This is the sixth Bible lesson in our series based on the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5. Each particular lesson plan explains a specific character quality that God creates in us through his Spirit. These lessons are designed to accompany the printable Fruit of the Spirit coloring book from our website. Click here to see all the lessons in this series.
Suggested Age Group: 1rst-3rd Grades
Scripture: Galatians 5:22-23, Psalm 25:7, Psalm 31:19, Zechariah 9:16-17a, Ephesians 2:10, Philemon 1:13-14, Galatians 6:9
Exegetical Idea: Goodness is a fruit of the Spirit, available to all believers as they abide in Christ.
Pedagogical Idea: As believers, we are able to display the fruit of goodness as we abide and trust in Christ.
Cognitive Aim: Children will know goodness is modeled most greatly by our God, is made possible through Christ, and is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Affective Aim: Children will feel confident that God is good all of the time.
Behavioral Aim: Children will begin a Food Drive project and will memorize Galatians 6:9.
Memory Verse: Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
- Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes) Description: Build with canned goods. Discover what Fruit of the Spirit today’s lesson is about. Supplies: 15-20 canned goods (on 8 of them, spell out “Goodness”, one letter per can), chalk/marker board with Galatians 5:22-23 written out
- God Revealed (15 minutes) Description: Look to God’s Word to discover what He says about goodness. Supplies: Bible, chalk/marker board
- Personal Pursuit (10 minutes) Description: Challenge class with food drive, decorate food drive box. Supplies: Large, sturdy box for canned goods for food drive, decorating tools (paint, markers), goodness coloring sheets found here: Fruit of the Spirit
- Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes) Description: Memorize Galatians 6:9, pray together. Supplies: Notecards with memory verse written out for parents.
**For the fruit of the Spirit lessons, you could make a tree for the wall labeled “believer” or “Christian.” Each week you can add the particular attribute you are teaching about. This week, you would add “goodness,” allowing a child to place it on the branch of the tree. I would encourage you to only use one type of fruit (if you are writing each virtue on a fruit), for though there are several virtues produced by the Spirit, they are all one type of fruit: the fruit of the Spirit. There are also several object lessons and activities on the website that would complement this lesson if you have more time with your children. Many activities over the fruit of the Spirit would work well as the children are arriving.
**For this particular lesson, you will need to discuss the Food Drive with the leadership at your church before challenging your class. It should be a church-wide drive, and you need the support of your church leadership.
1. Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes)
- DO: Build a pyramid of canned goods. After building, let them know that some of the cans have letters on the bottom. Instruct them to find all of the letters and see which fruit of the Spirit it spells. They can look to the verse for help (Galatians 5:22-23) . After they spell “goodness,” read the verse aloud.
- ASK: What is goodness? Is it different from kindness? (Allow time for them to give their thoughts). In this verse, goodness does not just mean being good, but doing good and pushing others to do good. What kinds of things do we do that are good?
- SAY: These cans of food are a hint to something good that we can do. All around us are people who do not have enough money for food. One simple way to do good is to donate food to people who have none. Churches and schools do something called “Food Drives.” This is when you bring lots of canned food or boxes of food and they give them away to people who are in need. Can you think of other ways we can do good for people in our community and around the world? (Picking up trash, clothing drives, buying gifts for children at Christmas, volunteering at homeless shelters, etc.)
- ASK: How can we discover more about goodness-what it is and where it comes from? By looking in God’s Word! Let’s go to His Word now and see what He will reveal to us about goodness.
2. God Revealed (15 minutes)
- DO: Begin by reading together Galatians 5:22-23.
- SAY: The Bible tells us in this passage that goodness is a Fruit of the Spirit. If we are saved, the Holy Spirit is living inside of us, and we can be people who overflow with goodness! This does not mean that we will be good and do good all the time. But as we come to know God more and more, we change! Goodness becomes part of who we are. With the Spirit living inside of us, He gives the power to do good!
- Read Psalm 25:7, “Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!”
- SAY: God is good. It is a key part of who He is that we have to believe and cling to. We see His goodness displayed to us in many ways. What aspect of God’s goodness does this verse tell us about? (Forgiveness, forgetting our sins). God does not have to forgive us of the many sins we commit, but in His great love and goodness, He does.
- Read Psalm 31:19, “Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!” and read Zechariah 9:16-17a, “On that day the Lord their God will save them, as the flock of his people; for like the jewels of a crown they shall shine on his land. For how great is his goodness, and how great his beauty!”
- ASK: What do we learn about God’s goodness from these two verses? (It is great towards those who follow Him.) If we are believers, God has promised His goodness to us. This means that whatever happens in our lives, however horrible or bad it may seem, God ultimately intends it for our good. And because He is completely good, it is impossible for Him to do anything not good. When you see and go through terrible times, you have to learn to cling to this truth. Our God is good, all of the time, and the things we think are intended for our harm, He intends for our good.
- Read Philemon 1:13-14, “I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord.”
- SAY: I wanted us to read this verse because it reveals to us an important thing about the Fruit of the Spirit. This is a letter from Paul to a church. He wants them to free a slave from punishment, but he says he does not want them to do this out of “compulsion.” This means he does not want them to do it because he is making them do it. He wants them to do it because they want to do it. When we abide in Jesus Christ, come to know Him more and more, the Fruit of the Spirit become part of who we are. We begin to want show the fruit in our lives, like goodness and kindness. Your parents will not have to tell you to be good or to be kind, but you will do it on your own. This is what happens when we allow Jesus Christ to completely change us from the inside out!
- Read Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” And read Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
- ASK: What do we learn about goodness based on these two verses? (Allow them to give their thoughts. God has created us to do good. Doing good may be difficult and challenging, but it is also rewarding. We grow more like Christ, we learn how to be compassionate and loving to the poor and needy. We experience the love of people we may have never talked to before.)
3. Personal Pursuit (10 minutes)
- SAY: I have a challenge for our class. I want us to show this Fruit of the Spirit, goodness, by organizing a Food Drive at our church (or anything else that would fit your church family). Our class will be responsible for spreading the word through making posters and telling everyone about it. We will pick a date that we want all the food to be here by and encourage all of our church family to do good by bringing as much food as they can. We will set a goal of how many items we want them to bring and see if we can reach that goal! Now this is all up to you. Do you think you can do good and get others to do good with this Food Drive?
- Do: Decorate a Food Drive box. Ideas: Place handprints all over the box using paint (symbolize doing), write verse references with markers, draw pictures of fruit tree to symbolize Fruit of the Spirit, etc. Let them use their creativity!
- Do: Make fliers for the Food Drive. For the sake of time, put the children in three groups. Each group makes one flier together, and one teacher can make copies to hang around the church. If you do have time, you may want to go ahead and allow the children to hang them around the building. Another option is to make the fliers beforehand and use your time for the children to hang them up around the church.
- Do: Use the Fruit of the Spirit coloring page for goodness. Act out the scene depicted in the picture or the acts you discussed as a group. Emphasize that as God produces goodness in our hearts, we will begin to have a great desire to do good and teach others to do good.
4. Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes)
- SAY: I want us to memorize together Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Use hand motions to help them memorize or write it on the board, erasing one word at a time until everyone is able to say it together without seeing it.)
- Spend time in prayer together. Remember the specific situations your children are going through. Invite them to share their needs and praises. Praise God for the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the goodness we are able to do because He lives within us.
- Encourage the parents to work on this verse with their children. Send a notecard home with each parent with the verse written on it.