Kids & Difficult Sermon Topics

October 26, 2021 | Family Ministries

“I was 16 the first time I was faced with the task of explaining a hard topic of the Bible to a child. I was a Sunday school teacher, we were going through the life of David and I knew it was coming. I couldn’t skip it, so the question was, what would I say?”

~Lindsei Luciano, Kids Director

One of the blessings of preaching through large sections of Scripture is that pastors have the privilege of preaching on all of the topics covered in the text. The challenge of preaching in this manner is that they don’t have the luxury of avoiding difficult topics.

 For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. (Acts 20:27)

In Acts 20:27, when Paul refers to the “whole counsel of God,” he meant all of the written Word, not just the “feel good” or “easy to understand” parts. 

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Tim 3:16-17)

If we believe that all Scripture is profitable, then we must believe that God is going to use all of it to teach us and our kids through it.

Jesus’ words are always good for God’s people, regardless of age. As we prepare our hearts to dig deeper into this passage, we want to help you prepare your kids to hear and learn well by offering a few tips and conversation starters.

Develop the habit of talking about the sermon.

When we talk with our kids on an ongoing basis about the sermon, we have a natural way to explore different topics – friendship, sexuality, justice, murder, work, persecution, the Holy Spirit, etc. If the Bible doesn’t shy away from difficult topics, we shouldn’t either. Parents have the blessing to disciple their kids as they walk, sit, talk, and lay down and to show what it looks like to love the Lord with all our mind, soul, and strength (Deuteronomy 6). Developing the habit of talking the sermon over with your kids will give you a natural way to disciple them and to gauge how they are understanding and applying the Word of the Lord they listen to during the service. If you read the Bible with your kids on a regular basis, by the time they listen to the sermon, they will probably have an idea of what the Bible has to say about that topic.

Use age-appropriate language to explain big words. 

As much as we want our kids to understand the sermon, we want them to know the true definition of words, like justification, atonement, sanctification and sacrifice. We also want to know if they understand the other big words for difficult topics.

One of our biggest recommendations on talking about sex and body safety with kids is to use the proper names of the parts of the body and the real terms – for example, sex or sexual intercourse instead of make love. When we get to texts where the Bible talks about sexual immorality, these terms give them a clearer picture of what the text means.

Create space for questions

This is important for all kids. If you welcome questions, even about difficult things, when kids are young, they will know they can trust you with questions later. If you make this a habit in your relationship with your younger kids, it will greatly benefit you when harder questions/doubts come in their teenage years. 

On November 7, as part of our Sermon on the Mount series, Pastor Andrew will preach on Matthew 5:27-32 and will cover sexual immorality, adultery, lust, and divorce. Below you will find conversation starters for preparing different age groups. Because we offer preschool classes during the service, the focus in the conversation starters is on older kids. 

Conversation Starters for Parents and Kids (pdf)