Middle School

Making the Most of God’s Gifts

Lesson 12 

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Winter 2019-20

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By: Kelsey Grulke 

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February 16, 2020

Lesson Focus:

Make the most of God’s gifts.

Bible Basis:

Matthew 25:14-30

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Paper (1 sheet per 4-5 students)
  • Tape (1 roll per 4-5 students)
  • Scissors (1 pair per 4-5 students)

Summary & Links:

Students will use limited resources to make a paper chain and begin thinking about how to make the most of what God has given them.

Memory Verse:

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
—1 Peter 4:10

Step 1:

Students will use limited resources to make a paper chain and begin thinking about how to make the most of what God has given them.

Materials Needed:

  • Paper (1 sheet per 4-5 students)
  • Tape (1 roll per 4-5 students)
  • Scissors (1 pair per 4-5 students)

Welcome your students as they enter. As everyone settles in, let everyone discuss what they’re good at. It can be hard to identify what you’re good at when you’re a middle schooler, so encourage students to help each other identify things they’re good at. Encourage a mix of skills (playing basketball, math, playing an instrument, etc.) and attributes (kindness, patience, helping, etc.)

Those things that we’re good at are gifts from God. Sometimes it feels like we have a lot, sometimes it feels like we don’t have much. It can be easy to avoid using our gifts if we don’t feel like they’re as good as or as much as the gifts of others. Here is a challenge for you. Let’s see what we can do with limited resources.

Divide the class into groups of 4-5. Give each group ONLY one sheet of paper, one roll of tape, and one pair of scissors. Instruct the groups to make the longest paper chain they can with their given resources. The students may balk at the idea of making a long paper chain with only one sheet of paper, but just encourage them to do their best. Give the groups a time limit (5 minutes). When they’re finished, compare the paper chains. Celebrate the winners and gather as a whole group again.

  • What were some of the challenges of this activity? (We only had one sheet of paper, we had a short time, we struggled with teamwork, etc.)
  • Ask the winning team… What made your paper chain so successful? (We had a good strategy, we worked together well, we did our best with what we had, etc.)
  • Ask the non-winning teams… What would have made your paper chain better? (More paper or tape, better teamwork, more time, better strategy, etc.)
  • Of the things that could have made your paper chains better, which ones do you have control over? (Working together as a team, my attitude, my own contribution, etc.)

Sometimes, it feels like we don’t have enough gifts, abilities, or resources to do what is asked of us. Today, we’re going to look at what Jesus said to do in a situation just like that.

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access
  • Whiteboard and markers
  • Index cards
  • Pens/pencils

Ask a volunteer to read today’s memory verse (1 Peter 4:10). Ask students to pair up and re-state the verse in their own words. Come back together as a whole group and ask for volunteers to share what they came up with.

Basically, what it comes down to is that each of us is responsible to use whatever God gives us. Nothing more, nothing less. We’re going to watch two videos, back to back, of people using their gifts and then we’ll discuss them.

Show the following video to your students [:29]:
Warren Buffett donating $3.6 billion to charity

Now show this video to your students [2:52]:
Man’s simple gesture makes big difference

  • What was similar about these two men using their gifts? (They both are trying to make the world a better place, they’re both using what they have, they both seem happy about it, etc.) 
  • What was different about the way these two men are using their gifts? (One is giving time and kindness, the other is giving money. One costs nothing, the other costs more than most of us could even imagine. One gets national attention all the time, the other is largely unnoticed, etc.)
  • If you stuck these two men into our parable from today, what do you think the master would have to say to them? (Answers could vary. They both are using what they have; they would both be appreciated.)

Both of these men are using what they have.  Lewis Claybon doesn’t have billions to give, and Warren Buffett probably doesn’t have the time to hang around for hours making lots of people’s days a little bit better. God gives all of us gifts and asks us to use them. What gifts do you have that you can use?

As a group, brainstorm gifts that middle schoolers might have and ways they could use them; write student’s ideas on the whiteboard as they give them. Then, give each student an index card. Ask each student to write down one gift they have on one side of the card and one way they plan to use it this week on the other side. Gather back together as a group and ask each student to share what they’ve written.

End by praying together. Thank God for the gifts each of you have been given and ask for God’s help in making the most of what He’s given you.

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