Parable of the Lost Coin (Lenten Lesson)

This lesson is the fifth and final lesson in a series of five that explore the Lenten theme “Walk His Ways” using a parable Bible story. This lesson would work well any time for children’s church or Sunday School.

Explanation: Lent is a 40 day journey (not counting Sundays!) to focus on God and prepare to remember and celebrate Jesus dying on the cross and rising from the grave to save each of us.  Many people decide to “give up” things for Lent to help them remember that Jesus gave his life for us, but you can also “take on” doing good things, just like Jesus did.  Through the exploration of parable Bible stories, the “Walk His Ways” Lent lessons help children discover how we can attempt to live and serve as Jesus did in the kind of kingdom he envisioned.  Each of the five lessons addresses “walking his ways” with a different parable and theme.  This lesson explores losing and finding God, connecting with prayer, and reinforces the idea that God NEVER loses us with the story of The Lost Coin.

Bible Story: The Parable of the Lost Coin
Scripture: Luke 15:8-10
Target Age Group: Age 3 – 12 (U.S. preschool – 6th Grade)
Time: 45 Minutes
Learning Context: Children’s Church
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Learning Objectives:

  • Children will experience the story of The Lost Coin, exploring how we might lose God and how we can find him again.

Items Needed:

  • Shoe nametags & extra supplies
  • Search & Find Picture Books (I Spy, Where’s Waldo)
  • Large Paper or Poster Board
  • Crayons/Markers
  • Glue
  • Plastic Eggs with Candy/Prizes
  • Walk His Ways Kids’ Guide PDF
  • Puppets
  • Bag of Coins, Ticket, Random Collection of Stuff
  • Plastic or Wood Cubes
  • Prayers

Introduction:

  • Nametags: Children find their shoe nametag that they made during the first lesson and put it on.  If there are children without a nametag, provide materials and allow them to make one.
  • Search & Find Picture Books: Provide a stack of search and find picture books.  Two popular series are “Where’s Waldo?” and “I Spy”.  Your local library should carry many of these books!  Children, most likely in pairs, search the picture books to find the things that are “lost” or hidden.
  • Pray Big: Provide large poster board or mural paper and markers or crayons.  Children can write words or draw pictures of things or people they want to pray for, inside the letters P-R-A-Y written on large paper.
  • Discussion Questions: What were you doing with the books?  Why?  Do you ever think we lose God?  Does he lose us?  How can we find him?  What things or people can you pray for?  Why should we pray?
  • Check in about the “Walk His Ways” challenges if you are using the guides.

Game: Lost and Found Games

- In advance, hide a plastic Easter egg with a small piece of candy or prize for each child.  Children search for a hidden Easter egg.

– One child waits outside, while group agrees on a hiding place for an object (plastic egg?).  After it’s hidden, child comes inside and searches.  The group claps louder when the finder gets closer to the hidden object, and softer when they make a wrong turn.

Discuss:   How do you find God when you lose him?  Can anyone or anything help us?

Story: The parable story is taught in this lesson using the following puppet script.  You may also want to read Luke 15:8-10 from the Bible.  Use these follow-up discussion questions after the puppet show:  What happened?  What did Billy do when we found his lost coin?  Do we ever get lost from God?  Does he lose us or do we lose him?  How do we find God?  How does God feel about that?

Parable Puppet Show:  The Lost Coin

Materials: two puppets, bag of coins, ticket, lots of random stuff

Billy: (holding a bag of coins, jingle pop can with coins for sound effect) That’s it!  This is really it!  I just earned the last dollar coin I need to go to the movies.  Now I can finally go see “Monsters vs. Aliens in 3D”.  Wow!  All that lawn mowing and leaf raking and babysitting is FINALLY going to pay off.  I can’t wait to go to the movies with Jenna.  I hope she gets here soon!

Jenna: Hey Billy!

Billy: Hiya Jenna.  I am so super excited to go to the movies with you!  Lets go, lets go, lets go!

Jenna: Hold your horses, Buddy!  We’ll get there.  My Mom’s outside waiting in the car.  Here’s your ticket.  She bought them for us last night before they sold out.  You owe me $10.

Billy: The money is all right here.  I hope dollar coins are ok.  I just love saving these big dollar coins.  I know I have enough because I just got the last coin this morning from Mrs. Jones after I watered her flowers.  But let me count it for you, just to be sure; one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine….WHAT!?!?  Only NINE!??!  There must be some mistake.

Jenna: Here.  Let me try counting.  Kids, will you help me?  One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine….Uh Oh, there is definitely only nine coins here, Billy.

Billy: (crying/sobbing) Oh, no!  This is HORRIBLE!  Now I won’t be able to see “Monsters vs. Aliens” after all.  This stinks.  I worked so hard…and for what?  NOTHING!  THAT’S what!

Jenna: Don’t freak out yet.  Lets try to find your missing coin.  Maybe it’s just lost.  Come on!

(Both puppets go behind the curtain, and start throwing random props over the curtain while they search for the coin…)

Billy: Oh this is horrible!  A monkey, a stick, and Kleenex, but no coin anywhere!

Jenna: Here’s a ping pong ball…oh, and a really pretty scarf.

Billy: JENNA!  Concentrate!  We need to find my coin.

Jenna: (Jenna and Billy come back up) Well, I didn’t see it down there anywhere, Billy.  Hey…maybe we should ask the kids to help us look for the lost coin.  It HAS to be around here somewhere.  Can you do that kids?  Go!  Find Billy’s missing coin!

(kids look for hidden coin and when someone finds it teacher gives it to Billy)

Billy: Woohoo!  Hooray!  You kids are awesome!  Thank you SO much.  I am so excited!  Now we can go to the movie after all!

Jenna: That’s enough dancing!  We gotta go if you don’t want to miss the beginning of the movie.  Come on!

Billy: Seeya kids!  Thanks again for your help finding my lost coin.  Bye!

Art Activity: Prayer Cube Children color and decorate six paper squares, each with different prayers on them and then glue them to a large block to make a prayer dice to use to help choose a prayer to say.  Consider using mealtime and bedtime sets of prayers the kids can choose from.  I have found inexpensive plastic colored ABC blocks at Big Lots that work well, but you could use a wood, or any other type of cube.  Why should we pray?  How does prayer help us find God?

Prayer: Consider using a “repeat after me prayer” to close each of the Lent lessons.  Pause between every few words, allowing the children to echo what you have said.  Dear Jesus,/You are/so good./Help us/to walk/your ways/and serve others/as you would serve./Amen.

Need More Help? Browse all our Bible lessons for Easter or check out our suggested worship music for children.


Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for the resources on this site. I’m sorry for the length of this comment, but I want to provide what, I think, will be a helpful corrective to this lesson.

    I think that this particular lesson misses the point of the parable, and Luke 15 as a whole. This lesson’s objective is “to experience the story of the Lost Coin, exploring how we might lose God and how we can find him again.” But the context of the story is actually the complete *opposite.* In Luke 15, what we find out is that God loves to find people who are lost in their sin, and that looks drastically different than what we would imagine. Let me explain.

    The three parables in Luke 15 are really package deal and shouldn’t be separated from each other. In the chapter, Jesus tells three parables about what is “lost” (a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son). He does this because “lost people,” that is, tax collectors and sinners are around him. They are represented by the sheep, the coin, and the son in the parables. They are the “big sinners” in society, and the Pharisees, the “good people” in society, are listening in.

    Jesus’ parable package shows that God really loves to find lost people–sinners–but the Pharisees hate it! There’s a celebration every time something is found, except in the last story when the celebration is not complete: the older brother refuses to come into the party. This is the watershed moment for the Pharisees. The parables of the sheep and coin are really like movie trailers for the Prodigal Son. In the last parable, the older brother doesn’t come into the party at the end because, like the Pharisees, he doesn’t like that God loves to find lost people. Jesus’ point is simple: it’s not just “big sinners” like tax collectors who are lost, but that Pharisees–the people who think they are obeying God–are actually lost, too (it is clear that the older brother is just as selfish and sinful as the younger brother!). As Jesus ends the parable, it’s clear that the question remains for the Pharisees: will you come into the party and celebrate with forgiven sinners or pout that they do not deserve it?

    Ultimately, the parables show that God loves to find what is lost–whether we look like a tax collecting sinner who is morally messed-up, or like a Pharisee who has his outside clean, but the inside is black as night.

    Both people need a Rescuer–Jesus, who came on a rescue mission to save both younger brothers and older brothers to bring them home to God.

  2. shirley dyer says

    I have used this web site often and love it. I’m new at teaching and the items that it gives are fantastic. my class loves to hear the things that talk about God, and that is so refreshing for pre-teens that sometimes and more often not know Jesus. Thank you so much

  3. elizalde politico says

    I am a Sunday school volunteer teacher in our church. only this year the” elders” (a product of their prayers) assigned me as children coordinator in AM worship service, i love to serve the lord and one of my desire is to be envolved in Children Ministry, God granted it.
    My concern now is I dont have enough time to prepare lessons every Sunday to give to our volunteer teachers ahead of time so they can study it . I have two kids 4 &1 (boy&girl) i’d struggle dividing my time between my family and ministry, pls if you could help me to have lesson plan for the whole year it would be a big help not only for me but for the children ministry.
    thank you and God Bless

  4. Rhonda Atkinson says

    I LOVE this website, so many ideas for children’s church. Thanks for all the ideas and all the extra comments.

  5. Alane Sheaves says

    My class of 4th, 5th, and 6th graders have enjoyed the puppet parable shows in the 5 Lenten Lessons by Nicole VanderMeulen. Are there more lessons which include a puppet show? The shows are great ways for these kids to learn their lessons plus they are so fun!

    Thank you.
    Alane

  6. adelle says

    Why do we pray? It’s like why do I talk to people I love? Or how would I become closer to someone?It is a way to know God not only in my head, but in my heart. It is getting closer to Him as I talk to Him in prayer and feel hIs presence and His love in a very personal way in prayer.

    For me, the essence of prayer is the awareness of the nearness to Jesus. God bless

  7. Paulbecky says

    It will be good to have a lesson on JEsus washing His disciples’ feet.

  8. RAQUEL says

    Please I need Bible lessons for pre- teens and teens. We don’t have a curriculum because it is a small church and lack of funds. I use your site very often for ideas but every saturday when I try to prepare the class for sunday school is hard.
    Because at this age they don’t want to color, cut, etc. They had told me that they are not kids anymore they want something more for their age. Do you have material or ideas for this age?

  9. Teresa Moreno says

    We are doing a VBS this summer in a dangerous and poor neighborhood here in Austin. We have a building across from an elementary school. God has given us the theme of Searching for Hidden Treasure. Each day we will “search” for the treasures of Love, Peace, Joy, Faith, then the last day have short program for the parents so the children can sing songs and share what they have learned during the week. Our crafts include making a “Treasure chest”, map, telescope, etc. We will have a “bad” pirate searching fo rthe wrong treasures and a “good” (saved) pirate that leads him t othe right treasure, finds love, peace, faith, jpy, then of course…Jesus! We are expecting salvations!! Can you help me with lessons? God blerss you!

  10. Sylvester Asiamah says

    Hi, I am a Sunday school teacher in my church and i want you to help me teach my class on a topic: WHY PRAY.It will be my greatest pleasure if you can help me on this topic. Thank you.

    Kind regards,

    Sylvester.

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