BIG IDEA: GOD IS GENEROUS
AIM: The ‘Parable of the Talents’ Childrens Lesson (Matthew 25:14-30) is aimed at helping children to see that God is a generous God who gives us things to watch over and steward well.
- ‘God’s Great Dance Floor’ by Chris Tomlin
- ‘Joy’ by Rend Collective
- ‘No Greater Gift’ by LifeTree Kids
- ‘You Gave’ by LifeTree Kids
- Talent Contest or Show and Tell. Encourage your kids to show off some of their skills. You can pre-warn your children or you can just ask them on the spot to show any of their skills that they can do.
- Saran Wrap Gift challenge. Wrap different candy packs or bars in saran wrap (cling film) to create a saran wrap ball of goodies. Play a game of pass the parcel where children must try to rip off each layer when the music stops.
- Unwrap the Gift. Wrap a gift a number of times to create a few layers. Provide a pair of oven gloves. Players take turns to roll a dice. if they get a ‘6’ then they can pop the gloves on and try and unwrap the gift. The other players keep rolling the dice until it happens again and the next player takes the gloves.
BIG VERSE: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. Colossian 3:23.
SET the Scene:
Read Matthew 25:14-30. Explain to the children that a parable is a type of story that Jesus told to help explain to us our relationship with God. In this story the Master is like God and the servants are like us.
- ‘Bible Theater – Parable of the Talents’ by LC LifeKids
- ‘Parable of the Talents’ by Max 7
- ‘Parable of the Talents’ – a kids acted out version
- ‘The Assistant’ by Taylormation
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) GOD IS GENEROUS
Have a bunch of boxes wrapped up as gifts. Inside each box you could put individual items. Choose some children and give each of them one of the gifts. It would be really great if you could choose items that you knew each of the children could use or items that they like. If you have a small group you will want to make sure that you don’t exclude anyone.
Say: It feels good to get a gift doesn’t it?! It’s always nice when someone has thought about the kind of gift that you might like and will use. Jesus told the parable of the talents to help us all understand who God is and what He has called us to do.
When the Master in the parable asked the servants to look after the talents he had thought about how much each servant could handle. He didn’t want them to become angry or upset because they had been given too much to bear. It’s horrible when you have too much to do or too many things to look after. The Master gave each servant the right amount.
Just like the Master was generous and trusted the servants, so God is generous to us. He gives us plenty of gifts and lots to do with them. Our gifts might be things that we own – like money or toys, or it could be talents that we have – activities that we are good at doing. God has given us so much because He is generous!
I wonder, however, what would you be able to do with the gift that you have received today, if I told you that I was going to ask you to show me, in a year’s time, what you have done with it?
2) CHOOSE TO USE YOUR GIFTS
Say: Each of the servants in this parable was given a gift. Yet it was more than a gift, it was something they had to look after and use for the Master. They were gifts on loan. It wasn’t theirs – it was the Master’s – they just had to put it to good use until he returned. One day Jesus is returning to the earth, and we will have to tell Him what we have done with our gifts. What will you have done with the gifts that He has given you to use?
[Play the ‘People are Awesome’ video and/or the ‘More Coke’ video]
The kids in the ‘People are Awesome’ video must have practiced their talent every day to get so good! Whether it is money we are given or talents that we can do well, we can choose to use the gifts God has given us. We can choose to have a good attitude and to do the best with what we have been given – rather than comparing our gift to other people’s. Perhaps you can’t surf or play basketball like the kid in the video, but you can practice and use the gifts that YOU have been given. You can use the stuff you own for good too! Choose to Use the gifts God has given YOU!
SEARCH the Scriptures:
SMALL GROUP GAME. Play a game of Pass the Parcel and add a slip of paper with one of the bible verses below in between each layer.
Bible Verses about gifts from God:
Every good action and every perfect gift is from God. These good gifts come down from the Creator of the sun, moon, and stars. God does not change like their shifting shadows. James 1:17.
Each of you received a spiritual gift. God has shown you his grace in giving you different gifts. And you are like servants who are responsible for using God’s gifts. So be good servants and use your gifts to serve each other. 1 Peter 4:10.
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.
Thanks be to God for his gift that is too wonderful to explain. 2 Corinthians 9:15.
“Continue to ask, and God will give to you. Continue to search, and you will find. Continue to knock, and the door will open for you. Matthew 7:7.
- Are you good at looking after things? Why/why not?
- If someone asked you to look after lots of money what would you do with it?
- What have you been given by God?
- Do you think you use the talents that you have been given? Why/ why not?
- Next year, how would you like to have developed your gifts? Would you like to be better at the things that you are good at doing? Why?
SENSE How You Feel:
How does it feel to be given a gift from God?
As children contemplate this question, encourage them to do one of the activities below:
- Color the ‘Every Good and Perfect Gift’ printable.
- Make your own gift wrapping paper with paper, paint and with stamps.
- Wrap gifts to give to members of your congregation or for people in need outside the church.
- Draw a picture of yourself and label all the gifts, talents and things that God has given you.
Say: When we realize all the good gifts and talents that God has given us – the only thing left to do is to thank Him and ask His help to use them to the best of our ability.
Thank You Prayers: Pass around some chocolate coins. Think of all the sweet things that God has given you. Say a prayer of thanks as you eat a chocolate coin and remember God’s goodness to you.
Thank You Prayer Wall: Create a ‘Thank You’ Prayer Wall sign and have children draw or write things they are thankful for on the wall. You could do this via post it notes, or create a chalkboard wall or it doesn’t have to be a wall – it could be a washing line with pegs that hold the pictures.