Not many of us are very good at keeping a secret, especially when it’s really big news.

Jesus’ birth was life-changing history, but God chose some of the most unlikely people to spread the news.

Two thousand years later, we are still sharing the Good News of Jesus with people who haven’t heard.

Use this Christmas lesson to challenge students to respond to Jesus’ birth in a new way.

Hope you enjoy the lesson!

Also, if you like this lesson you should definitely check out the Massive Junior High Bundle that goes live this Friday, December 8 at 12 Eastern U.S. time. Once live it only lasts 7 days. 

The bundle saves you over 90% on 3 years of junior high ministry lessons and games.

We’re giving away some awesome prizes to the first who order the bundle on opening day, including THREE $100 gift cards and $129 worth of youth ministry lessons from our sister website – Ministry to Youth.

So, be sure to mark your calendar for this Friday at 12pm noon Eastern.

– Nick Diliberto, Junior High Ministry



Bible: Luke 2:1-20

Bottom Line: How do we respond to Jesus’ birth?


  • Poster board (one per group)
  • Bold markers (one box per group)


There are many ways to communicate in today’s world.

Today, we’re going to have a little creative brainstorming exercise.

Divide students into groups of 6.

Each group gets a poster board and set of bold markers.

I’m going to give you five minutes in your group to get as many ideas down as you can.

You can have lists or a mind map.

However, I would really like to encourage you to think creatively and use a mix of both words and images on your poster.

Here is your challenge:

A scientist and her team have just discovered a cure for cancer, and not just one type, but all cancers.

This is Big News!

We want to get the word out.

How would or should we do that?

Write and draw as many ways as your group can think of to communicate this as effectively as possible, to as many people as possible.

There are no limits of cost, time, etc.

Simply draw and write how we should communicate this without worrying about what will be needed to make that happen.

Be creative!

When the five minutes are up, I will give you one minute to pick your top three.


Allow groups 5 minutes to brainstorm.

Walk around and give encouragement and maybe nudge them to think outside the box.

Examples of what you are hoping to see include the following: social media, billboards, videos, posters, t-shirts, bumper stickers, fliers, news programs, etc.

Creative options could include things like: skywriting, blimp, “wraps” on semi-truck trailers and cars; massive text messages; a special website; etc.

When time is up, give them one minute to circle their top 3 ideas and pick one person to be the group spokesperson.

Then, have each spokesperson share their top 3 ideas.

Put the posters on display for students to be able to look at after the lesson.


When groups are finished, say: Wow! You really know how to get the word out when something is big news!

Have you ever gone to see a movie and it was so good that you told as many people as you could as soon as you left?

Or have you had some food that was so delicious you took pictures and shared it all over social media?

Or have you had an accomplishment like a big grade on a test or project?

Maybe you made a team you were trying really hard for and told everyone you could when it happened?

In the Bible, there was some big news that God wanted people to hear about, but he shared with some unlikely people in a BIG way.

Let’s look at the familiar story in Luke 2 and see what it has to do with us, 2,000+ years later.

Read Luke 2:1-20.

In these verses, we read that God has been planning to send His Son to be the anointed one, the Messiah, the Christ… He has a bunch of titles.

But, it basically means He will be the Rescuer to save people from the problem that sin has gotten them into.

Much like cancer, sin causes problems for our lives.

It’s side effects include great pain emotionally, spiritually and sometimes physically.

In the end, it is fatal.

It separates people from our Holy God.

That’s because sin – or disobeying God – has one punishment: death.

And living in a life of sin means it is impossible to have God’s help and blessing.

Sounds like a tragic story.

That’s why this news of Jesus’ birth is so significant.

That’s why it’s Big News and often called Good News (which is what “gospel” means).

God’s Rescuer has come!

This is the one who will take the punishment for everyone else’s sins.

He will take our punishment so that we can go free!

And this is more than just a “get out of jail free” card.

This means that God will help us through our everyday lives and we can live forever with Him when we leave this earthly life.


However, look who hears the news first: shepherds.

These are “ordinary” people.

What I mean is, if you were going to get Big News out, you would probably go to “important” people so that more people will listen to them.

However, God decides to pick ordinary people, probably people to whom this good news would be most significant and powerful.

There is a HUGE angel announcement that involved this spectacular shining “glory of God” and even a song!

After the shepherds experience all of this, we see in verse 16 that they “hurried” to go find the Rescuer.

Strangely enough, they found just what the angels described – a little baby, wrapped in plain strips of cloth, resting in a feeding trough for animals.

Not quite the royal scene you would expect!

The shepherds told everyone there what they had seen and then left celebrating God, imitating what the angels had been doing earlier in the field.

At this time of year, many people come to church who don’t normally go to church.

Some people check out church for the very first time, or the first time in a long time.

Others are expecting an amazing, spectacular experience like the shepherds had with the angels.

Many people don’t know what to expect.

The shepherds who visited Jesus that night were so excited, that they quite naturally told everyone what they had experienced, and then worshipped God after meeting Jesus.

What if we approached Christmas this year like those shepherds.

Most people don’t think junior high students are important people – We do, of course!

And, come to think of it, some of those shepherds might have been about your age!

What if you were so excited about Jesus that this group invited more people to church this year than anyone else?

Who can you invite to come see Jesus?

And after celebrating his birth, what if your everyday life could be described as worshipping Jesus?!

You could add some worship songs to your Spotify or Apple Music playlists.

But I’m talking more about remembering how much God loves you; thanking Him on a regular basis for that; and living in such a way that people see you and want to know more about Jesus.

What if we imitated the shepherds in spreading the Biggest News of All?!

Let’s talk about that more in our small groups.


  1. In today’s world, a “grassroots” movement is something that starts with “ordinary” people and gets a lot of attention instead of something that starts with a few “important” people. If you were going to spread the big news about Jesus in your own grassroots movement, what would that look like?
  2. How can you use social media this Christmas to do a little less self-promotion and more Jesus-promotion? Be creative!    If this is a regular small group that meets, issue a challenge here where you will hold each other accountable to this.
  3. There will probably not be a big angel announcement at your school to help your friends be excited about celebrating Jesus this Christmas. However, how can you get your friends excited about worshipping Jesus this year?
  4. When we think about talking to friends about Jesus or inviting them to church, if we’re honest, we often think of other people who already go somewhere to church. And if we think beyond that to people who don’t go to church, we often have a list of “probably would go” and “probably wouldn’t go” people. On a sheet of paper, make those two lists with 3-5 names on each of people you know. Then, brainstorm together the best way to bring people from both lists to church for Christmas.
  5. The visit by the angels was a powerful act of God to get the news out about Jesus. That’s the same God who hears our prayers and helps us in our lives today. Too often, we believe His power isn’t as strong today as it used to be. Who can you be praying for, asking God to work powerfully to help them get to know Jesus? Friends? Classmates? Coaches? Parents? Cousins? Take some time to pray for them.
  6. Commit to doing these four things this week.
    1. Read Luke 2:1-20.
    2. Celebrate God for how you have seen Him work in your life.
    3. Pray for people who need to come to church and celebrate Jesus this year.
    4. Ask one of these people to come with you to church.

Close in prayer.

Challenge students to take the four-part challenge seriously.

It may not be easy, but it is definitely important.

Bringing someone to church may be the best gift they give anyone this Christmas!


If you like this lesson you should definitely check out the…

Massive Junior High Bundle that goes live this Friday, December 8 at 12 Eastern U.S. time. Once live it only lasts 7 days. 

The bundle saves you over 90% on 3 years of junior high ministry lessons and games.

We’re giving away some awesome prizes to the first who order the bundle on opening day, including THREE $100 gift cards and $129 worth of youth ministry lessons from our sister website – Ministry to Youth.

So, be sure to mark your calendar for this Friday at 12pm noon Eastern.

Written by Mike Sheley, who is the Middle School Pastor (5th-8th grade) at Mount Pleasant Christian Church in Greenwood, Indiana.

He’s been in full-time youth ministry over 17 years with most of that time focused on 5th-8th graders.