Preparation: Have different colors of paper or stickers or a simple way to put kids in groups of three. Make sure real little ones are with older ones.
Gather children with you and ask, ‘what does it mean to gather?’ Take answers. Explain that gathering is to bring things or people together. “For example, I have these papers (stickers, whatever you are using) all gathered together and spread out. Now I am going to hand each of you one and I want you to gather with the other kids that have the same thing as you. Sit knee to knee with them once you find them”
(Hint–to make this go faster, have older kids prepped ahead of time OR give kids near each other the same object/color. You may also want older kids or teens prepared to be with a group or sit between them to help them along)
We heard from Jesus today that when two or three are gathered in Jesus name, then he is there. Now we know that Jesus is with us all the time, even when we are alone. So what do you think happens when more people are gathered? Take answers. Talk about how Jesus is in the midst of that and helps us to reach others, show each other Jesus is there, and live out Jesus’ love.
“Now I would like you in your group to think of one way you could gather in Jesus name. Let’s start with an easy one. One way we gather with two or more is right here in worship! And when we gather here in worship we connect with each other and with God. Now you think of other places or ways you gather either here, or at home, or at school, or somewhere you volunteer.” Give them a minute. Then ask, “Ok, where are they places you gather?” Take their answers. Help them if needed. Then add to each one how that is gathering in Jesus name. For example–at home they gather for a meal and pray, or prayer before bed. At school they gather on the playground and gather in Jesus name when they are kind to a new kid or invite a lonely one in to their game. At a park they gather and Jesus is there in the way they treat each other. Maybe they are in boy scouts or girl scouts and they gather for an activity in helping someone else. Give them ways they can connect what they do each day with Jesus’ presence.
Jesus, you promise to be with us when we are together and when we serve you. Help us to remember you are with us in all the ways we gather. Help us to remember to pray and connect with you. Thank you for your love. Amen
God in my head
God in my heart
God on my left
God on my right