Children’s Sermons

Covered

The discussion was opened up by asking the children how they felt about rainy days. Rainy days can be very troublesome. Our clothes get soaking wet, our hair gets wet, cars splash the water onto the sidewalk where we walk. Then we used an unmbrella, and even a raincoat or poncho can be added for demonstration purposes. If we have that umbrella with us, it is symbolic of God and his covering grace. No matter what kinds of storms we face in life, no matter what the trouble is, God covers us through them all. He will protect and keep us together.

Don’t Be Full of Hot Air!

Supplies: Two balloons, string, and a party size tank of helium.

Invite one student to help you by blowing up one balloon. After he/she has blown up their balloon, tie off the balloon and attach a long string to it. Then use the helium tank to blow up the second balloon, tie it off and attach a long string to it as well.

On the count of three, ask the student to throw the first balloon up in the air while you throw the second balloon in the air as well. As you do, the one with hot air will fall to the ground, while the one with helium will rise to the sky (that is why it is important to tie a string to it).

Ask the students why the two balloons, which appear on the outside to be the same, reacted so differently when tossed into the air.

Read Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourself, it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Explain that salvation is like these two balloons. If we want to rise to Heaven (Helium balloon) rather than fall into the depths of Hell, we need something special on the inside. If we try to save ourselves, (example: the balloon with the hot air) we will fail and spend eternity separated from God. However, if we accept the free gift of salvation through faith in Christ, (example: the balloon with helium – special air) we will spend an eternity with Christ in Heaven.

Don’t get bowled over!!

Materials Needed: small ball (little sins), large ball (large sins), several plastic cups, small box to put the cups into (represents God surrounding us with protection)

In this fun, active children’s lesson, the students will learn that with God’s help they will not be “bowled over” by sin.

First, set-up several plastic cups in the bowling triangle. Then ask the kids what will happen to the cups if they rolled a small ball or a large ball at the cups (They will fall over). Roll both balls at the cups to show that the kids were right.

Then ask the class what will happen if they placed the cups inside of a box. (Students might say that they will still fall.) Then try this method and see what happens. The cups are still standing.

This story can be related to David and Goliath. Without God’s help David would have fallen to the enemy. Then tell the class that with God’s help they will not be bowled over by the world of sin and temptation, but that they can stand strong in His protection.

Don’t Let Anyone Look Down on You

I found these verses while meditating with some of the other staff members one day. The verse is 1 Timothy 4: 12-14. They are amazing for the children. I used it as a sending this summer at the camp I work at. I tied into just pointing out that sometimes we feel too little or insignificant to go out and “preach the gospel” as we’re taught. I just let them know that see sometimes you don’t have to talk but show in deed and that I myself am sometimes worried about being able to do it. Junior campers (2-4th completed) all they way to seniors and colleged aged youth seemed to respond to it very well.

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.]

Giving Good Gifts

You need a paper sack, a big and bright gift bag, a large and rough rock, and a soft blanket. Ahead of time put the rock in the sack and the blanket in the gift bag.

First bring the rock out and ask the kids if this would be something good to give to someone. Ask if you could hold onto this, if you could sleep with this at night, etc. The rock is like “Hate” and it isn’t something nice to give someone or hold onto. Then bring out the blanket and ask the same questions. The blanket is like love. It can surround you and make you feel warm all over. It is nice to give to someone else (wrap it around someone’s shoulders as you say this) to let them know that you care. Jesus said that we are to love not only the people that we like, but also our enemies and pray for those who try to hurt us. Since Jesus died to save EVERYONE, then I think we should listen to Him!

Hatred

Materials: magic marker, balloon, paper clip, some tape and a paper bag.

First you need to blow up the balloon and write a name on it. Then put a few pieces of tape on the back so the children can not see it. Then unfold the paper clip and ask the children to say a few nice things to the person. After each nice word poke the tape. After they have said a few nice words get them to say a mean word and when they say something mean do not poke the tape poke the balloon so it pops. Then tell the children how saying mean things to other people is making them feel bad and sad.
Then read Luke 6:27-31.
When I did this in my church even the adults liked it and thought it was a very good message.

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.]

Jesus Has the Power to Change Things

Before your group comes together, sprinkle some powdered juice mix on the bottom of a clear glass. It should be enough to be able to change the color of water, but not so much where the children can notice it. Set up two glasses in front of the children. This should be a few feet in front of them and at eye-level. A school desk is good. Have two unopened water bottles also set up. Read the scripture where Jesus turns the water into wine. While discussing the miracle, also talk about the power that Jesus has to transform things. For example, an ugly heart into a beautiful one, a nasty mouth into a clean one, etc. While talking, pour water into the “unsprinkled” glass. Continue to emphasize the phrase “Jesus has the Power to transform things” so that what seems ordinary, isn’t always. At this point, pour the second water bottle into the “sprinkled” glass. Listen to all the Oh’s and Ahh’s as the regular water turns into “wine”. The little ones especially loved this. I walked around with the water bottle in my hand, and this kept them guessing as to what I was going to do with it. 2 Corinthians 5:17 was the verse I used to help them understand and apply Jesus’ transforming power in our lives!

Jesus Is Like A Torch

Good for little kids too.

Bible verses

1 Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

John 8:12 When Jesus spoke to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Usually write the verses on a bit of paper, put them in an envelope or roll them up like a scroll, hide the verses outside and get the kids to hunt for it to get them pumped for the message then bring them in.

PROP – TORCH (Flashlight)
What is this?
What does it do?
What happens if you don’t have one?
(and so forth)

If you have a torch, you can walk around in the dark and not trip over. You wont get lost either because you can see where you are going.

If you have a torch you wont fall into a ditch, or into the path of a train, or into a lion, because you will be able to see it coming and get out of the way.

If you’ve got a torch you can also show people who don’t have a torch around so you can help them out too.

Jesus is like a torch. Jesus is the light that shows us which way to go. If we walk with Jesus we wont get lost and we wont trip over.

If we walk with Jesus as our torch we can see when the lions are coming towards us and we can go somewhere safe.

Jesus teaches us which way to walk. He teaches us to love God and to love each other.

Sometimes torch batteries can go flat. Its really important that we walk with other people who know Jesus so that when our torch batteries go flat we can still see which way to go.

God can give us torches and make our batteries fuller and more powerful. All we have to do is get to know Him and follow Jesus.

PRAYER

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.]

No Longer As Filthy Rags

Need:
– New white kitchen rags (Wal-Mart 10 for $5.)
– Bucket of Oxi-clean

Hand one rag to each kid and have them take the rags out and dirty them with dirt. Let them go at it, my kids actually enjoyed and had fun dirtying their rags. Then you call them in and read Isaiah 64:6 it explains that we are as filthy rags. The rag represents our flesh and the dirt our sins. Now take a bucket of clean water, as if the rags were to be baptized. Pour in some Oxi-Clean meaning we can’t clean ourselves, we need some powerful detergent (Jesus) to help in the cleaning process. We then dip our filthy rags in the water, swish them around a bit (Jesus working on us) and then after a few minuets rags come up clean.

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.

Parable of the Sower

To make the parable of the sower more exciting, I made it edible. I made a dirt cake from pudding and crushed Oreos, which served as the ground. For the thorny ground I added stick pretzels. For the rocks I scooped out most of the pudding and filled the space with peanut M&Ms. For the path I cleared a, well, path, of Oreos and left it plain pudding. The seeds were candy corn. I told the story, and then the kids each took a candy corn. We prayed that we would be fertile ground for God’s word, and then we ate our lesson! Anything with food always works…

Run Your Race

Materials: 50ft Clothesline rope cut into 30″ pieces. Adjust length of rope according to number of participants.

Instruction: Have children/youth pair up for a three-legged race. There is to be one leader and one follower. The leader is to give instructions on how to run the race. The follower is in charge of tying the rope around the legs. The children/youth will run their race. If there is enough time switch roles and run the race back.

Once the participants have finished the race the speaker will explain that they just ran a race with God and the Holy Spirit. The leader was “God” instructing us the best way to go through life and the less we struggle with God the easier our lives will be. The string tied was the Holy Spirit which is our direct connection to God. If the string was too loose then so is our connection to God. If it was too tight, well we can never be too close to God. But we have to remember that God allows us to live our lives but we have to remember to live it according to His commandments. But in all things we do we should first acknowledge God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Season – Fall

Discuss the four seasons.
Why do we call this season fall. (Might even have some leaves to show). That’s right, because all of the leaves fall off of the trees.
A long time ago when man and woman were created, they made a horrible mistake and they fell away from God.
We sometimes call this the fall of man.
Just like the leaves on the trees are dying and fall off of the trees, mankind without God is dying as well.
We must invite God into our lives so we can enjoy all of the seasons of life together with him.

When we see leaves fall off of the trees it should remind us of how man fell away from God.

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.]

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.

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…

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)