BIG IDEA: I CAN BE A CHEERFUL GIVER
AIM: The ‘Giving Money’ Childrens Lesson on the Widows Mite is aimed at helping children to learn the gift of giving and to help them realize the joy of giving extravagantly.
- Heads or Tails. (regular/widescreen) The leader has a coin and asks the children to choose what side they think the coin will land on by putting their hands on their head for ‘Heads’ or their hands on their hips for ‘Tails.’ The leader throws the coin and children make their choices. If a child gets the answer wrong they are eliminated from the game.
- Where’s the Coin. (regular/widescreen) Children are split into two teams and sit down in a straight line on chairs facing a table. One of the children from each team is given a coin. Underneath the table the children pass the coin. Then after a few seconds they must each put their hands on the top of the table. Teams must decide which child from each team has the coin. The team that guesses correctly first is the winning team.
- Collect Cash Challenge. (regular/widescreen) Each player is given a coin. Players must go around the room and try and win the coins of others by playing rock, paper, scissors. The winner of the rock, paper, scissors game gains their opponent’s coin.
- Coin Balance. (regular/widescreen) Children split into partners. Each partner group is given a few coins. One of the players lies on the floor and the other player must try and balance as many coins in a pile on their face as possible! You could also play this in a relay in teams. One player is chosen to have the coins balanced on their faces whilst the rest of the team take turns to balance coins.
BIG VERSE: Give, and you will receive. You will be given much. It will be poured into your hands—more than you can hold. You will be given so much that it will spill into your lap. The way you give to others is the way God will give to you. Luke 6:38.
SET the Scene:
Read Luke 21:1-4 and Mark 12:38-44. Jesus is watching the people putting money into the Temple offering. He notices one person in particular. Encourage the children to watch and see who they think Jesus pays special attention to.
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) IF YOU’RE GONNA GIVE, GIVE ALL YOU CAN
Preparation: You will need a coin, crayon and a few sheets of card or paper that are the same color. Take the coin and put it under the paper or card. Rub the top with a crayon to make a coin rubbing. Do this a number of times in positions that will create a smiley face. Take another piece of paper or card and do the same thing but create an unhappy face or an angry face.
On the day you are sharing this object lesson make sure you have a paintbrush and paint (water color or poster paint will do – anything that resists the crayon). You may want an easel or something high to tape the pictures to so that everyone can see them on the day.
Say: Hands up if you like to give! [Wait for kids to respond] The story of the widow shows us that Jesus knew that giving money was really important. Who we give our money to and why we give money is important. Jesus watches the people putting their money into the money box. The rich people give lots of money – but they have lots of money to give. How much does the widow give? [Get feedback]
That’s right! The widow gives two coins – but those two coins are everything she had.
Jesus saw some rich people putting their gifts into the Temple money box. Then Jesus saw a poor widow. She put two small copper coins into the box. He said, “I tell you the truth. This poor widow gave only two small coins. But she really gave more than all those rich people. The rich have plenty; they gave only what they did not need. This woman is very poor, but she gave all she had. And she needed that money to live on.”
Jesus cares about how we give – the reason why we are giving. Are we giving so that everyone will see and tell us how generous we are or are we giving to God from a pure heart; not caring what others think. Jesus watched the widow – he didn’t stop her from giving everything. You see, there are two ways to give to God. Take a look at my picture here…. it doesn’t look like it has anything on it, but see how it changes when I start painting…[paint over the cheerful smiley coin rubbing paper] Shout out when you think you know what it is! [Get feedback]
It’s happy! We can give as a cheerful giver, giving to God because we love to give and want to give… or we can give in a different way… we can give in a [paint on your second coin rubbing] … shout out if you know the answer. [Get feedback] Yes! We can give in a sad or miserable way because we have to give. This widow gave because she wanted to give to God; probably because she realised just how much God had already given her! We give because God gave in an extreme way. So the widow gave in an extreme way! The widow gave all that she had! She wasn’t giving as part of a show. Jesus just happened to see her giving.
2) TYPES OF GIVING: TITHES AND OFFERING
You will need 10 chocolate coins. Hold them up and show the children. Then give one of the chocolate coins to a leader as you speak about tithing. Then ask the children to help you choose how many chocolate coins to give away and how to give them.
Read Matthew 23:23:
How terrible for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You are hypocrites! You give to God one-tenth of everything you earn—even your mint, dill, and cummin. But you don’t obey the really important teachings of the law—being fair, showing mercy, and being loyal. These are the things you should do, as well as those other things.
In the bible we are told to give 10% of our money as a way to show that God is most important in our life. That’s why Jesus showed that even the religious people did this. We give God the first part of our money. That means for every ten coins we have we give God one of them. This is called a tithe. We give this to Him by giving it to the Church. [Hand one chocolate coin to a leader]
Yet if we want to give like the widow gave we will be extreme givers! We will give, as Jesus said, even more than our tithe! When we give more, this is called our offering. Not just holding on to all the other coins ourselves but giving some or even all of them away. We will give above and beyond! Who do you think I should give these coins to? How many should I give away? [Get feedback then distribute as you decide] We get to decide and we can ask God to help us to know who He wants us to give to and how much He wants us to give.
So, how will you use your money – your allowance (pocket money)? Will you decide to give? Who will you decide to give to and how will you decide to give? Let’s think about this today!
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Money Mayhem. (regular/widescreen) Print out lots of the kids cash notes and print and cut a set and write the bible verses on the back. Hang each of the cash notes up on a string or washing line with pegs. Players must grab one of the cash notes off the line and bring it back and put it in a pile before they go back for the next one. The player that collects the most notes with bible verses on is the winning player. Then discuss the bible verses and what they mean.
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7.
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38.
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. Proverbs 19:17.
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. 1 Timothy 6:10.
Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. Matthew 5:42.
- When was the last time you gave to someone or something?
- How does giving make you feel?
- Do you have a favorite charity that you like to support?
- Have you ever done a charity fundraiser? If so, how did it go?
- What do you normally do with your allowance/pocket money?
- What do you think God wants you to do with the money that you are given or work for?
- Do you think God wants you to give all your money away like this widow did? Why/why not?
- How much money do you want to give away now and as you get older?
- What do you think a generous person is?
SENSE How You Feel:
Encourage the children to do one of the following activities as they consider the question below:
How does it feel to give?
- Make the Large ‘Cheerful Giver’ wallet. Simply print the wallet and cut out the wallet folding along the dotted lines.
- Create a ‘Giving Offering Box’ using our Printable. (coming soon)
- Color the ‘Cheerful Giver’ Printable.
- Mould out of plasticine, playdough or clay the Temple the widow went to to give money.
- Sensory: Display coins, paper notes, a toy till and any other items relating to money that children can play with on a sensory table.
- Use Lego or building blocks to build the Temple the widow went to give money.
Coin Rubbing prayers: You will need coins, crayons and paper. Encourage the children to rub over the coins with their crayons onto the paper. Then ask them to write a prayer about money. It could be thanking God for the money they have, a request asking God to help them give more or to something specific or a sorry prayer for how they have already used their money if this applies.
Coin throwing prayers: Children are each given a coin and are asked to pray that God would help them use their money in the best way possible. Then they throw their money into a pot or bucket as a way of showing they have given their prayer and control of their money to God.
Offering Bot: Create your own offering bot and have the children come forward and give their money towards the offering. You could have a special offering for a specific ministry or you may want the children to give towards the general offering in the church.
For children that need to decide to follow Jesus:
Explain that we give to God because He is number one in our lives. We give because God gave Jesus; His one and only Son for each of us. [refer to John 3:16] Explain that we needed Jesus to come because we have all done wrong and a perfect God cannot be around people that are not perfect. The punishment for our wrong was death; Jesus took the punishment so that we can know God in this life and we can be in Heaven with Him forever!
Say: Does anyone want Jesus to be number one in their life? Jesus is the only way for us to be friends with God. Once we ask Him to be number one in our lives He will help us to live for Him and give our lives to Him! Let’s pray: Father God thank You that You gave us Jesus. Jesus, thank You that You came. I believe that You gave your life for me and that You rose again. Please come into my life and help me to live my life for You. Help me to be a giving person. Amen.