Catholic Church Leaders Lesson Plan for 3rd Grade

This Catholic Church leaders lesson plan reviews the mission of the church, the marks of the church and the role of church leaders.

Key Points:

priest, church, catholic

Peter is appointed by Jesus to be the leader of the church.  The Marks of the Church are that it is one, holy, catholic and apostolic.  We acknowledge this every time we say these words in the Apostle’s Creed. Our Pope, Bishops, and Priests lead us today.


Have you parents ever asked you something 3 times or more?  Can you give you an example? Possible answers are:

  • Is your homework done?
  • Did you brush your teeth?
  • Hurry you are going to miss the bus!
  • Did you thank Grandma for the gift?

How does it make you feel?                    
Possible answers : They are nagging and they don’t trust me.

Let’s listen to what question Jesus asked the Apostle Peter 3 times.

SCRIPTURE: Jesus Reinstates Peter [John 21:15-17]

Get your Bibles out and read the short passage of John 21:15-17 together. Or use this on-line Bible passage.

Discuss the Scripture

Who do the sheep symbolize?….. [everyone who God created; all humans who are God’s Children]
Have you ever heard of Jesus being called the “Good Shepherd”?….. [answers will vary]
What was a shepherd’s duty back in Jesus’ day?….. [make sure no sheep stray away or get hurt]
What are characteristics of a Good Shepherd….. [cares for each individual sheep; always on duty]
What does ‘feed my sheep’ mean?….. [commands Peter to take care of God’s children]
What is the meaning of Jesus’ words?….. [appoints Peter to be the leader of the church; tells us that the church’s mission is to take care of others]
Who was Peter?….. [the first leader, the first POPE]

Discuss the Marks of the Church

One means we have one Lord.

Holy means the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are holy and that through the church we become holy.

Catholic means universal or across the whole world.  [Jesus told the Apostles to teach all nations and so now the Catholic Church is throughout the world]

Apostolic means founded and spread with the apostles and then carried on by their successors—Pope, bishops, and priests

  • Pope is the successor of Peter
  • Bishops today are the successor of the apostles
  • Priests lead each parish and are chosen by the bishops and Pope

Activity: Know Your Catholic Leaders!

Church Leaders Fill-In Worksheet by Catechism Angel at

Use my activity “Know Your Catholic Church Leaders” in order give an overview of the leadership of our Church. See this post for the free printable.

Play “Pin the Pope In Italy” Game

Pin the Pope in Italy Catechism Game by Catechism Angel at

To finish class in a fun way, play “Pin the Pope in Italy” game. It is played like Pin the Tail on the Donkey. The prep isn’t too time-consuming and you can reuse the supplies from year to year.

Closing Prayer

Say the “Our Father” together.

Email to families

In this week’s lesson, we will read the Scripture in which Peter is asked by Jesus 3 times if he loves him.
When Peter responds “Yes”, Jesus says “Feed my sheep”, this defines the responsibility of the Church to care for others. We will discuss the phrase “The Church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.” We will review the role of the Pope, Bishops and Priests in our spiritual life.

Questions for the car ride home:

  • What is important to remember about St. Peter?
  • Why do we have the Cathedral in St. Paul?

Your 3rd Grade Catechists

Spread the word
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