Elementary Sunday School Lesson: God is Powerful
Published: January 27, 2020
Use this Sunday school lesson with kids of all ages from the popular Kids’ Travel Guide to the Armor of God to teach kids that God is powerful.
Find more great Sunday school lessons to help kids grow in their faith.
Pathway Point: God is most powerful.
In-Focus Verse: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10).
The first step in exploring the spiritual armor God provides to believers is to acknowledge that we face spiritual enemies. Satan and the spiritual forces that fight against God are real and powerful. When we face our own inadequacy for battle, we understand our need for a Champion who will fight for us and protect us. We recognize our dependence on the armor God provides.
Talking about Satan’s threats and our vulnerability can make both children and adults feel anxious. But instead of minimizing the enemy—maximize God! Vividly portray his awesome power. Help kids experience God’s protective love that surrounds them. As kids trust God and learn to wear the armor he provides, they will discover that no enemy is too great for God. Celebrate with kids that the battle has already been won by Jesus!
This activity has been designed for multi-age groups. Select from the activities, or adapt them as needed for your class.
Departure Prayer (up to 5 minutes)
Items to Pack:
- individual bottles of water (1 per child)
- permanent marker
Tour Guide Tip
Give kids time to think of different ways water is used. If they need help, mention putting out fires, soaking sore feet, generating power, and for baptism.
As kids arrive, give each one a bottle of water. These water bottles will be used several times during the lesson. Use a permanent marker to write each child’s name on his or her bottle.
Gather children to sit in a circle. During your discussion, pause and encourage kids to sip water as they think of answers. You’ll want kids to drink some but not all of their water.
- What are ways water is used?
- Why is water so important?
- In what situations might water be dangerous?
Say: Most of the time, water is helpful. In fact, we can’t live without it. But sometimes water can be dangerous. Today’s story is about a time when Jesus’ disciples were in real danger from water. They needed someone powerful to save them. Fold your hands around your water bottle while we pray.
Pray: Dear God, thank you for giving us water. You provide water for drinking, washing, playing, and watering plants. But sometimes water can be scary, too, like during storms or floods. Help us trust in your great power to protect us. Amen.
Have kids take one last drink, then close bottles tightly and place them out of the way until later in the lesson.
1st Stop Discovery (15 minutes)
Through this activity, children will explore diverse responses to common fears.
Items to Pack:
- masking tape
How Scared Are You?
Before class, use newsprint and markers to make two signs. One should read “Not Scared At All!” and have a happy face. The other should read “Very Scared!” and have a sad or frightened face. Post these two signs on opposite sides of the room.
Say: Not everyone is scared by the same things or to the same degree. We’re going to do an activity to show which things are scary for us and which are not. When I read a sentence, decide if it’s very scary, not scary at all, or perhaps somewhere in between. Point out the signs and indicate where kids should stand to show different degrees of fear. Allow kids to move after each question.
- How scared do you feel…if you were separated from your parents in a crowded place?
- How scared would you feel…if your teacher called on you and you didn’t know the answer?
- …if a strange dog approached and began to growl at you?
- …on the first day at a new school?
- …in the dark in your room at night?
- …if there was a severe thunderstorm while you were at home?
- …if there was a thunderstorm while you were in a boat on a lake?
Gather kids together and discuss the following questions.
- What is it about these situations that makes people feel scared?
- When you are scared, what do you do to feel safe again?
- Why isn’t God afraid of anything?
- How can God help us when we’re afraid?
Say: God is never afraid because he is in control; nothing can harm him. God loves us and promises to protect us. Since God is most powerful, we don’t have to be afraid.
Story Excursion (15 minutes)
Children will experience the wildness of a storm and the calm when Jesus showed his power.
Items to Pack:
- water bottles from the Departure Prayer
- bath towels
Wild Wind, Wet Waves
Say: Today’s wild and wet Bible story comes from Mark 4:35-41. Open your Bible and show children where this account is found. Let’s act out this story together and imagine what it might have been like to be on the boat with Jesus. Ask for volunteers to play the parts of Jesus and two disciples. Have these children sit in an imaginary boat. Choose another child to turn lights on and off to imitate lightning.
Give half of the remaining children bath towels and give the other half two water bottles each. (Children do not have to have their own water bottles.) As you distribute bottles, check that the lids are on securely. Tell children to listen and act out their parts as you retell the story.
Say: When I mention the wild wind, everyone with bath towels should flap them toward the imaginary boat carrying Jesus and the disciples. When I mention the wet waves, everyone with water bottles should shake them to make sloshing sounds. Practice both parts with the children.
Have children re-enact the story as you read. Pause after each mention of specific actions so children have time to participate.
Say: At the end of the day, Jesus and his disciples got into a boat to cross to the other side of the lake. Jesus lay down in one end of the boat and went right to sleep. When they were in the middle of the lake, a terrible thunderstorm came up. There was no time to get to shore. The wild wind blew the boat! The wet waves roared! Lightning flashed all around them! The disciples felt the water coming into the boat around their ankles. They thought the boat was about to sink and they would drown. The disciples went to Jesus and woke him up. They shouted over the noise of the storm, “Jesus, don’t you care if we drown?”
Jesus woke up and looked around at the wild wind, the wet waves, and the crashing lightning. He stood up. He calmly said, “Quiet, waves.” Then he said, “Hush, wind.” The lightning stopped. Suddenly everything became completely still.
Let’s imitate how quiet the lake was. Wait for children to settle. Let’s get quieter still. Pause, then whisper: Let’s listen to that silence for 10 seconds. Wait, then continue in a whisper. The disciples looked at the quiet lake. They looked at Jesus. They looked at each other and said, “Jesus stopped a storm! He’s someone special!”
The disciples were right. Jesus is someone special. Jesus is God. Since God is most powerful, we don’t have to be afraid.
Debriefing the Story
Gather kids together and lay props aside. Have kids form pairs to discuss the following questions. After kids share with each other, ask for volunteers to share their answers with the group.
- What would you have thought if you were in the boat with Jesus when the lake became quiet?
- How do you think the disciples felt when they realized that Jesus was so powerful?
- How do you feel knowing that God is most powerful?
- In which ways do you need God’s power in your life?
Say: Jesus showed his power and protected his friends by calming the storm. God is still able to protect us today. One way God protects us from spiritual enemies is by giving us spiritual armor. We’re going to be learning about the armor of God in the coming weeks. We’ll discover that whatever problems or enemies we face, God is most powerful.
Adventures in Growing (up to 10 minutes)
Kids will play a game to discover that fears can be difficult to stop on our own.
Items to Pack:
- tennis balls
- masking tape
The Fear Zone
Have enough tennis balls so that each Roller will begin the game with one.
Use two strips of masking tape to mark three playing areas. Clear the playing area of any obstacles.
Work with the children to create a list of things kids fear. Write these ideas on newsprint, then post this where kids can easily see it.
Have children form two teams, the Rollers and the Defenders. Have the Rollers stand in section A and the Defenders stand in section B.
Say: We’ve talked about common fears. Now let’s play a game to see how well we’re able to stop those fears. The Rollers will call out a fear from our list, then roll a ball toward the Defenders. The balls must stay on the floor, but the Rollers can have as many balls in play at a time as they like.
Defenders will stand behind their line and try to keep the balls from getting past them and into the Fear Zone. Balls can be stopped only with your hands, and they must be gently rolled back to the Rollers. If a ball gets into the Fear Zone, it has to stay there and can’t be returned to the game.
Begin the game. Encourage kids to play quickly, rolling balls as soon as they are returned. After several minutes, have teams switch roles and play again.
Debrief the Game
Gather kids together to discuss the game.
- How successful were you at stopping the fears that came your way?
- What made it hard or easy to stop the fears?
- In real life, is it hard or easy to stop yourself from having fears? Why?
- Ephesians 6:10 says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” How can God’s power help us be strong enough to face our fears?
- What fears do you need strength to face?
Say: Even though some of the fears got past these Defenders, nothing can get past God. No matter what the problem, we don’t have to be afraid because God is most powerful.
Home Again Prayer (10 minutes)
Items to Pack:
- water bottles from the Departure Prayer activity
Have children find their water bottles and sit in a circle.
Say: Today we learned how powerful God is. No matter what happens, he is able to protect us. Turn to a friend and tell about a stormy time in your life. Shake your water bottle to show how shook up you felt at that time. Give kids time to share.
As we pray, we’ll talk to God about stormy times and quiet times. When we pray about stormy times, shake your water bottle. When we pray about calm times, hold your bottle so the water becomes very still.
Pray: Dear God, during the storm the disciples were frightened. They thought the boat might sink. They called to Jesus for help. He calmed the storm and kept them safe. Sometimes we are scared, too. When we’re afraid, our fears shake us up. Help us remember that you are most powerful. Help us trust you to protect us, calm us, and bring us peace. Amen.
Let children take their water bottles home with them.
Want even more lessons like this? Check out the entire series of Travel Guide books from Group.
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