This children’s sermon is from the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13. You can use it to share a simple object lesson message in your church this coming Sunday. Print our teacher notes below and watch the video as you prepare.
“The Good Soil”
Children’s Sermon on the Parable of the Sower
Main Objective: The Parable of the Sower and the Seeds might better be called the Parable of soil, as the focus really ought to be on how we receive the Word of God as “good soil.” What does that mean, though, and how do we allow our hearts to be that good soil? If the adults who first heard this parable in the New Testament had a hard time understanding it, there should be no surprise if it’s tough for kids to swallow. With this message, we look at the parable itself and how it relates to our experiences today. The focus is on understanding that God works in and through us, as long as we allow Him to do so.
Law/Gospel Theme: The parable of the sower invites us to hear God’s Word and respond to the Gospel. We can reject the good news, or get stuck in our distractions, or we can allow Scripture to impact us. The important thing to understand is that God does the work. Soil doesn’t have to work necessarily, in order to produce roots and plants that grow. In the same way, letting the Bible bless our lives is not about us, but about letting the Word influence our lives.
Optional Materials Object Lesson Props: Soil; rocks; weeds; seeds; cups/pots; Bible; optional: bird toy or picture, Cheerios.
Bible Passage: Matthew 13:1-23 (also found in Mark 4 and Luke 8)
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 Parable of the Sower Teaching Ideas
- See all our resources on the Parable of Jesus
- We several Parable of the Sower Craft Ideas
- See the video example of this children’s sermon and playlist on the Parable of the Sower
- Browse our Parable of the Sower Sunday School lesson
- See the Parable of the Sower on Mission Bible Class
Children’s Message: Rich “Heart Soil”
The Parable of the Sower
Greet children, maybe with gardening or farming tools or decorations…
Hello, children of God!
Are you ready to do some farming with me? I hope you’ve got your seeds and shovels ready! We have talked about how Jesus often used farming or planting word pictures when He taught people, because many people at that time worked with farming. In today’s Gospel lesson, Jesus told a story to explain how people respond in different ways to hearing God’s word.
So before we talk about that, here’s a question: what do you need to plant something? If I wanted to make a garden or if I worked on a farm, there are some essential things I’d need to let a plant grow. What are some of those things? (Allow for responses, prompting if necessary.)
I would need something to put the plant in, of course. I certainly would need sunshine, and water…I would need the right kind of seeds. If I want flowers to grow, I should plant flower seeds. If I want tomatoes, I need tomato seeds. I thought these were donut seeds (hold up Cheerios), but….planting them did not yield a donut tree, I’m afraid. And one other thing is very important to planting: soil!
Seeds must have the right kind of soil, so that they can put roots down into the ground and then grow up out of it.
That is what the parable Jesus taught was all about…He explained that our hearts can be kind of like soil, and we want our hearts to be ready to learn and grow from hearing the messages of the Bible. Jesus said that God is like a farmer, and He gives us His Word like seeds. Jesus said that there are some people who hear the word of God, but then Satan comes and snatches away anything good that might have come in their lives, like a bird who gobbles up seeds before they get planted. Then Jesus said some people are like rocks. Do you think plants would grow if I put seeds on this? (Hold up rocks)
No! There’s nowhere for the roots to go down deep, so even if something grew, it wouldn’t last. Seeds that fall on rocks, Jesus said, are like people who listen to the Bible, but don’t really stick with faith when things get tough. It would be like coming to church a few times, and sort of listening to the messages, but then giving up if a challenge came up. Now, how about these? (Hold up weeds) Do you know what these are? They are weeds, and they’re not good for healthy plants. We have to pick weeds out of our gardens so they don’t choke up the good stuff. Jesus said some people are like weeds. Maybe they come to church, but then other things, like sports or work or clubs, get them all distracted, and the Gospel goes in one ear and out the other, not doing anything that would change their lives.
Jesus described one other place for the seeds to potentially fall: GOOD soil. (Hold up the soil) He said that some people will hear God’s word, listen to it, and do what it says. Those people, like rich healthy soil, will have lives that bless others, just as good soil will provide a place for healthy plants to grow. We want our hearts to be like that good soil.
What does that mean, though, and how can we make sure our hearts are “good soil” places? It’s quite simple, really. When we come to church, or Sunday School, or when we pray or read our Bibles, we have to be ready for whatever God is going to do in our lives. We need to remember that the Bible is HIS Word, not just a bunch of stories. We need to listen and think about what our teachers or parents or pastors are saying. The good news is that these are not difficult things to do.
The soil doesn’t have to do a lot of special work to be good soil. It just has to receive the seeds and the water and sun that a farmer provides. We don’t have to do extra work to allow God to use us. We just have to hear His Word, be sincere in our prayers (that means we really mean it when we pray), and ask for His help when we struggle. We can love others and share the good news that God is at work in us. And we can rest assured that God can and will do amazing things, if we let Him!
Children’s Prayer Moment
Thank you for your Word, the Bible
Please help us to understand it
And to allow it to work in our hearts
Help us to be “good soil” for your work
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
The Parable of the Sower
from Matthew 13:1-9; 18-23
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.”
“Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” –Matthew 13:1-9; 18-23