Bible lessons like the New Testament's "Parable of the Sower" come alive when children learn to apply biblical teachings to everyday life. Sunday school instructors can help children do this with hands-on activities in the classroom and follow-up assignments for homework. In particular, students can better understand this parable's theme of receiving God's message by planting seeds in good and bad soil, representing those most likely and least likely to embrace Gospel teachings.
- Skill level:
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Lead a pre-reading discussion by asking students to explain why farmers must plant seeds in good soil. Show a diagram of soils that are packed, stony, thorny and good. Have students identify which type presents ideal conditions for growing things. Explain that the class will read the Parable of the Sower in which the farmer symbolises Jesus, the seeds represent God's message and the soils symbolise different conditions in the human heart.
Follow the reading by telling students the parable encourages them to follow God's teachings so His words can grow in their hearts. Ask students to explain why the farmer's seeds flourished only in the good soil. Ask them to relate this story to people who accept and do not accept Jesus' lessons.
Use specific discussion questions, such as those suggested by ebibleteacher.com. For example, have students respond to true and false statements about the proper way to please God. Have students apply the parable's lesson to real life by asking what often separates them from God. Ask students which type of soil God wants them to resemble.
Distribute a homework sheet like the one posted on DLTK's Growing Together site. Instruct students to memorise key passages from the parable and discuss with their families how to grow in love for God.
Assign an in-class experiment with students planting seeds in four glass jars that contain the four types of soil discussed in Step One. Have students check seed growth at intervals. Ask them to explain why seeds sprouted in some jars and not in others. Have them apply these observations to the message of the parable.
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- Bible Tools: Parable of the Sower
- Bible Study: Bible Lesson for Children: Learning to Pray and Shining your Light
- "Wild Truth Bible Lessons 2"; Mark Oestreicher; 1998
- eBibleteacher.com: Parables: A Sower Went out to Sow
- Ministry to Children: Jesus' Parable of the Sower (Sunday School Lesson)
- DLTK: Parables: Jesus Tells Stories -- Part I