Children's Sermon / Object lesson Mark 4: 26-34 The Kingdom of God and the mustard seed
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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Children’s sermon on the Parable of the Wedding Banquet / Feast
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!
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