Eric Liddell – Running God’s Race
Eric Liddell Missions Story
Against all odds, Eric Liddell won a gold medal at the 1924 Olympics in a race no one thought he could win. He became a world famous champion, but he gave up fame and fortune to run a more important race. People were astonished when Scotland’s greatest athlete announced he was giving it all up to be a missionary to China! Eric could have been a famous runner and made lots of money, but instead he chose to use his math, chemistry, and athletic skills to serve Jesus in China as a missionary. Most people couldn’t understand why Eric would do that. But Eric knew it was worth it! As much as he loved running, he loved Jesus more, and he was willing to give his life to serve Jesus because he knew that is what really mattered in life. Eric joyfully surrendered everything to do what God wanted him to do and laid down his own life for the sake of the gospel in war-torn China. Eric Liddell humbly ran the race of his life well, and children will be inspired to do the same.
This 6-part lesson includes activity ideas to enhance the learning process and provide further teaching that helps children understand that God can use their life no matter what their skills or abilities may be. Printable story visuals, PPT slides, historical photos, and activity pages for each part of the story are included with this free digital download.
This lesson will be delivered as a digital PDF file and a PPT slideshow presentation. The PDF leader guide includes the text for each part of the missions story for kids as well as printable visuals, photos, activity pages to accompany each part of the story.
Big Idea: I can live for God’s glory!
Key Verse: Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Story Excerpt: Eric started a weekly after-school Bible study in his home for these boys and they asked him many questions about Jesus and the Bible. They also wanted to know why a famous champion like Eric would give up so much honor in his own country to come teach chemistry in theirs. Eric was living for God’s glory and the boys could see the difference in his life.
After several months, some of these boys decided to become Christians by trusting Jesus to save them from sin. Eric was overjoyed! But he was also concerned that their parents would be angry at their sons for turning from their family’s religion to follow Jesus. He decided to visit each boy’s parents to explain the situation. He prayed that God would help him talk to these angry moms and dads, but he was surprised to discover that the parents weren’t angry. Each parent told him the same thing: their sons had been so much happier and better behaved since they learned about Jesus that their parents wanted them to become Christians! Eric thanked God for this.
But not all of Eric’s efforts were going well. He was helping to lead the college’s sports program and it was very frustrating. Team sports were not common in China at that time and many of the boys didn’t know how to play the games and didn’t want to learn. The captain of the football team was one of the rudest and worst behaved boys in the whole school. This made coaching sports more difficult, but Eric didn’t give up. He helped design and build a sports stadium for the boys to practice and play in. He also prayed for all of his students, especially the football captain, and after years of teaching, coaching, and praying, this boy and many others believed in Jesus.
In addition to this missionary story, you can also use the FREE “Good News for The World” activity guide to help children learn more about world missions.