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Be imitators

To explore why Christians believe that they should try to imitate Jesus.

by Michelle Walker

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To explore why Christians believe that they should try to imitate Jesus.

Preparation and materials

You will need some method of recording ideas, such as an OHP, whiteboard or a flip-chart.


  1. Ask the children if there are any brave volunteers who would like to come and imitate some animals, either by a noise or by an action or both. Prepare a list of animals for the children to imitate. These could include:


    You can be as silly or as imaginative as you like with your choice of animals. Make sure the volunteers get a good round of applause when they sit down.

  2. Ask the children if they found it easy or hard to guess what the animals were. The children should answer easy – the particular characteristics of different animals make it quite easy to guess. Then ask if they have ever seen someone imitate another person, maybe on television. Do they think it is harder to imitate a person than it is to imitate an animal? Yes, it is much harder to imitate a person.

    Why do they think this is so? To imitate a person properly you need to study them and watch their every movement. You need to look at the way they stand, how they pronounce their words; if there is a certain phrase that they use often or if they use their hands when they speak. To imitate a person takes a lot of time and effort.

    Is there a brave volunteer who can imitate a person for us? (It may be wise to get the child to whisper the person to you first, if you get a volunteer.)

  3. Explain that in the Bible, in the New Testament, there are letters from an early Christian leader, a man named Paul, who wrote to the Christians in a place called Ephesus. In this letter he told the people: ‘Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love’ (Ephesians 5.2). (Show this on an acetate or flip-chart.)

    What a statement – to imitate God. Do you think we can do that? How do you think we can imitate God? Write up the children’s responses. By being good, kind, helpful, loving others, etc.

  4. Say that Christians believe that Jesus was a perfect example of someone who imitated God. While he was on earth he told those around him that they had to live a life of love – forgiving others and helping wherever they could. Then they in turn became imitators of Jesus.

  5. Sometimes it may be an effort to do good things or help when we may not feel like it. But we should try to put ourselves out sometimes for other people – they might be very grateful for our help.

    Challenge the children this week to see if they can become imitators of Jesus by doing good and helping wherever they can.

Time for reflection

Who should I try to imitate?
Who do I know who I respect for their behaviour towards other people?
How can I begin to imitate them?

Dear God,
Please help us to become imitators of you.
Help us to do good and be helpful and kind, wherever and whenever we can.
Thank you for those around us who set us a good example.
Help us to be like them too.


‘When Jesus walked’ (Come and Praise, 25)

Publication date: March 2006   (Vol.8 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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