Children can relate to the concept of admiring soldiers…whether the idea of armor comes from ancient Roman days, Medieval knights, or modern day military and police, donning a protective uniform is something kids appreciate. Wearing defensive gear offers a visual analogy to spiritual armor. It’s important to share with students that there is spiritual warfare going on around us. This might seem like an uncomfortable or frightening thought. However, when we know that God is on our side, we can be reassured with the peace of His power and presence. Nothing can hurt us when we have God’s armor!
Lesson focus: This lesson explains to students what the Armor of God is, and briefly describes the meaning and significance of each component of it. Children will grow to value the importance of spiritually protecting themselves with faith in Christ. God provides us with all we need to stand firm against the powers that go against us!
Passage: Ephesians 6:10-20
Target Audience: Kindergarten-6th grade
Materials Needed: Construction paper, markers, stickers, scissors, tape/glue, paper towel tubes, aluminum foil, paper plates, yarn, sandals, clothing items, bean bags, pipe cleaners (all optional, depending which activities you choose to use).
More Teaching Ideas:
- Watch the video of this children’s sermon and related Bible craft ideas
- Compare our full Ephesians 6:10-20 Sunday School lesson: Put on the Armor of God
- Compare another Back-to-School lesson on the Armor of God
- Download our free Armor of God coloring pages
Game Ideas to Introduce the Lesson
Lesson Opening: This lesson reminds us to put on God’s armor to protect ourselves from evil. Use an opening game or activity that features clothing, protective gear, or a mini “battle” for fun. To get started, select from one of the following openers, or select another of your own choosing!
- Armor up relay: Split students into two teams. Have each team designate a “soldier” to dress. One at a time, have kids run down to a large pile of clothing, pick up a piece, and come back to adorn the soldier. Continue until all students have a chance to run (depending on student number, kids might need to go twice). If you have some sort of uniform or sporting gear available, even better! Judge based on speed or “best dressed” soldiers to determine a winner.
- “Jousting tournament”: As you lead into a discussion of armor and soldiers, start with a fun “fight”…have students pair up, and provide each child with a beach ball and a pool noodle. Have kids hold the noodle in one hand and ball in the other. The goal of the game is to knock the opponent’s ball out of his/her hand using the pool noodle, without losing the ball in hand. If time allows, play multiple rounds to establish a tournament winner. Or just play for fun!
- Modern armor: Bring in several examples of protective gear, such as helmets, elbow/knee pads, gloves, or even (if you can borrow one) a bullet-proof vest. Discuss how different items help to protect us from harm in various ways.
- Shoe swap…one of the elements of God’s armor is the “shoes of the gospel of peace.” Have students each take off one shoe and place in a pile. Mix up the shoes, and have kids take turns finding someone else’s shoe. When they return the shoes to the original owners, have them provide an encouraging word or compliment.
- “Dress the soldier” activity… have a large soldier picture hung on a wall. Allow students to select pieces of the armor of God, and one at a time have them place their pieces where they should go on the “soldier.”
- Practice singing the song “I’m in the Lord’s Army.”
- Write a special thank you letter to send to troops of veterans.
Transition into the Scripture study component and discuss what spiritual armor means. We need to protect our souls and spirits, just as we need to protect our bodies. The Bible tells us how we can put on God’s armor to guard our hearts.
Ask: What does armor do? What might it mean to have armor from God??
“Put on the Whole Armor of God” Sunday School Lesson
Use whatever translation best suits you and your audience. You might have older students take turns reading verses. You could also have younger students mime the act of “putting on” each component as it is described.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. -Ephesians 6:10-12
Start off by describing a little bit about what this means…(especially quality conversation with older students): this passage talks about “wrestling against forces of evil”. It sounds a little scary, but there are forces out there that don’t want God to be powerful. Sometimes it might seem hard to pray or trust God. But He promises to protect us and provide for us! There are dangerous things out there, but God is more powerful than anything else.
Ask: What does it mean to be strong, if it’s not in your own power? What do you think God wants us to do to be strong?
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. -Ephesians 6:13
This is a great verse to use for memorization or as a central verse, if discussing the parts of God’s armor separately. But does that armor consist of, anyway???
Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. -Ephesians 4:14-15
Discuss what these things might do. A belt has several important uses: it holds up the rest of a uniform or armor (or pants!). It can also be used to hold items in pouches or pockets. Truth is essential to hold up anything else we say or do.
What about shoes? Shoes protect our feet and hep us move safely and quickly. The same is true of the gospel, God’s good news for us. When we share His word with others, peacefully, God’s word spreads with the speed of a royal messenger!
Ask: Why is truth important? What are other essential elements of our Christian faith?
In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God… -Ephesians 6:15-16
Remind students of the importance of faith. The Holy Spirit helps us to have faith, and that equates to believing in things, whether or not we see them or have certainty. A shield blocks potential attack, and faith always helps us by protecting us. It is, indeed, an arming shield.
Now, a helmet protects our most valuable and essential asset: our brains! Without protected heads, we wouldn’t be able to do anything. Without salvation, we are spiritually lost and unable to do anything. Salvation is critical.
Lastly, the sword is the only piece of God’s armor that does not describe a defensive mechanism. A sword is made to strike against the enemy. Explain that God’s Word, the Bible, is our best weapon against any kind of evil. It is powerful!
Finish off with the conclusion of the passage Paul so beautifully described…
…praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
Ask: How can we remember to pray at all times and in all places?
The best weapon and protection we have in life is prayer. When we pray and read God’s word, we have direct access to understanding who He is and what He wants us to do. Prayer allows us to fully embrace and adorn ourselves with God’s armor. It is a “package deal”, similar to the fruit of the spirit. We don’t just pick one or two components to grab. We put on the FULL armor of God, resting assured that He goes with us always and will never leave us!
Pray: Say a prayer of thanksgiving to God for His armor and spiritual protection. Ask the Lord to continue guarding and guiding us in His love and patience.
There are several wonderful options when it comes to crafts that illustrate the Armor of God! These include, but are not limited to such things as:
-“Helmet of Salvation Headbands”
-“Sword of the Spirit” sword or sword-shaped bookmark
-“Shield of faith” plate
-“Belt of truth” with beads or yarn (or “belt” bracelet)
-Decorative footwear or flip-flops
-Breastplate family crest or cardboard “Breastplate”