God is Our Friend Lesson
Main Bible Lesson
*You’ll need: tape, sticky notes, a pen,
Have kids form groups of three or four, and have kids choose one person in their group to be the Model. The Model will stand against a wall, feet together, while the rest of the group uses painter’s tape to outline him or her. (Don’t have enough wall space? No problem! Models can lie on the floor instead.)
After kids have finished the outlines, the Models can step away and add a line of tape to divide the legs.
Say: These people figures on the wall will represent good friends. So let’s fill them up with qualities of a good friend.
Have kids write qualities of good friends on sticky notes and stick them inside the figure outlines. One group will leave their figure blank and can stick their ideas on other groups’ figures, so that the blank figure can later represent God’s qualities.
Ask: • Tell about some of the qualities you wrote. Why do you look for those qualities in a friend?
Explore the Bible
Say: Today we’re learning that God is our friend. But does he show the qualities we’re looking for in a friend? Let’s see how a guy in the Bible named David described God. I’ll read a few verses, and you can see what qualities of a friend they describe.
Read the following sections of Psalm 25, pausing after each for kids to share what qualities of a friend are described in the verses. While there’s no one right answer, we’ve put suggestions in parentheses in case kids are stumped.
As kids identify qualities, they can move them from their figures to the blank figure or make additional sticky notes if there are qualities they hadn’t thought of.
- Psalm 25:1-3 (trustworthy)
- Psalm 25:4-5 (gives good advice)
- Psalm 25:6 (loves you)
- Psalm 25:7 (forgives you)
- Psalm 25:8-10 (helps you make right choices)
- Psalm 25:15-22 (helps you when you’re in trouble)
Ask: • Besides the qualities we noticed in this Psalm, what other qualities do you think you could move from your friend figures to our “God” figure? Challenge kids to share specific examples, either from the Bible or their own lives, that demonstrate how God shows those qualities and then move the sticky notes.
• What difference does it make to you that God is our friend?
Say: God is our friend, and he’s better than any human friend we could ever have! He’ll never stop loving us, and he’s with us all the time! Sometimes your human friends aren’t available when you need them. But God is always there for you!
Digging Deeper (for Grade’s 3+)
- Having kids list why people don’t like them may seem harsh, but the reality is they’re already thinking about it. This experience will help combat the negative self-talk they’re already using.
- Want to make an extra impact? Bring a paper shredder for kids to use instead of tearing their papers.
Make a List
Have kids spread out around the room, and give each child a piece of paper and a pen.
Say: You’re about to make a list no one else will see. You won’t want anyone else to see it, so make sure you’re not sitting too close to anyone. On your paper, list reasons you think people don’t like you or don’t want to be your friend. You can also use symbols if you don’t want to write things down.
As kids work, create your own list, too. Your example will help demonstrate that everyone has insecurities—even adults!
Say: We’re learning that God is our friend. But we all just came up with reasons people might not want to be our friends. God is perfect, holy, and amazing, so why does God want to be our friend? Let’s dig in to that.
Say: Let’s see what the Bible has to say about how God views us.
Read Psalm 139:13-14.
Ask: • What do these verses tell you about yourself?
Say: God made you wonderful and marvelous! So if there’s anything on your list about the way you look, cross it out now. Allow time.
Read Genesis 1:27.
Ask: • Why does it matter that we’re made in God’s own image?
Say: God made you in his own image! So cross out anything on your list that has to do with the way you were made, such as abilities you lack or personality traits you don’t like about yourself. Allow time.
Read Zephaniah 3:17.
Ask: • Describe how it feels to hear that God takes delight over you.
Say: God delights in you and rejoices over you. So if there’s anything on your list that has to do with just not feeling likeable or loveable, cross that out now. Allow time.
Say: First John 4:16 tells us that “God is love.” God will always choose love! So if anything is left on your list…cross it out now. Allow time.
Say: Sometimes you may feel like the things you wrote make people not want to be your friend. But God made you just the way he wanted you, in his image, and he rejoices over you. He’ll always choose to love you! God is our friend, and nothing can change that. Listen to these verses as a blessing over you.
Read Romans 8:38-39.
Say: Nothing we wrote can get in the way of God wanting to be our friend! Since nothing on our list can separate us from God’s love, let’s tear up our lists. Allow time for kids to tear up and throw away their lists. For extra impact, kids can hand you their lists to run through a paper shredder instead.
Talk About It Video:
Say: We’re learning that God is our friend. Let’s hear from a couple of girls who know that really well!
Watch “Renee & Alina’s Story.”
Ask: • The girls made friends through their performance ministry. What’s an activity you do where you’ve made friends?
• Their friends help them not be nervous. What do your friends help you do?
• Renee said, “Jesus helps me make friends…he helped me be friends with a lot of people but still worship him and praise him.” What has Jesus taught you about how to be a good friend? Say: God is our friend! When we’re friends with God, we can learn how to be better friends, just like he is!
- transparent tape
- Make a sample craft to show kids.
Make Support Tubes
Give each child a piece of paper.
Ask: • What’s the heaviest thing you think this paper can support if you hold an edge of the paper with only one hand?
Have kids try holding one edge of the paper and placing various non-fragile items on it, such as pens, markers, tape dispensers, shoes, and Bibles.
Say: Our papers aren’t very supportive. But I have a way to make them much more supportive—the way a good friend is.
Show kids the sample craft you made. Set out the supplies to share, and have kids follow these directions to make support tubes.
- Roll your paper into a tube.
- Tape it so it stays rolled.
- Decorate your tube with the point, “God is our friend,” as well as qualities you found during Core Bible Discovery time that describe God.
- You can also add dots, hearts, or other fun doodles to decorate your tube.
When kids have completed their crafts, let them balance items on the tubes. The tubes can support even heavy Bibles without anyone holding the paper, as long as they’re balanced correctly.