Use It or Lose It – Parable of the Talents

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Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids the importance of using their talents for God.

Needed: Bibles, optional: chalkboard or whiteboard or paper to brainstorm ideas

Lesson

Ask students, What are some things that you’re good at? (Suggestions could include anything from being good at sports to being a good artist to being a good friend. Write at least one thing down for each student.)

If you were good at something, but you never did the thing you were good at, would that be smart? (No.)

You should do the things that you’re good at, right?

That’s why God made you to be good at those things. He wants you to do the things that He’s made you to be good at. If you don’t do those things, then you’re just wasting that talent that God gave you.

Activity: Talent Time 

Have students perform a mix of activities to show that everyone has different talents.

Some examples include running a race, seeing who can kick a ball or paper wad the furthest, seeing who can do math problems the fastest, seeing who can answer the most questions about the Bible, seeing who can bust out the best dance moves or sing the best, seeing who can tell the best joke or do the best funny voice

You can run the game as a Decathlon with different stations or as a talent show with volunteers to perform in each category. At the end, you can ask for volunteers to show any talents that you didn’t already name.

Lesson continues…

Does anyone know when Jesus is going to come back? (No, only God knows when He’s going to send Jesus back to earth.)

It’s going to be s surprise for all of us when Jesus comes back. It will be like this story that Jesus told.

(Read Matthew 25:14-17.)

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more.”

So, the master gave his money to three servants. The first two servants used the money the king gave them and earned even more money. They did a good job using what the master gave them.

(Read Matthew 25:18.)

“But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.”

Did the third servant use his money that the master gave him to make any more money? (No.)

The master gave the servant some money, but he didn’t do anything with it. He just buried it in the ground and wasted it.

(Read Matthew 25:19-23.)

“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”

What happened to the first two servants when the master came back? (The master rewarded them because they had done a good job using the money he gave them.)

If the master rewarded the first two servants for using his money to get more money, what do you think the master will do to the servant who didn’t use the money his master gave him?

(Read Matthew 25:24-30.)

“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

“‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”

What happened to the third servant when the master came back? (The master punished him because he had wasted the money the master gave him.)

That’s how it will be when Jesus comes back. Just like how the master gave each of his servants some money, so God has given us each of us talents and abilities. He’s made us to be good at certain things. And God wants us to use our talents and the things we’re good at for Him.

If we use our talents and the things we’re good at for God, then Jesus will reward us when He comes back. But if we don’t use our talents and the things we’re good at for God, and we just waste our talents, then Jesus will punish us when He comes back.

So, we should always remember to thank God for the things that He’s made us to be good at, and we should always use our talents for God.

What are some ways that you can use your talents for God? (Brainstorm with students and help them to see how they can use the things they named earlier to help other Christians or to reach out to other people in Christ’s name.)

Activity: Acting It Out

Divide students into groups of two or three. Have each group decide on and act out a scene in which one or two are using one of the talents the group mentioned in a way that either benefits other Christians or helps reach out to unbelievers.

Game: What Time? 

Think of a time (example: 12:49 pm) and ask students to guess what time you’re thinking of. Whoever is closest then gets to think of a new time. Continue playing as long as time allows or until each student has had a turn to think of a time.

Remind students that Jesus is going to come back one day, just like the master in the story came back, and that we want to be using the talents God gave us for Him when Jesus comes back so that He will be proud of us.

Closing Prayer

Father God, we thank You for giving all of us talents and skills. Please help us to see how we can use our talents for You. 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.


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