Children’s Sermon on Luke 9:51-62
Main Objective: We get excited and fanatical about a lot of things in our lives…sometimes we follow sports teams or stars, or celebrities, or we even get excited about hobbies. We “follow” people on social media or through the news. But kids don’t always find the same level of excitement or commitment when it comes to Jesus. Why not? He should be at the forefront of our lives and attention. This message aims to communicate to children how important it is that we follow Christ, and what it looks like to do so.
Law/Gospel Theme: It is easy to consider ourselves “followers” of Christ if we know about Him, and we might have knowledge of His life or characteristics. However, truly loving and serving Jesus requires willingness to abandon all other commitments in order to obey His commandments and serve Him wholeheartedly.
Optional Materials: Sports materials or fan items: jerseys, foam fingers, stickers, posters/pictures; music/celebrity items or magazines (something to demonstrate being a fan).
Bonus Ideas: More free resources to help you plan your children’s sermon.
- Watch our example video teaching for this message
- Watch another children’s sermon for this passage from John Stevens
- Compare the Making Excuses message on Sermons 4 Kids
- Print our free “Following King Jesus” Coloring book
Note: All elements are open to
adjustment. Cater to the needs and ages of your group
Children’s Message: Following Jesus
Come in with sports equipment/items waving, and with great excitement
Alternate: if you opt to use the celebrity angle, it is sometimes fun to act as though you are receiving a notice or phone call regarding the celebrity coming by. For extra dramatic effect, you might be able to temporarily “leave” in order to chase them down!
Hey guys! So…who is ready for football season?! I sure am! See, I’ve got my flag to wave, my Jersey, my hat, my pins and stickers….GO TEAM GO!!!! Woooooohoo! This is the year of (team name)! We are going to rock! And you know what else?
Check it out, I have stats… (insert team members individually or team as a whole, with statistics). I have been following these guys. I have notifications on their Facebook page, I follow them on Twitter and Instagram, I know everything there is to know. Oh, and I have their play schedule, see?? Here’s the times and locations of the whole season.
I. Am. Ready. And if you are not up for cheering as loudly as I do, forget it!!!
Okay, so this might seem a little over the top…but we sometimes get pretty excited about these things, don’t we? We cheer on teams, or stars, or celebrities…we get to know about them and we “follow” them however we can. How much do we really know, though? If we met one of these people on the street, would they know us? Probably not. And here’s another question: how well do you follow Jesus?? It isn’t a trick question.
In the Gospel lesson here, Jesus talked about what it means to follow Him. He wants followers. If we really want to love and serve the Lord, it involves being more than just a “fan.” We can know facts about Jesus, and even some of the things He said and did. But that is not the same as really knowing Him, or following what He said. Jesus said that if we want to follow Him, we need to be willing to put aside everything else. Even things we really like. Even our families!
Now, it is okay to love our families, of course, and to have things we love and hobbies. But the problem is when we let those things or people get in the way of how we serve God. We don’t want anything to come between our lives and His love. That is the reason Jesus asks us to follow Him. It isn’t that He wants us to abandon our families or give up nice things. But He has a love and a plan for us that are better than anything else we could try to put our hope in. And how do we know we are following Him?
We can read His words, of course, in the Bible. We can pray, and ask for guidance in recognizing and following His instructions. When we are loving Him and acting in His will, wonderful things will result! It isn’t always easy at first, but we can rest assured that it is the best thing for us, because it is what He asked. He has our best interests in mind, whether we understand immediately or not!
Let’s pray to thank God for that presence, and ask for help in following Jesus.
Prayer: Offer thanks for God’s love, and
help in following Him more closely:
(Have kids repeat each line, if desired)
Thank you for the Bible
Thank you for the words of Christ
Help us to obey them and follow His directions
Help us to know what it means to truly follow
Thank you for your love
We love you, Lord!
In Jesus’ name, amen
Luke 9:51-62 NIV
As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?”55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them. 56 Then he and his disciples went to another village.
57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”
62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” --Luke 9:51-62