Use the link below to download the easy print version of this children’s sermon -- then watch our teaching example. This message is based on the parable of the Rich man and Lazarus told by Jesus in Luke 16:19-31
“First Things First: The Rich Man & Lazarus” Children’s Sermon on Luke 16:19-31; 1 Timothy 6:6-19
Main Objective: The parable of the shrewd manager is not an easy one to understand, even for adults. It can be even more challenging to communicate to children the main principles of what Jesus communicated in this dialogue. It is helpful to focus on the most “digestible” take-away elements: stewardship and priorities. Even kids less familiar with money matters can comprehend how important it is to put God first.
Law/Gospel Theme: God blesses our lives in rich ways, but we sometimes get distracted and try to put other things before Him. We should look to Jesus as the first and final authority for true meaning in our lives.
Optional Materials: Suggested items: soap and towel, toothbrush and toothpaste, socks and shoes, bread and butter.
Bible Passage: Luke 16:19-31; 1 Timothy 6:6-19
Bonus Ideas: More free help for teaching this Bible lesson
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- See our craft ideas about putting God first
Children’s Message: The Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) Object Lesson
(As always, feel free to alter items to suit your purposes and needs of your group, as well as the setting and timing of your message.)
Greet students, with your props in hand.
Hello, children of God!
How are you today? Tell me: what kinds of things do you normally do in the morning when you get ready for your day? I wanted to show you a bit about how I usually get ready. But you know what? Why does my routine always have to be exactly the same? Maybe I should mix it up a little! Let’s see…one thing I do is get dressed. But when I put on my shoes and socks, I always put my socks on first, and then my shoes. Why does it have to be that way? Let’s try it the other way! I’ll put my shoes on first! (Demonstrate an attempt to put shoes on first, struggling as you do so)
Hmm….this is actually kind of tricky. The sock isn’t fitting, is it? Well, let’s do something else. I always brush my teeth, and usually I put the toothpaste on, and then brush, and then rinse with water. But why can’t I rinse first? (Take a sip of water, and then “brush” your teeth…if you feel adventurous and dramatic, get some foam and try to talk through it)
Oh…well, maybe there’s a reason for doing it in the right order. Now I need to wash my hands. I’ll bet I could change how I do that, right? Like, I normally wash my hands and then dry them. Why not dry, and then I could put the water on, and then the soap? (If water is unavailable, consider drying hands and then putting soap on without water)
Oh dear. This is tricky… well, one other thing I do is make toast. But normally I put the bread in the toaster, and then I put the butter on top after it cooks. I have this bread here. I don’t have my toaster handy yet, so I think I’ll just put the butter on first. (Spread butter onto bread).
Okay, now I’m ready for the toaster! Wait…if I put it in the toaster now….(See if students can predict the problem).
Well, I guess sometimes there are reasons for putting things in a certain order. Did you know that the Bible talks about that too? Jesus reminds us a lot that it’s important to put God first in our hearts. Sometimes we get confused, and we try to rearrange that order. Maybe we put money first, and think we can buy our way into Heaven.
The man in the Gospel story seemed to think that way, didn’t he? Or sometimes we get distracted and busy and we forget to make God our number one focus. Maybe we even put ourselves in the place of main importance. That is not what the Bible teaches us to do. The Bible reminds us again and again that our lives now are not about our things or ourselves. Sure, we want to live and love well with each day we are given. But we know there is a greater and better life waiting for us, if we have trusted and loved God. He has given us great grace and allows us to be called His children. Because of that, we should be thankful!
What does putting God first look
like? Maybe it means praying before we do things. Maybe it’s letting someone
else go first in line or get a bigger cookie. Maybe it’s reminding ourselves of
life’s bigger picture. That sure can be hard sometimes! The good thing is,
Jesus lived that out, and He is here to help us do it, too! When God is first
and the other things come after, they will fall into place with His help. Let’s
ask for that help now, shall we?
Suggested Prayer for Kids
(Have kids repeat each line, if desired)
Thank you for all of your blessings
Thank you for the words of the Bible
Help us remember to put you first in our lives
Even when things are distracting
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
Thank you for Jesus
In His name, Amen!
The Rich Man & Lazarus – Luke 16:19-31 NIV
“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side.[f] The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”
Timothy 6:6-12, 17-19 NIV -- The Value of Godliness over Money
But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, andwe cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.