(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.
Special request: Please LIKE this page (left side bar) if you found it helpful. That helps me - Thanks - A.H.