Some kids scare easily.
In a recent study of six and seven-year-olds, Penn State psychologist Cindy Dell Clark found that most parents underestimate just how terrifying Halloween can be for young kids.
Sometimes they are unable to differentiate between real death and the store-bought skeleton figures hanging in the trees and fake tombstones on the grass.
Because it’s impossible to escape Halloween in American culture, leaders can use this opportunity to help kids understand how to handle fear in their everyday lives.
Use this Kids’ Ministry lesson on Halloween, based on Psalm 34:4, to remind kids that when they are afraid, God can take away their fear.
Nick Diliberto, Ministry to Youth
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KID’S MINISTRY LESSON ON HALLOWEEN (FEAR)
Bible: Psalm 34:4 (NLT)
Bottom Line: When you are afraid, God can take away your fear.
- Fall leaves (4 per person)
- Kickball or Large foam ball
OPENING GAME: FALL BALL
For this game, each student will need four leaves.
These leaves can be purchased in packs from a dollar store or you can cut them from construction paper.
You can play this game in a large room or an open field.
Have students form a line against a wall or a straight line in a field.
Choose one student to be “it” and give that person the ball.
Have “it” stand about eight feet in front of the line of students.
Give the remaining students four leaves to hold throughout the game.
HOW TO PLAY THE GAME
Say: The name of this game is “Fall Ball.”
We have chosen _______ (name of student) to be “it” for our game.
Everyone else has been given four leaves that represent the letters in the word “FALL.”
I want you to hold the leaves in your hands and put your hands out in front of you throughout the game.
When the game begins, the person who is “It” will either throw the ball at you or fake a throw.
Here’s the catch: You must remain completely still when “it” fakes throwing the ball.
If you move, you must drop one of your leaves—just like a tree drops its leaves in the fall.
If “it” throws the ball at you, you will try to catch it.
If you try to catch it and miss, you will have to drop a leaf.
When you run out of leaves, you will sit down for the remainder of the game.
The last person still holding leaves wins!
If time permits, have students pick up their leaves, and play another round.
This time, the winner of the previous game will be “it.”
Say: Did that game make you nervous?
You never knew if “it” was going to throw the ball or just pretend to throw it.
I saw some of you flinch every single time!
Tell me if this has ever happened to you…
You’re walking through your house, and suddenly someone in your family jumps out and yells “BOO!”
That can make you almost jump out of your skin!
It can be fun to be surprised, but it’s never fun to be scared.
Ask: Can you tell me some things that scare you?
Allow a few responses from kids.
Did you notice that everyone named different things?
When you heard someone name something that was scary, you might have thought, “that doesn’t sound scary to me.”
Some people are afraid of bugs like spiders or bees or even gross, slimy worms.
There are animals that can be viewed as scary, like bears, tigers, or sharks—even baby sharks!
Not everything is equally scary to everyone, but we all face fear.
Today, I want you to remember this: When you are afraid, God can take away your fear.
Around Halloween, you might encounter tons of things that seem scary or that frighten you.
You might be thinking, “I’m too old to be scared of things I see on Halloween.”
That may be true. Maybe some of the costumes and masks that people wear used to terrify you but don’t bother you now.
Maybe the things that scare you aren’t the things you see, but rather the fear of failing a test or making bad grades, losing a friend, or something happening in your family.
Even the strongest people have to face their fears.
So, what can you do when you are afraid?
Read Psalm 34:4.
I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me.
He freed me from all my fears.
When you feel scared, you can stop right where you are and pray to God.
When you pray, God hears you—all the time, every time.
You might not believe this, but there are times that I get scared, too.
In fact, throughout your life, lots of things will scare you, but you don’t have to stay afraid. You can give all your fears to God.
Not only can God help you when you are afraid, but He wants to help the people in your life who are scared or afraid.
Here are 3 things you can do when you’re afraid
1. Talk to a parent or a pastor.
You might not realize it, but grownups have fears in their life too, and because they are older than you, they have probably already figured out what to do when something scares them.
Sometimes when you say something out loud, it takes away some of the fear you are feeling.
For example, if you’re scared that you’re going to make bad grades in school, telling a parent lets him or her know how you feel.
This would also let your parent know that you might need a little help and show that you are trying hard to do your best.
If you kept that fear inside and never told anyone, then you might end up making bad grades instead of getting the help you need.
2. Pray and ask God to take away your fear.
We learned today that “When you are afraid, God can take away your fear.”
And that’s true!
Not only can God comfort you and let you know it’s going to be okay, but He can help you overcome the fears that you face.
Maybe you are afraid to go swimming. God can give you peace and help you overcome that fear.
Or maybe you get nervous when you have to talk in front of your class at school. God can replace your fear with boldness that gives you courage to do hard things like talking in front of others.
God will never say, “I want you to be afraid.”
He feels the opposite way; He doesn’t want you to be afraid of anything because He loves you.
3. Be a good friend when others are afraid.
You can choose to be the kind of friend who listens and comforts others.
If a friend tells you that Halloween was terrifying this year, and that he saw something that bothered him, don’t laugh.
Be sensitive to what your friend is saying and care about his feelings.
It might take a lot of boldness, but you can encourage your friends that God helps you when you’re afraid and that He can help them, too.
God can give you the courage to encourage others.
Talking to others about what they are afraid of can also help you realize that you aren’t the only one who gets scared.
When you help others, it always helps you, too.
This year, Halloween doesn’t have to be scary because you know God is with you and He can handle the scary things that you face every day!
Even when you are scared, you can ask God to help you and He will—every single time!
Close in prayer.
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. What do you do when you are scared? Who do you talk to?
2. How does God comfort you when you are scared?
3. How do you comfort others when they are afraid?
4. We learned that God can take away your fears. How do you give them to God?
5. Do you believe God can take away your fear? How do you know?
6. Can you tell us about a time when God took away one of your fears? What did that feel like?
7. Do you think some people are never afraid of anything?
Obviously, those people don’t exist but pay close attention to how students respond to the question. Have a discussion that shows them that we all face fear.
8. Can you name a few people in the Bible who faced “scary” situations?
How did they overcome their fear?
Examples: David facing Goliath on the battlefield, Daniel in the lion’s den, Moses and the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, etc.
9. As a group, come up with a plan of what to do when you’re frightened.
Example: Tell a parent. Talk about what scared you. Pray and ask God to remove that fear and help you not think about it again.
10. Take a couple of minutes to memorize today’s Bible verse. See who can remember it and say it out loud.
I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
He freed me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4.
If you like this lesson, then be sure to check out our Kid’s Ministry Curriculum for PreK – 6th Grade. It’s easy to use & ready to go, requiring little to no prep time. Our curriculum is also family focused, Bible based, interactive, and fun!