Upper Elementary

Jesus Changes Lives

Lesson 8 

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Summer 2020

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By: Lea Vaverchak 

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July 26, 2020

Lesson Focus:

Jesus changes lives.

Bible Basis:

Acts 16:25-34

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Students will discuss change and will identify ways that Jesus changes lives.

Memory Verse:

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.”
—Acts 16:31

Step 1:

Students will discuss change and will identify ways that Jesus changes lives.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access
  • Name some big changes that have happened to you or that you’ve seen happen to others. (Answers may include: COVID-19 quarantines; getting a brother or sister; moving; death in the family; etc.)
  • How did those different events “change life”—in other words, what were things like before the event, and how were they different after the event? (Allow students to identify how being quarantined, a move to a different city, a death in the family, or the birth of a new sibling impacted them.)

Sometimes an event changes life in little ways. Let’s take a look at how life changed one night for an 80-year-old lady named Eleanor.

Play the following clip for your students [2:47]:
Widow who was invited to eat with strangers: “I think God sent me there”

  • How did Eleanor’s life change the night she visited Brad’s Bar-B-Que? (Answers: She met new friends; her life isn’t as lonely; she has people to spend time with when her family lives far away.)
  • Why did the young man reach out to Eleanor? How has that changed his life as well as the lives of his friends? (Answers: He didn’t like seeing her sitting alone to eat and decided to change that; they are all now friends and have space in their lives for each other; he wants to change the world and can do that by showing kindness to others.)

It seems amazing that an action could have such an impact, doesn’t it? A life-changing event can alter the course of our lives forever. Today we’re going to read a story about a man who had an event happen that changed the course of his life forever. 

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

  • Index cards
  • Butcher paper
  • Markers
  • Tape
  • Optional: church members to share how Jesus changed their lives (see “My Changed Life” in Step 3 activities) or Internet access; camera; church Facebook account or website

If you are meeting online, ask students to have an index card and a marker available. Enlist the help of a few church members who would be willing to share about how Jesus changed their lives (see Step 3). Invite them to join your meeting. At this point in the lesson, give each of your guests time to share how Jesus changed their lives. You may want to give a time limit of less than three minutes. If you are unable to have guests from your church visit, share your own testimony and then share the following testimony by swimmer, Jessica Long.

Optional video [2:05; Play from 3:45-5:50]:
I Am Second Jessica Long

We saw in our lesson earlier how the jailer’s life as well as the lives of his family members were changed when they chose to believe in the Lord Jesus. The jailer went from guarding Paul and Silas to taking them to his house, washing their wounds, and allowing them to baptize him and his whole family. What a change of heart! But that’s what Jesus does when we allow Him access—He changes our hearts, souls, and minds, which alters the course of our lives. Today we’ve heard testimonies from multiple witnesses about how Jesus has changed their lives.

  • What are words and/or phrases you heard that describe how Jesus changed the lives of those we’ve discussed or heard from today? (Answers may include: The jailer rejoiced; hearts were changed; joy; peace; feeling forgiven; feeling loved; having a desire to share Jesus with others, etc.)

Give your students an opportunity to create a “graffiti card” of the words and phrases they’ve heard this morning on how Jesus has changed lives—they can refer to the Bible lesson, testimonies, and/or the Jessica Long video clip. Encourage them to include words or phrases that express changes they have seen Jesus make in their own lives as well.

Ask students to take a picture of their cards and send them to you. You may want to compile the cards as a “wall” on a closed social media outlet along with the question to your church family, “How has Jesus changed your life?” Tell students they can check their congregation’s answers throughout the week.

Challenge students to interview parents, other family members, teachers, neighbors, etc. and jot down any unique responses on their index cards. Tell your preteens to be looking for similarities and differences. What do all the stories have in common? How are the stories different? What do people’s lives look like when Jesus enters?

Tell your students if anyone would be interested in talking further about how Jesus can start changing their life right now, you would love to talk to them after class. Help in sharing the Gospel with this age group is found in your teacher’s guide.

You might want to reach out to your students during the week to see what they are discovering about Jesus changing lives.

Pray to close.

Spread the word

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