In my last post, I mentioned that at Kids’ Club we played a game of matching different fruits to the branches and leaves of the plants or trees that they came from, and introduced the idea of bearing fruit. I explained to the children that the fruit we bear are the qualities we show, and that Jesus said people recognise what kind of “tree” we are when they see what kind of fruit we bear, because a good tree bears good fruit.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.”
Following up from that last session, we looked at how we bear good fruit. I recapitulated on the topic of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and explained that it’s rather difficult to constantly keep in mind all of the good qualities or the good fruit we want to be producing – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. So I showed the children a picture of a grape vine with grapes hanging from its branches, and reasoned that the fruits don’t actively think, “Hmm… I’m going to be grapes. I must grow, and I must grow to be grapes.” It all happens naturally as the grapes grow from the branches, just as the branches grow from the main vine. This is what Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.”
Some children thought it was a strange thing to say, so I asked them if they have ever seen hedges being cut. Living in this part of the country in our rural village, we often see tractors on the side of the roads cutting hedges, and the children can relate to that.
“What happens to the branches that are cut? Do they still grow?”
“No! They shrivel up and die!”
They all grasped the idea that we need to be connected to Jesus in order to grow and produce good fruit. A simple lesson, but one that can easily be remembered.
Our activity that followed hopefully reinforced what we talked about. I asked the children to colour in a bunch of grapes, then cut out the words of the fruits of the Holy Spirit and stick them on those grapes. Once completed, the children then brought their artwork to be put up on the big grape vine on the wall in exchange for a reward (it always focuses their efforts if there is promise of a reward!). If you would like to download a copy of the colouring page, please click here.
The attached photo shows the finished product, and the kids were very proud to show it off to their parents when they came to pick them up at the end of the session!