Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Jesus Calls His Disciples

Hi Godly Play Teachers!
Welcome to a brand new lesson, Jesus Calls the Disciples, which focuses on two of the Jesus stories Godly Play doesn't cover: the calling of the fishermen, Peter, Andrew, James and John, and the calling of Levi (also called Matthew.)

(Child's View)
I was really thrilled to create this lesson and look forward to seeing how the kids receive it. I'm sure that they'll have interesting ways to process it, interpret it, and teach us about it. They always do!

You should have received the lesson's script in an email I sent to you. If not, please shoot me a note or call and I'll send you a copy in the mail or email. I'll also have extra copies in the basket with the lesson. It will be in your classroom ready for you to pick up if you like on Wednesday.

I love these two stories for many reasons. First, I think it's so valuable for the children to begin to explore what exactly a disciple is and that Jesus calls us all to come along with him and help him do his work. The fisherman miracle is so powerful, and it introduces the beautiful idea that Jesus calls ordinary people to bring in others to join the faith journey. (By the way, it's also a great time to talk about why Christians use the fish symbol, if you want.) The Levi story helps us remember that we are all broken, that nobody is good enough to be called by God, yet God still calls each of us.

To inspire the kids--and for extra fun-- I'll have two extra things in your classroom that you can use (or not use) as you like: a fishing net and a basket of goldfish crackers. Have fun!

I have the wondering questions included with the script. I'll have copies in your classroom also.

Ideas for the Create a Gift for God Time

Recreate the Story 
Children could retell the story in many ways:
1. Two Dimensionally:
     Besides drawing or painting story scenes, a class could work on creating a scene for each of the stories together. I can imagine a big boat on butcher paper and the kids making lots of fish, the fishermen, a net, Jesus, etc.  You could also create the banquet scene: Levi, Jesus, his friends, and tables heavily laden with food (from magazine collage pictures or drawn.)

2. Three Dimensionally: Make items from the story (a boat, a banquet table with clay or
felt, boats (paper folding) or felt, lake, money bag, 
Here's a site with a plan to make 3D boats:

Make Artwork Focused On Being a Disciple

1. You could suggest the children head their paper: Disciples Do Jesus' Work. Then they could draw or watercolor or do a collage showing how we do Jesus's work: helping others, visiting the sick, feeding the hungry, being a peacemaker, sharing what we have, etc.

2. You could focus on the fishermen and Levi's decision to be a disciple, drawing a before and after of what each person's life might have looked like. (Before: Peter mending nets, fishing in a boat, selling his fish. After: following Jesus, watching him teach the crowd, helping him go from town to town, telling others about how his life has been changed by Jesus.

Spend Time Learning/Researching the other DisciplesChildren may want to search for the names of the other disciples and draw all twelve, labeling them with their names. (Find this in Luke 6: 12-16)  If you like, assign each child a disciple and have the children draw a face, labeling it with the name they were given. They could include their own face and name with the 12 for a great classroom decoration.

Want to help the children learn the disciples' names? There's a song at the website here. Could they rewrite it into a rap song? (I know they could!)

Enjoy, everyone!


  1. Does anyone have the script for the "Jesus Calls the Disciples" lesson that they would be able to email me. I would like to use it this Sunday.



  2. Hi Jennifer,
    It should be in your inbox. I thought I sent it to you but maybe it didn't attach properly...anyway, let me know if you have trouble opening it. Just send an email to my yahoo account.

  3. Or maybe I dreamed I sent it to you.:)

  4. hi
    is there any chance you could send me the script for my church in Bath (uk) as we are doing this story this week? many thanks

  5. Sure, Richard. I'm happy to. I'll send it when I get to work today.

  6. Hi! We'd love to have this story here in Virginia. Could you send the script to me at gzetlan@gmail.com?

  7. Hi Rebecca,

    I am a chaplain at a centre in the UK for adults with learning disabilities. It has been an interesting journey over the past six months learning and developing Godly-Play techniques with our trainees, but I have had some very positive feed back from them.

    Is there any possibility that you could email me a copy of Jesus calls the disciples please?

    Have really enjoyed reading through your web pages.

    Many thanks



  8. Hi Rebecca,

    Would it be possible for you to send me a copy of the script for Jesus calls the disciples please? Thanks!


  9. Hi there, is there any chance I might also be able to get a copy for this script, 'Jesus calls the disciples?' I teach this lesson this coming Sunday, July 6th and try to use Godly Play as much as I can. This would be for my personal use only. Thank you for your consideration and for the incredible work you do with children. Amy (and my email): chromaspace@gmail.com

  10. Grandma has family lessons on following Jesus:

  11. Hello Ms. Ramsey. First I would like to thank you for your blog. I run a Godly Play program at our church and I refer back to this site often! You have wonderful ideas and tips!!
    I am wondering if you would share the script for Jesus and His Disciples? I am using fishers of people as our theme this year and wanted to add the story to our collection. I would greatly appreciate. Thank you very much!! Jennifer

    1. Sure, just send me your email address and I'll be happy to send it. My email is rebecca (dot) ramsey 1 at gmail (dot) com (no spaces)