Lesson: Salt of the Earth

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Use this children’s Sunday School lesson on being “salt” to teach kids the importance that Christians have in the world.

Needed: Bibles, Salt

Intro Activity: Acting It Out

Divide students into groups of two or three. Have each group decide on and act out one way that they can help someone and convince them to believe in Jesus. Name some outreach activities that your church does if students need help thinking of something.

Explain that sometimes, people won’t believe in Jesus, no matter what we do. We feel sorry for those people, but at least we know we tried. And maybe we can try to tell them about Jesus again another time.


Ask students, What do you think God wants us to do in our life? What’s our job? (Simply lead students in a brainstorming session here to get them thinking.)

(Without telling them what it is, give each of your students a small handful of salt. Tell them to taste it and then, ask if anyone can guess what it is.)

Who can tell me what salt is used for?

We use salt on food. Salt makes food taste better.

A long time ago, people also used salt to keep their food from rotting. When they killed a cow or a sheep, they didn’t have refrigerators or freezers to put the meat in. Refrigerators and freezers hadn’t been invented yet! And they knew that if they kept their meat out, it would rot and go bad and start to stink. Do you know what happens to you if you eat rotten meat? (You get sick and probably throw up!)

So, they covered the meat all in salt, and the salt kept the meat from going bad. The salt made it so that the meat didn’t rot. That way, they could keep their meat healthy until they wanted to eat it.

The interesting thing is that Jesus said we are like salt.

(Read Matthew 5:13.)

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”

Jesus said we are the salt of the earth. What do you think that means? How are we like salt?

Remember that we said that salt is used to make food taste better. Just like salt makes food taste better, we can help make someone’s life better. We can tell them about Jesus and do nice things for them and make their life better. We can add some good flavoring to their life.

Remember that we also said that salt is also used to keep food from going bad and rotting. Just like salt keeps food from going bad and rotting, we can help someone from going bad and going to Hell when they die. If we tell them about Jesus, then maybe they can believe in Him and go to Heaven when they die instead of going to Hell.

So, that’s how we’re like salt. We help people by doing nice things for them and telling them about Jesus. But let me ask you a question: What would you do if your salt didn’t work anymore? What would you do with your salt if it didn’t taste salty anymore and didn’t make your food taste better and didn’t keep your meat from going bad? You’d throw it away! (Tell students to throw the rest of the salt in their hands over their shoulder.)

No one needs salt that isn’t doing its job. Salt is supposed to add flavor to food and keep things from rotting. If it’s not doing that, we’d throw it away. Salt has to do its job.

And it’s the same way with us. Jesus said that we’re the salt of the earth, and we have to do our job. We have to help people by doing nice things for them and telling them about Jesus. If we’re not doing that, then Jesus says we’re not doing our job, and we’re not being very useful to Him.

Game: Salt the Meat!

Divide the students into two teams and set a timer. Tell team A that the meat (Team B) is going bad and that they need to salt it (tag it) before the timer goes off.

When Team A succeeds or when the timer goes off, switch the team’s roles and play again.

Explain that the people of the world are going bad and will go to Hell when they die. That’s why we have to hurry to try to tell them about Jesus. We can’t make everyone believe in Jesus, but we can give them a chance.

Game: Disciple Tag

Choose one student to be It. When they tag someone, that person links hands with them and joins their team. They continue adding people to their team, linking hands with each one until all but one student is part of their chain. That remaining student becomes It for the next round.

Play two or three rounds and then, explain that when we tell people about Jesus, we want them to believe in Jesus too. If they do, they become a Christian and join our team. Then, they help us tell more people about Jesus.

Closing Prayer

Jesus, we pray that You’ll help us to be salt in this world. Help us to tell other people about You so that they can have a chance to go to Heaven when they die. Amen.

You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, Jesus Teaches on the Mountain.

New Sunday School Curriculum: Our Bible lessons are designed to keep the kids’ attention and show how God's Word makes a difference. Every series is flexible enough for a wide-age group and affordable enough for small churches. Download a free Bible lesson in pdf or view our latest Sunday School curriculum for small churches.