253 & 254 - ‘Follow me!’ and Doctor for the sick


15 minute Story planner

Mark 1, 2, 3
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, page 290
If don’t have time during your session to read both stories from the Children’s Bible, you may prefer to read just paragraphs six and seven of the story ‘Follow me!’ (starting at ‘Jesus chose twelve men…’) before reading the story ‘Doctor for the sick’.
For a printable version of the story see ‘Calling Matthew’ in this week's Printables

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the New Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The life of Jesus FlashCards' cards one to five

2. Starter question - 1 min  
Can you think of three or four friends that you really enjoy spending time with?

Friends are great. They make us laugh and cheer us up when we are feeling sad. When Jesus lived amongst people he had many friends. Twelve of his close friends were called disciples. The disciples listened to what Jesus taught and tried to live in a way that pleased him. Some people called the disciples 'followers' because they travelled with Jesus, watching him and listening carefully to what he said.

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins
Beware of allergies – make sure it is safe for the children in your group to handle and taste the food in this activity.

  • A bag of coins

  • Party food: bread, olives and dried fruit

  • White fabric to represent a shawl worn by the religious leaders

  • A Bible

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins

Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this week's Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - Fun with party balloons and paper cups
You will need: paper cups, balloons, foil trays (optional), masking tape and newspaper or Swimming Noodles.

Before the session inflate four or five balloons. Make a paper-baton by rolling up three or four sheets of newspaper and securing the roll with masking tape. Repeat this to make a second baton. Alternatively use Swimming Noodles instead of paper-batons.

For young children create a ‘goal’ by placing two party cups on the floor one or two meters a part. Encourage the children to take it turns trying to score goals by hitting the balloons with the batons (or Noodles) so that the balloons pass between the cups.

Older children may prefer to play a different game…
Ask for two volunteers. Give each volunteer a foil tray and four paper cups. Ask the volunteer to arrange their cups on the tray. The cups should be upright but can be placed upside down. In one hand the volunteers should hold their tray of cups in the other hand they should hold a paper baton (or a Noodle). Using the baton/Noodle the volunteers should try to knock the cups off their opponents tray whilst keeping their own tray steady. The volunteer with the most cups still on their tray after 30 seconds (or less, for a shorter game) is the winner. Remind the children that they are not too hit one another with their batons but should try to knock their opponents tray. You could introduce a rule whereby a player will loose points if their opponent is hit.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins

Father God we think about Matthew walking away from his life as a tax collector. We remember that he was prepared to leave everything behind.

We think about Matthew’s party. We think about him introducing his friends to Jesus. We imagine the religious leaders looking on, surprised at whom Jesus was spending time with.

Father God we thank you that you love and care for everybody everywhere. Thank you that you sent Jesus to help everyone - thank you that nobody is left out. Father God please help us to see people as you see them. Help us not to judge but to see everyone’s great need for Jesus day after day after day. Amen.

Alongside this story, make the craft...

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