Themes: We are blessed, abundance, giving to the less fortunate, taking things for granted, thanksgiving (Note: This story could be used as a Sunday school lesson for Thanksgivng
Children's sermon: Ask kids to help you pack up a shoe box for someone in need (This teaches about Thanksgiving but also promos the shoe box compassion project) As you pack items in ask if any of the kids helping you have any of the items such as tooth brush, soap, hair brush, cleanex, pencils, etc. Be amazed that all the kids have all the items! Compared to most children in the world they have so much.
Time: 5 minutes - although this could be stretched out into a full length lesson.
Full Children's Sermon: Good Morning children! Do you see this empty shoe box? We are packing these up with things to give children that don't have as much as we have, and I want you kids to help me pack this up. Here is a bag full of things that these less fortunate kids might like. (Open up the empty shoe box and from another container pull out an item to put inside.) What's this? A toothbrush! Should we put that inside the box? Yes? Ok. Do any of you have a toothbrush? (Probably all the kids will put up their hands - be surprised) What! That's amazing. All of you have a toothbrush. Wow. You know, many children in the world have never had a toothbrush. Let's put that inside. (You can let the children help place items in the box) What else do I have here? (Hold up a crayon or pencil) Should I put that in? OK. Have any of you ever had a crayon or a pencil? What! All of you have! Wow. You are so blessed. Many children in the world have never had those before. (Keep going with a few more articles that you know all the kids will have. (It's ok for your amazement to sound repetitious)
Summarize: Most of us that live here in (your city or town) have so much compared to many children in the world. It's good to remember how much we have and to give thanks to God. Since we have so much it's also good for us to share with kids that don't have the things that we have. (When the box is full close it up) There, I think we are done. Thank you for helping.
Pray with the Children: Lord. Thank you that most of us here this morning have so many good things. Help us to share and help out those other kids in the world that don't have as much as we do. (In our church I had a stack of the prepared shoe boxes up front and I asked the kids to put their hands on the boxes as I prayed) "Lord God, may these boxes bring help and joy to other children that don't have so much. Thank you that as we share with them we can make a difference in their lives. Amen!
(Copyright 2008) - Andrew Hewlett sundaychildrensfocus.com Feel free to use this sermon on Sunday morning but please give credith to sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider linking to this page. Thanks. A.H.
When the children are gathered up front say a brief word about the importance of saying thank you. Ask if there are any members of the congregation that know how to say “Thank you” in their native tongue. Ask them to say it out loud. (You could ask the children to try repeating the phrase) You could include ‘thank you” in sign language. After hearing from 4 or 5 individuals explain how God knows all languages and how we can say thank you to in any language in prayer.
Objects needed – None
Individual from different ethnic backgrounds could be approached ahead of time but you can also just do this spontaneously.
Full Thanksgiving message for the kids:
Good morning children. Do you know what is special about this Sunday? That’s right it is Thanksgiving Sunday. We want to give thanks to God every day, but on this Sunday we want to take time to remember all that things that we are thankful for in Life. What are some of the things that you are thankful for? (Spend a brief moment interacting with the children) Now, when I want to say “thank you” I just use my normal English language and say “Thank you God!” But, in other countries they say “thank you” in different languages. Let see if there are any people in our congregation that can say “thank you” on a different language. (Ask individuals to stand up and say thank you in their native tongue. It might be fun to see if the children can repeat the phrases in the foreign language. Consider having someone share using sign language. Thank the various individuals who helped out.)
Now, children as you can see there are many ways to say thank you. The good news is that God is very smart (in fact he knows everything!) and he can understand every language in the world. It doesn’t matter what language we use. The important thing is that we do say thank you to God for the many ways we have been blessed. Join me now in saying thank you to God.
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, there are so many things we are thankful for (perhaps mention some of the items the children mentioned) but above all we are thankful for your great love that you have for each one of us. Thank you also for sending Jesus to be our Saviour and our friend – In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!
(You could also close by having the group give a loud “Thank you God!”)
Note: American Sign Language for Thank You – Place your open hand and fingers up against your closed mouth. Bring your hand out and down toward the individual with your palm facing up.
Copyright 2015 Andrew Hewlett and Sundaychildrensfocus - Feel free to use this message but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider linking your web site to this page. Thank you! - Also...please "Like" this on facebook!
4th of July Children’s sermon Independence Day
(I am from Canada so I don’t have a full appreciation of the 4th of July and it’s historical meaning for those in the United States. That being said, if I did live in the United States here is a possible angle that might go along with the Lectionary reading of Mark 6:1-13:)
1. Show various symbols or objects used to honor people. (You could use a medal, a trophy or a big fancy chair etc.) You could also have the kids give a big cheer to demonstrate another way of honoring people.
2. Explain how Jesus (Mark 6:1-13) was not always honored. As followers of Jesus, we too will not always be honored. Nevertheless, we keep serving Jesus no matter what comes our way. You could also explain how others may not understand our faith in Jesus and make fun of us.
3. Explain to the children how in some countries Christians don’t have the freedom to openly express their faith. In some countries Christians are persecuted.
4. Highlight how thankful we are that we (those in the United States on this 4th of July) have the freedom and liberty to live a Christians. We are not under the control of another country and all people have the freedom to practice our faith. That is what we celebrate with fireworks and cheers on the July the fourth.
Idea: Get the children and the congregation to give a big cheer to show honor to Jesus and his disciples. Lead the children in a prayer of thanksgiving for the freedom experienced in our country. (And perhaps lead in a cheer of thanksgiving)
Peace – Andrew Hewlett
(Note this is pretty simple but it still works)
Idea overiew: This is really basic but I think it works. Ask the kids to imagine they are out on a hot day. Hold up and present to them a half-filled glass of water. Would they be thankful for that water? Explain how silly it would be to complain that it was only half full. Discuss how some people see the cup as half full and others see it as half empty. Explain how we can have thankful hearts if we focus on what is there rather than what is not there. Yes, there may be things we don’t have, but we want to say thankyou to God for all the good things we do have.
Object lesson items: A half filled glass on water
Children’s Sermon: Good morning children! I want you to use your imagination this morning and pretend that it is a very hot day. Pretend you have been out in the heat all day and you are very thirsty. (Ask them to show you what they would look like – tongue hanging out, sweating, panting etc.)
Now, what if I came and offered you this glass of water (Hold out the half-filled glass). Would you want it? Would you be thankful? (Interact a bit) Yes! Of course, you would be thankful for the water. Now, you may have noticed that it was only half full. Wouldn’t it be silly to complain to me that the glass was only half full. It seems strange but some people see this glass as half empty! They see what is not there rather than what is there. They see the cup as half empty rather than half full!
All of us have disappointments in life. There are things we would like to have but we don’t have. Or, maybe we have some toys that are broken. (No one has everything they want.) However, it is important to be thankful for all the good things we do have. In the same way that it’s best to see this glass as half full rather than half empty, it’s best to be thankful for all the good thing we do have. We wouldn’t be very thankful if we went around saying to ourselves (or to God) “I only have half a glass of water,” or “there are so many toys I don’t have,” or “I only have three friends” etc. We wouldn’t sound very grateful to God, and we wouldn’t be very happy either.
Children, let’s see the glass as half full rather than half empty. Let’s be thankful to God for what we do have rather than complain about what we don’t have.
Children’s prayer: Dear God, we have so many good things in our lives (loving parents, food, friends etc). Help us always to pay attention to the good things we have and to give thanks to you as the source of many blessings in life. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
Copyright 2022 SundayChildrensFocus and Andrew Hewlett (feel free to use this. Please consider linking to this web site. Thanks - A.H.
Title: We have so much – let’s give thanks to God