Children's Sermon idea: John 16 speaks of the Holy Spirit as a guide who will lead us. Like the Holy Spirit, lead (guide) the children around the church sanctuary to minister in various situations. Explain that the Holy Spirit will guide and lead them each day of their lives as they are sensitive to his leading.
Full Children's Sermon: Good morning children. In the Gospel of John Jesus says that he will send the Holy Spirit to lead us and be our guide. I want to show you how that works. Now we know that the Holy Spirit is invisible and often speaks to us in a still small voice but this morning I want you to pretend that I’m like the Holy Spirit guiding your life. Please stand up and follow close beside me. I’ll be your guide for the next few minutes. Let’s go. (Weave around various items at the front of the church. Be a good guide by giving directives to turn left or right. Include “ministry items”- people in the congregation who are in need) Now children, I think we should go down here. Now everybody, lets keep away from those wires – they are a bit dangerous. (Show that the Holy Spirit will often lead us away from dangerous situations) Now here is Mr. Jones. He’s just come off night shift at the factory. He’s probably tired and needs some encouragement. Let’s all say “good morning” and give him a nice smile. That’s great. The Holy Spirit will lead us to do things like that. Now, let’s go over here and then in this direction. Just like the Holy Spirit I’ll continue to guide you. That’s right, keep coming. I sense that we should pray for Mrs. Smith here. I think she has been going through some hard times. This time let’s not even say anything we’ll just stand behind her quietly and pray (Bow your head like you are praying). We don’t always have to pray out loud. OK. Follow me back to the front of the church.
Let’s give the children some applause for following my leading so well (gesture to the congregation to clap) you we great kids. The way I was leading you is a bit like how the Holy Spirit leads us. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit will be our guide every day of our life. He will lead us in God’s ways in a wonderful adventure of faith.
Children's Prayer: Thank you God for sending the Holy Spirit to be our guide for us every day of our life. Help us to listen to his “still small voice” so that we can discover the wonderful and exciting life that you have for us. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright 2009 Andrew Hewlett – Sundaychildrensfocus.com
(Feel free to use this on Sunday but give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus and consider putting a link on your web site – Thank you)
Children's Sermon Theme: Believing that Jesus is Alive (rough draft for Friday! - Please excuse typos - in a rush today)
Text: John 20:19-31 Jesus appears to Thomas
Object Lesson props: Small box with an interesting knickknacks inside
Basic Children's sermon idea:
Speculate that you have a very interesting / surprising item inside the box. Allow some children to see inside the box in order to know if you are telling the truth. The other half of the children will have to believe based on their testimony. Relate this to the story of “doubting Thomas” and show how this relates to our believing in the resurrection of Jesus.
Full Children's sermon:
Good Morning Children. Last Sunday we celebrated the wonderful miracle of Jesus being raised from the dead and coming back to life. This morning I’d like to tell you the story one of the disciples named Thomas. Jesus appeared alive to the disciples but Thomas wasn’t there…(Tell the story or read Biblical text from John 20.) End with Jesus comment that those who haven’t actually seen the risen Jesus are nevertheless “blessed.”
Now children I want to show an example of these two different types of faith and belief.
If I told you that inside this box I had a, say…a valuable pearl necklace (or whatever object you pick –Make sure the tone of your voice casts some double in the children’s mind.) would you believe me? (Discuss what it would take for them to believe you). OK. Let’s have you, you, and you come over here and I’ll let you look inside. (Open up the box for them to see inside.) Are you believe now? Yes? Great. Now, I’ll ask you other children who haven’t seen again. Do you now believe me? (They probably will now. If not get the other witnesses to convince them that they actually saw what was in the box.)
--- Sit the children down and discuss the story of Thomas and the two types of believing. (1) Believing when you have SEEN (2) Believing when you have not seen – usually based on someone else’s testimony or witness.
Pray: God, we thank you that Jesus rose from the dead and is alive. Thank you that your apostle Thomas was able to see Jesus alive. We also thank you even though we did not see Jesus rise from the dead we can still believe and know that Jesus is alive.
Copyright 2009 Andrew Hewlett Sundaychildrensfocus.com
-- use the story but please give credit to this site -- Please consider putting a link on your web site
(Different denominations approach this day in a variety of ways. As young children often don’t come to Good Friday services I’m trying to highlight the importance of the cross)
Theme: Journey to the Cross, Holy Week
Children's object lesson Props: “Palm” branches, Bread and Wine symbols, towel and basin, Cross
Children's sermon idea: Consider each of the above items that signify events during the final week of Jesus physical ministry on earth. Physically walking to each of these helps the children (and adults if they are watching) get a feel for the sequence of these important events.
Time: The idea is that this would move quite quickly. It can probably be done in about 6 minutes unless you want to stretch it out to include more teaching.
Full Children's sermon: (Set up 4 “stations” across the front of the church with the various symbols.)
Good Morning Children! This morning is Palm Sunday. This is the day we remember when Jesus came into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. As he came down the hill into Jerusalem all the people welcomed him by shouting “Hosanna” and waving palm branches in the air. This was the beginning of some very important events in Jesus life. I would like you to join me in quickly walking through some of these events. Perhaps you can think of this as “walking with Jesus” on a very important journey. (1- Palm Branches) Please follow me over here and pick up a “palm branch,” pretending we are celebrating Jesus coming as a wonderful King! As they waved the palm branches they shouted out “Hosanna.” (save we pray) Let’s practice shouting that out. (Keep walking towards the next station). (2- Bread and Wine) A little while later Jesus planned to eat a special meal (the Passover) with his disciples. He met with them in a special upper room where they had some very special bread and wine. (Pick up the bread and wine – or get the children to hold it up) He shared that bread and wine with his disciples and he said that from now on they were to eat this simple meal remembering his body and blood. It was a way of remembering that Jesus loved us so much he was willing to give his life for us. (You could quickly sit down with the children in a circle) This bread and wine might look familiar to you because we still use this bread and wine at our communion service to remember Jesus and what he did for us.
(3 – Towel and Wash Basin) (Pick up the towel and basin) After having this special meal with his disciples Jesus filled a basin with water and washed his disciple’s feet. It was a wonderful example of being a servant. As important as Jesus was he was able to serve others by washing their feet. (You could quickly knell down with the basic and towel as if you were washing one of the children’s feet.) He went on to say that we should show our love to one another by doing the same sort of thing to help others. (4 – The Cross) Let’s keep walking. Later that night Jesus went up on a hill to pray. (Prayer could be a special station) He prayed all through the night and then suddenly some soldiers came and took him away. After an unfair trail he was tortured on a cross where he died for our sins. (Walk the children to the cross) This cross reminds us of Jesus great love. He loved us so much he was willing to suffer and die for us. Let’s all knell down here near the cross. We’ll be very quiet as we think of what happened to Jesus on that Friday 2000 years ago.
PRAY: Dear God. We are remembering some very important things in the life of Jesus this week. Help us to remember when the children and all the people praised Jesus with palm branches and shouts of “Hosanna.” Help us to remember how he asked us to remember him in the Bread and the Wine. Help us to remember how he washed his disciple’s feet as an example to us of being a servant. Help us also to remember how he died for us on the cross – how he gave his live so that we might have life. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Copyright 2009 Andrew Hewlett SundayChildrensFocus.com - Please "Like"this if you found it helpful!
PS - Very Simple idea: (If you use palm crosses) Have the children do a simple processional with palm branches. Sit the children down and then explain how the crowds started out praising Jesus with palm branches but soon after this he was put on a cruel cross. Take a palm reed and fold it into a simple cross. Let them know that this palm cross will remind them of the joyous coming of Christ as King, but also that on Good Friday he died for us on a cross.
Children's sermon for Lent - Themes: Lent, reflect, prayer, spiritual danger, listening to God
Bible Texts: Phil.4:6, Col.4:2, Eph. 6 :18
Children's Sermon idea: When crossing a street to get to where we want to go it is best to Stop, Look and Listen before crossing. The season of Lent (a time of prayer and self examination) is about taking time to Stop, Look and Listen on our life journey.
Full Children's Story: Good morning boys and girls. In about 40 days we will be celebrating Easter. That’s the time we celebrate Jesus being raised from the dead. In our church we call this 40 day preparation period Lent. It’s a special season of prayer where we take a look at our own lives and make sure we are doing what God wants us to do and becoming the people God wants us to be. Now, everyone stand up and follow me. I want you to pretend someone has asked us to come and play in the park. Let’s go! (Make a little trip around the pulpit, past some chairs and get them to stop up front) Ok, there is park; it looks like they are having fun there. But first let’s pretend there is a road right in front of us here. What should we do? Should we just go straight across? (Let the children respond.) That’s right. We need to STOP. (Have the children join you as if you were all lined up on the edge of a road ready to cross.) Then what should we do after stopping? That’s right we need to LOOK to see if a car is coming. (Get them to look both ways.) Then what? That’s right we need to LISTEN. (Put you hands up and cup your ears.) OK, we took time to STOP, LOOK and LISTEN. It looks safe so now we can cross. Great! (To the congregation:) Let’s give the children a cheer for helping me out so well here. (I’m always getting the congregation to clap and cheer in order for the kids to feel build up and affirmed.)
Children, what you have just done is very important. If we are going to keep safe while going to all the exciting places we want to go to we need to STOP, LOOK and LISTEN before crossing streets. In life it is important to do the same thing. We get so busy and we are often in a rush. It’s very important that we take time to STOP, to LOOK around and think about what we are doing. Are we doing what God wants us to do? Are we becoming the sort of person that God wants us to be? And we need to LISTEN to God, by reading the Bible and taking time to pray. This season of Lent that I mentioned before is a great time to do just that. If we do take time to STOP, LOOK and LISTEN we can make sure our lives our lined up with God, that we are safe and that we will enjoy all the wonderful adventures that God has for us.
Pray: Dear God. Help us always remember to take time to STOP, LOOK and LISTEN when we are crossing a street. Help us also to STOP, LOOK and LISTEN especially during this time of year called Lent.
Copyright 2009 Andrew Hewlett - sundaychildrensfocus.com Feel free to use this story on Sunday morning but please give credit to sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider linking to this site. Thanks - A.H.
(for use as a children's story or a lead in for a sunday school lesson)
Themes: Christian courage, living differently than others, taking a stand for Jesus
Props: Members of the congregation / Time 5-7 minutes
Children's sermon Summary: Get the children to experience what it is like to follow Jesus and “go against the flow.” Gather members of the congregation into the center isle where they stand close together facing one direction. Get the children to experience the difficulty of pushing through the crowd to get to where they are going.
Full lesson: Good morning girls and boys. We all wish it would be easy following Jesus and doing the things he wants us to do. But did you know the Bible says that following Jesus can be very hard. Sometimes we know what Jesus wants us to do but other people want us to do what everybody else is doing. If Jesus is leading us one way in life and other people are going the opposite way we can feel very alone and it can be very hard for us. I’ll show you now a little bit what it is like. (At this point ask members of the congregation nearest the isle to stand up and gather in the center isle. It’s best to have at least 20 or 30 people and get them to stand 4 or 5 abreast. Ask them to stand in one direction and pack in tightly.) Now children, lets see what it’s like going against a crowd when they are headed in the opposite direction that we are. (Ask children to follow you as you push your way through the crowd. If you are afraid the adults in the isle might giggle too much ask them to be a little grumpy as you’re going through). Push your way through the crowd with the kids coming out the other side. Ask the congregation to give them a round of applause for coming through victoriously! Ask the congregation to quickly sit down. (TRANSITION) How did you find that? Was it a little hard going through? (Take time to listen to a few responses) Well, as I said before, that is what it is like following Jesus sometimes. Sometimes it can be hard going in the right direction when so many others are going in the wrong direction. The Good News is that we are never really alone because Jesus promises to be with us always.
Prayer: God, we know that it sometimes very lonely following Jesus especially when many others don’t care. Through your Holy Spirit help us to have the power and courage to stand up and follow Jesus even when it’s lonely or hard. Thank you that Jesus said he would be with us no matter what. In Jesus name. Amen
--Odds and ends: You could also discuss how it was helpful having some others with you as you pushed your way through the crowd. Or perhaps how some of the bigger kids helped the smaller ones go through. You could also flesh this out by giving specific “playground” scenarios of what it means to follow Jesus.
Copyright 2008 Sundaychildrensfocus.com If you use this at your Sunday service please give credit to sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider linking your church to this web site. Thank you! A.H.
Themes for the Children's Sermon: Discipleship, spiritual growth, determination, being spiritually fit
Props:A fitness book or outdoor ed magazine. A pillow.
Summary of Children's Lesson: You can’t get into shape by merely putting a fitness book under your pillow. That’s ridiculous. You need to actually do real exercises. To be a disciple of Jesus we need to do the things God wants – not just think about them.
Full Story: Good morning girls and boys. Are you wide awake this morning? You sound a little tired this morning so why don’t we all do some exercises. (Consider telling the congregation to join in if they look a little tired!) OK. Let’s put our hands in the air and stretch. Wiggle your fingers and give them some exercise. Now, touch you toes. Run on the spot. Jump up and down. (You get the picture) Whoa. That’s hard work. Let’s sit down and get some rest. I find exercise to be hard work. Here is an idea that I thought of that might make getting in shape a little easier. (Hold up your fitness or exercise book) See this book children. It’s a book that tells about all kinds of exercises that can help you get in shape. (Show some of the pictures) Now, here’s my idea. Instead of doing all these hard exercises why don’t I just get this exercise magazine and put it under my pillow at night when I go to bed. (Hold up the pillow and place the book underneath) That will be much easier than actually jogging, doing sit ups, etc. Do you think that is a good idea? Do you think that will help me get in shape? (Interact with the children). No? It won’t work? Why? That’s right boys and girls. If I really want to get in shape it’s not enough to put this book under my pillow or to simply think about doing exercises. I actually have to get out there and do the exercises if I want to get in shape or be an athlete. Transition.
That’s what it’s like being a disciple of Jesus. Being a true follower of Jesus Christ (a disciple) is not just about thinking good things. To be a disciple of Jesus we need to do the things that he wants us to do. (Perhaps give some examples) We can’t get in shape by just thinking about exercise and we can’t be a disciple of Jesus by just thinking about it. We need to get out into the world and do what Jesus wants us to do. Then we will be a true disciple.
Children's Prayer: Lord. Help us, through your Holy Spirit, to be true disciples of your son Jesus Christ by following him and doing the things that he wants us to do. Amen.
copyright 2008 sundaychildrensfocus.com If you use this story on Sunday morning please give credit to sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider placing a link on your church web site. Thank you! A.H.
Being awake to God - Ready for the coming of Christ
Advent Children's Lesson: themes: John the Baptist, Advent, Wake up, Repentance, Be alive to God, Be ready for Christmas, Be ready for the return of Christ.
Children's Sermon -- object lesson Summary: Discuss waking up in the morning and that it’s helpful to have an alarm or some other means to wake us up. As Christians we need to wake up to God too.
Objects needed: A box or bag containing various items used to wake us up. An Alarm Clock, a whistle, a paper bag that can be popped, some pot lids, a cold wet washcloth, etc.
Full Children's Sermon / object lesson: Good morning children. How are you this morning? I hope you are all wide awake, because that’s what I’m talking about this morning –being awake – awake to God! How are you when you first wake up? Do you jump right up out of bed and say “Let’s get going!” (Interact with the children about how difficult it is sometimes to wake up and get out of bed.) What do you do when you first wake up? Do you stretch? Do you yawn? Show me how you get up. Is it easy? No, it can be very hard because we are so sleepy. Here are some things you might use to help us wake up. Here is an alarm clock –listen to beep. (Option: Give the items to the children and let them give the wake up sound) Here is a whistle. Listen to how loud it is. Would that wake you up? Or if someone was really tired you could bang these pot lids together like this. Would that wake you up? That would blast me right out of bed. It’s important to have something or someone wake us up because otherwise we might sleep in and miss all kinds for fun things. Some people even “sleep walk.” They walk around while they are actually asleep. They really need to wake up! Well the Bible says that we can also be asleep to God. We can go about the day never listening to God or praying to God or thinking about what he wants us to do in our lives. It’s like we are asleep to God. The sad part about being asleep to God is that we miss out on all the wonderful things God has for us. We miss out on some wonderful adventures that God has for us. So if you feel like you are asleep to God we need to wake up. Let’s hear those wake up sounds again. Now those things will help us to wake up from bed but to wake up to God we need to do some other things. We can pray, and listen when we pray. God can also speak to us though reading the Bible. One good way to be awake to God is to start the day praying “Lord, fill me up with your Holy Spirit today and show me how I can live for you today.” Then we need watching for ways that God might be leading us through the day. (You could give some examples here). So children, I hope that you have a good way of waking up in the morning and that you also have a good way of waking up to God. That way we won’t miss out on the wonderful life adventures that God has for us through his son Jesus Christ.
Children's prayer: Lord God. Thank you for the wonderful adventures that you have for us in life. Help us always to be awake to you and to your son Jesus.
Copyright 2008 Andrew Hewlett sundaychildrensfocus.com If you use this story at your Sunday morning service please give credit to sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider putting a link on your church web site. Thank you! A.H.
Objects needed: Small Crèche/ Nativity scene. Bag of wrapped Christmas presents.
Children's Sermon / Sunday School idea: This works best if it’s your tradition to have a small Nativity scene up at the front of the church during Advent. Gather the children in front of the nativity figures. Pull out a big bag of presents that you just received or will give to others. Place then one by one in front of the children making a large pile. As the nativity scene is now blocked from sight ask them is there is anything wrong. Sometimes all the excitement about getting of giving presents can make us forget about the real meaning of Christmas.
Full Christmas object lesson: Good morning girls and boys. Come on up front here and gather in front of the nativity scene. I want to talk about what we can see here. But first I want to show you something very exciting. (Pull out a big bag that is full of wrapped Christmas presents) Here are some presents that are under our Christmas tree that have my name on them! (Pull out the presents one by one placing them down between the children and the nativity scene) Look at this one! What do you think is inside? And this one, hmmm, I wonder what it could be? Feel how heavy it is. (Keep placing the gifts you have looked at in front on the nativity scene until there is a high wall of presents blocking the Nativity scene from the children’s view). Well, I’m excited about all these presents that I get to open soon! Now, look at all those gifts. Wow, they are piled up so high. (Let the children take a good look at what is before them.) Is anything wrong? What’s the problem here?
(Someone will notice that the nativity scene is completely obscured from view.) Yes. That’s right kids. Now we can’t see the Nativity scene! Is that right?
TRANSITION: You are right children. I was so concerned about the gifts that I covered up the nativity scene and couldn’t even see Jesus! That can happen at Christmas. The gifts we get are lots of fun but we have to remember that the most important thing at Christmas is Jesus. We don’t want to forget about him. He is the greatest gift of all.
(Get some of the children to help you move some of the gifts to the side so that you get a clear view of the Nativity scene – especially Jesus.
Children's Prayer: Thank you God for all the presents that we get a Christmas. We have been greatly blessed. Help us to remember the greatest gift of all, Jesus. May our gifts and presents never get so important to us that we forget about Jesus. Let’s always make room for Jesus because that’s what Christmas is all about. Amen!
Copyright 2008 sundaychildrensfocus.com If you use this story at your Sunday service please give credit to sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider placing a link on your church web site. Thank you! A.H.
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