Two very important things happen in this passage. First of all, we see Jesus traveling to other cities preaching the good news. Jesus is setting the example of what true discipleship should be. He is going to the people and telling them the good news. Later, whenever he called Simon, Andrew, James and John, they follow his example and simply go with Him so that they can spread the good news. These new disciples are also a good example for us because they do not hold anything back from Jesus. They faithfully follow Jesus wherever they are lead. Through this passage children will learn that they can also be disciples. It may be scary to give everything to Jesus and trust him, but it is worth the risk.
Lesson Title: Being a Disciple
Bible Reference: Mark 1:14-20
Target Age Group: Preschool
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 45 minutes
Memory Verse: “And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.’” Mark 1:17
- Being a disciple means following Jesus.
- We can all be disciples like Simon, Andrew, James and John
Basic Supply List:
- Blue Construction Paper
- Fish Stickers
- Goldfish Crackers
- Marshmallow Fluff
- Fish Stuffed Animal or Playground Ball
- Dramatic Play costumes and props (if you desire to use them)
Related Ideas: You can print our D is for Disciple coloring pages or download the Gospel Coloring Book.
Note: In the teaching plan below the words in italics are meant to be read aloud. The regular text is simply directions for the teacher.
> > > > Basic Teaching Plan < < < <
Introduction: Begin the lesson by having the class sit in a circle. Ask the children if they have ever been fishing. Allow them to respond. Tell them that in Mark, Jesus was walking along the Sea of Galilee when he saw two men and asked them to stop fishing for fish and to come follow him and fish for men. Ask, What do you think this means? Allow for responses and then begin the lesson.
Biblical Evidence: Read Mark 1:14-15. Say, in this passage, what is Jesus doing? Allow them to answer. Say, Jesus is going and telling others the good news, that he has come to save his people. This is what it means to be a disciple. A disciple is someone who goes and tells others the good news about Jesus. Jesus is setting an example for how the disciples are to act in the future.
Read Mark 1:16-18. In this passage we see Jesus calling Simon and Andrew being called to be disciples. Say, When Jesus says that he will make Simon and Andrew fishers of men, he means that he will call them to be disciples. Simon and Andrew have faith that Jesus is real and immediately follow him. God wants us to be like this too. We can be disciples and follow Jesus just like Simon and Andrew.
Read Mark 1:19-20. Say, In this passage Jesus calls James and John to also become fishers of men. Just like Andrew and Simon, they drop everything and follow Jesus. Becoming a disciple required them to even leave their father behind and just go. When we become disciples we may also have to give up things that we love. Being a disciple is hard work, but it is worth it so that others will come to know more about Jesus.
Fishing for Men Nets: Give each child a piece of blue construction paper. Give the class stickers or foam stickers in the shape of fish to decorate their page. Glue string to the paper to make a fishing net. Write the Bible verse at the top of the page.
Fishing Snack: Use Marshmallow fluff to stick a strand of licorice to a pretzel stick. This is your fishing pole. Then put more marshmallow fluff on the end of the licorice and use it to try to pick up goldfish crackers. The kids will have a lot of fun fishing for their snack.
Dramatic Play: Have the class act out the story that they have just learned. You will need 5 children to play the parts of Jesus, Simon, Andrew, James and John. All of the other children will be people that are being told about Jesus for the first time. After acting this story out, have two adults act out a scene of one person telling the other about Jesus. Then have the class practice telling each other about Jesus. Encourage them to be disciples this week by telling others about Jesus.
Fish in the Middle: This game is played like monkey in the middle. Place about 3 children in the middle of the playing area. The other children will stand on opposite ends of the playing area. The people on the outside edge will throw a stuffed animal fish back and forth. (If you don’t have a stuffed fish a ball will work just fine.) The kids in the middle will try to catch it. Rotate the kids in and out of the middle as needed.
Conclusion: Close the lesson by reminding the class that being a disciple means going and telling others about Jesus. Encourage them to tell others about Jesus whenever they can. Close the lesson in prayer.