Children need to understand the importance of their place in the body of Christ. It takes a group of individuals with unique talents and abilities to contribute God’s work in the church. This lesson uses a jigsaw puzzle to illustrate how all “pieces” (and people) are significant. Just as a puzzle needs all of the pieces to complete a picture, the body of Christ needs all members to carry out its purpose. Even kids can and should be part of ministry!
Law/Gospel Theme: We sometimes get the idea that we need to do enough or be good enough to matter in God’s kingdom. If we lack skill in some area or don’t feel as knowledgeable about theology, we might think we don’t matter as much in the life of the church. However, this passage reminds us that we all have important roles to play in the body of Christ. It is the Lord who equips and enables us to use our gifts for His service.
Optional Materials: Jigsaw puzzle (any size)
Bible Passage: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31
More Teaching Ideas:
- Watch the video demonstration of this children’s sermon
- Compare our full 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 Sunday School Lesson
- See all our Body of Christ Bible lessons for Kids
- See all our latest Sermons for Kids
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.
Children’s Sermon (1 Corinthians 12:12-31) The Most Important Piece
Greet children and display a jigsaw puzzle.
Hello, children of God!
I want to show you something. What do I have here? (Hold up several puzzle pieces). Yes, these are pieces of a puzzle. Now, which of these pieces is the most important one? Is it one of the corner pieces? Maybe an edge? Or is it this colorful piece? Well, the truth is, we need all of these pieces. They all work together to make up the picture (hold up box to demonstrate final picture). If I was missing any of these pieces, I wouldn’t have a complete puzzle. They all fit together and work together to show the final image. They are all essential.
This sort of reminds me of our bodies. We have so many parts that make up our bodies. We have hands and feet, legs and arms, heart and brain and other internal organs. All of these things are important. You might not think something like a pinky toe is that significant, but if something happened to yours, you sure would notice! We need all of our body parts, and they all work together for our bodies to function properly and move and do what we want them to do.
You know, that reminds me of something that Paul talked about in the New Testament. He described the church as a body. The church is the body of Christ, and it exists to do His work on Earth. All of us have jobs to do that help in the church community. Some people might teach or preach, and others might sing or play music, or read Scripture, or serve snacks or vacuum! All of these things are significant. It takes people with all kinds of gifts who work together as a team to carry out God’s plans. Everyone has a part to play. No one is less important because of what they do or don’t do.
In fact, you have a job, too! And the things you do for church now are different from what you might do someday as an adult. God has an important plan to use you as part of His body. Maybe your job now is listening in Sunday school or being a good friend to others. That’s still important! You are a piece in that puzzle. Your role is essential to the big picture. All you have to do now is be open to whatever God might have for you. Recognize that we work together and fit together as a church. We make it all come together!
Let’s pray and thank God for the parts we play in His work…
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for making us unique and special
Please help us recognize and use our gifts
Help us to work together as your body
And help one another to do your will
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference:
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way. -1 Corinthians 12:12-31