Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids how to not worry.
Needed: Bibles, Faith vs. Fear cards, whiteboard or blackboard, stuffed or real bird (or a picture of a bird), flower
Intro Game: Faith vs. Fear
Print out or write the words Fear or Faith on a set of index cards. You should have an equal number of cards that say Faith as Fear.
Divide students into two teams, and have the teams line up on separate sides of the room in single file lines. Mix up the cards and give each student a card that says Faith or Fear. Set a timer for 3-5 minutes, depending on how many students you have. When you say Go! the first two students run toward each and show each other their cards.
If one says Faith and the other says Fear, the student with Faith scores a point for their team. The person with Fear does not score. If both say Faith, both score a point and if both say Fear, neither does. Both return to the back of their lines and trade their cards for a new card.
As soon as they leave the center, the second two players run up and do the same thing. Play continues until the timer runs out. The team with the most points at the end wins.
Ask students, What does it mean to worry?
(If you worry about something, it means you’re thinking a lot about bad things happening, and you’re afraid of bad things happening.)
Do you ever worry about things? What kinds of things do you worry about?
(Write the students’ answers on the board. Suggestions could include school work and grades, making other kids like you, bullies and people teasing you, parents fighting, thunderstorms, sirens, the dark, monsters, our families not having enough money, etc.)
(Read Matthew 6:24-35 or summarize the passage by reading the following story and asking the included questions.)
Jesus said that people worry a lot of times about whether or not they’ll get enough food to eat or whether they’ll have enough clothes to wear. And do you know what Jesus told them? He said, “Look at the birds. (pull out bird) They don’t worry about not having enough food. God gives them their food. And do you see how pretty the flowers are? (pull out flower) They don’t worry about not having enough clothes to wear. God gives them everything they need and decorates them with all kinds of colors.”
Then Jesus said, “So you shouldn’t worry about things, either. God will take care of you and will give you everything you need, just as He gives the birds their food, and gives the flowers their pretty colors to wear, because you are more important to God than birds and flowers. Just remember to trust God and put God first in your life, and He will take care of you.”
But God doesn’t usually just give us what we need, does He? What do birds eat? (Worms, bugs, berries, and other animals)
How do birds get their food? (They have to look for it and hunt for it. God doesn’t just give it to them.)
But who made the worms and the bugs and the berries and the other animals for the birds to eat? (God did.)
So, God made the food for the birds to eat, but the birds still have to work to get the food. They still have to go out looking for it.
And that’s kind of the way it is with us. God made the food that we eat. And God helps us with our problems and everything that we worry about. But we still have to do things to help too. Do you remember some of the things we were worried about?
One of them was school work and getting good grades. Can God help us with our school work and help us to get good grades? (Yes.)
But God isn’t going to do our work for us or miraculously make us get good grades, is He? We have to do something too. What do we have to do if we want to get good grades? (We have to pay attention in school and study and do our work.)
And if we pray and ask God to help us with those things, He will, but we have to do what we’re supposed to do too. So, remember to ask God to help you with your problems and remember to ask God to help you not worry, but also remember that you have to what you’re supposed to do too.
Game: Birds and Flowers
In this version of Freeze Tag, you’ll divide the students into two teams. The team that is chasing the other is the Birds. They have to flap their arms and make bird noises as they’re running. The team being chased is the Worms. When they get tagged, they have to stay still like Flowers.
The Worms can tag the Flowers to unfreeze them, or every minute or so, the leader can call out “Unfreeze!” and the Flowers turn back into running Worms.
The round is over when the Birds tag all the Worms.
Remind students that God gives the Birds food, but they have to work for it, just as we have to work for the things God gives us in life.
Activity: Acting It Out
Divide students into groups of two or three. Have each group decide on and act out a scene in which someone is worried about something but then puts their faith in God.
God, help us not to worry about bad things happening. Instead, help us to trust You to provide for us and help us to do the things we need to do so that we don’t have to worry. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, Jesus Teaches on the Mountain.