This free lesson plan is about Jesus calling his first disciples. It’s designed for a younger age group, even preschoolers, but could be modified for any learning context. Please leave your comments below to offer your suggestions and help other readers.
Lesson Title: Fishers of Men
Bible Reference: Luke 5:1-11
Target Age Group: Preschool
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: One Hour
Memory Verse: “Then Jesus said to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.’” Luke 5:10
Gospel Connection: This passage is important to the gospel because we see Jesus work a miracle and then teach his new disciples what their life will be like as fishers of men. The men were unable to catch any fish until Jesus came and they listened to him. Jesus then tells them that they will be fishers of men. Their ministry, like their fishing trip, will be completely dependent on Jesus’ will.
- Children will learn that Jesus called ordinary men to be His disciples and do His work.
- Children will learn that ministry is dependent on God.
Basic Supply List:
- Blue blanket
- Cut out fish
- Blue construction paper
- Fish stickers
- Pieces of string
- Hula Hoop
- Clear plastic container full of water
- Various small classroom items
Note: In the teaching plan below the words in italics are meant to be read aloud. The regular text is simply directions for the teacher.
> > > > Basic Teaching Plan < < < <
Introduction: For this lesson, create a lake in the middle of your classroom and fill it with fish. This can be easily done by laying a blue blanket on the floor and cutting fish out of paper. When the children enter the classroom, have them sit around the lake. Say, Has anyone ever been fishing before? Allow children to respond. What are some ways that we can catch fish? Allow the class to respond. Tell them that people use fishing poles to catch fish, but that sometime people also use nets. Today we will learn about what happened to some fisherman one day when Jesus showed up on their boat.
Biblical Evidence: Retell the story of Luke 5:1-11 in your own words, or read from below.
One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret preaching to a crowd of people, he saw two boats on the sea shore. He got into the boat, which belonged to Simon and taught the crowd of people from the sea shore. When Jesus was done teaching he told Simon to put his nets into the water to try to catch some fish. Simon had been fishing all night and had not caught any fish but he listened to Jesus anyway and put the net into the water. When Simon did this the net became so full of fish that the net began to break. He had to call a friend to help bring in the nets and the fish. Simon was amazed by all the fish they had caught and was embarrassed because he knew that he was a sinful man. He told Jesus to leave because he knew that he was sinful and didn’t deserve all of the fish that they had caught. But Jesus told the Simon and the other men that they would become fishers of men. When Simon and the other men heard this they parked their boats and left everything they had a followed Jesus.
Use the following questions to help the children understand the story.
- What did Jesus ask Simon to do? To put the net down again.
- Jesus didn’t tell Simon that he would catch any more fish, but Simon still listened to Jesus and let the net down. What happened when Simon let the net down? When the net was down Simon caught more fish than they could carry.
- What did Jesus tell the men at the end of the story? He told them that they would be fishers of men.
- What does it mean to be a fisher of men? It means that they will be the ones to tell everyone else about Jesus and convince them that Jesus is the only way to have life.
Jesus decided to use ordinary men like Simon to tell people about himself. The men could not catch any fish until Jesus helped them. Once the men became fishers of men, they also could not do anything without Jesus’ help.
Catching Fish Craft: Give each child a piece of blue construction paper. Have small pieces of string and glue available for the kids to create a net on the paper. This can be done by gluing the string across the paper. When they are finished gluing the string onto the paper, have the kids fill their net with fish stickers. They will have created their own net full of fish to help them remember the story.
Bookmarks: Give each child a blank bookmark (I think that index cards work just fine for this). Have the children copy the Bible verse onto the bookmark and decorate it using whatever materials are available. Encourage them to put the bookmark somewhere that they will see it often and be reminded that God can use them to amazing things.
Fishers of Men Game: This game is like tag. One person will be the fisherman, and everyone else will be the fish. Place a hula hoop in the middle of the play area. Whenever a fish is tagged they must go and stand in the net (hula hoop). The game is over whenever everyone has been caught. Depending on how many kids you have you may want to use more than one hula hoop or even a large blanket.
Sink or Float: Fill a large, clear, plastic container with water and use it to play sink or float. Tell the children that when the fisherman caught the large load of fish that their nets became so heavy that they began to sink. To play this game first show the class a small classroom toy, then have them predict if it will sink or float in the water. Put the item in the water and find out what happens. Use whatever small items you have in your classroom, such as blocks, toy cars, crayons, the possibilities are endless.
Conclusion: Close the lesson by telling the class that God loves them and wants them to be fishers of men as well. Tell them that God will be with them as they grow up and as they learn to tell other people about Jesus. Close the lesson by praying for the kids.
Don’t miss our other Luke 5:1-10 activities:
- Rewards of Obedience (Luke 5:1-10) Bible Lesson for Kids – An alternate lesson on this same passage with a focus on how we can obey Jesus today.
- Jesus Calls Helpers (Luke 5:1-10) Preschool Lesson – This teaching plan is written for younger kids and features a bonfire to help experience the Bible story setting.
- Drop Everything (Mark 1:14-20) Sunday School Lesson – This is the same events in from another Biblical writers.
- 12 Disciples Activities Sheet – Print this simple worksheet to learn some information about the disciples along with their names.
- 12 Disciples Bingo – Print this simple game activity to help kids learn the names for twelve disciples.