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Lesson Prep

Background Scripture (read 2-3 times during the week)

Luke 15

Story Summary

These 2 parables are the first 2 of a trilogy of parables found in Luke 15. We highly encourage you to go ahead and read the whole chapter as you prepare for these two lessons.

  • Lost Sheep
  • Lost Coin
  • Lost Son (commonly known as the Prodigal Son)

What are Parables?

Take this opportunity to teach your children what parables are. They are little stories Jesus told that teach us about the Kingdom of God. They are similar to fables in that they are stories with a deeper meaning. But fables give moral or ethical lessons. For example, the Tortoise and the Hare teaches us not to give up (if you are the tortoise) and not to be too full of yourself (if you are the hare). The Boy Who Cried Wolf teaches us that if we lie repeatedly, people won't believe us even when we are telling the truth. Parables teach us about life in the Kingdom of God, or life as a Christian.

Parable Summary

First, note the context of these parables. Jesus was associating with tax collectors and "sinners", and the Pharisees were none too happy about it. They couldn't understand why Jesus would associated with such outcasts. So Jesus told them these three parables to illustrate a Kingdom lesson. Here are the commonalities between all 3 parables:

  • There are some lost and some found.
    • Lost Sheep: 99 "found" sheep and 1 "lost" sheep
    • Lost Coin: 9 "found" coins and 1 "lost" coin
    • Lost Son: 1 "found" son and 1 "lost" son
  • In each parable, the owner of the item made it clear that they valued the lost item as much as the items they still had
  • In the first 2 parables, the owner of the sheep and coins go looking for their lost items and left no stone unturned to find it.
  • In the last parable, that father gave the son his wish, but waited with expectation for him to come home.
  • Each time, when the lost item was found, the owner threw a big party

The Kingdom lesson in this parable: God loves all people, whether they are believers or not. He is actively looking for people who don't know him and wanting them to believe in him.

What You Will Need

Snack Suggestion
chocolate coins (if you can find them)

Resource Sheet

Parable of the Lost Coin Coloring Sheet

This coloring sheet depicts the Parable of the Lost Coin

Lesson

1. Warm Up

get your kids talking and engaged

Have you ever lost something that is very valuable to you? What did you do to try and find it?

Today, we're going to learn about 2 parables that Jesus told about some things that were lost.

2. Teach the Story

teach a holistic story

Teach the children what a parable is (see the Story Summary above)

Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children.

For older children, read the story from an age-appropriate Children's storybook Bible or read directly from the Bible.

3. Bible Mastery

give them basic Bible skills

Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud: Luke 15:1-10

4. Comprehension Questions

make sure they understand the story

First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?

  • What is a parable? (a little story Jesus told that teaches us what life is like as a Christian, in the Kingdom of God)
  • What was the first parable about? (a lost sheep)
  • How many sheep did the shepherd have? (100 total)
  • How many were lost and how many were still with the shepherd? (1 lost, 99 with the shepherd)
  • What did the shepherd do to find the 1 that was lost? (he left the 99 behind and looked for the 1 that was lost until he found it)
  • What did he do after he found the sheep? (he put it on his shoulders and carried it back to the flock. Then he had a big party!)
  • What was the second parable about? (a lost coin)
  • How many coins did the woman have? (10 total)
  • How many were lost and how many were found? (1 lost and 9 still found)
  • What did the woman do to find the 1 she lost? (she searched her house until she found it)
  • What did she do after she found it? (she called her friends together for a party!)
  • What was the kingdom lesson in these parables? (God loves all people, whether they are believers or not)

5. Faith Questions

help them apply the story to their lives and open up a conversation about faith and the gospel; close with prayer
  • Jesus helped us understand that some people are lost and some are found, and that he loves the people who are lost just as much as the people who are found.
  • Are you a lost sheep or coin? You can allow Jesus to find you by believing in him, admitting that you have sinned and need Jesus to forgive you, and by accepting his forgiveness for your sins.

6. Memory Verse

hide God's Word in their heart
Everyone should be quick to listen. But they should be slow to speak. They should be slow to get angry. James 1:19

Reinforcement Activities

Water Bottle Sheep Search

Scripture He said, “Suppose one of you has 100 sheep and loses one of them. Won’t he leave the 99 in the open country? Won’t he go and look for the one lost sheep until he finds it? Luke 15:4

Supplies Water bottles, rice, small plastic sheep or paper sheep

  • Fill a water bottle with rice.
  • Add a small plastic sheep or piece of paper to rice bottle.
  • Have children shake bottle and roll to find sheep in rice.

Sheep Hide and Seek

Scripture He said, “Suppose one of you has 100 sheep and loses one of them. Won’t he leave the 99 in the open country? Won’t he go and look for the one lost sheep until he finds it? Luke 15:4

Supplies sheep print out or stuffed animal

  • Hide the sheep and play a group game or let students take turns finding the sheep.

Pin the Wool on the Sheep

Scripture Then he will call his friends and neighbors together. He will say, ‘Be joyful with me. I have found my lost sheep.’ Luke 15:6

Supplies window markers, cotton balls, tape, blindfold

  • Draw or trace the outline of a sheep onto a window or glass door using window markers.
  • Give each student a cotton ball with a piece of tape attached.
  • Blindfold each student and have them try and place the cotton ball onto the sheep.

Hidden Picture Games

Scripture Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. She will light a lamp and sweep the house. She will search carefully until she finds the coin. Luke 15:8

  • Print off hidden pictures and allow students to find things that are hidden.

Bring the Sheep Home Relay

Scripture When he finds it, he will joyfully put it on his shoulders and go home. Luke 15:5

  • Divide students into two teams.
  • Choose two students (or adults) to be the shepherds, one per team.
  • The rest of the students will be sheep.
  • The shepherds must run down and get a sheep and carry them on their back.
  • The first team to gather all of their sheep wins.

Who is the sheep?

Scripture Luke 15:3-7

Supplies blindfold

  • Choose one student to be "it."
  • "It" is blindfolded.
  • Quietly choose one of the other students to baa like a sheep.
  • The blindfolded child must try to guess who is “baaing.”
  • If he is right, the two will switch places.

Shepherd Balloon Corral

Scripture He said, “Suppose one of you has 100 sheep and loses one of them. Won’t he leave the 99 in the open country? Won’t he go and look for the one lost sheep until he finds it? Luke 15:4

Supplies ~20 white balloons (blown up), masking tape (for floor)

  • Tape off about a 10' x 10' square or circle on the floor (bigger if you have a large class) to create a sheepfold
  • Place all of the balloons inside the sheepfold.
  • Split the class into two groups: 2/3rd shepherds and 1/3rd wolves.
  • The object of the game is for each team to to have every balloon either in the sheepfold (shepherds) or out (wolves) at the same time.
  • The wolves enter the sheepfold and grab a balloon or two.
  • They must get the balloon out of the sheepfold before being tagged by a shepherd. If they are tagged, they must drop the balloon inside the sheepfold.
  • Once the balloon is out of the sheepfold, a shepherd can go outside the the sheepfold and retrieve the balloon, and if they get tagged by a wolf before they get the balloon back, they must drop the balloon outside the sheepfold.

Marshmallow Cream Cheerio Sheep Snack

Heads up! Using peanut butter can be used as a healthier option. Be aware of allergies!

Scripture Then he will call his friends and neighbors together. He will say, ‘Be joyful with me. I have found my lost sheep.’ Luke 15:6

Supplies marshmallow cream, frosted cheerios, chocolate chips, pretzel sticks

  • Mix together frosted cheerios and marshmallow cream.
  • Form into balls.
  • Add chocolate chips for the eyes.
  • Stick 4 pretzel sticks into the bottom for legs.

Cheerio Sheep Snack

Scripture Then he will call his friends and neighbors together. He will say, ‘Be joyful with me. I have found my lost sheep.’ Luke 15:6

Supplies sheep cookie cutter, bread, frosted cheerios, honey

  • Use a sheep cookie cutter to cut out sheep shapes in bread.
  • Provide each student with a small amount of honey.
  • Dip cheerios into honey and stick onto bread.

I Spy or Other Seek and Find Games

Scripture Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. She will light a lamp and sweep the house. She will search carefully until she finds the coin. Luke 15:8

  • Play I spy,
  • hide and seek with a plastic coin,
  • hot and cold...