Children’s Sermons

Taste of Moses

I’m always looking for new ways to introduce a Bible story. One of our most successful to date has been “eating our way through a story.” Here’s how we covered the story of Moses.

Exodus 1:22-2:4 – Pharaoh orders execution of children, so Moses hidden in a basket and floated on the Nile (Weave a basket out of Twizzlers Pull and Peel)

Exodus 2:5-10 – Moses rescued by Pharaoh’s daughter and raised to be a prince of Egypt (Chocolate Coin)

Exodus 2:11-17 – Moses learns his true identity and kills an Egyptian slave driver, forcing him to flee Egypt, he becomes a shepherd (Goat’s Milk – available at most grocery stores)

Exodus 3:1-10 – While tending his sheep God speaks to Moses through a burning bush (Hot Sauce)

Exodus 7:14-17, 8:1-2, 8:16-17, 9:2-4, 9:8-9, 9:18-19, 10:1-4, 10:21-23, 11:1,4-7 – Moses returns to Egypt to free the Israelites, God accomplishes this through the 10 Plagues of Egypt (Dark Chocolate Chips -Bitter and sweet – They suffered with the plagues but had hope of release)

Exodus 14:10-16 – Moses leads the people out of Egypt and to the Red Sea, when trapped by Pharaoh’s army God parts the waters (Red Kool-Aid Koolers)

Exodus 19:7-9, 20:1-17 – Israelites camp in the desert and receive a gift from God of the 10 Commandments (Dinner Rolls – The Israelites called God’s word the bread of life)

Deuteronomy 27:1-3, 34:4 – Moses sees, but never enters the promise land, the land of Milk and Honey (honey)

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Faith Is…

Visual Aids: One or two optical illusion posters — particularly the 3-D posters that you have to unfocus your eyes in order to see it correctly. Try to find one where the 3-D images is either Jesus or the Bible. For children especially, since they will not likely be able to see the 3-D picture, it is helpful to start off with a simpler optical illusion.

Good morning boys and girls. How are you today? It’s great to see you here. You know, I bet when you were coming to church this morning, you probably saw some things outside as you drove along in the car. Can you tell me some of the things that you saw? [Allow responses]. You know, all of you had to look through the window of your car in order to see those things, didn’t you? That’s right. You don’t look at windows, do you? Of course not, you look past the window to see other things.

[Pull out the 3-D puzzle, or the simpler puzzle] Now, boys and girls, what I have here is kind of like a car window. When you look at this picture, all you see are a bunch of squiggly lines. But you’re not supposed to look at this picture. You’ve got to look through it, or past it in order to see the picture of [the Bible, Jesus, or whatever the 3-D image is]. Does anybody see the image? [Use your discretion in allowing time and responses to this question].

Boys and girls, this is a picture of [the Bible, Jesus, etc.]. But you cannot see it unless you look past it, and that’s difficult to do. Your eyes play tricks on you and keep you from seeing the real image. You know what? Faith is the ability to see past what’s in front of your eyes and to see God and His image. The book of Hebrews says that, “Faith is substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

What does that mean for us? Boys and girls, that means that if you have faith, you don’t look at the things you can see on this earth, like money and problems and things like that. You look past those things until you see the image of God and how He is working behind the scenes to help you and love you and take care of you. God loves you. So, remember, the next time you are afraid, or mad, or sick, or out of money, or in trouble, look past what you see with your eyes and focus on God. He loves you and He will take care of you. Just have faith in Him.

[Close in prayer.] Read more

Odd One Out

Have a selection of several types of balls available.
(Tennis, squash, golf, football, pool, rugby)

Start by holding up a ball, say a tennis ball, and explain what the ball is like. (It has a soft cover, not too hard, round)

Invite a youngster to come and hold the ball.
Do the same for all the other balls leaving the rugby ball until last.

Then ask which one is the odd one out. Usually they will choose the rugby ball. Ask them why. Again, they will say, ‘because it is a different shape to all the other balls’.

Then go on to explain that each ball could be considered the odd one out because they are all different to the others.
The tennis ball has a soft cover, the golf ball has a hard cover, the colour may be different and so on.

Talk about the fact that sometimes we treat people who are different to us badly. We call people names because they are not like us. But because God made us that way, we should treat people with respect and honour. We are precious to God.

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I’m In God’s Hands

Isaiah 41:10

Preparation: Beforehand, prepare at least two things to happen “magically” when you point a remote control in that direction. For instance, get the youth group to stand in unison when you point the remote at them, and then sit back down when you press the remote. Get the person in charge of the lights to dim and brighten the lights when you point the remote at them. Get the pianist/organist or other instrumentalist to play a simple measure when you point the remote at them.

Visual Aids: One or two remote controls

Good morning boys and girls. [Pull out the remote control.] Can anyone tell me what I have in my hands? [Wait for responses.] OK, would you tell me all the different kinds of things you can do with a remote control? [Wait for various responses. Encourage them to move away from just TV controls, and into answers pertaining to remote-control toys, garage door openers, etc.] Wow, so you can do a lot of things with remote controls, can’t you? Well, I have a special remote control here that does some extra special things. [Pull out second remote.] It only does a couple of things, but they’re really special. [Now, show them how your remote performs the tasks that you set up to happen in advance.] See, you can do some really amazing things with this remote control. But, you know, what if I set this remote over here by itself. Could the remote do those special things? [Wait for the “NO’s” to die down.] Why not? [Wait for responses.] A remote control can’t do the special things it’s supposed to do unless someone holds it in his/her hands. Did you know that you are like a remote control? You are. God has some special things for you to do in your life — some really special things. But the only way you can do them is if you are in God’s hand. To do what God wants us to do, we must place ourselves in God’s hands. To do what God wants us to do, we must what? “Place ourselves in God’s hands.” Let’s pray now that today we would put our lives in God’s hands so that He can use us to do some very special things this week. [Read Scripture verse where appropriate.]

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The Bridge to Heaven

Note: This is not original with me, but I do not remember the source. I’ve used it in various groups for about 10 years.

Object: Illustrate John 14:6 – Jesus as the only way to heaven. What you’re going to do is a live presentation of the Bridge to Heaven tract.

Equipment:
• one sturdy plank 2”x6” or better about 12-14 feet long (if this is a bit beat up all the better to represent Jesus’ condition before He was nailed to the cross);
• two pieces of scrap lumber—one sturdy (like the plank) but only 3-4 feet and another long enough (12 ft.) but very weak (easily breakable works best visually);
• two picnic tables (or other sturdy platforms);
• a banner or poster with John 14:6 printed on it; and
• nails & hammer, or a staple gun, or even just push pins.

Volunteer: I never select this child at random. He or she (I have used both sexes successfully) is fully aware of the steps involved, and what’s anticipated. I try to select someone who is lightweight and somewhat outgoing, but uppermost is safety first!

Set-up: The tables are placed end to end, but 8-9 feet apart. All the other equipment is handy but out of the way. (I like them out of sight when possible).

Presentation: (You talk your volunteer and the audience through each of the following steps.)
• Designate one table as Heaven the other as Earth; the gap between the tables is Hell.
• Have the “volunteer” human get on the table Earth.
• His goal is to get to Heaven without falling into the pit of Hell.
• First have him try to get to Heaven on his own by jumping – they refuse. (The distance is usually overwhelming anyway, but for fear of real injury by missing and striking the Heaven table, the volunteer is pre-briefed to refuse to try.)
• Show that many false religions have tried to bridge the gap using the two inadequate lumber props.

I usually use the short one first – “See it gets you part way there.” Hang it so it barely balances on the table and instruct the human to use it like a spring board. The human is no less inclined to make the journey. When done place the board in Hell.

Next comes the long, weak board – “It bridges the gap just fine,” but will bend easily toward Hell with a little foot pressure. Again the human is unable to make the journey. When done again place the board in Hell.

Now lay the plank on the Earth. Jesus came to the Earth to live with, identify with man, and save mankind. Present the Gospel while nailing the banner/poster to the plank. End with something like: “While here he promised salvation and that there was only one way.” Reveal the poster, reciting the verse, while placing the plank to bridge the gap.

Without instruction your human willingly crosses to Heaven.

Always end with an invitation.

Afterwards: Remain near the props when the audience is dismissed. Invariably some will want to try as well. I always begin cleaning up right away and refuse to allow them to try the stunt, but I do challenge them personally about their acceptance of Christ as Savior.

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Mirror, Mirror

Visual Aids: A mirror that is large enough for everyone to see but small enough for you to hold.

Good morning boys and girls. How are you today? It’s great to see you here. You all look so nice. The guys are so handsome, and the girls are so beautiful. Have you looked in the mirror lately to see how nice you really look? [Pull out mirror]. This is the mirror I like to look in every morning to make sure I look OK. Now, I want you to tell me what you see in this mirror when I hold it up here.

[Hold the mirror up, but with the back facing the children instead of the front]. Now, what do you see? [Allow various responses] Oh, I’m sorry, you can’t see the mirror very well like that. Here, let me hold it the right way.

[Hold the mirror up but place something in front of it so the children still cannot see]. Now what do you see? [Allow various responses]. Oh, I’ve done it again. I’m sorry. Here, maybe this will help.

[Shake the mirror vigorously back and forth so that the children can’t focus]. Now what do you see? [Wait for responses]. Well, I’ve done it again. I can’t seem to figure out what’s wrong here. What should I do so you can see your reflection in the mirror? [Let them answer]. Well, you’re right. There are three things that must be true for you to be able to see your reflection.

1. The mirror has to be pointed in your direction.
2. There can’t be anything between the mirror and your eyes.
3. The mirror must be held still.

[Do these three things and let the children see their reflection]. You know, Jesus asked us to be mirrors. Did you know that? He wants us to “reflect” him, so when people look at us, they see a reflection of Jesus. And do you know how we do that?

1. Like the mirror, we have to be pointed in the right direction. If we have turned our backs on God, people won’t be able to see in our “mirror.” We must turn around [repentance] and face Jesus and do the things He wants us to.

2. Like the mirror, there can’t be anything between us and Jesus, or people won’t be able to see in our “mirror.” If we’re being mean to our brothers or sisters, or not listening to our parents, or doing something we know God doesn’t want us to, then we have sin in our lives that stands between us and God. We’ve got to ask God to forgive us so that there won’t be anything between us and God, and then other people will be able to see Jesus in us.

3. Like the mirror, we must be still before God. The Bible says to “be still and know that He is God.” That means we need to take time each day to get alone with God, read our Bible, and pray — focusing on what God wants for us. When we get still like that, people will be able to see Jesus in us.

Isn’t that neat, how God made us mirrors for Jesus? Let’s bow our heads and pray that God would make us be a mirror for Him today.

[Close in prayer.] Read more

The Story of Esther

You will need yourself plus six volunteers. The following action words are to be printed in large print, one word/words per page: way to go, aah!, ooh!, boo!, clap, uh-oh!, yum-yum!. Each person needs a copy of the story plus the action word/words they will be holding. The volunteer will be holding the story (so they can follow along) with their action word on the back facing the floor until your clue word is spoken. When your clue word is spoken hold your action word up so the audience will respond. The clue word will appear just before the action word in the story:

Read the story

Many years ago, in the kingdom of Persia, a beautiful young Jewish orphan named Esther (AAH!)was raised by her cousin Mordecai (WAY TO GO!). When Esther(AAH!) was a young woman, King Xerxes needed a new wife (OOH!). The king had removed Vashti as queen because she refused to be displayed in front of a lot of drunken men at a party (BOO!). To find a new wife, Xerxes held a kingdom-wide beauty contest (OOH!). Esther (AAH!) was pretty enough to be a part of the contest. In fact, Esther won (WAY TO GO!). She became the new queen (OOH!).

Now Esther’s cousin Mordecai (CLAP) worked in the king’s palace. Haman (BOO!) also worked in the palace. Hamam (BOO!) was promoted by the king to a high position, and the king wanted everybody to bow down to Haman (BOO!). Mordecai (CLAP) was a Jew who did not believe in bowing down to men. (WAY TO GO!) So he refused to honor Haman (BOO!) that way. (UH-OH!) Haman (BOO!) was not very happy about that (UH-OH!) and decided that he would get even with Mordecai (CLAP) and all the Jews. He wanted tham all dead. (UH-OH!) He tricked King Xerxes into signing an order allowing all the Jews to be killed on a certain day. (UH-OH!) When Mordecai, (CLAP) heard about Haman’s plan (BOO!) he and all the other Jews were very upset. Esther (AAH!) did not know about Haman’s plan, (BOO!) but she did find out that Mordecai (CLAP) was very upset about something. She sent a messenger to find out what the problem was. (WAY TO GO) Mordecai (CLAP) sent the messenger back with details of Haman’s evil plan. (BOO!) He also urged Esther (AAH!) to go to the king to try to stop Haman’s plan. (BOO!)

Esther (AAH!) had a difficult choice. (UH-OH!) The king had a rule: no one was allowed to come see him unless he invited him or her to come. Anyone who came without being asked was subject to be executed (UH-OH!) unless the King held out his scepter to show that he accepted the visitor. He had not asked to see Queen Esther (AAH!) for a long time. (UH-OH!) Esther (AAH!) sent word back to Mordecai (CLAP) reminding him of this law. He anwsered back that the situation was life or death for her anyway because she was just as Jewish as the rest of them. (UH-OH!) Mordecai (CLAP) told Esther (AAH!) that he believed God had allowed her to become queen, so she could help save her people. (OOH!) Esther (AAH!) knew what she needed to do, but she was still very scared.

She asked Mordecai (CLAP) and all the Jews to join her in three days of fasting and praying about the situation. (WAY TO GO!) After three days, Esther (AAH!) was ready to act. She boldly went to the king (WAY TO GO!) and knelt anxiously before him. Would he ignore her? (UH-OH) Would he hold out his secpter to accept her? She looked up and saw the king’s hand slowly reach out and extend the scepter to her. (OOH!)

Esther (AAH!) invited the king and Haman (BOO!) to a fine banquet (YUM-YUM!). Then, she held a second banquet for them (YUM-YUM!). By this time, the king was feeling pretty good about Esther (AAH!). He sat back and offered to give Esther (AAH!) anything she wanted. That was her chance. She revealed the plot against her people, and asked the king if he could stop it (WAY TO GO!). He asked, “Who would do such a thing?” (UH-OH!) She told him it was Haman (BOO!).

The king did not like someone messing with his queen, (UH-OH!) so he had Haman (BOO!) executed (WAY TO GO!) and signed a new order allowing all the Jews to defend themselves from any attack.

Because Esther (AAH!) allowed God to use her, her people were saved. (CLAP)

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Sin Is A Trap

Material:
Three very large rat traps. Mouse traps will not work nearly as well. Three index cards. On one write “Lust of the Flesh”; the other write “Lust of the Eyes”; and the last write “Pride of Life.” Be sure to write in large letters. A regular wooden pencil (fairly new and still long)

Prep:
Take the “u” shaped staples out of one of the traps that hold the springs down. Loosen the spring so that the trap will not close all of the way when it is “sprung.” Set and test the weak trap to be sure that when you put your own hand in it; it will not hurt!! Put an index card, as described above, on each of the traps. You can hot glue it, but I use the old fashioned traps and push the top of the card over the bait pin and pinch the pin down on the card. Set all of the traps – even the weak one. Be careful!! Be sure you are back away from the kids a little. When strong traps spring, you will not be able to hold them: they will jump out of your hand. Practice thoroughly at home, so you’ll not be surprised in front of the children!! Have the pencil handy (in a pocket).

Preview:
Sin is awful and deadly, but Satan will trick you into believing that sin is either not wrong or won’t hurt. This illustration uses two strong rat traps and one weak one to show the lie that Satan tells us and visualize that lie against the truth of Gods Word.

The Message:
2 Cor 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

How many of you can think of some things that are dangerous? Can you think of some things that might be dangerous but not look dangerous at first? If a baby saw a knife, would it think the knife was dangerous, or pretty because it is shiny? How about poisons or medicines or cleaning stuff? Some of these things are dangerous, but they don’t look dangerous.

Sin is dangerous. Satan tries to make sin look good. Our vs says…(read and explain 2 Cor 11:14 as appropriate for your age group.)

There is another Bible verse that says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion , walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Be sure the children understand the word’s “vigilant,” “adversary,” and really key on the word “devour” as you hold a strong trap up and let it snap shut by pulling on the index card a little bit. Drive home the point that this is the way Satan really is!! Let the children know that this is not what Satan wants them to believe. He wants them to believe the same way that Eve did…

Genesis 3:1- Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

In these verses, we see Satan tempting Eve to do wrong by tricking her into believing that the sin won’t really hurt (vs 4 – Ye shall not surely die) Now is the time to use the weak trap. As you explain verse 4, put your hand to the trap- over the index card – and let it slap down on you. The children will be surprised that it doesn’t take your hand off! Explain that this is what Satan wants them to believe, but it is a lie. Sin is a trap – Traps really hurt you!! Pick up the last trap. Set it off by using the wooden pencil. The trap is strong enough to break two or three pencils. When the children see the broken pencil, they’ll believe that the real trap of sin hurts.

How about their sins? Use this question to transition into the plan of salvation in a way that the children in your audience can understand.

Other notes: If you have time to go into other things, it is neat to get the children to say the phrases written on the index cards with you throughout the sermon. Even to count them off on their fingers. These are the ways Satan gets all of us as explained by 1 John 2:16 – For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Also, this is a great time to answer the question kids always ask. “Why do I have to memorize the Bible?”, they’ll want to know. In Genesis 3:4, Satan only changes one word of God’s Holy Word. He denies the word “die.” If we don’t commit God’s word to memory, exactly the way He wrote it, Satan may be able to fool us too!! Memorize God’s Word completely and correctly for your own protection!!

[Close in prayer.] Read more

Summer Fun

I took sand and sea shells I found at the beach and used clear plastic cups to represent a human life. I placed a piece of foil in front of each child and a plastic cup that had sand and a seashell hidden in the cup. I had the children poor the contents of their cup on to the foil to find the surprise. The Sea shell represents the godly parts of our lives and the sand is the worldly parts. I then handed out additional shells and had them put them all in their cup and pour their sand back into the cup. The sea shells are now visible because there are more of them. The point to this lesson was to show that the more we do things like pray and read our Bibles the more people will see our Christian lives through the worldly things(sand). The more beautiful “godly” shells we have in our cup/lives, the less room there is for “worldly” sand.

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Tarnish Of Sin

Material:
– Tarnished silver bowl
– Napkin dipped in plain water
– Silver cleaner and cloth
– Bible (John 3:16)

The Message:
Good morning! Thanks for coming down this morning. Does anyone have one of these in their house? (Hold up silver bowl) I bet your Grandma has some of these around the house, too. This is silver and silver is very delicate. You need a lot of time and patience to take care of silver. As you can tell, I haven’t taken very good care of my silver. It’s all dirty and tarnished. What if I tried to take this napkin and wash the dirt off? (Demonstrate this) The dirt does not come off. Silver takes a very special polish to take the tarnish off. (Demonstrate this) See, with this special polish, the tarnish came right off. People get dirty, too. What word do we use for that? (Children respond: “Sin”) That’s right. We all sin in some way because we are human. But who cleans our sin away? (Children respond: “Jesus”) That’s right. Jesus died on the cross to take away our sins. Jesus is our special silver cleaner! Anytime that we make mistakes in our lives, we can pray to Jesus to take our sins away. People pray for many things, but we mostly pray for Jesus to forgive us of our sins. And everytime we pray and ask, he will! After I completely clean this silver bowl, the tarnish will soon come back. So I have to remember to clean in often. We also have to remember to talk to Jesus everyday so that our tarnish won’t come back. There’s a Bible verse that we probably all have memorized that will help us remember that Jesus died for our sins. It’s John 3:16. Let’s say it together. Let’s thank God for sending His Son to us to forgive us of our sins. Pray with me…

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