This free Bible lesson is based on Mark 4:26-34 when Jesus speaks about the faith of a mustard seed. It is designed for children’s church or Sunday School. Please modify as best fits your ministry.
If your church follows the Revised Common Lectionary, this teaching plan would correspond to Year B – 3rd Sunday after Pentecost, Gospel Reading – Mark 4:26-34.
Opening Activity – Tiny Faith – Think Small
Supplies – paper, writing utensils
Give each child a piece of paper and writing utensil. Have them number their page 1-10. Next, read each category below and give the kids 30 seconds to silently think of an answer and write it down. After completing all ten categories go through each category and award a point to anyone with a unique answer, as well as a point to whomever chose the smallest thing.
- Smallest land animal
- Smallest air animal
- Smallest water animal
- Smallest pet
- Smallest plant
- Smallest word
- Smallest toy
- Smallest book
- Smallest item in the room
- Smallest food
Lesson – Tiny Faith
Supplies – index cards, markers
I am so impressed with all of the tiny things you thought of earlier. You know, I don’t normally think about tiny things. I guess because when things are tiny we don’t really notice them.
I mean think about, if a horse came into the classroom right now, would you notice it? Of course you would! How could you possibly NOT see it?
Now, if an ant came into the classroom right now, would you notice it? Some people might, but a bunch of people would never even see it. And even though it’s so much smaller than a horse, that ant is just as real and just as alive.
The Bible talks about another kind of tiny thing that we haven’t looked at yet. I need everyone to grab your marker and index card. And right in the center of that card I need you to make a single dot with your marker. Hold up your card when you have it so I can see. Perfect!
Those dots are about the size of a single mustard seed. Pretty small isn’t it?
But mustard seeds don’t stay small. Once you plant them, they grow up to be huge! I mean they are taller than you, taller than me, and sometimes they even get to be taller than this building! I would never think such a tiny thing could ever grow to be like that.
Now, look at your dot, because here comes the really cool part. Jesus says that faith the size of a mustard seed is all you need. Really, that small!
Jesus knows we can’t start out as a fully grown, two-story mustard tree. It’s just not going to happen; we have to start somewhere.
Any time someone believes in Jesus and accepts His gift of salvation, they are planting their tiny mustard seed of faith. And what happens when you plant that tiny seed? It grows up into a huge mustard tree.
You know what makes all of this even better? Once that mustard tree gets big, it starts to make more mustard seeds. And if those mustard seeds are planted, they will also grow up to be huge mustard trees.
As Christians it works the same way. Once someone has been a Christian for a while, they can tell others and share their faith with them. Then they might become a Christian too!
Tonight, I want you to go home and stick your index card somewhere that you will easily see it; maybe on the fridge, the bathroom mirror, or by your bed. Each time you see that dot this week I want you to ask God to grow your mustard seed of faith so that you can grow, and help bring other people to Jesus too.
Activity A – Tiny Faith– Bible Verse Challenge
Supplies – Bibles
Verse – Mark 4:30-32
Pass out Bibles to students. Bibles should be closed and sitting on the table face up in front of each child. When you say go, have the kids look up this week’s Bible verse. As each child finds the verse, have them stick one finger on the verse and quietly raise their other hand. The first one to find the verse gets to read it to the rest of the class.
Help younger kids and new kids find the verse by following these steps.
Look in the Table of Contents for the book you are looking for. Make an effort to show them if it is found in the Old Testament or New Testament to help them in the future. Then open the Bible to the page number listed in the Table of Contents.
Show them the large numbers in the text, known as the chapters. Flip through pages until you find the large chapter number you are looking for.
Then scan through the text with them pointing out the smaller verse numbers until the correct number is found.
Activity B – Tiny Faith –
Supplies – construction paper, scissors, glue, markers
Give each child three pieces of paper, one for the background, one for the trunk, and one for the leaves. Then have them cut out a trunk, and glue it onto the background paper. At the top of of the paper have them write “I can grow by…” Next, have them cut out 5-8 individual leaves, and write one way they can grow as a Christian (ex. Going to Church, Praying, Reading the Bible, Talking to Parents, etc.). Lastly, glue leaves into place at the top of the trunk.
Closing Prayer – Tiny Faith
Ask for a volunteer to pray for the class before leaving, and encourage them to ask God to give them a tiny mustard seed of faith, so they can grow and bring others to Jesus.
Check out these other lessons and resources for this weeks Lectionary
- Object Lesson: Different Containers, Same Contents (1 Samuel 16:7)
- Storytime with Jesus – 9 Lessons from the Parables