Scripture: Luke 2:1-20; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38
Memory Verse: “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all people” Luke 2:10 (CEV)
· God sent Jesus because God loves us.
· God cares equally for all people.
· God communicates with people in different ways.
· We can learn from the shepherds about how to respond to God.
Welcome and Introductions:
1. Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your name tag. Make sure the children are wearing name tags. If not, ask the shepherd to supply a temporary badge. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week that may not know you.
2. Explain the purpose of this workshop. We’re going to use some familiar Christmas carols to learn how God uses shepherds and angels to communicate with people and learn about Jesus. We’re going to start by playing name that tune. Let’s see who can call out the name of the song first! (You may wish to have a sticker or some small prize for the person who guesses the name of each song first.) Play the beginning of a carol and have the children guess the name (some suggestions: The First Noel; Hark the Herald Angels Sing; Little Drummer Boy; Silent Night; Angels We Have Heard on High). Ask children which carols are their favorites.
Tell the children that many Christmas songs and carols tell some part of the Christmas story and today we’re going to look at one part of that story. Have the children turn to their Bibles and find Luke 2:1-20. Read aloud, having the children follow along, or have the children take turns reading aloud, depending on the age group.
Have two pieces of chart paper prepared or a white board divided into two sections: one labeled SHEPHERDS and the other labeled ANGELS. Open a discussion with the children about how the shepherds felt when the angel came and talked to them; write their answers on a white board or chart paper. (Examples are frightened, scared, surprised, confused, happy, excited, etc.) Have the children brainstorm a list of things the shepherd might have said to each other after the angel left and list those as well (a Faith Quest Shepherd may be willing to scribe for you so that you can keep the discussion going quickly with the children). Have children use their Bibles to find the words the angels said in the Bible story and write those on the angels chart.
Older children: Divide students into groups of four or more. Within each group, have them separate into shepherds and angels, then use the lists made earlier to create dialogue for the shepherds and angels. After having a few minutes to practice, let each group share their skit with the rest of the class.
Younger Children: Divide children into two groups, shepherds and angels. Have the groups improvise a dialogue using the lists made earlier. If time allows, have the children repeat the activity, taking the opposite roles they had the first time.
After children have finished acting out the story, lead a discussion about how angels and shepherds are portrayed in the Christmas carols compared to what they just portrayed in their skits. Guide the discussion to help the children make the connections that the angels are one of the ways that God communicates with people; that the shepherds response of going to Bethlehem and helping to spread the news of Jesus’ birth shows us that we should follow God’s directions just as enthusiastically; that God sent Jesus because he loves us; and that by seeing how God chose to have the angels tell the humble shepherds about Jesus’ birth, God cares equally for all people.
At 10:35 a.m. ask the shepherds to pass out the journal pages and pencils/markers. Suggestion: You may wish to give the children a sticker or some memento to paste on their page as a reminder of the story or activity.
At 10:45 ask the students to close their pencils/markers and sit quietly for prayer.
Prayer: Dear God, Thank you for sending Your Son Jesus. Help us to remember the miracle of his birth and help us to listen for Your word, whether it’s through angels, scripture, or another form of communication. Amen
Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help tidy up. Close/lock the door and turn off the lights. Give any specific instructions for clearing the workshop room.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study
2. Prepare a closing prayer or use the suggestion provided.
3. Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located. The bin with supplies is located in the Great Hall.
· CD player
· CD(s) with Christmas carols
· Chart paper or white board and markers for writing children’s responses