Children's Sermon / Object lesson Mark 4: 26-34 The Kingdom of God and the mustard seed
This parable emphasizes the small, humble beginnings of the Kingdom. (Not what many people expected)
Basic Children’s sermon idea: Hold up a small seed and then show the sort of large bush that it can grow into. Explain that this is how the Kingdom of God and /or the Church of God grows. It starts with small beginnings.
Props needed: A small seed and a large bush in a pot.
Children’s sermon / object lesson: Good morning children! Can you see what I have in my hand? It’s very hard to see. Look closely and you will see a very small seed. It doesn’t look very important. It doesn’t look very powerful. It looks like it would never get any bigger.
However, if left a seed like this in the ground, and watered it, and left it grow, it would slowly grow into a large bush like this one over here. That is amazing that such a large bush could come from such a small seed.
Jesus said that this is how his Kingdom would grow. Some people expected that it would start with an amazing show of power. But Jesus said it would start very small way – like this little seed. Jesus started telling people about God and his wonderful love. Later his followers told others of how Jesus loved us so much that he was willing to die for us. It did not seem like a powerful beginning. However, just like a little seed in the ground his kingdom grew bigger and bigger. At first there were just a few believers in Jesus. Now, many years later his kingdom family stretches all around the world. There are followers of Jesus in every country of the world.
Kid’s prayer: Dear God, thank you for the good news message of Jesus and his love. Thank you that even though this good news message started with just a few people that it now has grown to be a huge church family all around the world. In Jesus name – Amen!
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Greatness - Being the Servant of all Request of James and John
Children's lesson - Come to the Light of Jesus Christ
John 3: 21 “Whoever lives by the truth comes into the light…” Lent 4
Overview of the spontaneous drama: Ask the children if they have ever played “Hide and Seek”. Have the young children pretend to hide from God in a dark hidden place close by. (Do this up at the front of the Church or in your home. You could dim the lights to add to the effect.) Hold up a candle or other light and explain how this reminds us of Jesus who is the light of the world. Ask them to come out of hiding and walk towards the light (as you hold up the lit candle for all to see). Explain that the life and love of Jesus is like a light shining out into the world and that we need to come to that wonderful light.
Full drama: Good morning children! Have you ever played a game called “hide and seek”? It really is a fun game where you do your best to hide from the leader. However, you might not know that some people actually try to hide from God! They might not be living the way that God wants so they think it’s best to try to hide from God. Do you think a person can hide from God? No. You are right. It’s impossible to hide from God. Now, just for fun, I want you to pretend to hide from God just up front here in our church. I’ll count to 10 to give you time to hide – just close by in this area. (If possible dim the lights a bit to make the light stand out.) Ok, I hope you can still hear me as you are pretending to hide from God. Now in a few seconds I am going to light a candle. This candle reminds us of Jesus Christ who is the light of the world. This light reminds us of his life and love that is shining out into a dark world. Now I am going to hold up the candle. I want you now to peek out from where you are hiding and look at the light. When you see that light I want you to now come out and walk to this light. That’s right, come out from your hiding place and come to the light. (When the children are all together close to you and the candle ask the congregation to give a cheer!)
You did that very well children. (Ask them to be seated.) That little drama reminds us that we shouldn’t try to hide from God. We should come out from hiding and come to the light of Jesus Christ. His life and love is like a warm and bright light shining out into the world. We want to come close to the wonderful light and not try to hide from him. We can come close to the light of Jesus Christ by living the way he wants us to live. We can come close to Jesus by telling him (in prayer) that we want to follow him and know him more.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you that Jesus is like a wonderful light shining out into the world. When we are tempted to hide from you, help us to remember your life and love is shining out to us like a guiding light. And help us to come near to you so we can know you better each day. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
(Later at home you might want to discuss ways that we hide from God. You might also want to discuss ways that we can draw near to Jesus and welcome him in our lives and hearts.)
Copyright 2018 Sundaychildrensfocus Andrew Hewlett - Feel free to use this on Sunday morning but please give me credit and click on the facebook "Like" on the life side of the page. Thank you! A.H.
Children’s sermon on the persecuted church
Kid’s message on the persecuted church – those suffering for Jesus
Basic idea: Engage the children in pretending you are early Christians trying to hide from Roman soldiers 2000 years ago. To add to the drama by placing some secret fish symbols in various places leading the way to where you will secretly worship. Explain how Christians still must do this in some countries today.
(Ahead of time: Place some secret fish symbols on door posts and hallways. This might lead to a secret room where you will open and read from a hidden bible. )
Hold up a Christian fish symbol. Ask the children where they have seen this sign. Explain how the early Christians sometimes used this as a secret symbol during times of persecution. Then ask the children to very quiet and imagine they are hiding from Roman soldiers. Lead the way and help them to discover the “secret” Christian fish symbols on the way to the meeting place. When you arrive at the secret location find a “hidden” bible and read out some encouraging bible passages in hushed tones.
Debrief: Explain how thankful we are that we live in a time and place where we don’t have to be afraid of following Christ. (That being said, you could give examples of how Christians are sometime made fun of because of their faith in Jesus) Let the children know that in some places of the world Christians must to hide and even suffer greatly for their faith. Lead in prayer for the persecuted church (their brothers and sisters in Christ)
Children’s prayer: Dear God, thank you that we live in a country where we can freely talk about Jesus and his love. Please help our Christian brothers and sisters (and show us how we might help them) in those places where they are suffering for being followers of Jesus. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
Sundaychildrensfocus – Andrew Hewlett 2021
Copyright 2009 Sundaychildrensfocus.com Feel free to use this story on Sunday morning but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider linking to this page. Thank you. A.H.
I am the Gate and I am the Good Shepherd
Jesus is rejected by his friends and family at Nazareth
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
Children's sermon idea: Let the children come unto me
Children’s sermon on the Parable of the Wedding Banquet / Feast
Matthew 22: 1-14
Kids talk idea: Ask the children to use their imagination to pretend they invited their friends to a party and ask them how they would feel if everybody was busy. Play to them a series of (pre-recorded) excuses on a phone answering machine (with the standard “beep” after each excuse). Read out a paraphrase of the parable of the Wedding Banquet and explain how God would feel if we never had time for him. (You could flesh this out by saying in the end you might invite others you didn’t know quite as well.)
Prepare: Arrange to have 4 or 5 friends to phone in a short excuse to your home answering machine (Best to do this all at one time). You could have some fun with the excuses. Then record the series of answers on your cell phone or a voice recorder so that you can play it back to the children on Sunday morning. (Use well known people in the congregation and make sure the excuses are pretty pathetic!)
Full Children’s Sermon:
Good morning Children! How many of you have ever had a party and invited friends and family to come? (Allow time for response) Did you send out invitations or phone people to see if they could come? How would you feel if you were planning a really special party and when you invited them to come they all had an excuse why they couldn’t come! How would you feel? Would you be sad? Would you be angry? Now, I have something I would like you to listen to. Imagine I was planning on getting married and was going to have a big party to celebrate. Imagine I sent out messages to all my friends to come and celebrate at my party. Imagine how I would feel if I heard responses like this on my answering machine: (Play the fun responses you have recorded.)
How would you feel? (Interact with the children) That’s right, I would feel very sad and I might even feel mad!
In our bible reading this morning from Matthew chapter 22 Jesus tells a parable about how God wants us to come to Him and be a part of his wonderful family and Kingdom. Jesus tells us that this is like a wonderful party! (Read a simple paraphrase of the parable) Isn’t that sad. Jesus is telling us that God wants us to follow him and join him in a wonderful celebration but most people are too busy with other things! Children, I know you have many important things to do in life. However, I hope and pray that you always have time for God (the Father) and Jesus His Son! If we miss out on following God and being a friend of Jesus it would be like missing out on the best party of all!
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, Thank you that you love us and want us to be a part of your great family and family celebration. Help us to never be so busy that we put other things before you or your son, King Jesus. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
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A prophet without honor Mark 6: 1-13
Children’s sermon idea: Show the children some visual symbols we use to honor people. Explain how Jesus was not always honored by those around him. Help the children understand how we are not always honored or understood when we share the love of Jesus with others.
Props: Anything that we use to honor people. An Olympic medal, a fancy chair, large sign with the words “THANK YOU”.
*(As an alternative / addition you could have the congregation give a cheer of approval or a frown)
Full Children’s sermon: Good morning children! Do you see this medal? What sort of person would you give this to? That’s right, someone how won a race or did really well at some sports event. Who would you give a giant thank you card to? Yes, someone who did something that you really appreciated. Who might you get to sit in a really fancy chair like this? Sometimes people show their appreciation by cheering. I’m going to get the congregation to give you followers of Jesus a big cheer. (Prompt the congregation to rousing cheer.) Wow! That felt pretty good, didn’t it! We all like to be appreciated and we all like it when people say thank you for something we did. There is a word that explains how we might feel. It’s the word “honor” (You might want to unpack this a bit. You could also ask the congregation to frown as that look at the children.)
You probably know that Jesus travelled around doing good wherever he went. But did you know that not everyone was happy with him? Not everyone honored him. In fact, sometimes even those very close to him did not understand or honor him for the wonderful things he did. You might think that everybody would be happy with what he did but that is not what always happened.
As followers of Jesus, we will not always be appreciated or honored for the good things we do. In fact, sometimes close friends may make fun of us or get angry at us. This happened to Jesus, and it will sometimes happen to us. When that happens, it might make us sad, but we should not stop doing good and showing love to others! It’s nice when people honor us with a cheer or a word of thanks, but we need to keep following Jesus even when nobody seems to care.
(You might want to wrap up the message by getting the congregation to give a big cheer for the kids.)
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, thank you that Jesus kept on showing love to people even when some didn’t appreciate it. When people don’t say thank you (and honor) us, help us to know that YOU love us. That is the most important thing. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
Copyright SundayChildrensFocus.com Andrew Hewlett 2021
(Feel free to use this on Sunday morning but please give credit to this site and “Like” us on your social media platform. Thank you! A.H.)
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