The Armour of God
- Show the children one or more types of
protective sports or industrial equipment.
- Talk about why we sometimes need
protection, and the different ways in which we can protect
- Talk about how today's Bible reading
relates to this idea of protecting ourselves - not physically in this
case, but spiritually. Use props to help the children to understand the
meaning of each item in Paul's "full armour of God".
or older child(ren) to read the lesson.
- An adult to lead the children through the
- As many children as you like, to wear or
try on the various props.
- Some kind of protective sports or
industrial equipment: e.g. a hockey goalie's kit, cricket pads/helmet,
welder's mask and gloves, firefighter's equipment, etc. Select one or
more sets of kit, depending on what's available in your
- Paul includes a belt, breastplate, shoes,
shield, helmet and sword in his list of armour. You may have access to at
least some of these items via the children's dressing-up boxes; others
you might need to improvise out of card/foil/paper.
- Clearly label each item. For younger
children, it can be helpful to use simple phrases in place of the more
difficult words that Paul uses:
- Helmet of Salvation - Jesus loves me
- Breastplate of Righteousness -
- Belt of Truth - Truth
- Shoes of the Gospel of Peace -
- Shield of Faith - Faith
- Sword of the Spirit - Bible
- Prayer - you might make a cardboard
speech bubble (could you attach it to the helmet?), or label a mobile
phone, with the word "Prayer"
readers before or at the beginning of the service, according to your
- Start by showing the children the
protective equipment and asking them to guess what each item is for:
against what will it protect the
wearer? Talk about different ways in which we can protect ourselves - not
only with equipment like this, but also by following safety rules (e.g.
when crossing the road, not talking to strangers, etc.).
- Explain that today's Bible reading comes
from a letter that St Paul wrote when he was in prison, probably in Rome.
Was his imagination perhaps caught by seeing a Roman legionary on duty in
the prison? This part of his letter is about the battle that Christians
must fight against evil. Put the "helmet of salvation" on your volunteer
and ask the children to think about how the truth can protect us: what
does this mean? Do the same for each of the other items in the armour -
and don't forget the part at the end of this passage where Paul talks
about the importance of prayer.
Helmet of Salvation - helmets go on our heads: sometimes we
need to protect our minds. When we have doubts about Jesus, or when
we're tempted to ignore God's rules, remembering the truth about how
much Jesus loves us can protect us. And sometimes our minds need to
be protected from what we see on the TV or in computer games, or read
in a book or magazine.
Breastplate of Righteousness - a breastplate protects our
hearts: if we always try to do what God tells us is right, and
remember to say sorry when we go wrong, then we are protected from
guilt and worry. Jesus will help us to be good when we can't manage
it on our own.
Belt of Truth - a belt held up a soldier's long tunic so that
he didn't trip up, and the truth about Jesus can stop us from
stumbling through our lives, too. People tend to tell lies when they
are scared, but if we stick with the truth that Jesus is our Lord
then we don't need to be afraid of anything.
Shoes of Peace - shoes protect our feet: if we go everywhere
with Jesus, trusting Him with our whole lives, then we are protected
from anxiety. And our feet should always be ready to take us to tell
others the good news about Jesus.
Shield of Faith - if someone tries to throw something at you,
or stab you, you can hold up a shield to protect yourself: our faith
in God can work just like this - when bad things come our way, or we
do bad things and are tempted to believe that God no longer loves us,
we need to hold up our shield of faith and remember that God loves us
and never abandons us.
Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God - if we read the
Bible then we learn more about God, and we can use our knowledge to
cut through doubts and fears.
- Prayer - this is our secret weapon! It's
not part of the armour, but is vital for our Christian lives. We
can't have a relationship with someone if we never spend time
together - and this is as true of God as anyone else.
- When the volunteer is completely dressed
in the armour, explain how important it is. Just as no goalkeeper,
firefighter, swimmer, driver, etc. would dream of going into his/her
particular situation unprotected, so no Christian should think of going
through life without all the protection that God has given us.