Free Children's Ministry Curriculum Written
by Sheryl Coats
and More Bugs
Celebration Medical Centre
Celebration City Courthouse
Theme: The next six weeks will be spent on a
farm, learning about growing in God's garden.
The Set: decorate the puppet stage like a barn. Add props like
wheel barrows, shovels, rakes, a ride on toy tractor, etc. Workers can
dress in bib overalls and straw hats.
Farmer Al Falfa (grumpy old farmer), Sprout (the
farmers son), Sweet pea (the farmers daughter), Petunia (the farmers
other daughter), leader, and a cast of farm animal puppets.
This week: We will discover that gardens needs to be pruned.
To teach the kids that:
Consistently enforcing the rules helps the service
to run more smoothly. It is crucial to lovingly and consistently enforce
the rules. Try to foresee problems so that they can be avoided before
they occur. Work with your pod and interact with them before service and
encourage them to pay close attention and really worship God today.
Remember you are more than a teacher, you are a mentor!
Remind the kids of the rules. It helps the kids to respond if they
know what is expected of them.
Begin by having the kids spend about 2 minutes
kneeling at their chairs praying for the service.
Once the kids are done open in prayer asking for God's presence in
our service. Kids need to know that God wants to move in their lives and
that he will if they seek him. This time of prayer sets the tone of the
remainder of the service.
It is important to review with the kids the reasons
that we worship and explain the how's and whys. Encourage them to really
worship God. The kids watch everything leaders do. Let them see you in
active worship. Let them hear you worshiping God. If we want the spirit
to move in our service we have to first allow the spirit to move in us.
The leader should introduce the kids to the theme.
Opening Skit: Leader: Good morning kids. Here we are at the
farm again. And look there is farmer Al falfa. Oh no! He's gone off the
deep end! He is destroying his beautiful garden! We've got to stop him.
Starts running over to farmer Al screaming STOP!! Don't do it.
Farmer Al (looking up from his pruning) What is all the ruckus
about??? You are making enough noise to wake an elephant and start a
stampede!! Will you please be quiet?!?!?
Leader: But Farmer Al, I am trying to stop you from destroying
your garden. Life couldn't be that bad that you need to kill your
Farmer: What in the world are you talking about? I'm not
killing my plants. I'm just pruning them.
Leader: Oh farmer Al, you can't turn bean plants into prune
Farmer: Where did they get you from?? Good grief! I am PRUNING
my garden. That means I am taking off dead leaves, cutting off unwanted
branches and helping the plants to grow the way I want them to.
Leader: Oh I understand. I think...
Farmer: Well, It's obvious that if I want to get rid of you
again today that I need to explain pruning to you. Or maybe I should
just be mean to you and then maybe you wouldn't keep coming back. I
should have let you go pester farmer Jones a few weeks ago!
Leader: Oh come on Farmer Al. Please tell us about pruning. It
sounds like this will have some good spiritual applications.
Farmer: Oh alright, I might as well tell you about it so I can
get rid of you.
The farmer should come out with his pruning shears
and tools and explain exactly what a gardener does when they prune their
plants. He can talk about removing faded flowers. This allows the plant
to use it's energy to produce more flowers. Pinching allows you to
direct the growth of the plant either up or sideways. If you want a
bushy plant you pinch off new buds at the top of the plant causing it to
grow sideways instead. If you want it to grow taller you pinch off new
buds at the side of the plant causing it to grow up instead. Sometimes a
plant has dead leaves or branches. By cutting these off you help the
plant to grow stronger and healthier. This is what pruning is all about.
Sprout is chasing his sisters around with a very
large pair of pruning shears (carefully). He is teasing them that they
need to be pruned. The leader can intervene and tell them that people do
need to be pruned but not with pruning shears. The leader can review
what pruning shears are used for and then explain that people are pruned
by God, not with shears but by God. He may allow things to happen to us
or he may ask us to get rid of things in our lives. He will convict us,
direct us and speak to us. He might ask us to do something we don't want
to do. He does all of these things to shape us into what he wants us to
You will need a bonsai plant. Explain what a bonsai
plant is. Ask the kids if they think it just grew this way on it's own.
Explain that it took a great deal of time to get this plant to look like
this. Any time the plant grew a shoot where it wasn't supposed to be the
gardener had to snip it off. Any time the plant leaned in a direction it
wasn't supposed to the gardener had to do something to make it lean the
way he wanted it to. If the gardener had just left it to grow on it's
own it would not have turned out to be a beautiful plant. It would have
had branches sticking out everywhere and maybe be crooked. But the
gardener had a plan for this plant. He knew exactly what he wanted it to
look like. So he worked with it and melded it and shaped it. God does
the same with us. He knows exactly what he wants to do with our lives.
He knows what he wants us to be like. So he shapes us and prunes us and
takes things out of our lives he doesn't want there and he guides us.
Tell the story of Saul when he was blinded. Give a
short life account of how God shaped and melded Paul's life. Explain that
bad things happened to Paul, but that God was using those things to
shape him and mould him into who he wanted him to be.
Romans 8:28 All things work together for the
good of those who love Him. For each team write each word of the
memory verse on a leaf shape. Write some extra words that are not a part
of the verse on several extra leaf shapes. Teach the kids the verse.
Then play the following game. Each team lines up. The first player races
to the front and grabs a leaf that belongs in the memory verse and
places it on a tree shape poster board. The first team to complete the
verse correctly scores the points.
Each pod leader will need a plant that has some
dead leaves, or some unwanted shoots, or some form of pruning to be done
to it. The pod leaders should review what has been presented and answer
any questions. Then take your plant and begin showing how the plant is
less than perfect. The gardener needs to work with it, pull off dead
leaves, cut off shoots that are not growing right, etc. If the gardener
doesn't do this the plant will not grow as it should. By spending time
pruning it he makes it a more beautiful plant. Draw the parallel for the
kids that God needs to do the same with us. He may need to convict us of
certain things like spending too much time playing Nintendo or pull sin
out of our lives. He may need to give us some direction and tell us to
do certain things like being more bold about witnessing. Ask the kids if
they think it would feel good to the plants to have their leaves pulled
off or have shoots cut off. Sometimes the pruning that God does in our
lives doesn't feel so good, but it makes us into better and stronger
Christians. Encourage the kids to look at their plants. Are any of the
leaves dead? Do they need to add a stake to help the plant grow in the
You will need some very rough rocks and some very
smooth rocks. Show the rough rocks. It isn't' very pretty. I wouldn't
want to use it as a decoration or carry it around in my pocket. It is
all rough. Now show the smooth stones. These were rough at one time. But
they got bumped around and knocked together, maybe the ocean waves
washed over them...eventually from all the bumping and knocking they
became smooth. People are a lot like these rough stones. Sometimes God
allows us to get knocked around a bit. He may allow something to happen
to us that we think is bad or hurts. These things happen to grown ups
and kids. Your parents may get divorced, or your best friend might move
away. We may wonder why God allows these things to happen to us. We may
wonder why life feels so bumpy at times. The Bible tells us that God
allows things to happen for our good. He has a reason for everything.
God does these things to take off our rough edges and to make us better
Christians. He may allow us to feel rejected so that we can understand
how others feel and learn to be accepting. We may have a really hard
teacher in school so that God can teach us persistence and not giving
up. God is constantly working in our lives to make us like these smooth
stones without rough edges. (If you can, bring enough small, smooth
stones for each child to be able to take one home. You can encourage
them to remember that when life seems bumpy and hard that God is shaping
them and making them smooth.
God shapes us and mould us into what he wants us to
be. Like a potter forms a pot and a gardener shapes a plant, God shapes
our lives. Sometimes it might mean that God allows bad things to happen
to us to teach us a lesson, or so that we can help others. Sometimes he
punishes us for disobedience to him. Sometimes it doesn't feel good when
God is shaping our lives but he does it for our good. Parents sometimes
have to punish their children for disobedience, sometimes they have to
prevent us from doing something we want to do to protect us, etc. They
do all these things because they love us. God prunes us because he loves
Let's spend some time worshiping God and asking him to make us into
what he wants us to be.
Copyright 1998, Sheryl Coats