Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Possible Consequence of Children's Sermons

I love children's sermons. For 20+ years children have been a vital part of worship for me. The children's sermon is usually some distilled, tactile illustration of the center of the sermon text for the day. Both Dr. Fred Holmgren and Dr. Francis Anderson drilled home to me the challenge that if I could not distill a theological truth into the world of an 8 year old, I did not grasp the truth. So that's been my challenge. The children's sermons are very short and focus on one word or one truth and not a long, rambling discussion on things. It's not a time to play cute for the parents and mug for the congregation. It's for the kids. They matter. They count.
One of the ways I do a children's sermon is to set up a scenario where the kids need to help me out: count something, find something, discover something, fix something. Often I end up playing the fool. Well, last week I was illustrating Paul's prayer in Colossians 1:1-12 where he prays for minds, bodies and hearts by stacking interlocking rings on a pole. It's a common nursery toy. I mis-stacked them, backwards, much to the children's dismay. I just could not get them stacked right until one exasperated boy grabbed the stack from me with a snort and said: "Let me do it for you!" and stacked them properly, illustrating the truth that things need to go together in the right way.
But later Sunday afternoon I imagined a dinner-time conversation with the boy and his parents covering the topic of how really dumb pastors had to be. I mean, what is it that they do if they can't even stack rings in the right order?


At 6:08 AM , Blogger mark said...

a brilliant post!

At 3:07 PM , Blogger kent said...

That is one scary clown

At 7:49 PM , Blogger Dan said...

lol... hopefully the parents will know the pastor was purposefully inept and the kid will either forget the incident completly or if you really made an impression, will during his or her maturing years come to realize what you were doing... OR NOT! I have some really wierd memories form childhood that no matter how I or others try to convince me it really wasn't what i remember, in the end i still remember it so and so it must be... of course in my growing up years we kids never had the pastor's personal attention during the service... or anyother time as I recall.


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