Use this simple Bible lesson to teach kids about the real unity that exists in Jesus Christ and how loving others is the key to ending racism. Download the teaching notes below. We’ve included crafts, game ideas, and other printable coloring pages to help you prepare and teach this important truth from God’s Word.
As sinful creatures in a fallen world, we know that we are inclined to do and think things that are wrong. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of sin is inequality in how we treat one another. We have a propensity to judge others, and sometimes to discriminate based on things that cannot be helped. This is nothing new. We see it in the Bible frequently, and throughout history. Misjudging others sparks controversy, violence, and war. It is important to early on instill in children an understanding that God has made all people the same, and He loves each and every one of us. Looking at unity and justice in a Sunday School context may vary somewhat, depending on the circumstances and audience of your group. Here are several potential activities and stories to explore that deal with the topic of race and equality.
Lesson focus: God makes us all unique, but He creates us in His image and loves each and every person. Jesus died for all of us, and when we consider others, we should remember that they are worthy of Christ’s love and sacrifice. God wants us to care for one another and remember that on the inside, we are all alike. We identify ourselves as children of God, ruler and creator of the universe.
Passage: Various, depending on the focus of your lesson. Several options include:
Target Audience: Kindergarten-6th grade (or whoever you might have at home!)
Materials Needed: Construction paper, decorative materials, paper plates, scissors, glue or tape, coloring supplies, glitter, Bible (all optional, depending which activities you choose to use—except for the Bible, you need that for sure).
- U is for Unity coloring page (included in lesson download)
- Good Samaritan Coloring Page (included in lesson download)
- Love Your Neighbor Memory Verse Sheet (included in lesson download)
Lesson Opening Game Activity
Lesson Opening: There are many potential ways that we can open the topic of love, equality, and human dignity. We want to communicate with kids that their identity, as well as the identity and worth of others, comes from who they are in Christ and what He has done for them. Consider discussing this as you open the lesson (note: most of these elements could be used at home or in a larger group setting). Here are some activities to get kids thinking…(select the best ones for your audience and age group):
- Have children come up with several words that they could use to describe themselves. Begin with features that characterize their appearance our outer distinctions, but then have them brainstorm descriptions of who they are on the inside (personality, etc.).
- Take a look at fruits, several varieties of the same kind of fruit (for example, granny smith, golden, and red delicious apples). Note differences in size, shape, and color. Peel the fruits to reveal the same flesh on the inside. Explain that people might look, sound, and even act uniquely, but on the inside we are all people, loved by God.
- Play cooperative musical chairs (note: not recommended if you are trying to enforce distance practices): rather than focusing on getting kids “out” and being the last person with a chair, encourage students to come up with ways that they can share chairs so that everyone has a spot, even when some chairs are removed.
- Team dramatics: form a group of 3-5 kids, and give them an item or animal to act out, such as a car, giraffe, or tree. Have different students take different parts of the body/object, and encourage them to work together to act it out.
- Discuss the concept of disagreement…who are people that students tend to argue with or not care for as much? What makes it difficult to get along with people sometimes?
Remind children that God has made all people, and loves us dearly. We can get frustrated with people, and sometimes we get confused because people are different than us or we think appearances change us. We might even see others who act out of similar confusion. But we can rejoice that we know on the inside we are the same and can be part of God’s body of believers!
Ask: Have you ever judged someone based on how they look? How do you think you could keep yourself from doing this, or see others the way God sees them?
Bible Lesson on Unity and Racial Reconciliation
As always, how you choose to experience the story will vary according to the ages and abilities of your children (and how many are participating). For this lesson, consider highlighting several verses on the concept of love, and/or review a Biblical story on the importance of loving and accepting all people. It is worth mentioning that children might consider “love” to be merely a feeling, and they might struggle with the idea of loving people who are unkind, or different, or not close to them. Remind kids that we don’t have to be “in love” with all people, but that we do need to treat them with respect and dignity, recognizing that God loves all people equally.
Feel free to review the stories with video clips, puppet show reenactments, children’s Bibles, or whatever method works best for you to communicate the verses and stories. Here are a few potential passage options (of course, there are many more):
Genesis 1:26-28: God has made ALL people in HIS image
1 John 3 The importance of love and what it means to love one another
John 14:21-31 We are known, and prove Christ’s love, when we love one another
Luke 10:25-37 Who is my neighbor? The story of the Good Samaritan; we might think only certain people can do what God wants, but all people are His people!
Acts 10:9-33 The story of Peter and Cornelius: God reveals that the Gospel good news is for all people, nations, and backgrounds.
1 Corinthians 12 : We are one in the body of Christ; there is unity when we work together!
Whichever passage or story you choose to focus on, make sure the emphasis of the lesson is on God’s love for us, and our love for one another. We might think our appearance, or the outer coverings of others, define and identify us. This is simply not so! We recognize that God made us from the inside out, and each of us is made in His image. We are sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters in Christ. Why don’t we just get along together?!
Crafts included in download above – “Peace Plate”, “Unity in the Body Mosaic,” self-portrait or self-puppet
Follow up/Additional Activities
- Research incidents of discrimination or Civil Rights movements, and relate to appreciation of modern topics.
- Find a local justice cause that you can involve yourself with
- Write a card or letter to someone you haven’t talked to in awhile.
More Teaching Help about Racial Reconciliation
- resource list for teaching against racism
- Anti-racism Bible lesson for kids
- The Gospel in Color – Racial reconciliation series for kids