Involve the children in acting out aspects of John 10:1- 10. Use the children to hold hands and make a sheep pen and have them experience going in and out through the gate to find pasture and to find security at night. Explain how Jesus is the gate into the Kingdom of God. You could explain how Jesus said he was like the gate and that he was also like the shepherd. (The text from John 10 includes both these ideas)
Object lesson props: None / However, a makeshift shepherds crook might help identity the shepherd.
Children’s Sermon: God morning children! In our bible reading this morning we read how Jesus said he was a like a Gate to a sheep pen. I want you to help me act this out so we can understand what Jesus was talking about. Now, I need some of you to make a sheep pen. (Get the children to join hands and form a square or circle.) Now, I also need to make a Gate that can open and close so that the sheep can go in and out. Thank you. Let’s open and close the gate to see how it works. (Get 2 of the children to swing their arms open and closed.) Now, we need a few of you to be sheep. I’ll pretend I am a shepherd and I will lead you in and out of the sheep pen by going through the gate. Since you are sheep, I think you should make some sheep sounds! (bah bah etc.) Let’s open the gate and go inside the sheep pen. Now I’ll close the gate so it’s safe and no wolves can come in and hurt you. Of course, in the morning you need to follow the shepherd out through the gate in order to find pasture and good grass to eat. (Open the gate and lead them out.) Then when night comes they go back in through the gate to safety.
Note: My understanding is that sometimes the shepherd would lie down across the sheep pen entrance make himself be a literal Gate. You could act this out too.
Thank the children and have them sit down. Explain how Jesus said he was the Gate to the sheep pen.
We have to go through Him. To be a part of God’s family and Kingdom we have to go through Jesus. (We believe in Him, and trust Him to be our saviour and friend.) We can’t be a part of God’s family and God’s Kingdom any other way. We have to come through Jesus the gate. (You could also explain how Jesus said he was also like the shepherd who would protect the sheep and lead them out into good pasture.)
Children’s prayer: Thank you God that through Jesus the Gate we can enter your wonderful Kingdom and family. Thank you that Jesus is also a good shepherd who will watch over us and lead us into good pasture. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
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