This children’s sermon is from Matthew 10:40-42 where Jesus teaches about hospitality and welcoming others in His Name. Download the message script and then watch our teaching example below as you prepare to share this Bible object lesson in your church.
“Welcome One and All”
Children’s Sermon Object Lesson on Christian Hospitality
Main Objective: As Christians, we should be people who gladly welcome others in the name of Christ. We want to communicate God’s love to all people, and let them know they are valued and cared about. Unfortunately, sometimes the church develops a negative reputation in this regard.
These days, especially, there are difficulties surrounding how to react and adjust procedures in the wake of the pandemic, and how to be loving but safe with our neighbor. To be fair, sometimes it can be challenging to develop an appropriate balance between exercising wise caution and stepping out in trust.
This message communicates the importance of welcoming ALL people in Christ’s name. Jesus makes it clear that when we welcome others, we are serving Him. The Messiah reached out and cared for those who others often rejected or snubbed, including children. Perhaps we should take a cue from those actions, now and always!
Law/Gospel Theme: When we act out of a sense of judgment or legalism, it can be easy to push others out or make them feel excluded. Proclaiming truth and encouraging righteous living are important things, but we want to declare the grace of God and the good news of Jesus even more. This message reminds children that Jesus has compassion and love for children and for everyone. He wants us to welcome and love others in the same way.
Optional Materials: Pictures of various signs or places (use the actual item if you have one available): welcome banners; welcome mats; the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island; modern immigrant processing center or refugee area; red carpet; church. (Use various options)
Bible Passage: Matthew 10:40-42
Message Note: As with most messages, the details of how you choose to communicate this are adaptable and should cater to timing as well as to your audience and student needs. Use your judgment and ideas to best serve students.
More Teaching Ideas for Sunday
- See our Christian Hospitality video playlist on YouTube
- Matthew 10:40-42 Sunday School Lesson
- Children’s Sermon on Matthew 10:40-42
- Bible Crafts on Welcoming Others
- Hospitality Sunday School Lessons
Children’s Sermon (Matthew 10:40-42)
Welcome All in Christ’s Name
Greet children with specific words of welcome…
Welcome, children of God!
I want to talk about that word today: “welcome”. What do you think it means? (Allow responses.) You’ve probably heard the word plenty of times before. You might have seen it around town lately, with banners like this (hold up a sign or picture of one, if you have one), “Welcome Back!”
Restaurants and stores that have been closed are eager to welcome people back to do business. Or maybe someone you love has travelled, and when they return, you make a sign that says “welcome home.” Perhaps you have a mat like this (demonstrate if available) in front of your house, that says “welcome.”
Maybe you’ve seen celebrities on TV being welcomed with a big red carpet! The dictionary defines the word as a “friendly greeting”, or as someone or something that is “gladly received.” When we welcome others, we communicate to them that they are valued and that we are glad to see or be with them.
Sometimes, though, these types of signs and words can be a little deceiving. We might say “welcome,” but only receive people under certain conditions. These signs around town might welcome people back into stores…but only if you’re wearing a mask, and you haven’t been sick in recent months. The doormat might say “welcome”….but not if you smell bad, or if you’re trying to sell something or tell something. You know, even in our nation’s history, we see a lot of mixed message welcomes. For example, do you recognize this? (Hold up picture of the Statue of Liberty)
It’s called the Statue of Liberty. It stands in the harbor outside New York, right by a place called Ellis Island. The statue is a symbol of freedom, and it even has a poem on it welcoming people who are tired and yearn to be free. It was the first thing that immigrants saw when they moved to the United States from other countries. But they would pass through this processing place called Ellis Island, where they were screened, and sometimes sent back home, if they didn’t have good health, or plans, or enough money. Even if they made it through, these immigrants were often treated poorly by other people. Sometimes Americans refused to give them jobs or food or a place to stay. I wish that were ancient history, but it still happens. (Hold up recent picture of immigration processing center, protest at a wall, or other immigration-related news).
Some people do not want to welcome others who aren’t like them. Unfortunately, this can even happen in churches. We might say we welcome everyone, but if people look a certain way, they might be treated negatively or feel cast out.
This is not what Jesus wanted. To be sure, we need to make sure that we stay safe. We can’t just throw open the doors of our houses to anyone who might walk in and do something evil. We do want to wear masks and make sure we’re feeling healthy for the sake of other people. And we need to monitor the situation of our country and population.
However, we are called to communicate to others that they are gladly received. Jesus told people that when we receive and welcome others, it’s like we are welcoming Him, and welcoming “the One who sent Him.” Well, that would of course be God Himself! He said that we will receive blessing for welcoming others, whoever they are. Jesus had a reputation for welcoming people who might otherwise be looked down on. He demonstrated love for children, even though kids in that time were not too valued. He went to people who were sick and hurting, outcasts of society and those who had done wrong. Jesus cared for them and loved them. He welcomed them into God’s family.
We can rejoice in this, because we know that He welcomes us. He loved us enough to die for us, allowing us to be a welcome part of the Kingdom of Heaven. His arms are wide open for us to rush into in blessed embrace. We also know that He wants us to welcome others. Now, we might not be able to give out hugs just yet, with current concerns…but we can still invite people to church, and give them a hearty wave and welcome when they come.
If we can’t welcome folks into our homes, maybe we can send cards and calls. We can remind others that they are valued and loved. And, of course, the best thing we can do is pray! Ask God to bring people into His family, and give thanks for helping us to be part of that process. Why don’t we say a word of prayer right now?
Children’s Prayer Moment
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for welcoming us into your family
We know that you value and care for all people
Help us to be welcoming to others
And to demonstrate your love to those in our lives
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. 41 The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42 And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”