The book of John is loaded with wonderful teaching opportunities, especially if you like to use object lessons. As a children’s minister, I love this type of visual teaching. Bring kids a lesson on the importance of spiritual fruit and how crucial it is to “remain in him.”
This object lesson comes from John 15:1-8, I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunesso that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
You can present this object lesson a few ways. I recommend using a “viney” potted plant, either silk or real. You also need a pair of wire cutters or pruning shears, gloves and a tablecloth. Place the tablecloth on the table and put the plant on it where kids can see it. Slide on the gloves and ask a child (or children) to read the verses aloud. Asks these questions first or during your teaching.
“Who is the vine?” Jesus
“Who is the gardener?” the Father
“What does the gardener do here?” He cuts away the dead branches, the ones that don’t produce any fruit. (Cut a small branch from the tree. If you can, choose a bare branch. You might need to pull all the leaves off a branch before the class so kids will see that it isn’t producing any leaves or fruit.)
“So Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. We need to show good fruit like peace, love, kindness. When we don’t bear any fruit, we get pruned. God reminds us to grow. He nudges us along through our life, encouraging us to produce this fruit. Eventually, branches that don’t produce are clipped away.
What happens when a branch is cut away from a vine or a tree?It withers away and dies.
Does it grow on its own? No way.
Does it make another tree or vine? No.
Little children, we need to be a good vine. We must remain with Jesus and allow him to grow good fruit in us. Love your neighbors. Bring peace wherever you go. Remain in him!
Read more from Mimi by visiting her blog at Tools for Kids Church.