Scripture: Luke 15: 1 – 10
Target Age Group: 1st through 6th grade
Welcome the children to the classroom and chat with them about their week as they gather around the table.
Pray and ask God to teach the children not just head knowledge, but also heart knowledge.
Opening Object Lesson:
Divide the children into two teams. Give each team a puzzle of 50 or 100 pieces. (Don’t tell them that you have removed one piece from each puzzle and hidden them somewhere in the room before class time.) On the count of 3 they are to assemble their puzzle as quickly as possible. The team to complete their puzzle first wins. When both teams have gotten to the point of having one puzzle piece remaining and have begun looking around on the floor for the missing piece, tell them that you have hidden those pieces somewhere in the room and they must find their pieces to complete the puzzles. The first team to find their piece and completes the puzzle wins. (You might have party blowers or party poppers for everyone – including the loosing team members – in order to celebrate the completion of both puzzles.)
That one last missing piece became very important to your team, didn’t it. How did you feel when you finally found it? It was exciting, wasn’t it. Well, today’s story is about finding something very important that was lost…
Have the children open their Bibles to Luke 15 or page 416 in The Golden Children’s Bible.
(Read the story to the children because at this age some of the children do not read smoothly, which hinders comprehension for the whole class.)
- Who was gathered around Jesus? The tax collectors and sinners. Remember that tax collectors were very much disliked by the people because they cheated them out of more money than they owed in taxes.
- Who was unhappy about that? the Pharisees and the teachers of the law
- Why were they unhappy? They probably thought that they were the good people and that Jesus should be spending time with them instead.
- Jesus tells a story about a shepherd. How many sheep did the shepherd have? 100
- How many sheep got lost? one
- What did the shepherd do when he discovered that the sheep was lost? He left the 99 and looked for the one until he found it.
- When he found the lost sheep, was He angry with the sheep? No.
- What did He do instead of being angry? He called his friends to rejoice with him.
- What does the lost sheep represent? People who are lost from God. The tax collectors and sinners who had gathered around Jesus. You and me.
- What are some ways that we can be lost from God? We stop believing in God. We stop going to church. We stop praying. etc.
- In the second story how many coins does the woman have? 10
- What does she do when she discovers that one is missing? She lights a lamp and sweeps the floor until she finds it.
- What does she do when she finds it? She calls her friends and family to celebrate with her.
- The lost coin represents what? People who are lost from God. The tax collectors and sinners. You and me.
- Did you know that Jesus cares about you as much as the shepherd cares about the lost sheep and as much as the woman cares about her lost coin?
- Can you imagine Jesus and the angels in heaven rejoicing over you?
- Let’s pray and thank Jesus for never giving up on us. Let’s tell Him that we are sorry for our sins and that we want to be his found sheep…
During the remaining class time do activities that help to reinforce what the children have learned. Here are some suggestions…
Memorize the verse.
“The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Have the children use colors or pastels to draw their own vision of the story on a sketch pad page. Or have them color a color page related to the story. Color Page #1 , Color Page #2 , Color Page #3 (scroll down) , Color Page #4, Color Page #5 An excellent color page book is “Through-the-Bible Coloring Pages For Ages 4-8” by Janet Skiles. The pages are reproducible.
If you have a laptop and internet connection, show this slideshow of the story from the Garden of Praise.
This sheep craft would be fun for older kids.
Share this children’s sermon and worksheets from Sermons4kids.
Older kids might enjoy this worksheet and discussion.
This is a cute lost sheep scratch off game.
Help the shepherd find the lost sheep with this maze puzzle.
Sing “All We Like Sheep”, “Farmer and the Sheep” , “You Are My Shepherd” or “Wanna be a Sheep” , “Jesus Loves Me” by Mary Rice Hopkins, or “Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us” by the Countdown Kids
Or make this sheep snack.
Evaluate what the children have learned. While they are coloring or crafting ask each one what they learned today.
Send each child’s parent an e-mail (or a hard copy) of the Parents’ Page.