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Children's Story on the Good Shepherd

Easter 3: Jesus the Good Shepherd     
Bible Text: John 10:11-18 Jesus, the Good Shepherd
Objects: A Shepherds staff (made with a wooden pole, coat hanger, and duct tape)
Basic Children's Sermon idea: Dramatically demonstrate the role of a good shepherd and then explain how Jesus loves us and looks after us like a good shepherd. (Note: This could be done with a shepherd’s staff as an object lesson. However, there is more impact if you involve the children in some drama as well.)
Full Object Lesson / Children's sermon: (Start by reading a short section from John 10 about Jesus being the good shepherd.)
Good Morning Children. Do you see what I made here? What do you think it is? Right. It’s a shepherd’s staff. A shepherd is a person who looks after sheep and in many parts of the world they carry a staff like this. OK. You pretend you are sheep and follow me over here. Do you know what sound sheep make? Right! Make some “bahhhing” as we go. Like a good shepherd I’ll lead you to some good pasture. This looks like a good spot. Pretend you are eating some grass children. OK. I’ll continue to lead you on. Sometimes one of the sheep gets lost. (Lean over and whisper to one of the children to pretend to wander off – you could preplan this but it works fine to do it this way.) Oh my. One of the sheep has wandered off and is lost. I’ve got to go find it in order to bring it back to the fold. Sometimes the little sheep get stuck over a ledge. Then the shepherd gets his staff like this and reaches out to it like this and brings it safely back. (Use the hook end of the staff to pull the child back to the group) Continue on. Now children, sometimes the shepherd must protect the sheep from an animal like a wolf. (Quickly ask an adult nearby to show their teeth and growl like an angry wolf) Whoa! There’s a scary wolf! (Quickly move between the children and the wolf with your protective staff) I won’t run away from my sheep. As a good shepherd I use my staff to protect them. “Take that you nasty wolf, and stay away from my sheep.” That was a little scary but I’m glad I was able to protect you from that wolf. (Lead the children back up to the front of the church or some place where you can sit down and debrief)
Thanks for helping me with my story children; you were good at pretending to be sheep. (Get the congregation to give them a round of applause.) The Bible reading today tells us that we are like sheep and Jesus is like a good shepherd. If we follow Jesus, like a good shepherd he will lead us to good pasture – he will feed us and nourish us. Like a good shepherd he will search after us if we are lost and rescue us. He will never run away from us in scary times but will protect us. I’m so thankful that Jesus is a good shepherd who loves us and watches over us. (At another time you could discuss how he feeds us, protects us, leads us, etc.)
Prayer: Thank you God that Jesus is a good shepherd, who loves us, leads us, feeds us and protects us. Help us always to stay close to him and to follow him. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Copyright 2009 Andrew Hewlett
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