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The following has bunches of Thanksgiving, Gratitude, and Stewardship -related ideas and resources, as well as links to other topics in our Bible Story forums related to thanksgiving and stewardship. If you have a specific Bible story in mind that teaches thankfulness, gratitude, or stewardship, look it up in our Bible Story Lesson Forums.

Here are three of the most popular "thanksgiving" stories: Parable of the Talents, The Thankful Leper, and Widow's Mite.

Need help with a lesson idea? Post your question in our Teachers Lounge.

Here is a collection of ideas for teaching about Stewardship and Gratitude posted by our members. Post yours!

You will find more ideas in the Bible story topics that relate to stewardship and giving, such as the Parable of the Talents and Widow's Mite.

Take a look at our collection of "Thanksgiving" ideas and lesson too.

Here's an interesting stewardship video published for free on YouTube from Worship House Media.

Free Sunday School lessons, ideas, and activities for churches, children, families, and teachers


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Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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When we did the Stewardship unit we made giving-saving-spending banks out of the small pringles potato chip cans. We decorated each can with paper cut to fit the can, then glued the new can covers on the cans and put a coin slot in the plastic lid. We hot glued the cans to each other using a rubberband to hold them in place while the hot glue set.

Update: In this day and age of debit cards and electronic payments, "loose change" isn't as easy to find in each home as it once was. But you can still use these banks to help spur discussion about "what to give" (and where to give it) by going on a "LOOSE CHANGE SCAVENGER HUNT" in the family car, purses, and all the places where parents toss their coins. To help make an impact, suggest parents convert dollars to coins and award for "doing chores" which their kids can then "spend-save-give" from.

To spur thinking about "what to give" and "how much" will be needed to give it, come up with a list of suggested "gifts" such as baby diapers and wipes, a case of ramen soup, a new pair of shoes, and hygiene supplies like soap and a toothbrush.

You can also take your student to the store and buy these things, then place them on the family table with a large price tag, and put a "GIVE" can next to it -- into which kids can put coins they have earned by doing various chores.


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A Thanksgiving Meal in the Kingdom of God

In the Kingdom of God, we pay attention to each other's needs. Serve one another as I have served you.

Galatians 5:13  "serve one another humbly in love"

John 13: 14-16  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

This is an old youth group idea from way back that kids still love to participate in. Lots of ways to modify it and draw out talking points.

It goes something like this: 

  • A group sits down to a breakfast table on which you have placed a variety of appealing breakfast foods and drinks.
  • Each place has a plate, fork, cup with a straw, and napkin.

There are just two rules:

  1. You can't talk or make any noise.
  2. You can't feed yourself.

The people around you have to take care of your needs. 

Let's eat!

A few things to ask about:

  • Did you notice when you started to "tune in" to other people's needs?
  • How did it make you feel meeting another's needs?
  • How did it make you feel when others took care of you?
  • Did you pick up any clues about serving others by watching what other people did?
  • How is this meal like... your family, your church, God's Kingdom?  (what lessons can you draw from it?)

In one version of this meal, after eating for a while, we LABELED all the food bowls, cups, and plates with "things we need others to feed us" to nourish our spirit.

  • Friendship
  • Forgiveness
  • Empathy/Caring
  • Being Helpful
  • Praying for
  • Going the Extra Mile
  • etc.

Then after a while, we asked the kids what all those labels were about.

Always wondered how we could set a place at the table, but leave it empty, and then discuss WHO and HOW we could invite those people. And what are we inviting them to?  A meal of friendship, forgiveness, empathy, helpful, prayer, extra mile, etc etc. It's a visual parable.

An idea originally posted by Neil MacQueen

In a "similar vein" there's an interesting video on YouTube for OLDER kids called the Allegory of the Long Spoons. It may or may not be worth adding to this parable-meal. The animation style is a bit creepy.


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Some Video Suggestions: 

MMB: posted

Videos that would be good for teaching stewardship concepts:

VeggieTales: Madam Blueberry has to do with how we accumulate stuff.

Also, try the story of Flibber-O-Loo (not sure which tape it's on) to talk about using our time and talents to help those in need.  [Moderator update -  this is found on the VeggieTales DVD "Are You My Neighbor" and they renamed Flibber-O-Loo to "Tale of Two Cities".]

Neil posted:

How about "Stewardship Commercials" ? 

"Don't be like this man who buried his talents in the ground..." 

"Gifts that God really wants" that begins with "things God doesn't need."

Barb posted

We used "The Lorax" for Stewardship. It was perfect!

Lisa M. posted 

A video we've used for money type issues with kids is "Do the Right Thing" from the McGee & Me series. A young boy is deciding how to spend money he's earned.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Here are a couple of resources that I have used for stewardship teaching:

  • The Quiltmaker's Gift by Jeff Brumbeau Scholastic Press isbn 0-439-30910-7 (NOTE: this is not a “Christian” book per se, but is a wonderful story about selfishness, unconditional love, and giving)
  • Teaching kids to care and share Abingdon Press isbn 0-6870-8428-8
  • The Big Book of Presbyterian Stewardship by Elaine Barnett published by Geneva Press isbn 0-664-50157-5
  • Hands-On Service Ideas for Children’s Ministry published by Group isbn 0-7644-2040-2
  • Family Serve Volunteer Opportunities for Families by Mary Thoele published by Quality Life Resources isbn 1-931380-01-5
  • Giving Together A Stewardship Guide for Families by Carol Wehrheim available from Westminster John Knox Press isbn 0-664-22689-2
  • The Table Where Rich People Sit Byrd Baylor isbn 0-689-82008-9
  • The Doggy Dung Disaster and Other True Stories Garth Sundeen isbn 13-978-1-57542-9
  • Stewardship: The Foundation for Reflecting God, by Karyn Henley, Standard Publishing, 2002, 9780784713686 (now out of print). 13-week course about stewardship, includes small group discovery centers and large group discussions as well as activities to help kids use their time, talents and possessions as servants of God. Ages 8-11.
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Youtube video from Central Films:  "God's Pie" 

A man serves up pie to all his needs and leaves nothing for God.

Gets the point across in a clever and humorous way.

Can be downloaded (see note below the video on youtube.)

What I'd do with this video is this:  after showing it and discussing it, I'd have the KIDS make their own "God's Pie" video.  Instead of "mortgage" and "car" -what would kids say they spend God's pie on? I'd also have the kids make a second version showing the "right way" to divide up their pie. God first? 

Veggie Tales:  Madame Blueberry

Considered one of the better DVDs in the series, Madame Blueberry learns a lesson about greed and "stuff."

She isn't happy and thinks it's because she doesn't have enough stuff. Then, a Stuff-Mart opens up down the road. Through Madame Blueberry's quest for more stuff she realizes that all the stuff in the world won't make her happy.

What she wants is a happy and thankful heart. She realizes this a little too late and loses her treehouse. -but is still thankful for the lesson she learned.  (yes, children, spending on stuff can cost you!)   In this age of "gotta have it all," this is a great way to show kids that having a lot of "stuff" won't buy happiness. 

Last edited by Luanne Payne

"What does 'Stewardship' mean?"

"Does what I have belong to me or God?"

A stewardship video for older children, youth, and adults.

Originally produced by the Church of Scotland. This version has an American script.

Moderator update: The version with the American Script is no longer available.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Everyone can read the Lesson Summaries from our Writing Team's "Grace and Gratitude -- Jesus Heals the Ten Lepers" lesson set.

Supporting Members can access the Team's lesson plans.

Last edited by Amy Crane

Some thoughts about what stewardship is and isn't...

Feel free to add yours.

Seven Signs You Are Not Serious About Teaching Stewardship

  1. You make it primarily about collecting and giving money. 
  2. You make it primarily about what the church is doing.  
  3. Your church and classroom do not practice good stewardship of resources.
  4. You do not address all facets of a person's life as places where stewardship can be exercised.
  5. You are not teaching money and time management disciplines.
  6. You teach stewardship as a seasonal lesson instead of a year-round daily lifestyle.
  7. Your own life is sorely lacking in examples of good stewardship.

Stewardship of what?

  1. Stewardship of your faith -- building your response to the world on rock rather than sand.
  2. Stewardship of Creation, ...environment, Creation-friendly practices, advocating, 
  3. Stewardship of our bodies, as a gift to be cared for, what you fill your mind with.
  4. Stewardship of our talents and spiritual gifts, identifying, nurturing, channeling.
  5. Stewardship of your time and priorities, n...ot wasting time, rest, work, play, service
  6. Stewardship of our relationships with other people, ...caring, empathy, justice
  7. Stewardship of money and possessions, ...the purpose of work and sharing of rewards.
  8. Stewardship of ________________.

What is Stewardship?

Stewardship = Responding to God's love by caring for what God has given us

Stewardship = A heart of selflessness and generosity.

Stewardship = A hopeful, optimistic faith that looks to solve the world's problems rather than retreat from them.

Stewardship = Leading an exemplary life that encourages others to do the same.

Stewardship = Recognizing how you are contributing to problems and making changes.

Stewardship = ______________________.

The "Sand, Pebble, Rock" Stewardship Demonstration

The "Sand, Pebble, Rock" demonstration has been around for a long time. It is often used in a secular way to demonstrate how we can manage our time. It has also been used to visually demonstrate organizing your priorities

There are several versions on YouTube. The following is a children's sermon version.

Main Point: Stewardship of priorities -- making sure you're taking care of the most important things first.

Lesson Suggestion: After you do the basic demonstration, read Matthew 6:33 "Seek first," and ask "What are "the most important" things?"  Suggest that the students decide what some of the big rocks are, write on them. Then invite pairs of students to do the demonstration themselves as you videorecord them with your cellphone. 

Scripture: "Seek First the Kingdom of God, and then all these (other) things are possible. Matthew 6:33

One negative is that the visual suggests you can "have it all," when in fact, there are things we that do and want that we should probably NOT do and want. I think the metaphor and demonstration could be adjusted to force students to consider "which things" they need to STOP making a priority, or filling up the space of the lives with.

"Empty" Space is also not a bad thing, rest, contemplation, etc. You could represent that by using clear glass marbles (or by simply NOT filling the jar to the top).  In fact, you could use various types of colored rocks to represent different categories. 

Playing with the metaphor is something older kids, youth and adults can easily grapple with. For younger children, keep the metaphor simple and make sure they understand what the various rocks represent.

Last edited by Neil MacQueen

A stewardship game

The Colander Game

(which is really an object lesson disguised as a game)

Probably a good idea to play this one outside. 

First set up the demonstration as a relay race. Give each team a plastic colander. They try to fill it as fast as they can from one bucket (using a ladle or cup) and move the colander of water to another bucket three feet away. Of course, the water will pour through the colander!  (this is the first teaching point).

Now label the first bucket "money" and take one of the collanders and begin labeling the holes in the colander as "things to spend money on."  [Purchase plastic colanders at the dollar store so you can write on them with a sharpie to label the holes with all the things people spend their money on.]   Once labeled, have the kids 'demonstrate' how their ladles of money keep going through all the holes back into the bucket. (Talk through the meaning of this.)

Now switch the colander and water metaphor to "TIME," and on the second colander begin writing "things we spend time on" based on what the kids tell you. Some of them are wasteful for sure. Have them demonstrate the water pouring through this colander once again.

Ask.... In our game, how do we get time and money (the water) over into this second bucket?? The answer is to start covering up the "holes" that cause us to waste time and money.  

Give each team some paper towel (which they will soon use to line their colander with). Ask them what the "paper towel" represents...  i.e. what can a person do to STOP WASTING time and money and get it to God's bucket.  Write some of these things on the paper towels and then place them in the collander. Sprinkle with water to get the paper towel to conform to inside of the colander where it will seal the holes and allow the colander to hold water.

Then label the second bucket "GOD'S PRIORITIES" and have the students come up with suggestions for what they think God's priorities are. Look at Matthew 6:33, Seek First the Kingdom, and discuss what Jesus' priorities probably were. 

Finally, now that you have everything labeled (colanders, papertowel, buckets), play the game one last time to see who can get the most water into God's bucket within 1 minute.


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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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Submitted by our members and moved here. Add yours by clicking "reply" at the end of this topic.

JaneJane  and Julie Burton both posted:

Parents, Kids and Money Matters "workshop" kit you can get for free. It's in the educational resources section, workshop kits at

"Money Matters for Kids" by Larry Burkett, moneymattersfrom TV's "Money Matters."

He also wrote a book by that name for kids that has Biblical principles, jokes and examples in it.

We used it with our stewardship rotation and the kids loved it.  If you don't see it on Amazon, try

Cynthia posted:

I'm focusing on the Widow's Mite this year, last year it was the Parable of the Talents.

For drama, we are using the Kirk of Kildaire drama skits on the Lessons Exchange and then discussing them.

For computer, we are using Cal and Marty's Scripture Memory (Sunday Software) and adding a lot of verses on giving.

Awesome Bible Stories software (Sunday Software) includes the Parable of the Talents, with a built-in church Stewardship game the kids can play.

Both 'Cal and Marty" & 'Awesome Bible Stories" software programs are now available FREE OF CHARGE to download here at to the supporting members of
Learn more!

julie burton posted:mceclip0

The "All My Stuff Belongs to God" Children's Ministries website has a great blog post with stewardship lesson ideas for preschool and children.

JanS posted:Book The Table Where Rich People Sit

There is a wonderful book called The Table Where Rich People Sit by Byrd Baylor, Aladin Publishing, 1998, 9780689820083, that would provide a great basis for a stewardship lesson!

Note: As of 2018 it is still for sale on Amazon, which tells you it's a good one.

Someone has posted a pre and post book reading discussion guide for families at


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"Gratitude Pictionary"

an opening activity

To open your lesson and prime their thinking pumps, play a game of "Pictionary" where the kids step forward to draw something they are grateful for. 

As in Pictionary, you'll have "categories," only in your version they will be categories of things the player is grateful for. Feel free to discuss the categories (this is a discussion starter, after all).

Print these on slips of paper -- two copies for each category (so that each category gets used twice), then pass out the slips to the group in advance. When the player is called to come forward, they announce the category and begin to draw. 

  1. Something in the natural world that I am grateful for.
  2. A human being in my life that I am grateful for.
  3. Something about our church.
  4. An activity that I am grateful for.
  5. Something nice that somebody does for me.
  6. Something about myself that I'm grateful for.
  7. Something about God I am grateful for.

You can add or subtract categories. 

"Time" the drawing to one minute (or two, it doesn't really matter). 

Split into two teams. Each team can guess the other team's drawing. 

Allow the player to "stop the clock" to ask the teacher or a friend for help.

The point of this game is to get students thinking and sharing, and to give the teacher plenty of "teachable moments" as students talk about what they are grateful for. 


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Source: Washington Post, Braden Bell

Good for older kids, youth, and parents. Why not suggest parents print the list, cut it into slips, and place it in a basket on the table for the next time the family sits down together.

25 Questions for Youth and Parents
that will help them think about what they are grateful for

These are great questions that could easily be pared down (if needed) and turned into a self-assessment. After they fill it out, invite them to share their responses to various questions.

The questions are posed by the parent to the youth, and should also be answered by the adult.  I've highlighted the ones I especially like. For use between students and student-to-teacher, simply rephrase the questions.

  1. Who is the most important person in your life that I know?
  2. Who is the most important person in your life that I don't know?
  3. Tell me why your favorite person is your favorite person.
  4. What person has had the biggest influence on you thus far?
  5. What person trusts you the most?
  6. What person do you trust the most?
  7. What person knows you the very best?
  8. Of all the people who know you well, who do you think is closest to liking you as you are today — giving you unconditional love?
  9. What peer do you admire most? Why?
  10. What adult in your life do you admire most? Why?
  11. Have you ever told those people how important they are to you? Do you think they have any idea?
  12. What activity has had the biggest influence on you so far?
  13. If we moved tomorrow whom would you miss most (make it clear you are not moving!)?
  14. If we moved tomorrow what activity would you miss most?
  15. Phone aside, what appliance /modern invention would you miss the most if we lost electricity?
  16. What’s your favorite song? Can you help me understand what you like about?
  17. What’s your favorite movie of all time? What do you like about it?
  18. What show do you like to binge watch? Why?
  19. What book have you read that you liked most?
  20. What brings you the most joy in life?
  21. What experience are you really glad you had?
  22. What experience are you glad is over?
  23. What experience are you really glad you had that you are glad is over?
  24. What is something you didn’t like but you are glad happened?
  25. If you had to list five things you are most grateful for, what would be #1?

Using the Stewardship Pictionary idea above, I developed an "Advocate Pictionary" to go with a stay-at-home lesson for John 14:15-21.  The drawing questions I used were:

  • What do you think the Holy Spirit looks like?
  • What is a way someone has helped you?
  • What is a way you have helped someone else?
  • Which people really need our help right now?
  • What situation in nature needs our help right now?
  • What is one way we can be an advocate for nature or the natural world?
  • What is one way we can be an advocate for people who need help?
  • What does God’s love look like? and/or What does love look like?
  • What does peace look like?
  • When has someone comforted you?
  • When have you comforted someone else?

Gratitude Ball Toss
...Gratitude Questions for Kids

balltossAn at-home or in-class discussion game about Gratitude. This idea was originally contributed to during the COVID pandemic when Sunday Schools were shut down. It's still a great idea for in-class and at-home use. You can even use it with multiple beachballs in a worship or fellowship setting.

Beachball Option: The questions can be written on the different panels of a beach ball which is then tossed and caught. Whichever question your right hand is on is the one you must answer. You can also write questions on paper slips colored or numbered the same as the panels on the ball.

Box Option: Write questions or numbers on the sides of a large decorated square box. Roll it like a dice to determine which question the roller has to answer.

Board Game Options: Add numbers to each question too if you want to "advance X number of spaces" on a board game (squares on the floor or drawn on paper).

A Few Gratitude Questions

  • Name someone not in the room whose friendship you are grateful for and why you chose them.
  • Name something about your family that you are grateful for.
  • What makes you happy? What are you grateful for?
  • Say something positive about the person standing on your left that will make them grateful.
  • Name something you take for granted, but want to thank God for.
  • What could you and your family share that could make someone else grateful for your sharing.
  • Name a hero in the Bible whose story you are grateful for and why.
  • Describe something nice that someone did for you that you are grateful for.
  • Describe something God wants you to do to show you are grateful for God's love.

What other gratitude questions could you ask?


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Have your kids make the Thanksgiving Instructional Video:

"Goofus and Grateful"

A Thanksgiving Instruction Video

Have your church kids record a series of "Goofus and Grateful" video moments around a set of thanksgiving or gratitude topics.

"Goofus and Gallant" was the famous "wrong way/right way" cartoon that appeared in the once popular Highlights for Children magazine. In this "instructional video," your kids come up with and rehearse a series of "right/wrong" attitudes and actions related to thanksgiving and gratitude, and then make a video recording acting out the Goofus then Grateful one-liners in front of the camera as a fellow student or teacher narrates.

Goofus and Grateful -a Gratitude Lesson at

Use your cellphone, video recorder, or a tablet/iPad to record these quick skits. Then watch them in series on the big screen for great effect!  You can also share them with families and the church.


You can split your group into pairs and assign each an idea about gratitude, such as, "how do you show gratitude to your parents," and give them several minutes to decide who's going to be Goofus and Grateful in their video and how each will act. (Work with them.)  Then, the very simple three or four sentence "script" they need to write should be given to an adult or another student to read aloud next to the camera/tablet/phone during recording so the actors only have to focus on their appearance and movements.

Some Goofus (wrong) and Grateful (right) Ideas to Act Out

  • A right and a wrong way to show your parents that you appreciate them tonight after dinner.
  • A right and a wrong way to show God you are grateful for Creation.
  • A right and a wrong way to help someone who isn't feeling very thankful right now.
  • A right and a wrong way to show a stranger that you are a grateful, unselfish person.
  • A right and a wrong way to act in worship during the prayer of thanksgiving.
  • A right and a wrong way to tell someone you appreciate them.
  • A right and a wrong way to talk to God about your possessions (or what you might be grateful for).

Create a "Goofus and Grateful" version of the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30

  • What Goofus did with the treasure he was given, and what Grateful did with it.
  • How Goofus' ignore God's gifts today. How Grateful treats and responds to God's gifts.
  • What gifts do Goofus and Grateful both have and how might they use them differently for better or worse?  For example, the gift of leadership, the gift of money, the gift of making music, the gift of being able to make money, the gift of having people in your life who love you, etc.


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This idea was originally posted in our 2020 Covid Thanksgiving suggestions when schools and churches were closed.

It's called "The Year of the Empty Chair" and is based on an old tradition of "setting a place at the table" for someone who can't be with you (for any number of reasons). In some celebrations, this "empty chair" can represent God's place at your table, or those you miss because they have passed, or those you wish could be with you.


Who are we grateful for having been in our lives and who we wish were with us to share this Thanksgiving.

Recall that in the tradition of the Passover Seder meal an empty chair and place setting is made for the Prophet Elijah. His chair symbolized the hope that Elijah would come in the year ahead as the promised forerunner of the Messiah.

During the meal, take a moment to talk about what the empty chair means to you, those you want to hold up in prayer to God, and offer a prayer.


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  • The Empty Chair at the Thanksgiving Table

Make and Assemble Take-Home Gratitude Game Kits
to Encourage Gratitude Discussion at Home

Plastic arrow spinners can be purchased in bulk quite inexpensively. They snap onto a paper plate or piece of paper on which you've written several "spinner" numbers.(see below).

Create a list of "Gratitude questions" and make copies for each kit, cutting them into a stack of "cards" that can go with each kit. The gameboard can be hand-drawn by the kids or copies and colored. Add instructions to the gameboard.

Players spin and advance across the gameboard -- answering a question from the stack each time they come to stop. It's okay to have questions repeat.

Make a fun spinner! Sunday School kids could decorate and number the plates and attach the spinners, as well as draw the gameboard (Lots of gameboard templates online too. Google "gameboard blank squares" or similar).

A Few Possible Questions Cards

  1. What's one thing GOD is grateful for about the person on your left?
  2. Who do you miss that's no longer alive and what are you grateful for about their life?
  3. What daily things would Jesus tell you to be grateful for now and increase in the year ahead?
  4. Gratefully name someone not with you right now who changed your life in a positive way.
  5. What lesson have you learned about life this past year?
  6. Move back 3 squares if you have been depressed or sad about something in the past month, then move forward 2 squares if you did something positive to respond to your sadness.
  7. Move forward one square if you did something today that someone in the game is grateful to you for doing.
  8. Move forward 3 squares if you gave thanks to God in prayer today for more than a minute (move forward 1 square if you forgot but take 30 seconds now to pray).
  9. Move forward 1 square if the person on your right says something about you that they are grateful for.
  10. Move forward one square is you say out loud the name of someone who inspires you to be a better person.

Tip: Ask the pastor to suggest questions. Perhaps they can even be part of the liturgy or sermon.


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Free to Everyone: The Talents Stewardship software game

You can share this free downloadable software game about Stewardship this season with your families. Add some follow-up questions and instructions when you distribute it.

This game is a "flash" (swf) file pulled (with permission) from my Awesome Bible Stories software program. It will play in most any browser. Read more about it and download the Talents Stewardship Game. Supporting Members of can download the entire Awesome Bible Stories program which includes an interactive lesson about Matthew 25's Parable of the Talents and uses the Talents Stewardship game.

You could also run the game on your computer and share your game screen via ZOOM.  Here's an article about how to share a program on your screen with your Zoomers.


The point of this fun little game is to create discussion around the subject of what it means to 'invest' or 'bury' the talent that God has given you.


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Visual Thanksgiving resources
from the pages of (2)

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Psalm 8 is a song of thanksgiving as well as a "song of creation" as it is traditional taught.
Why? Because like thanksgiving, Ps 8 gets us looking up and seeing the blessings that surround us. The following music video was created for the Writing Team's Psalm 8 lesson set. It meshes dramatic Ps 8 scenes with one of Train's most popular songs, "When I Look to the Sky."

Psalm 8's "Secret" (from the Writing Team's Ps 8 Bible Background)

It is traditional to interpret Psalm 8 as a Psalm of "Creation," extolling God's majestic Creation and our place in it, and it certainly does that. But Psalm 8 has a secret.  And it's a secret you already know -if you've ever looked up to see the stars surrounding you at night.

A time-exposure photo of the Milky Way.

In Psalm 8, the Psalmist is making a visual comparison between how the heavens surround and shine on the earth, and how God surrounds and shines on us.  The Hebrew word we translate as "crowned," as in, "crowned us with glory...." actually means "surrounded." The Psalmist is in awe of the heavens that "surround" him, and makes the connection with how God's awesome glory surrounds us, even, "embraces" us. Throughout the lessons in this set we're going to make that point to help your students visualize this important insight.

Especially in a year like 2020, when you look around, blessings may be hard to spot.

But when you look up...

surrounded (1)

All thy works with joy surround thee,
earth and heaven reflect thy rays,
stars and angels sing around thee,
center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
flowery meadow, flashing sea,
chanting bird and flowing fountain,
call us to rejoice in thee.

Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen,
since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:18


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  • surrounded by God's Glory
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  • small-sky

Two Gratitude Prayer Activities for Class or Home Use

It's super helpful to turn discussion into an activity rather than a speech. Here are two fun ways you can do that on the subject of thanksgiving and gratitude that give you plenty of opportunities to share insights.


1. Prayer Bowls

Label three bowls and place them on the table:

Bowl 1: Things I should or should not ask God for.  Write "should ask for" on one side of a card in the bowl, and "probably should not ask for" on the other side of the card. When it's your turn and you have to play this bowl, take the card out and flip it like a coin and answer the question that lands face up.

Bowl 2: Something in my life that I want to thank God for (to be shared aloud)

Bowl 3:  Something God has given us to do that we are thankful for.
(whole group must come up with an answer)

Take turns rolling a dice to see "which bowl" to interact with.

See more Prayer activity and resources here at

2. Pantomime Prayer Head Bands:

"Things We Should Be Grateful to God For"

Write the following "gratitude clues" on small cards and place them face down on the table. Seated in a circle,  on their turn a "player" lifts one card to their forehead without looking at what's written on the card --and so that only the other players can see what it is.


One at a time, each of the other players PANTOMIMES what's on the card and the player tries to guess what's on the card.

After several attempts, the player holding the card can ask the entire group some questions. They can answer without using any of the words on the card.

Possible "Grateful for" cards:      Life, Love, Faith, Jesus, Salvation, Friends, Being Able to Talk With God, forgiveness, The Bible. People who love me, Laughter. After your first round, have each player come up with new cards.

Note: I'm not here to argue with Bible verses that say "ask for everything/anything" when you pray. To me, those verses are more about the closeness we should feel with God --that we can say anything even if it's "off" or unrealistic and open ourselves to a better way with God's leading. God wants to hear it all, but doesn't want us to stop there. God wants us to listen and learn, and figure out what NOT to pray about (see Luke 18 for one such example). My understanding of prayer is embodied in the great "Serenity Prayer" first published in 1932 by theologian Reihold Niebuhr:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.


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  • PrayerBowl
  • JesusHeadBand

This list of "thanksgiving related" lessons and Bible stories here at was originally put together for use during the COVID pandemic when Sunday Schools were closed.

The resources cited below are great any year at-home and in-class.