Everyone wants to be happy, but finding True JOY comes from following God’s directions. This 4-week study looks at the two great commandments that Jesus’ explains in Matthew 22:36-40. Built around the acronym J-O-Y, these lessons will help kids know what it means to love God and others. As followers of Christ, our greatest JOY comes when we seek a deeper relationship with Jesus while obeying his Word.
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- This includes the teacher materials only. You will still need to copy / print coloring pages needed for your students.
This curriculum is flexible enough to handle wide age groups in even the smallest Sunday School. We have included “more than enough” with each lesson to help you adapt to every teaching situation. Use what you can to teach the main idea, even if your class time does not allow for all activities.
Click here to download the free sample lesson.
Lesson #1: How do we find JOY?
- Summary: The first lesson in this series provides an overview of what “JOY” means and stands for. The main text follows a conversation that Jesus had with the Pharisees, who questioned Him about the greatest commandment. These Jewish leaders had hundreds of rules, and they spent time in heavy debate over which ones were most important to righteous living. Jesus settled the matter by summing up all of the intricacies of the rules with two main instructions: love God and love other people. In this lesson, students will discuss rules, and will also talk about what it means to love.
- Summary: In this lesson, students will examine the first component of the JOY acronym, the J for Jesus. The focus is on making God the first priority in life. Children will discuss how trying to put our hope in ourselves or our things does not bring us genuine lasting happiness. Only God can give us true joy. This lesson explores the interaction Peter had with Jesus after the Resurrection. Although Peter had denied even knowing Christ, the Lord forgave him and invited him to serve by loving others and building the church.
- Summary: This lesson emphasizes the “O” for “others” element of the JOY acronym. Living only with our own interests in mind may seem easy or entertaining, but ultimately does not bring happiness, and does not follow God’s will. Students will explore and re-enact the story of the Good Samaritan, in which Jesus answers the question “Who is my neighbor?” Kids will also discuss specific methods and opportunities for demonstrating love to other people.
- Summary: This lesson comes to the final element of the JOY acronym: “Yourself.” Although it’s essential to put God and others first, honoring our own needs is also important. The elements of the story here focus on how each of us is made in God’s image and loved by Him as a dear child. Scripture references focus on God’s compassionate and never-ending love for us. The story uses the Parable of the Prodigal Son to remind children that God will always love and accept them. The lesson includes suggested memory verse activities, games, and crafts, as well as questions for conversation and the story itself.
About This Curriculum
- Perfect for ages 6 to 12
- Designed for small churches
- Flexible teaching activities
- Unlimited permission to share directly with volunteers or families in your church
- ESV Translation Included, but adaptable to any Bible version
Each Lesson Includes
- Large group lesson
- K-1st small group discussion
- 2nd-5th small group discussion
- Memory verse activity
- Full color memory verse poster
- Multiple age-appropriate learning activities: craft, skit, or games
- Coloring sheet
- Parent take home sheet