Gardening In Our lives
by Wendy McMillian

 
 
 

OBJECTIVE: Purpose is to instill in children certain values and morals in a fun and memorable way. 

ATTENTION GETTER: Have the following plastic vegetables, pictures of vegetables or seed packets displayed where the children can see them:

Peas
Squash
Lettuce
Turnips
Beets
Carrots
Thyme

I. Tell the children that today you are going to plant a garden* Ask the children, "Have you ever planted a garden or saw your parents/grandparents plant a garden?" Wait for responses.

*Suggestion: If you have space available and use the seed packets, you may wish to actually "plant" the seeds as you go through the lesson. Use a long, rectangular planter filled with potting soil. Have each child push a seed down into the dirt. It will be fun and exciting for the children to plant as well as watch the seeds grow. It will help to reinforce the object of the lesson.

1. Ask the children, "What’s the first thing we need to do before we plant our garden?" Wait for responses. The answer you are looking for is, "We must plow the ground first before we plant anything." * If using real seeds, you can run your finger down the length of the planter to make rows.

2. Ask the children if they know why we have to plow or break up the ground first. Wait for responses. The answer you need is, "We plow the ground so it will be soft enough to put the seeds in the dirt. If we lay the seeds on top of the ground, they will wash away when it rains or when
you water them. And they won’t be able to break through the hard ground to grow roots and leaves. If the ground is soft, they will take root and they can push up through the ground and grow. Read Matthew 13:3-7.

Explain the meaning of this parable to the children. Tell them that it is important that we have soft hearts to understand and hearing ears to hear what God tells us in His Word. Explain that this is the way God ‘plows’ the garden of our hearts.

3. Tell the children that each vegetable represents something we need to plant in our hearts and lives in order to grow as Christians.

II. Show the children each vegetable. If seed packets, use the picture on the packet. If using real seeds, tear open the packet and give each child a seed to push into their dirt planter. Explain each Bible verses meaning to the children as you plant. Relate the Bible verse to their lives.

SCRIPTURES:

Plant peas:
1. Peace of mind
2. Peace of heart
3. Peace of soul
Read John 14:27

Plant squash:
1. Squash gossip (talking about other people in a mean way)
2. Squash grumbling
3. Squash selfishness
Read Proverbs 20:19

Plant lettuce:
1. Let us be faithful
2. Let us be kind
3. Let us be patient (Read Hebrews 10:36)
4. Let us love one another (Read John 15:17)
5. Let us pray (Read I Thessalonians 5:17)
6. Let us be meek and humble (Read James 4:10)

Plant turnips:
1. Turn up at church services
2. Turn up to help each other
Read Hebrews 10:25

Plant beets:
1. Beat down pride
2. Beat down ignorance
3. Beat down envy
4. Beat down hatred
Read II Timothy 3:2

Plant carrots:
1. Your Bible - carry it to church 
2. Love - carry it with you everywhere
3. Faith - carry it with you in times of trouble
4. Joy - carry it with you in your heart
Read Psalm 119:11 and Galatians 5:22

Plant Thyme:
1. Time for Jesus
2. Time for family
3. Time for each other
Read John 13:33

After each vegetable has been introduced (or planted) tell the children that now you have to water the seeds and place them in the sun. Explain to the children that we must "water" each of these things in our life just as we water the seeds and that we do this by praying and reading our Bibles every day.

Copyright 2003 Wendy McMillian

wfmcmillian@juno.com 

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