Do you have an animal in your home? What kinds of animals do you or most of your friends have? Allow children to answer. Does anyone have any sheep at home? Well during Jesus time many people had sheep.
Jesus liked to tell stories to teach people lessons. So since most people he knew had sheep he used a story about sheep to help them learn something important. Let’s read to find out what he told them. Read John 10:11-18 from Ralph Milton’s Lectionary Story Bible Year B. I want you to really remember the story Jesus is telling so I’m going to read it again, and you are going to help me act it out. Choose someone to be Jesus and a few children to be sheep. I’m going to read the scripture again and I want you to act out what you hear. Re-read the scripture pausing to give directions as needed (stop before the wolf comes). Choose someone to be the wolf. You could use another child, or it might be fun to randomly call on an adult for the congregation. Continue reading through the shepherd chasing away the wolf. Now choose someone to look after the sheep that is not the shepherd (have the shepherd sit down). Again you could choose a child or randomly call on someone from the congregation to take that role. Continue reading through the caretaker running away and the wolf catching a sheep. Have the wolf and the caretaker sit down and bring back the shepherd. Continue reading. Pause when the shepherd knows the sheep by name and ask the child/shepherd to call the names of the people pretending to be sheep. As you continue reading pause to give directions for the children to act out as needed. Once you have finished the scripture have your helpers sit back down.
That was really fun to act out the scripture wasn’t it?! What did we learn about shepherds? Allow children to answer. Jesus used this story to explain about his love for us. What did the scripture teach us about Jesus? Allow children to answer. That’s right! Jesus is always there watching over us, he knows our name, Jesus would do anything for us…because he loves us so much! How lucky we are to have a shepherd like that in our lives!
Every Wednesday I share a lesson based on the lectionary. These lessons are meant to be used for a children’s moment (aka children’s sermon, children’s liturgy, children’s church, etc), sunday school, or even as a family devotion in your own home.
I have taken the lesson above and written it into a lesson plan format. I have also added a Respond and Extend section to the downloadable lesson. These are additional ideas for the children to respond to the main lesson and then an extension activity for them to do at a later time. The extension activity includes a handout to send home with directions.
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