“You Can’t Take it With You”
Children’s Sermon on the Parable of the Rich & Foolish Builders (Luke 12:13-21)
Children’s Message: You Can’t Take it
The Parable of the Foolish Rich Man
Main Objective: Young children often receive conflicting messages about values and priorities. Modern society glorifies outer riches and materialism, but it’s important to communicate that God wants us to put Him before all other things. All of our treasure is temporary, so we must place our hope in Heaven first and foremost.
Law/Gospel Theme: Thanks to the Gospel of Christ, we know we have the promise of eternal life with God. Because of that, our priority should be placing Him first, and not earthly riches. Our lives can change in the blink of an eye, and only things of God will last. The good news of Jesus reminds us that our blessings come from and go back to God.
Optional Materials: Catalogs, travel brochures, or other “treasure-filled” items (subject to preferred method of delivery for the message).
Bonus Ideas: Some more inspiration for your teaching (offsite links)
- Watch our video teaching example of this children’s lesson
- Browse sermons for kids or see another Bible Lesson on this parable
Note: All elements are open to adjustment. Cater to the needs and ages of your group. The idea is to communicate that we often place value in material things, when God needs to be the top priority for our lives. You might use a list of “to get” items, a catalog with pictures of stuff, or maps and brochures.
Children’s Sermon: The Rich & Foolish Builders (Luke 12:13-21)
Greet students, carrying a stack of travel brochures…
Hello! Today I want you guys to help me with a special task. I am trying to decide where to take my next big vacation! See, I have been working hard and saving up my money and my vacation time, and I think I deserve to do something extra nice. I can stay somewhere cool, and get a bunch of neat souvenirs, and eat out every night at fancy places…I am so excited! I guess I could just do a smaller trip close to home, and save money for tithing or helping someone…but what fun is that? So, let’s look at some of these places I could go to, hmm (hold up various brochures, one by one).
Here’s a rustic mountain cabin! Pretty views, at least, but it might have bugs…ooh, look at this one by the beach? Kind of sandy. How about this one with a special theme park? Or this spot that has neat history? Oh, wow, look at this giant shopping place! Ooh, this is a little far away, but what about Disneyland?! Oh, I just love Mickey Mouse! Hmm, so many choices! (Pause to pretend you have a phone call, or maybe even have someone call you so it rings)
Hello? Oh, hi! I was just talking about where I might go for my vacation. Remember I’ve saved up some paid vacation time, and I have a little extra money, and…what? Extra time off? But….no more job? A company shift? You mean…okay. Well. I guess I’ll look for something else. Thanks for, um, letting me know. Yeah. (“hang up”)
Wow. What a shock. I guess I’m not going to have a job anymore. So much for vacation plans…huh.
See, life can change in the blink of an eye. (By the way, that was fake, in case you hadn’t figured it out.) Sometimes we make plans, or we save or we spend or we put a lot of importance in things that don’t really last, and then in a moment it can all come crashing down. This is what Jesus talked about in the Gospel lesson today, did you hear it? He told a story about someone who was very happy because he had a lot of stuff. He had even more than he knew what to do with! He decided he should build even more storage, and then sit back and be happy. But before he knew it, his life was over and he didn’t have much to show for it. Jesus warned that we never know what’s going to happen to us, so we need to make sure we are putting priorities in the right order. Life is not about money or possessions or even vacations and experiences. It isn’t about driving flashy cars or having big houses or latest clothing fashions.
We need to live for God. It’s okay to have nice things, that isn’t sinful. But when we make our stuff the most important thing in our lives, we are in danger of loving it more than God and making it an idol. So let’s be content and grateful for what we have, and we can ask God for help in putting Him first in our hearts and lives. When we do that, it isn’t always easy living, but there will be blessings in this life and the one to come. Shall we say a prayer about that?
(Have kids repeat each line, if desired)
Thank you for the stories and teachings of Jesus
Thank you for all of your blessings
Help us to put you first in our lives
And understand what is most important
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
Thank you for Jesus
In His name, Amen!
Luke 12:13-21 NIV “Parable of the Rich and Foolish Builder”
Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” –Luke 12:13-21