The Parable of the Talents


We use our talents to honor God.


Wrapped shoe box that can be opened; Index cards


Matthew 25:14-30

Before you begin, write the following on separate index cards: talented at sports, gifted singer or musician, talented at school, gifted with art, and dancing/theater talents. 

Think about some of the special gifts or talents God gave you. (Allow time.) Let’s look in my gift box to see what I’m talking about. (Open the gift box and pull out a card.) Maybe God has gifted you with a musical talent like singing or playing an instrument. (Invite kids to sing a few notes, such as “Doe, ray, me!”) Some of you may have been given athletic skills which make you very good at playing a sport. (Invite kids to pretend to shoot a basket.) Maybe you have intellectual gifts; so you do very well in school. (Have kids make a book shape with their hands and pretend to read.) Some of you may have artistic talents and can paint, draw, or sculpt. (Have kids pretend to paint a picture.)  Some of you may be good at dancing or acting. (Invite kids to stand up and do a quick dance move.) Let’s see what your talent is. Repeat the action we did for your greatest area of talent. (Pause for kids to respond.) No matter what gifts God gave you, I know He’s given each and every one of you at least one special gift or talent.

When God gives you a gift, He expects you to use it. He doesn’t want the gift to go to waste. God wants you to take that gift and use it to show others how great He is. That’s what our Bible lesson is about today.

In the Bible, Jesus tells many parables. Parables are stories that teach a lesson. Today, we’ll hear Jesus’ parable called "The Parable of the Talents." 

Jesus’ story starts with a man who went off on a long trip. (Have kids pretend to throw a backpack over their shoulder.) Before he left, he called his servants together and gave each of them a part of his wealth to take care of while he was gone. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to a third he gave one bag. Then he left on his journey.

While he was gone, the servant who had five bags of gold worked hard and doubled his five bags so he ended up with ten bags of gold. (Invite kids to cheer for the man who used his talents.) The man with two bags also doubled his; so he had four. (Invite kids to cheer for the second man who used his talents.) But the servant with one bag dug a hole and buried his boss’s money. (Invite kids to show thumbs down.)

When the boss returned, he asked his servants to share what they did with the gifts he gave them. The boss told the two who doubled their bags, "Well done! Because you have used what I gave you well, I will give you much more."

Then the third servant told the boss, "I was afraid, so I took what you gave me and hid it in the ground so that it would be safe."

"You lazy servant!" the boss answered. "You could have at least put the gold in the bank so that I could have earned a little interest on it." The boss took the gold from the servant and gave it to the one who already had the most. He explained, "To those who make what they have been given better will be given more. But from those who do nothing, theirs will be taken away."

Sometimes we might think God hasn't given us very much talent. We might even be tempted to hide our talent. But when we use our God-given talent to be all that God planned for us to be, He will give us even more!

Dear God, we thank You for the gifts You‘ve given each of us. We pray that we will be faithful in using these gifts to show others how wonderful You are. In Jesus’ name, amen.