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Children's Church Curriculum: Learning Forgiveness

Theme: Forgiveness



Scripture Reference: Matthew 18:21-22


Objectives:

  • To understand the concept of forgiveness.

  • To learn the importance of forgiving others.

  • To create a tangible reminder of forgiveness through a "Forgiveness Jar."


Materials Needed:

By: Tina Oliver, M.Ed.


Bible

Jar or container (one per child)

Craft supplies (stickers, markers, paint, ribbons, etc.)

Slips of paper

Pens or pencils


Schedule:

Welcome and Opening Prayer (10 minutes)


Story Time (15 minutes)


Scripture Reading and Discussion (15 minutes)

Activity: Forgiveness Jar (30 minutes)


Closing and Prayer (10 minutes)

Detailed Plan:


1. Welcome and Opening Prayer (10 minutes)

Greet the children as they arrive.

Gather everyone in a circle.

Open with a simple prayer asking God to help us learn about forgiveness today.


2. Story Time (15 minutes)

Read "Nana Teaches Ava and Jirah About Forgiveness" to the children.

Pause occasionally to ask questions and engage the children in the story.


Example questions: "How do you think Ava and Jirah felt when they were upset?" "What did Nana teach them about forgiveness?"


3. Scripture Reading and Discussion (15 minutes)

Read Matthew 18:21-22 together:

"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, 'Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?' Jesus answered, 'I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.'"


Discuss the passage with the children:


Explain that Jesus is teaching us to forgive others, not just once, but many times.


Ask the children if they’ve ever had to forgive someone and how it made them feel.


Emphasize that forgiving others is important because it helps us feel better and keeps our hearts clean.


4. Activity: Forgiveness Jar (30 minutes)

Introduction to the Activity:


Explain that we are going to make "Forgiveness Jars" to help us remember to forgive others.

Whenever someone does something that upsets us, we can write it on a slip of paper, put it in the jar, and pray to forgive them.


Steps:


Decorate the Jar:

Give each child a jar or container.

Provide craft supplies like stickers, markers, paint, and ribbons.

Encourage the children to decorate their jars however they like.


Prepare the Slips of Paper:

Provide slips of paper and pens or pencils.

Show the children how to write down things they need to forgive others for.

Example: "I forgive my friend for taking my toy."


Using the Jar:

Explain that whenever they feel upset or hurt by someone, they can write it down, put it in the jar, and pray for the strength to forgive.


Demonstrate by writing a simple example and placing it in the jar.


5. Closing and Prayer (10 minutes)

Gather the children together.

Ask if anyone wants to share their experience of forgiving someone.


Close with a prayer thanking God for teaching us about forgiveness and asking for help to always forgive others.


Follow-Up:

Encourage the children to take their Forgiveness Jars home and use them.


Remind them that forgiving others is something we practice every day.


Consider doing a follow-up session where the children can share their experiences using their Forgiveness Jars.


This curriculum aims to teach children the biblical principle of forgiveness through engaging storytelling, scripture, and a creative activity.



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