353. The cross is a gift - Mission Sunday 12

A creative prayer idea about the cross being God's present

This is part six of a 45 minute Sunday School programme on mission.


An idea for a creative prayer moment in which the cross turns into a present.

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352. Who is my neighbour? - Mission Sunday 11

Who are you?

This is part five of a 45 minute Sunday School programme on mission.


A fun game which helps the children to think about who their neighbour is.

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351. The treasure chest that surprises - Mission Sunday 10

The treasures of children who live in poverty

This is the fourth part of a 45 minute Sunday School programme on mission


With the help of eight photo cards we’re going to help children to see which treasures children who live in poverty can give us.

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350. Discover other people’s treasures through a puzzle - Mission Sunday 9

‘What do we know about children in........?’

This is the third part of a 45 minute Sunday School programme on mission.


With the help of a nine piece puzzle, we’re going to discover what we can learn from children who live in poverty:

- just as Ruth, who was poor, had a treasure for the rich Boaz, these children have a treasure for us.

- just as Boaz had so much to learn from Ruth, so we have a lot to learn from children who live in poverty.

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349. Ruth and Boaz exchange treasures - Mission Sunday 8

Boaz gives treasures to Ruth, or was it the other way round?

This is the second part of a 45 minute Sunday School programme. When we think about mission, it often seems like a one way street. We give money, things and knowledge to people in developing countries, but are we also able to receive from them? Which treasures can they give us?


We’re going to look at the treasures that Ruth, who was poor, gave to Boaz, a very rich man.

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297. Can you smell God's love? - an object lesson

God's love becomes visible through the smell of the stable

You can tell children about God's love, but is it also possible to let the children smell God's love?

Discover this fun object lesson that you can easily use for Christmas.



God's love, Christmas and smell


God, the creator of life, creator of the billions of stars, creator of large elephants to the tiny ladybird, chooses to be born in a stable. Why not in a modern hospital? Why not in a palace?  Why did he have no special treatment, why was he not given the best of the best?

God comes very close and asks no special treatment, but wants to be equal among all humans. Jesus was born like you are born except he was born inbetween animals in a stable. He had no clean bed with a lovely doll or a Winnie de Pooh music box, but a crib filled with straw and lice. How could this be?

We cannot recreate the stable and go there, but if you close your eyes, and open this box, the smell in the box might bring us a bit closer to the stable.

You can aks if there are children or teenagers in the service who want to smell God's love. Ask them to open the lid of the box and ask them what they smell.

God became human so that we may discover His love for us.

Materials needed:

- A cardboard box with straw from chicken, guinea pigs and rabbit cages. Leave the box on the radiator for a few days, so the smell can ripen!. This will give a great stable smell.

Scripture reference: Christmas - Matthew 1:1-17, Matthew 1:18-25, Matthew 2:1-12, Matthew 2:13-23, Luke 1: 5-25, Luke 1:26-38, Luke 1:39-56, Luke 1:57-80, Luke 2:1-7, Luke 2: 8-21, Luke 2:22-40, Isaiah 9:2-7, Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 11:1, John 1:14, Romans 6:23, Galatians 4:4-5, 1 Timothy 1:15-17, Titus 3:3-7, Micah 5:2, Zechariah 9:9, John 3:16, Isaiah 40:1-11, 1 John 5:11
You can use this idea in a: Children's Sunday School, Christmas service, children's ministry, kids ministry, children's work, creative prayer, prayer room, Messy church, school assemblies, RE lessons, small churches , youth work, youth group. teenagers

191. Give something away! - the Rich Young Ruler

This is a series of ten ideas about the Bible story of the encounter between Jesus and the rich young ruler that you can use. These ideas come from Martine Versteeg from www.kliederkerk.nl (the Dutch version of Messy Church). Messy church is a new form of being church for children and the people around them. It's inspired by the English Messy Church.

The rich young ruler had to choose if he wanted to leave everything behind. A lot of children who are fleeing don't have a say in that decision. They have to leave everything behind and they arrive here empty-handed. Maybe we can fill their hands a bit with this next idea...



The rich young ruler, giving to others, poverty

Messy Church program:
188.  The treasure chest - the Rich Young Ruler
189.  Make your own rules? - the Rich Young Ruler
190.  Jesus turns everything upside down - the Rich Young Ruler
191.  Give something away! - the Rich Young Ruler
192.  Shuffleboard with money! - the Rich Young Ruler
193.  The camel race - The Rich Young Ruler
194.  Crawling through the eye of a needle - The Rich Young Ruler
195.  Pimp your own camel - The Rich Young Ruler
196.  Looking through Jesus' eyes at the world - The Rich Young Ruler
197.  Praying with a needle and a thread - The Rich Young Ruler

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175. The good Samaritan

"Who's 7 years old here?  Who's 10 years old?  Who wants to be 15?  Who wants to live for ever?  Lots of us do!  And that's just the question a clever man asked Jesus one day.  "Teacher!" he said:  " What do I have to do to live in heaven for ever?" Jesus didn't give him a straight answer, he asked him a question: "What does it say in the Word of God?"  The man replied,  "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and all your mind.  And you must love your neighbour as yourself.'    "That's quite right!" said Jesus.  "Do this and you will live for ever."   But the clever man, a lawyer, was not quite clear about this, so he asked,   "Who is my neighbour?"   

So Jesus told him a story - a parable.  Who knows what a parable is?  It's an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.   Are you ready for the story?  Once upon a time a Jewish man was travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho.  It's about 17 miles through the rocks and hills.  How would he travel - by car?  By plane?  Train?  Skateboard!....  No, he would probably walk.  How long would it take to walk 17 miles?"  About 4-5 hours?  The path would be full of stones and not much shade, and probably no places to stop for a drink - a lonely road  - ideal bandit (terrorist) country........He would set off early in the morning, just as the sun was rising   The road is rough and the rocks are high on either side.  Then suddenly out  jump some men - WHACK! - they attack him and rob him and leave him on the side of the path - badly hurt, in fact half dead.   He'd been mugged..."


Who is my neighbour, living forever, good samaritan, being too busy to do good, being a good samaritan

A beautiful Bible story written by Korky and Anni Davey (OAC ministries) with an easy to do painting. You can however also tell the story without a painting.

You can download the story below:

Download the story:  Good-Samaritan.pdf

67. Making worms - the importance of clean drinking water

Short introduction:
You can also use the worm mix to tell a different kind of story - about the terrible consequences of unclean drinking water in developing countries; chronic diarrhea, illness, anemia....

You can use the worm mix to illustrate what’s in unclean drinking water. Of course you can’t always see if water is fit to drink or not. You can’t always taste it either. Only under a microscope can you see if there are bacteria, parasites or viruses in the water. Imagine taking children on a journey of discovery; you can use the worm mix as a sort of microscope to show what is in unclean water. 

Glass half full


Clean drinking water, poverty, unclean water, illness

In the video below I show you how you can illustrate this lesson using the worm mix.

Before you try this yourself, it’s helpful to watch the introduction video in which I show you how to prepare the worm mix.

Watch the video below:

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58. From a cross to a box for a homeless child

Short explanation:

A clear illustration and creative prayer idea for children and adults, whereby a cross can be changed into a box for homeless children to sleep in.


Creative prayer, homeless children, poverty, the cross

From a cross to a box for a homeless child

To be used for :

Children’s moment during a service, creative prayer, prayer room, an illustration for your teaching on prayer.

Bible text:

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1: 27)

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32. Praying with plasters and bears (?!)

Time to let more bears into our congregations! This idea introduces five different ways of using plasters and teddy bears in prayer activities, creating an accessible way for children to pray for the poor and deprived.

Contemplating poverty and deprived children around the world.

6.Teddybeer pleister

To be used for:

-Children’s moment during a service
-Creative prayer moments
-Prayer room
-Teaching concerning poverty

Bible text:
"He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death." (Psalm 72:13)

6 – 88 years

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27. Draw a dot for each of the 100 million homeless children in the world

Short explanation:
A clear illustration and idea for creative prayer, to help adults and children to think about the 100 million homeless children in the world.

Creative prayer, homeless children, poverty


To be used for:
Children’s moment during a service, creative prayer, prayer room, an illustration for your teaching about prayer, Sunday school

Bible text:
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1: 27)

4 – 12 years

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