The Church is People: Ages 2 and 3

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Help kids see that the church isn’t bricks and wood–it’s
people.

  1. You Are the Church
    Have the children sit in a circle. Walk around the circle
    holding an unbreakable mirror. Stop in front of each child. As
    children each look at their reflection in the mirror sing this song
    to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell”: You are the church. You
    are the church. You sing and pray to Jesus. You are the
    church.

    Say: Some people call this building where we sing songs
    about Jesus and hear Bible stories the church. This place is just a
    building. The church is really people, like you and me, who love
    Jesus. Wherever we go, we’re the church. When we go home, we’re
    still the church. When we go to the park to play, we’re still the
    church.

    Have the children name places where they go. Confirm that they’re
    the church wherever they go.

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  2. The Church Prays
    Tell a very simple version of the story of Peter in prison
    from Acts 12:1-17. Emphasize that the church was at
    Mary’s house praying for Peter when God sent an angel to free him
    from prison. The church was very surprised and happy to see Peter
    standing at the door of the house. God had heard and answered the
    prayers of the church for Peter.

    Then have the children act out the story.

  3. I Am the Church
    Make mirrors from paper plates. Around the edge of the
    paper plate write “(Child’s name) the church. ” Glue a piece of
    aluminum foil in the center of the paper plate. Add a craft stick
    for a handle.

    Say: When you look in your mirror, who do you see? Yes,
    you see the church.

    As children look into their mirrors, encourage them to sing “You
    Are the Church,” only this time change the words to “I am the
    church.”

  4. Say Cheese
    Help children toast and butter bread. Use gingerbread
    people cookie cutters to cut out “people” from the slices of toast.
    Use cheese to add facial features, hair and clothing. As kids eat
    their snack, úsay: God’s church is not made of bricks or wood;
    God’s church is made of people like you and me.

  5. We Are the Church
    Gather the children in a circle. Have the children take
    turns standing in the center of the circle. Repeat the song “You
    Are the Church.” Have the children point to the child in the center
    as they sing “(Name of child) is the church.” Repeat this with each
    child. Then sing “We Are the Church.”

  6. Body Parts
    Distribute cookie dough, prepared ahead of time, to each
    child. Allow kids to each create their own “person” out of the
    dough and place it on a cookie sheet. Have an adult volunteer take
    the cookies to the kitchen to bake.

    While the cookies are baking, form groups of three. Give each group
    a variety of craft materials. Have group members nominate each
    other for different body parts; for example, “You’re the hands
    because you’re helpful” or “You’re the eyes because you see
    people’s needs.” Have children make awards for each other in their
    groups to reflect their places in the body of Christ.

    Pray: Dear God, we’re glad we’re your church. In Jesus’
    name, amen.

    Then eat the cookies!

    Kathy Downs is a 25-year veteran of children’s ministry in
    Arizona. Dan Wiard is a children’s ministry consultant in
    Pennsylvania.

    Children’s Ministry Magazine.Subscribetoday

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