Category Archives: Object Lessons

Keep Your Eyes On Jesus Lesson

This is a classroom small group format lesson about Peter walking on the water. Paraphrase the words in bold print to present them to the class.

Bible Basis: Matthew 14:22-33

Bible Truth: Keep your eyes on Jesus, not on the waves.

Memory Verse: Let us keep looking to Jesus. He is the author of faith. (Hebrews 12:2)

Welcome Activity:  Waves In Our Lives

Materials: Blue construction paper, cut out shape of wave, poster board, glue, crayons or markers

As children arrive, direct them to sit at the table and cut waves out of the construction paper. They can pattern their waves after the shape of a wave you will cut out ahead of time. Then have them draw pictures on the waves that show problems children face. If children have a hard time with this suggest problems such as divorce, bullying, bad grades in school, and friends moving away. After they finish, they can glue the waves on the poster board hanging on the wall or bulletin board. Helpers should stimulate discussion by asking children about what they do when they have problems in their lives. Who do they talk to about their problems?

Memory Verse Activity:

Materials Needed: cut out picture of Jesus, memory verse poster

Read this week’s memory verse from the poster. Point to each word as you read it:

Let us keep looking to Jesus. He is the author of faith (Hebrews 12:2).

Paste a picture of Jesus on top of the waves glued to the poster board. Have the children stare at the picture of Jesus while they say the verse together again. Have them repeat this a few times.

Ask the children questions about staring at the picture of Jesus.

Children, when you were staring at the picture Jesus, could you still see the waves? (Yes, they could still see the waves.)

Which seemed bigger, Jesus or the waves? (Jesus)

Now I want you to stare at the poster board again. But this time, don’t look at Jesus. Only look at the waves. Give the children a few moments do this.

Now which looked bigger, the picture of Jesus or the waves? (They should say the waves. If they don’t, suggest that the waves looked bigger when they focused only on them.)

Children, whatever we keep looking at is what will seem the biggest in our lives. If we look at our problems, they’ll seem bigger. But if we keep looking to Jesus, He is bigger than our problems. Let us keep looking to Jesus. He is the author of faith.

After sharing this, connect it to the Bible story in Matthew 14:22-33:

We’re about to hear a story about when Jesus walked on the water. He invited Peter to join him. When Peter looked at Jesus, he had faith enough to walk on the water.

Bible Story: Peter Walks On The Water

Pick one child to play the part of Jesus and one child to play the part of Peter. Divide the remaining children into two groups. One group will be the disciples; the other group will be the waves.

I’m going to tell you the story of when Jesus walked on the water. But I’ll need your help. Have Peter and the disciples stand in the boat you made earlier with masking tape. Have the children who are waves stand outside the boat and sway back and forth and make a soft wrrrrr sound. The child playing the part of Jesus will stand in the corner of the room.

One night, Jesus told Peter and the disciple to get on a boat and go to the other side of the lake. Jesus stayed behind and prayed. Have Jesus get on his knees and pray, and have Peter and the disciples pretend to row.

The waves started getting bigger and pounding on the boat. Tell the waves to sway harder around the boat and make the sound a little louder.

Jesus saw the waves attacking the boat and walked on the water to the disciples. But they were scared. They thought He was a ghost. Have Jesus walk toward the disciples like He’s walking on water. Have the disciples act scared. He called out to them not to be afraid, that it was him.

Peter asked Jesus if he could come to Him on the water, and Jesus said, “Come.” Peter stepped out of the boat and walked toward Jesus. Have Peter step out of the boat. Have the other disciples try to stop him. While Peter kept looking at Jesus, he walked on the water. Have Peter jump around and talk about how he’s walking on water.

But then Peter saw the wind and the waves, and he was afraid. Have the waves sway around Peter and make a louder noise. Have Peter sink into the water. Peter sank into the water. But Peter was smarter than some people. He knew what to do when he was in trouble. He called out to Jesus, “Lord, save me.” Have Peter call out.

Jesus reached out to Peter and grabbed him by the hand. He asked Peter why he doubted. Have Jesus act out what you’re saying. Jesus led Peter into the boat. All the disciples saw that Jesus is Lord and worshipped Him. Have the disciples get on their knees and lift their hands to Jesus.

Children, when you have problems, you should keep looking at Jesus to help you with those problems. He will give you the faith you need to go through anything. But if you do mess up, you can call out to Jesus, and He will help you just as He helped Peter when he sank.

Review Questions:

Where was Jesus when the disciples were on the boat going to the other side of the lake? (Jesus stayed behind to pray)

How did the disciples act when they saw Jesus on the water? (they were afraid)

What did Peter do? (he asked Jesus if he could come to Him)

What happened when Peter looked at the waves? (Peter sank and called out to Jesus)

What did Jesus do when Peter called out to Him? (He grabbed Peter by the arm and pulled him up, saved him)

What should you do when you have a problem? (keep looking to Jesus to give you the faith you need, call out to Jesus)

When Peter looked at Jesus, he could walk on water. But when he looked at the waves, he sank. When he cried out to Jesus, Jesus reached out to save Him. When waves or problems come in our lives, we need to keep looking at Jesus instead of the problem. We can do that by praying and reading our Bibles. But if we do mess up, we can call out to Jesus, and He will help us just like He did Peter.

Snack Time:

If you plan to provide a snack, this is an ideal time to serve it.

Materials: goldfish shaped snacks

Have children eat goldfish shaped snacks while you talk to them about how many of Jesus’ disciples were fishermen before they followed Jesus. They knew all about storms and how dangerous they are, but they also knew that Jesus has power over the wind and the waves. Tell the children another story about when Jesus calmed the storms (Mark 4:35-41).

Note: Always be aware of children with food allergies and have another option on hand if necessary.

Learning Activity #1:  Faith Stronger Than Water

Materials: glass, water, cardboard (old breakfast cereal boxes work best)

Pour water into a glass until it is almost full. Place a piece of cardboard, cut to slightly larger than the top of the glass, shiny side down, over the top. (an old breakfast cereal box is an ideal source of suitable cardboard). Hold cardboard in place, and invert glass. Take away your hand from the cardboard. Explain that gravity is still at work trying to make the water fall on the floor, but that the air – which we cannot see – is stronger than gravity and is keeping the cardboard in place. Try this at home first to make sure it works correctly.

Invite the children to show they know the air is there – which they cannot see- and walk under the glass.

Peter could walk on water because his faith in Jesus was stronger than the water. As long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, his faith held him up. When he no longer looked at Jesus, but looked at the waves, his faith failed, and he sank. Children, when you walked under the glass of water, you had faith in the air that was holding the cardboard in place and keeping the water from spilling on you. Just as you had faith in the air to hold the cardboard in place, when you have faith in Jesus, He will help you through the waves or problems you face, because your faith in Him is stronger than any troubles you have.

Learning Activity #2:  Keep Your Eyes On The Target

Materials: ball, marker board with a circle drawn

Draw a circle the size of the ball on the marker board. Have each child keep his or her eyes on the circle and throw the ball at it. Then have each child focus on something else in the room and throw the ball again trying to hit the circle.

Children, which time was it easier to hit the circle with the ball? (the first time) Why do you think it was easier the first time? (they had their eyes on the target) It’s easier to trust Jesus to help us when we go throw storms in life when we keep our eyes on Him.

If You Want to Do Gospel Illusions, You Need These 5 Objects

Here are 5 basic inexpensive Gospel illusion objects that can be used in a variety of Biblical applications. None of these take a lot of training or work to use.

me with fireFlash Paper: Flash paper is paper that burns so quickly that it will burn up before it hits the floor. I also won’t leave any ash. Flash paper is great to use in Bible stories where there is fire like the 3 Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace, Moses and the burning bush, or when Elijah brought down fire from Heaven. You could also write something on the flash paper to illustrate how God can take away sin, worry, sickness or a multitude of other things.

Dissolvo Paper: Dissolvo Paper is paper that dissolved in water. Use it to illustrate something God will was away. This link has a great object lesson using dissolve paper.

Lotta Bowl: A lotta bowl is a bowl that never runs out of water. At least it seems to never run out. There is a trick to it. Use the lotta bowl to show God’s love (mercy, grace, healing, victory, patience, etc.) never runs dry.

Thumb Tip: A thumb tip is a tip you place over your thumb where you can hide small objects or silks. You’ll never run out of reasons to make something disappear.

DSC_1371Stiff Rope: This is a rope you can make stand straight up. When your students try to do it, they can’t. It’s a great device to teach about faith.

You can find these objects and more Gospel Illusions at your local magic store or at these online sites.

Creative Arts Store

The Magic Emporium

Gospel Magic Company

 

 

 

 

 

Learn How to Do Gospel Illusions with These Resources

DSC_1371Gospel Illusions are a very effective way to do object lessons with a WOW factor in your children’s ministry. Many times children’s pastors stay away from it though because they think it would be hard to do. It does take some practice to master Gospel illusions, but anyone can do it if they put in the time. If you want to add Gospel Illusions to your skill set for children’s ministry, it would be helpful learning the craft. Here’s a few resources to help.

Learn the Basics:

Greater Gospel Magic by Duane Laffin (Christian)

On Stage with Illusions by Duane Laflin (Christian)

Mark Wilson’s Complete Course in Magic (Secular)

Professional Training:

The Original Tarbell Lessons Complete Course  (Secular)

This is considered to be the premier course for learning to be a magician. This course is for those who want to go to the professional level.

The Original Tarbell Lesson Vol. 1  (Secular)

If you’d like to start the Tarbell course but don’t have the money for the complete volume, you could start here.

Spiritual Applications for Tarbell (Christian)

If you decide to study using Tarbell, this is a great book to have. It gives spiritual applications for the lessons you learn in the course.

Books with Gospel Tricks You Can Do:

Amazing Lessons with Gospel Magic: Object Lessons with a Twist

Effective Gospel Magic

Amazing Gospel Illusions You Can Make

12 Gospel Tricks

12 Gospel Tricks with a Rope

12 Gospel Tricks with a Thumb Tip

5 Tips for Doing Gospel Illusions

me with fireUsing Gospel Illusions as object lessons in children’s ministry is a great way to attract children’s attention. It uses the WOW factor without spending a lot of money. If you plan to use Gospel Illusions, these tips will help.

Buy books on how to do magic. It’s more complicated than buying a trick at a magic store. Learn about the arts of how to hold your hand, misdirection, patter, and other devices. Basically learn the science of magic.

Practice in front of a mirror. For a trick to look natural and wow the kids, you need to see how it works in front of the mirror. Check out things like your hand positions, if anything shows that shouldn’t, and if you’re able to do the trick while looking at the children instead of looking at the trick.

Let the children know that this is a trick. We don’t want to confuse children when we talk about magic being forbidden in the Bible and then let them believe we’re working magic.

Don’t let the children know what the trick is. The wow factor depends on kids not being able to figure out how you do the trick. That also means they shouldn’t be allow to examine you objects before the trick is started or after the trick is over.

Use your money wisely. There are some tricks that have been overused that only have one application. One item like that is the Bible coloring book. Don’t waste your money on these kinds of tricks. Do your homework and consider how you can use the objects you buy for other Gospel illusions in the future.

For the next couple of posts, I’ll give you idea for where to find resources for Gospel Illusions and on which ones to spend your money.

Easter Object Lessons

Here’s some links for Easter object lessons and stories.

The Curtain Was Torn

Salvation Gospel Illusion

What’s Easter All About?

The Colors of Easter

He Paid the Price

The Empty Egg