Posts Tagged ‘Children’s Message’

1 Corinthians 13:8

1 Corinthians 13:8

Love never fails. (NIV)
Love never dies.  (MSG)
Love will last forever.  (NLT)
Love never ends.  (ESV)
Love never failith.  (ASV)
The love doth never fall. (YLT)
It doesn’t matter how you say it; God is love and love does not fail.

“Love” is a difficult word to define and you will get a different definition from anyone that you ask.  I once did a children’s message on 1 Cor 13:1-8 which is Paul’s definition of what love is, and what it is not; and it’s actually God’s definition as well since it’s His inspired word that Paul is writing.  The approach that I employed required two paper bags, one labeled “Love is” and the other labeled “Love is not”.  I then gave each child a piece of paper with the scriptural definitions printed on them and their job was to place them in the appropriate bags as I read the text.

In the bag labeled “Love is”, they placed the following:

Patient
Kind
Keeps no record of wrongs
Does not delight in evil
Rejoices with truth
Always protects
Always trusts
Always hopes
Always perseveres

In the bag labeled “Love is not”, they placed the following:
Envious
Boastful
Proud
Rude
Self-seeking
Easily angered

Children’s Messages

Children’s Messages

I’ve been leading children’s messages on a monthly rotation with four other gentlemen in our congregation for almost four years now.  These messages are enjoyed by all, not just the children.  Why?  I’m sure that the Holy Spirit has a lot to do with this, but here’s some pointers based on lessons we’ve learned through the years:

 

  1. We do these messages every Sunday, in the middle of worship, and right in the main sanctuary, so everyone can watch and listen.
  2. The children come up to a reserved row of front pews for the message.  Depending on the message, they are sometimes invited to sit on the floor in front of the presenter.
  3. Don’t always rely on the Pastor for this.  Give your children some variety.  Get a monthly rotation going with four or five volunteers, one of which is the Pastor.
  4. Pray for help as you prepare and right before you deliver the message.
  5. Start off on the right foot.  Be positive, smile, say “good morning children” or “how’s everybody doing?”  If it’s a small group, you might even want to walk in front of each of them and give each one a “high five.”  Have an “ice breaker” moment before getting into God’s word.
  6. We always base the message on one of the day’s scripture readings.
  7. Keep the message short; no longer than 5 minutes.
  8. Use props, signs, pictures, gestures, singing, computer images, anything you can to make an impression and to grab their attention.  Once for Transfiguration Sunday, I brought in one of my son’s Transformer toys to help describe the change that Jesus went through.
  9. Refrain from reading to them.  Memorize passages if necessary.  Maintain eye contact with them as much as possible.  Don’t rely on anything written on paper.  Have everything in your head.  “Internalize” the story that you are telling.
  10. Use language and words that they understand.   Define big “churchy” words if you have to use them.
  11. Involve them.  Ask questions of them, ask for volunteers when needed to help with a skit, talk to them by name.
  12. They will get bored quickly if you just talk to them.  At least be animated.  Let the text drive your spirit; talk slowly or fast, loud or soft, high pitched or low pitched and use facial expressions.
  13. Act out the story as much as possible.  If Elijah is using his cloak to part the Jordan River in your story, then wear your coat, take it off in front of them and slap the ground with it, swinging it way up over your head as you tell the story.
  14. Involve other people when needed.  For example, at Pentecost, I had a volunteer play a wind sound WAV file on our sanctuary PC sound system when the sound of wind was discussed in the Acts 2 account.
  15. And lastly, here are two WEB resources to give you some ideas for most of the popular lectionary texts:

 

http://www.sermons4kids.com/

 

http://www.childrensermons.com/sermons/lectionary_archive.htm

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!

Are you using presentation software for your sermons?  Visuals are important in worship because they help your members and visitors absorb and remember what you are saying.

 

Have you ever wondered why some adults are getting more out of, and enjoying, the children’s message more than the sermon?  It’s for the same reason.  Typically children’s messages employ pictures or props, and we often involve the children by asking for questions and participation during the message.

 

There is a theory known as the “cone of knowledge” which states the following:

 

People generally remember:

 

90% of what they Do as they perform a task

70% of what they Say and Write

50% of what they See and Hear

30% of what they See

20% of what they hear

10% of what they read

 

If you don’t use projection software for imagery during your sermons, or props, or videos, then you might be limiting yourself to a 20% retention level.  Consider using the five senses that God gave us.  You can easily jump to the 50% retention level by using visuals.

 

You can even jump to the 70% level by getting your people to “journal” or take notes.  Our Pastor had a unique way of doing this.  He sometimes included a fill-in-the-blank style note sheet in the worship bulletins that us worshippers would use to follow along with the sermon.  As we listened, we would try to fill in the blanks on the note sheet.  As a pew dweller; I have to tell you that this works.

 

Why not consider some of these suggestions in your preaching and scripture reading?  You don’t need to do it every Sunday, but use these techniques whenever you feel that additional information can be conveyed.  Your congregation will more than likely enjoy your added effort.

A Children’s message based on Philippians 4:4-9 for 10/5/2008

 
 
Lay Reader:      Good morning children.   God is here today.  He’s here right now.  He’s listening.  He’s here to meet us, he’s here to meet you; he’s bought you with his own Son’s life.  His spirit is here, we’re going to hear his word today.  God is going to be active.  He is moving among us.  He is going to speak and we are going to listen and respond.  That’s what worship is all about.  Would you like to hear God speak right now?  He speaks to us through his word.  Let’s listen to what he has to say today.
 
Instructions:   The following is a scripture reading where the italicized text has been added to help the children with the meaning.  In this example, the Pastor reads scripture while a Lay volunteer adds commentary.  The Pastor remains behind the pulpit while the Lay reader is on the floor, close to the children.
 
Pastor:            Rejoice in the Lord always.  
Lay Reader:     Not just in church.  Not just when good things happen.  Always!
 
Pastor:            I will say it again:  Rejoice! 
Lay Reader:     Smile children, rejoice, show your joy for being one of God’s own children.
 
Pastor:            Let your gentleness be evident to all…
Lay Reader:     …To everyone in this church.
Shhh! 
 
Pastor:            The Lord is near.  (Spoken quietly) 
Lay Reader:     He’s listening.  He’s speaking.  He’s teaching.  He’s touching.  He’s affecting lives.
 
Pastor:            Do not be anxious about anything,
Lay Reader:     about your new school, or your homework, about your chores at home, or anything else,
 
Pastor:            but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  
Lay Reader:     Talk to him – about everything that’s happening in your lives.  Treat him like a trusted friend.  Because…
 
Pastor:            The peace of God,
Lay Reader:     (interjects) His calmness, His love, His compassion –
Pastor (interjects):     which transcends all understanding
Lay Reader (interjects): it’s too good to be true,
Pastor: (interjects)     will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  
Lay Reader:         Jesus is your comfort, your protector and your guide.  He is your friend, and not only in times of trouble but he is, and always will be your friend.
 
Pastor:            Finally, whatever is true (pause), whatever is pure (pause), whatever is lovely (pause), whatever is admirable (pause) – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy
Lay Reader: (interjects) like God
Pastor:            You, think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice.
Lay Reader:     Practice your faith.  Live a God-pleasing life.  Worship Jesus.  Talk with him regularly.   Become his friend.  Obey his commands and live by his word.
 
Pastor:            (Make eye contact with the children while speaking) And the God of peace will be with you. 
Lay Reader:      With each one of you.  He will be with you all.  No exceptions.   Amen.
 

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 260 other followers

%d bloggers like this: