following Jesus

  • Lectionary Lesson: Jesus sends us out

    Children's Story on Jesus sending out the disciples

    Theme: Jesus sends out his disciples          

    Text: Mark 6:1-13      Lectionary: Trinity 4   disciples sent out
    Props: None (This is in keeping with the idea that the disciples were instructed to take nothing for the journey.)
    Basic idea: A Simple interactive drama on how Jesus sent his disciples out and that he sends us (his disciples today) out into the world.
    Full Story: Good Morning Children. I want to read to you a bible passage from the 6th chapter of Mark’s gospel. It’s about Jesus sending out his disciples. (Read the text – paraphrase if necessary) Jesus knew there were many people in the world that were hurting and in need so he called his followers who were learning about him (his disciples) and sent them out to bring healing. He also sent them out with the important message about turning away from sin (what we do wrong) and turning to God. Since we are also disciples of Jesus lets pretend that we are being sent out by him this morning. First of all the bible says that Jesus called the disciple to himself. He knew they needed to spend time with him first before going out into the world. They needed to know his love and his power. So come in close together. (Get the children to huddle in close) Then Jesus sent them out two by two to preach repentance (turning away from what is wrong and turning to God), teach, to heal and to overcome the power of evil.
    Explain that on this journey Jesus told them not to take extra things with them. Explain that we need to remember that sometimes people don’t need “things” to help them; they just need a message (repentance and the good news of Jesus) and prayer (for healing and restoration). Those two things are very powerful. God used the disciples when they didn’t have any “things” to give. God will use us to bring life and healing to others even when we don’t have things to give. The message of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, and our powerful prayers are of central importance in the world.
    1. Small congregation: Quickly, tell the congregation that you are dividing them into two groups. Ask all the people who were born on an even numbered year to remain seated, leaning forward with their heads in their hands (these are the people needing healing). Tell the rest of the congregation to stand up and turn around facing the opposite direction. (These are the people needing to repent and turn to God).
    2. Larger congregation: (Use the same idea but use only a limited number of church rows)
    (Explain that the disciples will be sent out two by two and will be asked to quickly go out into the “world” to touch (in Jesus’ name) the people needing healing and that after receive this “healing touch” to stand up - representing their healing. The people needing repentance (have their backs turned) can turn around when the young disciples look at them and say “repent and turn to God.”
    Set up the children in groups of twos and make sure they know what to do. Send the children out with the message of repentance and the power to heal.”
    Chaos should ensue (it makes it fun) until all the people are standing facing forward. Check to make sure no one has been missed. Ask the children to gather again. Explain that this was a fun drama but that God really does send us into the world as his disciples. God wants us to share the good news of “repentance and faith” in Jesus Christ and also to pray for those in need.)
    Pray: God, thank you for sending the disciples into the world to preach and to heal. Thank you that we are your disciples and that you send us into the world with the Good News of Jesus and also with the power to pray for people – that God would bring healing to then and help them in all their needs. In Jesus’ name. Amen
    (Note: If some people are in wheel chairs and can’t stand up ask them to raise their hands as a sign that they haven’t been completely healed yet but they have been made whole by Jesus)
    Copyright 2009 Andrew Hewlett (Feel free to use this story on Sunday morning but please give credit to and consider linking to this web site)




  • Object lesson - Workers in the Vineyard

    Kids drama sermon - Matthew 20: 1-15 Parable of the workers in the vineyard

    Idea for Children’s sermon:   
    (1) Consider acting out the parable. Pick out the key actors and ask them to act the story out as you give a paraphrased account of the story.
    --Another option:
    (2) Have a long time member of the congregation (or older believer) come up front. Hand them a big box and explain to the children that this represents (or shows us) that this faithful order Christian has received a “big box” of the wonderful life and love of Jesus Christ. Then bring up another younger person who has only been a Christian for a short period of time. Ask the children what size box of Jesus’ love and life they should have. Hand them the same size box and explain how even new believers get the same huge amount of God’s love and life in Jesus Christ.
    Object lesson items needed: Two large boxes the same size. In big letters write on each box, “The Love and Life of Jesus Christ.
    Full Children’s Sermon:
    Good Morning Children! This morning I’m going to ask Mr. Jones to come up in front of the church with us. (Ask Mr. Jones to come forward.) He is a very special person because he is 80 years old. He has always been a believer in Jesus Christ and he has been a member of our church longer than anyone else has. I wonder how much of the life and love of Jesus Christ has been given to him. I’m going to pretend the life and love of Jesus Christ is like this big box. (Hand the box to Mr. Jones.) He has been a believer for a very long time and I think he should have large amount of God’s live and love in Jesus Christ. Now, I’m going to ask another person to come forward. Debbie, will you please come forward? Debbie is only 16 years old and she has only been a believer in Jesus for one year! Some of you might remember when she was baptized. Since Debbie is a brand new Christian, how much of the life and love of Jesus Christ does she get? Should she perhaps get a little amount like this small box here? (Hold it up besides Mr. Jones’ box.) That would make sense wouldn’t it? She hasn’t been following Jesus nearly as much as Mr. Jones here. However, do you know what is amazing? The bible says that a new Christian believer like Debbie gets just as much of the life and love of Jesus as a long time believer like Mr. Jones. (Put the small box down and hand them a large box the same size as Mr. Jones’ to Debbie.) Isn’t that wonderful. God blesses us with a huge amount of the life and love of Jesus Christ even if we are a new Christian! Notice too the big smile on Mr. Jones’ face. He does not feel this is unfair. He’s happy that Debbie has this same wonderful gift of love and joy.
    Children’s Prayer: Dear God, thank you for your life and love that is in Jesus Christ your Son. There is more than enough to go around. Thank you that like these big boxes here, you have a big amount of your love and life for each of us even if we are a new Christian. In Jesus’ name – Amen!

    Copyright 2011   Andrew Hewlett  Feel free to use this on Sunday but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus and consider linking to this web site.  Thanks  - A.H.
  • Object Lesson -Not of this World


    Kids sermon / object lesson Not of this World 

    Object Lesson Text: John 17:6-19       
    Objects: Toy duck, teddy bear or any stuffed animal (or a live animal if possible)
    Children's Sermon idea: Jesus said that as Christians we are “not of this world.” Heaven is our true home. Place a bird, duck or some other animal (It could be a real animal.) on one of your church chairs beside other members of your congregation. Discuss with the children how this little animal would feel in this strange place away from the duck pond. Discuss with the children how heaven is our true homeand the implications of being “not of this world.”
    Full Children's Sermon : Good morning children. I want to read to you something that Jesus said. It’s found in the Gospel of John, chapter 17, vs 13-18. (Read the text). Jesus said that we are “not of this world” in the same way that he is “not of this world.” Isn’t that interesting? As Christians and followers of Jesus our true home is heaven and this world is just a place we are visiting. I’ll explain to you what that is like. Look what I brought to church this morning. (Hold up a little duck). Imagine someone brought a little duck to church – this is just a toy duck but we can pretend. We’ll put him / her right here beside Mr. Johnston with all the other people in our church. How do you think this little duck will feel? (Discuss the fact that he is away from his real home at the duck pond. Discuss how he might feel out of place. Discuss how the people might get upset with the bird quacking and flying around etc.) That’s right. It would be difficult because this church is not the duck’s real home. I’m sure he would sit here dreaming about his true family and friends at home in the duck pond. Jesus said that as Christians and followers of Jesus our true home is heaven and that we are only visitors in this world. Because heaven is our true home we might sometimes feel like this little duck here this morning. Sometimes other people will make fun of us because we follow Jesus. Sometimes others just won’t understand what being a Christian is all about. Sometimes we will feel like this world is not our home. But that’s ok. Our real home is with God in heaven. Even here our earth we are members of the Kingdom of God. One day we will be with God in heaven but in the meantime there is so much for us to do here. Jesus sends us into this strange world to show his love, his power and his life to the many people who are lost and don’t know him.
    Kids Prayer: Dear God. Thank you that we have a wonderful home with you in heaven. While we are here on earth help us to share the love of Jesus in word and example. When we feel out of place and uncomfortable in this world help us to remember your son Jesus said he would always be with us. We ask this in the name of Jesus – Amen.
    Copyright Andrew Hewlett 2009
    (Feel free to use this story but please give me credit and consider putting a link on your web site – Blessings, A.H.)

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  • Parable of the Ten Virgins

    Parable of the Ten Virgins – Always be ready -

    Children’s sermon overview:

    This is an object lesson that will help your kids and congregation understand the important message of the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matt 25) while highlighting the importance of being prepared in times of need. Use oil lamps or flashlights to make the lesson interactive and relatable. If you use flashlight you could always start by showing of what an “old fashioned flashlight” (ie a oil lamp) looked like.

    Note: If you are doing this in front of the whole congregation you could have someone turn out the lights. Then pretend to be in a fluster until you pull out your flashlight – only to discover the batteries are dead! Then relate this to being prepared for the coming of Christ.

    Object lesson items:(if you are doing this in a separate room apart from the congregation)

    1. Ten lamps or flashlights (five should have fully charged batteries, while the other five should be out of power). Adjust the numbers if you don’t have too many children.
    2. A darkened room or space where lights can be dimmed.
    3. A copy of Matthew 25:1-13 or rehearse a paraphrased version.

    Object Lesson:

    Start by briefly introducing the Parable of the Ten Virgins and its message of preparedness. Mention that we'll be using lamps or flashlights to illustrate this lesson. To keep things simple (and depending on the age of the children) you could retell the parable by referring to wise and foolish “people”.

    a. Set the Scene: Dim the lights in the room to simulate a power outage. Explain to the participants that we will pretend that there is a sudden blackout, and you need their help to find a solution.

    b. Divide the Lamps: Hand out the ten lamps or flashlights to the participants, five with working batteries or oil, and five that are out of power. (You could hand them out before too)

    c. Role Play: In the darkened room, have five participants with working lamps act as the "wise virgins /people," and five with non-working lamps act as the "foolish virgins." Encourage the "wise virgins" to help and share their light with the "foolish virgins."

    d. Light of Preparedness: Discuss with the participants how being prepared helps us not only in power outages but also in life's unexpected challenges. Link this to the parable and the importance of being ready to meet / serve Jesus at any time.

    Invite participants to think about situations in their lives where being prepared is crucial. Encourage them to share their thoughts and discuss how they can apply the lesson from the parable to their daily lives as followers of Jesus.

    Emphasize the importance of being prepared spiritually, not just for power outages, but for life's trials and challenges.

    Summarize the main points of the lesson, reiterating the importance of being spiritually prepared for Christ's return and being a source of light to others in times of darkness.

    Children’s Prayer: Dear God, Help us always to be prepared and ready for when the power might go out in out our homes. Also, help us also to be living in such a way that we will be ready to meet Jesus when he returns – In Jesus’ name – Amen!


  • Parable of the two sons - and the vineyard

    The parable of the two sons and the vineyard - Matthew 21:23-32 Self-righteousness, Obedience and the importance of recognizing our need for Jesus.

    Give the kids some background to the Parable:

    Start by introducing the parable of the 2 sons and its context (Matthew 21:23-32). Discuss the characters and the vineyard setting. Ask the kids why they think Jesus used parables to teach important lessons.

    Consider using use props, visual aids, or even act out the story with the help of the students. Make sure to emphasize the contrast between the two sons' actions.

    Discuss Obedience and Repentance:

    After telling the parable, lead a discussion about the behavior of the two sons. Here’s some ideas:

    Why did the first son initially refuse to obey but later changed his mind?

    Why did the second son agree to obey but didn't follow through?

    What do these actions teach us about repentance and obedience?

    Note: Highlight the idea that people who think they are righteous and have it all together don’t need God or his forgiveness. It is those who know they are broken and in need that reach out to Jesus for forgiveness and healing.

    Try Role-Playing:

    (for some of the more mature children) Divide the kids into small groups and assign each group one of the two sons. Ask them to create short skits or role-plays that illustrate the actions and attitudes of their assigned son. Encourage them to reflect on the importance of both initial intentions and follow-through.

    Application of the Parable:

    Discuss how this parable relates to our own lives at home, at church or at school. Talk about situations where we might say we will do something but don't follow through, and vice versa. Encourage students to think about how they can be more obedient and repentant in their daily lives.

    Bible Journaling and Art:

    Provide art supplies and encourage students to create journal entries or artwork that represents the parable's message. This creative exercise can help them internalize the lesson in a personal way.

    Challenge them to memorize key verses in this passage:

    Choose a key verse from this passage (e.g., Matthew 21:31b) and have the students memorize it. Discuss the verse's meaning and how it ties into the parable.

    Craft Activity:

    Create a simple craft activity where the children ccan make "repentance and obedience reminder cards" to take home. These cards can feature key verses or a brief summary of the parable.

    Guest Speaker or Testimony from someone in the congregation (use a teen or someone they look up to:

    Invite a guest speaker or share a personal testimony of someone who experienced a transformation through repentance and faith. This real-life example can emphasize the power of God's grace.

    Final Closing Prayer and Reflection:

    Conclude the lesson with a prayer, asking for God's guidance in living a life of true repentance and obedience. Encourage the kids to reflect on what they've learned and how they can apply it during the upcoming week.

  • Sunday school resources - Parable of the talents

    Sunday School Resource: Children's Sermon/    

    Object lesson on the Parable of the Talents  Matt 2514-30

    buried gifts

    (I just remembered it is Shoe Box(Samaritan's Purse) Sunday at our church. I'm going to substitude the first-aid kit for a Shoe Box gift box.)

    Children’s talk idea: Show the children a first-aid kit, discuss its contents and demonstrate how items are used to help an injured person. Discuss how tragic it would be to refuse to open it up and use the contents for good. We are a bit like the first-aid kit. God has given us talents and abilities that need to be opened up and used. How tragic it would be to “play it safe” and not share what we have. Discuss the parable of the talents and the danger of burying what has been entrusted to us.
    Object lesson items: A small first aid kit. If it is new (wrapped up and sealed) all the better.
    Children’s Sunday School Sermon:
    Good morning children! Have you ever seen a box like this? Do you know what it is? That’s right! It is a first-aid kit. What are some things that might be inside? Let’s open it up and look inside. It’s all nicely wrapped up so I will have to remove this plastic first. Look how nice and neat it is inside. (Examine the contents and discuss how various items could be used to help an injured person. You might have one of the children pretend to be injured.) Now, what if this first-aid kit was so special to me that I was afraid to open it up and use it? (Clutch the first-aid kit in your arms.) What if I said to myself, “I only have 5 band-aids and I don’t want to use them up”? Or, “The kit is so neat and tidy, I don’t want it to get messed up.” Or, “I’m going to keep it safe by wrapping it up and burying it over here in a safe place.” That would be very sad. The parent of that child would be angry that we cared more about keeping my kit safe than helping their child.
    This is a bit like today’s bible reading, the parable of the talents. In this parable, the master gave money to his servants. He wanted them to use money for good. Some of the servants put the money to good use but one of the servants buried it in the ground. He was keeping it safe but it certainly didn’t help anyone. He was a bit like someone who was afraid to open up his first-aid kit. God has given each of you special gifts, talents and abilities. (You could give some examples.) It is important that you use what you have for good. Like this first-aid kit, we have gifts and talents that we can use to help others. We certainly don’t want to hold them all inside and keep them from being used. What’s amazing is that Jesus actually said we would end up having more when we give our gifs away. Now that is a miracle!
    Children's Prayer: Dear God, thank you that each of us has gifts and abilities we can use to help others. Help us to open up our lives and share those good things with others in need. In Jesus’ name – Amen!

    Copyright 2011    Andrew Hewlett   Feel free to use this on Sunday morning but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus and consider linking to this site.  Thank you!  A.H.
  • Ten Lepers

    kids ministry  bible talk - Thanksgiving: The story of the Ten Lepers

    – Luke 17:11-19     Thank You God placard
    Children’s Story idea: Discuss with the children the importance of saying thank you. With a helper demonstrate various ways we do that; giving pat on the back, shaking a hand, giving a hug, and giving a thank you card. Explain that it is important to give thanks to God. (Give a short paraphrased account of the ten lepers mentioned in Luke’s gospel.) Suggest that the easiest way to give thanks to God is to simple say “Thank you” in prayer.
    Object lesson items: Have another person help you so you can demonstration the ways of saying “thank you.” Bring a thank you card.
    Full Children’s Story / Sunday School lesson starter:
    Good morning children! Do you know what special time of year it is? That’s right. It’s thanksgiving. Although we always want to give thanks to God this is a special time of remembering all the wonderful things God has provided for us. (You could ask the children to suggest things they are thankful for.) There are many ways we give thanks to other people. Jonathan, please come up front with me. If I was very thankful to Jonathan I could give him a slap or pat on the back. (Give a demonstration as you say thank you.) You could say thank you and give a big hug (Demonstrate). You could shake their hand and say thank you (Demonstrate). Or, you could give then a card or a little gift as a way of saying thank you. (Demonstrate).  But how do we give thanks to God? (Let the children suggest some creative ways of giving thanks.) Those are some wonderful ideas. I’ll tell you what I think is the easiest say to give thanks to God. I think the easiest way is simply to say “Thank you God.” We can’t actually shake God’s hand or send him a card. However, we know God hears our prayers so we can always say “thank you” in prayer. In the Bible the gospel of Luke tells us that one day Jesus healed 10 lepers (people who were very sick). He did a wonderful miracle and healed them all. But do you know how many came back and said thank you to Jesus? (Let them guess.) That’s right, there was only one!
    You would have thought the other nine would have at least said “thank you” to Jesus.
    Boy and girls, God has provided so many things for us in life. We have friends, family, food to eat, houses to live and a wonderful country to live in. We have so much to be thankful for. Let’s take the time right now to thank God for all that we have.
    Children’s Prayer: Dear God, we have so many good things in our life. Thank you for food, friends, our families, sunshine, flowers, and good things like chocolate cookies. But most of all, thank you for your Son Jesus. He loves us so much and has done so much for us. In Jesus’ name – Amen!

  • The Lord's Supper


    Children's Story about Holy Communion

    Sermon for children: Help Children understand Holy Communion / the Lord’s Supper (John 6:56-6:9)
    Basic Idea: Show the back pack you use for hiking and the lunch bag inside. Discuss how this food is vital for the journey. Show the bread and wine / grape juice you use for communion and explain how this spiritual food (of Jesus Christ) is vital sustenance for the journey of life.
    Objects needed: Backpack, lunch container / bag with various food items. The bread and wine /grape juice you use for celebrating the Lord’s Supper.
    Full Story: Good Morning Children. Do you see what I have on my back? Yes. It is the back pack I use for hiking and camping. It holds all the important item I need if I go on a hiking trip. What do you think is one of the most important things to take with you if you are on a trip? (Discuss the responses). Inside this bag is something that is very important to take along. It’s my lunch! Mmmm. Look what I have inside. When you are on a long hike it is very important to have lots of good, healthy food. It gives you the energy to keep going and to stay healthy. In fact, without food you wouldn’t live very long.
    Now, I’d like you all to look over here on this table. It has food for a meal – the bread and wine we use when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper together. It is a special meal because the bread and wine remind us (or are for us) the body and blood of Christ. Jesus said that he was “the bread of life” and that we need to feed on him if we are to really discover that true life that God has for us. When we eat the bread and wine it reminds us that we want Jesus to come inside us and feed us with himself. It also reminds us that his is the bread of life and that he loved us so much he was willing to give his life for us.
    When we celebrate the Lord’s Supper with this bread and wine we might think of it as food for the journey of life. We are all on a journey and big adventure in life and when we have the bread and wine on Sunday it is a time to receive Jesus and all that he did for us. It also reminds us that we need to feed on Jesus every day of our life if we are going to really live.
    Pray: Thank you Lord for our daily food. When we have Holy Communion / the Lord’s Supper, help us to truly feed on Jesus who is the bread of life. Amen!

    Copyright 2009  Andrew Hewlett   Feel free to use this story on Sunday morning but please give credit to and consider linking to this site. Thank you. A.H.

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