Interactive Group Activities
by Carol Williams & Charles Kirkpatrick

Sermon Title: "Jesus Asks a Riddle"

Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:23-27

In this lesson, the chief priests and elders of the temple questioned the authority of Jesus to perform miracles. The goal of these activities is to help the children understand the concept of authority and that just as Jesus received authority from the Father, when we go in Jesus' name, we go with his authority.

SIMON SAYS: Play this game as the old SIMON SAYS game of having a leader tell the children to hop, skip, jump, or any other directions and the children will DO what Simon says, but otherwise they should NOT do the command. Explain to the children that Simon is the one who has the authority in this game, just as God is the authority in our life.

MOTHER MAY I: In this old game, the children will listen to a command but BEFORE obeying, they must say MOTHER MAY I? If they do the command without asking, they are out of the game. Point out that "Mother" is the authority in this game.

AUTHORITY BUTTONS: Give each child a piece of colorful card-stock and round button-sized circles of paper. Each circle can be colored and decorated to look like a button and one letter of the word, "A-U-T-H-O-R-I-T-Y", can be traced on each round button circle. Glue these buttons to the heavier paper and hang on the wall to remind children of God's authority. Other words from today's lesson could be used in place of Authority, as teacher desires.

AUTHORITY BOOKLET: Give the children small pieces of colorful paper to staple together as a small booklet, or to tie the pages together with a hole punch and yarn. AUTHORITY can be written on the cover and each page can have a word or a picture of people IN AUTHORITY in their lives. Make sure that JESUS/GOD is pictured or written in the booklet!

AUTHORITY CROWNS: Give the children supplies to trace and cut out a KINGS CROWN. "GOD'S AUTHORITY" or other words from the lesson can be drawn on the decorated crown, using sequins and glitter as well. The crown is a symbol of one who is in authority—such as a king. Remind the children that Jesus is the King of Kings and God has given him ALL authority.

AUTHORITY PUZZLE: Provide construction paper and stickers and bright colored markers for children to write GOD'S AUTHORITY on the paper. Each child will then cut their sheet into a few pieces to create a jigsaw puzzle and place their puzzle into a sandwich bag. They will then pass their bag to another classmate and TIME the children to see who can put their puzzle together the quickest.

AUTHORITY COLLAGE: Give the children magazines or newspapers or old books to cut out words or pictures that show people who are in authority. They will use these to make a colorful collage to hang in the classroom. Encourage the children to make a colorful edging "frame" and use stickers to enhance their collage.

FRAMED AUTHORITY: Give the children some craft sticks to make a frame. Each child will be given a piece of heavy card stock on which they will trace the word AUTHORITY with colorful markers and decorate their picture to be framed. Let the children paint or use markers to color the craft sticks as well and allow to dry during class-time!


SHARE A SNACK: The teacher or leader can give commands of authority for each child to get a snack, such as Sally, please get a candy bar; George, please get 5 crackers, Patty, please get yourself a juice cup.

Song:  "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands"

Words and Music

MP3 Accompaniment Track (right click to save to your computer)

Song: "My God Is So Great"

Words and Music

MP3 Piano Accompaniment (right click to 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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