Who’s in charge? Wherever they go, kids recognize those in leadership roles. In the church, that usually means looking to the pastor for guidance. Serving in ministry is an immense and challenging calling. Pastors work very hard, and too often we don’t provide them with quite the appreciation and gratitude that they deserve. Scripture reminds us of the importance of church leaders as God’s chosen instruments to guide us and teach us in faith matters. This message invites children to consider how helpful and special pastors are in our lives.
Law/Gospel Theme: Jesus was the “great high priest”, appointed by God to serve and die for His people. Pastors work hard to lead the church, but they are only human. A great pastor acknowledges that the true head of the church is Christ, and He is the best example of leadership. Our pastors might make mistakes, but Jesus never did! We can always look to Him for strength and understanding, and we can pray to ask Him for guidace with our human pastors.
Optional Materials: Items that demonstrate teaching or leadership in various fields, such as school books, Bibles, or coaching equipment.
Bible Passage: Hebrews 5:1-10
More Children’s Ministry Ideas:
- Watch the video of this children’s sermon and related Bible craft ideas
- Download our free pastor appreciation coloring pages
- Compare another children’s sermon lesson on Pastor Appreciation
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.
Children’s Sermon for Pastor Appreciation (Hebrews 5:1-10)
Greet children, carrying a few items that might be used in teaching.
Hello, children of God! Who is in charge? I guess that question sort of depends on where you are. There’s always someone who makes the rules and leads us, it seems. For instance, if you’re at school, who is in charge? (Allow for answers.) Probably the teachers. They tell you how to act and follow rules, and they teach you how to do things in various subjects (optional: hold up school book or other school tools). How about at home? Your parents are likely the ones at home who tell you what to do or who make the rules about the ways you should behave.
What about at church? Who do you think is in charge at church? You might think the pastor is the main one in leadership. That certainly makes sense. The pastor is the one who teaches us how to understand the Word of God (hold up Bible) and how to live as Christians. He guides us along in the journey of faith and helps us get along with one another. Ministers do a lot of essential things for the church. Pastors have an important and challenging job. They are speaking for God. The Bible tells us that pastors are called by God. Being in leadership in ministry is an honored and revered thing.
A great pastor, though, recognizes that the One who is truly in charge of church is Jesus Christ, the head of the church. Scripture tells us that Jesus is the very best example of a “great high priest.” God sent Jesus to live as a human and understand our suffering. He lived as a servant leader and died for us, to rescue us from our own sins and sadness. God makes the rules for our lives, and He is the boss of our congregations and ministers. No matter how great (or not so great) our human pastors are, we can look to Jesus for the hope and strength of leadership.
Pastors are not perfect, of course. They are human, and still encounter struggles and sorrows. It’s important for us to support those in ministry. We can pray for them, and we can thank them for what they do and let them know that we appreciate them. Pastors need our love and encouragement. God places them in our lives to help and teach us, but sometimes they need our help, too! Don’t forget to thank the Lord for pastors, and thank pastors for serving the Lord!
Why don’t we say a prayer to thank God for our pastors?
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for giving us pastors and teachers
Help us to show them our love and support
Most importantly, thank you for giving us Jesus
The greatest servant leader of all
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference: Hebrews 5:1-10
For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. 3 Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people. 4 And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was.
5 So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him,
“You are my Son, today I have begotten you”; 6 as he says also in another place, “You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.”
7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. 8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. 9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek. -Hebrews 5:1-10
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