The Good Shepherd
Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids how Jesus cares for us and how we should follow Him.
Intro Game: The Wolves and the Shepherd – Divide students into two teams. Draw a line halfway between your play area. For the first round, Team A is the Wolves, and Team B is the Sheep. Choose one student from Team B to be the Shepherd.
The Wolves line up on the far side of your play area. The Sheep line up five feet in front of them. The Shepherd stands at the center line.
When you say, “Go!” the Sheep start running toward the center line with the Wolves chasing them. If a Wolf tags a Sheep, the Sheep is out. But once a Sheep crosses the center line, the Shepherd can start chasing the Wolves. If the Shepherd tags a Wolf, the Wolf is out.
The Sheep are not safe until they reach the far end of the play area past the Shepherd. The Wolves are safe once they retreat beyond their starting line.
The game is over when all of the Wolves or all of the Sheep are out. Then, reverse the roles and play again.
Lesson: Read John 10:1-18 or summarize it with the following story.
Summary Story: I want you to close your eyes and imagine something.
Imagine that you’re a sheep on a farm. And you love the farmer. He comes and gives you your food and gives you your water, and on nice days, he takes you out of the barn and lets you eat grass in the big yard.
If he wants you to follow somewhere, he just calls your name, and you follow him because you love him and you know he’s the farmer. You won’t follow people you don’t know, just him because you do know him and he takes care of you.
Now, imagine that he put you back in the barn so that you could go to sleep for the night. But then, you hear something howling and scratching to get in the barn.
It’s a wolf, and it’s come to eat you! But then, the farmer comes and fights with the wolf and… the farmer dies because he was protecting you from the wolf. The wolf goes away, and you’re safe, but the farmer is dead.
Jesus said that He is like that farmer. The devil is like the wolf because the devil wants to come hurt you and take you away to Hell when you die. But Jesus died on the cross to save us from the devil and to forgive us for our sins so that we don’t have to go to Hell when we die. Jesus saved us from the devil and made it so that we could be safe if we believe in Jesus and go to Heaven when we die.
So, let’s always remember to thank Jesus for protecting us and saving us when He died on the cross.
Game: Following the Shepherd – Have students get down on all fours and close their eyes. They are the Sheep. The leader is the Shepherd/Farmer. The Shepherd moves around the room, calling the Sheep, and they must do their best to follow. The Shepherd can also give instructions like “spin around in a circle,” “baa like sheep,” “go faster,” “come to me slowly,” etc.
After a while, pick someone else to be the Shepherd. If you have time, give everyone a chance to be the Shepherd.
Then, remind students that we’re supposed to follow Jesus and do what He says, just like real sheep follow their shepherds and farmers.
Game: The Wolves and the Shepherd – Play the intro game again, but explain that Jesus doesn’t save us by chasing away the devil; He saved us by dying for our sins.
Closing Prayer: Jesus, we thank You for loving us and taking care of us like a good shepherd. You even died for our sins to that we could go be safe with You in Heaven when we die. Help us to follow You like good sheep. Amen.
The Good Shepherd – free coloring and activity pages
This lesson is included in my book, The Parables and Teachings of Jesus: Volume 2.