How to Unbox the Gospel for Kids in Your Church

Think about opening presents at Christmas. It's the same with the gospel. (Jill Wellington/

Did you know kids love to unbox things? I think it's the mystery and excitement of what might be in the box.

Think about opening presents at Christmas. Even as adults, we feel the wonder and anticipation of what is waiting for us inside the wrapping.

Another example is baseball or football trading cards. Kids (and adults) purchase a pack of these cards and eagerly await to see what lies inside the wrapping.

It's the mystery of what is in the box that makes it irresistible for kids.

And did you know that some of the top kid YouTube stars are based on the theory of getting kids excited to see what's behind the packaging? One of the top "unboxing" stars is a 7-year-old boy named Ryan. He unboxes toys and reviews them in front of a camera.

His short, simple unboxing videos have helped him gain 17.3 million followers and 26 billion views as of March 2015. According to Forbes magazine, he has become the highest-paid YouTube star, earning over $22 million in the 12 months leading up to June 1, 2018.

The mystery format and immersive experience of opening boxes of toys has become almost as important as the toy itself.

This got my idea generator working and I believe you can use this same concept to share the gospel with kids. This can be done in any size setting or format.

What if you give each child in your class a small- to medium-size box that is sealed. Inside the box, you place wrapped toys or objects that represent the plan of salvation. Then, kids open their box and you have them bring out the wrapped item that is in the shape of a cup. When they open it, it's a dark blue plastic cup that has a ping-pong ball inside it.

You have the kids place their cup in the middle of a table or on the floor, and they try to bounce the ping pong ball into the cup from a few feet away. If they make it, have them continue to play until everyone has missed at least once. Explain that this is like us—we have all missed the mark of being perfect like God. We have all sinned (Rom. 3:23)—explain what sin is.

Look at the blue cup—it's a reminder that our sin makes God "blue" or sad. Have kids set the cup and ball to the side. Next have the kids get out the next wrapped item (show them which one) and have them open it. Inside the wrapping is a cross—explain to the kids that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He took our place and He paid the price that we owe for our sins (Rom. 5:8).

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Then have the kids pull out the item that is wrapped in birthday party paper—inside the paper can be any item or small toy that you want to wrap (you can get small toys or items from for a good price).

Share with the kids that inviting Jesus into your life is like accepting a birthday present—it's free for you, but you have to reach out and accept it before it is yours. Explain that you invite Jesus into your life by praying to Him and asking Him to be three things for you (Rom. 10:13).

Have the kids bring out the small wrapped item and open it—it's an eraser: You first ask Him to be your forgiver—when you do this He forgives (erases) your sins forever (John 3:16). Have the kids open the next small wrapped item—it's a whistle. Next, you ask Jesus to be your leader—like a coach. Have kids blow the whistle—you tell Jesus you will follow Him and obey Him like you would a coach—He wants to be the coach, the boss of your life (at this point you may have to collect the whistles so they don't continue with the noise).

Finally, have the kids pull out the last item and open it—it is an envelope. Inside the envelope is a card that says "I want to be your best friend"—Jesus. Explain that Jesus wants to be their best friend (Prov. 18:24).

This is just one example of how you can use something that kids (and adults) love to connect them to biblical truth. The unboxing method can be used to teach kids biblical truth. The possibilities are many. Let the unboxing begin!

If you are looking for a way to share the gospel with the kids and parents in your ministry in a setting that brings them together, check out Starting Point. It's a class that is being used by churches across the country to reach kids and parents for Jesus.

Dale Hudson is a ministry builder. As a children's pastor, he has helped build some of the largest and fastest-growing children's ministries in the country. At Cross Church, he led the children's ministry to double in size. At Central Christian Church in Las Vegas, he helped the church grow from 8,000 to 16,000 in four years with the majority of the growth coming from reaching unchurched families.

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