This is a Sunday school lesson is about being adopted into God’s family based on Galatians 4:4. It can be adapted for use in a preschool classroom or elementary aged classroom. The lesson is followed by a paper doll self portrait craft activity.
Feel free to modify this Bible lesson for your own ministry setting. Be creative and make it personal for the children in your class.
Bible Passage: Galatians 4:4
Bible Story Title: Adopted into God’s Family
Target Age Group: 4 years old – 3rd grade
Target Time Frame:30 minutes
Original Teaching Context: Children’s Church or Sunday School
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Materials Needed: A photograph of your (the teacher’s) family, copies of a simple paper doll pattern (outline of a child), crayons or colored pencils, a variety of colored construction paper, a variety of colored yarn (yellow, red, black and brown), sharpie markers, glue and scissors.
Optional: You may also enjoy our free coloring book for explaining adoption to kids.
- “What is a family?” Take answers from the children.
- Show the photograph of your family. Introduce the children to each member of your family by using the picture. “Is every family just like my family?”
- “What is God’s family like? Who gets to be in God’s family?” Take answers from the children.
- “Today we will look at what the Bible says about becoming a part of God’s family. Maybe you are already a part of God’s family, maybe you are not sure if you are a part of God’s family, or maybe you don’t know how to become a part of God’s family. I hope after what the Bible teaches you today you will be sure about how to become a part of God’s family.”
- Open your Bible to Galatians 4:4.
- Read aloud the verse while the children follow along.
- “How did God show people the way to become part of His family? The Bible tells us how in verse 4.”
- “What did this verse tell us? First, God sent His son who was Jesus. Second, Jesus was born of a woman who was Mary. Third, Jesus was born under the law. Fourth, Jesus redeemed those under the law, which is you and me! And Jesus did all of this so that we could be adopted as sons and daughters into God’s family!”
- “There is no greater blessing than to be in God’s family!”
- “Verse four tells us that Jesus was fully God, fully man, and he lived out God’s law by being under the law.”
- “Now, what does it mean for Jesus to redeem us?” Take answers from the children.
- “It means he bought us out of sin. Before we come to know Jesus we can’t help but sin. And Jesus set us free from our sin by dying on the cross! He redeemed us! He set us free!”
- “What does it mean to be adopted?” Take answers from the children.
- “Adopted means becoming a part of a new family.”
- Review, with the children trying to say it along with you, the five parts of the gospel message explained it verse four: God sent His Son, who was born of a woman, who was born under the law, redeemed us from our sin, and adopted us into His family.
- “If you have admitted you are a sinner, turned away from your sin and believed in Jesus living a perfect life and dying on the cross for your sins, then you are a part of God’s family! You have been redeemed and you have been adopted!”
- “How can a person be adopted into God’s family?” Take input from the children as a review of the basic gospel story and message.
- “Does anyone have questions about how to become redeemed and adopted into God’s family?” While the children are working on their paper doll self portraits, the adult leaders can meet with any children individually who have questions about their salvation or how to join God’s family.
- “As a reminder of how we can all be a part of God’s family, we are going to create a paper family which we can display on the wall of our room and look at each week when we come to church.”
- “You are each going to get a blank paper doll to decorate to look like you. You can use the yarn to glue on hair and the colored construction paper to cut out clothes. The colored pencils and crayons can be used to draw your face. Most importantly, I want you to write your name on the front of your doll with a sharpie marker, so we know who your paper doll is!”
- When the paper dolls are decorated, the children will cut it out. Then the paper dolls can be attached hand-to-hand like a paper doll chain and displayed on a bulletin board in the classroom.
- For decorating paper dolls with preschool-K, you may want to leave out the yarn and construction paper and have the children simply color their paper doll. Or you may want to have construction paper clothes and yarn hair pre-cut for them. The younger the children the more prep-work and adult help is required. If used with 2nd-3rd graders the entire activity could be self-directed by the children.
- Craft activities sometimes go even smoother if you have a finished product already completed to show the children. In this case they would love to see a paper doll you completed of yourself and then your doll could be added to the bulletin board display.