Taking the Yoke

The Path of the Disciple: Learning to Grow

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A

On the path of a disciple, we are learning to grow in our relationships with Christ and with the community. It begins when we take the yoke.

Note to the Teacher

The key phrase in for this lesson is “take my yoke.” The icebreaker invites youth to work together to share the burden. The discussion encourages students to think about ways that rest and sharing a load helps them become better Christians. The activity invites teamwork to stress the idea of sharing the load. Times are based on a fifty-five-minute lesson period but may be adjusted.

Battle Buddy (15 minutes)

It is no secret that we have tons of famous “battle buddies” (names or characters that seem to get paired up) in the Bible and in pop culture (i.e., Mario and Luigi, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Adam and Eve). Using sticky name tags, write out battle buddy pairs (one name on each name tag). Stick one name tag on the back of each student’s shirt. When you say “go,” have students begin to mingle and ask yes or no questions about the battle buddy on the back of students’ shirts. They may ask only one question before moving on to someone else to ask another question. When students find their battle buddy, have them sit down and discuss three things they have in common.

*We HIGHLY recommend option 2

Option 1:

If you’d rather not mix it up with crazy combinations, feel free to choose a theme. Battle Buddies: Food edition. Battle buddies: video game edition.

Option 2:

Invite students to spend the remainder of the time “yoked” together. They must participate as a team for the remainder of the lesson and not as individuals (i.e., they must read the scripture together; they must confer on the discussion questions, etc.)

Option 3:

If you have an uneven number of people, consider adding something for three people (i.e., Father/Son/Holy Spirit; Harry/Ron/Hermione; Proton/Electron/Neutron; three wise men, etc.)

Read Scripture (5 minutes)

Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67; Matthew 11:16-19. 25-30

Discussion (15 minutes)

  • When you hear the word “yoke” in the scripture passage, do you think of it as an opportunity or a burden? Why?
  • What does it mean to be “yoked”? Feel free to search on the internet, especially for images of farm animals being “yoked” for work.
  • Have you ever been “yoked” to someone because you were in trouble? Or because you needed rest? Explain.
  • What is the hardest lesson you have had to learn in life so far?
  • Jesus says in the scripture that he is “gentle and humble.” What other attributes might you find in someone you wouldn’t mind being “yoked” to?

Activity and Discussion (20 minutes)

Give each battle buddy pair (or pairs of students) an oversized t-shirt. Have them put the t-shirt on so that each student has one arm coming out of the shirt. Give them a task to complete together while they are wearing the shirt. A few ideas:

  • Wrapping a gift
  • Doing a push-up
  • Tying a pair of shoes
  • Making a sandwich
  • Building a tower out of spaghetti noodles and marshmallows
  • Carrying something large/heavy across the room

Points for discussion:

  1. Being yoked symbolizes a calling to a life of service.
  2. Being yoked is a partnership with Christ.

TOTAL TIME: 55 minutes


  • Sticky name tags
  • Oversized T-shirt’s - one for every two youth. We recommend getting size 4x and above

*Optional for final activity based on suggestions

  • Wrapping a gift - scissors, paper, a box, tape
  • Tying a pair of shoes -one pair of shoes with laces
  • Making a sandwich - sandwich making supplies
  • Building a tower - spaghetti noodles, large marshmallows
  • Carrying something large/heavy -laundry basket, objects to weigh the basket down

In This Series...

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes