Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids to offer Jesus everything that they have.
Needed: Bibles, a $20 bill or higher, two pennies, a lot of pennies and a bucket, cookies or other prizes
Intro Game #1: Trading All We Have
Scatter wads of paper all over the floor. Then, show students a cookie or some other sort of prize and tell them that you’ll give the prize to whoever can bring you the most paper wads at the end of 30 seconds.
When time is up, have each student count the paper wads they gathered and give the prize to the student with the most.
Play a few more times and then, give everyone a prize.
Intro Game #2 – Sneaky Giving
Students sit or stand in a wide circle with their eyes closed. Choose one student to stand in the middle of the circle. They are the Giver. Hand them a random object to lay in front of one of the students in the circle. Their goal is to do so quietly so that the person doesn’t hear them.
If the person does hear them, they can reach out and try to tag the Giver. If they succeed in the tagging the Giver, the Giver loses that round. If the Giver succeeds, they win the round.
After the Giver has either laid their object down successfully or been tagged, the students open their eyes. The student with the object in front of them, or who tagged the Giver, becomes the next Giver.
Ask students, Why do we take an offering every week? (It’s a way of showing that God owns everything and thanking God for giving us money to use. We give to the offering to help pay the pastor and the church bills and to pay for the things the church does to help people.)
Do you think it’s good for people to give to the offering? (Yes.)
Do you think God likes it more when people give a lot of money to the offering (show students your $20 bill), or when they give just a little bit of money to the offering (show students your two pennies)?
Usually, we would say that God likes us to give more, right? More is better because then. the church will have more money to do things. But listen to this Bible story.
(Read Luke 21:1.)
“As Jesus looked up, He saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury.”
The rich people were probably giving lots of money to the offering, right?
And it’s not in the Bible, but we know that when people lots of coins in the offering back then, it would make a really loud noise. Rich people liked to put a lot of coins in the offering because it would make a loud noise and everyone would know they were putting a lot in.
(Drop a lot of coins into a bucket to illustrate the point.)
(Read Luke 21:2-4.)
“He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘Truly I tell you,’ He said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’”
So, the rich people were putting in a lot of money, but Jesus said that the poor woman, who only put in two pennies, gave even more than the rich people because she gave everything that she had.
She only had two pennies left, and she gave them to God. That means that she must have loved God a lot if she was willing to give Him everything she had. And she must have trusted God a lot because now, she didn’t have any money left to buy food or anything. She had to trust God to take care of her.
And do you think it made a lot of noise when she dropped her two pennies into the offering?
(Demonstrate by dropping two pennies into the pile in the bucket.)
It didn’t make as much noise, did it? It wasn’t loud like the rich people dumping their coins in. No one would have made a big deal about the poor women putting her coins in. And she didn’t tell anyone that she was putting in everything she had. She was being quiet about it. But God and Jesus knew what she was doing.
What I want you to remember today is that God likes it when we give to the offering because then, the church can do more good things, but God likes it even more when we love Him and trust Him. If we love Him and trust Him and only have a little bit of money to give, God is happy with us just the same as if we love and trust Him and have a lot of money to give.
So, God doesn’t care if we’re rich or poor. God doesn’t care how much we give to the offering. He cares about whether or not we love and trust Him enough to give Him what we have.
And when we do give to God, He doesn’t want us to be loud about it so that other people can see us and think we’re doing something great. He wants us to be quiet, like the poor widow, and give what we have to God without thinking about what other people will think of us.
Game: Sneaky Giving
Play the intro game again and remind students that God wants us to be quiet when we give to Him and not make a big deal of showing off about it to other people.
Father God, help us to be like the widow in the story. Help us to love and trust You enough to give You everything that we have. And to give to You quietly, not for other people to see. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, The Parables and Teachings of Jesus Vol. 2.