Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-20)
- Story Telling Diarama (Susan Evans)
- Story Cupcakes (Church House Collection)
- Seed Box (My Little House)
- Flower Pot Dessert (Stuff Amy Made)
- Seed Bombs (Practically Functional)
- Printable Board Game (Christian Games and Crafts)
- Grass Heads (Red Ted Art)
- Sower's Sack Craft (Children's Bible Lessons)
- Seed Pictures (Krokotak)
- Printable Sower Journal Page (Alively Hope)
- Sensory Box (Baby Devotions)
- Plantable Seed Cards (Craft Invaders)
The Mustard Seed (Mark 4:26-34)
There are multiple references to mustard seeds in the gospels, as Jesus used the simplest of parables to share a glimpse of the Kingdom of God.
Parables of growth
Do you ever get confused as to which seed or planting parable Jesus is talking about? This parable, shared in three gospels, is spoken to the disciples (rather than a wider crowd of listeners). Within Marks Gospel, it comes in a chapter full of growth parables, and it can be helpful to locate where this story falls:
1-20 The Parable of the Sower
26-29 The Parable of the Growing Seed
30-34 The Parable of the Mustard Seed
The Mustard Seed parable occurs in Matthew (13:31–32), Mark (4:30–32), and Luke (13:18–19). When you read this parable in Matthews Gospel, it's surrounded by many more seed stories!
Children's Talk: Little Mustard Seed
Have any of you ever seen a mustard seed? (pause for answers) Well, did you know that mustard seeds are sooooo tiny, that you would have trouble trying to hold a single mustards seed in your hand? But the amazing thing is, the tree that the seed eventually grows into is sooooo big, that it's hard to believe it came from such a small seed!
In today's story, Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. What a strange thing to say, what do you think he meant? (pause) Well, I think that Jesus was trying to explain that even one person who lives their life by following Jesus' example, can cause a ripple effect that causes lots of people to meet Jesus and start to follow his example.
Each of us can be like a mustard seed too. Just by being ourselves and following Jesus's example, we too can play a part in being a big mustard tree! Exciting huh?!
Mustard Seed Activities
Here is a video of the Godly Play session for the Parable of the Mustard Seed
Ooh, we love this week's Visio Lectio from Rev. Sarah West, shared here with permission. Check out her website at visiolectio.com
A great discussion from the Diocese of Dunedin. Tony, Gillian and Anne thoroughly enjoy themselves as they toss around ideas about mustard seeds and seed-scattering, kereru and ploughers - and some bonus Martin Luther. Mark 4:26-34 for Ordinary Sunday 11.
you created the world and all that is in it,
you planted us as seeds into that world;
may we flourish and grow and in turn sow
seeds of love and compassion,
justice and truth, hope and faith.
Through Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God now and for ever.
Seed Scramble Game
Today's game is a variation on a lolly scramble!
What you need: lots of something that represents seeds (e.g. pom poms), and paper cups (1 per child)
What to do: Explain to the children that you will throw the seeds to them, and they have to try and catch them in their paper cups.
Variation: You could separate them into pairs and get them to try throwing and catching them to each other.
Jesus Calms the Storm (Mark 4:35-41)
Calming the storm is one of the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels
The Storm that Stopped
This book is a wonderful retelling of the bible story found in Mark 4, with vivid illustrations and an engaging prose.
You can watch the story on YouTube here
The Storm that Stopped is a great telling of this story by Alison Mitchell, illustrated by Catalina Echeverri.
Purchase form the Good Book Company
Download FREE images from the book
Children's Ministry lesson plans
These lesson plans have been created by 'The Storm that Stopped' team.
Preschool lesson plan (2-4year olds)
Children's Ministry Lesson Plan (5-7year olds)
Jesus and the Storm
Jesus and the Storm storybook, by Lost Sheep. Downloads and other resources available on their website
Crossing the Sea Tag
A game for older children
What you need: Nothing!
What to do: Choose someone to be ‘In’. Have them stand in the middle of the room. Get the rest of the children to stand at one end of the room.
The person who is in, calls out ‘Crossing the Sea!’ and all the children have to try and run to the other end of the room without getting tagged. The person who is in tries to tag as many people as they can. If a child gets tagged, they must freeze where they are. They are now also ‘in’ but can only tag people that they can reach without moving. The next round starts when the person who is in calls out ‘Crossing the Sea!’ The game ends when there is no one left to tag!
Prayer in a Bottle
What you need: paper, pens and felts, bottles (1 per child). Soft drink bottles are ideal! Paddling pool filled with water, or a piece of large blue material to represent water.
What to do: Get each of the children to write/draw a letter (prayer) to God for help with something that scares them or they are having trouble with.
Roll up the letter and put it in a bottle. Write ‘SOS!’ in large letters on the bottle.
Tell the children about how in the past people would write messages in bottles and throw them out to sea in the hope that someone across the sea would find the message -- either a stranger, or someone they loved (if you were a hopeless romantic!).
With either the paddling pool or the piece of material, get the children to one by one put their bottle into the ‘water’ and remind them that God hears their prayers, even in the storms.
Beth Barnett has put together some fantastic Intergenerational resources for Intergen, part of the Centre for Theology & Ministry in Melbourne.
Today's creative art ideas can be found here. Well worth a look!
A game for younger children
What you need: Large boxes from the supermarket.
What to do: Give each child a box and get them to line up at one end of the room.
Get them to kneel inside the box so they can push themselves along with their hands.
When you say ‘Go!’ they have to try and get to the other side of the room first!