FAITH QUEST

 

Doubting Thomas

 

Apostles’ Playhouse

 

Scripture: John 20:19-31

 

Memory Verse: Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1 CEV

 

Concepts:     

  1. Even though we have not seen Jesus, we can believe in him.
  2. It’s normal to have doubts, but you can ask for help.
  3. Jesus helps us to have faith.

 

Objectives:  

1.     Children will hear how “doubting” Thomas sought the truth and how his faith was confirmed when he saw and touched Jesus.

2.     The class will use the senses of sight, touch, taste, hearing, and smell to explore faith as Thomas did.    

 

Procedure:                       

Welcome and Introductions:

1.     Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your nametag. 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 who may not know you.

2.     Explain the purpose of the workshop. Thomas is often called “doubting Thomas” because he said he wouldn’t believe that Jesus had returned to the disciples after the resurrection until he saw and touched Jesus. Thomas wanted to know the truth and he looked for answers from Jesus who could answer his questions. Jesus can answer our questions too. Thomas used his senses, of touch, sight and hearing to have faith in Jesus. Today we will use our senses to learn more about Thomas, Jesus, and faith.

 

 

Scripture/Bible Story:

Help all children find the reading John 20:10-31 in their CEV Bibles. Extra Bibles are with Apostles playhouse supplies on the stage. Read the scripture to the children. Practice reading so you can read with feeling and emphasis (as you would a story to a young child). To liven things up you may even dress as Thomas or have a “guest Thomas” (husband or older child).

 

Application:

This workshop will be set up in five stations (hearing, seeing, touching, smelling, and tasting). Explain to the children that they will learn about Thomas, Jesus, and faith by using their senses. Thomas used his senses to answer his questions about Jesus. You may have five separate areas set up in the great hall and walk to each one.

 

  1. Hear: Explain that we have already used our sense of hearing when we listened to the story of Thomas and we use our sense of hearing when we listen to God’s word as spoken by our Faith Quest teachers, ministers, and parents. Have Thomas song on CD for children to listen to. Play once or twice so that children can catch on to the tune. Try to sing the chorus together. Ask children if they can think of examples of hearing God’s word.

 

  1. See: Ask the children what they would do if they woke up one winter morning with their Brother/sister telling them it was a snow day. Most everyone would be compelled to verify this statement by running to the window to see the snow for themselves and make sure their brother/sister wasn’t teasing them! Seeing can make our faith stronger. For this station, tape a piece of paper on the wall that has the words "Jesus is alive" written in very tiny font. Ask kids to stay behind a line and tell you what it says. The kids should not be able to read anything. Then give the kids a pair of Bible binoculars (you can get several cheap kids kind). They should be able to read the words with the BIBLE binoculars. Explain that binoculars are like the Bible. We use our sense of sight to read the Bible and the Bible in turn helps us see the truth about God’s love for us.

 

  1. Touch: Thomas wanted to touch Jesus to see if it was really Him. He touched Jesus’ skin, robes and wounds. For this station have several items that Thomas may have felt or that we use to strengthen our faith placed in a box with a hole large enough to put your hand in. These items may include but are not limited to : cloth for Jesus’ robes, wood for the cross Jesus was nailed to, nail (large not too sharp) that nailed Jesus to the cross, rock that closed the tomb, Bible. Allow each child to place his/her hand inside the box, find an item, and try to guess what it is without taking it out. After the child guesses he/she removes the item to see if the guess was correct and the class can discuss how the item may help us or Thomas strengthen our faith.

 

  1. Smell: The sense of smell can remind us of things and feelings. What do you think of when you smell a pine tree (Christmas perhaps) or chlorine (a swimming pool) etc. Some smells make us feel warm and cozy (warm bread or cookies baking) other smells make us worried (the smell of smoke). What if faith had a smell. What would faith smell like? Let’s smell some things and you tell me what you think faith/belief might smell like and what doubt might smell like. Does having faith smell nice? Or nasty? Or maybe sweet? Is it a strong smell or very faint? What does doubt smell like? A smelly sneaker? Or an apple? Why or why not?

 

Have 5 or 6 containers with scents such as vanilla, lemon extract, pine scent, garlic, cinnamon, mothballs, cedar, household cleanser (soak a cotton ball), men’s cologne, damp mulch, onion soup mix, etc. Label with numbers or letters so they can be identified and pass them around. Ask the children to sort them according to what they think belief/faith smells like. Allow them to share opinions.

 

  1. Taste: Does eating cake remind you of your birthday? Does eating jelly beans remind you of Easter and turkey remind you of Thanksgiving? Jesus ate bread with his disciples often and used that time to teach them about God’s love. Jesus also ate with people who came to hear and see him. Remember when Jesus fed the 5000 people using a few loaves of bread and some fish? Let’s eat some bread together and think about Jesus’ love for us. Do you think Thomas and Jesus ate bread together when Jesus returned to the disciples? Pass some rolls and fish crackers around as well as grape juice. We’ll share a snack just as Jesus and the disciples did. Allow time for questions and discussion about today’s lesson. Reinforce that having questions or doubts is normal and that there are people ready to help us answer our questions (parents, teachers, ministers…)

 

Reflection Time:

 

Journal Time Due to the length of the workshop there probably won’t be time for writing. Instead of writing, play this game while having snack. Have a stack of index cards with one of the five senses printed on it. Take turns picking out a card and trying to think of a way we can grow in faith by using this sense. (hearing-listen to choir, sermon etc…). Make fewer cards with smell on them since this is harder to think of. Allow children to answer by themselves or do it as a group.

 

 

Closing:

Prayer: (suggestion) Dear God, Just like Thomas we sometimes have doubts or questions. Thank you for sending us Jesus, the church, and our parents to answer our questions. Amen

 

Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help tidy up. Place station materials in box to be used for next week.

 

 

Teacher preparation in advance:

 

1.     Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.

2.     Prepare a closing prayer. 

3.     Tape the “Jesus is Alive” paper on the wall. Have it folded up with tape so that the words can’t be seen until you are ready to show the kids.

4.     Tape a line on the floor in front of the “Jesus is Alive” paper. Far enough away that it can’t be read with naked eye, but close enough that it can be read with the binoculars.

5.     Set up the stations.

6.     Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located. The bin with supplies is located on the stage.

 

Supply List

CD with Thomas song = Donut Forget Bible songs CD vol. 2 (website www.donutman.com )

Sheet of paper with Jesus is alive in small print

Several pairs of inexpensive binoculars. Check out www.orientaltrading.com $9.95/dozen

Box with hole for touch box

Items for touch box (robes, wood, nail, rock, Bible, etc.)

Smell containers

Snack: grape juice, bread, and goldfish

Index cards