Teach kids about serving God with this Acts 9:36-43 children’s sermon on Peter raising Tabitha (aka Dorcas) back to life. This message encourages children to use their talents to serve God and help others, as He calls us all to do. Sometimes things don’t seem to go our way, but God can and will use all things to His glory in the end. Even if we make mistakes, or don’t think we have enough “skill” in areas, we can trust that God will shape our lives and use all things for His great purposes. Share this Acts 9:36-43 Children’s Message on Peter and Tabitha in your Kids Church, Sunday School, or other Children’s Ministry teaching.
Law/Gospel Theme: We sometimes think that Christian living is based on what we can do, whether that’s following the law or using special talents. We know from the Bible, though, that our value and salvation come from Christ alone. The love of Jesus is the most critical thing we can exhibit, and we serve Him when we share that love with others. God wants to use all of who we are, imperfections aside, and through His power can work all things for the good. When we put our lives in His hands, anything is possible!
Optional Object Lesson Materials: Items that demonstrate some sort of skill or talent (art things, sports equipment; sewing supplies particularly recommended).
Bible Passage: Acts 9:36-43
More Bible Lessons and Activities on Dorcas / Tabitha
- Watch the video of this children’s sermon lesson and related Bible craft activity ideas
- Compare our full Acts 9:36-43 Sunday School Lesson on Tabitha and Peter
- Compare an alternate Kids Bible Lesson on Peter Raising Dorcas
- Read about the meaning of Tabitha Dorcas in the Bible
Teaching Tips for Kids Church: This suggested message describes sewing equipment, since it goes along with the story of Dorcas/Tabitha the seamstress. You might use to wish other items, such as craft or cooking equipment, if preferred.
“Dorcas” Children’s Sermon (Acts 9:36-43) Peter Raises Tabitha to Life
Greet students and look at craft items and mess-ups…
Hello, children of God! Hmm…wow. So much for my great plans. I have some special tools and equipment here, but I don’t think I have the skills to use them correctly. I thought I would try my hand at sewing, because it sounds like fun, and it would be pretty impressive to be able to create things like clothing and blankets and gifts for people. I gathered all of these items that should go with sewing. (Hold up items as described) I have some needles, and some scissors, and fabric, and thread, and string…I thought it should be simple enough. I should be able to just put these fabric pieces together. But…I think I messed up a little (exhibit attempted, but obviously failed craft). In fact, I’m not even sure I used the right kind of tools here. This looks a bit like a big mistake. I guess I’m not cut out to be a seamstress. But you know what? I know some people who are excellent at making things using sewing. I have some friends who love to create beautiful clothing and quilts. I’ll bet if I take these tools to them, they might be able to fix my mess-up and make something new and useful! In the hands of people who know what they’re doing, things will be done right.
This sort of reminds me of what God can do in our lives. He creates each of us with special skills and abilities that we can use for Him. But sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes things get messed up and seem bleak and even hopeless. But God can turn our lives around and use even hardships for His glory. He can and will take all of our abilities and use them for His purposes.
There’s a wonderful story in the Bible about a time that something that looked sorrowful turned joyful. In fact, this story features a lady who liked to sew. Her name was Tabitha. She’s also called Dorcas, but I kind of prefer the Tabitha name. Anyway, Tabitha made clothing for people, and she did a lot of great charitable things for people. Sadly, Tabitha got sick and died. Those around her were very sad, and they mourned as they remembered all of the wonderful things she made and did. They sent for Peter, that good old disciple of Christ, and he came to the house where Tabitha’s body was. As everyone was weeping, Peter knelt and prayed. Then he called to her and said, “Tabitha, get up!” And you know what? She did! It was like she’d just been taking a nap. Tabitha got up after being completely dead, and she was alive and well again! Naturally, word spread about this event, and it caused many people to believe in Jesus. A sad event was turned around and used for God’s glory and purposes. And I’ll bet Tabitha went back to making things for people, so that God could use her gifts for His purposes.
The same thing can happen with us. God gives all of us special talents and ways to serve Him. You might feel that you are not enough for the task. Maybe you don’t know how to best live for the Lord. Maybe you’ve made mistakes and feel like things are hopeless. On your own, it might be tough to do, well, anything. But in the hands of the Master, anything is possible. God wants to use you, and will make it happen! God also wants to use all things for His purposes. Place your life and all things in His hands. No matter who you are, He can and will use you! And no matter what happens in your life, He will use that, too. Let’s say a prayer to thank God for the opportunity to use all gifts for His glory:
Children’s Prayer Moment:
(Have kids repeat each line, if desired)
Thank you for giving us talents
Help us to use them to serve you
And share your love with one another
Thank you for loving us
We love you, God!
Thank you for Jesus
In His name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference:
Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. 37 In those days she became ill and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. 38 Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him, “Please come to us without delay.” 39 So Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them. 40 But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. 41 And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then, calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. 42 And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 43 And he stayed in Joppa for many days with one Simon, a tanner. -Acts 9:34-43