Scripture: Mark 12:41-44
· Jesus sees and appreciates sacrifices and gifts we make however small.
· A gift is special when it is a sacrifice.
· God wants us to give to the church in good times and in bad, whether we are rich or poor.
· We should give to the church because the church does God’s work.
· Even a little gift can be important.
1. By acting out and discussing the story of the Widow’s Mite children will explore the emotions of the people placing donations in the collection boxes and Jesus’ response to their donations.
2. Children will understand that God sees and appreciates sacrifices and gifts we make however small.
3. Children will learn that donations (time or money) to the Kirk help to do God’s work: feeding hungry (Meals on Wheels, Ark Shelter), housing (WIHN), and teaching (church, Sunday school, preschool), etc.
Welcome and Introductions:
1. Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your nametag. Make sure the children are wearing nametags. If not, ask the shepherd to supply a temporary badge. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week that may not know you.
2. Tell children they will act out the story of the widow’s mite. Explain that a “mite” is a small coin (similar to a penny).
1. Have the students use their bibles to locate the scripture (Mark 12:41-44). Make sure that all children are able to locate the book of Mark in the Bible. Assist the kids having trouble.
2. Once all children have located the passage, read it together as a group. They may take turns reading or you can read it to them.
3. Discuss the passage. How do we know that the donators are rich? Do they draw attention to themselves with their dress and large bags of money or how they act? How do we know the widow is poor?
1. Ready (Actors needed): Everyone may participate in some role in this drama. Suggestions for actors (may be adjusted to suit class size) are: Jesus-1 person, Widow-1 person, Rich givers-3 or more, Disciples-1 or more, people in church-3 or more.
2. Set (Scene Set-up): Set up a church using either carpet squares to sit on or chairs. Have a collection box (a covered coffee can might work well since it would make nice clanking noises when coins are added). May add other decorations to church stage as desired. Put on costumes, fancy for rich givers, plain for widow. Have moneybags with “gold”. Have tape player with church doxology and other music.
3. Action: You may choose to ad-lib the story rather than follow a script depending on the class. See suggested script. Make copies for actors and highlight lines. Some imaginary dialogue has been added to add interest and stimulate discussion. The story is short, you may want to repeat the scene and have children switch roles.
Younger children: The workshop leader should narrate the story while the children mime the actions. The “church-people” actors should be cued to say the “Oohs” and “aahs” when needed. The narrating workshop leader may throw in extra clues as to how the children should act and respond. Eg “the Rich-giver walked boldly and proud. He made a big show of dropping in the money.” “The church people were interested and impressed, nodding to each other”. “The widow came in softly”. “The disciples drew back in surprise at Jesus’ words”.
Sharing and Discussion:
1.Why did Jesus especially appreciate the Widow’s gift of coins? Does this story mean a small gift is always better than a large gift?
Jesus liked the way the widow gave all she had from the heart. He saw her great faith in God and the church’s work. Jesus appreciated how she gave what she had without grumbling or showing off. People can make large or small sacrifices of time or money.
2. What things do we (or our parents) give to the church?Things: money for offerings used for missionaries, charities, church operation, pennies for hunger, food, (and others)
Time: WIHN (hosts, van drivers, cooks), Habitat for humanity homebuilders, missionaries, Meals on wheels delivery, teachers, etc.
At 10:35 a.m. ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/markers. Suggestion: You may wish to give the children a sticker or some memento to paste in their journal as a reminder of the story or activity.
Suggestion for journal writing: Have the words to the doxology written on a poster or on strips of paper to hand out to children. Explain that the doxology is a special song that we sing every Sunday after the offering is collected. Read words together. Ask children to record doxology in their journals. (Either copy words or glue pre-printed words into journals).
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise God, all creatures here below;
Praise God above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen
At 10:45 ask the students to close their journals and sit quietly for prayer.
Prayer: Conclude the session with prayer. You may want to sing or say the doxology together for the closing prayer.
Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help tidy up.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.
2. Prepare a closing prayer.
3. Gather extra supplies you will need. Moneybags, gold rocks (money), donation boxes, and carpet squares will be provided.
4. Prepare music needed for class.
· Carpet squares or chairs
· Money bags and “money”
· Donation boxes
· Tape Recording of Doxology
The Widow’s Mite
Workshop leader announces time for “church” to begin. Play church music tape as Jesus, widow, and all actors proceed to stage “church” and sit down.
Jesus: (sits near collection boxes) I’m going to sit here today and watch people put their donations into the collection boxes.
First Rich-giver: (Goes to donation box and puts money in) Here is my donation. I could have used that money to buy some extra donkeys and a flock of goats, oh well. (grumbles and sighs)
People in church: Ooh, look how much he gave!
Second Rich-giver: (Goes to donation box and puts money in, clanking etc.) Here is all the money from my extra change basket. Look it almost fills the collection box.
People in church: Ooh, Aaah, what a rich man!
Third Rich-giver: (Takes two bags of money and puts them in.) This money should help the church most of all.
People in church: Wow! He has brought the most money.
Widow: (walks quietly to collection box and drops two coin in, returns to seat and sits down)
Jesus: (calls disciples over) Listen to me, this poor widow put in more than all the other givers. They gave their extra coins but she put in all she had to live on.
Disciple(s): Her coins are important?
Jesus: Yes! It was a small gift but a big sacrifice for her. It was all she had. A small gift given from the heart is of great value to God. She is rich in faith in God and he will take care of her. (The disciples were amazed)