Copyright Sundaychildrensfocus.com Andrew Hewlett 2010. Feel free to use this talk on Sunday morning but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider linking to this site. Thanks. 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.
Copyright 2015 Andrew Hewlett and Sundaychildrensfocus - Feel free to use this message but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus.com and consider linking your web site to this page. Thank you! - Also...please "Like" this on facebook!
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.
(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.
(Please note: You might want to check with you pastor before presenting these to the congregation. The Trinity (or Tri – Unity of God) is a mystery. All these illustrations fall short on some aspect of our understanding of God. That being said, these ideas can still be helpful for helping kids understand complex issues.
The Egg: (This has been often used by churches) Use a hard-boiled egg to represent the Trinity. Explain that the egg has three parts: the shell, the white, and the yolk, but it is still one egg. Similarly, the Trinity is one God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit.
Water: Fill three clear glasses with water. Add red food coloring to one glass, blue to another, and yellow to the third. Explain that although the glasses have different colors, they are all still water, just as the Trinity is one God in three distinct persons. (This illustration emphasizes that like God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit have the same “essence” or “stuff” of God.
Puzzle Pieces: Bring a jigsaw puzzle, preferably a large children’s puzzle, with three pieces that fit together to form a whole picture. Discuss how each piece is different but necessary to complete the puzzle. Relate this to the Trinity, where each person is distinct but essential to the fullness of God.
Light and Colors: Use a prism to demonstrate how white light is made up of different colors. Explain that although the colors are distinct, they are all part of the same light, just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct but part of the same God.
Use an Apple: Cut an apple in half horizontally to reveal the star shape in the core. Explain that the star shape represents the Trinity. The core symbolizes God, and the three visible parts represent the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Water: Discuss how water can exist in three forms: solid (ice), liquid (water), and gas (vapor). Relate this to the Trinity, where God exists as three distinct persons. (Please note – in some traditions this may be considered “modalism” – Again – check with your pastor!
Three-Leaf Clover: Use a three-leaf clover to explain the Trinity. Discuss how each leaf is separate but part of the same clover, just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are separate but part of the same God.
Please do stress that these object lessons are limited. Our real God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is a living and loving relationship. And the good news is that we are invited into that relationship.
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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!”
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Youth group object lesson idea: Aim: to Emphasize that God does not just “Like” or “Follow” a few people as with Social media. God knows, follows and loves everybody in the whole world. (If you don’t want to focus attention on social media, or if the children are very young, you could substitute a cell phone for an address book as the main highlighted visual.)
Props needed: A cell phone or an address book with the name of your friends.
Youth sermon: Good morning children! Do you know what this is? Yes, it’s a cell phone. What are some of the things you can do with a cell phone? (let’s them respond) That’s right. You can make phone calls, take pictures, send messages on facebook or Instagram, Etc. Let’s see how many people are in my phone address book…Wow! I have the names of 75 people in my phone contact list. I don’t post on Instagram very often, but I still have 42 “followers!” And let’s look here on facebook. I have 35 “friends!”
I wonder who has the most followers in the world? Or, I wonder who has the most “friends” in the world? (Interact with the youth).
Do you want to know something amazing? There is someone who knows, loves and follows everyone in the whole world. It’s God. The bible says in John 3:16 that God so loved the whole world that he gave his only son…Isn’t that amazing! God actually knows and loves every single person in the world. That would be impossible for us to do. But with God everyone in the world. This would be impossible for us, but not for God. I believe God is thinking about us and following everything we do. And he can do that for every person in the world. Isn’t God amazing! God not only loves you and me, he loves everyone in the world.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the “friends” we have and for all the people that “follow” us and are interested in our lives. But we thank you most of all for being interested in our lives and the lives of every single person the in world. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
Copyright 2023 SundayChildrensFocus and Andrew Hewlett - Feel free to use this but please give credit to this web site and consider linking to the web site. Thank you - A.H.