Jesus Called His First Followers

Teach Children the Joy of Following Jesus.


Choose learning activities that fit the children’s ages and needs.

Prayer: “Lord, please help the children to tell others about your life from the Gospels.”

Prepare to teach the story of Jesus calling His disciples. Read Matthew 4:18-22. This text tells how Jesus chose disciples to carry on his ministry and spread the Good News about Him.

Let an older child read or tell the story from memory. Then ask these questions. [The answers appear after each question.]

·         What were Peter and Andrew doing before Jesus called them? [See verse 18]

·         What did Jesus promise to make of them, if they would follow him? [Verse 19]

·         How soon did the two men follow Jesus? [Verse 20]

·         Which other two men were also fishermen? [Verse 21]

·         Whom did they leave behind in their boat when they followed Jesus immediately? [Verse 22]

Memorize the names of the twelve apostles found in Matthew 10:2-4.

·         Dramatize parts of the story of Jesus calling his disciples.

·         Arrange with the leader of the main congregational worship to have the children present this drama.

·         Let the older children help the younger ones to prepare.



·         Let older children or adults play the parts of Jesus, Simon (later named Peter), Andrew, and the Narrator who summarizes the story and helps the children to remember what to say and do.

·         Let younger children play the parts of James, John, Zebedee their father and other Fishermen. Use basins or stools turned upside-down for boats, and string for nets.


Narrator. Tell the story or part of it. Then say, “Hear what Simon says to Andrew.”

Simon. (Sitting by a ‘boat,’ “Andrew, look! That is Jesus of Nazareth, who heals people! I like what he teaches, but he is too good and important to notice us.”

Andrew. “Yes, Simon. Jesus is such a good teacher that he does not need our help.”

Jesus. “Simon and Andrew! Come and follow me. You will help me fish for men!”

Simon and Andrew. Jump up. Drop your nets and run to Jesus.

Jesus. “John and James!” You also, come and follow me!”

John and James. Jump up and run to Jesus.

Zebedee. “They left me, their father, to do all the work! Well, I guess it is for the good!”

Other fishermen. Sit on the floor when the drama starts. When Zebedee speaks, stand and point at John and James. Say things like, “Those foolish men!” “They left their boats!” “They are leaving a good job to follow that teacher!”

Narrator. When the drama is over, thank everyone who helped with it.

Questions. If the children dramatize this story for the adults, let them also ask the adults the questions listed above.


Draw a picture of a fish and let the children copy it.


The older children might want to draw a boat.

Let the children show their pictures to the adults during the worship time and explain that this illustrates how God gives us a new job of fishing for men.

Ask the children to tell about other examples of how believers fish for men, by helping people to follow Jesus.

Poem. Let five children each recite a verse from Romans 8: 35-39.

Let older children write a poem or song using the words of Jesus in the story.

Memorize John 15:16

Prayer: “Father God, thank you for choosing us to be your disciples. We want to be obedient to you and to bear fruit as you told us to do. Help us to answer your call quickly and to learn to fish for men.”