Prayer: Thank you God that Jesus cared so much about the temple being a place of prayer for everyone. Thank you God for this place where we come to pray and to worship. God, help us to remember that although we have lots of fun here the most important thing is that it is a place of prayer and worship – in Jesus name. Amen
Basic kids story idea: Have fun getting the children to imitate some people in the church (How Bill plays the bass guitar, how Nic plays the drums or how Bud probably drives his car. Explain that the apostle Paul said that we should all do our best to imitate Jesus Christ. (You might highlight the way he showed loved and made himself as servant.)
Full Children's sermon: Good morning Children! Do you know what it means to imitate someone? That’s right. It means doing the same things that another person in doing. We never want to imitate someone to make fun of them or embarrass them. That would be unkind. However, this morning I asked some people if it was alright for us to imitate them. Bill said it was ok for us to imitate him playing the bass guitar. Let’s do that now. (Have some fun with this.) Great! I also asked Nic if we could imitate him playing the drums. Ok, let’s see how you can imitate him playing the drums. That’s very good. I also asked Bud if we could imitate the way Bud probably drives his car. Let’s do that. That is very good children! You really are able to imitate different people well.
This morning we have an important Bible message from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians. He tells Christians that they should do their best to imitate Jesus Christ! We should do what we can to live the same way Jesus did. One of the most important things about Jesus was that he showed love to people. Even though he God’s son and was a King he spent his time serving others. He would even help and serve people that were very poor or were considered by others to be unimportant.
What are some of the ways we can imitate Jesus?(Have a short discussion about things that Jesus did that we can also do to others.) Yes, those are all good ways of imitating the life of Jesus.
Children’s prayer: Dear God, thank you for the many ways Jesus loved and served others. Help us to imitate him by showing love and kindness to others. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
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
In the account of John 10:1-10 Jesus is both the shepherd and the gate to the sheep pen. The latter part of the text focuses on Jesus being the gate.
A. Illustrate the Sheepfold and Gate: You can create a homemade sheepfold and toy sheep to illustrate the concept of Jesus being the gate of the sheep. (A miniature sand box would work too) Show the children how the shepherd would lead the sheep into the sheepfold at night for protection. Often the Shepherd would lie across the opening to the pen making himself literally a “gate”. Explain how Jesus is the gate, and that only through Him can we enter the Kingdom of God.
B. Blindfolded Obstacle Course: Set up an obstacle course and have the children take turns navigating it while blindfolded. At the end of the obstacle course you could have a sheep pen. Then, remove the blindfolds and guide the children through the course to illustrate how Jesus is the good shepherd who can lead his sheep. He is also the gate into the sheep pen. We must enter through this gate (Jesus) to enter the sheep pen.
C. Sheep Costume: Dress up a child in a sheep costume and have the other children pretend to be wolves or thieves. (Note: This can get a little chaotic!) Explain how the sheep only follow the shepherd's voice and that Jesus is our Good Shepherd who protects us from harm. Use a homemade shepherds staff to protect the sheep from the wolves. It could be a lot of fun! That will help them remember.
D. The Life / Maze Game: Create a maze on a large piece of paper and have the children take turns finding their way through it. Then, explain how life can often feel like a maze, but by following the Jesus (and his wisdom) we can find out way without getting lost.
Note: You may have a ready made object lesson if there is any “gate” on your church property. Alternately you can use any door in your church as a gate.
Copyright 2013 Andrew Hewlett and Sundaychildrensfocus.com Feel free to use this on Sunday but please give credit to Sundayschildrensfocus and consider linking to this web site. Thanks – A.H
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.
Basic idea: Engage the children in a simple activity that requires persistence (balancing something, throwing a ball into a basket, etc. Or, you could bring in an item that you created that took a lot of persistence). Paraphrase the story of the Canaanite woman, highlighting that she was persistent and refused to give up.
Object item: a knitted sweater, a piece of art work etc.
Good morning Children! Today, we're going to learn a wonderful story from the Bible about a woman who showed amazing faith and persistence. This story is from the book of Matthew, chapter 15, and it's about a Canaanite woman. She lived in a land far away from Jerusalem.
Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there lived a woman who had a daughter who was not well. This woman had heard about a special person named Jesus, who had the power to heal the sick. She believed that Jesus could help her daughter, so she went to find him.
When she finally found Jesus, she cried out to him, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession." (or substitute “is terribly afflicted” if at this moment in time you don’t want to get into a discussion on demons)
At first, Jesus didn't answer her. But the woman didn't give up. She kept on pleading with him, even when his disciples asked Jesus to send her away. She knelt before Jesus and said, "Lord, help me!"
Jesus replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to the dogs." The woman responded with amazing faith, "Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table."
Jesus was amazed by herr faith and persistence. He said, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And in that very moment, her daughter was healed.
What a beautiful story of faith and persistence! This woman didn't give up, even when thing seemed difficult. She kept believing that Jesus could help her daughter, and because of her strong faith, her daughter was healed.
Now, let's think about how we can apply this story to our own lives. Just like the Canaanite woman, we should never give up when we face challenges. We should believe that God is always with us and will help us, no matter what. Sometimes, we might face obstacles, but if we trust in God and keep asking for His help, amazing things can happen.
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, Thank you for this example of the Canaanite woman who refused to give up. Thank you that Jesus was willing to help her even though she lived far away for Him. Help us always to have faith that God will help us with all our needs. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
Copyrite 2023 Feel free to use this on Sunday but please give credit to SundayChildrensFocus.com - and consider linking to this site! Thank you - A.H.
Showing the compassion of Jesus
Object lesson idea:(Overview -Adapted from a story I used when there was an earthquake in Haiti)
Children’s Prayer: Dear God. We know that there are many people who need help in the country of Nepal. Please send many doctors and other helpers to support the people. And show us what we can do to put the love of Jesus into action and help these people in need. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
“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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