Title: Stewardship Series- The Heart of Giving
Scripture: Mark 10:17-27; 12:41-44
Target Age Group: 3rd-5th grade
Main Point: God loves a cheerful giver.
Supplies: Penny, nickel, dime, quarter, $1 bill, white board and marker, paper and pencils, optional love of money coloring page
Bonus Idea: This is a great time to talk about sponsoring a child together with your Sunday School offering.
Supplies: Penny, nickel, dime, quarter, $1 bill
Show the coins and ask the kids to tell you how much each is worth.
Ask: What does it mean to be rich?
Ask: Can someone be rich even though they don’t have much money? Can someone with lots of money still be poor?
Say: Today we’ll hear two stories about two very different people. One had lots of money and the other was very poor. We’ll learn how God wants us to be cheerful givers because giving (whether it’s our time or money) is an act of worship when we do so with the right attitude.
Pray that God would open our hearts today to His Word and that He would give us hearts that desire to worship Him through our giving.
Tell the Story
Ask: Have you ever had a hard time sharing something you really love? Maybe a toy or video game, or even your favorite snack! How did it make you feel to have to give up something you like, even if only for a short while? Did you do so cheerfully or did you whine and complain? (Give kids time to share.)
Say: Today we’re going to hear two stories that shows us how God loves it when we give with a cheerful heart. Our main point today is God loves a cheerful giver. Let’s stand up and say it together!
Say: Our stories come from the book of Mark in the New Testament. The first story is about a rich young man who came to Jesus and asked, “What do I need to do to have eternal life?” That sounds like a great question doesn’t it? Jesus told the man that he must follow the 10 commandments. The man responded that he had obeyed all of God’s laws! So Jesus said, “There is one other thing you must do. Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor.” When the man heard this he went away from Jesus feeling sad.
Ask: Why do you think the man was sad?
Say: This young man had a lot of money, and he loved being rich! Jesus knew that in his heart the man didn’t want to share what he had. His heart was not cheerful at the thought of having to give up all that he had. In fact, he loved his wealth more than he loved God!
Say: Let’s say our main point again: God loves a cheerful giver.
Say: God doesn’t want us to be sad when we give to Him. He wants us to have happy hearts because giving to God is one way that we worship Him! Our next story is about a woman who was happy to give to God.
Say: A little while later in the book of Mark we read that Jesus was in the temple with his disciples. From where they were sitting they could see the offering box and watched as people came to give their offerings. They saw very rich men put in many gold coins, and they saw an old woman put in nothing but two small copper coins. When they saw the woman Jesus said something amazing. Let’s read from God’s Word to find out what.
Read Mark 12:43: “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.”
Say: The disciples were amazed. “But Jesus!” They said, “She only put in 2 coins! That’s not nearly as much as those men who put in many gold coins!”
Say: But Jesus responded, (Mark 12:44) “They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
Say: Not only did the woman give everything she had, but she did so with a cheerful heart. She wasn’t worried that she wouldn’t have money to buy the things she needed to live on. She trusted that God would provide. The woman worshipped God by giving generously and with a happy heart. Remember, God loves a cheerful giver!
Say: God loves it when we give generously too! And God loves it when we give cheerfully! The problem is that our hearts naturally want to cling to all the stuff in our lives. We would rather have things than God. The good news is that we serve a generous God who wants to make us more like Him.
Ask: Did you know that God has given us the greatest gift ever?
Say: God gave His very life to save us from our sin. He sent His Son Jesus to live a perfect life and die on the cross so we could be forgiven for our sin and live with God forever!
Ask: Did God whine and complain when he gave His own life for us? No way!
Say: God loves us so much that He gave himself up for us willingly and cheerfully. And now, when we trust in Jesus to save us, God gives us generous, cheerful hearts to give out of worship for Him!
- What was the main point from our lesson?
- How were the young ruler and the widow different?
- Why do you think the rich young ruler had a hard time giving up all he had?
- Is it ever hard for you to give what you have to someone else?
- Where do all of our gifts and blessings come from? (James 1:17)
- What did God give up to save us from our sin? (He gave His own life to save us)
- What are ways we can practice generosity this week?
Learning Activity 1: Prayers of Thankfulness
Supplies: Paper and pencils
- Explain that God knows the heart behind our giving when we bring offerings to Him. He knows when we give with stubborn hearts and when we give willingly and cheerfully.
- Encourage the kids to write out a list of the gifts that God has given them (money, talents, creativity, etc.). Allow them some time to write out a short prayer of thanksgiving to God for all the blessings they have.
Learning Activity 2: Stewardship Acrostic
Supplies: White board and marker
- Write the word “Stewardship” vertically on the board in large letters.
- Ask the kids to think of words that describe God that begin with the letters in “Stewardship.” As they give you their answers, write them on the board.
- Spend a moment praying and thanking God for all His amazing attributes that He shows us.