This free Bible lesson is based on Jesus’ parable of the wise & foolish builders. Use it in your children’s church or Sunday School to help children build their life upon Jesus Christ. He is the “rock” that can withstand any storm.
Lesson Focus: A life built on a firm foundation of faith will survive trials and tests.
Bible Passages: Matthew 7:24-27
Target audience: 1st-5th grade (adaptable older or younger)
Materials needed: Blocks (foam or wood); rug; exercise ball; large rocks; paint/glitter
Other Resources: Teaching Skits about the Wise and Foolish Builders
Opening Activities: Greet students and start with a question: what is a “foundation”? What does that seem to mean? Explain that today we will be talking about firm foundations. We will begin with a little construction race. Divide the students into two teams. Each group will receive a pile of blocks from which they are to build a tower. However, there is a slight catch…one group will be building on solid hard floor, while the other has to build on a lumpy soft rug. Which is easier? After the towers are built, shake or tug the rug and watch what happens.
(Optional additional opener) Take two volunteers. Explain that their job is to sit on a chair for one minute with their feet and hands in the air. However, only one volunteer will be in a regular chair…the other will be balancing on a stability ball. For extra challenge, come up and shake or rock the students.
Message: Open to Matthew 7:24-27. Review the meaning and purpose of parables. Jesus used stories to explain and communicate his points. He liked to use things that were familiar to the people of the time. One story he told had to do with house building. (Read the passage or have students read it).
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:27-27
Discuss this story and what it might mean. What kinds of “storms” might we encounter in our lives? Talk about possible challenges: moving, changing schools, losing a pet, etc. Why are these things difficult? How can we handle it when they come up? Jesus says here that we are to hear his words and put them into practice…how can we do that? Review methods of learning what Christ directs: read the Bible, pray, listen in church, obey parents… describe why this would help keep a solid foundation. The more we know and love the Lord, the more stable and reliable our faith and even in hard times it will hold firm.
Memory Verses / Coloring Sheet: You can download and print our free “Build Your House Upon the Rock” coloring page that includes the text of Matthew 7:24.
Craft Activity: Students will decorate special paperweights to celebrate life “built on the rock.” Using large stones (or smaller ones if preferred; even painted foam will do!), attach or write a paraphrased version of the story verses. Then allow students to paint, adorn, or otherwise decorate the rocks to keep and use as decoration reminders or paperweights.
Snack possibilities: Cracker construction…build your own munch-able mansion with materials such as graham crackers, Saltine crackers, frosting/peanut butter, pretzels, and marshmallows.
Closing: Review what a foundation is. Share a method of remaining rooted in Christ’s foundation.
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