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The Rich Main

Lesson Set


  1. Game - What it means to inherit eternal life, adopt a baby (doll) and go on a Treasure Hunt!
  2. Video - watch and discuss excerpts from the documentary "Affluenza" – Identifying problems in a materialistic life.
  3. Computer - Identifying the poor & what we have to share. Uses Life of Christ, on-line Crossword program, and Fall of Jericho software.
  4. Drama - Ways to follow Jesus by acting out the story.
  5. Job Fair - Vocation: Work as a calling; a way to follow Jesus.

Bible Theme:

Following Jesus

Scripture Reference:


Bible Memory Verse:
Go, sell what you own, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me. (Mark 10:21b).

Game Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

The explorers will better understand God’s grace as an inheritance, something we receive because God adopted us and Christ died for us.

Supplies List:

  • A Baby Doll, stroller, etc.
  • Flip chart and markers, or blackboard and chalk
  • Treasure hunt clues and items hidden throughout the church

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.


Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Welcome explorers and go over memory verse.

Open with a prayer.

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:

Have explorers adopt a baby and make out a will (see below)

Do same with us as adopted and God as the parent

Go over the Rich man's question to Jesus (Mk 10:17)

Go on treasure hunt (see below), find as many items as time allows.


End with prayer. Thank God for adopting us and for our inheritance.

Activity #1 - The Adoption:

This center will explore what it means to receive the inheritance of internal life. The rich man asked Jesus what he must do to receive the inheritance of eternal life. Of course, to receive an inheritance the recipient does nothing! It is the person who wrote the will who must die. Christ died in order that we might receive the inheritance of eternal life.

Christ then quotes some of the Ten commandments and finally shows love to the rich man by challenging him to give up his possessions and follow him. These are things we are free to do because we have been adopted as God’s children and will receive the inheritance.

1. Introduce Baby (doll) that you are going to adopt.
  a. Talk about the babies needs, our responsibilities, etc.
  b. What happens to the baby if something happens to us?
    i. Make a will—what we want to happen if we die (use flip chart or blackboard)
  1. Who will take care of the baby?
  2. What can we leave to the baby?
    ii. Discuss inheritance and what it means

2. Now, discuss God as our parent. God made us. We have run away from
God, but God now adopts us. God reclaims us as God’s own.
  a. In an adoption, who chooses who? Does the parent adopt the baby, or does the baby adopt the parent? Discuss.
  b. The rich man asks, “What must I do to inherit eternal life? Discuss
    i. God’s will –what God makes happen, is that Christ died so that we might receive the inheritance of eternal life. God’s will provides for us.
  1. Who will take care of us while Christ is in heaven? Discuss (The Holy Spirit).
  2. What does God leave us until Christ returns? (The Church).
   ii. Discuss grace (eternal life) as an inheritance. We receive it because God adopted us.

3. What must we do to inherit eternal life? We must be adopted by God! And that is what God has done in Jesus. This is the Good News we proclaim.
  a. We do not earn eternal life by following God’s command.
  b. We follow God’s commands (as best we can) out of love and gratitude for God who has adopted us.

Activity #2 - Treasure Hunt
As time allows

Jesus promises treasure in heaven (eternal life) if the rich man will follow him. We are challenged to follow Jesus in all of our life, at church, at school, at home, and with friends. Here, too, there are treasures waiting for us.

Below are clues to treasures we can find in life when we follow Jesus. The clues can be hidden at each spot in any order. The order listed below keeps the explorers going from one side of our facility to the other side for the next clue. You can do both hunts as a whole group or divide into two groups. After the hunt meet and discuss.

Hunt #1

  1. Here you will find dirty dishes. Wash them first and find your wishes. (Clue in sink in the kitchen).
  2. Listen first and never ball. Try to follow when God calls—ring-ring!! (Clue under receiver on a phone)
  3. Make a mess? Don’t sit and weep. Find this first and make a clean sweep. (Clue on a broom in the utility closet)
  4. Grades a problem from bad to worst? Watch this last and study first! (Clue on T.V.)
  5. Don’t want to do what you’ve been told? Express your feelings being bold not cold! (Treasure in Freezer)

Treasure #1: (Perhaps in a little treasure chest) You have discovered a treasure like no other. You have learned to honor your father and mother.

Hunt #2

  1. Some do anything to win. Make this your goal and you’ll not sin (Clue in gym)
  2. Stories are fun when they are true. But gossip can hurt the man in the pew. (Clue in sanctuary on a pew).
  3. The boy who cried wolf had great fun. But he was up a tree when the wolf made him run. (Clue in a tree outside).
  4. The teacher asked you if you did cheat. You can’t hide here, it’s where the session meets (Clue in the session meeting room).
  5. It’s a tangled [u]World Wide Web[/u] we weave when first we practice to deceive. (Treasure in office in computer desk)

Treasure #2: You have discovered a treasure of moral fitness when you learn to never bear false witness.

Video Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

The explorers will understand how Jesus loved the rich man by telling him to give up his possessions and to follow him by watching and discussing excerpts from the video Affluenza a documentary that diagnoses the "disease" of materialism and prescribes its antidote, simple living.

Supplies List:

  • Video: Affluenza available from Bullfrog films. (800) 543-3764.
  • Popcorn, drinks, etc.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.
  • Preview the video.


Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Welcome explorers and go over memory verse.

Open with a prayer.

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:

Discuss Mark 10:21, “Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said…”

How did Jesus’ challenge to give up possessions show love?

What is wrong with possession?

Watch selected portions of video and discuss (see attached sheet).


End with prayer. Ask God to not let us love things over people.

Afflunenza Discussion Questions:

Preview this video before showing it to the explorers. Note suggested times to pause and discuss the video. With younger children, you may want to stop to explain what is happening and relate it to their lives. With older children and youth, you may want to stop and discuss issues in more detail.

3:07 STOP: Definition of Affluenza
Make sure explorers (especially young ones) are on board

  • What is influenza?
  • What is affluence?

6:52 Shopping Fever
7:30 STOP: a few seconds past “Are you ready for the Mall-enium?”
And Discuss:

  • 70% of Americans go to the mall each week – more than who attend churches.
  • Did you go to a mall this week?
  • Did the rich man who approached Jesus have influenza?
  • Why was the Rich man unhappy?
  • If he was rich and had done all the right things (followed the commandments) why was he worried about being saved?)

9:30 Chronic Stress
10:28 Possession overload
Dr. Richard Swenson is convinced that affluenza is the cause of much of his patients pain.
10:50 STOP: Discuss the statement: “Everything I own owns me!”

  • Is this the Rich man’s problem?
  • How important are your “things” to you? Discuss.

11:15 What keeps us on the work and spend treadmill?
11:37 Hyper commercialism
12:33 STOP: Discuss the statement: Advertising encourages us to meet
non material ends though material means.

  • What does this statement mean?
  • What do you think about commercials?
  • Who do commercials encourage us to follow, the rich man or Jesus? Discuss.

12:42 Material Girls (and Boys)
14:04 “Barbie Get Real” Play
17:00 STOP: Discuss the “Barbie Get Real” Play

  • What did you think of the play?
  • What inspired Jennifer and Olivia to write it?
  • Was the Rich man like the guy in the play? How so?
  • Do you think that the world “owes” things to you?

18:30 Empowered Child (kid wants toy he has seen on T.V.)
19:07 STOP: After kid says, “You can’t stop me, there’s always grandma”

  • How did commercials influence the kid?
  • Does the boy have affluenza? Do you?
  • How important is it to get all the things you want? What will happen to you if you don’t get everything you want?

20:46 Commercials in schools
22:30 STOP: Discuss

  • Do you watch channel 1 in your school? Are there other places you see commercials?
  • Do you think that they influence you? Which is stronger, commercials that tell us to buy things or Jesus who tells us to share and give away possessions?

Keep the Video stopped at 22:30 and discuss what they think about Affluenza.

  • Now, how did Jesus love the rich man by telling him to sell all he had?
  • What is the cure for affluenza?
  • How can we follow Jesus and not the rich man?
  • Do you think the rich man will eventually do what Jesus urged him to do? Why or why not?

If time allows, fast forward the video from 22:30 to either 42:00 or to 47:45. (Depending upon how much time you have left). Here the video is exploring cures for affluenza that involve simplifying one’s life. Watch to the end (the whole video is 56 minutes long)

  • What are some cures for affluenza that the video suggests?
  • Do you agree that todays young people (you) are looking for answers to affluenza?
  • What are ways that the video suggests we can change our society?
  • How does Jesus’ challenge to the rich man to sell his possessions differ from the affluenza cures suggested by the video?


  • Affluenza available from Bullfrog films. (800) 543-3764. Diagnoses the "disease" of materialism and prescribes its antidote, simple living. 56 minutes. Closed Captioned. Produced by John de Graaf and Vivia Boe. A Co-Production of KCTS-Seattle and Oregon Public Broadcasting Hosted by Scott Simon

Computer Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

The explorers will be able to identify the many ways (materially, spiritually, etc) that people can be poor and what we have to share with them. Using software: Life of Christ; any crossword software; and Fall of Jericho.

Supplies List:

  • Software – The Life of Christ
  • any on-line Crossword program
  • Fall of Jericho (Sunday Software)
    (original lesson used different software, see notes below why we changed them)

Software Notes:

The Fall of Jericho software is now FREE to supporting members, Learn more here!

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.
  • Explore the software.


Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Welcome explorers and go over memory verse.

Open with a prayer.

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:

Discuss the story of Jesus and the Rich man

  • In what ways was he rich
  • In what ways was he poor

Give worksheet (see below) to explorers and explain computer centers

Discuss findings.


End in prayer. Thank God for the blessings that God has given us and the opportunities we have to share.

Children: Keep discussion concrete. Use simple words in crossword & word match.

The Rich and the Poor

The wealthy man who approached Jesus thought that he was rich. But Jesus had a surprise for him. He was poor. Poor? How can a person with a lot of money be poor? In fact we are all rich and poor in many ways. You may not have a lot of money, but you do have much to share with someone who might be poor where you are rich.

1. Below, identify areas in which people can be rich or poor in areas other than money or possessions.
2. Then, identify at least one richness you have, one person who could benefit from your wealth, and what you can share.
Chart is available from web site listed at the beginning of this post.

Computer Learning Centers

Set up the following four centers in your lab. If you have more than four computers, you can set up some centers with the same material. Encourage the explorers to fill out the above worksheet on the rich and the poor. If they have trouble coming up with anything, prompt them with a richness and have them come up with a corresponding need or vice versa. Then discuss what a person rich in one area might share with those in need.

1. Life of Christ CDrom: At this learning center, direct the explorer to lesson 26 (Click on orange crate in Professor Newhart’s office. Click on lesson 26).

a. Have explorer(s) listen to lesson
b. Take quiz at the end.

2. Crosswords and Word Games CDrom**: Set up one center with a crossword puzzle. Answers and clues may include:

a. Patient -- Willing to wait.
b. Manners -- To say please is to practice good ____________.
c. Kind – To be nice. Be ________ to animals.
d. Home – Where you live. There’s no place like __________.
e. Food – What you eat
f. Clothes – What you wear
g. Friend – Someone you like to spend time with
h. Gospel – The story of Jesus

3. Crosswords and Word Games CDrom**: Set up one center with a matching puzzle.
Use the Words to identify needs people have and use the Definitions to define what that person needs:

a. Impatient – Needs someone who is calm and not rushed.
b. Rude – Needs someone to confront them without being mean.
c. Hurt – Needs a kind person to comfort them
d. Homeless – Needs someone to give them shelter.
e. Hungry – Needs someone to share a meal with them.
f. Cold – Needs someone to give them a coat.
g. Lonely – Someone who needs a friend
h. Sinner – Someone who needs to hear the story of Jesus.

**Editor's Note:

Crosswords and Testmaker software are out of print. In their place, use any crossword CD or make a crossword online. Some suggestions are:
Free online Word Search Maker: https://worksheets.theteachers...our-own/word-search/ and Free online Crossword Maker: https://worksheets.theteachers...-your-own/crossword/

Use Fall of Jericho to make your quiz.  This software is FREE to supporting members!
Check it out.

4. Testmaker**: Make a multiple choice test which helps explorers identify ways in which they are rich and ways that they can share that wealth with others. Questions and answers might include:

a. The Rich man who talked to Jesus was really poor because:
1. The stock market crashed and he lost all his money
2. He sold everything he had gave it to the poor.
3. He loved his money more than he loved God
4. Numbers 1 and 2

b. Jesus said that it was easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God because:
1. The rich are not willing to share their money with the

2. The rich people do not go to church
3. Rich people are always snobs.
4. All of the above.

c. True or false: If we do not have lots of money, we are cannot be rich.
1. True
2. False
Explanation: We can be rich in many ways with talents, blessings (like a loving family), a place to call home, etc.

d. I am rich if:
1. I am a good listener
2. I am good at explaining things
3. I am kind and respect others
4. All of the above and much more!

e. Jesus told the rich man to sell everything he had and to give the money to the poor because:
1. Money and possessions are evil
2. Jesus believed the world would end soon
2. Jesus wants us to trust God to take care of us so we make no
plans for the future.
4. None of the above.
Explanation: While Jesus certainly urges us to trust God, he urged the people of his time to give up their possessions and share with the poor because he believed that the end of the world was near. There was no need to plan ahead, only to take care of those in need.

f. One of the riches we all have to share:
1. A great musical talent
2. The church
3. High intelligence
4. Strong leadership
Explanation: We are not all rich with the same talents, intelligence, or ability to lead people. Yet we do have a richness in common that we can share with those in need – the church!

g. Since we are all rich even though we may not be rich in money, what does Jesus want us to do with our richness?
1. Share with those who need what we have.
2. Give up our richness to follow Jesus
3. Use our richness to follow Jesus
4. Number 1 and 3
Explanation: Jesus urged the rich man to give up his possessions because he believed that the world would end soon. Now, though, we can be a faithful caretaker (a steward) of the riches God has given us by developing them and using them in service to God.

h. God has made us rich in many ways, including those with money, but none of these riches are given out evenly to everyone. Therefore, God wants us to:
1. Share
2. Hang on to what we have at all costs
3. Sell what we have in order to make a profit
4. Hide what we have so we don’t make others feel bad

i. A good reason to not share the riches God has given me is:
1. I do not know of any riches that I have
2. No want around me needs what I have
3. I do not know how to share what I have and am afraid others will make fun of me
4. None of the above.
Explanation: There are no good reasons for not sharing the riches that God has blessed you with. Besides, if you have a friend, you’re already sharing one of the best treasures you have, yourself!

j. A good reason to share the riches God has given me is:
1. To prove to God that I am worthy of God’s love.
2. To share God’s love
3. To earn God’s favor
4. All of the above.
Explanation: God has chosen to work though us to spread the good news of Jesus. We do not earn God’s favor or prove ourselves worthy of God’s love. Instead, when we share God works through us to reach others.

Drama Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

The explorers will be able to identify one richness they have and how they can use it to follow Jesus.

Supplies List:

  • Costumes, props, etc.
  • Magic markers, materials to make simple props.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.


Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Welcome explorers and go over memory verse.

Open with a prayer.

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:

Discuss the story of Jesus and the rich man.

Why did Jesus tell him to sell everything (end of world was near)

How can we follow Jesus today?

Divide into groups and put together short skits. Prepare for use in worship.
(see below).


End in prayer. Ask God to give us courage to follow Jesus everyday.

Jesus and the Rich Man

Most likely, few of your explorers have lots of money themselves (even if their families do) but we all rich in some ways. Divide your explorers into groups of three or four and do the following:

1. Have each person identify something (other than money) that makes them rich. (For example, they may have a talent, or a best friend, or a loving home, etc.).

2. Take turns acting out the story of Jesus and the rich man.

a. Change roles in each small group every time you act out the skit.

i. One plays Jesus, one plays his or herself, and the other(s) play those who are poor or in need of the richness that the person playing his or herself has.
ii. Switch roles so that everyone has an opportunity to be the rich person.

b. During each skit, have the person playing him or herself approach Jesus and ask what he must do to inherit eternal life.

i. Have person carry or wear a prop that shows how they are rich (like the rich man who approached Jesus probably had nice clothes on, rings, etc.)
ii. Jesus loves that person and tells them to share what makes them rich with those in need of what he or she has and to follow him.
iii. Have person turn to those who need what he or she has share with them.

c. Perform skits for each other.

i. Have each group decide on which one of their skits they want to share with the congregation in worship.
ii. Chose one person to be Jesus (those who played Jesus in their small groups can join those who are helped or by the rich person.
iii. Put skits together

Have each rich person approach Jesus in turn and be challenged by Jesus to share what makes them rich.

Have each rich person, in turn, either decide whether or not to help those in need (who are nearby).

a. You can have the different outcomes with each rich person to vary the effect of the play.
b. Have those who decide to follow Jesus go and share their richness with those in need.

3. At end of play, have those who have share what makes them rich return to Jesus.

a. They tell Jesus that they are ready to follow him.
b. Jesus responds, “You already have, keep doing so.”

Job Fair Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

The explorers will understand the many ways a job or career that one choses in life is a vocation, a calling in which we follow Jesus.

Supplies List:

  • Booths
  • Puppets, Dramas, etc.
  • Food, Drinks, etc.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.


Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

(Talk with explorers ahead of time and find out what they want to be)
Welcome all the explorers and go over memory verse.

Open with a prayer.

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:

Set up a job Fair with booths (Do on one Sunday with all the explorers)

Ask persons from all kinds of careers come and set up booths (include persons that have careers the explorers are interested in)

At each booth, have person bring things associated with their work.

Have each person talk about their work and faith

Ask them to explain how they follow Jesus in their work

Break up with the workshop with skits, puppet shops, etc., on how our work (including school work) is a vocation or calling. They are one way to follow Jesus.

Include some “career” game booths (pin the stethoscope on the doctor)


End in prayer. Thank God for the many ways we can follow Jesus.

Job Fair Sunday!
Information for participants sharing their careers with our church

Date: ______________

Time: ______________

Place: ______________________________

Thank you for helping us! In the educational program at our church, we are exploring ways we can follow Jesus. We a sponsoring a job fair in which we want our children and youth to experience the many ways they can follow Christ in their lives. We believe that:

1. Each career is a vocation, a calling to serve God.
2. Whatever our work, at a job, as a student, or as a homemaker, we can follow Jesus in what we do

Therefore, please come and set up a booth with information on your work. Please include:
1. Examples of what you do, if applicable
2. Pictures of where you work, etc.
3. How you feel your work serves God
a. This can include providing for a family, providing a product or service, etc.
b. Also, what drew you to this line of work, etc.
4. If possible, bring work that the children and youth can do during the fair as an example of what you do
5. Do a demonstration, if possible, of your work
6. Have fun! Come up with your own ideas of what to share with the explorers.

If you have any questions, please call. If you need special preparations, let us know a week or so in advance. Thanks again for helping.

Job Fair
Ideas for things to include

1. The Career Booths. Ask a variety of persons from all sorts of careers to participate. Look outside your church, too. Interview the explorers ahead of time and include persons in careers that interest them. Give persons willing to share their careers an information sheet like the one above.

2. Skits. Take a break during the morning to see a skit or a puppet show. You may want to use the skits the explorers put together in the drama center. Maybe have the teachers come up with their own skit using the skit from the drama center.
a. Puppet Show: Have a puppet who is in school who frantically wants to follow Jesus. This puppet could keep trying to take up the different careers s/he has seen at the job fair. S/he could keep getting distracted by having to study for a test, having to help a fellow student, etc. S/he could become frustrated that s/he has not been able to follow Jesus in one of the careers. S/he finds out, though, that by being a student, by learning, helping, etc., s/he has followed Jesus. School is her/his vocation for now.
b. Other Clowning, litanies or other prayers, etc., could all break up the morning and allow some time for the whole group to focus their energies together.

3.“Career” Game Booths. Set up some game booths just for fun. Some ideas you may want to develop:
a. Pin the ______________ on the ____________ (e.g., vestment on the minister, etc.)
b. Doctor Darts: Have a balloons with a malady written on them. Explorers get two or three darts to toss at the malady and cure it (pop the balloon).
c. Race Driver: Have explorers pick a hot wheels type car and race them down parallel tracks. (Our church facility is about ¼ mile from a race track)
The idea is to have a few “just for fun” booths mixed in with the career booths. Don’t put too many in!

4. Vendors! Don’t forget the food!
a. Maybe make popcorn and put it in bags and have someone go around offering it like a vendor at a ball game.
b. Include drinks and other snacks at the kitchen window or at food booths.
This lesson set is copyright by Pastor Will Heyward, author.
It was voluntarily posted by Rhonda B.

A lesson set written by Will Heyward.

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Luanne Payne
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