This was the first “Children’s Sermon” that I did in church. You can modify it for a family-size lesson easily.
(Warning: this is a lengthy post. Only read it if you’re looking for a fun children’s character lesson, a fresh insight about obedience, or THE most complex recipe for Puppy Chow in the universe.)
The truth is, we learn to appreciate obedience when we experience its blessing.
As children obey their parents and participate in making Puppy Chow Chex Mix for the entire church, they learn that although they may not know the big picture of “why” they must obey their parents, the result is a bunch of blessings for themselves, the Church at large, and God Himself.
The stage is set with 4 volunteer families and a *person*. Each family receives a slip of paper with their specific instructions on it. The *person* is a good sport like your spouse or someone who stands in the back of the church and assembles the ingredients as they are delivered.
Then, say things like this:
Hey, how loudly can you kids cheer?!
How loudly can you kids boo?!
This morning Iâ€™m going to teach you something to cheer about! That is OBEDIENCE! Oh, I know, when we hear that word, we usually moan and groan, but from this point forward, when you hear the word, OBEDIENCE, or OBEY, I want you to hoot and holler, to smile and cheer! Letâ€™s practice!
“One of God’s gifts to kids is… OBEDIENCE!” (The crowd goes wild!)
Of course, when you hear the word DISobedience, I want you to pull out that boo and give it two thumbs down. Let’s practice!
“We miss out on great things when we DISOBEY!” (Boo, boo, boo!)
Today weâ€™re going to learn how wonderful it is to OBEY. (CHEER!) and how disastrous it can be to DISOBEY (BOO!)
Whew! That was the high-energy intro. Now, we move into the lesson:
Speaking to the unsuspecting volunteered kids: “I have entrusted your parents with the big picture of what weâ€™re doing today. They have written instructions that they will share with you so that you can take part in creating a blessing for yourself and the entire church! So, listen carefully to your parents, be sure to OBEY (CHEER!) them right away so that we all can enjoy the blessing. You may not know WHY you have to OBEY, but you must trust that your parents are telling you the truth about the instructions I have given them.â€
Cue Family #1 (one young child):
(Oh, by the way, you should have given this family the Chex Mix in a brown paper bag.)
â€œ(Childâ€™s name), please take this package to the back of the gym and wait there with Mr. Booz. Please do not walk down the middle isle; instead walk around the congregation. If you walk down the middle isle, you might get there more quickly, but someone will try to steal this package from you. It is safer to walk around the long way.â€
Cue Family #2 (one young child)
(By the way, you gave the little girl in this family a beautiful little package at the beginning of the whole shebang that she now has to sacrifice. Good thing, too, because at the end of the lesson, you’ll reveal that the package had a jar of baby food or Tabasco inside. ‘Would have totally ruined the blessing for everyone. Instead, her parents give her a container with the powdered sugar.)
â€œ(Childâ€™s name), please give me the package that you have. You may not hold it any longer. Instead, Iâ€™d like you to take this back to Mr. Booz. I know that this package is not as beautiful as the one you were holding, but Iâ€™d like you trust me.
When you get to the back of the room, please politely look Mr. Booz in the eyes and say, â€œHello, Mr. Booz. This is from my mom/ dad.â€ Letâ€™s practice: pretend that Iâ€™m Mr. Booz. Hand the package to me, look me in the eyes and say, â€œHello, Mr. Booz. This is from my parents.â€ Good practice. Now, you may go!â€
Cue Family #3 (two older children)
(By the way, this time, you asked one very-responsible adult to melt down your chocolate, peanut butter, vanilla extract concoction in the church kitchen, on a bunsun burner, in a portable microwave, or over a small contained campfire in the back of the church. The melter should begin melting when you begin the children’s sermon. Don’t forget the pot-holders.)
â€œ(Childâ€™s name), please go to the kitchen door and knock three times. Someone will give you a container. Carefully carry that container to Mr. Booz. The container is very fragile and will be hot; it is very important that you walk slowly and carefully even if other people are telling you to walk faster.â€
â€œ(Other childâ€™s name), please go with your (sister / brother) and encourage (him / her) to obey and to walk slowly and carefully.â€
Cue Family #4 (three children)
â€œChildren, come with me. I will not be able to speak to you for a couple of minutes, but Iâ€™d like you to imitate everything I do.â€
Walk back to Person.
Pick up one of the paper bags.
Fold the top over several times so that the bag is sealed.
Shake the bag. (Shake it above your head, under your leg, behind your back, while jumping up and down…)
Now that the Puppy Chow is made, what was that all about?!
Will someone back there taste and let us know – loud and clear – what you think about the blessing our obedience created! (Hope for a “yum”.)
You see, each child had to obey the instructions even though they might not have known why – they might not have seen the big picture or known what kind of a blessing would come because they obeyed.
Can you imagine what would have happened if any one had DISobeyed (BOO!)?! If (childâ€™s name) had disobeyed and gone down the center isle, our blessing would have had NO chex in it! It would have been a big ugly blob of gook! If (childâ€™s name) had DISobeyed (Boo!) and not given her mother the beautiful package, guess what would have been poured into our blessing? HOT SAUCE! Gross.
I am GLAD that every child chose to TRUST and OBEY (CHEER!) their parents, arenâ€™t you?
Similarly, God has given your parents the big picture of the blessings that He wants to give you; Heâ€™s even given them special instructions for you. Parents, hold up the instructions God has given you!
When you obey your parents, you will be a part of a blessing for yourself, a blessing for your church, and a blessing for God himself.
Then, put the teaching back into the parents’ hands:
Finally, the big conclusion:
Can you see that OBEDIENCE (cheer) brings us great blessings?
If you are a child or teenager, practice this faith statement: â€œI will obey my parents; I will honor my parents.â€ Please take a minute to listen to each child in your family practice this faith statement: â€œI will obey my parents; I will honor my parents.â€
Itâ€™s true! OBEDIENCE (cheer) is the VERY BEST WAY to show that you believe.
OBEY (cheer) and be blessed.
After church, as you try to hand out dixie-cups-full of Puppy Chow quickly enough to satisfy the masses, remind each person – young and old alike – “obedience is a blessing”.