These lesson plans follow along with the beginning of Jesus ministry and calling his first disciples in Mark 1:14-20. Use them to teach children about the meaning of discipleship and the call to follow Jesus. The lesson plans, crafts, and teaching ideas below are direct download PDF files. Use them in your children’s church or Sunday School when teaching from this passage.
Jesus called His disciples, drawing to Himself followers who would help Him in His work and continue to spread His good news. These men didn’t know what would happen by following Jesus, but they were willing to leave their jobs and lives they knew, in order to serve this teacher. In doing so, they gained new life in Him. The disciples were not special because of training or talent, but because they committed to follow the Lord. When we follow Jesus, we can trust that He will provide for us and love us every day of our lives.
More Teaching Ideas on “Following Jesus / Fishers of Men”
- Compare this same story from the Matthew 4:8-22 passage with is nearly identical to Mark 1:16-20 Peter and Andrew were casting a net into the sea of Galilee when Jesus came for them and said “Follow me, you will fish for people”.
- Watch our video demonstration of this children’s sermon on YouTube
- Watch the demonstration of these craft ideas and Sunday School lesson on Mark 1:14-20
- Compare our preschool Bible lesson on “Fishers of Men”
- Compare the lesson on this passage from rfour.org
- D is for Disciple Coloring Page from Ministry-To-Children
Video Bible Story
Bible Craft Demonstration
The calling of the disciples and the idea of “fishing for people” is a fun story that can lend itself well to activities and crafts. Children do not always readily comprehend the idea of a metaphor, but can understand the concept of reaching out to others and following directions. The focus of these crafts, then, is on following in Christ’s footsteps and telling others about Him. A decorative ornament celebrates the following element; a fish-themed “invitation” welcomes others to church; and an egg carton naturally showcases the 12 disciples.
Children’s Sermon Message – Being a Disciple is Worth It
The main objective of this message is to communicate to children that following Jesus is not always easy, but it is worth it. Sometimes we have to let go of things that we enjoy or love. Being a “disciple” means putting Jesus first before anything else. The good news is that we are promised life with Christ is worth it. We might have to leave certain hobbies or practices if they get in the way or our relationship with God. But the love and strength of Jesus give us something way better!
Mark 1:14-20 ESV
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.