I just gave this Children's Sermon during our Sunday Worship Service. It can used at home for a Family Christmas Devotional. In my experience the keys to an effective Children's Lesson are:
- Keep is developmentally appropriate in content
Children are NOT abstract learners. Teach in concrete ways, telling stories that relate-able and tangible which is the same way Jesus taught. Have Props whenever possible. Children need to touch SOMETHING to learn. They need to move and connect to the content through their bodies.
- Keep it developmentally appropriate in time
Teach to the attention level of the youngest person in the group. If you have a mixed age group of children, your sermon should be no longer than 5 minutes. If the youngest starts to squirm, you loose the rest of the group. It is not being "theologically shallow" to teach the basic, yet powerful, principles of our faith to children.
- Keep the kids engaged through motions and participation.
Kids do not do lectures, EVER. No matter the context or content, children must be actively engaging in the lesson through answering questions or moving their body. You will see in the sermon below that the kids are asked to answer OPEN ENDED questions. Ask questions that have many answers, and many children will feel like they can participate. Each ribbon also has an accompanying motion, because kids through DOING and MOVING.
Christmas Children's SermonMaterials Needed:
• White gift box filled with fruit snacks
• Black ribbon
• Red ribbon
• White ribbon
• Gold ribbon
Whose birthday is on Christmas?
We get presents on our birthday, and the cool thing about Jesus' birthday is that YOU get presents for HIS birthday. His birthday is so special because Jesus was God's Son! Do you get presents on your birthday?
Allow for response.
A lot of gifts have pretty ribbons. I have some pretty ribbons here. I am going to tell you a story using only ribbons
Here is some black ribbon. What are some things that are the color black?
Something that is also black is darkness. Have you ever been a room when the lights are turned off.
Cover your eyes!
Wait for them cover their eyes.
No peeking! You can't see anything! Black darkness makes it so that we can't see anything!
That is why we will have the black ribbon for sin, because sin makes us not be able to see God. Sin are choices that hurt or other people. Sin makes it so that we can't see God.
Sin covers our eyes with darkness and we can't see all the good that God wants for us, or the good choices God wants us to make.
Now let's go to the red ribbon. What are things that are red?
Have you ever seen a red picture of a heart? Did you know we have a red heart in our bodies? Do you know where your heart is?
Put your hand over it and make a heart.
Our hearts are red, and our hearts push all the blood in our bodies to keep us healthy. Put your hand over your heart and pretend to beat it and push all the blood around your bodies.
The reason I have a red ribbon is when Jesus grew up be a man, his red blood saved us! How did he do that? He died on a cross where his blood was shed. His saving blood.
That red ribbon leads to the next ribbon. What are things that are white?
Snow is white! Ever see snow before ANYONE TOUCHES IT? It is so clean and white and BRIGHT! Have you ever seen bright light on a fresh snow?
White is bright and light! It helps us see!! Jesus is called the Light of the world!
We can see Him here on Earth because his blood washed away that black dark sin covering our sins. We can see God when we know Jesus died for our sins! His red blood helps us see! We see what God wants for us and the choices He wants us to make.
Cover your eyes like the dark black ribbons.
Now pump your heart for the red blood of Jesus.
Now take your hands off your eyes to see the light of Jesus!
My last ribbon is a gold ribbon. Gold is shiny and costs a lot of money! Gold is super fancy!
Has anyone walked on a gold sidewalk before?
The Bible says that the sidewalks and streets in Heaven are paved with Gold!
When we believe that Jesus' blood saves and uncover the blackness from our eyes, then when when we die we will get see God in Heaven too, and walk on streets of gold!
You are all going to get Christmas presents this week. If you see a Black, Red, White, or Gold Ribbon, make sure to tell your family what it means!
Now that I've taken off all my ribbon, let's look inside for our present!
Open present with Fruit Snacks inside
Everyone can take a fruit snack and go back to sit with your family.