This free Bible lesson for children teaches the value of telling others about Jesus. It’s based on the passage in Matthew 9 that talks about the great harvest waiting for workers. Leave us a comment with your feedback or suggestions for other readers.
Lesson Title: The Harvest
Bible Reference: Matthew 9:35-38
Target Age Group: Elementary School
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: One Hour
Memory Verse: “Ask the Lord of the Harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:38
Gospel Connection: This lesson challenges children to think about the world around them. There are many people in the world who have never heard about Jesus. As Christians, it is our responsibility to tell these people about Jesus and pray that God would send people into the world to tell others about Jesus.
- Children will learn that there are many people in the world who have never heard about Jesus.
- They will be challenged to pray for more workers to be sent to tell these people about Jesus.
Basic Supply List:
- Paper Grocery Bags
- Apples or other harvest food (for snack)
- Index Cards
- Markers, paints, crayons, other decorating materials that you have
- Small pumpkins, or orange construction paper
- Construction paper
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: Begin by asking the children what a harvest is. Say, The harvest is the time of year when farmers gather their crops before the winter. All year long they work to grow their crops and the harvest is especially exciting because their hard work has finally paid off and they can enjoy the food they grew. Now, tell them that people are like the harvest as well. Say, Because we are Christians, we are like farmers. Jesus wants us to go out in the world, but instead of collecting crops, we are to collect people. God’s field is the whole world. The world is full of people who need to hear about Jesus and we need to go and tell them!
Biblical Evidence: Begin by reading, or having a child read, Matthew 9:35. Say, In this verse we learn something about Jesus. What do we learn about Jesus? (That he is traveling and telling people the good news about salvation. He keeps moving and telling as many people as he can.) Say, We should want to be like Jesus, and that means that we tell others about Him so that they can become Christians too.
Next, read Matthew 9:36. Say, Now we learn something else about Jesus. Jesus loves people. He feels sorry for them because they are lost in life. They do not know that they need Jesus in their lives and they need someone to tell them how to live their lives for Him. How do you think that you can help people know who Jesus is? (Answers will vary.)
Next, read Matthew 9:37-38. Say, The world is full of people that do not know who Jesus and we need to tell them. Jesus teaches us that the world is like a harvest field, full of people who are ready to hear the good news about Jesus. But there are not enough Christians to go and tell all these people. We need to pray that God would send more people into the world to tell others about Jesus. A person who goes and tells people about Jesus is a Missionary. So let’s pray that God will send more Missionaries into the world.
Bible Verse Hunt: Before the class arrives, write each word of the Bible verse on an index card. Hide these index cards around our classroom. Whenever it’s time to play this game tell the kids that they are farmers and they need to harvest the index cards that are hidden in the room. Once they have found all of the cards, they will have to unscramble the words to make the Bible verse. You could also hide two sets of cards (use different color cards) and divide the class into two teams and have them race to find their cards.
Straw Races: For this relay game, divide the class into two teams. Give each team a large bag (like a paper grocery bag). The object of the game is to fill their bag with hay before the other team fills their bag. Have some hay available at the end of your playing area. The children must race to the end of the field and collect the hay using only their hands, then race back and put it in the bag. The first team to fill their bag wins. Remind them that the world is like a harvest ground and that we need to pray that God would send workers into the world to tell people about Jesus.
Decorate Pumpkins: Give each child a small pumpkin and have them decorate it using paint, markers or whatever supplies you have. If you cannot buy pumpkins for the class orange construction paper would work just fine. Have the children write the Bible verse somewhere on their pumpkin and take it home as a reminder to pray.
Snack Time: If possible, feed the kids a harvest fresh snack. For example, feed them fresh apples. While you are eating, talk about how the apples are a wonderful gift from God. Talk about how the farmer had to grow the apples all year, then go out and collect them. It wouldn’t be good to grow the apples then leave them there to rot, or be eaten by wild animals. We have to harvest them. This is how God feels about people. They are out there, but someone has to go and collect them and tell them about Jesus.
Encourage a Missionary: Have your class write letters or create cards to send to missionaries to encourage them in their work. Explain to the class that missionary work can be very difficult, even though it is very important. You will have to talk to your church leaders or association to see what missionaries you can write too.
Conclusion: Close the lesson by praying with the class. Ask God to send workers out into the world to collect the people who need to know him. Pray that God would lead your students to be missionaries in their school and neighborhoods as they tell their friends about Jesus.