Children’s Sermon Matthew 16:21-28 Pentecost 11A

Follow Me… (not me, Jesus)…

Faith+Open: Before the service enlist a couple of older children who will come up and follow you wherever you go. Think about how they could follow you as you go to the front, etc.
Gather the kids. Have the 2-3 children who are trailing you stick close and walk around a bit.

Introduce the story by saying something like, “Today we are going to hear readings about love and following. Jesus in Matthew tells his disciples to follow him and Paul in Romans is talking about how to love one another…”

Now, ‘notice’ the children following you. Ask, “What are you doing?” Prompt them to respond, “Following you”
“Oh is this kind of following we are to do when we follow Jesus? So you are just going to follow me whatever I do… So if I do this.. (jump, or skip or hop or do some silly things–end with sitting down and having the kids sit with you.”

Faith+Share: How many of you have followed someone or played follow the leader? How about when you are not playing a game, can you think of people that you follow or that follow you? (get answers about teachers, or parents, siblings, etc). When we follow other people we sometimes are trying to be like them. Which if they are teaching us good things about living in the world that is a great thing! What about following Jesus, how do we follow Jesus when we can’t walk right behind him and jump when he jumps?
(get answers)
We can read scripture and stories about Jesus to know how to follow and we can remember that Jesus asked us to follow him with love. We love the people around us and we love those we don’t even know. We love people by being kind, helping them, and praying for them. Is it always easy to do this? Is it easy to love or pray for people that aren’t nice to you or that are difficult? Do you know people at school or in your neighborhood that it might be hard to love? Jesus even wants us to love those people, we don’t have to play with them all the time or hang around them if they are mean but we do follow Jesus by praying for them and by showing that we care about people. This is not always easy but the good news is that Jesus is with us and loves us and all people first so we can follow Jesus.

Faith+Prayer: God, help us to love and care about people. Thank you for your words and your love that we can follow. Amen

Extended: 
1. There is children’s book called Miss Tizzy that is review on Children’s Literature blog. This could be read as the children’s sermon or used in children’s church or another time.
2. Have a simple service project, like filling backpacks with school supplies or baggies with health care items for a local shelter.

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