Following Jesus Group
Group Activities

Interactive Group Activities
by Carol Williams

Sermon Title: "Follow Jesus" and "Called to Follow"

Scripture Reading: Matthew 16:21-28

FOLLOW THE LEADER: Let children take turns being a "leader" and finding hard things for the followers to do. (Ex. would be to stand on one foot, twirl in a circle, climb under a bench, etc.) This can lead into today's lesson that sometimes "following" is hard.

CROSS SCRATCH ART: Let children color a sheet of construction paper with many various color crayons and the TOP COLOR will be black, colored all over the paper. Then children can take a toothpick or something else that is sharper and can draw a cross on the paper. The various colors will show through as they draw and decorate their cross.

MASKING TAPE CROSS: Have the children form a cross with masking tape on a piece of paper. Paint around the cross using many colors and add words from today's lesson. When the painting is done and the words have been added, remove the masking tape to leave the cross in the middle of their painting.

CROSS TOSS: Fill a 9 x 13 cake pan with small white plastic cups (Dixie cups), forming a cross with another color mini plastic cups (red or purple cups) in the middle of the pan. Let the children take turns tossing beans or seeds to see how many they can get into the colored cups only!

FINGERPRINT CROSS: Give each child an outline of a cross drawn on a piece of white paper. Let the children make their fingerprints INSIDE that cross using many colors of ink for their finger prints to make a colorful picture to remember today's Bible story.

FILL IN THE BLANKS: Have children draw a very large CROSS and write as many words of the Bible verse today (Matthew 16:24-25) on the cross, that they can remember (such as deny, take up, follow me, disciples, etc). If time allows, the cross will be fun to look at if children use a different magic marker for each word or phrase. In order to help and encourage the children, the teacher could have some words and phrases written on the chalk board.

FOLLOW FEET: Let the children cut out very LARGE "feet" patterns or trace their own shoe. Color two feet for each child and let the children decorate their FEET and write FOLLOW on one foot and JESUS on the other foot. Then give children a piece of poster board to glue their feet onto and take home, OR the children could tape their feet on the classroom wall or a hallway in the church area, with their names on the edge of each foot!

CROSS NECKLACE: Give each child a cross cut out of card stock. Punch a hole at the top and run a piece of plastic string or yarn through it to make a necklace. The children can color and decorate their necklace with mini stickers to personalize it, if desired. Tell the children that they can wear the necklace to remind them of today's lesson and to share the meaning of the CROSS with others.

SHARE A SNACK: Give each child a graham cracker to frost and use gel frosting around the edge to make it look like a Bible. Draw a CROSS with the gel frosting in the middle of the "Bible". (Putting frosting between two crackers might be even more delicious.)

Song:  "Take Up Your Cross" by Charles Kirkpatrick

Words and Music (pdf)

MP3 Accompaniment Track

Song:  "Take Up Thy Cross and Follow Me " (chorus)  by Alfred H. Ackley

Words and Music (pdf)

MP3 Accompaniment Track

About Carol Williams
Carol and her husband have served churches in Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, Michigan, and Indiana.  Carol loves to work with children so you will find her teaching in Junior Church and children's Sunday School.  She also has clowning ministry in which she is known as Bubbles tc (the clown).
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