Here is a lesson that is perfect for the Sunday before Martin Luther King Day, but it could be used on any Sunday. The focus is how everyone is equal in God’s eyes and how God loves us equally. It is written for Children’s Church or a large group setting, but it could easily be adapted for a small group. It would just need some discussion questions added in and viola! There is a lesson, memory verse activity, game, and a couple spots to show videos.
Children’s Church Lesson
Main Idea: God Loves Everyone Equally and So Should We
(10:45-10:55) introductory Activity: Activity Centers
(10:55-11:00) Clean up, go to seats
(11:00) Opening prayer:
(11:05-11:06) Introduction to the Lesson:
Say: Since pretty much the beginning of time, people have thought less of certain people.
Sometimes one group looked down on another because of where they lived. Sometimes one looked down on the other because of what color hair they had, or the color of their skin. Sometimes one looked down on another because of what religion they were.
It didn’t really have to be a big reason, any reason was good enough to make people think they were better than another group of people and then the group that thought they were better would begin to mistreat those who they saw as not as good.
But, according to God, our Father, we are all equal, He has no favorites (Gal. 2:6, Eph 6:9, Col 3:25). We are all His creation. We are all wonderfully made in His image (Psalm 139).
Tomorrow is the day we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday. He was a man who loved Jesus and knew that God loves each and every person on this earth equally. He made it his mission to show people how we should love each other too, even those who are different from one another.
(11:08-11:23): Praise and Worship: Prayer and 4-5 songs
(11:23-11:25) Offering time: Pray and offering team collects offering.
The Human Shuffle
1. One complete deck of playing cards including jokers (one card for each child. If there are more than 54 kids have kids partner up two to a card).
Directions: Give each child (or pair of children) a playing card.
Say: O.K., everyone, we’re going to play a game. It’s called The Human Shuffle. Everyone has a playing card. Your card is either red or black and it has either a number from 2-10 on it or an Ace, King, Queen or Jack. I’m going to tell you different ways you can pair up with other people. So, if I say, “Find someone with the same color card as you,” then you go find someone with the same color card as you and then get ready to listen to the next direction. O.K., everyone ready?
1. Find someone with the same color card as you.
2. Find something who has the same number or letter on their card as you.
3. Find someone who has a card one lower than yours.
4. Find someone who has a card one higher than yours.
5. Find someone with a different color card than yours.
6. If you have a number card find someone who also has a number card, if you have a letter card find someone who also has a letter card.
7. If you have a number card find someone who has a letter card (there will be more than one number to a letter). If you have a letter card find someone who has a number card
8. If you have a card from this deck of cards, please return to your seat.
Say: You all had different cards, different colors and shapes, but we are all part of the same deck. We are all different kinds of people, but as Christians we all belong to one family. We are all brothers and sisters, God is our Father and He loves all of us equally. We need to love others equally as well.
(11:35-11:40) Memory Verse:
Galatians 3:28 “Now, in Christ, there is no difference between Jew and Greek. There is no difference between slaves and free men. There is no difference between male and female. You are all the same in Christ Jesus.”
Materials: 4 poster boards with the four different parts of the Bible verse on them divided like this:
1. Now, in Christ, there is no difference between Jew and Greek.
2. There is no difference between slaves and free men.
3. There is no difference between male and female.
4. You are all the same in Christ Jesus.
Divide the kids into four groups then assign them a part of the verse. Assign a leader for each group to hold the poster board for their team. The leaders can stand at the front of the room. The groups should each say their part in turn. After all four groups have said their part, everyone should say “Galatians 3:28” together. After that the parts should rotate so each group gets a chance to say each part. Lastly everyone should say the verse all together once or twice.
John Chapter 4
(11:50-12:05) Message: Jessica
Watch out if you’re wearing red!
Say the follow very seriously: OK, now before we start, I find it only fair to warn you I am going to be watching those of you with red shirts extra carefully. I think the red shirted people cause most of the problems here in children’s church. So, if you are wearing a red shirt, you are pretty much already in trouble. Also, I brought some special treats today to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but you red shirted people aren’t going to get any. I don’t like people who wear red shirts to church. (You can put on an act for a few minutes. Maybe even moving some kids with red shirts away from their friends. They will complain and that’s OK.)
OK, now wasn’t that ridiculous? Picking on people just because of the color of their shirts? That’s exactly how ridiculous it is to not love someone because they speak a different language, or eat different foods than you or have a different skin or hair color.
I don’t know about you, but I for one am happy God doesn’t show favoritism. I know for me, I haven’t always been #1 in everything I do—hard to believe, I know, but it’s true. I haven’t always been the favorite in school or on the baseball team, and sometimes I was disappointed that I didn’t come in first place, but with God we don’t have to worry about that. There is no first place. There is no last place. We are all equal. And we are all equally loved.
God loves everyone equally, with a deep, everlasting love.
God loves us so much it’s hard to comprehend. (Read Romans 8: 31-38). That’s a lot of love! And to think, he loves each of us equally. HE loves each and every person in this world with that same deep, everlasting love.
As we said earlier, prejudice is something that has existed since the beginning of time. The Egyptians didn’t’ like the Hebrews, they thought the Hebrews weren’t as good as they were, so they made the Hebrews their slaves.
The Romans thought they were better than everyone else, so they treated everyone else badly and unfairly. Taking people’s homes and money, making slaves of whoever they chose.
Earlier in this country, some people thought those with dark skin weren’t as good as those with light skin, so they made the dark skinned people slaves.
In Germany, the Nazis thought everyone should have blonde hair and blue eyes and they especially hated anyone who was Jewish, so they decided they would kill anyone who didn’t meet their standards.
Even as recently as 40 years ago in this country, people didn’t think those with dark skin should sit in the good seats on the bus, or drink from the same drinking fountains as those with lighter skin.
All of these situations are ridiculous. They are as ridiculous as me picking on you because you wore a red shirt to church today. And, all of these situations wouldn’t have happened if people would have known how much God loves everyone and that HE loves everyone equally.
(Show part of I have a Dream Speech)
That was Martin Luther King’s Dream, but guess what? It’s also God’s dream for us. He wants everyone of His children to see each other as equals and to know How very deeply He loves each and every one of us. Even if your hair is brown, no matter what color your skin is, no matter what you wear, God loves us equally and we need to love each other equally as well.
Read Romans 8:32 again. God did “not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all,” Jesus died for everyone and every single person on this earth has the same opportunity to come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. All they have to do is Admit they have sinned, Believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died to pay the price for that sin and rose again 3 days later, and Confess that Jesus is your personal Savior and your Lord. If you’ve never done that and you’re ready, you can do that now. Let’s pray:
Dear Jesus, I thank You that You love everyone. I thank You that You see what is inside of us. Please help us to love each other too. And, Lord, if there is anyone here who doesn’t know You as their Lord and Savior, I pray they can know You know—that they can just pray a simple prayer like this: Lord, I know I have sinned and that sin has separated me from You. Please forgive me for that sin and wash me clean as snow. I want to give You control of my life. I thank You so much for loving me so much to die on the cross to pay the price for my sin. I praise You because You conquered in and death, for me and for everyone. Amen
(12:10/12:15) dismissal: Clean-up
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