Countries around the world celebrate national holidays of freedom, liberty and independence. Some of the names include: Independence Day, Canada Day, Australia Day, New Zealand Day, Confederation Day, National Day, Bastille Day, Merdeka Day, Liberation Day, and St. Patrick’s Day. There is a list of names and dates for each country at http://www.kidsturncentral.com/holidays/glossary/defindependence.htm.
How can you, the Children’s Ministry Leader, use your nation’s celebration to proclaim the gospel?
The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ came to set the captives free! Our celebrations of freedom, liberty, and independence are PERFECT OPPORTUNITIES to lead sinners out of the bondage of sin and into the freedom of a new life in Christ.
Some of my favorite illustrations are gospel magic effects that illustrate some sort of escape. Over the years, I have used gimmicked handcuffs, chain and rope escapes to illustrate a person being bound and then instantly set free. My favorite of those escapes is the “Great Escape“ which uses only a chair and rope. It is extremely user-friendly and can be presented by anyone in any setting. Volunteers tie the leader to a chair, then, within moments, the leader stands completely free with the rope lying on the floor around the chair.
I also enjoy doing different types of activities for those services which focus on presenting as many scripture verses on living life “in Christ” free from the laws of sin and death. It is important that our children fully understand what it means to be “in Christ” and “free from the laws of sin and death.” Activities, even like the classic Sword Drills, are excellent ways to cover a large number of verses in a short amount of time.
Usually, I prefer to focus the entire service on the Independence, Freedom, or Liberty theme and then lead into a strong salvation invitation. This year, I will be using the “Freedom Jeopardy” lesson. Freedom Jeopardy is a parody of the all-time favorite television show Jeopardy and is an exciting, low prep way to interactively involve kids throughout the entire teaching of God’s Word.
I urge you to make the most of this perfect opportunity for presenting the full gospel message of salvation and freedom from sin! Build it up as a big event day. Encourage and motivate your kids to bring their friends.
Here is a link to the Great Escape, Freedom Jeopardy, and other wonderful lessons for your Independence Day celebrations.
Rev. Gary R. Linn
Children’s Ministry Today