Ideas for Childen's Ministries and Programs

Walk in the Light

March 25:  John 12:20 – 36

Walk in the Light

Materials needed:  Book about butterflies “Born to be a Butterfly”, Easter stole with butterflies

As Pastor Barry reads the Gospel Lesson today, we hear Jesus talk about changes.  Let’s talk about one of the symbols we use in our church for Easter.  (Show stole with butterflies.)  We use butterflies to think about new life and resurrection.  (For younger children spend some word time with “resurrection.”)

Today let’s think about the change that happens in new life by thinking about the changes that happen for a butterfly.  This book is called, “Born to be a butterfly.” We’ll start here.  (Show a picture of a caterpillar. Let children identify the caterpillar.)  The caterpillar walks around and enjoys its life.  When the time is right the caterpillar changes.  (Show the chrysalis.)  Inside the chrysalis, I imagine it’s pretty dark.  Inside the chrysalis a wonderful change happens, the caterpillar changes into a butterfly!  The caterpillar is gone, but a wonderful new insect is in its place.

I like to think of that kind of change for us.  We are a little like the caterpillar.  Someday we will become even more amazing than we are right now!  Like the caterpillar, we can walk in the light, and we can really enjoy this life we have.  We can be sure Jesus will be with us to help us every day! Someday, we will go through a dark time like the caterpillar changing into a chrysalis.  We can be sure Jesus will be with us while we change and grow.  Then when we are ready, we will begin a new life just as amazing as the butterfly’s.  We can be sure Jesus will be with us then, too.

When you see the butterflies during Easter, remember you were born to be an amazing person!  Jesus loves you very much!

Alternative ———————————————-

Materials needed – Backpack, walking stick

In the Gospel lesson today Pastor Barry reads about Jesus tells his disciples to walk in the light while they have light.  Image we’ve all gone camping together way out in the mountains.  We take a hike up to the top of the mountain. There’s a little trail that leads to a beautiful waterfall.  We start walking and in the path there’s a big root growing across the trail.  What do we do? (Jump over it)  We keep walking and hear a sound.  What do we see? (Describe a few more hazards easily overcome… end of trail, waterfall.)  Suddenly it’s night and very dark, no moon.  What do we need?  What happens if we don’t have light to guide way back?

(Imagine trip back down trail without light.)  Walk in the light while you have light.  Jesus is our light.  He helps us see danger and step over it or around it.  He helps us see good things to do and enjoy.

Payer:  Thank you, Jesus, for being our light.  We love following you to all the wonderful places you take us.  We trust you to help us through all the dark places, too.  Amen


(Note: Children view death very differently during the ages of preschool to 12 years old.  Since our children cover these ages, I prefer to discuss death in groups more homogeneous with respect to age.)

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Laughter Sunday

March 18 — 4th Sunday of Lent

Scripture:  John 3: 14 – 21

Laughter Sunday

Finally!  We’ve eagerly awaited THIS Sunday – Laughter Sunday.  Members of the congregation will bring jokes and funny stories (appropriate for church, as our ads have stated), bring something funny to share, or wear something funny.  Pastor Barry always has jokes to share so he’ll have a reserve to fill in; he is also wearing a clown tie instead of the usual vestments.

For the children’s sermon, we’ll do a clown skit.  The clown comes to the children’s area, trying to catch a balloon.  When the clown (ok, it’s me) reaches a certain spot, I will find a small yellow ball.  I get an idea and bring it to the children.  I’ll guide the children to help me plant it.  They’ll use the materials listed below.  When we get the love (heart) over the pot, the plant begins to grow (clown daisy).  We’ll bring Pastor Barry over and pantomime words until he says the verse for the day:  John 3:16.  God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but have eternal life. (CEB)

We’ll give the kids clown noses (or happy faces) to help remember the verse.

Materials needed:  Clown outfit, for kids clown noses (or happy faces), balloon, yellow ball, giant flower pot, trowel, large watering can, sun, heart, and globe.

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Get Rid of Stuff Sunday

March 11

3rd Sunday of Lent

Scriture:  John 2: 13 – 25:

Theme: (Cleansing of temple) “Get rid of stuff Sunday”

Materials needed:  3 bins labeled – Throw it away, Give it away, Trade it; a broken toy, a baby toy, 1 sock, coat, some books, some games, some plastic scraps; church recycle bin for bulletins; heart inside a bulletin (1 per child)


Good morning, one of my goals for Lent is to make my life simpler by getting rid of some stuff. Could you help me sort some things?  (Tell kids about the bins. Help them decide which items go into each bin.  Note: discuss trading 2 or 3 games/books for 1 new game/book.)  It’s hard work, but it makes life easier if we get rid of stuff.


That reminds me of our Good News story today. Jesus and his disciples were going to the big Temple in Jerusalem. But as they were in the outer part of the Temple, there were booths set up like a market:  people trading coins, people selling animals, everyone making a lot of noise.  It was really hard to get into the temple because of all the commotion.  Jesus got angry; he wanted people to be able to get into the Temple and worship together.  He drove the sellers out and cleared the way into the Temple.


Sometimes we need to clear a way into our hearts, too.  (Give each child the bulletin.  Let them find the heart inside and put the bulletin in the recycle bin) Please keep the heart and think about clearing a path to your heart so there is room for Jesus.

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Don’t Be Ashamed of Jesus

March 4

2nd Sunday of Lent

Scripture: Mark 8: 27 – 38

Materials needed:  clown hair, clown nose, (a few other clown props, if desired)

Don’t be ashamed of Jesus

Some people loved Jesus.  Some people were ashamed of Jesus.  Some people respected Jesus and expected great things from Jesus.  Some people expected Jesus to cause a lot of trouble.

Let’s think about being ashamed or feeling respect.  Let’s pretend you have a clown in your family.  (Put on wig and nose.)  People may stare at your family clown, but the clown is part of your family and you love the clown. (Honk nose.)

(Pantomime) One day you and the clown are walking down the street, and you see a little kid crying.  The clown sits down beside the kid, hugs him, and dries his tears. The kid shows the clown his scraped knee.  The clown puts medicine on the boo-boo, puts a band-aid over the hurt, and helps the kid get up.  Would the clown bring respect to your family or shame? Right! Respect!  (Honk, honk)

(Pantomime)  One day your family and the clown go out to eat at a very fancy restaurant.  Before you even get your food, the clown jumps up on the table and starts dancing and singing.  (Honk, Honk)  Would the clown bring respect to your family or shame?  Respect, right? (Clown encourages applause)  No, shame!  (“Rats!” reaction)  You would feel really embarrassed.

In two more weeks we’ll celebrate laughter Sunday, and I’ll give you a chance to be a clown.  We’ll see if we can be clowns to bring laughter and respect.

Of course, Jesus isn’t a clown.  Jesus is a great leader, and he wants people who follow him to believe in him and respect him.  This week think about all the wonderful things Jesus does to bring honor and respect to you and your family!

Jesus loves you very much.  See you next time!

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