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preteens excited that Jesus wants to be our friend
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Preteen Bible Lesson: Jesus Wants To Be Our Friend

Use this Bible lesson to teach preteens that Jesus wants to be our friend.

Bible Point: Jesus wants to be our friend.

Scripture: Jesus visits Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42)

Supplies

  • plastic cups (see Tip for size) (1 for every 2 kids)
  • empty water bottles (1 for every 2 kids)
  • jumbo craft sticks (1 for every 2 kids)
  • uncooked rice (see Easy Prep for amount)
  • paper plates (1 for every 2 kids)
  • paper
  • measuring cup

Easy Prep

  • Cut the paper in half horizontally so that you can have 1/2 sheet for every 2 kids. The paper will be their “funnels.”
  • Measure rice into each cup in the same number of ounces as the bottles you’re using. For example, put 8 ounces of rice into each cup if you’re using 8-ounce bottles.
Tip

Use plastic cups that hold at least the same number of ounces as the bottles you use. If you want to conserve on rice, you can use smaller water bottles, such as 8-ounce or 10-ounce bottles.


Jesus Wants To Be Our Friend

What Kids Will Do

Kids compact rice and use it to pick up a bottle.

Pick Up Bottles With Craft Sticks

Say: We’ve been learning that Jesus wants to be our friend. He loved when Mary spent time with him like a friend. Let’s do something to help us think about why sticking with our friends is important. 

Have kids form pairs and sit on the floor. Give each pair a water bottle, craft stick, half-sheet of paper, paper plate, and cup filled with rice.

Say: We’re going to see if we can pick up our bottles using only our craft sticks. You can insert your craft sticks into your bottles, but you can’t pick up the bottles with your hands or tip the bottles.

Have kids take turns trying to pick up their bottles by inserting the craft sticks into the bottles.

After all the kids have tried to pick up their bottles with their craft sticks, have them set their bottles on the paper plates. Then show them how to roll a half-sheet of paper into a funnel and use it to fill the water bottle with rice. (All the rice won’t fit in the bottle yet.)

Say: Insert your craft sticks into the bottles and try to pick them up again without tipping them or using your hands.

After all the kids have tried lifting their bottles again, say: Let’s try something else.

Keep Trying

Show kids how to tap the bottom of a bottle on the floor or table to compact the rice. Then have kids top of their bottles with more rice and try to lift them again.

Have kids continue compacting the rice and topping off their bottles, attempting to lift the bottles with the craft sticks after each time. Kids can also use their craft sticks to compact the rice. When the rice is compacted enough, the grains have enough tension to hold the sticks in place, enabling the kids to lift the bottles.

Have kids repeat the activity until they’re able to lift the bottles with the craft sticks. If kids are having trouble lifting their bottles even after the bottles are completely full, suggest that they use a little more force when pushing the craft sticks into the rice.

Talk About It

Ask:

  • Why do you think you were able to pick up the bottles with only the craft sticks and rice?
  • What helps you stick close to your friends?

Say: Having close friendships is important. When we’re close to our friends, we can help each other with our problems. The rice helped you pick up the bottles because of how close all the pieces were to each other. In the same way, Jesus wants to be our friend and help us. When we’re close to Jesus like Mary was, he can help us with our problems, too.

This lesson comes from Group’s Sciency-Fun WOWS!: 54 Surprising Bible Object Lessons (ages 8-12). Want more preteen lessons like this? Check out these articles!


2 thoughts on “Preteen Bible Lesson: Jesus Wants To Be Our Friend

  1. Lou fou Saechao

    I need sunday school lessons for 3rd, 4th, 5th and jr. high

    • Sierra Archuleta

      Hi Lou,
      To find age specific Sunday School lessons, please go to our main page and click on the “Bible Lessons” tab and then on the left-hand side you will see age level checkboxes you can filter the results by.

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