Interactive Group Activities
by Carol Williams

Sermon Title: "In My Father's House

Scripture Reading: Luke 2:41-52

LOOKING FOR JESUS: The teacher will tape little pieces of paper all around the room — under chairs, under pews, or anyplace that the kids could go for a BIG hunt! Each little piece of paper will have a name on it. Tell the children when they find a name that is NOT Jesus, they should call out — "WHERE'S JESUS? JESUS, WHERE ARE YOU?" Afte the children have been searching for a little while, the teacher will quietly tape a piece of paper with the name JESUS written on it to a picture of a church and put it in a CONSPICUOUS place so that he children can FIND JESUS. This will be a good game to lead into the story! Explain to the children that today's lesson is about a time when Jesus got lost.

WHERE IS JESUS? GAME: The teacher will tell the story of Mary, Joseph and Jesus going to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. The children will follow the teacher as she walks around to room (in and out of chairs, around the room, under a table, etc.) representing the journey to Jerusalem. When the teacher comes to the part of the story when Mary and Joseph had to go BACK to Jerusalem to FIND Jesus, the kids will follow her back around the room until they FIND Jesus once again — all the while, the kids and teacher can be calling out - WHERE IS JESUS? JESUS, WHERE ARE YOU? Discuss where they found Jesus and WHY?

MY FATHER'S HOUSE DRAWING: Have a child go to the chalkboard and draw a CHURCH and label it HOUSE OF WORSHIP. Another child will draw a church and label it HOUSE OF JOY. Another child will draw a church and label it HOUSE OF PRAISE! If the class is large, the other class members could add trees, flowers, and the sun. If you prefer, you could divide the children into groups and have each group create a poster as described in the activity.

MAZE DRAWING: Have the children write JESUS in one corner of a sheet of paper and MY FATHER'S HOUSE in another corner. They will then draw a line that wanders all around the paper. The child will then hand the paper to another child and that child will try to FIND JESUS by using a highlighter to follow the line that the other child drew. When they have found their way to Jesus, they will say out loud — JESUS IS IN THE FATHER'S HOUSE AND SO AM I!

GUESS WHERE JESUS IS: Divide the children in two groups. Have three chips or marbles with one of them marked with a "J" or a cross. Place the three chips or marbles under a paper cup and move them about. Let a child from each team take a turn choosing the cup where he thinks Jesus is hiding. Keep tabs to see which team found Jesus most.

MAKE A CHURCH: Using craft sticks, have the children glue them in the shape of a church on a construction paper. Have them draw a walkway to the church and stick people going to it. Write the title WE ARE GOING TO MY FATHER'S HOUSE.

MY FATHER'S HOUSE ACROSTIC: Write MY FATHER'S HOUSE downward on the chalk board. Have the children write words that begin with each letter having to do with how they feel and/or what they do when they are in their Father's house.

SNACK: Have the children draw the shape of a church on plain sugar cookies using squeezable icing dispensers and then share them with the group. Another option would be for the teacher use a cookie cutter to make cookies in the shape of a church and let the children add icing.

Song:  "I Was Glad When They Said Unto Me"

Music: Sheet music in PDF format. 

MP3: Piano Accompaniment (right click on link and save to your computer)

About Carol Williams
Carol and her husband have served churches in Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, Michigan, and Indiana.  Carol loves to work with children so you will find her teaching in Junior Church and children's Sunday School.  She also has clowning ministry in which she is known as Bubbles tc (the clown).
 
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