30-Second Sermons | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
May 2018

30-Second Sermons

By Sharon Cook

I wonder what exactly all those Jewish friends said to one another when they received the Spirit. The Scripture records what Peter said to the crowd, but we don’t know what the others said. Were they witnessing to Jesus? The Spirit? Saying, “Holy cow! I can speak Russian! This is amazing!” We can imagine, but we’ll probably never know. This tool will help your students imagine what they would do in that situation.

Begin by explaining that you’re going to ask all of them what they would say. Ask them to consider that the whole world could hear and understand them and was required to actually listen. Though they can’t force anyone to respond, but if they are persuasive, they might be able to enact global change. What is the one, most-important message they would want to share with the world?

  • Hand each youth another index card. Invite them to take several minutes to think about their One Big Message. If they could say one thing to the world, what would they say?
  • They will have no more than 30 seconds.
  • Once they have written down their ideas, have them share with the group. No doubt some of these will be ridiculous, but some will likely be profound. You may want to gather these cards and compile them in a way to share with your congregation.

Tip: Consider your group’s behavioral history. You may want to enact expectations around how to respond to each speech. Will youth be able to ask questions? Applaud? Debate?

After 10 years of serving as pastor in local churches, Sharon now works on Conference Staff in Wisconsin. Her primary areas are camps, young people, and Safe Sanctuaries.