When Jesus started to choose the men in which He would disciple, He didn’t choose from the noblest, wisest, or the most affluent. Jesus chose four fishermen. Men of humble backgrounds that were not the most learned. When Jesus spoke the words, “follow me,” they dropped everything and followed Him. Jesus chose them but then they also chose Jesus. Jesus is calling to all of us; He has chosen each of us to follow Him. So, what is your choice? Do you choose to be friends with Jesus or friends with the world?
Here is a snapshot of what we will show the kids this week:
Bible Story Focus: Jesus says, “Follow me.” (Andrew & Peter; James & John • Matthew 4:18-22; Luke 5:1-11)
Memory Verse: “‘Come and follow me,’ Jesus said.” Matthew 4:19, NIrV
Key Question: Who can be friends with Jesus?
Bottom Line: Everyone can be friends with Jesus.
Bible Story and Worship
Watch the Bible Story Video with your kids so you can recap and discuss it with them in the “Bring Jesus To Their Level” section. Then join your kids in worship as we sing and dance for God.
Next, use the Memory Verse video to practice our monthly verse. We will practice this verse all month. Be sure to use the hand motions as it helps the kids to remember. Also, think of a fun reward you can give them at the end of the month when they are able to say it all by themselves. The activity sheet and coloring page are fun resources to help reinforce story and/or big idea.
Bring Jesus To Their Level
Follow the following script to recap the story, practice the memory verse and demonstrate to your young children how to pray. (You’ll make a list with your family to pray over so have a pen a paper ready.)
Say: “Our Bible story, today, was about when Jesus said to His friends, ‘Follow me.’ The very first friends Jesus told to follow Him were fishermen. They didn’t wear fancy clothes or a lot of money and they probably smelled like stinky fish. (Hold nose.) Yuck! But because Jesus wants everyone to be His friend, Jesus told them to follow Him. And they did!
“Hearing stories about the people Jesus talked to and ate with and told to follow Him helps us know that [Bottom Line] everyone can be friends with Jesus. That’s why, when ‘Who can be friends with Jesus?’, we’ll say [Bottom Line] ‘Everyone can be friends with Jesus!’ Let’s try it! Who can be friends with Jesus? (Together.) [Bottom Line] Everyone can be friends with Jesus!”
“That’s right! Jesus wants everyone to be His friend and follow Him. And the Bible verse we’re going to learn will help usremember to follow Jesus. It says . . . ‘“Come (motion towards self) and follow me,” (march) Jesus said,’ (hands around mouth) Matthew 4:19. (Open hands like a book.) (Practice this verse several times with your kids.)
“You sound awesome! And you did a great job with the motions, too! (Give two thumbs-up.) Since Jesus wants everyone to be His friend, when I say your name, I want you to stand up and say, ‘I can be friends with Jesus!’ Got it? (Write their name as each family member says it. Don’t forget yourself.)
“Yay! [Bottom Line] Everyone can be friends with Jesus! Would anyone like to pray before I pray?” (Give each family member who wants to pray the opportunity to do so.)
Prayer: “Dear God, Thank You for sending Jesus to be our friend forever. Thank You that [child’s name] can be friends with Jesus. Thank You that [child’s name] can be friends with Jesus. (Continue with each family member.) And thank You that I can be friends with Jesus, too. You’re the best, God, and we love You. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
As we wrap up, I would like to leave you with one of the kids’ favorite ‘good-bye’ songs:
Let Me See Your Alligator
Thank you for the opportunity to partner with you in the discipleship of your kid(s). My prayers are with you.
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”
3 John 1:4