This simple lesson plan was prepared for our Pirate Theme night at church on a Wednesday evening. It could be useful for any children’s church or Sunday School lesson. I’ve included a few hints below, but would love to hear your ideas too. Simply leave a comment below to make suggestions for other readers.
- PowerPoint Presentation (right-click to download)
- PDF Presentation (easy to print and display if you don’t have a computer in your teaching room)
- Optional worksheet version of this lesson for students & teacher. Use this for older children or youth to allow them to discover the boats by looking up the Bible references on their own. I actually prepared the worksheet version for a Senior Adult Bible study at our church.
Lesson: Top Ten Boats in the Bible (and what they can teach us about God)
- Noah’s Ark ~ God knows knows how to protect his people. Genesis 7:15-19
- Boat for a baby Moses ~ No boat is too small when God is watching over you. Exodus 2:1-10
- Jonah’s ship to Tarshish ~ No boat is safe when you’re running away from God. Jonah 1:3
- James & John leave their fishing boat ~ When Jesus calls, leave everything behind. Matthew 4:21-22
- Jesus preached from a boat ~ God’s message is not just for church. Matthew 13:2
- Jesus calms the storm (in a boat) ~ Jesus is in charge of the weather. Luke 8:22-25
- Jesus walks on water (beside a boat) ~ Jesus showed he was truly God. John 6:16-21
- Jesus fills Peter’s boat ~ Jesus can provide more than enough. John 21:4-8
- Paul traveled by ship ~ God’s message comes through people, who have to travel. Acts 20:13
- Paul’s prison ship ~ God can show his power even when the boat sinks. Acts 27:6-11
Gospel Connection: The themes in this lesson are more “general” truths about God. As you teach, look for opportunities to relate them back to the Good News. For a more specific approach, use the optional Gospel illustration below.
Directions: Advance each slide and briefly have the children tell you details about the story for each boat. Then transition to make the teaching point for each slide. Take time to elaborate or make applications specific to the children in your group. To extend the lesson, have children look up and read verses from each boat story.
At the end of the presentation, lead the children in prayer thanking God for his love, mercy, and protection.
Bridge Illustration with a Boat: You could modify the classic “Jesus Bridge” illustration to use a boat rather than a bridge. Use the following sketch as your guide. Complete the illustrations on a whiteboard or poster board. Make the point that it’s Jesus who can bring us to God, but we must trust Him to take us there.
Alternative: You can use masking tape to create a large version same illustration on the floor of your meeting room. Have different volunteers try to jump from the island to God without help. Then layout tape in the shape of a boat and have them walk across using the boat.