To begin with the woman who presented the children's sermon a week before me entitled hers "Can You Hear Me Now?" As she was talking, I'll admit I was listening to her, but to the tug inside me saying "Go with commercials- do children's sermon on commercials." So this was the first in what became a 3 part series of Children Sermon's featuring commercials.
As the children sat down , I began with so how was your week and do you know what happens here in 2 weeks? They looked at me a bit odd because to them there wasn't any special holidays in the next 2 weeks. So I asked how many had or were planning on packing a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child- to which most raised their hands. So I asked "What's in Your Shoebox?"( Using the Capital One "What's in Your Wallet" tone) They gave me a couple of basic things that they had either included or had purchased to include, but I had brought with me a "Great BIG bag" of things that could be packed into a shoebox (and I had worked really hard to make sure that some were unusual. So as they gave me ideas, I pulled out the items. "Soap"-"how about a washcloth to go with that?" "Yes" the kids replied. "Toothbrush" they suggested and I asked about toothpaste- "yes." "Hairbrush?"- "and hair ties and barrettes! " They wanted crayons- and I asked about a coloring book and paper- to which they added pencils and I asked about a sharpener and erasers. I started out trying to show the children that somethings need to go together. What good are crayons or colored pencils or markers- if you don't have something to write on?! We looked at a few other school supplies and then moved to flip flops/ crocks and socks! How about a t-shirt- you all have a couple of t-shirts at home right? Imagine if you didn't own any? Not even 1? Or a hat- boys how many of you have multiply ball caps? You have more than 1 right?
How about a fishing kit for the older boys? Or for the older girls a sewing kit, but you need to include some fabric and scissors too! Toys are good too! and then we started talking about what could and couldn't be in out shoeboxes. How about hand sanitizer- nope- it's a liquid. I know everyone likes bubbles- nope it's a liquid! (To this I pouted because we all liked having me blow bubbles in church but we can't send them.) How about balloons- YES they can go and they don't take up much room! What about gum?- Yes- just not food- it might spoil before it gets there! How about shampoo and shower gel- NO once again a liquid!. Better than bubbles - how about a Nerf Gun- to which the kids told me NO- it was violent and might remind them of the shooting that could be going on near them! Beach Balls are something that are big once they get air in them, but they are small enough to get into the box. Craft Supplies- how many of you like to make a craft?_ So we could put together or get craft kits to send- just remember no glue or paint, but fun foam crafts with glue dots, beads etc. all work really well!
I showed the kids that they could make a tic-tac-toe game to send, or a fun marbles activity, a bookmark, bracelets, necklaces- whatever they thought that they could share with a new friend!
So I asked them to think about and pray about "What's in Your Shoebox?!" To remember that we all love to get a gift and would we rather have 1 large gift or several medium sized gifts? Did we want to have something that would break easily or something that the kids might treasure.
With this we closed in prayer.
I don't know if I got the kids thinking, but I do know that I had some adults thinking about what they packed, because they came and told me so. But I can tell you that the kids that packed shoeboxes knew what was in them and they were things that they thought would be cool to have themselves.