The Life Of Jesus 52-Week Children's Ministry Curriculum

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Following In The Footsteps Of Jesus

In this series, students will get an in-depth look at the life and ministry of Jesus.  You can start this series at any time, but we have laid out the lessons in such a way that if you start in January, you will finish the year learning about the Christmas story.


Year-Long Life Of Jesus Children's Ministry Curriculum Lesson Overview:


UNIT 1: Before Jesus

It has been said that in every story in the Old Testament, Jesus is either patterned, promised, or present. In this series, we will study some of the stories from the Old Testament that point toward Jesus the most. 

Memory Verse: “In the beginning, the Word was already there. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1 (NIRV)

Jesus was There in the Beginning
John 1:1-5, 9-14, The Word Became Flesh
This passage in John teaches us that Jesus has been around since before the beginning. Jesus’ presence throughout all time helps connect the bigger story of the whole Bible in a new way. Knowing God had a plan helps us trust Him in a whole new way. 

Abraham and Isaac
Genesis 22:1-14, God Tests Abraham
God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. Because Abraham showed he would obey, God provided a substitute. In the same way that God sacrificed his only son as a substitute for all of us. 

2 Samuel 9:1-13, David and Mephibosheth
Mephibosheth was the handicapped son of Jonathan, so he should have been an enemy of King David because of King Saul, but because of David’s friendship with Jonathan, David made a promise. He had made a covenant of peace for all of their descendants. So, David fulfilled the promise and took Mephibosheth in and treated him as family.

The Prophet Isaiah
Isaiah 53:1-12, The Suffering and Glory of the Lord’s Servant
Isaiah was a prophet who lived around 700 years before Jesus, yet God told Isaiah what it would look like when He sent someone to bear our sins. God gave this message to Isaiah to give people hope. 


UNIT 2: Young Jesus

Sometimes it can feel like the Bible is just for grown-ups. In this series, we will explore some stories of Jesus’ early life to see what examples he set for us. 

Memory Verse: “Jesus became wiser and stronger. He also became more and more pleasing to God and to people.” Luke 2:52 (NIRV)

Jesus at Age 12
Luke 2:41–52, Boy Jesus at the Temple
Even as a young man, Jesus knew who he was and whose he was. Jesus’ family left him in Jerusalem after a festival and found him in the temple. Jesus was talking with the teachers as though he belonged there. Everyone was amazed at his understanding. 

John the Baptist
Matthew 3:1-11, John the Baptist Prepare the Way for Jesus
John the Baptist was Jesus’ cousin, but he wasn’t just known for that. John lived a very unique lifestyle, from his clothes to his diet. But the most radical thing he did was preach about Jesus. He was preparing people for who was to come. 

Jesus is Baptized
Matthew 3:13-17, The Baptism of Jesus
Jesus lived a life free from sin.  Baptism represents a desire to turn from sin and be forgiven. So why did Jesus want to be baptized by John? Jesus was baptized not to repent of sin, but to set an example for believers to follow. Jesus’ baptism also served as a symbol of death to an old life and a rising of a new one, just like Jesus would experience to carry out God’s plan.

Jesus’ First Miracle
John 2:1-12, Jesus Turns Water into Wine
In the first miracle he performed, Jesus turned water into wine. This caused his disciples to put their faith in him. Before he did this miracle however, he told his mother “my time has not yet come.” Jesus shows us that he completely trusted God’s timing for his life.

UNIT 3: Lent

The time leading up to Jesus’ arrest and death was really tense, but we don’t have to worry because we know how it ends! Knowing how the story ends can help us focus on what was important to Jesus during his last days on earth. 

Memory Verse: “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even if they die. And whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26 (NIRV)

Jesus Tells of His Death
Matthew 16:21-28, Jesus Predicts His Death
Jesus knew that it was nearing time for him to die. He wanted to prepare his disciples for what was to come. No matter what they said, Jesus knew what he had to do. Jesus knew his mission.

Jesus Anointed
John 12:1-12, Jesus Anointed at Bethany
At a party to honor Jesus, Mary did something that was almost unthinkable. It was a very costly act, one that others didn’t like. But Jesus stepped in and defended her because it was an act of worship.

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
John 13:1-20, Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
Jesus spent one of his last precious days on earth washing the disciples’ stinky feet. The lesson here is how you spend your last days can say a lot about who you are. Jesus was a servant and wanted to teach his disciples to be as well. Jesus served others.

Jesus Enters Jerusalem
John 12:12-16, Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King
The things that happened as Jesus entered Jerusalem happened to fulfill some of the many prophecies written about him. The people shouted, asking to be saved. They thought that Jesus would come to build an earthly kingdom, but it was so much more. Jesus was ushering in a kingdom of peace. Jesus came in peace.

Jesus is Alive!
Luke 23:44-46 & Luke 24:1-12, The Death and Rising of Jesus
Jesus died the death of a criminal, seemingly disappointing all those who had hoped and believed that he could be the coming Messiah. Little did they know, a greater victory was on its way. We can celebrate because we know that Jesus defeated the grave! 

UNIT 4: Parables Of The Kingdom

So many of the parables of Jesus, specifically the ones about what the Kingdom of God is like, have to do with planting and growing. In this series, we will discover what some dirt can teach us about His Kingdom. 

Memory Verse: “But put God’s kingdom first. Do what he wants you to do. Then all those things will also be given to you.” Matthew 6:33 (NIRV)

The Parable of the Growing Seed
Mark 4:26-29, The Parable of the Growing Seed
In this story, we see a seed that is planted, but then all by itself, the soil produces grain. Only time can tell how a person’s faith will grow. It’s our job to plant the seeds, as many as we can, all the time. 

The Parable of the Weeds
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-39, The Parable of the Weeds
Both good seeds and weeds exist in the world together. But here’s the thing. We can’t see people’s hearts. We have to let God decide what’s a weed and what’s a seed. We can let God be the judge.

The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast
Matthew 13:31-33, The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast
Many things in life start pretty tiny but can get bigger than we ever imagined. That’s how it is with the Kingdom of God. Jesus started a ministry with just 12 guys and thousands of years and countless lives later, the kingdom is still growing, and Jesus is inviting us to help it grow. 

The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl
Matthew 13:44-46, The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl
A man sells everything he has for treasure in a field. A man sells everything he has for a pearl. What do they have in common? They know the value of what they have found. We know that the value of the kingdom of God makes it the most important thing.


Jesus spent his life and ministry showing the world what God’s love looks like.  He spent his ministry loving and caring for those who were hurting, mistreated and ignored by society and this often included women who would normally have been ignored by the religious leaders.

Memory Verse: “My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27

Mary & Martha
Luke 10:38-42, Jesus at the Home of Martha and Mary
Mary and Martha were two sisters with two very different personalities. They were friends with Jesus. One day, Jesus helps them when they get into an argument. This story helps us learn what’s important to Jesus. 

Jesus’ Family Tree
Matthew 1:1-17, The Family Line of Jesus the Messiah
Genealogies can be super boring, but this one is super cool because it lists the women in Jesus’ family who came before and did incredible things. Tamar’s story teaches us about redemption. Rahab teaches us about bravery. Ruth teaches us to trust God. Bathsheba was the mother of Solomon, the wisest man to ever live. And Mary obeyed God to become the mother of Jesus. 
The Widow’s Offering
Luke 21:1-8, The Widow’s Offering
Jesus and his disciples watched as people made their offerings at the temple. Then, he gave his disciples some unexpected wisdom. He taught the disciples the meaning of sacrificial giving. 

The Woman at the Well
 John 4:5-30, Jesus Talks with a Woman from Samaria
Jesus loves everyone, even people that no one else seems to like. He talked to a Samaritan woman, a known enemy of the Jewish people. Not only was she Samaritan, but she was an outcast even among her own people, but Jesus revealed to her that he was the Messiah. 


Jesus is perhaps the greatest storyteller of all time. Most often he used a special kind of story called a parable. In this series, we will take a look at some of Jesus’ greatest hits to discover how great stories can change lives and teach deep truths. 

Memory Verse: “I will open my mouth and tell stories. I will speak about things that were hidden since the world was made.” Psalm 78:2 (NIRV)

The Wise and Foolish Builders
Matthew 7:24-27, The Wise and Foolish Builders
Jesus loved to tell stories about things that would have been familiar to his audience. In this case, something as basic as where someone builds their house became a life-changing truth to its hearers. Knowing what we can build our lives on helps us know if we’re headed in the right direction. 

The Good Samaritan
Luke 10:30-37, The Good Samaritan
Jesus tells a story that completely flips the script on who is a neighbor and what it means to be a good neighbor. Loving our neighbors also means loving our enemies. Showing this kind of love means showing mercy. 

A Tale of Two Sons (Father’s Day)
Matthew 21:28-32, The Parable of the Two Sons
Jesus tells a story about two sons to show what it means to be obedient. So often, we get an opportunity to be obedient, and then we blow it. In this story, Jesus helps us connect what obedience has to do with the Kingdom of God. 

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
Luke 18:9-14, The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
Jesus tells a story about the prayers of a religious leader and a tax collector. One man was accepted by God and the other was not, but it’s not who you think. Jesus loved stories with a surprise twist! 

The Parable of the Lost Sheep
Scripture: Luke 15:3-7, The Parable of the Lost Sheep
Jesus loved to tell stories using exaggeration to make a point. He also liked to compare people to sheep. Jesus wants us to know that God loves us like he loves that one lost sheep. 


Each week will focus on one big question about Jesus and how we can read our Bibles to find a conclusion. 

Memory Verse: “Ask, and it will be given to you. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 (NIRV)

What Did Jesus Say About Being Tempted?
Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus is Tempted in the Wilderness
This lesson is less about what Jesus said about being tempted, and more about what he said when he was tempted. When Jesus was in the wilderness being tempted by the devil, he quoted scripture and depended on God. 

What Did Jesus Say About Worry?
Matthew 6:25-34, Do Not Worry
Jesus’ teaching on worry falls right in the middle of his most important sermon. He knew that every person would struggle with worry, so he addressed it directly. We don’t have to worry because God is in control.

What Did Jesus Say About Doubt?
John 20:24-29, Jesus Appears to Thomas
Even a disciple of Jesus, one of his closest followers, Thomas, had doubts. But Jesus didn’t get mad. Jesus is bigger than any doubts. But he doesn’t want us to sit in them. He wants us to seek Him more. 

What Did Jesus Say About Anger?
John 2:13-17, Jesus Clears Out the Temple Courtyard
This lesson doesn’t talk about what Jesus said about anger, but about what Jesus was like when he was angry. This lesson will help us to understand that it’s okay to get angry and what kinds of things make Jesus angry. Jesus got angry when people were treated unfairly.


Religious leaders were supposed to be some of the smartest, most godly people of their day, but they still had a lot to learn from Jesus. In this series, we will ask, “Are you smarter than a Pharisee?”

Memory Verse: God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in Him will not die but will have eternal life. John 3:16 (NIRV)

Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
John 3:1-21, Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
Nicodemus was a Pharisee, also known as a religious leader. The religious leaders loved to make rules and thought that they were helping others get to Heaven with their rules. Then, Nicodemus met Jesus and realized there was so much more to the story. Jesus taught Nicodemus that he must be born again. 

Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath Day
Luke 6:6-11, Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath Day
In Jesus’ day, there were a lot of rules around the Sabbath. These rules were mostly made up by religious leaders. Sometimes the leaders got so caught up in the rules that they forgot about people. Jesus came to show them a better way. 

A Sinful Woman Pours Perfume on Jesus
Luke 7:36-50, A Sinful Woman Pours Perfume on Jesus
Jesus ate at the home of a Pharisee. While he was there, he taught the Pharisees a very expensive lesson. He taught them that forgiveness is a priceless gift.  

The Greatest Commandment
Mark 12:28-34, The Greatest Commandment
If you had to boil down what it means to follow Jesus in two quick sentences, the greatest commandment would be it. Love God. Love others. Every moment since Jesus uttered these commands, people have tried to complicate it, but this is all we need to know. 


Everybody needs a tribe to do life with, even Jesus. In this series, we will explore exactly who Jesus’ team was, how he brought them together, and what they learned to become great leaders. 

Memory Verse: “Whoever doesn’t carry their cross and follow me can’t be my disciple.” Luke 14:27 (NIRV)

The First Disciples
Mark 1:16-20, The First Disciples
It was time for Jesus to begin his ministry, but first, he needed to pick his team. Many would have expected him to pick people that were already well-known and book-smart, but instead, he picked a bunch of fishermen. Jesus knew that they would be fishers of men.

Jesus Chooses Philip and Nathanael
John 1:43-51, Jesus Chooses Philip and Nathanael
Jesus still needed a few more guys to complete his team. One of the most important qualities to be on Jesus’ team was faith. Philip and Nathanael had exactly what was needed. 

The Cost of Being a Disciple
Luke 14:25-35, The Cost of Being a Disciple
Every team has its own rules to live by. Players have to be committed to the team. Jesus lays out exactly what that commitment looks like. Being a disciple means putting God first.

The Lord’s Prayer
Matthew 6:5-15, The Lord’s Prayer
The most important thing that Jesus wanted to teach the disciples was how to pray. That was their strategy. That was their game plan. Prayer would get them through any situation, but they needed to know how. 

The Great Commission
Matthew 28:16-20, The Great Commission
After three long years together, the disciples’ training was complete. No more practices. It was game time. Jesus gave them the best pep talk a coach could give and then sent them on their way. 


Knowing about Jesus’ supernatural miracles can help us learn more about his character. 

Memory Verse: Jesus replied, “Things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” Luke 18:27

Jesus Walks on the Water
Matthew 14:22-33, Jesus Walks on the Water
It wasn’t always easy being a disciple. Sometimes it was downright scary. Once, they were in a boat in the middle of the night and they thought they saw a ghost. But it was just Jesus using his powers to help them believe. 

The Bleeding Woman
Mark 5:21-34, Jesus Heals a Sick Woman
Jesus’ healing power was nothing short of amazing. He healed a woman just by her touching his clothes in the middle of a large crowd. As if that weren’t amazing enough, he sensed it, found the woman, and sent her away in peace. 

Pigs and Demons
Mark 5:1-20, Jesus Restores a Demon-Possessed Man
It can be a little scary to think about demons. But in the Bible, we know that Jesus always had power over them. Jesus can have power over the not-so-good parts of our lives too. 

Lazarus, Risen
John 11:32-44, Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead
Lazarus was a good friend of Jesus. Jesus was very sad to hear his friend had died. He knew he could do something about it, so he raised Lazarus from the dead to show the glory of God. 


Jesus was known for always including those who were unexpected. How can we welcome and include unexpected people in our lives? 

Memory Verse:  “I was hungry. And you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty. And you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger. And you invited me in. I needed clothes. And you gave them to me. I was sick. And you took care of me. I was in prison. And you came to visit me.” Matthew 25:35-36

Jesus Eats With Sinners
Matthew 9:10-13, Jesus Eats With Sinners
Matthew was a Jewish tax collector, which meant he was a traitor to his own people. Jesus asked him to throw a dinner party and invite others like himself. The religious leaders saw this as a huge scandal, a way to judge Jesus for not following their rules. But Jesus didn’t come for the religious leaders, he came for sinners like us. 

The Prodigal Son
Luke 15:11-32, The Prodigal Son
The prodigal son ran away from his family and lost all of his money. He realized he had been wrong, but would his father take him back in? Just like the father in this story, Jesus always welcomes those who have strayed. 

The Parable of the Great Feast
Luke 14:15-24, The Parable of the Great Feast
A man threw a lavish banquet and invited many guests. None of them wanted to come. So he invited some unexpected guests instead. People may have their differences, but Jesus welcomes us all. 

Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
Luke 19:1-10, Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
Jesus made it no secret that he was going to eat at the house of a tax collector, causing a stir in the town. When Zacchaeus met Jesus, it changed his life. He changed his ways and his household was saved. What could happen if we welcomed others the same way that Jesus did?


Angels played a huge part in the story of the birth of Jesus. In this series, we will investigate what each of their appearances can tell us about what’s important to God. 

Memory Verse: “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news. It will bring great joy for all the people.” Luke 2:10

Gabriel Meets Zechariah
Luke 1:5-25, 57-66, The Coming Birth of John the Baptist
Gabriel got to tell Zechariah that he would be a father. Zechariah was skeptical but was unable to speak. When the baby was born, Zechariah believed and he was able to speak again.  

Gabriel Meets Mary
Luke 1:26-38, The Coming Birth of Jesus
Gabriel got to tell Mary that she would be the mother of the Son of God. She trusted Gabriel. She knew she had a big job, but she wanted to serve God. 

An Angel of the Lord Meets Joseph
Matthew 1:18-25, Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son
Joseph was in shock when he found out Mary would have a baby. An angel of the Lord told Joseph to accept Jesus as his own son and to make Mary his wife. Joseph trusted the angel, so he obeyed a command he knew was from God. 

An Angel of the Lord Meets the Shepherds
Luke 2:8-20, Shepherds Visit Jesus
Jesus is born! Spread the news! But how? An angel of the Lord told a bunch of shepherds to go to a barn and find baby Jesus. They knew something special was happening, so they went to see it. God wants us to seek Him too. 
Objective: Kids will say, “I can seek God.”

Baby Shower for Jesus
Matthew 2:1-12, The Wise Men Visit Jesus
The Wise Men wanted so badly to meet this very special baby. They made a very long journey and put themselves in incredible danger. But it was a small price to pay for them to bring gifts and worship the one who is worthy. 



  • Perfect for kids ages 6-12
  • 52-weeks
  • Includes large group and small group resources
  • This curriculum is an instant download
  • Download a free sample here


  • Make It Stick! Parent Sheet - so you can let mom and dad know what kids are learning each week and look like a rockstar teacher who's thought of everything.
  • Memory Verse - so that you can make sure kids are getting Scripture in their minds and hearts every single week and you can feel like each lesson was a success even when it seems like 90% of your lesson time is spent saying things like "calm down", "let's be quiet", "hands to yourself!"
  • Skit or Puppet Show - so you have a way to easily connect the lesson with your hands-on and visual learners. No drama team? No problem! Just hand the script to the kids. They'll have a blast and think you're the coolest.
  • Craft Activity - so you can give kids a physical reminder of the Bible lesson (and give yourself an activity to keep them busy until mom and dad come back!)
  • Game - so kids don't leave and say church was BORING! Games are so important to help keep kids engaged. Our large group games always include a "What's The Point" section to help you connect the game to the lesson.
  • Large Group Lesson - so you can present the Bible story in a clear and fun way, which means now you can enjoy Saturday nights instead of stressing over putting a lesson together!
  • Small-Group Discussion - so you can find out who was paying attention and who was talking to their neighbor.  Just kidding, this is a great way for you to build deeper relationships with your kiddos after each lesson, which means you're going to care about them so much you'll cry like a baby when they graduate and go to middle school :(
  • More! - Yes, there is even more than all of that so that you can easily put together the perfect lesson for your ministry each weekend, which means no more agonizing over how to adjust complicated lesson plans. 


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