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
Here is an idea for a children sermon or Bible lesson on the cost of following Jesus: It’s not a perfect analogy (and maybe a little convoluted) but it will allow the children to “see” visually the process of counting the cost of following Jesus. I think it can work. (Of course, the text says we need to give up everything, but this is a tangible way of considering some personal costs Christian kids face)
Object lesson idea: I’m thinking of using some balance scales or improvising a balance scale with a balance board sitting on a pivot point. Explain how weigh scales were used to measure the weight of money or something of worth. Load up on one side items representing the cost of following Jesus. Then on the other side place a big heavy item representing the value of following Jesus and being a child of God.
Object lesson props: Some small dark stones representing the costly weight of following Jesus. A big colorful rock representing the amazing love and life of Jesus. A board balance in the middle as a weigh scale.
Good morning children! Do you see this homemade balance weigh scale here? Many years ago they used to use these to weigh out gold, silver or perhaps some fool like wheat or corn. (Give a simple demonstration). Sometimes it’s very important to know the cost of things. In fact, Jesus said that if we want to follow him (be a Christian disciple) we need to count the cost. Following Jesus is wonderful but there is a cost, things we need to give up.
What are some costs of following Jesus – things we need to consider if we want to follow Jesus? Do you see these small items or stones? Let’s pretend they remind us of the “costs” of following Jesus.
1 Let’s pretend this stone reminds us of money. (or just use coins) If we want to follow Jesus he may want us to give some of our money to help the poor. (Place the stone of the left side of the balance – tipping it down.
2 What are some other costs of following Jesus? Let’s pretend this stone represents some people that might make fun of us because we go to church. (place the stone beside the other stone or money)
3 Instead of a rock, this time let’s put my watch on the scales. It reminds us that following Jesus means letting him plan out how we spend our time.
4. (Keep going – you get the idea)
Now children, it might seem that there are a lot of reasons that make following Jesus difficult. There are a lot of “costs” weighing down this side of the balance. However, compared to following Jesus and knowing his wonderful love these things are worth letting go of. (Reach over and pick up a large gold colored rock) This rock looks like a huge piece of Gold. It reminds me of the wonderful love and life of Jesus. Let’s place it on the other side of the balance. Wow! It outweighs all those other things. Knowing and following Jesus so important.
Kids, following Jesus is often hard. Showing love to our enemies, giving our money, sometime being made fun of, (point to the stones / items on the left) is difficult and costly. But it’s truly worth it! Jesus’ love is so amazing, precious, wonderful, and valuable. It’s of far more value than these things.
Kids closing prayer: Dear God, thankyou that knowing you and your son Jesus is the greatest thing in all the world. When we are finding it difficult following Jesus, remind us that your love and life is worth more than anything in the whole world. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
Copyright 2022 Sundaychildrensfocus.com Andrew Hewlett - Feel free to use this but please consider linking to this page or website Thank you! A.H.
There are a number of different angles one could take on the parable of the Good Samaritan. 1. Who is my neighbour? (2) Authentic love (3) The risk and cost of showing genuine love. (4) Don't be suprised of where we might find examples of true love. (5) How we can be very busy but loose sight of the command to love. (6) How we can easily seek to justify ourselves ie "Who is my neighbour?" Etc.
By this shall all know you are my disciples
Children’s sermon: John 13:31-35 The commandment to love one another
Children’s sermon idea: (Have on hand items of clothing, hats or badges that represent various occupations and people.) Discuss with the children how they can recognize various people by what they wear. Discuss how we might recognize a group of Christians. Jesus said “By this shall all know that you are my disciples.” It’s our love for one another that should show that we are Christians.
Object lesson items: Clothing items worn by various people / professions. You might need to borrow some clothing items from members of your congregation.
Children’s sermon: Good morning children. In this box I have various garments that people wear. (Bring out a hard hat.) What person might wear a hat like this? That’s right. If you saw someone wearing this they might be a workman or a carpenter. (Hold up a fireman’s coat and hat.) What kind of person would wear this clothing? Right – a firefighter. (Continue with some more items of clothing that are easily identifiable.) You did very well. I have one more question. How can you recognize that someone is a Christian? If you saw a group of people how would you know they were Christians?
That’s right. Christians wear different kinds of clothing. It’s not that easy to tell right away. However, in our bible reading today from the gospel of John, Jesus said that there was one thing that would let others know we are Christians. Jesus said that if we had love for one another other people in the world would be able to tell that we are Christians. Others can’t tell that we follow Jesus by looking at what we wear. However, they should be able to tell that we follow Jesus by how we love each other. Jesus said, “by this shall all know you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Let’s pray and ask God to help us love each other so that other would recognize us as Christians and want to know about Jesus and his love.
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, please give us power through the Holy Spirit to grow in our love for each other. In that way others might be able to see that we follow Jesus and that they too might decide to follow him and know his wonderful love. In Jesus’ name – Amen.
(Option: Get the kids to do the acting) Copyright Andrew Hewlett 2009 sundaychildrensfocus.com Feel free to use this story at your Sunday morning service but please give credit to sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider linking to this site. Thank you! Blessings, A.H. PS - Please click the facebook "like" button.
Children's sermon idea: Let the children come unto me
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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!
Copyright 2017 Sundaychildrensfocus Feel free to use this but please consider linking to this site and “Like us” on facebook. Blessings, A.H.
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.)
My prayer is the someday soon this web site would be a great, FREE resourse for children's sermons and Sunday school - Coming up: Object lessons and talks for Christmas - Jesus is the reason for the season! He is the greatest gift of all.
Whether one is Anglican (Episcopal), Baptist, Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox or Penticostal - children need to hear the gospel presented in a lively and biblical way
“Let us set aside the weight of sin and run the race set before us”
Children’s sermon idea: Have someone come in dressed up like a jogger / runner. However, they are also carrying a heavy back pack, a suitcase, a bag around the neck, etc. Have a fun interview with the runner and help them realize that they need to “set aside” the things that are weighing them down. Explain to the young people that carrying around sins (explain this a bit) will weigh us down in the Christian race. (We want to live our lives God’s way but when we do sin, and do wrong things, we can repent, ask forgiveness and “set aside” our sins so we can run in freedom.)
Objects / People needed: Someone willing to dress up like a jogger. A backpack, suitcase and impractical items to carry around. (Have some fun with this: some old rotten thing, something representing past sins, etc) Option: label the various items with signs: unforgiveness, selfishness, greed, etc.
Full Children’s lesson: Good morning children! Look who is coming up front here. It’s Mr. Johnston. What does it look like he is doing? That’s right, by looking at his running shoes and shorts it sure seems like he is going on a race. Let’s ask him. Mr. Johnston, what are you doing today? (Have some fun with this). But why are you carrying these heavy loads? Isn’t it hard carrying those heavy things and trying to run at the same time? Why don’t you just put them down and let them go? (You could prime your runner with various responses such as, “That’s just part of who I am” or “I’m used to carrying these around everywhere” etc.) Ask the children if this makes sense. What do they think he should do if he wants to do well in the race? Your volunteer runner could put down the weights and then exclaim how much better it feels.
Debrief with the children: Wow, I’m sure glad Mr. Johnstone got rid of all that weight. Otherwise I think he would get tired and frustrated. I don’t even think he would be able to finish the race.
The Bible says in Hebrews 12 verse 1 that if we are going do well in our Christian lives (win the race) we need to get rid of all those bad things that weigh us down. Whenever we sin (do what we know God doesn’t want us to do) then it’s like we are carrying a heavy weight that slows us down. So let’s try to do what God wants us to do so that we are not carrying around a heavy weight of sin. Of course, the good news is that when we ask forgiveness for the things we’ve done wrong, God forgives us takes away that heavy weight.
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, help us to put off all those sinful things in life that just weigh us down and slow us down. Thank you that through Jesus we can be forgiven and we can walk (and run) right beside you every day of our lives. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
Copyright 2016 Sundaychildrensfocus - Andrew Hewlett Feel free to use this on Sunday. If you post it on the web please give credit to Sunday Childrens Focus and consider linking to this web site. Thank you! - A.H.
Kids sermon idea: Highlight the fact that Jesus cares about us. He wants to spend time with us. Have a volunteer child stand in front of the children. Then ask them to hold some “important” items. (Some toys, some car keys, food, a cell phone etc.) Ask the children to look at the person, and all the items, and ask them what they think is the most important thing. Have some fun. They will probably each suggest what they think is important. Then point out the person holding the items is really what it most important! Use this as a lead in to explain the story of Jesus visiting the home of Mary and Martha. Mary chose what was most important – spending time of Jesus!
Object lesson props: Various random objects that a child can easily hold.
(Note: Be careful not to teach this in such a way that the ministry of serving is downplayed. You will also want to discuss in practical terms what it means to spend time with Jesus
Children’s focus full story: Good morning, Children! For my message this morning I need a volunteer. Thank you, Carol. Please stand-up front here so we can all see you. Now, I have a bag of some important items that I am going to get her to hold. Let’s see what I have. Here is a toy. That’s important. Would you please hold this item? Here is another item. It is a cell phone. That’s important. Please hold this item too. (Keep loading them up with various items.) Now, here is what I want you to think about. What is the most important thing here? I think these things are all important, but I want you to tell me what do you think is most important? (Listen to the children explain what item they think is most important.) Those are all good suggestions. However, what I think is most important is not these things; the most important thing is not a thing! It is a person, Carol! I know this was a bit of a trick question. But the point I want to make is that Carol is more important than all these things.
This reminds me of a story in the 10th chapter of the gospel of Luke where Jesus is visiting Mary and Martha. Mary spent time being with Jesus. But her sister Martha was very upset that she had to all kinds of work to do. When she complained to Jesus, he said that Mary was doing what was most important of all – spending time with Jesus.
Children, we want to do all sorts of things for Jesus (Give some example) However we don’t want to forget that Jesus wants to spend time with us. He loves us and doesn’t want us to be so busy we forget to enjoy his love. (This is a challenging concept so you may need to give examples of what it means to be like Mary, sitting at Jesus’ feet) I want to encourage you children to spend time with Jesus in prayer, in reading what he says in the Bible, in just being quiet, sensing his love. (You might explain that although Jesus promises to be with us always, we get so distracted and can forget that his loving presence is with us. Emphasize both sides of the equation. Jesus loves us and wants to spend time with us. Also, we desperately need to spend time with him.)
Children’s Prayer: (Before starting your prayer consider taking a few seconds for the children to be silent and think of Jesus and the amazing love he has them.) “Dear God, thank you that you love us so much that you (and your son Jesus) want to spend time with us. In the busyness of the day, help us to find time to slow down and remember that you are with us and that you love us with an everlasting love. In Jesus’ name – Amen!”
Copyright 2022 Sundaychildrensfocus.com Feel free to use this but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider “Liking” or linking to this page. Thank you! A.H.
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, thank you for Jesus and his wonderful life. Help us to truly build our lives on Him and not something else. Copyright 2012 Sundaychildrensfocus.com Andrew Hewlett Feel free to use this on Sunday but please give credit to SundaychildrensFocus. Please consider linking to this site. Thanks! A.H.
Copyright 2009 Andrew Hewlett SundayChildrensFocus.com Feel free to use this story on Sunday morning but please give credit to SundayChildrensFocus and consider linking to this site. Blessings, A.H.
“Abraham obeyed God and went, even though he did not know where he was going”
Quick overview: Have one of the children volunteer and have then put a blind fold over their eyes. Tell them you are going to take them on a short journey (around the church sanctuary) but they won’t be able to see where they are going. Explain that because you are a friend and can be trusted, they won’t get lost. Debrief with the children by explaining that we can trust that God will lead us if we seek to follow Him. We won’t always know where we are going but God loves us and will be our sure guide through the journey of life.
Objects needed: a blind fold or tea towel to cover a child’s eyes
Children’s Sermon: Good morning kids! One of our bible readings today is about Abraham following God, even though he didn’t know exactly where he was going. Many years ago in the land of the Bible God called a man named Abraham to go to a land far away. God sent him off on a journey without a map or a GPS. Abraham didn’t know exactly where he was going but God promised that he would guide him to a very special land and through him create a great nation. It would have been pretty scary not knowing where he would end up making his home. But Abraham knew it would all work out because God promised to be with him and to guide him to just the right place.
Perhaps I will show you what it was like for Abraham to head off trusting God. I need a volunteer to help me. Yes Janet, come up here and I’m going to put this blind fold over your eyes so you can’t see. Now, I’m going to quickly lead you by the hand around the inside of this church. The rest of you children can follow along for fun. (Lead the blindfolded individual down the aisle, around the back of the church to various places and come back up to another area up near the front. If you have a traveling mic you can ask them various questions: What are you feeling? Is this scary? Is this fun? etc.) When you get back to the front of the church explain that this little trip was like Abraham heading off to an unknown land.) Well done! Thank you for helping Janet! Many years ago Abrahams adventure was a bit scary but he trusted (had faith) that God would watch over him and lead him. What is wonderful about this bible story is that the same God who was with Abraham promises to lead us in our lives if we trust and obey him. In life we don’t always know where we are going, and sometimes life just doesn’t make sense! However, if we seek to live the way God wants us to live he will bring us to just the right place where he wants us to be. We will also discover that life is a wonderful adventure when we follow God and his Son Jesus Christ. Jesus promised that he would never leave us so we know we can always trust (have faith) that he will be there as our guide and friend.
Children’s prayer: Dear God, thank you that you and your Son Jesus promise to be with us always. Help us, through the power of your Holy Spirit to follow you and obey you wherever you lead us. Thank you that you have a wonderful adventure in store for us. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
Copyright 2016 SundayChildrensFocus.com Feel free to use this on Sunday Morning but please give credit to Sunday Children's Focus and consider linking to this web site. Thank you! A.H.
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