Monday, August 06, 2007

Children's Sermons that Textweek Rejected

Text: John 8:1-11
Theme: Jesus Doesn't Want You To Throw Rocks
Props: A handful of rocks, one for each child.

Lesson: Say, "what have I brought with me today?" (Rocks.) "That's right, rocks. What can you do with rocks?" (Paint them, throw them, use as a paperweight, build a house, arrange a meditation garden with them). "Wow. Those are all great ideas. But the one that I want to talk about today is throwing rocks. Have you ever thrown a rock?" (Wait for responses) "Did it feel good?" (Wait for responses) "Did you want to do it again?" (Wait for responses) "Have you ever thrown a rock at another person?" (Wait for responses, take names of those who answer yes)

Say: "Well, I want to tell you a story. There was this group of people who wanted to throw rocks at a woman caught in adultery. Do you know what adultery is?" (Wait for responses. Many probably won't, in which case you say:) "Well, ask your parents when you get home." (Now hold a rock in your hand) "So these people wanted to throw rocks at this woman. And Jesus was nearby and heard about it. And he told them, "let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Do you think anyone threw a rock after he said that?" (No. Take names of children who answer yes) "No, they didn't. Because we're all sinful and totally evil. So God doesn't want us to throw rocks. So now I'll give you each a rock to remember not to throw it." (Hand each child a rock)

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for teaching us not to throw rocks. Help these children not to throw their rocks at each other or anyone else. Maybe in the river or at trees, but not at each other. And help them remember that it's because you love us and want us to love others. Amen.

Text: Acts 2:42-47
Theme: God Wants Us to Be the Same
Props: A bag of plain M & Ms

Lesson: Say: "Good morning!" (Wait for response) "I brought something along with me today. Can you tell me what it is?" (A bag of M & Ms) "That's right! I brought a bag of M & Ms with me." (I like M & Ms) "Do you? Me too. That's why I brought them. Look at all the different colors in here! What sorts of colors are here today?" (Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, brown) "Very good! You got them all!" (One time we had a bag of red and white M & Ms) "Really? Yeah, there are other colors too, aren't there?" (Yeah, one time we had some Shrek ones. They were green and brown and orange) "Wow, lots of different colors!" (Can we have some now?) "No, not yet. I have to tell you about the church. So when the church first got together, they shared everything. In lots of ways they were the same because they all loved Jesus and had the same faith. Kind of like these M & Ms. They look different on the outside, but on the inside they taste the same, don't they?" (What about the kind with peanuts?) "Well, those don't count." (Why not?) "Because I don't have any of the peanut kind." (What about the peanut butter ones? I like those better) "No, not the peanut butter ones either. Just the plain ones." (Why don't the others count?) "Because we're the plain kind." (Well, who are the other kinds, then?) "No one is the other kind." (But someone has to be the other kind. They're real, too) "The point is that we all taste the same." (God is going to eat us?) "No, we're just the plain ones because we all love Jesus and taste the same." (That's not what I asked) "Look, we're plain M & Ms, we all love Jesus no matter what color we are, and that's it." (After the prayer, give M & Ms to everyone except that kid)

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for bringing us together by faith in you. Help us to remember that we're all the exact same on the inside because of Jesus. And help us to remember that it's because you love us and want us to love others. Amen.

Text: Matthew 28:1-10
Theme: God Resurrected Jesus and It Might Have Happened Like This
Props: A 9V battery, a red and blue wire, a light socket, a light bulb, a small 10" x 8" board, superglue, a Philips-head screwdriver, a cross, a picture of the empty tomb, a white sheet, copies of the medical explanation for fainting, a floor fan, a bag of suckers, stickers that say "He Is Risen!"

Before the lesson: During the hours upon hours that you'll surely devote to preparing for this lesson, glue the port for the battery and the light socket to the board, and attach the wires to the battery port. Screw the light bulb into the socket, but don't attach the other ends of the wires yet! Also, stick the "He is Risen!" stickers on the suckers.

Lesson: Say, "Good morning!" (Wait for response) "Who can tell me what today is?" (Easter) "That's right! It's Easter Sunday! Today is the day when we celebrate Jesus' rising from the dead! First, how did Jesus die?" (On the cross) "That's right, on the cross." (Show them the cross) "But then on the third day after he died on the cross, some women went to the tomb" (Turn on the fan) "And there was an earthquake and all this weird stuff happened where a man wearing white came down" (Hold sheet in front of fan so that it blows around) "And when he did that, the soldiers guarding the tomb fainted" (Read a brief excerpt from the medical explanation) "And the man in white came down and rolled back the stone, and the women saw that nothing was inside" (Show a picture of the empty tomb) "And he said that Jesus had been raised from the dead!" (Turn off the fan. Bring out the light bulb rig)

Say, "Do you know how it happened?" (No.) "No, me neither. But it might have looked like this. Jesus' body didn't have any power, like this light bulb. But God acted like a battery and sent the wires of the Holy Spirit into the tomb to give him life again!" (Attach wires to light socket, and the light will light up) "See? Just like this! How wonderful that Jesus could burn bright again, and that his filament is eternal!" (After the prayer, pass out the suckers with the stickers attached to them)

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for making Jesus burn bright again. Thank you for the everlasting conduit of your Holy Spirit. And help us to remember that it's because you love us and want us to love others. Amen.


Anonymous said...

Can't wait for the book to be published...

But the Easter one ... Holy Week is kinda busy for prep. Can't you adapt that for Transfiguration Sunday when there isn't as much going on? Thanks for your consideration.


Jeff Nelson said...

That one may also be adapted for Trinity Sunday, in which case one would naturally be expected to also include no less than 10 symbols of the Trinity with an explanation of each one, an easel, a paper bag full of Gobstoppers with stickers that say "3-in-1," water balloons, a snorkel, a dachschund puppy, five dinner plates, the June 1983 edition of Reader's Digest, and a DVD of the first season of Scrubs. These lessons are so easy to put together, especially for those who consider them the most important moment of their week!

Anonymous said...

I'll have to work these into my mid-week classes. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Well, then, along with the book, can you provide a companion pak with the appropriate materials for each sermon? Perhaps you offer these by liturgical season - package the Lent items in a purple box for quick reference...

But the children's story on Abraham and Isaac that requires the live ram -- I'll find my own, thankyouverymuch.


Anonymous said...

Actually, I think using multiple kinds of M&M's would demonstrate the point that no matter what size or shape we are, we are all M&M's and we are all loved by God.
I should go to bed, I'm starting think I know what I'm talking about.

Anonymous said...

"posts that prove how sick I am"...yup. Love it!

That Girl From Chicago

Anonymous said...

Tee hee, The Eternal Filament!

Deb said...

And TextWeek denied these? I am in... shock. Really! :snork:


1-4 Grace said...

Boo to text week. They don't know real theology when it is in front of them.
M and Ms are a riot!
Sadly enough, we had a kids sermon (mmeber did it) about a month ago where the poor guy started out by saying, "Well, you know this is kinda like the war in Iraq."

LutheranHusker said...

I came here via the RevGals' Wednesday Festival...and I'm thankful my office at church is far away from the rest of the offices, so I didn't have to stifle the belly guffaws quite as much as I would have otherwise. Thanks for the laughs, and thanks for the great writing elsewhere on your blog, too. If you don't mind, I'm going to put a link to your place on mine. Maybe you'll get all of 2 or 3 extra readers from it. =)

revkjarla said...

these are the BEST EVER!!! I am laughing so hard the tears are rolling down my have got to write a book! FAB blog, thanks!

leah said...

WONDERFUL, thanks!

Theresa Coleman said...

I really liked them.

What will you do with the dachschund puppy and the dinner plates?
(Just curious.)


rev h-d said...

OMG! Too funny. Those people at text week have no idea just how valuable some of these might be.the reverend mother asked about the dachschund and dinner plates, I must admit I'm more interested in the water balloons and the first season DVD of scrubs!

Scott Alan said...

Those textweek bastards - maybe you should throw a rock at 'em.


Anonymous said...

Really creative stuff--I especially liked the Easter one.

Jeff Nelson said...


"What will you do with the dachschund puppy and the dinner plates?"

The real question is, "what would I as a pastor do without these simple, easy to put together children's sermons that fit so easily into my schedule?"

Suma said...

Ya, the story is very good having a good theme to all...not only children but also all the elders..

suma valluru

Rev Kim said...

*Wipes away tears of laughter* This is sooo funny!

"Do you know what adultery is?" hee hee

Jeff Nelson said...

I do believe that this is a record for number of comments.

Hooray for parodies!

Anonymous said...


You mean these weren't from your archive of actual children's stories?

I am ... crushed.

So what am I supposed to do with the $12 9-volt battery and the sheet of 3/4" plywood I purchased?

(heh, don't answer that, POC) :-)


Jeff Nelson said...

Judging by the reactions, this is probably good Wittenburg Door material...

Anonymous said...

I'm still laughing...I'm especially interestedin the trinity one, since being Lutheran I don't get the perhaps another of your sermons might help me too...keep on, your silliness is what keeps us all going.....Gail in California (which probably tells you why I'm whacked>>>)

Anonymous said...

Absolutely wonderful --I printed them out to share with my Bible Study group (average age 80) Gail

Luke said...

hahahaha! that was good fun! i loved it.

i would add in something like "God, please smite the peanut M&M ppl because they are heretics and we know they are going to hell." that would just ratchet up the awfulness. ;-)