This lesson shares with children how things grow and mature over time with proper care and nurturing.
We also are called to spiritual growth by making efforts to cultivate the gifts of God in us, not only for our own sake, but also to reflect God’s care of others as a natural expression of that growth.
Things you can use:
- Pair of baby/small shoes
- Piece of baby/infant clothing, i.e. shirt, pants, bib, etc.
- Small piece of exercise equipment, i.e. handgrips, small dumbbell, skipping rope, etc.
- Various kinds of plant seeds
Show the children the pieces of clothing and ask if they think they ever wore any of these in the past—when and for how long?
Then ask, “Why are you not wearing these today? What happened to you that you can’t wear them now?”
Explain that growing and changes happening to the body mean that they are developing properly and are healthy.
Next, show the different props and ask what they think is the purpose for using them. Tell them that they are used to help us exercise our bodies and make our muscles stronger and bigger so that we can do things better and faster (you can specify what each piece of equipment can help us do better).
To illustrate this point, perhaps you can arrange to have an adult volunteer come forward at this point to show a “fit” arm muscle. Draw a parallel between faith and muscles and explain that just as muscles get stronger when they are exercised, faith also needs exercise to grow.
Now show the children the seeds and explain the different kinds. When seeds are properly planted, watered and cared for, in due time they bring forth their harvest—apples, oranges, pears, grapes, etc. This is the process of growth and change.
By these examples, make sure the children understand the importance of growth not only of things, but more importantly of us.
Share with them the Galatians reading of the fruit of the Spirit emphasizing that, as God’s people, this is something we are all called to develop in our lives. God wants the wonderful gift of love that has come into all our hearts to cause us to grow bigger and change for the better. And when we change in this way, we can become more mature, loving, helpful and caring to others around us. Just as regular seeds must first be planted in order to yield a harvest, spiritual seeds from God must be planted in order for us to yield spiritual fruit.
The important point here is not that the fruit are simply ours to enjoy, but we are to share them with others. One of the ways we share is by supporting PWS&D with our prayers and gifts. And when we all do this, our relationships become stronger, our fellowship matures and our “spiritual muscles” grow.
Growing in Christ Children's Story