One of the best ideas I’ve ever come up with is the Children’s Message Sermon Series. I don’t want to say that I invented it, but I don’t know of anyone else who does it this way. Nor can I find any such resources on the web. The awesome part is that the Children’s Message Sermon Series allows me to do real theology and Bible teaching to children. It has really helped in getting organized and inspiring me to include children in worship. Most of the time, the children’s message is unrelated to ‘adult’ lesson, but I haven’t found that to be a problem.
For Advent, I have decided to do Jesus’ genealogy from Matthew 1 as a children’s series. At Jones UMC, parishioners put up paper figures of the 42 men and 5 women of Jesus’ family tree. At the other churches, I have used name placards. Each Sunday, I select someone from the family tree to teach. Week one, I used David and talked about Jesus as “Son of David” and a king. Week two, I taught about Ruth being a gentile and connected it to Jesus’ high regard for non-Israelites. I included a bit about how when we read the OT, we are reading about a foreign place and a different time. When Jesus read the Hebrew scriptures, he was reading family history.
This week I am teaching on Josiah, the child king and the great reformer. The awesome part is that I have to do some research on the ins and outs of Josiah. It’s one of those things where a good idea has spurred other good things. I will teach on Mary for Advent 4 and Jesus as brother on Christmas Eve. After Christmas, the children’s message will be a series on Jesus’ revelations: how Jesus reveals who he is, using the 7 “I AM” statements from John’s gospel. I’ve researching it and having a blast.
The key is planning. I once had a terrible time doing children’s messages. I would be ill-prepared, trying to throw things together at the last minute. It was an embarrassment. But now that I have an approach, there is a certain power and joy to doing children’s message.