This is a Sunday school lesson about the second greatest commandment to love your neighbor as yourself. The lesson will have children reading aloud several verses which command us to love our neighbors. The children will discuss who their neighbors are and how they can show love to them.
Bible Passage: Matthew 22:39 and Mark 12:28-34
Target Age: K- 6th grade
Time Needed: 30 minutes
Learning Objective: The children will learn who their neighbors are and how to show love to them.
- Do You Love Your Neighbor Worksheet (click here)
- Pencils for every child
- Cards with pre-written references for verses volunteers will read aloud
- You could also use this “Love Your Neighbor” coloring page if you class has more younger children.
- “What is a neighbor?” Children give various answers.
- “When we say we live in a neighborhood, what does that mean?” Children give various answers.
- “How does God want us to treat our neighbors?” Children give various answers.
- “Let’s look in our bibles and read about what God says about how we should treat our neighbors.”
- Choose six volunteers to read out loud. Pass out one reference card to each volunteer.
- References to be included on the cards and read out loud are: Mark 12:28-34, Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 7:12, Matthew 19:19, Matthew 22:36-40, Romans 13:8-10 and Galatians 5:14.
- Each volunteer takes a turn reading aloud their assigned verses.
- “There are a lot of verses about loving our neighbor. With so many verses in the bible about this, I know loving our neighbors is important to God. How does He say we should love them?” Children answer.
- “God wants us to love our neighbors like we love our self. What do you think God means by that?” Children answer.
- “You want to keep yourself happy, right? And you take care of what you need. When you are thirsty you drink water and when you are hungry you eat food. We show love to others by helping them be happy and by taking care of their needs.”
- “I am now going to pass out a paper to each of you that has several circles on it like a target.”
- Pass out the prepared Do You Love Your Neighbor worksheet to each child.
- “In the center circle is you and the next circle is your immediate family. Your immediate family is your first circle of ‘neighbors’. I want you to think of the name of one person in your family to whom you can show love. Then write their name inside the ‘immediate family’ circle.”
- Give the children time to think and write.
- “Thinking about the name of the person you wrote down, what are some ways you can show them love?” Have children share the name of the person they wrote down and brainstorm with them ways they can show love to this “neighbor”. If you have a large group you may want to have them brainstorm with a partner or in a small group first before sharing with the whole group.
- Next, have the children write down one way they can show love to their chosen family member inside the same “immediate family” circle.
- Follow steps 3-6 for the remaining circles: extended family, neighborhood, classmates, church, and community/city.
- Have the children take their worksheet home to display in their room as a reminder of their commitment to love their neighbor as their self. This worksheet will remind them of specific and practical ideas for how they can live out the second greatest commandment.