Can We Help?
Helping others and being helped
by Revd Sophie Jelley (revised, originally published in 2006)
Suitable for Whole School (Pri) - Church Schools
To consider people who help us and to reflect on how we can help others.
Preparation and materials
- You will need four chairs set out at the front of the room and some sticky labels marked ‘Paul’, ‘Timothy’, ‘Eunice’ and ‘Lois’.
- You will also need the Bible verse from 2 Timothy 1.5: ‘I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.’
- Ask the children to think for a moment about all the people who have helped them today. Maybe someone brought them to school, washed their clothes and made their breakfast.
Listen to a range of responses.
- Explain that today, we are going to think about a young man called Timothy, who lived about 2,000 years ago. Ask if anyone in the room is called Timothy. Call that child, or choose another volunteer, to come to the front of the room. Label the volunteer ‘Timothy’ and ask them to sit on one of the chairs.
- Point out that, at home, parents and carers help us by making us good food to eat, teaching us how to score a goal or showing us how to do jobs around the house. In the Bible story about Timothy, his mother (Eunice) and grandmother (Lois) helped Timothy by encouraging him to make friends with Jesus.
Choose two more volunteers to come to the front, label them ‘Eunice’ and ‘Lois’ and ask them to sit on the chairs.
- Explain that when Timothy grew up to be a young man, he went on to help other people make friends with Jesus, too. Timothy worked with a man called Paul. Choose another volunteer to come to the front, label them ‘Paul’ and ask them to sit on the final chair.
- Explain that we can read about the importance of these people to Timothy. Ask the children to listen as you read from 2 Timothy 1.5: ‘I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.’
Reinforce that Eunice and Lois helped Timothy. In turn, Timothy was able to join with Paul to help others.
- Ask the children how they think they will be able to help others in their lives. Suggest the following examples.
– Will we be teachers and help children to read and write?
– Will we help people to be friends with Jesus?
– Will we help people when their cars break down, like mechanics?
– Will we do something else to help people?
Christians and people of other faiths believe that God wants us all to help others in our lives.
- Whatever we do in the future, it is great that we have people who help us. Will we be helpers today? (If the school has a method of recording helpful behaviour, such as a Golden Book, you could refer to it here.)
Time for reflection
Let’s sit quietly for a moment and think about helping others, as we’ve discussed today.
What do you want to do with your life to help other people?
What will you do for others today?
Thank you for Timothy and his family.
Thank you for our own homes and families, friends and school.
Thank you for all the people who help us to learn and grow.
Help us always to be good helpers to others.
‘The prayer of St Francis (Make me a channel of your peace)’ (Come and Praise, 147)