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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- Children will experience the story of The Lost Coin, exploring how we might lose God and how we can find him again.
- Shoe nametags & extra supplies
- Search & Find Picture Books (I Spy, Where’s Waldo)
- Large Paper or Poster Board
- Plastic Eggs with Candy/Prizes
- Walk His Ways Kids’ Guide PDF
- Bag of Coins, Ticket, Random Collection of Stuff
- Plastic or Wood Cubes
- 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.