Copyright 2014 Andrew Hewlett and Sundaychildrensfocus.com Feel free to use this kids talk but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus and consider linking your church to this sight. Thank you! A.H.
Guided by the Holy Spirit
“How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him”
Children’s message / object lesson idea: Show the children some possible gift items (toys, books, flowers) and include some bad gifts items (dead spider, rotten apple, broken item). Ask the kids to help you decide what gifts are the best gifts to give you children or friends. Drive home the point that you love your children and want to give them good gifts. As well, God our heavenly Father loves us and wants to give good gifts to us. Explain that one of the best gifts God gives to us is the Holy Spirit.
Object lesson items needed: Some good gifts and some bad gifts (Have some fun with this!)
Full Children’s message: Good morning children! This morning I want you to help me choose some gifts to give my children (or friends). (Hold up the gift items one by one or display them on a table in front of the kids.) How about this new adventure book, do you think that would make a good gift? (Let them respond) How about this apple? You can see that it is a bit rotten. Do you think they would like this as a gift? How about this item? (You get the idea. When you have chosen the best gifts that you might give you children explain how you were having some fun and would never give a bad gift to the children you love.) Thank you for helping me but I was just having some fun. I love my children and want to give good gifts to them. If they asked me for a new toy, I wouldn’t give them a dead spider or a rotten apple! In the same way, God our heavenly father wants to give us good gifts. When we pray, we should ask good for the things we need knowing that he will give us good gifts and not bad gifts. One of the best gifts of all that he wants to give us is the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is like a part or “person” of God that can live right inside us. When we ask him to fill us with the Holy Spirit, we can know that he will give us this wonderfully good gift.
You could share a section of Luke 11 11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[f] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
(Note: Be prepared to answer some difficult questions here. I believe all good gifts are from God. However, we don’t always get exactly what we want. He may give us something far better that we ask for. God knows what is best for us and we can trust him. Even bad things, that are not from God, will be ultimately used for his good purposes. That being said, don’t be surprised if they come up with some good questions!)
Pray for the children: “Dear God, our heavenly Father, thank you that you love us so much and you give good gifts to us, your children. Please fill us up each day with the Holy Spirit so we can know your life living inside us. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
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Gather the children and display various electrical devices on a table, such as a lamp, a fan, a radio, and a smartphone. Begin by asking the children if they know how these devices work. Explain that these devices require a power source to function properly. Transition into discussing how we, as Christians, also need a power source to live our lives effectively—this power source is the Holy Spirit (God’s presence and power)
Materials / object lesson items needed: Various electrical devices (lamp, fan, radio, smartphone or any other fun items you have on hand)
Power outlet prop (can be a visual representation or a real power outlet – check with your electrician friend) Note: Please include a warning about never putting something in the outlet without checking with your parents first.
The Children’s sermon Concept: Hold up the power outlet prop or point to a real power outlet in the room. Explain that just as these electrical devices need to be plugged into a power outlet to work, we also need to be "plugged in" to the power of the Holy Spirit.
Discuss Our needs for power to live the Christian life: Hold up each electrical device / item and ask the kids what would happen if you tried to use them without plugging them into the power outlet. Guide the discussion to the idea that without power, the devices would be useless and unable to fulfill their purposes.
Make the connection to Our Lives: Transition to explaining that we are like these devices, and without the power of the Holy Spirit, we cannot fully live out our purpose as followers of Jesus. Without the Holy Spirit we would be powerless! Ask the children what they think our purposes are as followers of Jesus (e.g., to love others, share the good news, be kind, help those in need). Emphasize that to fulfill these purposes, we need the power of the Holy Spirit. You might also explain that we cannot see this power (like we can’t see electricity) but the Holy Spirit is real.
Give a short demonstration so the kids can visualize this: Invite a volunteer to come forward and hold an unplugged electrical device. Show them how it doesn't work when not connected to the power outlet. Then, ask another volunteer to "plug in" the device by pretending to connect it to the power outlet.
Discuss the Holy Spirit as the Power Source: Explain that the power outlet represents the Holy Spirit, and just as the electrical device needs to be connected to the power outlet, we need to be connected to (and filled with) the Holy Spirit. Discuss how the Holy Spirit empowers us to live out our faith, guides us, gives us spiritual gifts, and provides strength and comfort. You can also remind them that God is tri-personal: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Application: Ask the children to think about areas in their lives where they need the power of the Holy Spirit. Prompt them to consider situations at home, school, with friends, or when facing challenges. Encourage them to share their thoughts.
Prayer /Connection: Lead the class in a prayer, thanking God for the gift of the Holy Spirit and asking for His power and guidance in their lives. Encourage the children to "plug in" to the Holy Spirit every day through prayer, reading the Bible, fellowship, and seeking His help and guidance. -> “Dear God, thank you that you call us to follow your son Jesus. Please help us to be filled up with your Holy Spirit each day of our lives so that we have to power to follow and serve Him – In Jesus’ name, Amen!
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(Please note: You might want to check with you pastor before presenting these to the congregation. The Trinity (or Tri – Unity of God) is a mystery. All these illustrations fall short on some aspect of our understanding of God. That being said, these ideas can still be helpful for helping kids understand complex issues.
The Egg: (This has been often used by churches) Use a hard-boiled egg to represent the Trinity. Explain that the egg has three parts: the shell, the white, and the yolk, but it is still one egg. Similarly, the Trinity is one God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit.
Water: Fill three clear glasses with water. Add red food coloring to one glass, blue to another, and yellow to the third. Explain that although the glasses have different colors, they are all still water, just as the Trinity is one God in three distinct persons. (This illustration emphasizes that like God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit have the same “essence” or “stuff” of God.
Puzzle Pieces: Bring a jigsaw puzzle, preferably a large children’s puzzle, with three pieces that fit together to form a whole picture. Discuss how each piece is different but necessary to complete the puzzle. Relate this to the Trinity, where each person is distinct but essential to the fullness of God.
Light and Colors: Use a prism to demonstrate how white light is made up of different colors. Explain that although the colors are distinct, they are all part of the same light, just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct but part of the same God.
Use an Apple: Cut an apple in half horizontally to reveal the star shape in the core. Explain that the star shape represents the Trinity. The core symbolizes God, and the three visible parts represent the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Water: Discuss how water can exist in three forms: solid (ice), liquid (water), and gas (vapor). Relate this to the Trinity, where God exists as three distinct persons. (Please note – in some traditions this may be considered “modalism” – Again – check with your pastor!
Three-Leaf Clover: Use a three-leaf clover to explain the Trinity. Discuss how each leaf is separate but part of the same clover, just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are separate but part of the same God.
Please do stress that these object lessons are limited. Our real God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is a living and loving relationship. And the good news is that we are invited into that relationship.
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Children's Prayer: Lord, thank you that as followers of Jesus we are members of a team – the Church. Help us to know the joy of working and worshiping together as a team. Amen. (After the prayer I explained that after our college cheer we would give each other a “high five” with our hands. As the children walked down the isle to church school I had asked the adult team members in the congregation to give the kids a “high five.” copyright 2009 sundaychildrensfocus.com Andrew Hewlett (Feel free to use this story at your Sunday service but please give credit to sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider adding a link on your church web page. Thank you! A.H.)
Showing the compassion of Jesus
Object lesson idea:(Overview -Adapted from a story I used when there was an earthquake in Haiti)
Children’s Prayer: Dear God. We know that there are many people who need help in the country of Nepal. Please send many doctors and other helpers to support the people. And show us what we can do to put the love of Jesus into action and help these people in need. In Jesus’ name – Amen!