Most children likely do not give too much thought to their grand purpose or future, aside from daily needs and the possible dream of a one-day career (as a firefighter, doctor, YouTube influencer, etc.). Yet it’s important to remind kids that God has a plan and purpose for each and every life He creates. God loves and cares about us, and makes us for a special reason. He will equip us to do His work and enable us to do so.
Lesson focus: This lesson looks at the calling of the prophet Jeremiah to emphasize how God loves and calls all of His children. God cares about us, no matter how young or old we are, and has a plan to use our lives. The lesson considers the encouraging hope of knowing that God provides us with the means of doing whatever He calls us to do.
Target Audience: Kindergarten-6th grade (variable for activity emphasis)
Materials Needed: Construction paper, scissors, decorations, glue, string, hole punch, small containers, cups, yarn, pipe cleaners, seeds, Bible (optional, depending on crafts and activities of choice).
More Teaching Ideas
- Watch the video of this children’s sermon lesson and Bible craft ideas
- Compare the Story of Jeremiah Sunday School Lesson
- Compare our full Jeremiah 1:4-10 Sunday School Lesson
- Compare another children’s Bible Lesson on the calling of Jeremiah
- Download our Book of Jeremiah coloring page and calling of the Prophet Jeremiah comic
Game Activities to Introduce the Lesson
Lesson Opening: This lesson involves listening, having a purpose, and being called and used by God. There are a variety of openers that would work with these themes.
Here are some activities to get kids thinking… (select the best ones for your age group):
- Create miniature “telephones” by stringing yarn through holes in paper cups. See if kids can use the “phones” to hear their amplified voices.
- Name games: have students form a circle and play a memory game involving names. Invite them to come up with something like items they would bring on a picnic or camp-out. The item they select should start with the first letter of their first name. other students in the circle must recite the selections of others as well as their own (this helps if students do not know each other’s names well, also).
- From small to large…since this passage includes God’s calling of Jeremiah from a young age, consider things that grow in size and stature. Look at pictures of animals or plant seedlings (or actual seeds) and match them to the mature variety of the same item.
- Find the words…God gives us the words to say when we aren’t sure how to do things. Play a game that includes giving or finding words and putting them together. Write the words of a verse or verses on pieces of paper, and hide them around the room or have children complete a relay race to gather the words. Have students work in teams to put the verses together from the mixed up word jumbles.
- Little known facts…ask children if they know where their names came from and what they need. Additionally, do they know how many teeth they have? How many hairs on their heads? Remind them that God knows all of these facts and more!
Explain to students that this story has to do with a prophet, someone special who was called to deliver God’s messages to His people. But God didn’t just call prophets in the Bible. He has a plan and purpose for every one of us. He knows our names and calls us to love and follow Him!
Ask: What do you want to be when you grow up? Where do you think you might be in fifteen or twenty years?
Sunday School Lesson (Jeremiah 1:4-10 ) Called by God
Bible Lesson: This passage focuses on God’s call to the prophet Jeremiah. If older students have Bibles, you might encourage them to follow along and respond to the parts of Jeremiah, in somewhat of a script format. Since it’s a rather short passage, you might also read this aloud dramatically, or have students read the verses.
Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Explain for younger audiences what is being said here. God knew Jeremiah before he was even born, and had a plan for his life. The same is true for each of us! God had a plan and purpose for our lives before our parents were even born. God has special plans for our lives!
Ask: How does it impact our prayers to know God has these special plans for us, and knows us?
Jeremiah was young when God called him. He was nervous because he didn’t think people would listen to him or trust him, being just a kid. But God assured him that He would be with him, and that he would help him deliver the Lord’s messages.
Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” 7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.” -Jeremiah 1:6-8
God comforted Jeremiah by reminding him that his power came from above. On our own, we can do nothing. Even adults are powerless without God’s help! God promised to be with Jeremiah and to help him know what to say. In fact, God promised to give Jeremiah the exact words He would have him speak!
9 Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”
We might sometimes wish God would do this for us. It sounds wonderful to just have the hand of the Lord touch our mouths and promise us words to say! However, in a sense, He still promises this. God has given us His words in the Bible. When we trust the Bible, and pray daily, we can be in touch with God and understand what He wants for and from us.
Ask: How can we “listen up” for God’s voice these days? How does He still speak to people?
God is with us! He cares about us and loves us. Remind students that God knows everything there is to know about them. God has a plan for their lives that they can’t even imagine yet. There’s a lot about the future that is uncertain, but we can rest assured that God provides for us and stays with us, and will give us the strength to do His work!
Close with a prayer thanking God for calling us, knowing us, and loving us. Ask for His help and guidance in understanding His will and purpose for our lives.
Sunday School Crafts on Jeremiah
Crafts: There are several fun crafts that involve the element of a calling and purpose. Consider one of the following:
- Decorative name badge/name plate (colorful iteration of a name)
- Name acrostic poems
- Megaphone “calling device”
- Headband with oversized decorative “ears”
- “Can can” decorative collection of service ideas
- “Growth in God” reminder decoration