The Bible teaches in Hebrews 11:1 that faith is "being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." The challenge for Sunday school workers is teaching this concept in a way that children will understand and remember. Understanding the meaning of faith is an important part of a child's spiritual growth. Children can't be taught to have faith until they have an idea of what faith is.
Create a lesson plan. Write down Bible verses on faith to use in the lesson. Write the main verse on a chalkboard, whiteboard or include it in a power-point presentation to display in class. Use 2 Corinthians 5:7 as the memory verse. Pass out take-home slips of the memory verse at the end of class. Appropriate verses for the faith lesson include: Hebrews 11:1, Matthew 17:20 and 2 Corinthians 5:7.
Prepare the object lesson before class. To prepare for the object lesson, cut the side off a cereal box, place the plastic cup top on the inside part of the box and trace the cup twice. Cut out each circle about 1/2-inch larger then the tracing. Cut the sponge to tightly fit into the bottom of the other cup; you might need to glue it to the bottom.
Practice the object lesson over a sink until you get it down. Pour water into the glass until it is half full. Place one of the cardboard-cutouts, glossy side down, over the cup of water. Hold the cardboard in place with two fingers and quickly turn the glass upside-down. Air pressure will keep the cardboard in place. Empty all but about 1/2-inch of water from the cup. Pour what is left into the cup with the sponge in it and turn it upside-down. The sponge will soak-in the water so that it doesn't spill when turned over.
Have a class discussion. Ask the children if they believe in God and let them answer. Ask the class members why they believe in God and if any of them has ever seen him. Continue asking thought-provoking questions. If you can't see him how do you know he's there? Do you have proof he's there? The Bible tells us that believing in things we can't see is what faith is. Read Hebrews 11:1. Ask the class if they believe air exists and if they can prove it; let them give some answers.
Use the object lesson to prove that air exists by keeping the water from spilling when it is upside-down. Ask a child to stand under the cup. Explain that the child is putting faith in air, something that can't be seen, with the hope that she won't get wet. Tell the class that is what faith is; we have faith that God exists and hope that because of Jesus, he will save us. Read Hebrews 11:1 again.
Ask the children what will happen if one person stands under the cup without using the cardboard. Tell the class that you are going to try it but don't want to get wet. Pour some of the water into the cup with the sponge. Tell the class you have faith that you won't get wet. Turn the cup over your head.
Give the children examples of proof that God exists.
Items you will need
Chalkboard, whiteboard or power-point
Two sturdy plastic cups
Pitcher of water
Use a the Veggie Tales video Gideon: Tuba Warrior to teach that if you have faith in God you will trust him. Do a craft or word search on faith. You can use Hebrews 11:3 to talk about God's creation as proof of his existence.