit gives us faith. Our salvation and our faith are not about what we do or how we do it, but trusting in God to handle our needs.
Optional Materials: (Optional) items that can be knocked over, various sizes of balls or objects that would knock them over, very small items, mustard seed (jarred, if available).
Bible Passage: Luke 17:5-10; Luke 13:18-19
Message: Note: As with most messages, the details of how you choose to communicate this are adaptable and should cater to timing as well as to your audience and student needs.
Faith Like a Mustard Seed: Bible Object Lesson for Kids
Greet children and offer a slight educational challenge with objects…
Hello, Children of God!
I have a little science experiment I need help with…do you know what it means to make a prediction? A prediction is sort of like a guess for what is going to happen. Now, I have here this item (show small item that could be knocked over by some sort of ball). What do you think it would take to knock this over? Could I do it with this? (Produce an object that could easily knock over the item, such as a tennis ball or softball. Demonstrate the ability to topple the item with the other object). Well, that was pretty easy. Now, how about this one? Do you think this would knock it over? (Show another object, slightly smaller but still able to knock the item over. Demonstrate its ability to do so. Repeat with a few items until arriving at the smallest of all). Okay, well, what about THIS? (Hold up a tiny mustard seed, or similar small seed). This looks pretty small, right? It doesn’t seem possible that something so small could knock over an object so much bigger than it is… well, let’s just try it and see what happens. Hold the seed in hand, and use the hand to topple the item. Wow, it worked! That tiny seed knocked it over!
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking…that’s cheating, right? It wasn’t really the seed that knocked it over…or was it? I mean, this tiny thing didn’t knock it over on its own. But in the right hands, it was able to do it. Do you know what this is? It’s called a mustard seed. Did you know that in the Bible Jesus talks about mustard seeds? In fact, He said that if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can do amazing things. Clearly, this is a small thing. So does that mean we shouldn’t have much faith? Of course not. Jesus wanted us to know that faith is not about us, but about what we put our faith into. Rather, it’s about WHO we put our faith in. We don’t somehow make our faith big or great. It’s through the Holy Spirit that we have faith in the first place. All that we do or believe comes through Him. And in God’s hands, amazing things are possible. In fact, anything is possible with God!
In another parable, Jesus said that God’s kingdom was like a mustard seed, because from something very small, much bigger things can grow. When a seed is planted in the ground, it can become a large tree with the proper care. When we plant “seeds”, God can cause them to grow and flourish.
So you see, it doesn’t take much from us. We don’t need to do anything, really, for God’s will to be done. We just believe that He will do as He promises. We can put our lives in His hands and trust that He will do wonderful things. So take heart! Have faith, and let God do the rest.
Let’s say a prayer and thank God for granting us faith and providing for our needs.
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for giving us faith
And for doing thing through us to provide for our needs
Help us to trust in You for all things
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference:
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
7 “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9 Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’” -Luke 17:5-10
Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? 19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.” -Luke 13:18-19