This is a lesson plan intended for preschool children, ages 2-5. It is designed for a children’s church or Sunday School, but can be adapted to meet your particular ministry setting. It is the third in our series for preschoolers titled Jesus is My Good Shepherd.
The first lesson plan (Sheep LOVED by a Shepherd) in this series taught students that they were like sheep, loved by a Shepherd. The second lesson (Sheep SAVED by a Shepherd) taught students that they are like sheep, saved by a Shepherd. This third lesson teaches students that they are like sheep, protected by a Shepherd.
One of the strongest needs of a child is for a father’s protection. Many children unfortunately do not have their earthly father’s protection. Others struggle with very tangible fears. That is why it is imperative that we teach preschoolers that they can still have a sense of security in their Heavenly Father.
Objective: To recognize God as a Father who protects His children.
Materials for Bible Lesson: Bible, protective gear (such as a helmet, mouth guard, shin guards, knee pads, elbow pads, a life jacket, work boots, etc. – the more the better)
1. If you utilized the Preschool Bible Lesson entitled “Sheep Saved by a Shepherd,” ask the children the following questions as a review:
- What kind of animal does God say we are like sometimes? (Sheep)
- What happened to our sheep named Flighty last week? (He left his Shepherd.)
- We had to go on a rescue mission to find Flighty, didn’t we? (Yes) Show me how excited we were to find him. (Clap hands, cheer, yell hooray)
- God sometimes goes on a rescue mission for us too when we sin. Who died on the cross to save us from our sins? (Jesus, our Good Shepherd)
- God gets excited when he finds us too. He would leave ____(99) to find (1).
2. In John 10:27, God says that, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Let’s play a game to practice using our listening ears. You get to pretend to be sheep and I am the Shepherd. Do you know the game Simon Says? It’s just like that except we’re going to call it “The Shepherd Says.” Play the game Simon Says, substituting the word Shepherd for Simon. Here are some examples:
The Shepherd Says: run in place
The Shepherd Says: baa like a sheep
The Shepherd Says: scratch your back
Eat your grass. (Nooo! The Shepherd didn’t say that!)
The Shepherd says: jump up and down
The Shepherd says: follow me around the pen (lead students in a line around room)
The Shepherd says: go to sleep
The Shepherd says: wake up
Follow ___________ (substitute an adult helper’s name) around the room. (Noo! The Shepherd didn’t say that!)
Finish game and applaud students for using their listening ears.
3. Say: It’s very important to listen to God, our Good Shepherd. His words are written in the Bible. They will help us follow God and do what is right. In John 10:28 it says, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish: no one can snatch them out of my hand.” Hmmm… let’s try to be detectives and figure out what this verse means.
4. Put on whatever protective gear you have access to (the more the funnier.) As you put each piece, tell the students what it is for. (For example, I wear my helmet on my bike to protect my head from getting hurt. I wear my mouth guard in my mouth to protect my teeth when I’m playing sports. I wear my shin guards so that I do not get bruised legs….)
5. Say: Wow! Look at me! I am well protected. It is very important to wear your helmets, life jackets, and seat belts. All of these things will help you from getting hurt. But, sometimes accidents still happen.
6. Because of sin, there will always be problems on this earth. People will need band-aids, will have to see the doctor, and need help from police men, firefighters, and pastors. Our hearts will get hurt and broken. Sometimes we’ll be sad and afraid.
But there’s good news. Really good news! If you choose to follow Jesus and invite Him to live in your heart, God will heal your broken heart. He will give you eternal life. That means you will live forever with Him in Heaven one day. In Heaven, you won’t get hurt. There won’t be crying or hurting or being afraid.
God is and will be the best Father we’ll ever have. He’ll take care of us. No one will be able to take us out of His hands. We will be more protected than even I am today!
7. Say: Today I want you to think about whether Jesus is living in your heart. Have you asked for your sins to be forgiven? If not, think about doing that today. If you have any questions, please ask me. I would love to help you understand His love!
8. Pray for each of the students to enter into a relationship with Christ early in their lives.
Accompanying Songs: “One Little Two Little Three Little Sheep”
(to the tune of “Ten Little Indians”)
One little, two little, three little sheep
Four little, five little, six little sheep
Seven little, eight little, nine little sheep
Ten sheep loved by the Shepherd
“Our Shepherd’s Love” (to the tune of “Pop Goes the Weasel”)
All around the fields of green
The Shepherd took care of the sheep
Our Shepherd loved His sheep so much
He died for them!
(New) Song: “Shepherd You’re So Good” (to the tune of “God is So Good)
Shepherd You’re so Good
Shepherd You’re so Good
Shepherd You’re so Good
You’re so good to me!
2ndverse: Have the students “Baaa” the tune of the song.
Art Project: “When Sin Hurts, God Heals”
Materials: red construction paper with a big outline of a heart, scissors, band-aids, the phrase “When sin hurts, God heals” printed on a small piece of paper, an example to demonstrate
- Have children cut along the heart outline.
- Have children fold the heart in half and cut on the fold. (This will form a broken heart.)
- Have children use band-aids to attach the heart back together (To make a vertical line.)
- Once the band-aids are attached, make a horizontal line to form a cross.
- On the back of the heart, have students glue on the pre-printed phrase.