311 - The three servants


15 minute Story planner

Matthew 25
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, page 353

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the New Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The life of Jesus FlashCards' cards one to five

Explain to the children that when Jesus told this story he wanted his listeners to understand that, just as the servants were expected to do something useful with the money given to them, God wants everybody everywhere to use the gifts he has given them to do good and useful things.

If appropriate spend some time talking about the gifts God has given us. Explain that Christians believe God created everybody everywhere to be good at different things. Encourage the children to think of things that they or the other members of the group are good at. Explain that one way to think of these things is as ‘gifts from God’. The Bible teaches that God wants people to use their gifts to do good and useful things for him.

2. Starter question - 1 min  
How much gold do you think there is in a British one pound coin? There are still coins today made of gold but there isn’t any gold in a one pound coin. Of course pound coins are still very valuable… Today’s story is about three servants who were each given some money… however they chose very different things to do with their coins. Which servant chose to do the best thing?

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

  • A small holdall or suitcase

  • A bag of copper coins

  • ‘Five thousand/ten thousand’ textbox (see Printables)

  • ‘Two thousand/four thousand’ textbox (see Printables)

  • ‘One thousand coins’ textbox (see Printables)

  • ‘What have you done with my money?’ speech bubble (see Printables)

  • A spade – e.g. a child’s spade for the beach

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins

Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this week's Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - An alternative to the game ‘shove penny’
You will need: three coins – three two pence pieces would be ideal, masking tape and a low table.

Remind the children that the third servant buried his money - explain that this too is something not very useful to do with a few coins!

Ask the children to get into pairs. One pair at a time can play the game. Encourage a pair to stand or sit up to the table. The partners should be facing each other. In front of each child, at a distance of about 10 cm from the edge of the table place a 30 cm strip of masking tape. The tape needs to be parallel to the edge of the table. Equidistant from the two strips, place a third strip of tape across the table – dividing the table into two halves. Give each child a two pence piece. The aim of the game is for the children to push a third coin over their opponent’s strip. However, they can only move the coin if it is on their half of the table and they cannot touch it but must shove it using their own coin.

To start playing the game, ask the children to call heads or tails. Toss the third coin. If the coin lands ‘heads’ up give the coin to the child who called ‘heads’(or vice versa). The child with the third coin should place it on their strip (the strip closest to them). By pushing their own coin across the table they should try to score a goal by shoving the third coin over their opponent’s strip. If they miss the third coin, or the coin remains on their side of the table, they can retrieve their own coin and attempt to shove the third coin again. If the coin has been shoved onto their opponent’s side (but not over their strip) play passes to the second child. The second child should now attempt to move the coin from it’s new position by shoving it with their own coin. After each goal the game should restart with a player placing the third coin on their strip and attempting to move it across their opponent’s strip. Encourage the children to take turns restarting the game after a goal has been scored.

Play the best of three games before allowing another pair to play the game.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins
Thank you for all the wonderful gifts you have given each of us.

Thank you for making each of us special and creating us to be good at different things.

We remember the story of the servants; we think about the first and second servants who used their money do something useful. Help us not to miss an opportunity to do something useful for you; help us to use our gifts to do good things for you, things that are loving and kind. Amen.

Alongside this story, make the craft...

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