Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids about following the narrow road to Heaven.
Needed: Bibles, paper to make two paths, a snack or other prize
Intro Game: Follow the Leader
Choose a Leader. Students must follow the Leader in every way, going where they go and doing what they do. Play for a specified amount of time and then, choose a new Leader. Play until everyone has had a chance to be Leader or until students lose interest.
After the game, explain that Jesus is our leader and that we need to follow Him and do the right things that He did if we want to go to someday.
Intro Snack and Game: Two Paths
Make two paths using pieces of paper on the ground. One path is one sheet of paper wide. The other is three sheets of paper wide. The wide path leads out of the building or to a closet or something (a dead end). The narrow path leads to the snack area or some other sort of prize.
Tell children that they all have to decide which path to follow on their own.
When the children all make the right choice and come to the snack area, they get a free snack or another prize you’ve set out. It’s not as good as Heaven, but it is something good for them waiting at the end.
Read Matthew 7:13-14.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Do you think most people believe in Jesus or most people don’t believe in Jesus? (Most people do not believe in Jesus.)
What does Jesus mean when He says that “wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it”?
He’s saying that most people don’t believe in Jesus and they do the wrong things and end up going to Hell when they die. You can picture a bunch of people walking down the road, doing wrong things, and at the end of the road is Hell. That’s where they’re walking to.
What does Jesus mean when He says, “small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it”?
He’s saying that only some people, not most people, will believe in Jesus and do the right things and go to Heaven when they die. You can picture a couple of people walking down another road, doing the right things, and at the end of that road is Heaven.
But what do you think? Would you rather go down the narrow road and go to Heaven? Or would you rather go down the wide road and go to Hell?
What if most people are going down the wide road to Hell? Would you still go down the narrow to Heaven? Or would you want to do what everyone else is doing and go down the wide road to Hell?
Sometimes, it’s hard to walk the narrow road when everyone else is walking the wide road. It’s hard to be a Christian when other people aren’t. It’s hard to do the right things when other people do the wrong things. But we know that if we do walk the narrow road and believe in Jesus and do what He wants us to, then at the end, we’ll get the reward of going to Heaven.
Activity: Peer Pressure Playacting
Have students form groups of three. Give them a few minutes to think of how to act out a scene in which one or two of them pressure the other(s) to do something wrong, but then, the person resists them. Tell them to be creative in how they might say no to someone who’s trying to get them to do something wrong. Then, all the groups perform their scene for the class.
You can allow them to think of their own scenarios or give them cue cards to base their scene on. Ideas include Smoking, Drinking, Doing drugs, Stealing, Lying, Making fun of someone, Cheating, Cursing, Telling a Dirty Joke, and Watching a TV Show they Shouldn’t.
Game: Resist Temptation
Divide students into two teams for a slightly modified game of Red Rover. The teams line up facing each other on either side of your play area. They link hands with the students next to them.
You’ll call the name of one of the students on Team A. That student must then break away from his team and try to break through the linked hands of two members of Team B. If that student breaks through, they get a point for their team. If Team B resists the charging student, Team B gets a point.
Next, call a student from Team B to try to break through Team A’s line.
Play as long as time permits, alternating which team is charging and which is defending.
At the end, explain to students that a member of the opposite team is like a temptation trying to get into our hearts. The devil sends temptations toward us all the time because he wants us to do something wrong. But we have to be strong and resist those temptations. We can’t let them break through.
Jesus, thank You for showing us the way to Heaven. We pray that You’ll help us to follow You on the narrow road, even when other people are going down the wide road because we know what’s waiting for us in the end. Amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, Jesus Teaches on the Mountain.