This Bible Object Lesson will teach kids that Jesus is the Good Shepherd and how we can trust Him. It’s based on John 10:1-10 where Jesus says, “I am the Good Shepherd.” Download the teachers notes, watch our Children’s Message example, and gather your supplies. Then you’re ready to share this message in your church next Sunday!
“Safe in the Sheep Pen”
Children’s Message Object about the Jesus the Good Shepherd
Main Objective: This message focuses on the importance of recognizing that Jesus is our guide, protector, and leader. There are several elements described in this passage from John: sheep know the voice of their shepherd; the Good shepherd guards His flock; a shepherd belongs with His sheep, and anyone else trying to break in will not succeed. The main objective of this message is communication of how we can trust and rely on Jesus.
Law/Gospel Theme: In the Bible, Christ described Himself as the Good Shepherd, willing to guard us and ultimately laying down His life for us. Other people or other ideas attempt to lead us astray or lie to us about what is most important. Jesus is the only one we should put our trust into and listen to. We can take heart in the truth of what Jesus promised, because He already accomplished our salvation through His death and resurrection.
Optional Materials / Object Lesson Props: Stuffed animals (especially sheep) or real pets, pictures of shepherds, items that demonstrate taking care of someone or something.
Bible Passage: John 10:1-10
Message: Note: As with most messages, the details of how you choose to communicate this are adaptable and should cater to timing as well as to your audience and student needs. Use your judgment and ideas to best serve students.
More Teaching Help about Jesus the Good Shepherd
- See our playlist on YouTube on Jesus the Good Shepherd
- Browse free resources on our website about the Good Shepherd
- Compare “I am the Good Shepherd” Sunday School Lesson
- See our Jesus Knows Me Bible Lesson
- See our craft ideas about the Good Shepherd
The Good Shepherd Children’s Sermon (John 10:1-10)
Greet children, and depending on setting, you might have a stuffed animal lamb or a live animal with you.
Hello, children of God! Do you have any pets? (If possible, you might show a picture or a live example of yours.) I have one. How do you think I should take care of this animal? I make sure it has food and water, and a safe place to stay. I help it take care of bathroom needs, and I play with it!
My (cat/dog/guinea pig/etc.) knows my voice. If I call (her/him), it knows me and will come, because it recognizes me…and wants food. This creature knows that I care about it and will take care of it. In a tiny way, this is a little bit like being a shepherd.
Do you know what a shepherd does? A shepherd is responsible for taking care of sheep. There are some people who are shepherds now, but in the times of the Bible there were even more of them. The shepherd would guide the sheep to places where they could find grass to eat, water to drink, and a place to rest. Sheep are not always terribly smart, but they learn to follow the shepherd.
They know when he is talking to them and follow along, recognizing that he will lead them to good things. If a wolf or a bear tries to come attack the flock, the shepherd must protect his sheep, and be willing to fight off the predator. Sometimes, the shepherd even acts as a door! See, the sheep would often get herded into a fenced-in space together (show picture if you have one), and the shepherd would lie down right in the opening. Anything that tried to enter or leave the pen would have to come through him first, so he could monitor and make sure all of the sheep stayed safe.
In our Gospel today, Jesus compared Himself to a shepherd. He said that He was the gateway. He is the way to life, and anyone else that might try to stake such a claim is tricking us. We are like sheep, wandering around and needing guidance. We can trust in Jesus to provide for us and to protect us. He said that a good shepherd would even lay down his life for the sheep, and that’s exactly what Jesus did!
We can trust in His promises and rejoice that our shepherd has rescued us from sin and death. We can listen for His voice through prayer, Scripture, and discernment. And we know that He cares. Each of us is precious in God’s eyes, and we can rest assured that He listens when we call to Him, and gives us life. What a blessing! We should thank God for that…
Children’s Prayer Moment: Saying Thanks to the Good Shepherd
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for being the Good Shepherd
Help us to listen for your voice
And to follow you and trust you
We know you will guide us and protect us
Thank you for caring about us
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
John 10:1-10 ESV “I am the Good Shepherd”
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.