Try this simple object lesson to teach children the importance of the church community in their lives.
Main Idea: We are stronger together, the church is a group of friends who help each other follow Jesus.
Items Needed: Several heavy books. We used unwrapped story Bibles.
- Ecclesiastes 4:12 — Though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
- Proverbs 27:17 — Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
- Ecclesiastes 4:9 — Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.
- Hebrews 10:24-25 — Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Directions: This object lesson involved a few children as volunteers at the front of the class.
- Begin by calling an older child to the front. Ask them to hold a single book above their head with flat palms. (See picture below).
- Give them a few seconds to feel the weight and ask them if this is getting hard. The delay is key to making the task harder with fewer books. If they are ready for more, carefully place another book on the stack. Repeat this process until the books slide off. Be sure to catch the books to prevent injury. Most kids will lose the balance of the books and they will slide off.
- Invite several children to try this “strong” test. Always congratulate them for the effort, but remark how hard it must be to keep adding weight.
- Explain the point, “This is something like following Jesus. It may feel easy at first but over time it can feel heavy. The world we live in, plus our own hearts, is like a constant force making it hard to follow God’s plan. But God gave us a wonderful gift. It’s a group of friends who are all working together to learn how to love God & love other people. It’s called the church. Let’s get some helpers to try our hard task together.”
- Invite 2-4 kids to try the books at a time. As you add more books, remark how it’s still hard but much easier than doing it alone. After several children get a chance to work together, restate the point.
This object lesson deals with a common error kids make when thinking about the church. They often imagine it as another place they go (like school or the movies) rather than a group of people. For this lesson, emphasize how the church is a group of friends who we spend time with and learn how to follow Jesus together. In my teaching, I even talked some about their own choice of a church when they become grown-ups. That’s my little hint toward their future ownership of their own faith and discipleship.
I’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions for this object lesson. Please leave a comment below.
The brave boys in the picture are two of my own, Elijah & Micah.