Calming the Storm


January 4– February 1




Scripture:  Matthew 8:18-27

Key Scripture Verses:  Matthew 8:26 Jesus replied “Why are you so afraid? You surely don’t have much faith.”  Then Jesus got up and ordered the wind and the rain to calm down.  And everything was calm.  (Contemporary English Version)


Memory Verse:  “You, Lord, are the light that keeps me safe.  I am not afraid of anyone.  You protect me and I have no fears.”  Psalm 27:1 CEV



·       Jesus calls us to follow him.

·       We can trust Jesus to take care of us.



1. Learn that these passages relate Jesus’ calling us to follow and trust him.

2. Understand that the storm story is one of the wonderful miracles where Jesus showed people the power of God by surprising them with unexpected results.

3. Know that Jesus does not promise us anything that we might want but he does tell us to have faith.

4.  Children will create a wax crayon/paint resist drawing of the boat in the storm. 



Welcome and Introductions:

1.  Welcome the children and introduce yourself.  Wear your nametag. Make sure that everyone is in the right classroom!  Children will either already have nametags on, or will get a nametag from their shepherd. Make sure that you know everyone’s name and greet the students individually. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week that may not know you.


2. Start the “lesson time” with prayer. Ask for volunteers, but plan on praying yourself. A short prayer asking God to open our eyes and ears so that we can see the great power he placed in Jesus would be appropriate.



Bible Story:

1.  These Bible stories are very important ones and are told in the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark and Luke.  They warn us that sometimes being a Christian can be difficult or stormy.  But, if we follow Jesus by doing what is right, and believing (having faith), we will be cared for.


2.  Jesus had been traveling about Galilee, performing many miracles, especially healing people.  Crowds formed in many places asking Jesus to perform more miracles.  A disciple asked Jesus if he could follow with him, but only after he had attended to his business at home.  Jesus answered that we must look forward and follow God.


3.  Then Jesus and his disciples boarded a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee.  This sea is a very large lake set lower than the Mediterranean Sea to the west and bordered by many high mountains (see map).   Because of the mountains, the lake sometimes receives surprisingly strong storms, even for experienced fishermen like several of Jesus’ disciples.  The boats that they use on this lake are the same today as in Jesus’ time.  They are simple fishing boats, pointed at both ends with a mast and a square sail in the center.


4.  When Jesus and the disciples began to cross the water, Jesus rested and fell asleep.  A terrible storm suddenly blew over the water.  Huge waves rocked the boat and even splashed water into it.  The disciples were very frightened and went over to Jesus and woke him up.  They said, “Lord save us! We are going to drown!”  Even though Jesus slept through the storm, he woke to their crying out.


5.  But Jesus replied, “Why are you so afraid? You surely don’t have much faith.”  Then Jesus got up and ordered the wind and the rain to calm down.  And everything was calm.  The men in the boat were amazed and said, “Who is this?  Even the wind and the waves obey him.”


6.  Today, you will be creating a picture of how you think everyone on the boat looked in

 the excitement of the storm.  Show Jesus either sleeping or calming the storm.



1.  Create!  READ the Bible story (1-6 above) with expression. 


2.  Show them the photo of a fishing boat and samples of what they will be creating.  Put on smocks if desired.


3.  Steps:  Pass out paper and crayons.  Tell them to press very hard with the crayons.  Use white and green or black patches in the water to suggest waves.  Make the sail look tattered (even if you use white and can’t see it, it will show up later).


4.  When all the coloring is done, place disposable dishes of slightly diluted blue tempera paint on each table and pass out small pieces of cellulose sponge.  The narrow end of the sponges should be dipped in the paint and then swirled over the drawing.  If the crayons have been pressed hard enough, the paint will fill in only wherever there is no wax from the crayons.


5.  Clean up!  Wash sponges.  Involve everyone in cleaning up so that you will have time to share together in the closing. You may want to have a prearranged signal for clean up and tell them at beginning of art project what that will be - perhaps giving them a 5 minute warning and then the final clean up notice to allow those who need a bit more warning that they need to complete whatever they are working on.


Reflection Time:

1.  Ask the shepherds to pass out the journal pages and pencils/markers.  The children should spend a few minutes reflecting upon the morning's lesson – Where did this story take place?  Do you think that God would have let the boat sink with the disciples and Jesus in it?  How did the disciples feel after Jesus calmed the storm?  What is scary in your life?  How could Jesus help you?  How can we help each other?  Remember that Jesus and God care about us and are with us.  No matter how long a bad time lasts, we are not alone.


2.  At 10:40 ask the kids to close their journals and prepare for the closing prayer.



1.  Encourage them to think about letting what we learn about Jesus guide our lives.


2.  Tell them that their offering will be given to Presbyterian Disaster Relief Fund to help people with food and home repairs after the recent hurricanes.


3.  Say the Memory Verse together (see above). You may want to have this verse printed on a banner and hung in the room, write it on the white board in the room, or have it on slips of paper that each child can take home.


4.  Pray! Ask the children if they have any prayer requests. Thank God for the wonderful things that Jesus did, to help us to remember that it is okay to be afraid and for sending Jesus to be with us to help us always.


5.  Turn out lights and lock the classroom door when leaving.


Teacher preparation in advance:

1. Read the scripture passage and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Workshop.

2.  Practice reading the Bible story (above) with expression.

3.  Prepare an opening prayer in case nobody volunteers to pray.

4.  Check the art room and the supply closet to see what supplies exist.  Experiment with what the children will be doing.


5.  Prepare all the materials you will need for the creation process.  Have the materials ready to go.  There will be limited time for the creation process, so do everything you can to conserve time.

6.  Decide how you want to close the lesson. Prepare a prayer or use one of the group suggestions.






Cellulose sponge cut to ½” x ½” x 1 ½” pieces

9 x 12” white paper

Blue tempera paint (diluted)

Disposable bowls

Wax crayons (do not use washable crayons)

Journal pages will be provided at the Bible Study or the first Sunday of the rotation



Sample, map, photo, sponges and paper will be provided