Reply to "Stewardship & Gratitude Lesson Ideas"

The Hot Potato Stewardship Game

Stewardship includes taking responsibility for problems and trying to solve them instead of just ignoring them or "passing them along" to someone else.

Using a real potato, begin innocuously enough by playing "hot potato" with your kids (passing a potato until the music or timer stops).  Play this two or three times.  (You can use your cellphone to play a song and hit the 'pause' button to stop the potato passing.)

Now hold up the potato and ask students to describe some of the most pressing problems in our world today.  (climate, poverty, homelessness, hunger, health, etc). WRITE these things on the potato (or on multiple potatoes) using a sharpie and play 'hot potato' again for a couple of times. Ask them to tell you what they think THE POINT is (we pass problems to others without taking responsibility for them, or without trying to problem solve). 

[You may write different problems on different potatoes. You may have more than one potato being passed around... which will be fun.]

Ask:  How do we stop the game of "passing problems to other?"  How do we take responsibility for making God's world a better place....  etc etc.

Introduce the Parable of the Good Samaritan which the students may be familiar with. Discuss it as a "parable of stewardship" -- not passing by the problem but stopping to do something to help. You might even write "person in need" on a potato and pass it around in a quick game of hot potato. 

Finally, give each student their own potato and a sharpie. After a brainstorming session of "things that STEWARDS need to care for, solve, stop/start doing," have the students pick several that mean the most to them and write them on their potato.

This potato goes home with them.  Invite them to cook up their potato at home with a parent's help, and share it with a family member to remember and think about the lesson today.

That's the basic idea. You fill in the details and connections as you see fit. 

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