22 January 2023
Bible readings for today
your Son Jesus Christ called the fishermen to follow him.
Embolden us to lay aside everything that distracts us.
Give us focus and resolve to follow you.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Jesus' first disciples (Matthew 4:12-23)
Today we will hear about how Jesus chose ordinary, everyday people to help Him teach other people about God’s love. They weren’t special, or very clever, or very talented. They were just people! Can you think of some ways that you can be a fisher of men too?
This talk was shared with the children at All Saints Hataitai, by unpacking the story of Jesus calling the disciples piece by piece. As the story was unpacked, the children were engaged and responsive to the different props. Each prop is taken out the box and placed in a consecutive order on the floor. Once the story had been told, all the props were put back in the box and the children recalled the story and remembered the visual cues for each part.
What you need
Tell the story
Take out the MONEY
Once there was a man who had a job. Can you think of different jobs that you can have to earn money? (let children offer ideas)
What job would you like to have when you're an adult?
This man had a job -- can you guess what it was?
Take out the CAN OF TUNA.
This man was a fisherman! What do you think he would look like? What do you think he would smell like? He might have rough salty hands, and smell of the sea and fish?
The man in this story was called Simon.
Take out SIMON FOOTPRINT.
He had a brother called Andrew.
Take out ANDREW FOOTPRINT.
Their job was to catch fish.
Take out FISHING NET and put lots of FISH SHAPES into the net.
One day they were out fishing and minding their own business when someone came walking along the shore of Lake Galilee.
Take out CANDLE and light it.
Who do you think it was?
Wait for answers until someone guesses it was Jesus.
Jesus saw the two brothers out fishing on the lake, as they were casting their nets out and hoping for fish. Jesus said to them, “Come with me! I will teach you how to bring in people instead of fish.”
Take out FISHING NET and SMILEY FACE BALLS. Give a kid the net and throw the balls into the net for them to catch.
And what did the two brothers do? Did they go back to fishing? Did they jump on Facebook to let the world know? No, at once the two brothers dropped their nets and went with him. Simon and Andrew followed Jesus.
Place down two footprints — SIMON FOOTPRINT and ANDREW FOOTPRINT.
Jesus walked on until he saw James and John. Their dad had a great name -- his name was Zebedee! They were in a boat with their father, mending their nets. Jesus asked them to come with him too. Straight away they left the boat and their father and went with Jesus.
Place down two footprints — JAMES FOOTPRINT and JOHN FOOTPRINT.
Jesus went all over Galilee, teaching in the Jewish meeting places and preaching the good news about God's kingdom. He also healed every kind of disease and sickness. These men became some of Jesus' closest friends, and Jesus even changed Simon's name — became known as Peter.
Flip over the 2nd Simon footprint to show PETER FOOTPRINT
And do you know what Peter stands for? Peter can mean Rock -- and he was called rock because he would become an important person on which God built the church. Even though he made some mistakes and made some funny choices, Jesus loved Peter and knew that he would be someone he could trust.
Take out ROCK**
Put all the props back in the box and see if the children can recall who the story unfolds.
[Optional] **We used this talk the week of the 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake, and then went on to link the story of Peter being called a rock to how God can be our rock and our refuge. It says in Psalm 46:1-2 that "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging". We printed out these two verses and gave each child a rock and the words from psalm 46 to take home. The kids decorated the rocks with stickers of road cones and building machinery, and wrote their prayers on it, asking God to keep us all safe.
You will need
Print out copies of the fish template and get kids to decorate with coloured tissue paper, pens, glue, sequins and anything they like! Tape on a length of string and tie to a stick, so they have a fish on their own fishing rod.
Icebreaker Fishing Game
You will need
Help us to become good fishers of people.
Help us to share Jesus with them, in the words we use, the ways we love and care.
Help us to tell others about you and to have the courage to speak about you.
May our church be a community of welcome and belonging, and one we can invite our friends into.