Parable of the Talents


April 18 – May 16, 2004


Apostle’s Playhouse



Scripture:  Matthew 25:14-30 NRSV


Memory Verse: “Each of you has been blessed with one of God’s many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others.  So use your gift well.”  1 Peter 4:10 CEV



1.     God has given each of us special gifts and talents to use, not hoard.

2.     God’s faithful followers use their gifts to serve God and others.

3.     Everything in life is a gift from God so we must use our gifts responsibly (time, abilities and possessions). 



Children will understand what talents are and how faithful followers of God use their talents to serve God and others. 



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.     Explain the purpose of this workshop. “Today we will use pantomime to show our understanding of the Parable of the Talents.  We will demonstrate different kinds of talents and brainstorm how we can use these talents to serve God.”


Scripture/Bible Story:

Tell children that the story we are working with is a parable.  Remind them that parables are stories that Jesus told to show his followers how to live.  The characters in parables represent God and us and our relationship with each other; how God wants us to act, things God does or doesn’t want us to do, etc.  See if you can figure out who is who in the story and what it means.

Read the story aloud from Matthew 25:14-30 NRSV.  After the story, lead the discussion by asking:  Who do you think the master represents in the story?  (Jesus)  The servants?  (Us/Christians)  The trip the master went on?  (The time between when Jesus died and when he comes back to earth again some day.)  What do the talents represent?  (The gifts that God gives us.)   What do you think Jesus was saying he wanted us to do with the talents?  (Use them, share them, not hide them away.)  What does the parable tell us will happen if we don’t use our talents?  (They will be taken away.)

Side note: “Talents” in Jesus’ day were a unit of money.  Sources differ, but one talent may have been worth 15 years wages or about $1000.  At any rate, the master was probably very rich.  Later the term talent came to mean  “God-given abilities”.  We will be thinking of talents as God-given gifts or abilities.



“Talents on Parade Charades”

Tell children they are going to play a game.  First, brainstorm a list of possible talents that they or others might have and need to share as gifts from God.  Write talents on circles of paper to represent coins. (For younger children or in subsequent weeks, read the ones already on paper coins and allow children a chance to add any new ones they might think of—have blank coins available to add new ideas to the pile.)  List of talents might include:  writing, singing, acting, listening, problem solving, playing a sport, making people laugh, cooking, raising money, painting, drawing, reading, making friends, making crafts or models, sewing, teaching, etc.  Then put all the talent coins in a small, non-see-through bag and shake them up.  Next, divide the group of children in half.  Have one group each pick a talent coin out of the bag.  Help them read the talent if necessary, but make sure they all keep their talents secret.  Give them a moment to think about and practice how they will act out the talent with silent pantomime gestures.  Then have them stand on the stage in a line side by side.  Start at one end of the line and let them act out their talents one at a time, with the 2nd group of children guessing the talent.  (If the audience group doesn’t get it in three guesses, have the actor tell what the talent was.)  After going down the line and having all actors perform and guessing their talents, let the audience members each choose a talent from the bag and become the actors.  The first group of actors will now be the audience.  Repeat the performance/guessing procedure.  After the second group of actors has performed and the audience has guessed their talents, lead a discussion about how faithful followers of God might share and use these talents responsibly to serve God and others. 


Older children: 

You may want to have older children work in partners or small groups to act out how their talent could be used in addition to what the talent is.  Then as the audience guesses, they guess the talent and the way it could be shared.  Or have this partner work be part two after a short discussion of sharing talents.


Younger Children:  If time allows, you may want to try a pass-it-on pantomime.  After all children have had a turn to “show” their talent as described above, have them stand in a circle and one at a time, act out sharing that talent with the person next to them on the right.  Then that person shares with the person to their right and so on around the circle.


Reflection Time:

At 10:35 a.m. ask the shepherds to pass out the journal sheets 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.

Prompts for journal writing:  Think about the talents that you have: things you do well or really enjoy doing.  Write or draw a picture about one of the talents you have and how you share that talent to serve God. 


At 10:45 ask the students to close their journals and sit quietly for prayer.



Prayer:  Dear God, Thank you for all our unique talents and abilities. Guide us in the coming week as we use our talents to help others and to serve You.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.


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

Supply List

·       Money bag with paper “coins” that have talents listed on them will be provided.



·       Bible study notes prepared by Lori Houck

·       Parable of the Talents Rotation Lesson Set from Bedford Presbyterian Church, Bedford NY on

·       Parable of the Talents from First Pres. Church, Napa, CA on

·       The Good Stewards from First Presbyterian Church, Chippewa Falls, WI on Rotation .org