Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids what it means to be part of the family of God.
Needed: Bibles, a roll of paper or poster boards, crayons or markers (optional: pictures of people and the things they invented, a picture of a family)
Intro Craft Activity: Family Appreciation
Hang a wide section of craft paper or multiple poster boards on your wall or laid out on tables. Give students drawing supplies and have them draw their family. Above or below each of their family members, have them write one or more words describing the good qualities of that family member.
Show students a picture of the first car and ask, Who invented the world’s first car? (Reveal the answer as Karl Benz and then, do the same for the first video game invented by William Higginbotham and the first cell phone invented by Martin Cooper.)
(Show the picture of a family.) Who invented the idea of the family? Whose idea was it for there to be moms and dads and kids and brothers and sisters? (God.)
God invented the family. God invented the family so that our parents could love and take care of us and so that we could learn from and be friends with our brothers and sisters. God likes us all to be in families that love and help us.
But as much as God likes our families, our families are not the only family that we have.
(Read Matthew 12:46-50.)
“While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, His mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to Him. Someone told Him, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to You.’
“He replied to him, ‘Who is My mother, and who are My brothers? Pointing to His disciples, He said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers. For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.’”
Who did Jesus say His family is? (Those who do God’s will.)
That means that if you believe in God and do the things God tells us to do, you are a part of Jesus’ family. And if you believe in Jesus and I believe in Jesus, then that means we’re family together because we’re all part of Jesus’ family.
Jesus says that being a part of His family – believing in God and doing what God wants us to do – is even more important than the families that we live with, including our parents and brothers and sisters. That’s because believing in God and doing what God wants us to do is the most important thing there is.
And even if our other family members don’t believe in Jesus, we still can and should believe in Him. We can be in Jesus’ family even if our mom or our dad or our brothers or sisters or grandparents or aunts and uncles aren’t in Jesus’ family. We can be in Jesus’ family and pray that our other family members believe in Him someday too.
But being in Jesus’ family means we have a really big family. Everyone in the church is part of your God-family. But not only that, everyone who goes to other Christian churches are part of your God-family. They could be in the church down the street or in a church on another side of the world. If they believe in Jesus, they’re in God’s family with you as your brother or sister. And we have to try to get along with all of our Christian brothers and sisters, no matter where they live or what kind of church they go to. God is all of our Father, and He wants all of His children to love each other and get along.
Activity: Build ‘em UP!
Have students sit in a circle. Tell them that you’re all going to practice showing appreciation for each as fellow members of God’s family. Pick one student in the circle and have everyone else in the circle, including yourself, say one nice thing about that student. Then, go to the next person in the circle and do the same until everyone has heard some nice things about themselves. Remind students that we’re all brothers in sisters in God’s family.
Activity: Christian Story Interview
Have students pair up and ask each other the following questions. They’ll then present their partner’s answers as a reporter. They can write the answers down if they want.
What is your name?
How old are you?
When did you first hear about Jesus?
When was the first time you went to a church?
When was the first time you came to this church?
Why do you believe in Jesus?
What do you most like about being in God’s family?
Father God, we thank You for sending Jesus to make us a part of Your family. Help us to believe in You for our whole lives and to do the right things that You want us to do as Your children. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, The Parables and Teachings of Jesus Vol. 1.