This object lesson is perfect to use at Halloween. Something that people use as decoration will remind children how Jesus saves them from their sin.
Needed: 2 jack-o-lanterns. One should have a frown carved, and should be warped and ugly. It shouldn’t be cleaned out completely and shouldn’t have a light in it. If you can, leave it to rot for a few days. The more disgusting it is, the better. The second jack-o-lantern should be clean, with a smile on its face and a candle in it.
Everywhere you go at this time of the year, you see jack-o-lanterns. Did you know jack-o-lanterns can remind you of how Jesus saved you. Before Jesus came into your heart, you were like this jack-o-lantern. Show first jack-o-lantern. You were full of sin and dirty inside. You had no light inside you, and you were very unhappy. But Jesus came into your heart and cleaned all the sin inside. Show the second jack-o-lantern. He gave you peace and put a smile on your face. He even shines His light through you. So everywhere you go this Halloween, when you see a jack-o-lantern, let it remind you of what Jesus did when He saved you.
Here is a great object lesson to illustrate why we need to be filled and saturated by the Holy Spirit.
Supplies Needed: flat sponge, bowl of water
Ephesians 5:18 Do not be drunk with wine. That will ruin you spiritually. But be filled with the Spirit.
The Bible talks a lot about being filled with the Holy Spirit. The word used in this verse for filled means being continually filled. That means being filled, and filled, and filled again. It means to keep being filled with the Holy Spirit.
(show flat sponge) Can anyone tell me what this is? (If the children don’t know, let them know it’s a sponge that has never been wet. It’s called a flat sponge. Talk about how useless this sponge is without water just as the Christian is useless unless he’s filled with the Holy Spirit.
The sponge is hard. God doesn’t want us to have a hard heart toward Him. He wants to fill our hearts with the Holy Spirit.
Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
This sponge is dry. Without the Holy Spirit filling us, our lives and passion for God can be dry. God wants to fill us with His Holy Spirit so that rivers of living water can flow out of us.
John 7:37-39 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
This sponge can’t wash or clean anything. Being filled with the Holy Spirit keeps us cleansed from sin.
John 7:38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’
Romans 8:2 Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
Object Lesson Experiment:
(Dip the sponge in the bowl of water so it is a little wet. Let the children make observations on how the sponge has changed. It is wetter, bigger, softer, more useful. Dip the sponge again until it gets saturated.)
The more this sponge gets saturated with water, the more useful it is. The more we are filled with the Holy Spirit, the more useful we are to the Kingdom of God.
If I were to leave this wet sponge on the shelf, what would happen to it? It would get dried out and hard again. That’s the way we will get if we don’t continue to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence. Twenty-four of them held seminary or Bible school degrees.
In 1777. Continental Congress voted to spend $300,000 to purchase bibles which were to be distributed throughout the 13 colonies! And in 1782, the United States Congress declared, “The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools.”
On March 6, 1789, President John Adams called for a national day of fasting and prayer for the country could “call to mind our numerous offenses against the most high God, confess them before Him with the sincerest penitence, implore his pardoning mercy, through the Great Mediator and Redeemer, for our past transgression, and that through the grace of His Holy Spirit, we may be disposed and enabled to yield a more suitable obedience. . .”
Patrick Henry read the Bible for hours every day. During his “Give me liberty or give me death” speech, he quoted Matthew and Jeremiah.
In his first general order to his own troops, General George Washington said he called on: ‘Every officer and man…to live, and act, as becomes a Christian Soldier defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country.’
Verses about a Nation’s Responsibility Toward God:
Psalm 33:12 ICB Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord. Happy are the people He chose for His very own.
Proverbs 11:14 ICB Without leadership a nation will be defeated. But when many people give advice, it will be safe.
Proverbs 14:34 ICB Doing what is right makes a nation great. But sin will bring disgrace to any people.
Christian’s Responsibilities to our Nation:
Obey God first. Acts 5:29 NRSV But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.”
Obey Our Leaders and the Law. Romans 13:1 ICB All of you must obey the government rulers. No one rules unless God has given him the power to rule. And no one rules now without that power from God.
Pray For Our Leaders. 1 Timothy 2:1 ICB You should pray for kings and for all who have authority. Pray for the leaders so that we can have quiet and peaceful lives—lives full of worship and respect for God.
Pentecost Sunday is June 4th this year. This is an important time for Pentecostal churches, yet many children’s ministries don’t take advantage of it to lead children into the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Here are some posts to help you while you plan for Pentecost Sunday.
Here’s some ideas for ways to honor veteran’s in children’s church this Memorial Day weekend.
Say the pledges to the American flag, the Christian flag, and the Bible.
Pledge To the United States Flag: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Pledge to the Christian Flag: I pledge allegiance to the Christian Flag and to the Savior for whose Kingdom it stands. One Savior, crucified, risen, and coming again with life and liberty to all who believe.
Pledge to the Bible: I pledge allegiance to the Bible, God’s Holy Word, I will make it a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path and will hide its words in my heart that I might not sin against God.
Have an older veteran speak to the children about his experiences. A World War II veteran would be ideal, but a veteran from any war will do.
Have the children make cards thanking the veterans who attend your church. The cards can be creative, but make sure the children include a thank you for serving message.
Announce the names of the veterans from your church in children’s church.
Have the children sing a patriotic song. God bless America is a good choice.
Lead the children in a prayer for our service men and women.
Teach a lesson on spiritual warfare and relate it to how our veterans fight for our freedom. Jesus died for our freedom from sin and death.
Palm Sunday is this Sunday. Here’s a lesson that you can use to make the day powerful.
Theme: God Wants Children To Praise Him
Verse: Matthew 21:16 (NIV) …From the lips of children and infantsyou, Lord, have called forth your praise
Game: Pin the Tail on the Donkey
You can buy this at most party supply stores.
After playing the game a few times, talk to the children about how Jesus rode to Jerusalem on a donkey.
Activity: Palm Branch Limbo
To play “Palm Branch Limbo,” you will need a few palm branches. These branches are easily found in department stores and floral shops weeks leading up to Palm Sunday. The children will have to limbo under the palm branches while the other children around them cheer them on.
Remind the children of how palm branches were placed in front of Jesus as the crowd around Him cheered Him on and shouted praises to Him.
Bible Story: Jesus Enters Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-17)
You can assign children parts and have them act out this story.
When Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, he rode in on a colt like a king. A colt is a young donkey. That means a child donkey held the full glory of God on his back. Child can have the full glory of God in them. You don’t have to wait until you’re grown up.
Everyone heard that Jesus was coming and ran out to meet Him. Some laid palm branches on the ground for Him to ride on. Others waved palm branches and shouted Hosanna, Son of David. They called Him Son of David because that was what they called the Messiah. They knew that the Messiah would have King David as an ancestor in His family tree. Hosanna means “save us” or “rescue us”. They were recognizing that Jesus is the Son of God who had come to save them. Imagine being in the crowd that day and waving palm branches to Jesus and shouting “Hosanna”.
After Jesus rode into Jerusalem, He went to the temple. There were men outside selling and cheating people. This made Jesus angry that these men would cheat people in the Temple of God. He knocked over their tables and said, “It is written, my house will be called a house of prayer. You have made it into a den of thieves.”
This made the religious leaders angry. They made money off these men who cheated the people.
At that point, children ran up to Jesus and waved palm shouting “Hosanna, Son of David.” Children, let’s use our hands to praise Jesus the way these children did. (Encourage the children to shout praises.)
Some of the religious leaders were angry that the children were praising Jesus. They said, “Do you hear what those children are saying? Tell them to be quiet.”
Jesus defended the children. He said, ““Have you never read,“‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise?”
Jesus wants children to praise Him. (Encourage children to shout praises to God.)
Object Lesson: Wave Your Palms
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, children and adult grabbed palm branches to praise him with. We don’t always have palm branches around, but we can still praise Jesus with our palms. (Hold up your hands.) God created us with two palms we can always use to praise Him with. Let’s hold up our palms now and shout “Praise the Lord”.
Object Lesson: The Rocks Will Cry Out
Supplies Needed: rocks
If you have enough rocks, give a rock or pebble to each child to take home. Tell them to put it out some place to remind them to Praise the Lord.
Have any of you ever heard a rock talk? After the Pharisees tried to get Jesus to stop the children from praising Him, Jesus said something very interesting. He said if we don’t praise Him, the rocks will cry out praise.
(Show the rocks) Have any of you ever heard a rock speak? That was amazing what Jesus said. But if children hadn’t praised Him as the Messiah the day he entered Jerusalem, that’s just what would have happened. Rocks not only would have spoke, they would have cried out praises to God.
God still wants His children to praise Him. I don’t want the rocks to cry out my praise. I want to praise God with my own mouth.
Let’s do that right now. On the count of three, let’s all shout “Praise the Lord”.
Lesson: God Wants Children to Praise
Quote the memory verse for today’s lesson. Matthew 21:16 … From the lips of children and infantsyou, Lord, have called forth your praise
When Jesus said this, He said it in Hebrew. It was written down in Greek. And we quote the verse in English. What the verse really meant in the original language is that God taught children and babies to lead praise. That means that Jesus not only wants children to praise Him, He wants children to lead praise.
Have you ever seen a church that had children lead praise and worship in Big Church. Most churches normally have adults leading praise, but God wants children to lead praise. That doesn’t mean you have to join the adult praise team. But it does mean if you praise God with your whole heart, adults will see it and want to praise God too.
Ask the children to make a decision to praise God with their whole hearts. If you have time, lead them in another praise song and encourage them to praise God with their whole hearts while they sing it.
Craft Activity: Hand Palms
Supplies Needed: construction paper, craft (Popsicle) sticks, scissors
Have children trace their hand prints onto construction paper. Have them cut out the hand prints and glue them onto the craft sticks.
Remind the children that we made these palm branches to remind us that we all have palms to wave when we praise the Lord.s
Certain colors are associated with Christmas. You can use these colors to teach children about Christmas by showing different color ornaments or decorations.
Red symbolizes Christ was born on Christmas so He could shed His blood for the sins of the world.
Romans 5:9 Now that we have been justified by his blood, how much more will we be saved from wrath through him!
Green is the color of the evergreens that last all year long even through the winter snow. It symbolizes eternal life that Jesus came to give. If we believe in Him, we will have eternal life in Heaven with Jesus.
John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
White symbolizes the purity of Christ. He lived His life on Earth without ever sinning, He cleanses us from our sins when we become His children. Our sins become as white as snow.
Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Gold symbolizes the three wise men. Some called them kings. They brought gifts Jesus when he was born: gold, frankincense, and myrrh to show Jesus was born a king. He came to this Earth as a baby, but He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Matthew 2:1-2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.
Silver has two meanings. It symbolizes the star of Bethlehem that the wise men followed. But it also symbolizes shepherds who rang their silver bells in Bible times to help the sheep find their way. When Jesus was born, angels appeared to shepherds so they could worship Him. Jesus as our Great Shepherd. Jesus came to Earth to help us find our way back to God.
John 10:11, 14-15 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.