This Compassion Counts children’s message is good to use with kids of all ages.
The Point: To be compassionate, we must set aside our own concerns.
Best for: Grades 3 and up
Scripture: Luke 10:30-37
Supplies: You’ll need Bibles, a plastic container with one ice cube for each child, and paper towels.
Ask: What is compassion?
Say: When we have compassion, we feel sympathy for someone and then we get involved. Sometimes we get involved directly, and other times we might get involved by sending money or gifts to help people in need. Compassion is more than just feeling sympathy; it also involves doing something that helps someone else.
Form pairs. Say: Talk with your partner about a time someone showed compassion to you.
After five minutes, invite kids to share any stories of compassion with the entire group.
Read aloud Luke 10:30-37.
Say: The priest and the Levite may’ve been very caring guys who just happened to be too busy or scared to help. They may’ve felt sympathy–but only the Samaritan had compassion. He set aside his own concerns and he acted. He got involved.
Give each child an ice cube and a paper towel. Have kids clench the ice cube in their hand over the paper towel. As they clench the ice cube, have partners take turns sharing one big thing they’re worried about at school or at home–while keeping the ice cube clenched in the same hand for five minutes.
After time is up, ask: What was it like to listen compassionately when you were distracted by the ice cube in your hand? How was this experience like or unlike putting aside your daily concerns and showing compassion to others?
Say: God wants us to put aside our concerns, even when we’re uncomfortable or stressed, and show compassion to others.