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The following topics have bunches of 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 Please also see our "Thanksgiving and Stewardship in 2020" topic below for ideas specific to giving thanks and being good stewards during the 2020 COVID pandemic.

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Originally posted by member Liz W.

The JOY of Stewardship

Overview of Workshops:

  • Video: The Lorax (1972 animated TV Special) DVD
  • Art: make banks
  • Storytelling: read story - The Old Man and the Tree

Memory Verse (paraphrased):
1 Peter 4:10
“Be generous with the gifts God has given you. Manage them wisely to help others.”

Scripture References:

  • Drama: What is a Steward?
    Ephesians 2: 10
  • Art: Stewards of Money and Possessions
    Proverbs 3: 9
  • Video: Stewards of the Earth - Genesis 1: 26 


From the DCE:
The Irish poet William Butler Yeats once said, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” In the first temple, the tent of meeting, there was a lampstand. God’s instructions were, “Tell the people of Israel to bring you pure olive oil for the lampstand, so it can keep burning continually….Aaron and his sons will keep the lamps burning in the Lord’s presence day and night” (Exodus 27:20, 21). Today we are God’s temple (1 Corinthians 3:16). And our passion, our living love for the Lord, keeps our lampstand burning before Him. Our job in the spiritual education of children is to light a fire, a living, growing love for God within them.

This curriculum can help light that fire. Each or our students is a temple of God. So the goal of this curriculum is to construct within children the essential foundations upon which they can build (and sustain) a loving, thriving relationship with the Lord. 




Video (Master’s Theater): Stewards of the Earth

Scripture:

Genesis 1: 26 “ Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.

Goal of this workshop:

Learn that God created us to be stewards over the earth.

Materials List:

  • DVD – “The Lorax” (1972 animated TV Special) DVD - 25 mins.
  • Popcorn
  • Water & straws
  • Baby wipes

Lesson Plan

Opening:

Greet the children and introduce yourself. Have a short prayer to ask God to be with us as we learn more about his word and how we can follow him.

Ask the students to tell about their favorite thing in nature or a favorite place they’ve gone to experience God’s natural world.

Dig:


The Good Word:
Genesis 1: 26
Choose a student to read the Scripture for this workshop. (Teacher should read for the young listeners.)

The Challenge:
Ask: What does it mean to be a Steward? (a person is given the responsibility by God to care for another person) Ask: What did God mean when he said “let them have dominion over all of life”? Say: God did not make us owners of his creation. He made us managers or stewards of his creation. Ask: What’s the difference between an owner and a manager? If we own creation, we can do whatever we want with it for our own purposes. If we manage creation, we do what God wants with it, for his purposes. Say: God intended for us to be good managers of his creation.
Tell the students that they will find out more about being stewards of the earth by watching the following movie The Lorax.

Popcorn
Pop popcorn and explain to the students how sharing this large bag of popcorn reminds us of a story of Jesus in the bible. Talk about the feeding of the 5,000, while creating the individual bags of popcorn from the one bag. Have students help share the bag with one another.

Showtime!
Introduce the story by discussing what recycling means. Lead into the story by explaining how this will be an example of what happens when something is taken from the earth and not replaced.

Play “The Lorax” by Dr. Suess, 30 minutes

The Lorax DVD 1972 TV SpecialReflection:

Closing Discussion

  • Who did/didn't you like? Why?
  • Why was he called the "Onceler"?
  • Was "biggering" better for everyone?
  • Why do we have like the Truffula trees?
  • What are "gluppity glup" and "schloppity schlopp"? Do we have these?
  • Do we have creatures like the Barbaloots that need trees?
  • What do we need trees for?
  • What do Truffula trees need? What do our trees need?
  • How can the boy in the end be a good steward to the earth?


Tell the students they will each be receiving seed packets from which they will be able to “plant and manage” until conditions are right for them to plant them outdoors.

Memory Verse (paraphrased): 1 Peter 4:10
“Be generous with the gifts God has given you. Manage them wisely to help others.”

Pray, thanking God for his creation. Tell the Lord that we know the earth is His and we are simply stewards of it. Ask God to help us be good stewards of His creation.



Art (My Father’s Workshop): Stewards of Money & Possessions

Scripture Reference:

Proverbs 3: 9

“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce.”

Goal of this workshop:

Learn that God made us manager of money and possessions, and we are responsible for using them wisely. Learn that either we let God control our money and possessions or our money and possessions control us.

Materials List:

  • Bibles
  • Sample stewardship bank
  • Paper mache boxes (must have lids)
  • paint
  • glue
  • decorations
  • CD player & CD (quiet background music on stewardship?)
  • Baby wipes

Lesson Plan

Opening:

Greet the children and introduce yourself.
Have a short prayer to ask God to be with us as we learn more about his word and how we can follow him.

The Good Word: Proverbs 3: 9
Choose a student to read the Scripture for this workshop. (Teacher should read for the young listeners.)

Dig:

The Challenge:
Ask: What is wealth? Wealth is having more than we need to survive. How many of you have a car or van? How many of you have a pantry or refrigerator that has food in it right now? How many of you have more than one bedroom in your house? Say: Many people in the world don’t have even one car, much less two. Many people in the world don’t have enough food for the rest of the day. So those of us gathered here are all wealthy people. God expects us to be good stewards of our wealth. We can choose to dedicate our wealth to God, or try to keep it for ourselves. But we must remember that either we let God control our money and possessions, or our money and possessions control us. Tell the students they will find out more about how to be good stewards or managers with their money and possessions by making their own Stewardship Banks.

Art Project:
Tell the students that they are going to be making Stewardship Banks which will allow them to give a portion to God, a portion to the bank, and a portion to themselves. The focus on this workshop is being good stewards of their money.

Stewardship Banks:

  1. Show children the stewardship bank previously created.
  2. Have children put on paint shirts, give them three boxes each and have them begin painting their designs.
  3. After their box(es) have dried, have them start to create their bank by gluing one lid to the bottom of another box and so on. When they are done, they will have a three-part bank: Jesus, Others and Yourself!


Memory Verse (paraphrased): 1 Peter 4:10
“Be generous with the gifts God has given you. Manage them wisely to help others.”

Reflection:

Pray, thanking God for the wealth and possessions He has given us. Ask Him to help us be good stewards and managers of our wealth and possessions.



Storytelling (Parable Productions Story): What Is a Steward?

Scripture Reference:

Ephesians 2: 10 “For we are what He has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before hand to be our way of life.”

Goal of this workshop: Learn that a steward is a manager and has responsibilities.

Materials List:

  • Bible
  • Snacks
  • Water pitcher
  • Book “The Old Man and the Tree” by Vicki Wisenfeld, Chariot Victor Pub, 9780745942315.
  • Bristol Board, Markers

Lesson Plan

Opening:

Greet the children and introduce yourself.
Have a short prayer to ask God to be with us as we learn more about his word and how we can follow him.

Introduction:
Place several kinds of snacks on paper plates, one type of snack per plate. Pour water into paper cups and set them on the table. When the first student arrives, ask her to be the water steward. She is to offer the other students some water as they arrive. As the other students arrive, give each one a plate of snacks, telling them to pass them around the room, offering each person some of the snacks on their plate. The students can serve each other and eat.

Dig:


The Good Word: Ephesians 2:10

Choose a student to read the Scripture for this workshop. (Teacher should read for the young listeners.)

The Challenge
Ask: According to the Scripture we just heard, what did God create us for? Point out that in the introductory activity, they were serving each other. Say: The good things we do serve each other and God. God has created us to be “stewards.” A steward is a manager for someone who is in authority. In our case, God is in authority over us, and we are managers over all He has given us. Tell the students that in the next few weeks, they will discover more about the things over which God has made us managers. Today they will find out what a steward is.

Storytime:  Read “The Old Man and the Tree”

SuOld Mand and the Tree Bookmmary:  Walter the craftsman had a very special willow tree. No matter how many times he removed its branches, it never failed to grow new shoots. Until one spring when there was a near disaster.

Ask: Why did the shoots on the tree quit growing?
Ask: Why did the tree all of a sudden begin to grow again?

Ask: What makes your faith grow?  What makes you more generous?

Memory Verse (paraphrased): 1 Peter 4:10
“Be generous with the gifts God has given you. Manage them wisely to help others.”

Reflection:

Pray, thanking God for creating us to be His masterpieces and his letters to the world. Ask Him to help us be good stewards of all He has given us.


A lesson from: Canfield Presbyterian Church's Sonsation
Canfield, Ohio 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability and added photos and video details.

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  • Old Mand and the Tree Book
  • The Lorax DVD 1972 TV Special
Last edited by Luanne Payne
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