Just like grown ups, children struggle with busy hearts and minds that often distract them from God. This children’s sermon will help them discover the importance of being still before the Lord.
Leader Preparation: Many times teaching lessons to others can have an impact on the teacher too, and this is a wonderful thing. For this lesson, give yourself some quiet time to God. This does not mean go play golf or send your family outside to get away from them; however, find a thirty minute time in your day (maybe in the car) and just listen to God. Don’t read; don’t have the music on; listen. Consider this preparation part of the lesson, because it would be great to give an example to the children. It is possible that you may have an experience similar to the “Story” below. If you read the story, then tell the children, “you may have a story like this person….”
Children’s Sermon Title: In Stillness we can find God
Bible Passage: Psalm 46:10
Target Age Group: Elementary Aged Children
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After this lesson, children will …
- Understand the importance of listening to God.
- Realize that constant noise is not always necessary.
- Know why God desires stillness with Him.
Purpose of activity: for the children to know the difference between listening when the environment it loud or quiet.
Bring a CD player with music that is loud and distracting (like hard rock), and bring something that is soothing (like classical). If you do not have a CD player or music, then think of an alternative way of making a lot of noise. For example, bring in a drum, or plastic container, to hit. The main point of the exercise will be driven with the loud noise.
- Turn on the loud music, or bang on the drums, where the children can’t hear the speaker.
- Try to ask the Questions below with the noise, but don’t yell it to the children; speak normally.
- Stop the distracting cacophony and explain that it is difficult to hear with lots of sounds.
- Next, turn on the classical music–if you have it–and ask the questions while the room is quiet.
- Explain how it is easier to listen when there are little to no distractions.
Questions to Begin
- How many of you like noise in the background of your day? (Music, TV, Video Games…)
- How many of you try to get away from noise during the day? Why or why not?
- How would you feel if you were trying to talk to someone, but they couldn’t hear you because of noise?
- Would that be frustrating? Why?
- Do you think that God wants us to listen to Him?
- Is it easier to listen to God when it is quiet or when it is loud?
Read Psalm 46:10.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
A few years ago, I had the pleasure to go to a country named Thailand for a mission trip–Thailand is south of China. While I was there, our mission team was able to go to the Northern hills. It was a beautiful place of rolling hills and lush-green forest-jungles. It appeared that the hills were touching the blue sky itself.
One morning I woke up early, from sleeping on the ground, in a cottage, and walked outside. Everything was so quite. There was no noise to be heard anywhere. There were no cars, TV’s, airplanes, lawnmowers; nothing. The mist of the morning collected itself upon the grassy floor of the hill where I was; the butterflies danced over the many flowers near the cottage, and the distant animals grazed on the adjacent hill. I walked over to the dirt road to see across the way. While I stood there, I saw all the hills in the distance. The hills stared back at me with a calm sigh, and I returned the favor.
To my left were steps that led to a cross, which found itself near a small chapel. I climbed the steps an looked down on the cottage, where I had slept. From there, I could still see the butterflies dancing and the animals grazing. Nature itself appeared to be worshiping God in its silent way. I stood still to bask in the amazing beauty of God’s creation and listened to His voice. Through the quietness, I heard God louder that day than any day after. I was able to hear God through the stillness that I often covered up with noise.
Jesus often times found himself surrounded by people. Wherever he went people came to him. Jesus loved helping people and enjoyed taking care of their needs, but sometimes Jesus needed to have quite moments too. One time, after Jesus fed over five thousand people, he sent the disciples away, and found a place of solitude to pray. John 14:22-23 says,
22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone….
Jesus knew that he needed to spend time with God in prayer. God is often speaking to us, but we need to be able to listen. God may be calling us to Him, but how will we know if He is speaking if we are distracted? Let us continually listen for Him.
- Why is it important to listen to God?
- What are some ways we get distracted? How can we change this?
- Is it good to be quiet sometimes? Why?
- Do you think that God is pleased when we try to listen to Him?
- What is one thing you can do this week to listen to God?