Focus Passage: I Timothy 6: 6-19

Memory Verse: “For the love of money is the root of all evil…”

Items for Preparation:

  • Have a one dollar bill so that each kid can get one from you.  I’m serious.  You’re going to have to shell out some moolah if you’re going to prove Paul’s point today.
  • Also make sure some offering plates are near you and visible to children as you start your sermon this week.

Background: Read the adult lesson in the print edition of Nurturing Faith journal and additional material online.   Timothy is just chock full of concepts that are not kiddie material.  Here’s another prime example.  Kids don’t grasp this money idea yet.  They still think you can just go get more money out of the ATM.  Many of them don’t ever actually see much money.  They only see your plastic card.  Looks a lot like Pokémon playing cards.  So we’ve got our job cut out for us.  Maybe the historic work of the Tooth Fairy can help us get this idea across – that it is rich, deeply abundant living we crave, not rich, deeply abundant wallets.

Children’s Sermon

[Have a stack of offering plates nearby if possible. Fan out those bills in your hand as you begin so kids can see you have big bucks. Wait a little and give them time to get the wrong idea.]
Say: What did Paul mean when he wrote his letter to Timothy, and said that the love of money is the root of all evil? What is the love of money? [Allow for answers.] And, what is the root of evil? [Allow for answers.] A good word to use is “greed.” Have you ever felt greedy? [Allow answers.]
Say: Well this verse doesn’t sound very good to me. After all, I like money a lot! Why, I brought a bunch of my own money today just because I like it so much. When I have a bunch of money, I can buy things! I like to buy things! It makes me so happy! Just think of all the things I can buy with this bunch of money! Whhoooo hhhahhhhaaaa!
Say: What should I buy? I do feel a little greedy! I’m going to pretend I didn’t read our verse today. What would you use this bunch of money for? [Allow for answers. Let discussion ensue.] What do you think Paul would tell me to use it to do?
Say: I know! I’ll give my bunch of money to somebody else. I’ll give it to you. Here, each of you can have a dollar of my money. [And hand it out til it’s gone.]
Say: Now! Problem solved! Wow! It sure does feel WONDERFUL now that I’m not feeling so greedy. Now I can just enjoy the rest of my Sunday, sitting on my deck with my dog and reading the paper and looking at the sunshine. I don’t have to go to a store or spend a bunch of money! I can just be happy and peaceful. I think that feels better than greedy. Ah.
[Now move over and pick up an offering plate, and ponder it for a bit.]
Say: But, whoa, now you are stuck with the money. What are you going to do with your dollar? Are you going to use it to be greedy? Or will you use it to do something good for others? It’s up to you – you decide what to do with that dollar. You always decide what to do with your dollars, you know. I will be curious to know what you decided!

Prayer: Say these words after I say them.

O generous God,
All we have comes from you.
Help us to find true happiness
In loving each other
In letting our dollars follow Jesus
Just as we follow Jesus,
Sharing your gifts together
In Jesus’ name, Amen.