Preschool Lesson: Running the Race

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Kids Bible Lesson- Run the RaceUse this free Bible lesson to help children understand the importance of following God. He is the only prize worth chasing in this life and the reward is eternal life.
Lesson Title: Running the Race
Bible Reference: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Target Age Group: Preschool
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 45 minutes
Memory Verse: “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.” 1 Corinthians 9:24b
Gospel Connection: Paul uses the illustration of a race to explain how Christians are to live their lives.  Like runners in a race, we should never give up but continually try to get closer and closer to God.  Our prize is eternal life.  This lesson aims to teach children that God is the only prize worth seeking in life.
Learning Aim: 

  1. God is the only prize which we should race after in life.
  2. The prize is eternal life with God.

Basic Supply List:

  1. Bible
  2. Pictures of people running a race
  3. Poster board
  4. Hot wheels or other small cars
  5. Crayons, markers, glitter, stickers, other decorating materials

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: Greet each student as they arrive.  Have pictures of people running a race ready and show them to the class.  Ask, Who runs a race? And Why do people run in races. Explain that some people run for fun and others do because they know that it is good for their bodies.  At the end of a race, the person who crosses the finish line gets a prize.
Biblical Evidence: Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 to the class.
Read verse 24 then say, In this verse the Bible is teaching us that we should live our lives as if we are going to get a prize at the end.  We do this by always following God’s commands for our lives and trying to stay as close to him as possible.
Read verse 25 then say, What kind of training can we do if we want to stay close to God? Answers will vary, but could include going to church and reading the Bible.  Say, We do this things because we want to win the prize at the end of life.  We want to please God and if we love God and accept him as our Savior then our prize will be living with him forever.  That is definitely something worth working for.
Read verses 26-27 then say, God has called us to persevere.  The word persevere means that we should keep trying to get closer and closer to God no matter how hard life is.  Nothing is more important than living our lives for God so let’s keep running the race to getting closer and closer to God.
Run Races:  Set up field day style races and let the kids race.  You can run regular races and relay races, or whatever your class enjoys.  Remind the class that even if they get tired they should try to finish the race.  In life we are continuously running to God.
Race Tracks: Get a couple of poster boards and draw race tracks on them before the class arrives. Then during free play time allow the class to finish coloring the race tracks, then race small cars such as hot wheels on them.
Running Crowns: Give each child a piece of construction that has been cut like a crown. Write the words “Run a good Race” on the crown, then allow the class to decorate them with crayons, stickers, glitter, etc. Remind the class that the prize at the end of a life lived for God is eternal life.
Obstacle Course: Using whatever materials you have in your room, make an obstacle course.  Encourage each child to finish the course even if it is difficult.  Have the class encourage their friends as they are running the obstacle course. Say, Life is better when you have a friend around to help you.  While your friends try to complete the obstacle course encourage them by cheering them on. 
Conclusion: Close by praying with the class and encouraging them to live a life that will bring them closer to God.

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