This Compassion Counts children’s message is good to use with kids of all ages to teach them that to be compassionate, we must set aside our own concerns.
Scripture: Luke 10:30-37
- a plastic container with one ice cube for each child, and
- paper towels.
Older Elementary Children’s Message: Compassion Counts
- What is compassion?
Say: When we have compassion, we feel sympathy for someone and then we get involved. Sometimes we involve ourselves, and other times we might involve ourselves 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.
Then read aloud Luke 10:30-37.
Say: The priest and the Levite may have been very caring guys who just happened to be too busy or scared to help. They may have felt sympathy—but only the Samaritan had compassion. He set aside his own concerns and he acted. He involved himself.
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 the ice cube in your hand was distracting?
- How was this experience like or unlike putting aside your daily concerns and showing compassion to others?
Then end by saying: God wants us to put aside our concerns, even when we’re uncomfortable or stressed, and show compassion to others.