Week 1 objectives: to understand that these words were written down by Matthew and were some of the last words Jesus said before he went back up to Heaven.
Game - 7 mins
Aims: to begin to think about the last words a person says.
You will need: unfinished sentences (see Printables), ‘Double-word’ slips (see Printables).
Before the session cut out the ‘unfinished sentences’, cutting along the dotted lines. Encourage the children to sit in a circle. Explain that you are going to read out an unfinished sentence. The children need to think of a word as quickly as possible to finish the sentence then shout it out. The aim of the game is to be the first person to say the ‘last word’. The last person to shout out a word loses that round and is given the slip of paper with the unfinished sentence written on it. For older children, make the game more challenging by giving out ‘Double-word’ slips to children who shout out the same word as each other.
Work through all the unfinished sentences on the sheet. At the end of the game count up the number of slips each child has – the child with the fewest slips is the winner.
Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or whiteboard, marker pens, a Bible and ‘The Life of Jesus Timeline Flashcards’ by The Bible Curriculum (visit www.thebiblecurriculum.com/timeline-flashcards/).
Before the session write the verse on the whiteboard or paper. Underline the Bible reference and explain that this verse comes from the book of Matthew. Matthew is the first book in the New Testament. Ask one of the children to find the book of Matthew in the Bible. ‘Matthew’ is one of the four Gospels, the books that tell the story of Jesus’ life. Ask the children if they can name the other three Gospels. Allow the children to quickly find out the names of the Gospels by looking in the Bible. Draw two stick people next to the verse and write ‘Matthew’ and ‘Jesus’. underneath. Tell the children that Matthew travelled with Jesus. He watched him and listened to him, then wrote down what he saw and heard. When Matthew wrote this verse he was writing down what Jesus said just before he went back up to Heaven. He was writing down some of Jesus’ last words.
If you have The Life of Jesus Timeline Flashcards, by The Bible Curriculum, show and talk about card four. Point to Jerusalem on the map and explain that when Jesus first came back to life he appeared to his disciples in and around the city of Jerusalem. On one occasion he appeared to two of his followers on the road to Emmaus, a village a few miles north-west of Jerusalem. But Jesus also appeared to his eleven closest disciples in Galilee. Point to Galilee on the map. Explain that many of the disciples had first begun following Jesus in Galilee. Jesus said the words we are learning about when he was in Galilee for the last time with his disciples. Read the verse aloud and ask the children what they think Jesus was asking the eleven disciples to do. Draw the discussion to a close by explaining that this verse is about Jesus asking the disciples to help other people become his followers. Tell the children that we will be learning more about this verse over the next three weeks. Quickly cover up the verse and see if the children can remember any of the words or where the verse comes from in the Bible.
Song - 2 mins
To the tune ‘London's burning’.
Therefore go and make disciples,
In all the nations, all the nations,
Therefore go, therefore go,
Make disciples, make disciples.
Look up on the internet the sign language for the words: ‘make’, ‘disciples’, ‘go’ and ‘nations’. Teach the signs to the children and do them together as you sing or say the verse.