Putting God First {Children’s Sermon}

Children’s sermons are something of a mystery to me.  They are pure chaos, I never feel like I have any semblance of control, and yet my parishioners always tell me it is one of their favorite parts of the service and very often parents text me or post something on Facebook that their kids are talking about something I’ve said.

Soooo yeah.  I don’t claim to be an expert.  In fact, I just bought a book with 26 different children sermon ideas and when I pulled it out of the envelope it was mailed in, my husband laughed hysterically.

I wasn’t quite sure how to take that?

Anyway, I saw this idea floating around on the internet – various blogs, youtube videos and email chains (so I don’t have one post to link it back to).  It’s a cute idea – easy to do – very visual – great message.  It worked well, because this was exactly what I was preaching on that day, so the adults basically got to hear the same message twice. 🙂

Putting God First {A Children’s Sermon}


So start with your supplies …

1 tennis ball
golf balls
small stones
empty jar
funnel (not pictured, but it will be later!)


For the purpose of this demonstration …

The sand represents the unimportant things in your life
The stones represents the quasi-important things in your life
The golf balls represent the important things in your life
The tennis ball represents God


So you probably get where this is going, but here goes.  When you add the sand to the jar first, everything doesn’t fit.  So when you add the sand, you talk about what it means to put the unimportant things in your life first …


Then you put the quasi-important things … and there’s SOME room left …


Then you add the important things.  At this point, the jar – your life – is overloaded …


… and there’s no room for God.


So once you’ve demonstrated that, you take the whole thing apart.


This is where the colander is necessary!  I realized about 45 minutes before church started that I didn’t have a good way to separate the rocks from the sand.


A funnel is also helpful!  When I practiced without one, I got sand all over my desk.


Okay.  Let’s start again.  Put God first in your life!


Then add the important things.


Then add the quasi-important things.

IMG_4706 IMG_4707

And then – guess what!




And you even have room for a little bit more and to put the top on.

Literally, when I finished this, the sanctuary erupted in applause.  I can’t decide if people were so overwhelmed by my bold proclamation that everything fits into your life when you put God first or just relieved that this actually worked the way it was supposed to.

I’m thinking it was the latter.

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