All children are familiar with fear, which means a children’s sermon on fear is timeless. Fear blocks children’s view of God’s greatness and draws all their attention toward the challenges they’re facing. Fear robs kids of joy and peace, making them feel utterly powerless.
The interactive experience below is designed as a practical, meaningful children’s sermon on fear. It will help the kids in your group do two things: own their fears by sharing them with the group and disown their fears by surrendering them to Jesus.
Children’s Sermon on Fear: Discussion Starter
Make a “Stress-o-Meter” (see below) and fasten it to a whiteboard so everyone can see it. Explain that the poster depicts some of the biggest stress factors—things that make many kids feel anxious and fearful. Review each stress factor to make sure everyone understands.
Give each child a sheet with 12 dot stickers. Ask kids to look over the sources of anxiety on the poster and distribute their sticker dots in proportion to the level of stress they experience from each factor.
For example, if they really worry about losing a loved one (think about it often and lose peace over it), they may want to put five or even six stickers next to it. If they occasionally worry about getting a bad grade, they might put two stickers next to it. If they never or hardly ever worry about being picked on by bullies, they can add one sticker or none at all.
List these factors on the Stress-O-Meter poster:
Once everyone has placed their dot stickers on the chart, count the dots together and determine the top three fears. Give kids a chance to talk about some of their fears. Ask what other fears they’re experiencing that aren’t listed on the chart. When we did this activity at our church, kids were extremely open and brought up the following fears: doing something new, riding a roller coaster, going to bed (having bad dreams), things they can’t control, pets (losing a pet, being bit by one), future, viruses on devices, siblings (annoying, being mean, breaking or losing their things).
Always start where the kids are and give them a chance to voice their fears. For some children, this type of vulnerability might seem scary and threatening. But don’t rush to make things easier for them. Real change happens only when we become real. You don’t want to force kids to talk, yet you do want to make them feel comfortable and safe. Make it easier for them to be real about their inner thoughts and feelings.
If children are eager to openly talk about their fears, take it as an indication that this topic is relevant and impacts them in a profound, personal way. Take note of their responses and work on improving the emotional climate in your group. Emotional safety is foundational for heart-to-heart conversations.
Real-Life Example: Personal Testimony
Now that children are thinking and talking about fears, it’s time to build a bridge between where they’re at now (FEARFUL) and where you want them to be (FEARLESS). During a children’s sermon on fear, you can share a real-life story of how you overcame a childhood fear. Real-life stories are powerful, and kids connect well with them. An example gives kids a picture of a life that’s not held back by fear and inspires them to overcome their own fears.
Note: When choosing a personal story to share, make sure it’s age-appropriate and deals specifically with the topic you’re exploring.
Life-Application: Safe in God’s Arms
During the opening activity in this children’s sermon on fear, kids identified some areas where fear controls them. And through personal testimony, you gave children hope that they too can overcome their fears. Now it’s time to help them take the final step: releasing their fears to God.