This lesson plan covers the events surround the birth of John. There is a special emphasis on the promise of God and the mission He would give to John.
This lesson was first written for children’s church, but it can easily be adapted to other ministry settings. Hundreds of readers have already used it in their Sunday School class as a Christmas Bible lesson. Feel free to modify the content to fit your particular needs. Like all our materials you have full permission to copy and use this however you like.
Bible Passage: Luke 1:5-25
Bible Story Title: God promises John’s & Special Mission
Target Age Group: Kindergarten – 5th Grade
Target Time Frame: 25 minutes
Original Teaching Context: Children’s Church
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Learning Objectives: After this lesson . . .
- Children will demonstrate knowledge of the key people and events in this passage … by retelling the story back to the teacher at the end of the session.
- Children will demonstrate an understanding of what this story teaches about God … by identifying from a list of possible themes, which the story actually teaches.
- Children will demonstrate understanding of the role of John the Baptist … by explaining in their own words his special mission.
- Bible: Luke 1:5-25 Prepare a copy in advance by highlighting the significant points to emphasize and underlining items that will need additional explanation.
- Visual Aids: Pictures of Zechariah, Elizabeth, Gabriel, a baby and the Temple. Use Google Images to find & print these if you don’t have an illustrated story Bible on hand.
Teaching Plan: John’s Birth is Promised
Introduce the lesson by showing the children pictures of Zechariah, Elizabeth, Gabriel, baby John and the Temple. Very briefly, explain who they are and how they fit into the story. Have the children repeat their names.
Immediately, use the pictures as flash cards to help the children review what you just told them. Call on volunteers to answer. Repeat all pictures two times.
Before your read the story, ask half the children to listen for what this story teaches about God. Ask the other half the children to listen for the special job God was going to give John.
Read (and Summarize) Luke 1:5-25. Read with emotion and pause often to engage the children with the reading. Pause to reinforce the God-centered themes by prompting them as questions.
- Does God answer prayer?
- YES. God answers prayer. Say that with me … “God answers prayer.”
- Is anything too hard for God?
- NO. Nothing is too hard for God. Say that with me … “Nothing is too hard for God.”
- Does faith please God?
- YES, faith pleases God. Say that with me … “Faith pleases God.”
Immediately after reading the story, use the pictures to conduct a quick review of the key people and events in the story.
Ask the children to report on their listening assignments.
- What does this story teach about God?
- What is the special job God is giving to John the Baptist?
Call on a volunteer to demonstrate the ministry of John. Have the child walk across the room indicating walking away from God. Then shout STOP! TURN AROUND! COME BACK! Explain that was John’s special job was to call God’s people to turn back to Him. This is an appropriate time to briefly reinforce the Gospel message.
Children’s Church Lesson Evaluation:
- Ask five volunteers to retell the story to the class through role-play. Assign the children roles as Zechariah, Elizabeth, Gabriel and two others as the crowd standing outside the Temple. The remaining children will direct the story by taking turns telling the story back at the teacher’s prompting. “OK, good and then what happened?”
- Ask a volunteer to explain the special mission God was going to give John.
- Read the following themes, ask the children to stand if the theme the story says or remain seated if the theme is not from this story.
- God answers prayer. — YES
- God is a Trinity. – True, but not really a part of this story.
- Jesus loves sinners. – True, but not really a part of this story.
- Nothing is too hard for God. — YES
- Faith pleases God. — YES
- God created all things. – True, but not really a part of this story.
Closing: Pray together with the children.
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