When we remember those who have gone before us and lived a life of faith, it encourages us to do the same.
The life of St. Patrick teaches us that even in the toughest of times, we can choose to follow God.
Use this preteen lesson, based on Romans 10:14-15, to teach students that once we hear the Gospel and believe, we are called to share the Good News with others.
-Nick Diliberto, Preteen Ministry
PRETEEN LESSON ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY
Written by Stef Litzler
Bible: Romans 10:14-15
Bottom Line: Once we hear the Gospel and believe, we are called to share the Good News with others.
- A Box of Lucky Charms cereal
- Pair of dice for each team
- Gold chocolate coins or butterscotch candy
- A bowl or pot
- 2 Rolls of crepe paper in each color of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple
OPENING GAME: RAINBOW RELAY
Divide your students into two (2) teams.
Have each teamsit in a circle with the pair of dice.
HOW TO PLAY THE GAME
Explain that this game is a relay and each stop will be dependent upon the last.
1st Relay Stop: Trinity Dice
One person will start with the pair of dice and try to roll a 3 and 1 together.
If the first person with the die does not roll a 3 and 1 they will pass the die to the next player.
Each time a player in the circle rolls a 3 and 1, that player will get up from the circle and go to the next relay stop.
2nd Relay Stop: The Shamrock Shout
The player will proceed to the next relay stop, “The Shamrock Stop,” where the player will grab a shamrock marshmallow from the bowl of Lucky Charms, eat it, and yell, “Aye, me Lucky Charms!”
3rd Relay Stop: Pot o’ Gold
The player will then proceed to the “Pot o’ Gold” relay stop where the player will toss a gold coin into a pot.
4th Relay Stop: Rainbow Roll
Lastly, the player will proceed to the “Rainbow Roll” where the player will roll him or herself into the first (or next) color of the rainbow using crepe paper.
If you do not have enough students for at least six players on each team, then have three rainbow colors on one team’s “Rainbow Roll” stop and threecolors on the other team’s stop.
This version of Rainbow Relay is for smaller groups and requires less crepe paper.
The relay is complete when all the colors of the rainbow have been rolled (or half of the colors for smaller teams).
The first team to complete the challenge wins!
Share butterscotch or gold chocolate coins with the winning team or with everyone.
After the game, say: Today, we are talking about Saint Patrick!
He taught us how important it is to share the Good News of Jesus with other people.
He was also creative in the way he shared the gospel with others.
Ask: Do you know anything about Saint Patrick or why we have a day to recognize him?
Allow a few responses from students.
Say: Although Ireland began the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, St. Patrick was actually born in Great Britain.
When Patrick was a teenager, he was captured by a group of Irish Pirates and became a slave.
It was during his time as a slave that his heart was captured by Christ and he became a devout Christian.
Years later, after he had returned home to Britain, he had a vision in which he knew God was calling him to return to Ireland.
In his vision the Irish people said, "We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I would want to return to the land where I was kept as a slave.
However, Saint Patrick knew how important it was to share salvation with a land that truly needed God’s grace.
The Irish did not know God and spent most of their time worshipping idols.
When the celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day originated in the 17th century, it was purely a religious holiday.
Today, St. Patrick’s Day is more about wearing green, eating green food, and talking like leprechauns than it is than recognizing St.Patrick’s desire to spread the Gospel.
In our relay, we encountered many Irish symbols.
One of the cool ways Saint Patrick explained the gospel to the Irish was by using Ireland’s very own symbols.
The shamrock, to many, was a sign of good luck.
Saint Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity, God in 3 persons, 3-in-1!
He wanted them to know God the Father who sent His Son to save us.
But when Jesus returned to be with the Father, we were not left alone!
God gave us the Holy Spirit to counsel us and help guide us here on earth.
History records that Saint Patrick was a priest for 40 years and continued to establish churches and baptize thousands of people in the name of Jesus.
As we celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day and wear green and pinch people who aren’t wearing green, I want you to remember that God is the giver of GREEN!
Green is a sign of life.
God is the giver of new life through Christ.
Saint Patrick knew the God who gives new life.
He spread the Good News to those who needed it most.
Read Romans 10:14-15.
“How can they call on him unless they believe in him?
How can they believe in him unless they hear about him? How can they hear about him unless someone preaches to them? And how can anyone preach without being sent?
It is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Say: Imagine if Saint Patrick had never returned to Ireland to tell people about Jesus?
We wouldn’t have a Saint Patrick’s Day on the calendar!
In our relay today, each stop was dependent upon the completion of the previous stop.
Once every rainbow color was unrolled, the game was complete.
In Romans, we see that Paul says things need to happen in an order and each step is dependent upon the previous step.
Let’s look at Romans 10:14 and order what must happen for people to believe.
Allow students to create the line-up.
- Someone must be sent
- Someone must preach
- Someone must hearthe preaching
- Someone must believewhat they hear
- That someone is saved (then START OVER!)
God may not be calling you to Ireland, but He is calling you to spreadthe Good News to those who need to hear it!
Let’s remember the best reason to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day.
We celebrate a man who was changed by God and encouraged others to be saved.
It wasn’t easy for Saint Patrick to return to the place where he was in slavery.
But he knew that was where God wanted Him.
History tells us that he baptized thousands of people and many came to know the greatness of God because of him.
So, when you see shamrocks, remember the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
When you see green, remember the Creator.
When you see rainbows, don’t focus on taking the pots of gold for yourself. Focus on taking God’s promises to those who need them.
Close in prayer.
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
- How did you first hear about God?
- What helped you to believe in Jesus as your Savior?
- What do you think is the most difficult thing about traveling to another country to share Jesus with other people?
- Do you know someone who has left their home to share Jesus with others?
- Do you find it easy or difficult to share God’s love with others?
- If you find it easy, why is it easy for you?
- If you find it difficult, why is it difficult for you?
- Who do you know that needs to hear about God’s love?
- What could you do this week to share God’s love with someone?
- Saint Patrick used a shamrock to tell people about God. Can you think of a cultural symbol we have today that could help you tell others about God?
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