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Posted by member WendyB
There is a cool experiment for Parable of the Talents.
You cut a coffee filter in long strips, and you need a glass filled with just an inch or two of water and colored markers.
The people draw a small circle at the end of a filter strip using several colors on top of each other. Then you place the other end in the water. As the water goes up the strip, the colored dot spreads and you see many different colors that make up that one color.
Test this with different markers first.
This is used to point out that God has given each of us many hidden "talents" to share with others. The adults teaching it thought it was just as cool as the kids!
Neil MacQueen wrote:
A "What buries your talents?" Trashcan Idea:
Rather than just focusing on the traditional "what do we bury" use this trashcan idea to "dig" into
"What do we bury our gifts WITH?" and "WHY do we bury?"
We bury what God has given us with EXCUSES, with Other Commitments. Lack of Faith, Laziness, Selfishness. We crowd him out. We bury our gift of compassion with being too embarrassed or too busy to help. Uncaring. Thinking we can't make a difference. Expand the list!
Older kids could come up with this list of "things which bury the gifts, opportunities to serve, help, give."
Bring in several large trashcans. Kids discuss how to Label the trashcans by what we use to bury God's gifts with (Excuse, Lack of Faith, etc). Kids now create the trash/dirt we use to bury those gifts. Give them stacks of old newspaper, or styrofoam packing, or things like gravel and bricks. All these things can be metaphors to the older kids to discuss. What gets in the way of using our talents for God's work?
Place "the gift" in the bottom of each can. It can be a small box sealed with a ribbon. Inside are slips of paper put there by the kids with a "talent" or "gift" that gets buried. Older kids can work in small groups with their trashcan, labeling it, filling it, making the gift and coming up with the slips.
Then they present their "buried gift" to the entire class as a presentation, and inviting a group to come look for the gift.
The older kids or you could also create "tools" that the kids must use to remove the trash. What would you label of shovel? Could you make a shovel out of a stick and Bible? How about a set of cardboard praying hands? (How does Prayer help us remove the excuses in our lives?) How does God's Word help us dig through the garbage to help us reveal God's gift? (I'm thinking off the top of my head here! Run with it!)
Jan FPC Napa wrote:
Neil, used your ideas of what we bury our gifts with as part of the "modern" version of the story and it turned out really good ... people got it!
Talent Toolbox Idea from Nanci H:
I used this "parable of Talents" children's sermon (found at link) as an idea for a woodworking workshop - we are making and decorating toolboxes to take home. On the toolbox we wrote various "spiritual talents" that a person could have: caring, speaking the truth, giving, giving thanks, learning, praying, helping others, interpreting the Bible, etc. (See "gifts of the spirit.)
Inside we placed things the kids had worked on: a collection of key verses from the Bible attached to a key-ring. Two prayers, one of thanksgiving and one asking for help. A dollar to use to help someone in need. And a small tape measure with the words written on the back of the tape: "Measure Up to God's Expectations".
We also made a blueprint using white marker on blue paper titled: "A plan for you". On it the kids drew a picture of a body with things labeled like: "Fill your thoughts with good things, not bad", and "Feet: Be Swift to Help Others", and "Tongue: Do not be mean", and "Arms: Embrace and love". These were discussed and listed on the board prior to making the tool box items.
We also bought a bunch of those small inexpensive "tools in a pouch" kits and gave one to each child's toolbox. On them we placed a label that read: "Build Your Life on the Rock, Jesus!"
Toolbox Story Excerpt:
Once upon a time there was a man who had a construction business. The man had to go away on a long trip and so he called his three employees together and said, "I have to go on a long trip and so I am leaving you three in charge. I have put together a tool box for each of you to use to keep the business going while I am gone."
The man then gave each of his employees a tool box. The tool boxes contained all the tools the employees needed to do what the man expected of them, but since the three employees didn't all have the same abilities, each toolbox was different. To the first employee, he gave a very large tool box filled with every tool that you can imagine. To the second employee, he gave a smaller toolbox, but one that still had a very good assortment of tools. To the third employee, he gave a very small tool box with just a few tools, but enough tools for the employee to do what was expected of him.
The man then left to go on his trip. When he returned, he called his employees together to see what they had done while he was gone.
The first employee said, "I knew that you had a great love for the homeless people of the world, so I used the toolbox that you gave me to build homes for the homeless.
"That is great!" said the employer. "You have done so well that I am going to put you in charge of all new construction for the entire company."
The second employee said, "I knew that you had a great love for the elderly, so I used the toolbox you gave me to fix up the homes of old people who can no longer do the work themselves."
"That is wonderful!" said the employer. "You have done such a good job, that I am putting you in charge of all the repair and maintenance work for the entire company."
Then he turned to the third employee and asked, "What did you do with the tools that I left for you?"
"I knew that you are a very demanding boss and that you expect a lot from your employees. I was afraid that if I used the tools you gave me that one of them might get broken or that I might lose one of them and make you angry. I put the tools in a very safe place. They were there all the time you were gone. Look, here they are, just like new."
Lisa M wrote:
Use Sunday Software's Parable of the Talents story and activities found in their Awesome Bible Stories CD. It unpacks the images and dialog in the story. Also has a follow up Board Game about burying and using your talents.