10 powerful ways to share the wordless Gospel and deepen kids’ understanding of the gospel message this Easter!
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Wordless Book, a five-color booklet kids can use that helps them remember different aspects of the gospel message. This year, you can use that concept to go in depth with kids about what Easter is all about. Choose one experience from each color on the following pages, and then lead kids through your five selections to experience what Easter is genuinely about—the good news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
BROWN – ALL STAINED BY SIN
OPTION 1: Can’t Erase It
You’ll Need large white sheet of paper, brown crayon, pencil eraser Have kids sit in a circle around the paper and crayon. Ask them to tell about a time they did something wrong, and be ready with your own age-appropriate example. Each time a child tells a story, he or she will scribble on the paper with brown crayon. Then have kids take turns trying to erase the crayon scribbles with the pencil eraser.
Say: We can’t take away sin from our lives through our own power.
Ask: Tell about a time you wished you could erase something you did wrong. Talk about what you feel like after you choose to do something you know is wrong. Read aloud Romans 3:23.
OPTION 2: Sin Stains
You’ll Need white cloth, plate, small scoop or spoon, trash can, used coffee grounds (still wet)
Place the white cloth on top of the plate and gather kids around it. Tell children that sin is doing wrong things. Ask kids to take turns giving an example of sin, such as disobeying or hitting. As each child gives an example of a sin, he or she will scoop coffee grounds onto the cloth.
When everyone has had a turn, say: Sometimes we realize what we’ve done is wrong, and we stop doing these wrong things. Dump the coffee grounds into the trash can, leaving the white cloth on the plate. Show kids the stain, telling them that even when we stop doing things we know are wrong, the sins leave a stain on our heart.
- Tell about a punishment or consequence you’ve had when you did something wrong.
- Describe what you feel like when you do something you know is wrong. Read aloud Romans 3:23.
RED: JESUS’ SHED BLOOD
OPTION 1: Power Over Death
You’ll Need: a red ink pad
Gather kids in a circle, and ask why they think Jesus had to die. Once kids have had a chance to talk, say: God gives life, while Satan brings death. To show he was more powerful than death, Jesus had to die and come back to life.
Have kids take turns thumb wrestling. The winner of each game will stamp his or her thumb on a red ink pad and then make a red print on the other child’s thumb, illustrating Jesus’ power over death through his blood.
- Describe a time you felt powerful. When have you felt defeated?
- Why is it important that Jesus was more powerful than death? Read aloud Hebrews 9:22-26.
OPTION 2: Covered by the Blood
You’ll Need white paper, pink markers, paper plates with washable red paint, paintbrushes, paint smocks (optional), clean-up supplies
Say: Jesus’ blood covers our sins. Distribute the paper and markers. Then have each child write one or two words to describe something he or she has done that was wrong. No one will see what anyone else writes.
Say: These wrong things pull us away from God, but Jesus died so his blood would cover our sins and bring us back to God. Have kids paint red over their words until they’re no longer visible. For an extra reminder of God’s love, they can paint in the shape of a heart.
- What are ways we can know that God loves us?
- What does Jesus’ death to cover our sins mean to you? Read aloud Hebrews 9:22-26.
WHITE: GOD FORGIVES US
OPTION 1: The Math of Forgiveness You’ll Need beanbags or balls (one per child)
Give each child a beanbag. Tell kids the Bible says everyone does wrong things. Have children each put the beanbag in the center of the circle to represent something they’ve done wrong. Tell them that when God forgives us, it’s like subtraction.
Together, count how many beanbags are in the pile. Then have each child take a turn saying, “God, please forgive me” while you take away one beanbag and place it behind you. After all kids have spoken, the pile will be gone. Say: When God forgives us, he takes away the wrong we did.
- Describe a time you had to forgive someone.
- Was it easy or difficult for you, and why?
- What’s important to you about God forgiving you? Read aloud Isaiah 1:18.
OPTION 2: Stain Lifted
You’ll Need washable crayons, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser sponge, wall or table (Tip: Test this activity first in an inconspicuous spot to ensure the crayon erases.)
Have each child make a crayon mark on a wall or table. Say: When we do wrong things, we make a stain on our lives. We can’t remove it ourselves. Hold up the Magic Eraser sponge. Say: But God can remove the stain of our sin and forgive us. Let kids take turns scrubbing at the crayon marks with the Magic Eraser. They should easily wipe off.
Ask: Why do you need God to forgive you?
- Explain whether you want to accept God’s forgiveness, and why.
- Remind kids to never color on walls or furniture. Read aloud Isaiah 1:18.
GREEN: GROW IN FAITH
OPTION 1: Bigger and Better
You’ll Need one plastic cup of water per child, growing sponge capsules (found in most dollar stores)
Say: When we follow Jesus, God helps us grow in our faith so we learn how to show we love God. Give kids each a sponge capsule and tell them to put it in their cup of water. As kids watch, ask them to describe ways they’ve changed because they believe in Jesus. In a minute or two, what was once a tiny capsule will become a big sponge!
- Explain how you can tell that your body is growing.
- In what ways can you tell that God is helping you grow in your faith? Read aloud Philippians 1:6.
OPTION 2: Keep on Growing
You’ll Need green paper, several pairs of scissors, crayons, spiral template
Print the spiral templates on green paper, one per child. Say: Our lives are like a long walk with God. As we follow him, he changes us. Sometimes we don’t see it right away. Ask kids to tell about a time they could do something only because they’d grown bigger (such as reach the faucet or pour a glass of milk). Each time a child tells a story, cut a few inches along the spiral line of the template. When you have cut all the way to the center, stop cutting and hold the paper from the center. As you lift it, the paper will suddenly be very long!
Give each child a spiral template, and have them write their names and make unique designs on their paper. Then have them cut along the spiral lines to transform their paper into something much bigger and longer.
- Tell about one thing you’re excited to grow big enough to do.
- Talk about one way you want God to help you grow in your faith.
Say: When we follow Jesus, it’s like creating this spiral. Little by little, God is helping us grow! Read aloud Philippians 1:6.
YELLOW: HOPE OF HEAVEN
OPTION 1: Here and There
You’ll Need yellow construction paper; sheets of sandpaper, cut in half; scissors; yellow or gold sequins; white glue
Say: It’s difficult to imagine the contrast between our earth now and what heaven will be like someday. Let’s make a craft to help us picture it.
Distribute the materials, and let children glue and paper onto the left half of the yellow paper. Have them glue the sequins onto the other half.
Say: God made beautiful things on earth, but heaven will be even prettier. Rather than streets like ours, there’ll be streets made of gold!
Read aloud Revelation 21:1-4, 21.
- What do you think will be different between heaven and earth?
- What do you hope to see in heaven?
OPTION 2: Eternal Kingdom
You’ll Need a small bucket, yellow construction paper, a variety of colored plastic craft jewels, several pairs of scissors, glue, tape
Say: As we look forward to heaven, we can “store up treasures” there (see Matthew 6:20). When we follow Jesus, we become heirs as his followers ( Romans 8:17). We build up treasure in heaven by following Jesus’ example, being kind to others, being a servant to others, and making choices God wants us to make.
Ask children to share their ideas about how to store up treasure in heaven, and each time they give an example, let them choose a jewel from the bucket. After everyone has had a chance to gather several jewels, have them carry their “treasure” over to a craft table.
Distribute a sheet of yellow paper to each child, and have kids cut the paper in half the long way. Have kids cut triangles along one edge of both halves to resemble a crown, and then ask them to glue the jewels they earned onto the two halves. When the jewels have dried, tape the two paper halves together so kids can wear their crowns.
- Explain whether you think treasure in heaven is better than treasure on earth.
- What’s one thing you can do this week to store up a real jewel in heaven?
- What are you looking forward to about heaven? Read aloud Revelation 21:1-4, 21.
End your Wordless Gospel experience by asking kids to remember what each color means. As a take-home reminder, consider giving each child a Glow-in-the-Dark Wristband, available at group.com. Say: These colors—brown, red, white, green, and yellow—can help you tell your friends about Jesus in a simple way. Just remember: Everyone sins, but Jesus died for us all, and everyone can have God’s forgiveness. When we follow Jesus, we grow in faith and will one day go to heaven! That’s what Easter is all about!
Kristen Kansiewicz is a children’s ministry volunteer at her church in Lynn, Massachusetts.