Use this children’s Bible lesson to teach from Matthew 25:14-30, where Jesus tells the Parable of the Talents. You can download our teaching notes below which include crafts, game ideas, and lesson plan.
“Blessings with a Purpose”
Children’s Bible Study on the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30)
This story reminds me of decorative throw pillows and “mint in the box” collector’s items. It doesn’t seem to make sense to have something and refuse to use it. Why make things stale and lifeless by keeping them from their purpose? It’s like hiding away candy until it goes bad. No one benefits. This parable reminds us that God gives each of us talents, and wants us to use them. Our gifts are to be tools, and we are entrusted with building others up through our blessings.
Lesson focus: This lesson considers how we can be stewards, not just of money, but of our time, resources, and abilities. When we share what we have with others, ultimately we wind up with more than we started out having. We are blessed in order to pass on good things to others, and we give back to God in thanks and gratitude.
Passage: Matthew 25:14-30
Target Audience: Kindergarten-6th grade (variable for activity emphasis)
Materials Needed: Construction paper, scissors, decorations, glue, string, hole punch, oil, cotton balls, crayons, paper plates, fabric/felt, tissue box or shoebox, pipe cleaners, Bible (optional materials, depending on crafts and activities of choice).
- You can watch a teaching demonstration of this children’s sermon on our YouTube
- Don’t miss the Bible craft ideas for this same passage
- See our full Sunday School lesson on Matthew 25:13-40
- Compare Don’t Bury Your Talent on Sermons4Kids
- Compare the children’s sermon on Matthew 25:14-30 on rfour.org
Lesson Introduction Activities and Game
Lesson Opening: The focus of this lesson is on using our God-given talents and blessings to serve God and to love one another. The story highlights the importance of being wise with our resources and being aware of the purpose of blessings. Consider opening up with some sort of tools or talents inventory.
Here are some activities to get kids thinking…(select the best ones for your audience and age group):
- What is this for? Provide students with various items or pictures of items, such as appliances or tools. For each one, invite children to consider what the purpose of the item is, and what it is supposed to do. Explain that today we will explore how each of us has gifts and purposes to do important things.
- Count out the treasure! The Gospel parable here talks about using money. Give students a “budget” of money and provide catalogs or magazines for them to select items to “buy” within that set amount.
- Go shopping: take the budgeting experience one step further by setting up a mini store in the Sunday school classroom. Provide fake money and allow students to “shop” for small items (stickers, candies, etc.) with their given money. Encourage them to spend it wisely. Anything leftover will go to waste.
- “Hide the talent”: In the story, one man tried to hide what he was given. Use a large coin cut out of cardstock or felt, and have one student hide it in the room (or have it hidden ahead of time) for others to find.
- Show and tell talent show: have students perform charades or simply invite them to share some of their special talents with others.
Discuss with students that today’s Gospel lesson involves another parable of Jesus, meaning a story that taught a deeper lesson. In this lesson, Jesus talked about using what we have to serve and bless others. God gives us all special blessings, and we should share them with other people to honor Him.
Ask: What do you think your purpose is? (That could be a deep question for younger learners.) What are some things that you do very well?
Kids Bible Lesson (Matthew 25:14-30)
The Parable of the Talents
Bible Lesson: This could be a fun story to act out with miming or puppets. Use props like shovels, boxes, or actual coins. You can also take turns reading it from your favorite Bible translation or have students read the various voices that are speaking. Choose whatever method of reading or describing fits your audience.
Introduce the parable by describing how Jesus was talking about the Kingdom of Heaven. In this story, He said that God was like a man who gave certain responsibilities to servants:
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. -Matthew 25:14-15
Explain how a “talent” in this case referred to a unit of money, like a dollar. This man gave each of his servants different amounts of money. When we think of talents, we often picture abilities that we might have. God gives us those, too! We have unique and special purposes according to what God gives us.
Ask: What do you think the owner in the story expected his servants to do with their money? What do you think God expects us to do with our blessings, whether monetary or ability-based?
Continue the parable, perhaps relating it to a situation with money in our modern day. We can invest our money in things that will gain more, or use it to benefit others. We can even put it in a bank and earn a little bit of interest on top of saving it. In the parable, not all of the men used their talents in the same way…
He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. -Matthew 25:16-19
So while the master was gone, the three servants were busy…at least, some of them were. A couple of them managed to make more money, or at least break even by selling and buying things. But one man decided he would bury his money instead. This was a practice people in those days might have used often, actually, protecting their wealth by hiding it in hopes that no one would find it.
And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[e] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
The boss came back! Here we see the master checking in on how things have gone during his absence. The two servants who were given two and five talents brought back what they made, and pleased their master. They proved that he could trust them, and they wisely used their money to make more money.
Ask: If the master in the story is God, what does this say about how He wants us to live our lives? What does it say about sharing with other people? (Explain that God gives us things so that we can love and serve one another. Whatever we have comes from Him and can go back to Him).
He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ -Matthew 25:25-30
Wow, this seems a little harsh, doesn’t it? Does it mean we have to go invest in the stock market, or what? Why was the master so angry? Well, one problem was that the servant didn’t trust his master. He thought the master was a cruel and wicked man, and tried to hide the money so that even the master wouldn’t take it away. The intention of the master was not to hurt his servants, but to bless them with more. He was happy to bless the wise servants with more, but the man who hid the money was almost rejecting the gift. Sometimes we do this to God. We act like He is watching us and waiting for us to mess up, hoping to punish. God wants to bless us. He sometimes has to discipline us when we disobey, but that isn’t what He wants. He gives us all that we have so that we can use it well. When we use our time, money, and abilities to do positive things, that shows we appreciate them. If God made you a great musician, you don’t want to keep that to yourself, but to use your talent in ways that help others and serve Him. If God made you extra great at school, be a wonderful student and help others who might struggle. There are lots of ways that we can share our blessings, and when we do that, we can receive more blessings, too!
Ask: What are some talents and characteristics that people might be blessed with? (Provide examples if necessary, but try to get students to think out of the box somewhat.) How can we use specific abilities to honor and serve God? How can sharing what we have actually bring us even more?
Close with a prayer thanking God for all of His blessings, and ask for His help in using abilities for positive purposes, so that we can bless and serve others with what we have.
Crafts: Here are a few crafts that feature elements of the story, and serve as collection points for coins or prayer requests:
- “Use it Well” Coin Pouch
- “Save it Wisely” Piggy Bank
- “Don’t Bury it” Shovel and Bucket