This parable emphasizes the small, humble beginnings of the Kingdom. (Not what many people expected)
Basic Children’s sermon idea: Hold up a small seed and then show the sort of large bush that it can grow into. Explain that this is how the Kingdom of God and /or the Church of God grows. It starts with small beginnings.
Props needed: A small seed and a large bush in a pot.
Children’s sermon / object lesson: Good morning children! Can you see what I have in my hand? It’s very hard to see. Look closely and you will see a very small seed. It doesn’t look very important. It doesn’t look very powerful. It looks like it would never get any bigger.
However, if left a seed like this in the ground, and watered it, and left it grow, it would slowly grow into a large bush like this one over here. That is amazing that such a large bush could come from such a small seed.
Jesus said that this is how his Kingdom would grow. Some people expected that it would start with an amazing show of power. But Jesus said it would start very small way – like this little seed. Jesus started telling people about God and his wonderful love. Later his followers told others of how Jesus loved us so much that he was willing to die for us. It did not seem like a powerful beginning. However, just like a little seed in the ground his kingdom grew bigger and bigger. At first there were just a few believers in Jesus. Now, many years later his kingdom family stretches all around the world. There are followers of Jesus in every country of the world.
Kid’s prayer: Dear God, thank you for the good news message of Jesus and his love. Thank you that even though this good news message started with just a few people that it now has grown to be a huge church family all around the world. In Jesus name – Amen!
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Childrens sermon idea: This is short dramatic explanation of the faith of the centurion.
Here are some quick ideas that you could use: (Or you can always just check out the stories on this website!)
1. Take the kids on an outdoor thanksgiving walk. Do a walking trip and ask the children to notice things they are thankful for. As they mention things, ask them why they are thankful for those items: You are thankful for trees. Why? What good things come from trees? (Wood to build houses; Shade on a hot day; privacy etc. After discussing each item, you (or the children) could lead in a prayer of thanksgiving to God.
2. Read out a parable or other bible story and have the children act out the story as you read out a paraphrased version. (Parables such as the Prodigal Son and the Good Samaritan can work well for spontaneous dramas.) Extra: Record your drama on your cell phone and show it to them.
3. Tell you story of coming to faith in Jesus and have the children tell their story. (Be sensitive to the fact that children may not all have a polished, rehearsed testimony. When you are finished, lead in prayer, giving thanks for the many ways that people come to follow Jesus.
4. Have one of the young people share a problem or trial and facilitate a group discussion on how to help that person. What help does Jesus provide? What help can class members provide? This exercise can help develop your group’s compassion quotient.
5. Facilitate a discussion on the practical needs of your church and community. Is there a project you could all be involved in? How can you help people in need? Bake cookies and ask church members to donate to your good cause.
6. Prepare a song (an action song) or a skit that you could present to the congregation the following Sunday. (Or to an elderly shut in person)
7. Put together a quick bible trivia game and ask the kids to fill in the blanks or give the answers.
8. Play a Bible Pictionary Game. Make up a list of cards with bible names, events, or people. Divide into two groups and have a person in the group pick a card and draw a picture in front of their group without using words. If the team guesses what the picture is about, the team gets a point.
9. Use building blocks to build the Temple, Jerusalem or other bible scene.
10. Have the children work together to do a puzzle. Use this as an opportunity to speak about working together as a team.
11. Ask a member of the congregation to come and speak to the kids. If you have a young person who is a role model, all the better. Or interview them: How did you come to believe in Jesus? Do you find it hard being a Christian at school? How to you keep strong as a Christian? What are some of your favorite bible verses? Hearing a word from an older young person can be powerful.
4th of July Children’s sermon Independence Day
(I am from Canada so I don’t have a full appreciation of the 4th of July and it’s historical meaning for those in the United States. That being said, if I did live in the United States here is a possible angle that might go along with the Lectionary reading of Mark 6:1-13:)
1. Show various symbols or objects used to honor people. (You could use a medal, a trophy or a big fancy chair etc.) You could also have the kids give a big cheer to demonstrate another way of honoring people.
2. Explain how Jesus (Mark 6:1-13) was not always honored. As followers of Jesus, we too will not always be honored. Nevertheless, we keep serving Jesus no matter what comes our way. You could also explain how others may not understand our faith in Jesus and make fun of us.
3. Explain to the children how in some countries Christians don’t have the freedom to openly express their faith. In some countries Christians are persecuted.
4. Highlight how thankful we are that we (those in the United States on this 4th of July) have the freedom and liberty to live a Christians. We are not under the control of another country and all people have the freedom to practice our faith. That is what we celebrate with fireworks and cheers on the July the fourth.
Idea: Get the children and the congregation to give a big cheer to show honor to Jesus and his disciples. Lead the children in a prayer of thanksgiving for the freedom experienced in our country. (And perhaps lead in a cheer of thanksgiving)
Peace – Andrew Hewlett
Text: Mark 5:21-43 Jairus’ daughter (Trinity 2)
Basic kids sermon idea: Start by having the children show how they wake up in the morning and tell them this is a “wake up” story. Have the children dramatize the various emotions mentioned as you read through the text (concern, grief, laughter, amazement, joy) (Note: You could have the children pretend that they are Jairus daughter. However, my wife told me she felt parents might be uneasy about then acting out that they had died!) For this to be most effective it needs to be fairly fast paced with lots of energy and emotion.
Full Childrens Story: Good morning children. Do you find it easy to wake up in the morning? How do you parents wake you up? Do you yawn or stretch? Show me. Close you eyes like you are asleep. Now show me what you do. “Time to wake up. It’s morning time.” (Let the children show you how they get up.) Well today our Bible reading is story about Jesus waking a child up. But what is amazing about this “wake up story” is that Jesus woke her up after she died! We can wake up people when they are asleep but Jesus proved that he could wake up people even when they are dead. That is truly amazing.
I’m going to tell you the story and I would like you to act out how the people were feeling. This story is found in Chapter 5 of Mark’s Gospel
(Read through the Bible text or create your own paraphrase: Stop and gesture to the children at the appropriate times. They’ll pick up the idea quickly.)
(vs 22) A man named Jairus fell at Jesus’ feet and pleaded with him, “My daughter is dying please come and put you hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” ---What do you think Jairus felt like? Show me how might feel. Yes, he was very worried. (Look worried, bit your nails, put your hands on your forehead, etc
(vs 24)Jesus started to go to Jairus’ house to see his daughter but it was taking a long time because he stopped to talk to another person who needed healing. How do you think Jairus was feeling then? Yes. He was very anxious.
(vs 35)Then all of a sudden some people came from Jairus’ home and said. Your daughter has died. Don’t bother bringing Jesus. (Throw your hands up in the air)
(vs 36)Jesus kept on going and when he came to the house where the girl was he saw all the people crying ( Children pretent to weep)
When he came to the girl he said that she was only sleeping. Since the people knew she had died they laughed at Jesus (Children laugh)
(vs 41) Then Jesus took her by the hand and said “Little girl, I say to you get up!” (vs42) Immediately the girl stood up and walked around. The people were astonished! (show ashtonishment)
(vs 38) Now one more thing. It doesn’t say this in the bible story but what do you think Jairus, the girls father, was feeling? Yes. I think he was celebrating! (jump for joy)
That was great acting children. It was almost like being there! Isn’t that wonderful. Even though the girl died and it seemed too late, it wasn’t too late for Jesus. He was able to wake people up even when they were dead. That’s how wonderful Jesus is.
Pray: Thank you God for this wonderful miracle of Jesus bringing this girl back to life. Thank you for his amazing love and his amazing power. Help us, through your Holy Spirit to follow him and know him more and more each day - In Jesus’ name, Amen!
(Copyright Andrew Hewlett 2009 Sundaychildrensfocus.com Feel free to use this story at your Sunday morning service but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider linking to this web site. Thank you! A.H.
“Let us set aside the weight of sin and run the race set before us”
Children’s sermon idea: Have someone come in dressed up like a jogger / runner. However, they are also carrying a heavy back pack, a suitcase, a bag around the neck, etc. Have a fun interview with the runner and help them realize that they need to “set aside” the things that are weighing them down. Explain to the young people that carrying around sins (explain this a bit) will weigh us down in the Christian race. (We want to live our lives God’s way but when we do sin, and do wrong things, we can repent, ask forgiveness and “set aside” our sins so we can run in freedom.)
Objects / People needed: Someone willing to dress up like a jogger. A backpack, suitcase and impractical items to carry around. (Have some fun with this: some old rotten thing, something representing past sins, etc) Option: label the various items with signs: unforgiveness, selfishness, greed, etc.
Full Children’s lesson: Good morning children! Look who is coming up front here. It’s Mr. Johnston. What does it look like he is doing? That’s right, by looking at his running shoes and shorts it sure seems like he is going on a race. Let’s ask him. Mr. Johnston, what are you doing today? (Have some fun with this). But why are you carrying these heavy loads? Isn’t it hard carrying those heavy things and trying to run at the same time? Why don’t you just put them down and let them go? (You could prime your runner with various responses such as, “That’s just part of who I am” or “I’m used to carrying these around everywhere” etc.) Ask the children if this makes sense. What do they think he should do if he wants to do well in the race? Your volunteer runner could put down the weights and then exclaim how much better it feels.
Debrief with the children: Wow, I’m sure glad Mr. Johnstone got rid of all that weight. Otherwise I think he would get tired and frustrated. I don’t even think he would be able to finish the race.
The Bible says in Hebrews 12 verse 1 that if we are going do well in our Christian lives (win the race) we need to get rid of all those bad things that weigh us down. Whenever we sin (do what we know God doesn’t want us to do) then it’s like we are carrying a heavy weight that slows us down. So let’s try to do what God wants us to do so that we are not carrying around a heavy weight of sin. Of course, the good news is that when we ask forgiveness for the things we’ve done wrong, God forgives us takes away that heavy weight.
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, help us to put off all those sinful things in life that just weigh us down and slow us down. Thank you that through Jesus we can be forgiven and we can walk (and run) right beside you every day of our lives. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
Copyright 2016 Sundaychildrensfocus - Andrew Hewlett Feel free to use this on Sunday. If you post it on the web please give credit to Sunday Childrens Focus and consider linking to this web site. Thank you! - A.H.
“Abraham obeyed God and went, even though he did not know where he was going”
Quick overview: Have one of the children volunteer and have then put a blind fold over their eyes. Tell them you are going to take them on a short journey (around the church sanctuary) but they won’t be able to see where they are going. Explain that because you are a friend and can be trusted, they won’t get lost. Debrief with the children by explaining that we can trust that God will lead us if we seek to follow Him. We won’t always know where we are going but God loves us and will be our sure guide through the journey of life.
Objects needed: a blind fold or tea towel to cover a child’s eyes
Children’s Sermon: Good morning kids! One of our bible readings today is about Abraham following God, even though he didn’t know exactly where he was going. Many years ago in the land of the Bible God called a man named Abraham to go to a land far away. God sent him off on a journey without a map or a GPS. Abraham didn’t know exactly where he was going but God promised that he would guide him to a very special land and through him create a great nation. It would have been pretty scary not knowing where he would end up making his home. But Abraham knew it would all work out because God promised to be with him and to guide him to just the right place.
Perhaps I will show you what it was like for Abraham to head off trusting God. I need a volunteer to help me. Yes Janet, come up here and I’m going to put this blind fold over your eyes so you can’t see. Now, I’m going to quickly lead you by the hand around the inside of this church. The rest of you children can follow along for fun. (Lead the blindfolded individual down the aisle, around the back of the church to various places and come back up to another area up near the front. If you have a traveling mic you can ask them various questions: What are you feeling? Is this scary? Is this fun? etc.) When you get back to the front of the church explain that this little trip was like Abraham heading off to an unknown land.) Well done! Thank you for helping Janet! Many years ago Abrahams adventure was a bit scary but he trusted (had faith) that God would watch over him and lead him. What is wonderful about this bible story is that the same God who was with Abraham promises to lead us in our lives if we trust and obey him. In life we don’t always know where we are going, and sometimes life just doesn’t make sense! However, if we seek to live the way God wants us to live he will bring us to just the right place where he wants us to be. We will also discover that life is a wonderful adventure when we follow God and his Son Jesus Christ. Jesus promised that he would never leave us so we know we can always trust (have faith) that he will be there as our guide and friend.
Children’s prayer: Dear God, thank you that you and your Son Jesus promise to be with us always. Help us, through the power of your Holy Spirit to follow you and obey you wherever you lead us. Thank you that you have a wonderful adventure in store for us. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
Copyright 2016 SundayChildrensFocus.com Feel free to use this on Sunday Morning but please give credit to Sunday Children's Focus and consider linking to this web site. Thank you! A.H.