Jesus walked along the shore at the Sea of Galilee and found Peter and Andrew fishing and James and John mending their nets. He called these four men and told them to follow him and he would make them fishers of men (Mat. 4:18-22). Today, Christians still hear the call to follow Jesus. Bible activities can teach children about following Jesus at an age where it can become a lifelong habit.
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Follow Me Craft
Read Mark 1:16-20 to the students. Make five footprints for each child using the outline of their foot on paper. Write "I follow Jesus" on the footprints. Take two dowel rods or craft sticks and cross them in the middle. Use string or yarn to tie them together so that they form a cross. Tie four footprints to the ends of the sticks and one in the middle. Add a string to the top so you can suspend the mobile. Alternatively, use fish shapes for the mobile and label the fish with "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." The activity is suitable for preschool through elementary students.
Following Jesus Game
Label sections of the room Bethlehem, Nazareth, the Temple, Cana, Sea of Galilee, Jerusalem, Calvary and empty tomb. Tape footprints on the floor leading from Bethlehem to each successive location. Roll dice or use a numbered spinner to tell the children how many steps to take. Tell the children about the significance of each location in following Jesus. For example, Jesus amazed the teachers at the temple when he was 12 and began his ministry with the miracle at Cana. Alternatively, have the children follow the footprints singing, "I'm following Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. I'm following Jesus wherever he may go." Make up other verses and have the children copy what Jesus (the leader) does. The activity is suitable for preschool through elementary students.
Follow Jesus Poster
Use a long piece of butcher paper and draw the outlines of feet or shoes for each child in the classroom, all headed in the same direction. Each child may write something that will help him follow Jesus better in his footprints, such as "get along with my brother" or "obey my parents." When all the children have completed their footprints, hang the poster in the classroom or in the Sunday school hall. Point the path towards the ceiling (heaven). Alternatively, the students could write their favourite Bible verses on how to follow Jesus in each footprint. The activity is suitable for elementary students.
Life on the Road
Have the students read Matthew 4:18-22. The disciples left their homes, jobs and friends to follow Jesus. They travelled the countryside and had to find places to sleep and food to eat while on the road. Have the students talk about what life may have been like on the road. They can identify the benefits and the costs of following Jesus in full-time service. Alternatively, the youths can talk about how to follow Jesus in their everyday lives. This activity is suitable for youths and teens.
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