(Rather than explaining the concept of witness to the children of such a young age, I’ve extracted its meaning and transplanted it into a fun word ‘cheerio’. Cheerios are things one gives that give cheer to people when they are sad. The best cheerio is to introduce the love of Jesus into someone’s life. )
1. To encourage the children to give cheerios to people in need.
2. To encourage the children to tell a story about Jesus to someone in need.
Materials: A small decorated box to hold the following items.
A baby’s dummy
Gospel story book,
1. After the children are seated and greetings exchanged I show them my Cheerio box.
2. “This morning I’ve brought with me my Cheerio box. In it are things I can give to people to cheer them up when they are sad.”
3. Engage the children with a question. “At times, we have all been sad, and I would like to know, ‘What cheers you up when you are sad?’”
Expect an answer like, “a cuddle”.
Respond, “A cuddle is a great cheerio, it’s full of love and helps us when we are sad. We too can give cuddles to mum and dad when they are sad and that would be a great cheerio for them.”
4. Unpack the box, one piece at a time.
Start with the baby’s dummy and finish with the cross.
The following is a sample to illustrate what could be said:
“When a baby is crying we can give it this cheerio, a dummy.”
“Sometimes, when we get a cut on our leg or arm, a good cheerio can be as simple as this band aid.”
“If it is a really bad cut another cheerio that could help is a lolly pop.”
5. Get the idea? Work your way through the items in the Cheerio box, or any other items that you have chosen. Use the word cheerio with each new item to help reinforce the idea of giving to bring cheer to someone in need. Finish with the cross and the Gospel story book.
6. I’ll continue to illustrate what could be said:
“Sometimes, people have a sadness that not even a lolly pop can help, and then I pull out my very special, heavy duty, cheerio. I pull out the cross. With this cross I can start telling them about Jesus, a story about his love for them. And that is a very good cheerio.”
7. Pull out the Gospel story book and briefly open the book to a couple of suitable stories where Jesus is caring for someone. The children would be familiar with these stories and encourage them to use such a story.
“These are stories about Jesus that you too could tell someone who is sad, that would be a good cheerio for them.”
“We know that Jesus loves us and cares for us, but not everyone knows that and when we tell someone that Jesus loves them, it’s like getting a big hug form heaven, and that’s a very good cheerio.”
8. Conclude with prayer: “Dear Jesus, thank you for loving us and caring for us, help us to give cheerios to people who are sad, and especially to tell them about how you also love them. Amen.”