Children in Sunday School are taught on a wide variety of important topics. One crucial topic that children learn to grasp is the Body of Christ, or the church. Paul says, "now you are the body of Christ and are each a part of it" (1 Corinthians 12:27). Teachers need to plan Sunday School lessons that teach the children this concept.
Different Parts, Different Roles
Paul talks about the body of Christ, or the church, in 1 Corinthians 12. There, he compares the body of Christ to a human body. Therefore, he says, a foot wouldn't say, "hey! I am not a hand! That makes me unimportant!" Rather, the foot plays a crucial role. The variety of images Paul provides here provides many opportunities for creativity with children.
Games Showing the Importance of Each Part
Start off the Sunday School lesson by playing a game. Have students engage in certain activities while losing the benefit of a key part of their body. First, have students race across the room while only using one foot. Then, have them walk across the room without using their eyes. Another idea is to give them a piece of paper and ask them to draw a picture of a church, but without using their hands. Here is another game idea: before class, write out all the major body parts on sticky notes, such as head, neck, torso, arm, arm, leg, leg, etc. For a larger class, include parts like ears, mouth, nose, fingernails, toes, hair, freckles, etc. Distribute the notes to students as they come in. Then, give them instructions to find the part of the body that connects to their own. So, a head has to find an ear or a neck, but it can't find a leg. Once found, the two matches must stick together until they find another match, in which case the chain grows. Continue until all the parts are connected. A challenging variation is to give each student a sticky note with a major part of the body (this time only eyes, mouth, head, arms, and legs), and instruct them to put themselves in order. However, they are only allowed to use the body part that they have to do it. So, the student who has "eyes" will be the only one able to see. Everyone else must close their eyes. The student with "mouth" is the only one able to talk. Unless the student has a body part they can use, everyone will have to sit on the ground, with their eyes and mouth closed, and scoot around until they are able to find their match. Again, this is much more challenging and likely only possible with older students.
Connection to Scripture
After these exercises, discuss why different parts of the body are valuable. From there, talk about the various parts of the body of Christ and how each part is valuable, focusing on Paul's message in 1 Corinthians 12. The importance is diversity. Explain some of the different parts--noticeable parts, hard-working parts, inner-working parts--and how people in your church do each of those things. With older kids, spend some time asking what they think their role might be in the body of Christ. Finally, try to memorize 1 Corinthians 12:27 as a class.
- The Body of Christ Game
- Gordon Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, Grand Rapids, MI: 1987. Pages 616-625.
- Anne Dale/Demand Media