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Topic: Showing forgiveness to others
Target Age Group: Children Grades 3-5 both boys and girls
Spiritual Passage: The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant (Matthew 18:21-35)
Key Verse: "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." -Matthew 6:14-15
2 or 3 soft balls
Different Costumes from the play that can be up to you to use or not
In this Lesson...
Students will learn how the Servant was called to forgive others but decided not to do so and there was a consequence for that action. They will then understand that believers are called to show mercy and forgiveness just like God has demonstrated for us and ultimately to treat others like God treats us. Students need to learn the importance of forgiveness and showing mercy even when it might be hard for them to do so.
Cognitive: The student will understand that God's forgiveness does not run dry by learning that no matter how big our sin is similar to the Servant had A LOT of debt God will forgive us much like the King forgave the Servant of his debt.
Affective: The students will feel empathy for the servant who was punished for not forgiving the other servant but they will turn it into compassion to us in their lives everyday lives.
Behavioral: The students will acknowledge what forgiveness does and what it looks like and how it can further a relationship through Christ by forgiving other in their lives no matter how hurt or hard it may be for them.
Before the children arrive go around the room hiding medium sized letters that spell "Forgiveness". There will be no teams it is everyone for themselves so there is no need to put them into any teams. After they arrive tell them to look around the room for eleven letters that spell what we will be learning about today. Explain that when you say go that they will have to go and search for the eleven letters around the room. Once the letters have been found they must be taken up to the front put on a whiteboard or PowerPoint in the order that they come to you in, then once all the letters have been found pick a child to come up and unscramble the letters and then get the child to say the word.
Once the child has taken their seat as the students if anyone could tell you "What does forgiveness mean to you?" And allow the children to respond.
VeggieTales: The Forgive-O-Meter
This video it will catch their attention and draw the children in. This video will show the children that you don’t need to have a big whole machine in order for God to forgive you. All it comes down to is simply God forgiving you once you have asked for forgiveness from him and you forgiving others in return.
Get a bunch of sponges (colourful and dry) and split the children into two teams. When the music starts, throw the sponges into the middle. Children have to grab the sponges and throw them to the other side, thus "forgiving" the other team. Whichever side has more forgiveness sponges on their side when a timer runs out, loses because that means the other team did more forgiving. It's fun because you've got sponges flying through the air constantly and people trying to have the most on their side.
Object Lesson #1: Do this object lesson directly after the hook. Have a baseball bat and a couple of balls that are soft not super hard or anything so no one gets hurt. Hold up the baseball bat and ask the children "Does anyone know how to play baseball?" When they respond ask the children "Do you know the rules of the game when you go up to bat?" Even if they know explain the rules anyways just so everyone is on the same page. Then using the baseball bat and the balls allow the children to play a little bit of baseball. But then I will explain that no matter what Jesus always say you cannot put a number on the amount of times you can forgive someone. Forgiveness is not something you put a number on or a limit on. Forgiveness is something that no matter what never runs dry. Then begin the bible story.
Props: King: Crown Servant 1: scarf that will represent a rag Servant 2: scarf as well Guard: helmet and sword
Narrator: There once was a King who wanted his debts to be repaid. Wave to the King everyone. Therefore, a servant who owed him ten thousand bags of gold humbly approached him to beg for mercy because he couldn’t repay his debt. Boys and Girls do you have ten thousand bags of gold? Bow at the feet of the King and beg and plead, servant.
Narrator: Rubbing his chin, the King rethinks his choice and cancels the servant's debt. The servant is so happy he starts jumping up and down, and he does a little happy dance. Servant can you do a little dance for us? After the servant finishes his dance the King tells him to go.
Narrator: As soon as the Servant had left the King's presence, he saw and met up with another servant who owed him money and suddenly became angry. Servant 1 can you show us your angriest face? You see Servant 2 had pleaded with Servant 1. Servant 2 can you beg and plead with servant 1. Servant 2 had asked Servant 1 to have mercy and patient with him.
Narrator: INSTEAD Servant 1 had told the Guard to come and throw Servant 2 in jail. Guard please come and get servant 2 and take him away. The other servants were angry when their friend was thrown into jail because the first servant was given mercy by the King but Servant 1 wouldn’t give the same mercy to someone else.
Narrator: The King had called for Servant 1 and had asked why he did what he did. King point your finger like you are really mad at the Servant. The King wondered why the servant didn’t cancel the debt of the servant as the King had gave him mercy for the same reason. So the King had asked the Guard to take him away and put him in prison.
Narrator: The Bible says in Matthew 18:21-35 that God will also judge us if we will not give mercy to others. Because He has done so much for us, we should be quick to give mercy and forgive.
Biblical Account Questions:
Ask all or some of the following questions as reviews. You can use to reward the children with candy who have answered the questions correctly.
Who did the King represent in this story?
Who does the first servant represent?
Why do you think it was so hard for the servant to forgive the other servant?
What do you think the very first servant did wrong?
Why do you think first servant thought it was okay to be forgiven but not to forgive others?
Life Application Questions:
Can anybody tell me what forgiveness means to you?
What effect do you guys think not forgiving others does puts on our relationship with God? Why?
Do you think we should want to forgive the way God forgives others?
Why is forgiveness so important?
Who can you forgive in your life?
Memory Verse Game:
"If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins." - Matthew 6:14-15
The memory verse will be a game that ends off the lesson with a memory verse game. The child are going to be in two teams and the memory verse will be broken up on 7 boxes and they must put the memory verse in order without any help at all. But once the person tries to get it wrong once the next person starts from the beginning again. It will go like this until the children finally get it from start to finish.
Closing Prayer: Ask the children if there is anything that they need prayer for and if so make you either remember it or write it down. Close in prayer by asking God to help the children to understand the importance of forgiving others and why what was talked about in today's lesson is important in their everyday lives. To help to forgive their family, friends and even their enemies that have wronged them just like God has forgiveness us for what we have done.
Do a WordSearch that would have many different keys words from the story that was being told in the lesson with the children so that they can see and understand the key words from the story. A simple task that will allow the children the keywords behind the overall story and message. If they find all the words the next time you see them reward them with something so that the children will want to complete it. The WordSearch is attached to the back to be used or you can make your own, it is totally up to you.
Also as an action/challenge they can do to apply this to their everyday lives is start and forgive someone that they have been struggling to forgive no matter what it is big or small and I would challenge them to go a step further and actually tell that person that they forgive them for whatever they had down that caused the unforgiveness. If they are struggling to do this action I would ask them to pray that God would soften their heart to be able to perform this action. We can't talk about forgiveness or even expect forgiveness to take place in our lives until we have taken place in forgiving people in our lives that have caused us to not forgive. As a follow up for next time you see them ask them about it to see if any of them have done it.
ervant 1 to have mercy and patient with him.