Lecionary Gospel text for this Sunday: Mark 3:20-35 Who are my mother and brothers? Or, fits with Galatians 3: 23-29 - June 19 2022
Overview: Have various children mention who is in their family. Ask their family members to stand up. Explain how Jesus said his followers (you and me) are also part of another family; the family of God. After having some individual families stand up, have everyone in the congregation stand up and highlight that we belong to this great family. We are brothers and sisters in Christ.
Full kids talk: Good morning children! Who here is a member of a family? (Be sensitive to the wide variety of family situations in your fellowship). That’s right. All of you are from some type of family, big or small. Carol, is your family here this morning? Let’s get them to stand up. I can see you have a mother and two brothers. Richard, do you have family member here today? (Get them to stand up in the congregation)
It’s wonderful that we are part of some type of family that cares for us and loves us. However, did you know that as a follower of Jesus you are a part of another wonderful family? It’s called the family of God! In our bible lesson today from Mark chapter 3 Jesus said that his followers (who were doing his will) were brothers and sisters together. Let’s have this big family stand up. (Ask the whole congregation to stand.) Do you see all these people here this morning? As followers of Jesus we are part of this big family. Can you see Betty over there? She is a grandmother to her own family but think of her as like a grandmother to all of us as well. Look around this circle that we are sitting in. Think of these people as being like your brothers and sisters in God’s big family.
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, thank for our families that loves us and looks after us each day. Thank you also that as followers of Jesus we are a part of wonderful big family called the family of God. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
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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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Idea for the kids talk on Sunday morning: Jesus talked about interpreting the weather and interpreting the times. Bring up various items related to different weather conditions. (ie Sun glasses, umbrella, rubber boots, sweater, etc) Describe different weather conditions and ask the children tell you what item would be appropriate for each type of weather. Give a short overview of Luke 12:9-57 and explain that interpreting the weather is important but it is even more important to understand the times and seasons of life. Conclude by telling the children that it is always the right time and season to follow Jesus.
Object lesson props: Unbrella, sweater, rubber boots, sun glasses, sun tan lotion, jacket.
Full Children’s sermon based on the Lectionary Gospel reading: Good morning Children! Look at some of these things I brought with me this morning. (Alternately, you could come out wearing some of the items!) Do you know what all these items are? Have you ever put on any of these items? Ok, now I want to see if you know when you would wear these items. What if it was a really sunny day with no clouds in the sky? What would be good to wear? That’s right. Putting on the suntan lotion would help prevent a sun burn. Yes, wearing the sun glasses would make it easier on your eyes. Now, what if it was a little bit of cloud with cold wind blowing? Yes, I think it would be a good idea to put on this sweater or wind breaker. Ok, what would I wear before going outside if I looked out and saw big, dark clouds? What should I wear with that type of weather? That’s right, it might be wise to put on a rain jacket because the dark clouds might be a sign that it is going to rain. Well done! You are all very good at interpreting the weather and knowing how to prepare.
In our bible lesson from the Gospel of Luke, Jesus talked about the importance of “understanding the times”. He said that people can look at the weather and understand how to prepare and what to do. But for some reason the people didn’t understand Jesus and the need to follow him! They could understand what to do when the sun came out but they didn’t know what to do when God sent His son Jesus! God sent his son Jesus so we could know Him and discover his love. And we know that Jesus is alive and wants us to follow him and to discover his wonderful life.
So…When you go outside I hope you will remember to check the weather and put on the right clothing. I also hope you will remember that it is always the right time to follow Jesus (to live the way he wants us to live) and discover all we were meant to do and be!
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, help us to be wise and understand that it is always the right time and season to follow Jesus. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
Copyright 2016 Sunday Children's Focus - Andrew Hewlett. Feel free to use this kids lesson on Sunday Morning / Sunday School but please give credit to SundayChildrensFocus.com and consider linking to this web site. Thank you! 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.
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In Mark 6:31 Jesus said: “Come away with me to a quite place and get some rest.” (Rough Draft)
Summary: Gather the children up front and tell them you have some important things to tell them / read to them. Prearrange to have a number of people interrupt you with various distractions. (Prayer requests, your cell phone going off, people asking for various things. Have some fun with this.) Explain how it’s not working very well with all the noise and distractions. Tell the children about the Mark chapter 6 where Jesus was tired and exhausted by all the people in need and how he asked his disciple get away with him to a quiet place. Explain how we all need time to withdraw from the crowds and spend some quiet time with Jesus.
Full children’s message for the text this week: (Pre-arrange to have various people interrupt you and distract you.) Good morning children! I want you to gather around me while I read out a very important words from the bible (I’m going to read out some special Jesus sayings from the gospel of John). Begin reading in a soft voice as the interrupting people come forward with various requests. Be friendly but make it clear that your quiet time with the children is not working very well with all the disruptions.
Debrief: Well children, I’m not sure if you heard those important words from the bible with all the people bothering us. In the Gospel of Mark (chapter 6) it says that Jesus and the disciples were healing people and doing wonderful things. However, there were so many people in need they were getting exhausted. Jesus encouraged the disciples to come away with him to a quiet place where they could get some rest.
In our lives we can become so busy and bothered that we need to get away and spend time alone with Jesus. In fact, I think we should find some time ever day just to be alone with Jesus. We don’t need to go far. It might be in a quiet room in the house or your favourite spot outside in the yard.(Just make sure you tell your parents where you are.) It just needs to be some place that is quiet. We could read our bible, pray or just be rest quietly. You might think of Jesus and the wonderful things he did or listen for his still small voice of love and assurance. Jesus wanted to spend time alone with the disciples and he also wants to spend quiet time with us as well.
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, thank you that Jesus wanted his disciples to come away with him to be together and find rest. Please help us to set aside some time in our busy day) to rest with you and your Son Jesus. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
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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.
Kids sermon idea: This is a fun introduction into the idea that Jesus will make Peter into a solid rock of a disciple. Set up a large box or a stand-up partition to be an imaginary “transformation machine”. Have someone walk behind the machine (or into the box) looking shy and fearful. Have them come out the other side standing up straight and looking confident. Wouldn’t it be great if there was such a machine! Explain how Jesus is in the business of transforming people. Jesus called Simon and said he would make him Peter – the rock. Jesus wants to make us into the people we were created to be.
Set up: 1. A stand up partition or a large box (If you know someone who has purchased a fridge recently. You could add a sign saying, “transformation machine”. 2. Prearrange for someone to enter your machine.
Children’s story: Good morning children! Look what I have here this morning! It’s my transformation machine. I will test it out with my friend Arnold. Look at Arnold. He looks a little shy and fearful. I’m going to have him enter my newest invention. It’s a transformation machine. It makes us into the people we were created to be. (Have Arnold walk behind the partition or into the large box. You could push some pretend buttons for special effects. Have them exit your transformation machine and come out the other side standing tall and full of confidence and enthusiasm.) Wow! Isn’t that amazing! He went in shy and fearful and came out standing tall and confident. My transformation machine is a success!
Unfortunately, this is just a pretend machine. No one has been able to invent a transformation machine. However, Jesus said that his followers could be transformed into the people God created us to be. In our bible reading today Jesus called Simon to follow him. He said that he would call him Peter, which means rock. Jesus was going to transform him into a bold disciple. He would be strong like a rock.
In a similar way, Jesus wants us to follow him, and he promises to transform us. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, he will us make strong, loving, and bold followers of Jesus.
Children’s prayer: Dear God, thank you that Jesus transformed Simon into the Peter the rock. Help us to be faithful followers of Jesus so that we too will be transformed into bold and loving disciples who will help change the world. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
Copywrite 2023 Sundaychildrensfocus - Andrew Hewlett Feel free to use this on Sunday but consider linking to this site or "Like" it on facebook. Thank you! A.H.
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
Idea overview: Show the children an ambiguous picture of a person or thing (Consider the cryptic picture of Jesus (see above). Ask them if they can see the picture of a person (or whatever object you use that is not obvious to all). Show them where the person is in the picture. Discuss how we can sometimes miss what seems to be in plain sight. Explain how Jesus did many wonderful things but some people just couldn’t see that Jesus was the promised savior.
Objects needed: Some ambiguous picture that people might need help to truly see and understand. (If you want to find the picture above, simply do an internet search for “Jesus in the snow”)
(Note: Make sure that some children are not left with the idea that they are spiritually blind. Highlight that this illustrates that we can sometimes miss what is right before us. I would emphasize that many people seem to be blind to Jesus, but thankfully they can see and understand he really is a wonderful Savior.)
Children’s sermon: Good morning, Children! Today I would like you to look at this interesting picture. What do you see? Can you see a person in the picture? (If someone sees the image of a person, have them get up and help explain it to others) Yes, some people see the picture of a person. I think it looks like how I picture Jesus – although no one knows for sure exactly what he looked like. See, here are the person’s eyes, there is his nose etc.
When Jesus walked on this earth many years ago there were some people who couldn’t really understand Jesus. It was like they were “spiritually blind”. In our bible reading today Jesus healed a blind man. Many people saw and believed in Jesus and his wonderful healing power. However, some people were right there but refused to believe in Him. Even when they could see that the blind man had been wonderfully healed! It was like they were blind to understanding that Jesus was the Savior.
I am so thankful that we know Jesus is really the savior of the world. It is sad that many people just can’t “see” what a wonderful savior he is. My prayer is that, as we follow Jesus, others can come to understand and see that he really is the savior of the world.
Children’s prayer: Dear God, thank you for opening our eyes and hearts so that we can believe and know that Jesus really is the savior of the world. Help us to live in such a way that others who seem to be blind to him will come to know him, and his amazing love. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
Copywrite 2023 Sundaychildrensfocus and Andrew Hewlett Feel free to use this but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus Please "Like" or Link to this page or website. Thank you! - A.H.
Children’s Prayer: Thank you God for sending Jesus. Help us to learn from Him and follow him each day of our life. In Jesus’ name – Amen. Copyright sundaychildrensfocus.com 2011 Andrew Hewlett Feel free to use this on Sunday morning but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus
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