Resources for Sunday School / Children's Church   

Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar - Give to God what belongs to God (Matt 22: 15-22

Idea for Children’s Sermon:
Show the children a coin and demonstrate how you can “flip a coin” and make a decision by guessing “Heads” or “Tails.” Explain how you can trick a person by saying “Heads I win, Tails you loose.” Tell the children about how some religious leaders tried to trick Jesus and get him in trouble with a coin. If the children are very young you might want to simply go with the idea that it was impossible for them to out-smart Jesus.
 
(Note: R.T France, N.T. Wright and J. Nolland all have a slightly different take on this passage. You may want to adjust the ending to fit your own theological take on things. I would be very easy to confuse the kids with a bunch of religious theo-babble.)
 
Complete Children’s sermon
Good morning children! (Show them a coin.) Do you know what this is? That’s right. It is a quarter. When I was young, I played soccer. We would flip a coin in the air like this (demonstrate) to decide what team would start with the ball. This side of the coin (show them) would be “heads.” You can see the head of George Washington (or the Queen if you are in Canada). This other side we would call “tails.” One player would chose “heads” or “tails,” and then we would flip the coin to see which side landed face up. The winner of the coin toss would get to start the game and pick which side of the field to start begin. (Ask one of the children to make a choice and then flip the coin.) Your right! When I was young, we would often flip a coin if we needed to make a decision. Sometimes we would play a little trick on each other. Perhaps there were two of us and we had only one candy. We needed to flip a coin to see who was going to get the candy. However, the person would say, (listen carefully) “Heads I win – tails you loose.” Can you see that this would mean that the other person would always loose. It was a way of tricking the person.
 
In our bible reading today some religious leaders tried to trick Jesus with a coin. They asked him if money should go to Caesar the ruler, or to God. Some of the people there felt money should go to Caesar and some felt it should not. They really wanted to trick Jesus and get him in trouble. However, Jesus was too smart for them. He said to them, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and give to God what belongs to God.” Jesus was letting them know that they could not trick him. He was the one in control. I think he was also reminding them that they had not been very faithful in offering their lives to God.
 
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, help us always to use our money and everything we have to please you. We know that no one can trick you so help us to always be honest with you and your son Jesus. In Jesus’ name – Amen!


Copyright 2011 Sundaychildrensfocus.com Andrew Hewlett  - Feel free to use this on Sunday morning but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider linking to this site. Thank you! A.H.


Jesus the Cornerstone: The stone the builders rejected

Lectionary: Matt 21:33-46       - For Jr. Youth, Sunday School or Children's church
 
Children’s Bible message – idea: Make a small tower out of building blocks or books. Explain the importance of the foundational “cornerstones” at the base of your structure. Discuss what might happen if blocks are removed. Ask them what would happen if one of your most important “cornerstones” were removed. Pull out one of these blocks making the structure fall. Explain how the bible says Jesus is like a “cornerstone.” Some people felt he was not needed but we know that he is the most important of all.
 
(Comment: Scholars are unsure whether this stone is a capstone at the top of an arch, a traditional cornerstone or the locking capstone at the top of intersecting walls. Whatever is the right interpretation the basic message is the same.)
 
Object lesson items: Building blocks, boxes or Hymns books. Place 3 or 4 key “stones” at the bottom of the structure so that your building will fall if one is removed.
 
Complete Children’s Sermon: Good morning children! Look what I have in this box this morning. Do you know what these are? Right! They are building blocks. When I was young, I used to love building things with blocks like these. Let’s make a building this morning. (Start by making the appropriate foundation and then ask the children to help you build the structure.) Please give me a hand. Thank you for helping. It’s looking like a nice building. Let’s make it nice and tall. Now, what would happen if I took one of these blocks of the very top? That’s right. I don’t think it would matter that much. Do you see these “stones” at the bottom? These are “cornerstones.” They are very important. What do you think will happen if I removed one of these cornerstones? Hmmm. Let’s find out. I’m going to take out this one and throw it away. (Let the building crash to the ground.) Wow! That was not a very good idea. It really came crashing to the ground. The cornerstone(s) is the most important stone of the whole building. Our bible reading today says that Jesus is like a cornerstone that the builders decided to throw away. However, that wasn’t very smart because Jesus was the most important “stone” of all. If we try, build our lives or a church without Jesus it will probably end up like this building here. So always remember to make Jesus the most important part of your life.
 
Children’s Prayer: Dear God. Thank you for sending Jesus to be like a strong cornerstone on which we can build our lives. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
 
Copyright 2011 SundayChildrensFocus.com Andrew Hewlett - Feel free to use this lesson at your Sunday service but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider linking your web page to this site. Thank you. A.H.

Matthew 20: 1-15 Parable of the workers in the vineyard
 
Idea for Children’s sermon:   
 
(1) Consider acting out the parable. Pick out the key actors and ask them to act the story out as you give a paraphrased account of the story.
 
--Another option:
 
(2) Have a long time member of the congregation (or older believer) come up front. Hand them a big box and explain to the children that this represents (or shows us) that this faithful order Christian has received a “big box” of the wonderful life and love of Jesus Christ. Then bring up another younger person who has only been a Christian for a short period of time. Ask the children what size box of Jesus’ love and life they should have. Hand them the same size box and explain how even new believers get the same huge amount of God’s love and life in Jesus Christ.
 
Object lesson items needed: Two large boxes the same size. In big letters write on each box, “The Love and Life of Jesus Christ.
 
Full Children’s Sermon:
 
Good Morning Children! This morning I’m going to ask Mr. Jones to come up in front of the church with us. (Ask Mr. Jones to come forward.) He is a very special person because he is 80 years old. He has always been a believer in Jesus Christ and he has been a member of our church longer than anyone else has. I wonder how much of the life and love of Jesus Christ has been given to him. I’m going to pretend the life and love of Jesus Christ is like this big box. (Hand the box to Mr. Jones.) He has been a believer for a very long time and I think he should have large amount of God’s live and love in Jesus Christ. Now, I’m going to ask another person to come forward. Debbie, will you please come forward? Debbie is only 16 years old and she has only been a believer in Jesus for one year! Some of you might remember when she was baptized. Since Debbie is a brand new Christian, how much of the life and love of Jesus Christ does she get? Should she perhaps get a little amount like this small box here? (Hold it up besides Mr. Jones’ box.) That would make sense wouldn’t it? She hasn’t been following Jesus nearly as much as Mr. Jones here. However, do you know what is amazing? The bible says that a new Christian believer like Debbie gets just as much of the life and love of Jesus as a long time believer like Mr. Jones. (Put the small box down and hand them a large box the same size as Mr. Jones’ to Debbie.) Isn’t that wonderful. God blesses us with a huge amount of the life and love of Jesus Christ even if we are a new Christian! Notice too the big smile on Mr. Jones’ face. He does not feel this is unfair. He’s happy that Debbie has this same wonderful gift of love and joy.
 
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, thank you for your life and love that is in Jesus Christ your Son. There is more than enough to go around. Thank you that like these big boxes here, you have a big amount of your love and life for each of us even if we are a new Christian. In Jesus’ name – Amen!

Copyright 2011 Sundaychildrensfocus.com   Andrew Hewlett  Feel free to use this on Sunday but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus and consider linking to this web site.  Thanks  - A.H.

The Authority of Jesus questioned
 
Children’s Sermon idea:
After welcoming the children / youth arrange to be interrupted by “Jesus.” (Someone who might look like Jesus and wear a long robe. In order to make it clear they could wear a sign, “JESUS.”) After Jesus asks to speak to the children explain that this is YOUR time for teaching and that he will have to find something else to do. Have fun with the interaction. Then debrief with the children and explain how crazy it would be to tell Jesus that he is not allowed to teach. It’s His Church and he is God the Son! Give a short explanation of the Matt 21:23-28 and remind that children that he is the most important person in the church and in our lives.
 
Object lesson items / props: This involves some dramatic preparation. Pick someone to be Jesus. They could wear a bathrobe with a sign that says “Jesus.”
 
Full (Free!) Kids Sermon:
Good morning children! This morning I would like to talk to you about our bible reading from Matthew chapter 21…(Make this the cue for JESUS to come up front and interrupt you by asking to speak to the children. ) “Excuse me, I’m Jesus and I would like to speak to the children this morning.” (Look startled and perplexed.) Wow. It’s great to have you hear Jesus but it is actually my job to speak to the children on Sunday mornings. “But I have something important to say to the children…” Well, you need to understand that I was hired to be the pastor (or youth group teacher) of this church so I don’t think you should be doing my job. “But I just want to tell my children about my love…” Hey! I think you should go now before you put me out of a job…(User Jesus off to the side.)
 
(Let’s give Mr____ a big hand for helping me out with this little drama.)
 
Children, that was just a fun little drama to remind us of how foolish it would be to tell Jesus that he couldn’t speak in our church. Of course we would want Jesus to speak to us. This is His church, He is our Saviour and we would always want to let him speak to us. Since He is the “Boss” it would be terrible if I didn’t let him speak in His church. However, that is what seemed to happen in our bible lesson today for Matthew chapter 21. The religious leaders got angry that Jesus was teaching the people. They said it was their job and not his. But we know that Jesus had been put in charge by God the Father. However, even though Jesus the most important person of all the leaders didn’t like him teaching the people.
 
Our little drama and the reading from the Bible should remind us that Jesus is the most important person the whole world. He is our boss or leader and the most important teacher of all. We should always read our Bible and learn more about Jesus the wonderful teacher. The good news is that he is still alive and guides us, leads us, and teaches us through the Holy Spirit.
 
Children’s Prayer: Thank you God for sending Jesus. Help us to learn from Him and follow him each day of our life. In Jesus’ name – Amen.

Copyright sundaychildrensfocus.com  2011 Andrew Hewlett   Feel free to use this on Sunday morning but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus  

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