The Parable of the Mustard Seed is one of the shortest yet most popular parables in the Gospels.
This is the Parable of the Mustard Seed according to Matthew:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”Matthew 13:31-32
This Parable of the Mustard Seed lesson plan will help your students understand the meaning of the parable and reflect on how it applies to their lives today.
For additional resources on all of the parables, check out The Religion Teacher’s Parable Worksheet Pack.
The Parable of the Mustard Seed Lesson Objectives
- Students will be able to (SWBAT) explain the meaning of the Parable of the Mustard Seed.
- SWBAT describe the best way to build the kingdom of God with mustard seeds today.
- Students will feel grateful to God for the mustard seeds in their lives.
The Parable of the Mustard Seed Lesson Activities
Present: The Meaning of the Parable of the Mustard Seed
Mustard seeds are very small, but they grow into large plants.
Likewise, the Kingdom of God begins with the small faith of only a few people but grows to become great.
Mustard Seed Example Discussion
Let’s think of a few examples of how God takes something small and creates something great.
There are no wrong answers here. Invite students to predict the ways God might grow these small seeds into something great.
Complete each sentence:
- A community starts a small, new church and it becomes . . .
- A Bible study with a few friends becomes . . .
- A few minutes of prayer each day becomes . . .
- Reading just one verse of the Bible a day becomes . . .
- A family starts to pray a Hail Mary together after dinner, but this becomes . . .
- A letter to a friend becomes . . .
Can you or your students think of other examples of something small that can grow into something great for God?
Mustard Seed Worksheet
Using this simple Parable of the Mustard Seed Worksheet, have students list the little nice things they do during the day that can have a big impact on someone’s day.
Planting Your Mustard Seed: An Activity
Distribute slips of paper or half of an index card to each student.
They will write one small action they can take today that God can turn into something great.
This small action could be:
- A prayer
- A gift to a friend
- A call to a family member
- A thank you note
- An act of kindness
- What else?
After they choose the best small action they can take today to build the kingdom of God, have them fold or crumble up their piece of paper into a small ball. They should make it as small as possible.
Remind them to think of how small a mustard seed is to get them to make their papers even smaller.
Now you can get creative. Invite your students to plan their mustard seeds.
Dig a small hole outside and “plant” them in the ground or bring in a planter pot with soil or sand to use to “plant” their seeds.
The physical action of planting the papers can be used in the days or weeks ahead. Ask them to think about that little action. Did they do it? Did God turn that small action into something great yet? (Have you checked?)
Mustard Seed Activities Collection
- Parable of the Mustard Seed Lesson (Children’s Bible Lessons)
- Parable of the Mustard Seed Lesson, Questions, and Activities (Mission Bible Class)
- Parable of the Mustard Seed Group Activities (Sermons4Kids)
- Mustard Seed Video and Printable (True Way Kids)
- Faith of a Mustard Seed File Folder Game (The Catholic Toolbox)