Fun ways to tell the gospel that really make sense to kids.
Fill three clear plastic bottles with 8 to 10 ounces of water. Add a small amount of liquid bleach to one of the bottles. (Keep out of the children’s reach.) You’ll also need red and blue food coloring and a clear pitcher or jar to hold the water from all three bottles.
*Say: (Drop four drops of blue food coloring into one bottle of plain water.) When Jesus came into our world as a baby, he had to leave his home in heaven. We often think of heaven as being up above the blue skies. (Drop four drops of red coloring into the second bottle of plain water .)
*Say: When Jesus grew up, he suffered and died on a cross. What did soldiers put on Jesus’ head? (a crown of thorns) What did they put through his hands and feet? (nails) Do you think Jesus bled like you have when you’ve hurt yourself? Red reminds us of the blood Jesus bled and how much he hurt. (Pour the two bottles at once into the large pitcher or jar.)
*Say: Purple reminds us that Jesus had to leave heaven, come to our world, and become a person like us so he could shed his blood to take away our sins. When Jesus died on the cross, had he done anything wrong? No. Jesus was perfect. He was clear and clean just like our last bottle.
(Pour the bleach/water solution into the purple water.) *Say: Jesus never sinned. Jesus died on the cross because he loves each of us so much. One day, we’ll go to heaven to be with Jesus. Our blue water reminds us of that. Let’s sing “Jesus Loves Me.” As we sing, keep your eyes on our blue water. (It’ll become clear.)
At the end of the song, *say: Jesus cleanses us from all sin. Jesus loves us so much that he was willing to leave his home in heaven and die on a cross for us. What a wonderful Savior! Let’s pray and thank him.
Dear Jesus, thank you for leaving your home in heaven to die on a cross so that we could live in heaven with you. We love you, Jesus.
NOW YOU SEE IT!
Here’s an illusion you can create to help children understand new life in Christ.
Make a tube by using two empty store-bought icing containers, a sturdy file folder, and Con-Tact paper with a print that’s the same from all directions, such as polka dots or stripes. Cover the file folder with the Con-Tact paper. Place the icing containers bottom to bottom. Then wrap and glue the decorated file folder around them. The container openings will be the ends of the tube. Glue a fake caterpillar in one end and a fake butterfly in the other end.
At the butterfly end of the tube, mark a small symbol visible only to you so you can tell which end is which.
Show the children the end with the caterpillar. *Say: Before we place our faith in Jesus, we are just like an ugly old caterpillar. Sin in our lives keeps us from being the beautiful butterflies God wants us to be.
Divert kids’ attention by asking a child to show the audience the pretty scarf you’re going to drape over the tube.
As people watch the child, turn the tube around. Cover the tube with the scarf. Have someone read aloud 2 Corinthians 5:17.
Then pull off the scarf and show everyone the beautiful butterfly in the other end. *Say: The caterpillar changing into a butterfly reminds me of how Jesus changes us when we follow him. Jesus is our Savior. When we believe in Jesus, we become alive again like the butterfly. It’s like we’re born a second time to live eternally with God in heaven.
Use this gospel presentation outside, in a gym, or in the largest room in your church. Have kids line up at one end of the room while you stand at the other end. *Say: On “go,” walk toward me. When I yell “repent,” turn around and walk the other way. Again, when I yell “repent,” turn around and walk the other way. Ready? Go!
Play for up to five minutes or until children are wearing down. Then gather everyone together and *ask: What did you have to do when I yelled “repent”?
*Say: To repent means to turn around and go the other way.
Read aloud Mark 1:14-15. *Ask: What does Jesus want us to do? What kinds of things do people need to turn away from? What does Jesus say we need to do after we repent? Read aloud Acts 3:19-20.
*Ask: According to these verses, what happens when we repent and return to God? Is there anything you
need to repent from so you can turn to Jesus in faith?
Allow children time to respond; then pray for and with each child.