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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Copyright Sundaychildrensfocus.com Andrew Hewlett 2010. Feel free to use this talk on Sunday morning but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider linking to this site. Thanks. A.H
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.)
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Children's object lesson on Repentance
Children’s sermon idea: Bring in an object related to an activity that involves waiting: Fishing, bird watching, etc. Explain the importance of waiting and not giving up. Discuss how Jesus told us to always pray and not give up.
Sermon for kids idea overview: Show the children various activities that need to be done in the correct order (Highlight what needs to come first) Example – Brush your teeth first and then put the toothpaste on after! – Have some fun. Imagine getting up in the morning, going to school and then putting your clothes on! Letting go of the balloon and then trying to tie a string on. Put butter and jam on bread and then put it in the toaster? You get the idea.) There are things that need to come first. Then explain that there is something that needs to come first in life – seeking God’s Kingdom and putting Jesus first.
Object lesson props: Whatever works best. Toothbrush and toothpaste, a toaster, bread and jam, schoolbooks and clothes, a balloon and string.
Complete children’s sermon: Good morning children! Jesus said that we should “Seek first the Kingdom of God” Matthew 6:33) Let me show you what I think Jesus was trying to teach us. Do you see this toothbrush? What if I tried to brush my teeth like this and then afterwards put on the toothpaste? Would that work very well? No, it wouldn’t. The toothpaste needs to go on before brushing my teeth.
Look at these clothes and these schoolbooks. Would it make sense to take my schoolbooks and head off to school and then put on my clothes later? No! What about this toaster and this piece of bread. I’m going to put some butter on like this, add some strawberry jam and then I will put it in the toaster. Is this a good idea? No. We need to put the butter and jam on first!
It’s important that we do things in the right order. In our bible verse today, Jesus said that all of us need to “seek first the kingdom of God.” If we want to find the wonderful life that God has for us, we need to put Him first. Jesus is a king, and we need to put His Kingdom first. We wouldn’t put butter and jam on our bread and then put it in the toaster! It would make a mess. Likewise, we might make a mess of our lives if we don’t make God first in our life. We can put God first by keeping in touch with God in prayer and by seeking to live the way he wants us to live. When we do that, we can trust that he will look after us and provide what we need.
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, Help us to always put you and your kingdom first in life. Help us to entrust our lives to you, knowing that you will be with us, you will guide us, and look after our basic needs. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
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