Summary: This is an illustrated, evangelistic sermon designed to lead children to Jesus.
1. A Monkey Trap. You will need an envelope box with a hole cut in the top. The hole is big enough for someone to put their hand in, but once they grab the bait, it is small enough that they can not get their hand out. Cover the entire box with duck tape so it looks like a trap and attach a long rope to one corner.
3. A monkey costume, or at least someone who is willing to act like a monkey.
Boys and Girls, I want to tell you a story. How many of you know where South America is? Did you know that way down in the bottom of South America there are monkeys? That’s right, and there are also monkey hunters. The monkey hunters want to catch the monkeys, so they take a box just like this box, and they cut a hole in the top. (Hold up the box with a hole in the top.)
The monkey hunters put some bait inside the trap to attract the monkeys. What kind of bait do you think they use to catch monkeys? (Wait for children to say “Bananas.”) That’s right, monkeys love bananas! (Place the banana inside the trap.) The monkey hunters put the banana inside the trap and then they tie the trap to a tree.
The monkeys are smart. They know the banana is in a trap and they stay as far away from it as possible. They know if they put their hands inside the box, they will be trapped. But, there is always a stupid monkey who comes and starts sniffing the banana.
That’s right, a stupid monkey ... (A person dressed in a monkey costume enters from the back acting like a stupid monkey by making sounds like a monkey, picking fleas out of kids hair, and by beating on his chest. He says, “Hoo, ha, ha, hoo, eee, ha, hou, ha, ha.”)
The stupid monkey smells the banana and he wants the banana. He looks all over until he spots the trap. He begins touching and playing with the trap. He sniffs at the banana and finally he reaches into the trap and grabs the bait. (As the preacher describes each action, the monkey does the action).
The stupid monkey tries to get the banana out of the trap but the hole is too small. He tries to walk away but he cannot because the trap is tied to the tree. The poor, stupid monkey is trapped. Now, boys and girls, what does the monkey have to do to get out of the trap? (Wait for the children to say “Let go of the banana.”) That’s right! All the monkey has to do to get out of the trap is let go of the banana. But, the monkey is so stupid that he will hold onto the banana until the monkey hunters come and capture him.
Boys and girls, this monkey trap reminds me of another kind of trap. Sin is exactly like this trap. Sin might look good, but if you reach out and grab sin, it will trap you. Some people think they can play with sin without getting caught, but sin will trap you every time.
The good news is that you can be set free from the trap of sin. If you pray to God and ask forgiveness for your sins, He will set you set you free from every wrong thing you have ever done. God will give you the power to let go of every sin in your life.
Hey, stupid monkey, do you want to become a smart monkey by praying and asking for God to help you get out of this trap? (Monkey shakes his head yes.)
(Pray this prayer with the monkey.) “Dear God, please help this monkey let go of sin. He does not want to be trapped. He believes Jesus died on the cross so he could be set free from the trap of sin. In the name of Jesus, Amen.” (As the prayer is said, the monkey lets go of the trap and it drops to the floor. The monkey gets excited and jumps around.) Let’s give this monkey a round of applause because Jesus has set him free! Now, he is a very smart monkey.
Altar Call: (Give the children the opportunity to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Explain that everyone sins, and this sin traps us but if we invite Jesus into our lives, he frees us from the trap of sin.)
The Bible says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). What is sin? (Ask the children to respond.) Lying, cheating, being mean, stealing, killing, etc. The Bible says, “The price for sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).