The Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) Sunday School Lesson

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This Bible lesson will teach children about the spiritual discipline of evangelism. Sometimes we forget that children can speak God’s truth, even better than grown-ups. (See Matthew 21:16) Telling others about Jesus is also a key for kids to grow in their own faith.

Spiritual disciplines are just a fancy way to say “spiritual exercise.” That means something we can do to help us get closer to Jesus and stronger in our faith. Evangelism is exactly such an activity.

This lesson is designed for a smaller group of children, but could be adapted for any Sunday School or Children’s Church setting.

Bible Topic: Telling Others (Evangelism)
Scripture: Matthew 28:16-20
Target Age Group: Elementary (1st -5th grade)
Learning Context: Any small group setting like Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 30 minute

Lesson Objective: Children will learn about the spiritual discipline of telling others.

Introduction: Begin the lesson by reading the key verse to the children. For older elementary, encourage a volunteer to read this verse to the group.

Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (ESV)

Explain: Jesus commands us to tell other people about Him.  Besides our main verse in Matthew, Jesus also speaks of telling others in Mark (16:15), Luke (24:47), and Acts (1:8).

**If you are extending this lesson, take a moment for the children to find those passages in their Bible or have a sword-drill game as you read them to the class.  

Continue by explaining the main idea in your own words: If we wish to be more like Jesus, we should strive to be obedient to the command to tell others about Christ.  Telling others about Jesus doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated.  We can say something as simple as, “let me tell you what Jesus did for me.”

Sometimes it may seem scary to tell others about Jesus, but we have the Holy Spirit with us to guide us as we speak.  Our actions allow others to “see” Jesus in us, and thus show them the Gospel.  If we live in a way that is pleasing to God, others will take notice and may even ask us why we are different.  We have to understand that we as humans have no power to “make someone get saved;” the Holy Spirit must be at work in the person’s life.  It is only our job to tell them and leave the door open for them to accept Jesus as Savior.

Activity: Practice telling others!  If time allows, use role playing in the classroom where one child pretends to not know about Jesus. This can be a fun improvisation skit for two adult teachers or teenage helpers to demonstrate. Challenge kids to tell friends at school about Jesus. The next time you meet, ask them to tell you about the conversation they had with those classmates.

Activity: Dominoes object lesson about sharing Christ. Watch this video demonstration and add 10 minutes to your lesson time if you plan to include it.

Object lesson on the Great Commission

Craft: Kids can make a beaded bracelet to give to a friend that shares the Gospel message.  You can attach a small piece of paper that tells what each colored bead stands for. We recommend the Wordless Book or Who Will Be King? as tools for kids sharing the Gospel with other children.

  • Black stands for our sin
  • Red stands for Jesus’ blood that took our sins away
  • White stands for our sin washed clean
  • Blue stands for baptism
  • Green stands for us growing in faith
  • Gold stands for our reward in heaven

Bible Memory: Use any of our creative methods to help the children memorize the Matthew 28:19-20 Bible verse from this lesson plan.

Related Resources: You could also use our Gospel Coloring Book. For more about sharing Jesus with children, read our articles on how to witness to kids.

Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV) The Great Commission

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


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