Good morning everybody! When I was little, I wanted to be (share with the kids what you wanted to be when you grew up…). Sometimes we decide from a very young age what we’ll do as an adult, but often we end up doing something totally different.
In our story for today, we meet a man named Amos. He was a herdsman who took care of cows all day. He made sure they were feed and watered and protected. He was also a tree trimmer. Then suddenly, God asked Amos to become a prophet. A prophet is someone who shares God’s message to the people of Israel. It was a very important job!
I bet Amos was pretty scared when God asked him to do something totally different with his life. He might have worried that people wouldn’t listen to him or that they would laugh at him. But God was with Amos the whole time. God helped Amos become a great prophet.
I hope we will all remember the story of Amos. It teaches us that suddenly things can change in our life but we can always count on God to be with us the whole time and help us.
Let us pray: Thank you God for caring for us. Give us courage and strength to follow Amos’ example and always rely on you. Amen.
Good morning boys and girls. Raise your hand if you have a best friend (let the children raise their hands). Oh good! Best friends are wonderful. My best friend is… (name your best friend and then describe why you are such good friends).
Jesus had close friends, too. The Bible talks a lot about one of Jesus’ closest friends. His name was Peter. Jesus called Peter a “rock” and he was a good friend. But one day Peter didn’t like what Jesus was saying and tried to make him be quiet. Peter didn’t understand that Jesus was telling the truth about what was going to happen: That Jesus was going to die on the cross. Peter didn’t believe that was true and wanted Jesus to stop talking.
But God sent Jesus to save us from our sins and Jesus knew he was going to die on the cross. To make Peter understand, Jesus told him “Get behind me, Satan!” Jesus wanted everyone to know that no one was going to stop him from following God’s plan and anyone who got in his way was going against God. Even though Peter was Jesus’ close friend, Jesus knew that he couldn’t let Peter stand in his way of doing the right thing. That’s a good lesson for us to remember. Even our closest friends may try to stop us from doing what’s right or they may try to get us to do something wrong, but we need to stand up to them just like Jesus stood up to Peter.
Let’s pray: Thank you God for sending Jesus to save us from our sins. Help us remember to follow him always. Amen.
Object: Rainbow science experiment (if you don’t have time for the experiment, then bring a picture of a rainbow)
Preparation: Practice making your own rainbow. Fill a glass of water (almost to the top) and place it at the very edge of a table. Place a sheet of plain white paper on the floor a few inches away. Put two pieces of masking tape over the front of a flashlight so that the light comes out of a slit about 1/8 inch (0.3 cm) wide. Shine the light across and down into the water at an angle to hit the paper to reveal a rainbow.
Good morning boys and girls! Today we are going to do a quick science experiment. Your job is to watch what happens on that white piece of paper on the floor while I shine the light through this glass of water… (let the kids take notice of the light spectrum). Do you see it yet? It’s a rainbow! We’re created a rainbow right here in church!
I love rainbows because they are a reminder of God’s promise to us and all living creatures after the great flood. God promised that God loves all creatures and that God would never again cover the world with water. This was a promise to Noah, but it is also a promise to us. God loves us very much and God wants to be first in our lives.
Rainbows are a special promise to all of us. And whenever we see one after a storm, it reminds us that God loves us and cares for us.
Let’s pray: Thank you God for visible reminders like a rainbow in the sky that you love and care for us. Amen.
Man, oh man, I tell you I hate waiting! Have you ever been at the store and the line is really long. I mean REALLY long (stretch your arms out widely). Like wrapped around the whole store three times long! Well, that’s happened to me. I just stand there at first (stand). But, then I get real antsy because the line isn’t moving. I mean, I’ve been standing forever. So, I start to shuffle from side to side (shuffle from side to side) because my legs are tired. And after awhile that gets boring so I start tapping my fingers (tap your fingers on your arm) on the shopping cart because that is sure to make the line go faster. When that doesn’t work, I start pace back and forth (pace back in forth dramatically) because that always makes the line move faster. Until, finally, it seems like I’ve been waiting forever… I just take a nap (fall on the ground or start snoring while standing)!
I guess, I’m not very patient. I’m not at all like Simeon. He was a man in the Bible. You know Simeon waited a very, very, very long time to meet Jesus. He was so old, older than Pastor Tom if you can believe that, when Jesus was born. And you know what? In all that time, Simeon was patient. He didn’t get antsy or bored or want to give up. Simeon just waited patiently because he knew that Jesus was coming someday. And you know, I think we should be more like Simeon. Instead of getting antsy and upset about waiting, we should show a little more patience. Because good things are coming our way, it’s just that sometimes we have to wait for them!
Let’s pray: Help us to be more like Simeon so that when we are waiting for big and small things to come our way, we wait patiently. Amen.
Good morning boys and girls. I bet you have all seen one of these pointer sticks before (reveal the pointer). They are used to draw attention to something important, something that shouldn’t be missed by anyone (point to each child). But have you ever noticed that a pointer never points to itself (try to point the stick at itself to show it doesn’t work). It can’t! It’s job is to point to something else, something other than itself.
And that reminds me of our story for today. It’s about John the Baptist. He was given an important job from God: To point other people to Jesus who is the light of the world. John never pointed to himself. In fact, he was pretty clear that he wasn’t the important one. John wanted everyone to know that the important person was coming and his name is Jesus! Just like a pointer stick draws attention to something important, John the Baptist pointed out that the Messiah, the savior of the world, was coming and that we better be ready for him.
But John isn’t the only one who points the way to Jesus. We have to do that too! Each of us is like a pointer stick for others to follow Jesus. We point to Jesus whenever we do good works or show kindness and love in his name. Just like John, it’s our job to point others to the light of the world, Jesus Christ!
Let’s pray: Give us the courage to point others to Jesus so that through us everyone will know he is the savior of the world. Amen.
Note: This children’s sermon is written as a first person narrative. It’s a great opportunity to dress up in Bible-time costume and really get into the spirit of things by taking on the character of Deborah from Judges.
Good morning. Thank you for having me here today. This sure is a nice place. I usually like to spend my days sitting under the shade of a palm tree, but it’s nice to travel and meet new people like yourselves. Oh, where are my manners. My name is Deborah and I am a Judge.
Not the kind of judge like in a courtroom, but a Judge picked by God to lead the people of Israel. Some people probably think it is surprising that God picked a woman to be a ruler, but who are we to question God — that’s what I always say.
My job as a judge lets me help people in all kinds of ways and they depend on me a lot. I’ll tell you what, the leader of the army won’t even go into battle unless I’m right there with him. Silly guy. But since I want what’s best for my people, I went into battle with him and we won!
Well, I don’t want to bore you good folks. But I do want you to remember something very important: God calls on everyone. Boys AND girls! No matter what there is a place for everyone to serve in the church today and don’t let anyone tell you different.
Let’s have a prayer before I go: Thank you God for calling all people to help you. Help us remember that boys AND girls have a place to serve in your church. Amen.
Good morning everyone. Today I want to tell you about a really amazing city called Thessalonica. It’s talked about in the New Testament. In fact, there are two whole books of the Bible that are letters addressed to people living in Thessalonica! It was the capital of a country, just like Washington D.C. is the capital of the United States. And Thessalonica was at a crossroads. That means two major roads went like this (make an X with your arms) and Thessalonica was in the middle. So lots and lots of people traveled through the city to trade things. It was also on the ocean so ships came back and forth all the time. It was a major city!
But the coolest thing about Thessalonica was that it had a strong group of Christians living there. In our Bible story for today we learn that this group was so in love with God and faithful to following Jesus’ way that they were an example for the whole entire country! One city was an example for the WHOLE ENTIRE COUNTRY!
That just goes to show you that a few people can do amazing things with God’s help. And that’s good for us to remember because with God’s help the few of us here today could be an example for the whole entire city of Atkins!
Let’s pray: God help us be strong witnesses like the Christians of Thessalonica and help our whole entire become friends with Jesus. Amen.
Good morning everyone! I want to describe someone to you this morning. Listen closely. This person lives in a big fancy house. He has lots of cool toys, the most expensive and fancy clothes, he has all the best games for his Wii and Playstation, he has a pool and trampoline in the backyard, he goes to Disney World every year, and he gets to eat his favorite dessert every night. Do you think he has a great life? (Let the kids answer Yes!)
What if I told you he isn’t friends with Jesus? And that all that stuff we think he is so great gets in the way of him knowing Jesus. Would you still think he has a great life? (Shake your head no so the kids know the answer is No!)
You’re right! A life without Jesus isn’t great. Even if we have all the best stuff in the world, if we aren’t friends with Jesus then it is all just silliness. And that’s exactly what our Bible story is all about. A guy name Paul is talking about how he was the most popular and the very best at his job but he didn’t know Jesus loved him. But then he became friends with Jesus! And suddenly all that other stuff wasn’t as important as loving Jesus with his whole heart.
We need to remember that all the toys and money and cool clothes in the world are not as important as loving Jesus.
Let’s pray: Help us God to love Jesus more than any other stuff and to remember that being friends with Jesus is the greatest treasure. Amen.
Today’s Bible story talks about something really important. It’s about being bullied. You see, Paul was trying to be a good follower of Jesus and spread the Good News to everyone he met, but others didn’t like that. So they teased him and hurt him. Paul was bullied by all kinds of folks who didn’t like him talking about Jesus. They bullied him because he was different than they were. But, Paul didn’t let those people get him down. He didn’t let their bullying stop him. And do you know why? Because Paul knew that God was on his side. He knew that through all this bad stuff, through all the hurt and bullying that God was right there with him. He didn’t have to face those mean people alone. God was there! And God helped Paul get through those hurtful times and live to enjoy many, many days of celebrating and praise with people who loved Paul and his message about Jesus.
And I want us all to remember that God will do the same for us. If you are teased or hurt or bullied by others, I want you to remember that you are not alone. God is with you. And God will help you get through those bad times. I also want you to remember that all these people (point to everyone in the congregation) love you, too. So, if someone is mean to you for whatever reason, I want you to remember you’re not alone and you are loved! And if you are being bullied, don’t forget to tell an adult because we want to help.
Let’s pray: Thank you God for always being on our side. Help us remember your love even in the bad times.
This morning I want to tell you about a pretty interesting fella from our Bible passage for the day. His name was John the Baptist. His mom and dad were Elizabeth and Zechariah who were very, very, very old when he was born — way older than Mr. Thomas (name an older member of the congregation who won’t mind being an example). When John grew up, he went out to the desert to start preaching. John didn’t wear a robe (or suit or whatever your preacher wears). Instead, he wore clothes made out of camel’s hair! I bet he looked a little funny. But, his message wasn’t funny. It was serious. It was about the coming of the Messiah. Do you know who the Messiah is? …. That’s right, it’s Jesus! John was telling people to prepare for the coming of Jesus. He wanted people to know that the savior was coming and they needed to be ready.
He told them the only way to get ready was to repent. Whoa! That’s a big word. It means to say you’re sorry for your sins — all that bad stuff you’ve done — and asking God to forgive us. Can you say the word “repent”? Good! John wanted everyone to repent and be ready for Jesus.
When people repented, John would baptize them in the Jordan River. That’s how he got the name John the Baptist.
It’s important for us to remember John and his message. We all need to get ready for Jesus by saying we’re sorry for our sins and asking God to forgive us.
Let’s pray: God thank you for sending people like John the Baptist to show us the way to prepare for the coming of Jesus. Help us all remember that Jesus is the reason for Christmas and that we need to get our hearts ready for him. Amen.