The Prodigal Son (Revised)

January 1-29, 2006

Good News



Scripture:  Luke 15: 11-32


Memory Verse: “Be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ.”  Ephesians 4:32 (CEV)


Offering:  Boys and Girls Club



·        God loves us always, even when we do wrong things.

·        God forgives us when we ask.

·        Making bad choices can hurt you and others.

·        God doesn’t want us to be jealous even when things don’t seem fair.

·        God wants us to be thankful for what we have.



1.      The children will hear the story as told from the perspective of the prodigal son.

2.      The children will learn the importance of confession.

3.      The children will gain an understanding of the importance of confession and assurance of pardon as elements of our worship service.



Welcome and Introductions:

1.      Welcome the kids and introduce yourself.  Wear your name tag.  Make sure that everyone is in the right classroom!  Kids will either already have name tags on, or will get a name-tag from their shepherd.  Make sure that you know everyone’s name and greet the students individually.  Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.

2.      Start the “lesson time” with prayer.  Ask for volunteers, but plan on praying yourself. A short confessional prayer would be appropriate, either one you have written or read from a book of prayers for children.  Be sure to thank God for the forgiveness and love that is given to us everyday of our lives, even our bad days.


Bible Story:

1.      Have the students use their Bibles to locate the scripture passage.   Even the 1st and 2nd graders should be encouraged to try and locate the Book of Luke.  These younger classes may not be able to read well, but have them follow along as you read.   

2.      Once all children have located the passage read it together as a group.  Ask the kids who is speaking in these verses.  What else do they know about the son?  Tell the kids that they are going to get to “meet” the son today and learn more about him and his troubles.


3.      If this is the first week of this rotation, you will need to spend a little longer going over the entire parable.  Read, or tell, the kids the entire parable.  You can choose to read it from the Bible or a Children’s Bible Storybook



1.      Storytelling: ­ This is where you will tell the Prodigal Son parable from the perspective of the prodigal son. It would help the kids focus on the concepts of confession and forgiveness hearing the story from the perspective of the one who sought and received those gifts from the father (God).  Of course, telling the parable from the voice of the older brother who was not happy might also be interesting! Dress the part (if you would like to). Tell the children what happened to you and how you felt, who got mad, who was glad, what you learned, etc. (See Bible story attached that you may want to tell your story from as you teach.)

2.      Sharing/Discussion: Give the children a chance to respond to the story they have just heard/experienced.  How did they feel?   What were the consequences of the prodigal’s behavior?  Have they ever done anything that accidentally hurt someone else? 

3.      Look at a worship bulletin and note that almost every Sunday we pray a prayer of confession.  Why do they think we do that?  Is it scary to tell someone the wrong things we have done?  What does God do when we confess?  What did the father in the parable do?  Is it easier to confess if we know we are loved and forgiven? 


Reflection Time: 

Shepherds will pass out the journal pages and pencils/markers.  The children should spend a few minutes reflecting upon the morning’s lesson.  At 10:40 ask the kids to put away their pencils/markers and prepare for the closing prayer.



Prayer (suggestion):  Dear God, thank you for loving us and forgiving us.  Help us as we continue to grow and seek you to help us in our everyday lives.  Amen.


Teacher preparation in advance:

1.      Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.

2.      Prepare an opening/closing prayer in case nobody volunteers to pray.

3.      Gather and prepare any materials you will need for the storytelling portion.  Will you need costumes or props (stuffed toy pigs, robe, ring, items mentioned in the parable)? 

4.      Check out the Good News room before your first Sunday Workshop so that you know where everything is located.  How do you want the room arranged?  Where will kids be located?

5.      Decide how you want to close the lesson.  Prepare a prayer or use the suggestion provided.


Props, costume


Bible Story

Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

   11Jesus also told them another story:

   Once a man had two sons. 12The younger son said to his father, "Give me my share of the property." So the father divided his property between his two sons.

    13Not long after that, the younger son packed up everything he owned and left for a foreign country, where he wasted all his money in wild living. 14He had spent everything, when a bad famine spread through that whole land. Soon he had nothing to eat.

    15He went to work for a man in that country, and the man sent him out to take care of his pigs.16He would have been glad to eat what the pigs were eating, but no one gave him a thing. 17Finally, he came to his senses and said, "My father's workers have plenty to eat, and here I am, starving to death! 18I will go to my father and say to him, `Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you. 19I am no longer good enough to be called your son. Treat me like one of your workers.' "

    20The younger son got up and started back to his father. But when he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt sorry for him. He ran to his son and hugged and kissed him.

    21The son said, "Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you. I am no longer good enough to be called your son."

    22But his father said to the servants, "Hurry and bring the best clothes and put them on him. Give him a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23Get the best calf and prepare it, so we can eat and celebrate. 24This son of mine was dead, but has now come back to life. He was lost and has now been found." And they began to celebrate. 25The older son had been out in the field. But when he came near the house, he heard the music and dancing. 26So he called one of the servants over and asked, "What's going on here?"

    27The servant answered, "Your brother has come home safe and sound, and your father ordered us to kill the best calf." 28The older brother got so angry that he would not even go into the house.

   His father came out and begged him to go in. 29But he said to his father, "For years I have worked for you like a slave and have always obeyed you. But you have never even given me a little goat, so that I could give a dinner for my friends. 30This other son of yours wasted your money. And now that he has come home, you ordered the best calf to be killed for a feast."

    31His father replied, "My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we should be glad and celebrate! Your brother was dead, but he is now alive. He was lost and has now been found."