The Prodigal Son (Revised)

January 1-29, 2006




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



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

2.      God forgives us when we ask.

3.      Making bad choices can hurt you and others.



1.      Children will view the video “Prodigal Son” and learn the story.

2.      The children will learn that God forgives when we ask.

3.      The children will ask God to forgive them for something they have done wrong.



Welcome and Introductions:

1.      Greet the children and introduce yourself.  Wear your name tag. Make sure the children are wearing name tags. If not, ask the shepherd to supply a temporary badge. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.

2.      Distribute the popcorn with help from the Shepherds. (Popcorn should already be made.)

3.      The Prodigal Son is just one of the many parables that Jesus used in his teaching. A parable is a story that Jesus told to teach people something about God or about how God wants us to live. 

4.      Tell the children that today they will be watching a video about the story of the Prodigal Son. The word “prodigal” means wasteful, reckless, and extravagant. Today we might use this word to describe someone who lived a bad life, doing bad things being reckless and wasteful but then decided to change these bad ways and live better ­as God would want that person to do better. The father in the story is like God. God doesn’t stop us from making bad decisions, but God is joyful when we return to better ways.  The story is told by Jesus. Jesus uses the story to tell us something about God. As you watch the story, look for ways that the father is like God.



Bible Story:

Show the video. It’s about 30 minutes long. Cue the video past the credits to the beginning of the story.



Discussion: Recap the main events of the story with the children.


Younger children (1st & 2nd grade): Help them to get the sequence of the story. Ask what happened first, second, third, etc.?  Discussion:   Have you ever done things that you know are wrong? How does it feel when you do bad things? How did the son feel when he wasted all his money? Is God happy with us when we do bad things? Who else gets hurt when we do bad things? Relate God to the father in the video. What does God want us to do? (Ask for forgiveness and to do better.) Talk about praying to God for forgiveness and saying “I’m sorry” to those you hurt. Does it make you feel better to say “I’m sorry”? How does it make the other person feel when you say you are sorry? How did the father feel when the son came home and gave up his wasteful living? How do you think God feels when we admit our mistakes and plan to do better?


Older Children (3rd-5th grade):  Discussion:  Have you ever done something bad and then realized it was wrong?  Talk to the children about what pressures they may have that tempts them to do bad things. What tempts them? What do they do that they know is wrong? Who else gets hurt by the bad things they do? How did the father feel when his son decided to go away? How do you think God feels when we do bad things we shouldn’t?


Talk about asking for forgiveness. How do we ask for forgiveness? (We pray to God for forgiveness and help in doing better.)  What can we say to others?  (“I’m sorry” and explain why it won’t happen again.) We should all try to correct our mistakes. How is God like the father in the video? Will God forgive us? Why will God forgive us?   Accept all reasonable answers. 


Reflection Time:

1.       Ask the shepherds to pass out the journal pages and pencils/markers.  Remind the children that God loves us and wants to forgive us if we ask.

2.      At 10:40 ask the children to put away pencils/markers and sit quietly for prayer.



Prayer (suggestion): Thank you Jesus for giving us the story about the prodigal son who did bad things but was forgiven by his father and by God. Please God, forgive us for the things that we have done wrong. Help us to do better. Thank you God for loving us so much you will always forgive if we ask and are truly sorry, just as the prodigal son was forgiven.  Amen.


Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help clean up popcorn and help stack beanbags against the wall.


Teacher preparation in advance:

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

2.      Prepare a closing prayer or use the suggested one given in this lesson plan.

3.      Write the memory verse on the white board.

4.      Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located.

5.      Preview the video and have it cued to the correct starting place




Nest Entertainment ­ Prodigal Son, distributed by Nest Family Entertainment Series

Nest Entertainment ­ Prodigal Son, Activity and Resource Book, distributed by Nest Family Entertainment Series