There is no intro lesson for Toddlers, since they are too young to understand this longer lesson about how to be saved. You can do a different lesson altogether, or begin the Fruits lessons, then do an extra lesson as a review at the the end.

Concepts Children Learn:
The only way to God is through his Son Jesus.
Jesus died on the cross for my sins.
When I become a Christian, God's Spirit comes to live in my heart.

Note: Have extra helpers who can help in the class so you can spend time talking with the children who respond to the invitation. Make sure you stay there after the lesson and wait for the children who want to become Christians to come up to, so you can further explain and lead them in prayer. For the ones who accept Christ, be sure to tell your pastor so he can speak to them about being baptized and follow-up with them regarding their Christian walk.

Prep:You will need these things to do this lesson: a marker, red paint (thick enough to cover black marks - test beforehand), a large paint brush, a jar of water, some paper towels. Prepare the story board and accessories in advance: Print off the story pages 1 bw, 1 color, 2, 3. Color the children with red hearts, also color the sun and clouds. You can glue thinned-out cotton on clouds if you wish. Use hearts and cross as patterns to cut these out of construction paper. You will need 2 red hearts. Place restickable glue or rolled up tape. on the backs of the hearts. Use an 11 X 17" sheet of light blue or white poster board or 12 X 18" stiffened felt sheets (they are not bendable). Glue on pictures of children at the bottom. Glue sun and clouds close to the top, but not all the way at the top (You'll be pointing to the top to show where God is). This is your starting Story Board. You can laminate it or cover it with contact paper if you wish. You will be sticking the others on the board during the lesson.

Have your Bible marked with the following verses: John 3:16; Romans 3:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; and Romans 10:9-10 for the Follow-Up section. The numbers in parentheses tell you what Story Page to hold up while you are telling the story. (You don't need to read the words on the actual story pages. They are for use as posters or coloring pages). Only read words that are not in parentheses for the lesson. The words in parentheses tell you what actions you do

Bible Memory Verse: John 3:16; Romans 3:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; and Romans 10:9-10 for the Follow-up Section. Verses used for reference: 1 Timothy 2:5-6. John 14:6; Romans 6:23; Acts 26:18; Galatians 5:22-23.

(1) Today we will begin learning about the Fruits of the Spirit. The fruits of the Spirit are the things that God's Spirit produces in us; things that we all want - like love and joy and peace (Point to those words). (Story board background, 2 3) We don't have these good things on our own. God's Spirit is the one who gives them to us. When he comes to live in our hearts, then changes our hearts and makes all the good things grow. (Point to hearts in the picture). So, when does God's Spirit come to live in our hearts? Well, that's what we are going to learn about today.

The first thing we learn is that God is holy. That means there is no sin in God. God is full of love and only good things. Since God is holy, only those who are holy and pure can be friends with him. God loves us so much that he wants us to be friends with him, and live with him in heaven some day. (Point up above the clouds). But, to be a friend of God, we have be clean as snow, and have no sin in our hearts. Well, there is just one big problem. (Read Romans 3:23). From the time we are born, we all have hearts full of sin. We hit and we push. We say mean things. We don't share. We will use these black marks on our hearts to show the darkness of our sin. (Place black marks on the children's hearts with the marker). Uh-oh. Now we can't be friends with God. Sin makes it so we can't be close to God. (Draw a line across the middle of the board horizontally with a marker). It separates us from God. God hates sin! It hurts him so much every time we do the things he tells us not to! So how do we get rid of our sin? Well, we can't. There is nothing we can do to get rid of our sin or to get to heaven. We can try to be good on our own, but that will never work because we all sin. (Shake head no). That's why Jesus came. We will use this cross to represent the cross that Jesus died on. (Place cross on the board between children and clouds). Jesus is the only way we can be close to God. (Point to cross, then to children, then to top of board).

God loves us so much that he made a way for us to be clean and holy like him. Our Bibles tell us that a long time ago, God came and lived among the people on the earth as a man. That man was Jesus Christ. Jesus was perfect. He never sinned - not even one time! So it was God's plan for Jesus to take the punishment for our sins. That way, we could be holy and clean. Jesus loved us so much that he died on the cross and poured out his blood to pay for our sins. It hurt a whole lot for Jesus to die on the cross for us - more than we can imagine! But he was willing to do that for us because he loved us so much! Our Bible says it this way (Read John 3:16). (Cover black hearts with thick red paint). He took the punishment for our sins. Its like Jesus' blood covers over all of our sin. (Point to painted hearts). Then God doesn't see our sin any more. Its like He erases it. That's how kind God is! Even though it hurts him so much when we sin, he was willing to cover our sin so we can be clean, and so we can be his friends! When he does this for us its called grace. He gives us grace just because of how much he loves us. We didn't do anything to deserve it. (Shake head no). Its just a free gift from God. So how do we receive his free gift and be saved? (Hold hands out in front of you). Well, we are saved by faith. Listen to this verse: (Read Ephesians 2:8-9). Having faith means that we believe that Jesus is God's Son, that he died on the cross (point to cross) and rose again; And, we admit that we are sinners (point to black heart), and we trust God to save us. (2) We are sorry for our sin, and we ask God to forgive us; We change the direction we are going. Instead of going towards sin, (point to black heart), we turn and and follow Jesus instead. We tell him we want to follow him for the rest of our lives! That's how God saves us from sin and death!

And, God is so kind that he forgives us and saves us! Then, he won't let us really die. Our spirit will live forever with him! (Point up above clouds and sun). At the moment we have faith in Jesus, he gives us his Spirit to come and live in our hearts. (Point to hearts). We can't see his Spirit. But, we will know he is living in us. (1 again). Then his Spirit will begin to produce all the good fruits in us - all the good things like love and joy and peace. In the next weeks we will be learning about all those good things. If you don't understand everything yet, that is o.k. You will learn more as you come and hear more about Jesus. Maybe there are some of you who think you understand, and you have decided that you are ready to follow Jesus. If you are, you can come up and stand by me. We will go and say a prayer together. The others can stay here and say a prayer too with _____ (your assistant). Has anybody decided they want to follow Jesus?

Example of Follow-up to do with children who respond to the invitation after the lesson:
Prep: Mark your Bible at Romans 10:9-10.

If you believe in Jesus, and you are ready to turn from your sins and follow Jesus instead, I will lead you in a prayer in a few minutes. Turning from your sin means that you want to obey God now, and have decided to follow Jesus from now on. That means that you are asking Jesus to be he Lord of your life. He is the one you want to follow. You will love him more than anyone or anything. He will be the most important one in your life. Then he forgives your sin, and changes your heart. And, he will help you obey him too! And, since Jesus rose to life again after he died, we know that God will also raise us to life after we die! Then we will live with him forever in heaven!

Here are the steps to follow Jesus and be saved:
1) Admit to God that you sin. Tell him that you are sorry for all the wrong things you do. God forgives you when you ask him to, and your heart will be clean.

2) Believe that Jesus is God's Son, and that he died on the cross to take the punishment for your sins to save you; and that he rose to life again. And, believe that he will also raise you to life again after you die.

3) Turn from your sin and ask Jesus to lead you (become your Lord). Tell him that you want to follow him starting now for the rest of you life.
If you believe all those things and you are ready to follow Jesus raise you hand. (Give children a chance to respond). That's wonderful! Now we can say a prayer together. I'll say the words first, and then you can repeat them after me. (Say this prayer with each child who responds individually).

Dear God,

Thank you for sending your Son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins. I'm sorry for my sin. I turn from it now. Please forgive me and save me now.And be my Lord and Savior, and friend. Please change my heart. Jesus, I want to follow you for the rest of my life, starting today. Help me to follow you Every day. Thank you for forgiving me, And giving me your Spirit to live in my heart, Thank you that I can live with you in heaven some day. In Jesus' name. Amen.

So now God has forgiven you for all your sins! Your heart is clean and pure! And, you are a friend of God now! You are saved from your sins, and you will spend eternity with God in heaven! You have his promise: (Read Romans 10:9-10) God and his angels are so happy that you follow Jesus now! It makes me very happy too! Now God has given each of you his Holy Spirit to live in your hearts. His Spirit will keep on changing you and will help you not sin. And, he will start producing all the good fruit instead - things like love and kindness and patience! His Spirit will also teach you, and guide you and comfort you. Jesus also commands his children to be baptized. We will talk to the pastor and arrange for you to be baptized when you are ready. I know you will have a great adventure with God by your side! Be sure to spend as much time as you can reading God's word, or asking someone to read to you, so you can grow as a Christian! Be sure to pray every morning when you wake up, and often during the day. I will also be praying for each one of you, as you follow Jesus with me!

Transition: Let's bow our heads, close our eyes and fold our hands. I'll say the words first and give you time to say them after me if you'd like to.
Sample Prayer For Children Who Do Not Respond:
Dear God, Please help me to
Thank you for understand more and more about you
Making a way for me and how to follow you.
To be your friend. In Jesus' name,
Thank you for being so loving and kind. Amen.
Transition: Now we have some fun crafts and activities that go with this lesson. Go To Activities Page for activities. Go to Crafts Page for Intro lesson.

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