Apostles Playhouse #2

This lesson plan is copyrighted and belongs to the Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian,

Cary North Carolina. It may be used for non-profit uses only.


APOSTLES PLAYHOUSE This workshop will last 45 minutes.


SCRIPTURE: Raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-44)  Memory Verse: John 11:25  “I am the resurrection and the life.  Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live..” NSRV 


OBJECTIVES: The children will be able to experience in a small way the emotions that                                                  surround death.

                                    The children will hear the promise Jesus give us about our own life, death                                                           and resurrection.

                                    The children will be able to talk about the reason Jesus did this miracle -

                                                to show God’s glory, so that others would believe that God

                                                sent Jesus.


CONCEPT:  Define “miracle” for children (miracle - a wonderful event which shows us the power of God, or an especially vivid moment when as a result of an unexpected and surprising event, one becomes aware of the presence and power or God at work). 


Acting out the story will give the children a way to experience and share in the many emotions that accompany death.  While the emotions will not be the same as they would experience in the death of a person close to them, this story will allow them to ‘act’ out some of these emotions and explore how they react to death.  This is something we do not usually allow children to do, but it can be helpful and a positive experience when done in the context of this bible text.


This story will also give the children the chance to hear, speak and live the wonderful promise Jesus gives us all in John 11:25.  Acting out the story will also help the children commit this story to memory - a powerful story that will fascinate the children. 




1.  Welcome the kids.  Open the time with prayer.  In your prayer, thank God for each person gathered there and ask God to open your ears and eyes that you might all see/hear/experience God’s awesome power.  If you are not comfortable using your own prayer, find one in a resource book in library, ask someone to write one for you to use.


2.  Make sure you know each child’s name and use their names when speaking with them.  You may want to have each child introduce themselves in way appropriate for APOSTLE’S PLAYHOUSE.


For example - you might want to have them act out an animal and have everyone guess what animal they  have become.  The other kids could say “You are ________________(name) and you are being a _____________(animal).


3.  Introduce the bible lesson.  You may choose to tell the story, read the scripture from your bible, have kids find bible passage and you read it, have kids find it and volunteer to read it, have it written on scroll and read it, have it printed out in large print for all to read together - you choose how you feel is best for you and your teaching style.  What method best suits the story?  How old are the kids?  Do you need to change the story for the younger age classes?


Whatever method of introducing the bible lesson you choose, it is recommended that you use either the New Revised Standard Version or Contemporary English Version.


4. Assign parts for the play.  If you have more kids than parts, put someone in charge of choosing costumes and helping actors get dressed.  Another person could gather props that would work well with the story.  You might also choose to divide the class in half and have half be actors first time and other be audience and then switch.


5. Give those children with lines a few minutes to practice saying their lines.  Have a copy of the script for each child.


6.  SHOW TIME!  (See attached script) Younger children can act out the story as you read it or they can act it out using their own words.  Older kids can act it out as written, reading the script, or they can act it out using their own words.  Let each group decide, or you decide prior to teaching the lesson what you think will work best.


7.  DISCUSSION:      

            a.  Who was sick at the beginning of the story?

            b.  Who are the special friends of Jesus that live in Bethany?

            c.  Who said they believed that Jesus was the Son of God?

            d.  Do you think Jesus was sad that Lazarus died?  What makes you think that?

            e.  What did Jesus do before he told Lazarus to come out?

            f.  How do you think Mary and Martha felt?    What do you think the other people who

                        saw this miracle felt?  How do you feel when you read/hear the promise

                        Jesus gave in John 11:25?


8.  Review the memory verse. 


9.  Clean up.  Put away costumes and put away props.


10.. Have kids put either a stamp from your workshop, a sticker or a small item (write the words “Come out!”, a small stone?) in their journal to help them remember where they went and what the workshop was about.  This is to help them when they do their journal writing at the end of the day.




Close with a prayer.  For example:  God, we thank you for your son Jesus and all the love you show us.  Help us to remember that You have given us so much and have promised to love us forever.  Amen


You might also want to close with the memory verse or have kids name someone they would like to say a prayer for.  If someone in the church has died recently, include this person’s name and give thanks for the promise of life everlasting that we claim in the name of Jesus Christ.






1.  Make sure there are costumes that will work for this story in the room.


2.  Decide what props would work and have them available for the kids to use if they choose.


3.  Go over the script and know the story very well. Do NOT have the person acting as Lazarus be covered totally in clothes.  Just have some strips of cloth tied around a few place to give the impression.  Don’t frighten anyone!  Lazarus was no ghost, but a beloved friend of Jesus!


4.  Decide how you want to present the bible lesson and practice whatever method you choose.  Practice telling the story and get any props you might wish to use (nothing to elaborate for props!)


5.  Be prepared in case kids are shy about acting out the story.  Be prepared to give “stage directions” to help them along.  This may involve reading the script while the kids move.  If the class is very large, you could have 1 person be the voice of the character and another the actor for the character.  This way the person ‘acting’ doesn’t have to worry about saying/reading lines.  You can also have the class acting and being audience and then switch.


6.  Decide what you want to use to ‘mark’ kids’ journals.  This sticker/stamp/item is to help them remember what they saw, did, learned in your workshop to help them at journal writing at the end of the day.  It is NOT to be a craft they do, just a small item you have for them to place in their Daily Journal to encourage them to respond to what they have experienced.


7.  Decide how you want to close.  Have prayer written - are you going to read it, have kids read it together, one kid read, etc.  What if you have extra time?  Are there other activities you could do? 







*Item to mark journals

*Backdrop/scenery (may already be in room - not sure what room is going to look like!)

*Bible or storytelling resource




“Jesus’ Miracles”, J. Nowak, Memorial Presbyterian Church, Xenia, OH

Children’s Illustrated Bible, retold by Marjorie Newman, World International Publishing Ltd.



Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead


NARRATOR                           In the village of Bethany, on the side of the Mount of Olives,

                                                lived three friends of Jesus - Mary, Martha and their brother

                                                Lazarus.  One day, while walking with his disciples, a man

                                                hurried up to him..


MESSENGER                         There is a message for you from Mary and Martha!  Your friend

                                                Lazarus is very ill.


JESUS                                     His sickness won’t end in death.  It will bring glory to God and

                                                his son.


NARRATOR                           Even though Jesus loved all three of his friends very much, Jesus

                                                did not go at once to Bethany.  Instead, Jesus waited for 2 more

                                                days.  Then he said to his disciples...


JESUS                                     Let us go back to Judea.


DISCIPLE #1                          You can’t go there!  The people there want to stone you!


JESUS                                     Our friend Lazarus is asleep.  I am going to wake him.


DISCIPLE #2                          Master - if he sleeps, he’ll get better.


JESUS                                     You don’t understand.  Lazarus is dead.  And because of what you

                                                will now see, I’m glad I wasn’t there to heal him.  Now, you

                                                will believe.


DISCIPLE #3 (Thomas)           I am sure Jesus will be stoned!  Come on, then!  Let’s all go so that

                                                we can die there with Him!


NARRATOR                           By the time they reached Bethany, Lazarus had been buried for

                                                four days.  Many people had come to comfort Mary and Martha.


FRIENDS OF M & M             Mary, Martha!  Jesus is coming!  He is nearing the village.


                                                (Martha goes out to meet Jesus.  Mary stays behind.)


MARTHA                                Lord - if you had been here, my brother would NOT have died!                                                            But I know that God can do whatever you ask ...even now....


JESUS                                     Your brother will rise to life again.


MARTHA                                I know he will rise to life in the resurrection, on the last day.


JESUS                         I am the resurrection and the life.  He that believes in Me, though he

                                    were dead, yet shall life.  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall

                                    never die.  Do you believe this?


MARTHA                    Yes, Lord.  I believe You are the Savior, the Son of God, come into

                                    the world.

Mary joins them and weeps at the feet of Jesus


MARY                         Lord - if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.


JESUS                         Where have you buried him?


MARY             Come and see.


FRIEND #1                 Jesus must have loved Lazarus very much.


FRIEND #2                 Jesus could make blind men see!  Couldn’t he have stopped Lazarus dying?


Jesus, Mary, Martha, the disciples and the friends reach a tomb sealed with a stone.


JESUS                         Take away the stone.


MARTHA                    Lord, by now the body will smell.  He has been dead for four days....


JESUS                         Didn’t I say that if you believed, you would see God’s glory?


FRIEND #1                 Let us do as Jesus says - let’s move this stone!


JESUS (in prayer)        Father, I thank You because You have heard Me.  I know You hear Me

                                    always; but I am speaking these words aloud so that all people standing

                                    here may know that You sent Me.


(calling loudly)              Lazarus!  Come out here!


NARRATOR               And the man that had been dead came out!  His hands and feet were still

                                    wrapped and his face was still covered by a cloth.


JESUS                         Help him take the clothes off and let him go!


FRIEND #2                 Yes, let us help Lazarus get the bandages off.


NARRATOR               Many of the Jews who had seen all this believed that Jesus was indeed

                                    the Messiah, the Son of God.  Mary and Martha rejoiced in having

                                    Lazarus back with them and all those