Let the Children Come to Me
Matthew 19:13-15, Mark 10:13-16, Luke 18:15-17
The purpose of this lesson is to teach children that they are important and valued members of the church and that Jesus loves them and requires the church to respect them.
Opening (5 minutes)
Open the lesson by asking the children what it’s like being a child. On one hand they get to play a lot and have a lot of fun. On the other hand adults can easily unintentionally dismiss a child’s opinion out of hand. Children can feel ignored or that they can’t do things that they want to do but without understanding the reasons why.
The Reading (5-10 minutes)
Before the reading, we summarised the opening of the story. Jesus is preaching to a crowd when some children try and get closer to him to hear him preach, but in doing so disturbed the crowd, the disciples and distracted Jesus.
What happened next?
Most of the children in our lesson answered that everybody got very angry at them and told them to be quiet.
We read Mark 10:13-16 but there are other versions in Matthew and Luke. Our collection of Bible stories for children also had a very good description in it, so you may want to check yours if you have one.
After the reading ask the children how they feel about the story? In our lesson most of them were happily surprised that Jesus told the disciples off. It made them feel valued.
Explain that Jesus’ instruction to the church is to welcome them as members, after all if there aren’t any children coming to church then there won’t be much of a future for it.
Jesus Loves Us (15-20 minutes)
Colouring pencils/Crayons/Felt pens
On a large piece of paper have a large picture of Jesus, (for lack of artistic skills we printed one out). Ask the children to draw a self portrait of themselves, or if you have a larger group ask them to divide into pairs and draw each other. When they’re done they can cut the picture out and stick it around Jesus. The result should be the children of the Sunday School gathered around Jesus.
*Try this* If you have an excess of paper (left over from previous lessons or from your magical sparkly paper generating cupboard) you can cut out letters to spell ‘Jesus Loves Us’ and stick them as the title of the collage.
The finished piece can be placed on a wall or a board as a reminder to the children that Jesus loves them.
Someone Special (10-20 minutes)
Fold an A4 piece of paper in half. On one hand write at the top of the page ‘someone special’ on the other ‘I am special’. On the ‘someone special’ side have the children draw someone who means a lot to them, a parent or sibling or even best friend. On the other side they can draw themselves with Jesus. (We cheated and used a preprinted sheet that already had a picture of Jesus on it).
The children can identify with how they feel about their ‘someone special’ and see that that is how Jesus feels about them.
In our prayers this week we adults should remember to pray for children attending church, that a love of Christ will be nurtured in them. The children could remember to give thanks for Jesus’ love and for welcoming them into His church.