I was recently asked by my pastor to prepare the children’s sermon for our worship hour. I was hesitant because I know how tricky it can be to present something meaningful for both children and the rest of the congregation. The children’s sermon deserves as much consideration as the pastor’s message, keeping in mind that you are dealing with tender, developing spirits.
It is important to treat the children who come forward with respect, not as entertainment for the adults, and to share the children’s comments (if any) so the folks beyond the first row can follow the interaction.
After much thought and prayer, this is what I came up with:
(The children are welcomed to come to the front of the sanctuary and gather around my chair where they are greeted with a smile. When they are settled, I introduce myself and ask a child his or her name.)Say: “Margo (child’s name), I’m so glad you are here. Can you tell me why you came to church today?”
(Give the child a chance to reply, repeating it for those in the back of the sanctuary to hear. Go around the circle of children until each has had an opportunity to respond. If the reply is that they are there because their parent/grandparent brought them, ask the parent to give their reason for bringing the child.)
(Recap the reasons given, emphasizing these probable responses: to learn about/worship God, to get closer to God, and to be with friends. The first time “friends” are mentioned, you might comment that being with Christian friends is a really good way to feel God’s love.)Wrap up by saying: “You see, we all have really good reasons to be in church. So, whenever anyone asks you why you go to church, now you can tell them:
We come to church to learn about God, to feel His love, and to share that love with others.”
The children’s message above applies to all God’s children, young and old. We all need to be ready to defend our faith.
4 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 2 Timothy 4:1-2(NIV)