Week 2 objectives: to talk about Christians today being Jesus’ disciples. To learn that the twelve disciples watched and learnt from Jesus; they tried to live the way he lived and do the things he taught.
Game - 7 mins
Aims: to encourage the children to think about what Jesus taught.
You will need: ‘What did Jesus teach?’ (see Printables).
Explain to the children that Jesus once talked to a crowd of people on a mountain. We call the ‘talk’ the Sermon on the Mount. Tell the children that on the mountain Jesus began to teach people how to live God's way.
Ask the children to find a space to sit down. Explain that you are going to call out different rules. If the children think the rule is one that Jesus taught on the mountain they should stand up and make a mountain shape with their arms by placing their fingertips together above their head. If they think it is a made-up rule they should remain seated and place their hands flat on the floor in front of them. If children would rather play in pairs they could stand up, face each other and put their hands together to make a mountain shape, or both place their hands in front of them if they think it is a made–up rule.
Choose rules from the ‘What did Jesus teach?’ sheet to read to your group. Mix up some of the made-up rules with Jesus’ teaching. If you read out a made-up rule make sure you explain afterwards that it is not what Jesus taught, so the children are not confused as to which rules are genuine and which are made up. The children might like to keep an account of how many they guessed correctly or they may be happy to simply play the game discussing the different rules at the end.
Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard, marker pens, a Bible and ‘The Early Church Timeline Flashcards’ by The Curriculum (visit www.thebiblecurriculum.com/timeline-flashcards/).
Before the session write the verse on the whiteboard or paper. Underline the Bible reference and explain briefly that 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.
Underline the word ‘disciples’. Ask the children what they think the word ‘disciple’ means. Explain that a disciple is someone who follows another person. Disciples try to become more and more like the person they are following.
Explain that the twelve disciples we read about in the Gospels watched and learnt from Jesus; they tried to live the way he lived and do the things he taught. They wanted to think, feel and live like him. Briefly remind the children of some of Jesus’ teachings. The disciples were learners - they were learning to be more like Jesus. Sometimes they got things right and sometimes they got things wrong.
However on the Day of Pentecost the disciples began to live more like Jesus than they had ever lived before; they began to think more like him, obey his commands, and more and more they began do the things that Jesus did.
But why did the disciples become more like Jesus on the Day of Pentecost?
If you have The Bible Curriculum FlashCards, show and talk about card one: ‘The Early Church: A 10 point overview’. Explain that on the day of Pentecost the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is ‘The Helper’, teacher and guide. From that day on the Holy Spirit helped the disciples in a powerful way; he helped them to be more like Jesus; he changed them from the inside-out to be more peaceful, patient and kind. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit worked in the lives of the disciples day after day changing and guiding them; helping them learn and grow to be more like Jesus; helping them learn and grow to live the way God created them to live.
Christians believe that the Holy Spirit still helps people today. Christians believe that in the same way the Holy Spirit helped the first disciples he helps people to follow Jesus today; to be Jesus' disciples. Christians believe that the Holy Spirit helps, guides and changes people who have said ‘Yes’ to God's love and forgiveness; he changes them from the inside-out to be more like Jesus. Christians believe that each day the Holy Spirit helps millions of people around the world to live God’s way; the way he created them to live.
Another way to describe a disciple is someone who has said ‘Yes’ to God's love and forgiveness and with the powerful help of the Holy Spirit is learning and growing to be like Jesus.
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.