The fruit of the Spirit, found in Galatians 5:22-23, are gifts that God gives Christians. They help us live God-pleasing lives and share his love with other people. With this fruit of the Spirit Sunday school lesson, children learn how God blesses and uses them. Kids of all ages can be instruments to show God’s love to others!
Jesus is the ultimate expression of God’s love, and all the qualities of God that make Jesus who he is—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—become qualities in us as we grow in our relationship with Jesus.
This fruit of the Spirit Sunday school lesson works well as a set. Or you can pick and choose from the activities to enhance your programming.
Enjoy using this fruit of the Spirit Sunday school lesson with your children:
1. Pray about the fruit of the Spirit.
Items needed: Bibles
Pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us the fruit of the Spirit. We ask you to help us live each quality of the fruit of the Spirit. Help us show (pause for child to say “love”) and (joy) and (peace) and (patience) and (goodness). God, help us demonstrate (faithfulness) and (gentleness). Finally, help us have (self-control). Please help us show others your love by teaching us your ways and growing us as your children. Help us, Lord, to show love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in our daily lives. Help us use the fruit of the Spirit to show others what your love looks like. In Jesus’ name, amen.
2. Fruit Filling
Items needed: two large sheets of butcher paper, markers, scissors, masking tape, construction paper fruit shapes, Bible
This activity demonstrates to kids how Christ’s character traits grow inside them as they grow closer to God.
Spread out two large sheets of paper, and choose a tall child to lie down, arms at their sides, on one sheet. Choose a smaller child to lie down, with arms extended overhead, on the other sheet. Have the other students trace around the two children on the paper. Attach both tracings, side by side, to a wall. Explain that the smaller child’s outline represents each of us and the taller child’s outline represents Jesus.
Stand in front of the two body outlines and say: We’re going to spend some time learning about gifts from God called “fruit of the Spirit.” But first we need to understand what that is! What do you think of when you hear “fruit of the Spirit”? Allow children to guess. Say: Those are all good answers! These gifts, the fruit of the Spirit, are seeds God grows inside of us to show others what his love looks like. They are seeds of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Jesus modeled all these for us to show us what they look like.
And the cool thing is, when we believe in Jesus, God plants those seeds and they begin to grow! Think about how each of those things shows up in your life. Are you patient when you have to wait your turn in line? Do you show love to people who may not be so easy to love sometimes? Let’s think of some ways we show those gifts in our lives.
Encourage children to read the quality written at the top of their fruit cutouts. Have older kids assist younger children with reading. Then have the kids write words or draw pictures that show how Jesus might have shown the assigned quality of the fruit of the Spirit. For example, if the quality listed is “love,” children can show Jesus hugging a child or write about his death on the cross. When they finish, have kids come up to the Jesus outline and attach their cutout inside the outline.
Say: Those are all great things we can learn about the fruit of the Spirit by looking at Jesus! Remember, God sent Jesus to earth to teach us how to live and to show us how to please God. That means the more we learn how to follow Jesus’ example—the more we get to know about him, the more we learn to love him, and the more we try to be like him—the more God’s love becomes part of us!
Open your Bible to Galatians 5:22-23a, and say: The apostle Paul tells us in Galatians, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” All these fruit describe God’s love. And as we’ve just learned, the closer we become with Jesus every day, the more God’s love becomes part of us. And God’s love shows itself in us through…what is it called? Allow children to respond. Say: The fruit of the Spirit! The fruit of the Spirit grows in us, just as fruit we eat grows on trees!
Use a green marker to draw a rough outline of a treetop at the top of the smaller child’s outline. Turn the outline of the student into a tree, using the child’s body as the trunk and his or her outstretched arms as branches. Then have each child carefully remove the fruit they’ve just placed on the Jesus outline and place it on the “tree,” in the branches of the smaller child’s outline.
Say: The fruit of the Spirit grows in us. Say that with me! (Lead children in repeating the phrase.) Say: Now we can see by looking at our two outlines how those parts of Jesus—God’s love—become part of us as we become closer to him. But why? Why would God want us to have parts of Jesus inside of us? (Allow children to respond.) Those are all good answers. The main reason is that God gives us the fruit of the Spirit to help us show others what his love looks like.
Choose a child to read aloud John 15:4-5.
Have kids form pairs or trios to discuss the following questions:
• What do you think Jesus means when he says to “remain in me”?
• What kind of fruit do you think Jesus is talking about? Have you seen those kinds of fruit in your lives? When?
• Why can’t we grow the fruit by ourselves? Why do we want the fruit Jesus talks about?
Say: Our purpose here on earth is to love God and to show God’s love to others. God gives us the fruit of the Spirit to help us show others what his love looks like. The fruit of the Spirit is made up of various gifts that help us do a good job for our Father. Let’s find out what each gift does!