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!
Copyright Sundaychildrensfocus 2021 Feel free you use this on Sunday morning but please “Like” this on the Home Page link. Thank you. A.H.
Childrens sermon idea: This is short dramatic explanation of the faith of the centurion.
Here are some quick ideas that you could use: (Or you can always just check out the stories on this website!)
1. Take the kids on an outdoor thanksgiving walk. Do a walking trip and ask the children to notice things they are thankful for. As they mention things, ask them why they are thankful for those items: You are thankful for trees. Why? What good things come from trees? (Wood to build houses; Shade on a hot day; privacy etc. After discussing each item, you (or the children) could lead in a prayer of thanksgiving to God.
2. Read out a parable or other bible story and have the children act out the story as you read out a paraphrased version. (Parables such as the Prodigal Son and the Good Samaritan can work well for spontaneous dramas.) Extra: Record your drama on your cell phone and show it to them.
3. Tell you story of coming to faith in Jesus and have the children tell their story. (Be sensitive to the fact that children may not all have a polished, rehearsed testimony. When you are finished, lead in prayer, giving thanks for the many ways that people come to follow Jesus.
4. Have one of the young people share a problem or trial and facilitate a group discussion on how to help that person. What help does Jesus provide? What help can class members provide? This exercise can help develop your group’s compassion quotient.
5. Facilitate a discussion on the practical needs of your church and community. Is there a project you could all be involved in? How can you help people in need? Bake cookies and ask church members to donate to your good cause.
6. Prepare a song (an action song) or a skit that you could present to the congregation the following Sunday. (Or to an elderly shut in person)
7. Put together a quick bible trivia game and ask the kids to fill in the blanks or give the answers.
8. Play a Bible Pictionary Game. Make up a list of cards with bible names, events, or people. Divide into two groups and have a person in the group pick a card and draw a picture in front of their group without using words. If the team guesses what the picture is about, the team gets a point.
9. Use building blocks to build the Temple, Jerusalem or other bible scene.
10. Have the children work together to do a puzzle. Use this as an opportunity to speak about working together as a team.
11. Ask a member of the congregation to come and speak to the kids. If you have a young person who is a role model, all the better. Or interview them: How did you come to believe in Jesus? Do you find it hard being a Christian at school? How to you keep strong as a Christian? What are some of your favorite bible verses? Hearing a word from an older young person can be powerful.
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
This children’s lesson on “Doubting Thomas” is a bit different in that it highlights the positive aspects of doubt (A careful balance is needed here). The basic idea is to blindfold one of the children and ask them to pick out real fruit / food from fake food. Doubt can keep us from eating fake fruit. However, when we find the real fruit we would never enjoy it if we doubted too much. (Then make the connection with Jesus and the resurrection. FYI – I’m just trying to get away from implying that doubt is always wrong)
Objects / materials needed: 1. Fake (imitation) fruit or some other types of imitation food. Some real fruit / food. 2. A blindfold
Basic kids sermon overview: Begin by holding up the fake fruit and asking the children if they can tell whether it's real or fake.
Place a blindfold on one of the children and ask them to feel the fruit and guess whether it's real or fake. They may feel uncertain or doubtful about their guess. Ask the rest of the class (or the other kids with you in the front of the church) to help the blindfolded child by describing the fruit's texture, weight, and other qualities. Have some fun with this. As they give more information, the child may become more confident and less doubtful in their guess. Take off the blindfold and reveal the truth about the fake fruit. Explain that sometimes we have doubts or questions about things we can't see or understand clearly, just like the blindfolded child had doubts about the fruit. However, when we seek answers and gather more information, our doubts can turn into understanding and faith. Highlight that doubts can help us avoid unhealthy or deceiving things and can point us to what is real or genuine.
Conclude by reading the bible passage about “Doubting Thomas” (John 20: 24-29) and how he was determined to find out the truth about Jesus. Encourage the children to ask questions and seek understanding, knowing that doubt can lead to greater knowledge and faith.
Once we have seen the good evidence (or heard from trustworthy people) about Jesus we need to caste off our doubts in order to believe and enter into the life Jesus offers.
Through this object lesson, the children will learn that doubt can sometimes be a good thing, as it can motivate us to seek answers and gain deeper understanding. They will also learn that seeking answers with the help of others can strengthen their faith and confidence in the risen Savior.
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the wonderful resurrection of your son Jesus – that he is alive! Help us always to be wise and careful to make sure we are believing the truth about Jesus and his wonderful life and love. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
Copywrite 2023 SundayChildrensfocus Andrew Hewlett - feel free to use this but please give credit to SundayChildrensfocus.com - Thank you A.H.
Check out these children's Sunday school object lesson ideas for John 14:1-14, which talks about the many rooms in our Father's house: Stress that we don’t need to worry that it is short of space. Highlight that Jesus said he was going there ahead of us to prepare this wonderful place.
Involve the kids in Building a house: Bring in some toy building blocks and ask the children to help you build a house. Talk about how just as we need many rooms in a house for different people to live in, there are many rooms in our Father's house for all of us. Stress the idea there is lots of room.
Finding Our Way to our true home with God our father: Give each child a small compass and ask them to follow the direction of "home." (You may need to give a bit of an explanation about what a compass in and how it works) Talk about how just as a compass helps us find our way, Jesus is the way to our true home in heaven.
"The Key to Heaven": Bring in a large key (have a wood working friend make one) and talk about how it represents the key to heaven. Ask the children what they think it takes to get the key and discuss how by believing in Jesus, we are given the key to eternal life. Discuss what might be the characteristics of “our our heaven father’s house”.
Work with the children to produce a “Map to Heaven": Bring in (or make) a large map and talk about how it represents the journey to our Father's house. Discuss how by following Jesus, we can find our way to our ultimate destination and home.
Text: Mark 5:21-43 Jairus’ daughter (Trinity 2)
Basic kids sermon idea: Start by having the children show how they wake up in the morning and tell them this is a “wake up” story. Have the children dramatize the various emotions mentioned as you read through the text (concern, grief, laughter, amazement, joy) (Note: You could have the children pretend that they are Jairus daughter. However, my wife told me she felt parents might be uneasy about then acting out that they had died!) For this to be most effective it needs to be fairly fast paced with lots of energy and emotion.
Full Childrens Story: Good morning children. Do you find it easy to wake up in the morning? How do you parents wake you up? Do you yawn or stretch? Show me. Close you eyes like you are asleep. Now show me what you do. “Time to wake up. It’s morning time.” (Let the children show you how they get up.) Well today our Bible reading is story about Jesus waking a child up. But what is amazing about this “wake up story” is that Jesus woke her up after she died! We can wake up people when they are asleep but Jesus proved that he could wake up people even when they are dead. That is truly amazing.
I’m going to tell you the story and I would like you to act out how the people were feeling. This story is found in Chapter 5 of Mark’s Gospel
(Read through the Bible text or create your own paraphrase: Stop and gesture to the children at the appropriate times. They’ll pick up the idea quickly.)
(vs 22) A man named Jairus fell at Jesus’ feet and pleaded with him, “My daughter is dying please come and put you hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” ---What do you think Jairus felt like? Show me how might feel. Yes, he was very worried. (Look worried, bit your nails, put your hands on your forehead, etc
(vs 24)Jesus started to go to Jairus’ house to see his daughter but it was taking a long time because he stopped to talk to another person who needed healing. How do you think Jairus was feeling then? Yes. He was very anxious.
(vs 35)Then all of a sudden some people came from Jairus’ home and said. Your daughter has died. Don’t bother bringing Jesus. (Throw your hands up in the air)
(vs 36)Jesus kept on going and when he came to the house where the girl was he saw all the people crying ( Children pretent to weep)
When he came to the girl he said that she was only sleeping. Since the people knew she had died they laughed at Jesus (Children laugh)
(vs 41) Then Jesus took her by the hand and said “Little girl, I say to you get up!” (vs42) Immediately the girl stood up and walked around. The people were astonished! (show ashtonishment)
(vs 38) Now one more thing. It doesn’t say this in the bible story but what do you think Jairus, the girls father, was feeling? Yes. I think he was celebrating! (jump for joy)
That was great acting children. It was almost like being there! Isn’t that wonderful. Even though the girl died and it seemed too late, it wasn’t too late for Jesus. He was able to wake people up even when they were dead. That’s how wonderful Jesus is.
Pray: Thank you God for this wonderful miracle of Jesus bringing this girl back to life. Thank you for his amazing love and his amazing power. Help us, through your Holy Spirit to follow him and know him more and more each day - In Jesus’ name, Amen!
(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 web site. Thank you! A.H.
“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.
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