Upper Elementary

Jesus Is Our Foundation

Lesson 10 


Winter 2019-20


By: Lea Vaverchak 


February 02, 2020

Lesson Focus:

Don’t just listen to the Word; do what it says.

Bible Basis:

Matthew 7:24-27

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Students will watch a video about a bridge that did not provide a firm foundation as they explore what it means to have Jesus as their foundation and how to stand on that foundation as doers of His Word.

Memory Verse:

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
—James 1:22

Step 1:

Students will watch a video about a bridge that did not provide a firm foundation as they explore what it means to have Jesus as their foundation and how to stand on that foundation as doers of His Word.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access
  • What does the word “foundation” mean? (A base or support; a body or ground on which something is built, etc.)

A solid foundation lays the groundwork for something strong and mighty to be built on it.  We would never want to live in a home or go to a school with cracks in the foundation because it would make the building unstable and could collapse from the lack of support.

The Narrows Bridge was built in Tacoma, Washington in 1940. At the time, it was the third longest suspension bridge in the world. The bridge also had a nickname, “Galloping Gertie,” because of the way it swayed and moved in the wind. Engineers assured everyone the bridge was safe to travel on, even though they had chosen to exceed the normal standards used in building suspension bridges. But only four short months later, the bridge collapsed during a windstorm. Let’s watch the dramatic end to this historic bridge: 

Please play the following clip [2:35]:
Tacoma 1940 Tacoma Narrows Bridge Galloping Gertie Collapse, United States

  • Would you have traveled on the Narrows Bridge while it swayed from side to side? Why or why not? (Answers will vary.)

The Narrows Bridge was a good example of a structure that did not have a firm foundation. But there are other non-structural foundations we depend on, too.

  • What are things you can think of which need a solid foundation? (Answers might include: our family relationships; our church family; a strong friendship; etc.)
  • Have you ever experienced a time where a broken foundation destroyed something important to you? (Answers will vary; students might talk about broken friendships or bad attitudes that broke down trust with a parent or sibling, etc.)

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge is known as “the most dramatic failure in bridge engineering history.”  Those who designed the bridge had not given it a solid foundation and yet still believed the bridge was safe. How foolish of them!  The collapse of this bridge was heard about around the world and made every engineer rethink their designs. Because of this monumental mistake, suspension bridges were redesigned to become safer and stronger and with much more support.

We, too, want to withstand the storms that come into our lives and know we’re not going to be blown over by them. Today, we’ll discuss how we can have a firm foundation in our lives.

Additional resources:

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:

  • Plain paper
  • Pens/pencils

Earlier we learned that Jesus should be the foundation of our lives. When we build our lives around Him, even when the storms of life come, He promises we will have His peace. Building our lives on Him means learning what His Word, the Bible says. When we read the Bible and get to know God through His Word, He begins to speak to our hearts and changes us in the process. When our hearts begin to change, we want to follow Jesus and do whatever He asks of us. Jesus told us it means nothing to just hear His Word, we MUST be doers of His Word.

  • What are some of the commands God gives us in the Bible? (Answers may include: Love God with all of our heart and love our neighbors as ourselves; pray for our enemies; take care of the poor; be kindhearted; etc.) 
  • What ways can we obey those commands in our everyday lives? (Answers will vary but may include:  To show love I can help my mom load the dishwasher and let her rest; to help the orphans and the poor, my family can sponsor a child or donate to the homeless shelter in our town; to love my enemy, I can pray for that person every day and look for ways in school to show them kindness, etc.)

There are so many ways we can obey God’s commands and be doers of His Word! And each way is different depending on where God leads us during the day. God might show one of you a friend who needs extra kindness because she’s having a rough time at home, while He might lead someone else to offer to tutor someone after school. Someone else He might nudge to give their little sister the extra attention she’s been craving and spend a few hours playing Barbies with her after school. We are the hands and feet of God!  There are so many jobs He has for us to do, to show others His love for them.

Pass out a plain sheet of paper to each student as well as writing utensils. Have your students fold the paper four times lengthwise and then fold that folded strip in half and in half again to create 16 small boxes in the paper.

In each box, you should write one way you plan to be a doer of God’s Word. Before starting, give your preteens some time to pray over this activity and then sit quietly and let God bring to mind people He might want them to reach out to, or things He would like them to do to show His love. Once they’ve had time to pray and think, have them fill in their boxes.

As students work quietly, play the following song [3:56]:
Jesus Firm Foundation

  • What are some ideas you’ve written in your charts? (Answers will vary. Be prepared to share your own ideas too.)

Let’s not be like the foolish man who built his house (or bridge!) on the sand. When the winds came along, his house collapsed. He heard the Word of God but chose not to live it out in his own life. Let’s be like the wise man, who built His life on the rock—on Jesus. Read God’s Word and get to know Him in a very real and personal way. He will guide and direct your paths and make you doers of His Word.

Take your charts home and place them somewhere you can easily pull them out. As you start each day, look over your chart, pray, and be reminded of all the ways you want to be a doer of God’s Word for that day. At night, put a check in each box you accomplished and pray and thank God for the opportunities He gave you that day to be His hands and His feet. Try to see how many checks you can collect throughout the next few weeks and thank God each time He opens that door for you to obey Him.

Once your students have filled in all of the boxes with checks, encourage them to sit down and make a new chart and begin again. Obeying God is a lifetime commitment. The more we read His Word and obey it, the stronger our foundation in Him becomes and the more we desire to follow Him, wherever He may lead.

Pray to close.

Spread the word

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