This lesson teaches that we can do great things if we will trust God. Peter was able to walk on water as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, but when he looked around at his circumstances, he lost his faith and began to sink.
- Matthew 14:22-33
- The following supporting materials can be found at www.teachingthem.comon the Lesson and Material Downloads page.
- “Walk On Water – WOW Water Walker Stickers” (These are stickers you will give to the kids to wear after the lesson if they commit to being “Water Walkers.” 10 stickers print on each page.)
- Avery Shipping Labels (5163) or full-page sticker paper (1 page per every 10 kids)
- Something to represent a boat (that will hold 12 kids)
- Spray bottles filled with water (4-6)
- Blue fabric (6-8 ft – kids will wave it to represent a stormy sea)
- Something to simulate strong wind (4-6 items – you could use fans, heavy pieces of plastic or anything else to “fan” the apostles in the boat)
- Oars (4-6 – or something that looks like oars)
- Small buckets (4-6 – for the apostles to bail water out of their boat)
- Sheet of tin (1 – to shake and make a thunder sound)
- Costume for Jesus character – recommend a long piece of fabric with a hole cut in the middle for his head to fit through. Add a belt around the waist and maybe a sash to drape over one shoulder and under one arm.
- Notecards for script (2)
- OPTIONAL – Spotlight or strong flashlight (to shine on Jesus as He walks on water)
- Write these lines for Peter and Jesus to say on separate notecards:
- Jesus: It’s all right. I am here! Don’t be afraid.
- Peter: Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you by walking on the water.
- Jesus: All right…come.
- Peter: Save me, Lord!
- Jesus: You don’t have much faith. Why did you doubt me?
- Peter: You really are the Son of God!
- Select your volunteer to play Jesus, and explain what you want him to do. Dress him in his costume, and have him wait off-stage or out of sight. Give him the notecard with his lines on them.
- Select your volunteer to play Peter, and explain what you want him to do. Give him the notecard with his lines on them.
- Print out the Water Walker stickers and cut them into individual stickers.
- Practice the script.
Use the following script, or modify to suit your needs:
- “One day, Jesus fed 5,000 people with just a few loaves of bread and some fish.”
- “Afterward, He wanted to spend some time praying, so He told the apostles to get into a boat and cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.”
- “So, the disciples got into the boat.” (Ask for volunteers to come help with the following tasks:
- 12 volunteers to represent the apostles (make sure one of them is the person you selected for Peter) and get into whatever you are using to represent a boat – Hand a few of them the oars.
- 4-6 volunteers to stand outside the boat with the spray bottles
- 4-6 more volunteers to man the fans or other wind-making instruments outside the boat
- 2 or more volunteers to hold the blue fabric at either end and stand in front of the boat
- 1 volunteer to man the lights and flick them on and off when you give the words
- 1 volunteer to shake the sheet of tin to make a thunder sound
- 1 volunteer to hold the spotlight or flashlight and be ready to shine it on Jesus
Ask all volunteers to act out what you say as you tell the story.)
- “The disciples sailed away from the shore and were 3-4 miles out in the middle of the Sea of Galilee when a huge storm rolled in!” (Have your apostles row with their oars.)
- “It was dark – the moon and stars were behind the clouds – but lightning lit up the sky!” (Signal your lightning and thunder sound effects people to get to work.)
- “The wind was howling!” (Signal your fan people to switch them on or to start waving their wind-making objects.)
- “Water sprayed over the sides of the boat and drenched the apostles!” (Signal spray bottle volunteers to let the disciples have it!)
- “The apostles were afraid that they might sink, so they used buckets to try and bail water out of the boat!” (Signal apostles in the boat to use the buckets you left inside it to pretend to bail water over the side.)
- “Hours went by, and the apostles grew very tired.”
- “About 3 o’clock in the morning, things got worse!”
- “A ghost came walking across the water straight at them!” (Have volunteer playing Jesus begin to walk across the “water” toward the boat. Signal your spotlight person to shine the light on him.)
- “They screamed in terror!” (If the apostles don’t scream, say, “A-hem, I said that the apostles SCREAMED in terror!”)
- “Then, something totally incredible happened!” (Have your helpers say the following lines from their note cards.
- Jesus: “It’s all right. I am here! Don’t be afraid.”
- Peter: “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you by walking on the water.”
- Jesus: “All right…come.”
- “Peter went over the side of the boat and started walking on the water toward Jesus!” (Have Peter character act this out.)
- “But then, he took his eyes off Jesus and looked around.” (Have Peter character act this out.)
- “He saw the high waves! He noticed the howling wind!”
- “He became terrified and began to sink under the water!” (Have Peter character act this out by falling to his/her knees and crying out, “Save me, Lord!”)
- “Jesus reached out His hand and grabbed Peter.” (Have characters act this out. Then have Jesus say, “You don’t have much faith. Why did you doubt me?”
- “Jesus and Peter climbed back into the boat, and immediately, the wind stopped.” (Have characters act this out.)
- “Then the disciples worshipped Jesus.” (Have disciples bow down to Jesus in the boat. Have Peter character say, “You really are the Son of God!” Then, ask your volunteers to turn off/lay down their props and return to their seats.)
- “Peter walked on water! Can you believe that?”
- “But then he began to sink.”
- “Tell me…why did Peter start to sink into the water?” (Expected response: He took his eyes off Jesus.)
- “That’s right. He took his eyes of Jesus. He looked around at all the scary stuff around him, and he began to think, ‘I’m in big trouble. A person can’t walk on water! That’s impossible! I must have been crazy thinking I could have walked on water!’”
- “Of course, Peter was right, but he forgot one very important thing…all things are possible with God!”
- “God can walk on water, and He can give Peter the power to walk on water.”
- “God can do anything, and He can help us with any problem.”
- “I’m learning that whenever I have a problem, I should give it to Jesus.”
- “Anytime that I feel like I’m sinking under all my problems, I need to give them to Jesus.”
- “As long as I keep my eyes on Him, He helps me with my problems.”
- “But if I start to focus on the scary things that are happening around me, I’ll start to sink again.”
- “Now you may think Peter looked pretty silly when he took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink under water, but I don’t.”
- “I admire Peter for having the courage to get out of the boat.”
- “Peter was a Water Walker!”
- “You know what all the other guys were? They were Boat Huggers!”
- “While Peter walked on the water, they hugged the boat in fear.”
- “Jesus told Peter that he only had a little faith, but he had a lot more than the Boat Huggers.”
- “A Water Walker trusts in God.”
- “A Water Walker does the scary things that God wants him to do.”
- “A Water Walker gets out of the boat to get closer to Jesus.”
- “I’ve known a lot of Boat Huggers. They are too afraid to get out of the boat and do what God wants them to do.”
- “Touch your neighbor and say, ‘You’ve got to get out of the boat!’”
- “I think Boat Huggers make Jesus sad.”
- “He wants to help them do things that no one else has done, but they don’t trust Him enough to get out of the boat.”
- “If you want to get closer to Jesus, you’re going to have to get out of the boat and walk on some water.”
- “How many of you want to be closer to Jesus?” (Listen for response.)
- “Well, then you’ve got to get out of the boat!”
- “Do any of you want to be Water Walkers for Jesus?” (Listen for response.)
- “Turn around and touch your neighbor and tell them, ‘I’m a Water Walker!’”
- “If you think you want to trust Jesus and be a Water Walker for Him, raise your hand!” (Try to encourage everyone to raise their hand. Ask your volunteers from earlier to come up and get a few stickers each to share with everyone else in the room.)
- “The sticker lets everyone know that you are a Water Walker – a person who is willing to trust Jesus and do the scary things that will get you closer to Him.” (As the kids are putting on their stickers, teach them the Rhyme Time for this lesson to reinforce the teaching point. Repeat it several times to improve retention.)
When the storms of life are really scary,
And my problems seem to double,
I pray to God and trust in Him,
And Jesus helps me with my trouble!