The Painted Banana
Two weeks ago, the story of Zacchaeus the tax collector was the topic of our Sunday school lesson. I wanted to do a children’s
sermon that somewhat tied to that story and the sermon topic of change. I am ashamed to say that when I am at a loss, I look to the internet for children sermon ideas. I got an idea from http://www.sundaychildrensfocus.com/ that seemed intriguing and I thought it could either be disastrous or very memorable. I decided to try it. It involved bringing a really old brown banana and asking the kids if they would eat it. Then painting the banana yellow, and asking if they would eat it then. It is all a lesson in how we often change on the outside, but Jesus wants us, with his help, to change on the inside.
It turned out the be memorable, well at least for the adults. I heard many stories about how that illustration impacted or touched them in some way.
Churches are often like a painted banana when it comes to children’s ministry. We recognize that we aren’t doing the greatest job, and there is a need for change. However, the change we bring is typically just painting over the stuff that makes it bad from the core. We make it look better and more enticing, but in the end we still have what we started with, a rotten banana. It is a lot easier to paint over something that we have done for so long, instead of going through the challenging work of making it better on the inside. But for our children, isn’t it worth it?