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Jesus' friends - Learner drivers and postal workers

To understand the meaning of the words disciple and apostle and to consider what this might mean for us.

by The Revd Oliver Harrison

Suitable for Key Stage 2


To understand the meaning of the words 'disciple' and 'apostle' and to consider what this might mean for us.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need two text displays, prepared on a flip-chart, PowerPoint or OHP:
    1 Disciple: DISCIP + L (with an L-plate for ‘L’)
    2 Apostle: A + POST +  LE (with a postcard or envelope for the word ‘post’).
  • Props: a driver’s L-plate, and a postcard or letter in an envelope.
  • A whiteboard, OHP or flip-chart would be useful.


  1. Explain that the Bible has two names for followers of Jesus. Take guesses what these might be.

    The first is ‘disciple’. Disciple means ‘learner’, like a pupil at school or like anyone who is training or studying. Has anyone seen a learner driver – someone who’s being taught how to drive a car? What do they have on their cars to show that they are still only learners? L-plates. A disciple is a learner, learning from Jesus.

    So really they are ‘DISCIP – L’s. Hold up the L-plate, show the word display and reinforce the word play one more time!
  2. The other name for followers of Jesus is ‘apostle’. Disciple means learner. What does apostle mean? Take guesses. Apostle means ‘sent’, someone who is sent for a purpose.

    Have you ever sent a postcard or a letter? Who knows how to spell apostle? Use the whiteboard, OHP or flip-chart to spell out the word. Hey, what’s that in the middle of the word?

    ‘A – POST – LE’. Post! Produce and show the postcard or letter. And post is…sent!

    So Christians believe that an apostle is someone who is sent with a message, a bit like a postcard, sent by God to take the message of Jesus to the world.
  3. Recap: Disciple means … show the L-plate. Apostle means … show the postcard.

Time for reflection


Are you a good learner, not just at school but at life?

Can you learn to help other people, to listen to them, to be a good friend?

Are you an a-post-le – someone who brings good news to others?

Always ready to be helpful – someone others are pleased to see?


Dear God,

Help us to be disciples – always learning;

and apostles, always ready to be positive and helpful;

posting good news to everyone we meet.



‘He who would valiant be’ (Come and Praise, 44)

Publication date: May 2006   (Vol.8 No.5)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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