After completing this lesson, your children will learn that they should use the gifts given to them by God to help build up the Body of Christ.
MEMORY WORK (12 minutes)"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms." 1 Peter 4:10 NIV
Have your children follow along as you read the verse several times. Have your kids close their Bibles and let them recite the verse from memory.
SCRIPTURE READING AND DISCUSSION (15 minutes)Introduction:
Today, when we say that someone is talented, we are usually talking about a special ability, perhaps in playing a musical instrument, or drawing, or even someone who is especially good at sports. We all know someone who is talented. But in Jesus' time, a talent was actually a large sum of money. It was equal to about two years of wages. Wouldn’t it be nice to get that much money as a birthday gift? What would you do with it? Jesus told a parable using the talent as a symbol of great fortune, but not of money—instead as a special gift from God. Let’s read the parable, to see what the people did with their talents.
Read Matthew 25:14-30 (The parable of the talents)
1. What did the master give each servant? (5 talents, 2 talents and 1 talent.)
2. What made the master happy? (When the servants used their talents wisely to earn more.)
3. What made the master angry? (When the last servant wasted his one talent.)
4. If the talents given to each servant represented a gift to share Jesus with others, what did the first two servants do different from the last servant? (They shared the Good News and more people came to know Jesus, while the last servant just kept the joy to himself.)
5. Why did the master give away the talent of the servant who had only one? (Because he wasted the gift his master gave him by not sharing it with others.)
APPLICATION (4 minutes)Turn back to Matthew 25: 14-30 and count the number of times “Talent” appears. (14 times) Explain that just as it appears a lot of times, God also generously gives talents to all of His children. He never holds back His special gifts. Your special talent may not be sports or playing an instrument or singing, but you do have some. It may be caring for others, serving, praying, or perhaps simply being a good friend when someone is in need. We can either waste the gifts God gives us by passing up opportunities to use them, or use them every chance we can to further the Kingdom of God. If we just waste them, they may disappear altogether. Just remember the servants in our parable, and you will know what to do.