Children’s Sermons

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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The Jesus Bracelet

This is a simple way to remember all that Jesus has done in and through the cross! We will be making a bracelet that tells a story through colour.

Materials Needed:

Elastic
Coloured beads

Get the children to make the bracelet for themselves. (Simply put enough beads onto the elastic string and tie the ends together, as fits the wrist!)

You will need 6 different colours. Here is the order of the colours and what each colour means:

Black – Everyone has Sinned!
Red – The Blood of Jesus!
White – Cleansed White as Snow!
Green – Grow like a tree! (Be Fruitful)
Blue – Holy Spirit is the Water
that makes the Tree Grow!
Gold – Home is Heaven, where
there are streets of Gold!

(Teach them this story, getting them to repeat what the colours mean.)

Lastly, let the children take home their own bracelets. This will be very special to them and each time they look at their bracelets they will be reminded of what Jesus has done.

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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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Time For Me

Material:
2 combs, preferably a barber’s combs, tapered, with 80 or 90 teeth.

The Message:
Question: When you pray to God at night or in the day and another kid on the other side of the world prays at the same time or if all of you sitting here pray at the same time, how does God hear you at the same time?
The answer is that God is outside of time. (show comb) Say this comb is your life and these little teeth down at this end are your baby years and as you get older and bigger so do the teeth of the comb. Well, God is out here (hold your finger near the comb) and he is not bound by time. See, He created time and he is not bothered by it. He can visit you when you are a baby or when you are 90 years old and Mandy’s life is here represented by this comb, then God can see and listen here in her life or anywhere He wants to, all at the same time. Isn’t that wonderful? That’s how He does it. He has a lot of time, he controls it and everything else too.
[Close in prayer.] Let’s pray: Dear God, thank you for making time and for controlling time and for having time to hear my prayers and be with me in my life and all of the boys and girls in the world all the same time. Amen.

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Trapped In Sin

Here’s an object lesson used for elementary aged kids, but it could easily be adapted to older students. It does very well at getting and holding their attention. I’m sorry I don’t have any pics or video of it. Maybe if anyone finds it on here and uses it, you could send me some. Especially video. (hint, hint) Allow yourself plenty of preparation time for this one.

You’ll need to select one of your students ahead of time to assist you in this lesson, and rehearse it well. I used a boy, but a girl could do it also. Make sure the child doesn’t have claustrophobia, for reasons which will become apparent.

When starting the lesson, ask the kids if they would like to have a magic show today. They’ll say yes. Have your helpers bring out a trunk big enough to hold a kid, and set it up front where everyone can see it. Say, “Would you like to see someone escape from this trunk?” You’ll really have their attention now. Ask your selected student to come forward. Then say, “I’m going to put “Billy” in this trunk and lock it. Then he will attempt to escape.” Open the trunk and tilt it forward to show that it is a regular trunk with no trap doors or escape hatches. Then ask Billy, “Are you nervous?” He should say something like, “A little, but I’ve seen this on TV before. It looks easy.” Then say, “OK, then, let’s get you inside.” Billy steps into the trunk and lays or crouches down. You then close the lid over him, and lock it with a padlock. Then say, “OK, in just a few moments, Billy will escape.” The child should then move around inside the trunk, making sounds like he is trying to get out. After a few seconds, ask, “Billy, aren’t you going to escape.” He keeps moving around and says, “I’m trying.” Wait a few more seconds and say, “Come on, Billy, we’re all waiting out here.” Billy should then stop struggling and say, “I thought I could get out by myself, but I can’t. I need help.” At this point, say, “Kids, this is exactly what the devil does to us. He makes sin look like so much fun, and that we can get out just as easily as we got in. Billy got into the trunk very easily, but now he’s locked in and can’t get out. That’s what sin is like. It’s so easy to get into, but we can’t get ourselves out of it.” Then read John 3:16 to the class. Say, “God knew that we were going to be trapped in sin, just like Billy is trapped in this trunk. He also knew that we would need someone to release us from sin’s hold. That’s why He sent His Son, Jesus, to earth to provide us with a way of escape. All we have to do is ask Jesus to release us from sin, and come to live in our heart.” Then turn to the trunk and say, “Billy, would you like to be set free?” He should say yes. Reach into your pocket and pull out a key attached to a large keyring that says “Jesus”. Hold it up for the kids to see and say, “Jesus is the key that sets us free.” Then unlock the padlock, open the trunk and let the child out. Ask the class to applaud him for asking Jesus to set him free.

[Ed. Note: Okay, I may be stating the obvious, but use your best judgment here. We don’t want to be locking youth in boxes that A.) have no holes from breathing and B.) we’ve lost the key to. The “trap” concept is good, but if you can, find a better “trap” than a trunk. My suggestion would be a child’s playpen that you can turn upside and sit on top of or something similar.] Read more

What Did You Spill?

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. Matthew 12:34-35 (KJV)

Use a LARGE glass, and two cereals that have no sugar (i.e., Cheerios and Wheat Chex).

You can get kids to help you pour the cereal into the glass when it is time.

Ask the children if they have ever spilt anything. Let them know that you have too. Ask what the mom and dad’s reaction was. Were they happy or mad? Probably mad. Why? Because something spilt out that shouldn’t have, and it needs to be cleaned up.

What if you spill over a glass and a $100.00 bill came out?!?!? Would your parents be mad?? Mine wouldn’t!!

After gaining their attention in this way, read the verse and pray for God’s help in the message.

With this line of questioning – and other questions of your own added – you can make the children realize that at some point in time they are going to have a “spill” and that what spills depends on what is put in the container (the glass andor their minds). Have a child pour a cereal into the glass. If they spill it – all the better! If they are extra cautious, ask if you can help them and pour out some yourself. Be sure to over flow the glass spilling plenty on the table.

Then, I take the glass and carry it while I continue to illustrate the point. Pretend to stumble and throw (“spill”) the cereal all over the crowd of kids!! This really gets their attention.

Now you can talk about what fills their mind as the other cereal is poured into the glass. Point out the you can’t spill what is not in the glass. You can’t spill Cheerios if the glass is full of Wheat Chex! If they fill their minds with the things of God, the things of the world won’t be there to spill.

You can transition this by asking how they begin to get the things of God in their minds. Then go into the plan of salvation in a way that you think they’ll understand.

[Close in prayer.] Read more

What Is It?

I have 4 objects in this bag
I am going to describe them one at a time and when I am done describing each one I want you to tell me what it was that I described.

Someone who tells you that you are loved
Someone who takes care of your needs
They live with you
-Parents (picture or doll)

This next object is very forgiving
It greets you the same every time you come back to it
It too lives in homes
-Dog (stuffed animal)

It is alive
It is found where people care because It is black and white and red all over
-A sun burned Zebra (picture of zebra with red coloring)

I have not only described 3 different objects, but those same descriptions apply to my last object.
Review the previous characteristics, let them guess and then pull out the last object
-A Bible

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What’s Inside?

Material:
– 2 different canned fruits/vegetables
– tape
– New Testament (Galatians 5:22-23)

Preparation:
Carefully tear away the labels of both cans. You will use only one can during the sermon. Temporarily tape one label to the can. Prepare the other label with tape for use during the sermon.

The Message:
Good morning! I’m glad to see you all this morning. Can anyone tell me what this is? (Hold up the can as the children respond: “Peaches!”) Well, how do you know it’s peaches? (Children respond, “It says so on the can!”) Oh, yeah, I guess it does say that on the label. What if I took the label off? (Remove label) Now, what’s in here? (Children respond: “It’s still peaches.”) Well, what if I put this label on the can (Attach second label). I guess now it’s pears. (Children respond: “No! It’s still peaches!”) Still peaches? No, it’s not. I put the pears label on the outside, so it’s pears now, right? (Older children will put up a good argument, so try to control the noise!) So, what you’re trying to tell me is no matter what it says on the outside, the ingredients stay the same on the inside? Oh, okay, I get it now. So we shouldn’t make fun of people just because they wear glasses or braces or have freckles? I know a good Bible verse that goes along with that. Help me find Galatians chapter 5, verse 22. Paul gave us nine ingredients that really matter: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. Those ingredients are on the inside of people. We shouldn’t care about what’s on the outside because everyone’s different in some way.But we all should remember these nine things: love – we need to show love to everyone, joy – we should be happy because Jesus loves us! peace – don’t pick fights, patience – I need to work on this one! kindness – be kind to everyone you meet, goodness – be good for your parents and teachers, gentleness – be gentle with everyone, faithfulness – we need to have faith that Jesus always is there for us, and self-control – we need to control our tongues sometimes and our actions other times. Let’s pray that God will help us work on these traits.

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Without God We Can Do Nothing

John 15:5, Philippians 4:19

Preparation: None

Visual Aids: checkerboard, floppy disk, headphones

Good morning, boys and girls. How are you? This morning I want to play a good game of checkers. Would someone like to play with me? [Wait for volunteer, then present the empty checkerboard and place it between you and the volunteer.] OK, you go first. [Wait for the look on the young volunteer’s face to be obvious to all.] Oh, hmm. It seems I have forgotten the checkers. We can’t play checkers without checkers, now can we? OK, well, I have something else we can do. [Take out floppy disk.] I have a really neat computer game here on this disk, and I’d like to show it to you this morning. Can you see it? [Hold up the disk and wait for the children to say no.] Why can’t you see it? [Wait for response.] Hmm, we can’t very well play the game without a computer. OK, how about this? I have a really good song I want to listen to this morning. [Put headphones on. Wait for children to point out that you have nothing to listen to.] Oh, I don’t have a radio or tape player or CD player, so the headphones don’t do me much good, do they? [If time allows, continue with one or two more of your own examples.] Well, kids, what was wrong with all of the things I wanted to do with you today? [Wait for responses.] There was something missing. Without checkers, you can’t play checkers. Without a computer, a floppy disk is no good. Without something to plug into, headphones are useless. And you know, without God we are nothing. Did you know that? Without God, we can do nothing. Can you say that with me? “Without God, we can do nothing.” But with God, we can do all things. Say that with me. “With God, we can do all things.” Let’s pray that God would help us remember that without Him, we can do nothing, but with Him, we can do anything.

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