Philosophies abound when it comes to discerning whether or not a “children’s sermon” should be a regular element in the weekly corporate worship gathering. This post is not going to answer the whys or why nots of offering a children’s sermon. [Such a decision should be discerned in prayer and cultural context.] This post is going to address a very important aspect of the Children’s Sermon: God should always be honored and glorified in the Children’s Sermon.
Below are spiritual and practical principles that will help someone deliver a Children’s Sermon for the glory of God and good of all the children and adults present. It’s nothing original…I want to thank my friends and partners in the Gospel – Mrs Kim Weaver and Mr David Woerner – for putting this together and laboring weekly in feeding our Children at Grace Baptist Church.
The following principles should guide the facilitation of the children’s sermon.
- While God’s greatness is unsearchable (Psalm 145:3) and His ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9), He is knowable, even to the “little ones.” Proverbs 2:1-5 tells us, “My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments… if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures; then you will… find the knowledge of God.”
- Scripture is the only source of any children’s sermon. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).”
- Essential to preparation is the meditation on scripture and prayer. Just as Jesus used parables to teach truths about the kingdom of God, object lessons and cultural familiarities are great ways to illustrate God’s truth to children. Pray for God to reveal situations or objects from the natural world that will help the children understand and remember truth from God’s Word.
- Prayer for the children is necessary as well. According to the words of Paul, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow” (1 Corinthians 3:6). Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44). So before attempting to teach God’s message, pray that God will draw our children to Jesus.
- Because children have a short attention span, the lesson should not extend beyond 5 minutes and should be limited to one concept or truth. Greet the children warmly and introduce yourself (if this has not already been done by the pastor). Make eye contact and address the children. Provide something that can be seen, smelled, tasted, touched, or heard. Story-telling, participation, or object lessons work well. Scripture should be read and words simplified if necessary, but not diluted. Be sensitive to the fact that all children are not familiar with church vernacular, so simple language is best. Repetition is good. In wrapping up, summarize and restate the truth being taught.
- The lesson should be concluded with prayer for the seeds to take root for the glory of God. (Ephesians 3:17-18: “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”)
- Finally, remind the children to pick up an activity sheet, if provided, before returning to their seats.