Use this Good Shepherd Sunday School lesson to teach children what Jesus meant when He said He was the Good Shepherd.
Lesson: (Note: Always allow students enough time to think about and to give their answers to the questions before clarifying the teaching.)
(Have students take turns reading John 10:1-18, read it yourself, or summarize it with the following story.)
I want you to close your eyes and imagine something. Imagine that you’re a sheep on a farm. And you love the farmer. He comes and gives you your food and gives you your water, and on nice days, he takes you out of the barn and lets you eat grass in the big yard. If he wants you to follow somewhere, he just calls your name and you follow him because you love him and you know he’s the farmer. You won’t follow people you don’t know, just him because you do know him and he takes care of you.
Now imagine that he put you back in the barn so you could go to sleep for the night. But then you hear something howling and scratching to get in the barn. It’s a wolf and it’s a come to eat you! But then the farmer comes and fights with the wolf and… the farmer dies because he was protecting you from the wolf. The wolf goes away and you’re safe, but the farmer is dead.
Jesus said that He is like that farmer. The devil is like the wolf because the devil wants to come hurt you and take you away to Hell when you die. But Jesus fought the devil and died on the cross to save us from the devil and to forgive us for our sins so that we don’t have to go to Hell when we die. Jesus saved us from the devil and made it so that we could be safe from the devil if we believe in Jesus, and go to Heaven when we die.
So let’s always remember to thank Jesus for protecting us and saving us when He died on the cross.
Game: Following the Shepherd – Have students get down on all fours and close their eyes. They are the Sheep. The leader is the Shepherd/Farmer. The Shepherd moves around the room, calling the Sheep, and they must do their best to follow. The Shepherd can also give instructions like “spin around in a circle,” “baa like sheep”, “go faster”, “come to me slowly”, etc. After a while, pick someone else to be the Shepherd. If you have time, give everyone a chance to be the Shepherd.
Find more Sunday School lesson ideas on our Free Children Sunday School Lesson Helps page.