God has given each of us resources and opportunities to serve him and to live our lives for him. Each one of us can choose to live our lives for him or to waste our opportunities like the foolish servant did in this story. Whatever gift God has given you should be used to glorify him.
- God wants us to be faithful with what he’s given us.
- It’s not about how much you’ve been given, it’s what you do with it.
“God will repay each person according to what they have done.”
– Romans 2.6 (NIV)
If you’re doing this lesson as part of a series, then explain to the kids that each week you’re looking at a different parable that Jesus told. Explain that a parable is a story told to help people understand something about God’s kingdom. It’s often helpful to briefly review the previous week’s lesson.
Lesson Intro (Name That Talent)
Supplies: Soccer ball, musical instrument/sheet music, paintbrush/children’s drawing.
Have three items in a bag, each representing a different activity. Tell the children that you are going to play a game called Name That Talent. Tell them that there are three items in the bag used by very talented kids and you will give them clues until they can guess the item and what talent goes along with it. For example: the first one is played outside. You use your hands and feet and eyes to do this. The item is round … Once they guess it is a soccer ball or soccer you show them the ball and ask what talent it takes to play soccer. The answer might be athletic talent. The same is done for the other items with the talents of being musical and artistic. Then ask the kids what other talents there are, and what things they are talented at. I would talk about talents like being helpful, making people laugh, good at cooking … and how we can use those talents to serve others for God. Each one of us has a God-given ability and we need to use it! Whenever we serve God, many people are blessed!
Read or act out the parable with the kids: Matt. 25.14-30 (if you have felt board pieces for this you can use that for 4-5 year olds).
After reading it you could help them understand it better by retelling it as follows:
Here is a story about a man who was rich and had a number of business managers. He had billions of dollars and many companies. He was leaving to go to China for a whole year, but before he left, he had a meeting with three of his managers. Once they were all sitting together, the man said, “I’ll be leaving for China for a year, but I am going to give you each money. While I am gone, use the money wisely to make more money.” He gave the first employee 3 million dollars, he gave the second employee 2 million dollars, and he gave the third employee 1 million dollars. Then the man left for China. The first employee started a supermarket, the second employee started a restaurant, and the third employee hid the money under his bed. After a year, the man came back from China. He called a meeting with his three employees and asked them, “How much did you three make?” The first employee said “Sir, I took your money and started a supermarket. I made 3 million dollars, so now you have 6 million dollars!” The man was happy and said “Great job! Because you have done so well, I will give you 6 companies to be in charge of!” [If necessary, explain to the kids why that is a big deal] Then the second employee said “Sir, I took your money and started a restaurant. I made 2 million dollars, so now you have 4 million dollars!” The man was happy and said “Great job! Because you have done so well, I will give you 4 companies to be in charge of!” [If necessary, explain to the kids why that is a big deal] Then the third employee said, “I hid your money under my bed. I’m not going to make money for you, you should do it yourself.” The man was angry and said, “You lazy employee! I gave you an opportunity to do well but you wasted both our time! You are fired!”
God gives each of us gifts and talents and opportunities to serve him and live our lives for him. Each one of us can choose to live our lives for him or to waste our opportunities like the foolish servant. Whatever gift God has given you should be used to glorify him.
You might not feel like you’re very gifted or talented, but God isn’t concerned about how much you have. He’s concerned with what you’re doing with the things he’s given you. When you use your gifts and talents wisely God will increase those things in your life! We can’t look at someone else who’s more talented than us and decide that we’re going to do nothing with the little bit of talent that we have. God wants us to be faithful.
This story isn’t just about natural talents though. There are many people who are very good at soccer and music but they don’t love Jesus. This story is about using the opportunities that God has given us. People are much more valuable than money and are much more important than music or sport. One of the best opportunities that we have here on earth is the opportunity to show God’s love to people
There will be many things that we can do in heaven one day. We will be able to enjoy nature, we’ll be able to sing and worship God, and we’ll even be able to sit down and have feasts with our friends and families! One thing we won’t be able to do though is introduce other people to the love of Jesus and invite them to follow him, because everybody there will already know him and love him. Now is the best time to do that!
Let’s make an effort to be wise with the opportunities and talents we have!
Prayer: Pray that we would be like the servants who honored the master and served him well with their gifts and talents. Thank God that he loves each of us so much that he’s given us the opportunity to live for him!
- Who does the rich man represent in the story?
- What did the servants do with the money?
- How did the king respond to the servants’ actions?
- What can we do to be more like the good servants?
- Do we have to do anything for Jesus to save us?